Tuesday, November 04, 2008
To be honest, I probably wouldn’t be much of a voter if my mom didn’t push me so much. She made sure I was registered to vote when I was 18 and all the times when I’m like “mom, I do NOT care about this”, she’s always told me that it’s my right and it’s important. So, every election, I get out my blue book (or find it online) and I research the amendments and I vote. And over time, I’ve realized that it IS important and I actually like to vote.
This election, I still hate politics. I can’t wait for this day to be over so that I can stop hearing and seeing all the dirty campaigning and the underhandedness and the stupidity. I’m totally interested in the outcome, because either way, it’s historic.
The difference with this election is that I actually care about something presented on the ballot – and it’s something that isn’t even on MY ballot – I can’t vote NO on Proposition 8 because it’s a ballot issue in California and obviously I don’t live there.
The reason I care so much about it is because it concerns the rights of someone I love very much. Beth (who’ve I’ve mentioned many times before) has been my friend since we were six years old. She’s been my moral compass, the person I ask advice from, the person I know will always protect my secrets, and the person who knows me the absolute best. She has supported me and loved me through the many MANY questionable decisions I’ve made, and been happy with me for all the great things that have happened. She never fails to send flowers on special days – birthdays, Christmas, even Mother’s Day – and she recently sent me something really special for my wedding. She is certainly one of the most caring and loyal friends anyone could ever ask for.
Seven years ago, our group also gained Merideth, when she and Beth had a lovely commitment ceremony in Sonoma. Meri and Beth complement each other beautifully, whether it be in home repairs or the kitchen or personality. Meri has become a friend, not just because she’s Beth’s wife, but because she is a genuinely cool person who I probably would have picked for a friend anyway. Together, they have a marriage that is a great example of a loving and caring partnership.
In June, California began to allow gay marriage, so after seven years of being “committed” to each other, Beth and Meri were finally able to get legally married. Now, five months later, California wants to revoke their rights. After reading about this issue, I have to say that it’s really the stupidest thing EVER. Seriously, the law makes it so easy for straight couples to get married – in Colorado, you can marry your cousin! If you need a green card, all you have to do is marry someone who’s a citizen, and boom! Citizenship and insurance and everything! Please.
You know what? Gay marriage isn’t going to destroy the (already questionable) moral fabric of the U.S. It's not the beginning of a slippery slope into horribly deviant behavior. If you don’t want to marry someone of the same gender, it’s your decision not to. If you don’t want to be around people of the same gender who are married, well, find new friends. If you want to propagate inequality, maybe you should do that on your own time and not use the Bible and the law to back you up. If you want to teach your children that denying rights to people is ok, I sure hope they grow up to never need that right.
I mean really – look at history – women couldn’t vote, interracial marriages were forbidden, abortion was illegal. All things that were (and still are) frightening and foreign to some people. But instead of accepting the status quo, people fought for their rights. Not to be cliché, but isn’t that what America was founded on? Rights were being denied in England and so people stood up and said no. They kept saying no - no to slavery, no to segregation, no to Hitler and communists and terrorists. No to ignorant people who couldn't look past their own issues and realize that this is about doing what is right and what is humane and what is decent.
So today, I want California to say NO. Say no to bigotry. Say no to fear disguised as legislation. Say no to hateful people claiming to represent God and the church when the truth is, God and the church DO NOT represent them. Say no for your gay friends and family. Say no for Beth and Meri and my aunt and her partner – say no for our kids, who need to be taught that love isn’t something to be ashamed of and that strong, loving marriages should be celebrated and honored.
And to Beth and Meri – it may be small comfort and it may be none at all, but know that I love you both and to me, no matter what, you will always be married and you will always be part of my family.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Anyway, I've had this blog for nearly four years and I feel like it needs a change. My entire life has changed pretty drastically in the past year or so, so why not embrace that and change things up a little. The page has always looked the same, so I need a new look. And I need to figure out what to talk about and how to best do that. You know, just a few things. I think most importantly, I need to remember that this is where I put things that I want to remember and that I should only be concerned with what I think of it. It's hard to do that in a forum where people comment on what amounts to your journal entries, but I figure if my kids ever felt like reading all this one day, they need an accurate and complete picture of who I am now.
Anyhoo. I'm working on my identity and trying to post more - just to get in the habit of it again. Then by the time I figure everything out, I'll be a posting machine! Ha. Let's not get carried away.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
See? Really handy.
Monday, October 20, 2008
1. I much prefer to eat out of sectioned plates than any other. As they don’t really make non-disposable dishware for ADULTS in that style, I often eat dinner off of two plates and a bowl.
2. I read every night before bed, and inevitably have to get up a minimum of 5 times while reading to pee. It’s totally psychological – I don’t have to go that bad, but I am paranoid that I’ll wake up in the night and have to go and I HATE getting up.
3. The older I get, the more I understand my mother. Because no matter how hard I try, I’m totally turning into her.
4. I am not the least bit afraid of any bug (with the exception of poisonous ones, but that’s just being smart). Big, small, whatever, I am totally fine with it. But the tiniest snake will make me completely freak out and feel like I’m going to faint.
5. When I was little, I could never go to bed without saying “I love you” to my parents. In case they died before the morning. That was my morbid little kid reasoning, for real.
6. For all of the falls and injuries I’ve sustained in my lifetime, the first time I ever broke a bone was on my 30th birthday. I think we all remember the boot and how awesome it turned out to be.
7. I have had 16 jobs in 16 years.
Along this same line (and since I'm using other people for inspiration - this one is courtesy of Cheryl) if you have any questions you'd like me to answer, post those in the comments as well.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I’ll tell you since when – since I became overwhelmed with everything.
My job title is “marketing coordinator”, but what I really do is herd cats. I have to wrangle a bunch of men, many who are arrogant and have no clue how to manage people – I have to get them to meet my deadlines so that I can meet theirs, and I have to do this while maintaining a good attitude, hiding my frustration and stress (because like skittish animals, it freaks them out if you show fear) and generally hap-hap-happying through my day.
I didn’t notice it at first, but I was losing the happy. Work was making me lose sleep and feel sick with dread in the mornings. I couldn’t not show my stress and frustration, and as predicted, the guys didn’t know how to handle that. On top of that, my boss left the company and I was unbelievably bummed about that, especially since I didn’t really like the new guy.
At home, I was also flailing. The planning and patience and organization it takes to parent the children was suffering. Every evening was a rush to pack in sports practice, violin practice, homework, dinner and oh yeah, maybe some down time to chill before everyone gets herded off to bed so they can wake up early and we can start all over.
I started to feel about my job like I felt almost 3 years ago when I had a total breakdown. I told Chris that not only could my mental health not take another episode like that, but that now it would affect him and the kids and that just wasn’t going to work.
We talked about it, and came up with a solution. I would cut down my hours to half time and then work mostly from home. I could stay home with Abby until she goes to afternoon kindergarten and be home when she and Riley got home in the afternoon. No more day care costs, which essentially take up ¼ of my paycheck. No more having to rush home to make dinner, no more piles of clean but unfolded laundry, no more trying to get homework done in the short time between getting home from work and bedtime. No more worrying about who would take a day off to stay home with a sick kid or saying no to going on field trips because no one can take off work.
I talked to the big boss at work, who was really understanding. He saw that I had been struggling and he understood that trying to do it all is hard – especially since I am still fairly new to the whole parent gig. He told me he wanted me to be happy and we’d work it out. And we have. I will work 20-30 hours a week, mainly from home. I can come into the office for a couple of hours in the afternoon while Abby is at school, and because I have other mom friends who stay home and since my own mom doesn’t work, if there is an emergency, I have backup.
Right now, we’re in the process of finding someone to take over my other hours. This is a good thing, because I was basically handling a lot more than I could, well, handle. Once we find that person, I will set up my office and start working at home. I gave the company until the end of the year to find someone so that we’re not in limbo forever, and so I’m patiently waiting until that happens.
In the meantime, I’m slowly finding the happy again. Chris is the best – he’s so supportive and loves me so much and makes my life so much better just by being around. And I’m feeling better because there’s a light at the end of the tunnel – I can look at the chaos of our house and our lives and know that I’m doing the best I can right now, and that it won’t be like this indefinitely. It’s so comforting.
So. That’s it – the beginning of the next chapter. Let the bedazzling begin!
Friday, August 22, 2008
I’m thankful for ALL my girls from high school – it’s so fun watching the people who you grew up with have babies and get married. Surreal, sometimes, but fun, especially when I think back to our escapades in younger days.
I’m thankful for the wide circle of friends I have – I have the youth group kids who treat me like I’m one of them, and who I can completely let down with.
I have my soccer mom friends – three moms from Abby’s soccer team that knew each other already but who were fun and we hung out on the sidelines laughing and making fun of our children learning to play soccer. We went out to dinner the other night and drank a ton of wine and laughed our asses off – it was so fun. We put the kids back on the same team for fall season because we wanted to hang out again.
My work friends – we made a four square court in the parking lot behind our building and a bunch of us played four square all lunch hour yesterday and laughed and laughed. There's a group of us that hang out quite a bit, and we just went camping two weekends in a row and had the best time.
My fellow adult leaders on the youth group trips – it’s funny how you can meet someone for the first time one day, and a week later, it’s like you’ve known each other forever. All of the adult leaders at camp did a skit where we worked in an ice cream shop and three people came in and ordered shakes, but our blender was broken. So all of the “workers” took marshmallows and bananas and chocolate and chewed them up or melted ice cream in our mouths and spit it all into cups. Then the three “customers” drank the shakes. The kids freaked – they totally did not think they’d actually drink it. I get to see them once a year, sometimes more, but it’s as if no time has passed in between. They’re so much fun.
I have Sally and Nancy and Anita – my three extra moms who are helping me figure out logistics for our wedding – they all live next door to each other and have been friends forever and they take excellent care of me. They’re a perfect example of how friendships can weather a lot of storms and how no matter what happens, you always have your girls – they truly value each other and make time for each other and it’s really cool.
So yeah. I couldn't ask for better people in my life.
Anyhoo, that’s neither here nor there. I was thinking today about how much I have – like the ridiculous amount of blessings in my life. I have awesome parents who not only love me, but love Chris and especially the girls. A perfect example of this was a few weeks ago when we needed my parents to babysit for us on a Friday night. My mom was like, “sorry, we’re leaving for Breckenridge on Friday afternoon”. So whatever, I started looking for someone else (which is difficult because I’m very picky about who I’ll leave the girls with) and then my mom called me back “Um, your dad was mad that we couldn’t watch the girls on Friday, so he was wondering if we could take them to Breckenridge with us.” Hmmm. Let me think ab- OKAY! So they took them with them, and Chris and I went up there Saturday and we all stayed another night and had a great time.
I was always afraid that because I didn’t get married earlier that my parents would never get the chance to enjoy grandkids or that my kids wouldn’t understand what amazing grandparents I KNEW my parents would be. So having the girls in our lives is a gift all around – of course I love them, in fact, I love them as if they were really mine - and I love them even more because I get to see how happy being grandparents makes my mom and dad. And they’re a gift to my parents, because they love little kids and my mom was just dying for little girls to play with like when I was little and my dad couldn’t wait to read them all of he and I’s favorite books from my childhood. So awesome.
I’m blessed to have Chris – he is the best (future) husband I could have possibly asked for. My mom told me about a conversation she and my dad had with this couple who has been like our grandparents – they’re in their 90s and very crotchety. Anyway, they asked my parents “what makes you think Chris is a good mate for Amber” and my dad said “well, he has a good job, he owns his own house and you can tell that he really loves Amber – he always kisses or hugs her.” Which is true – he’s always affectionate with me, but not in a space-invading way. He tells me he loves me and he does stuff so that I know he does. Like every morning he makes my coffee the way I like it and sits it on the counter in my travel mug so it’s ready when I leave for work. And besides that, we have so much fun together – laughing and talking all the time. It’s true that he’s my best friend, because we talk about everything. I really like being around him – we love each other, but we also totally enjoy each other’s company.
I'm blessed to be friends with my brother now that we're older. He's fun to be around and really funny and gifted and he sends me text messages to tell me he loves me. The age difference was hard when we were younger, but now we're allies in the parental fights and he can hang out at my house with Chris and I and drink a beer and talk. It's so weird to see him grow up, but I'm so glad that I was as old as I was when he was born because I'm able to remember his entire life.
So that's part one - blessings, the family edition.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Freaking out about the overwhelming task of planning a wedding. Asking myself why we didn’t just go to Vegas. Anyone want to plan my wedding? Ha ha, just kidding. Unless you do, in which case, send me an email.
Visiting Karen and John’s ADORABLE new baby. I imagine they’re probably sick of me by now, because the child has only been alive for a little over a week and I’ve been to visit him 4 or 5 times. They’re just lucky I live 30 minutes from them now instead of 7 (like I used to) or else they’d be REALLY sick of me. I can’t help it – he’s just so precious and they are the cutest parents.
(Along those same lines, I’ve been hit by the surreal feelings of being caught between being an adult and being a kid. On the trips with the youth group to Nebraska and Montana, I especially feel it. I honestly forget that I’m an adult, because the kids treat me like I’m their age. Then I come home and I’m watching my friend have contractions and then holding this little person who we’ve been waiting so long to meet and I realize that I’m not a kid anymore. Or I go up to my parents’ condo in the mountains with Chris and the girls and I realize that the stuff we’ve said for years about me coming here with my kids is suddenly true – my mom and dad are the grandparents now and I’m the parent. SO WEIRD. And also end of ridiculously long parenthetical aside.)
Coming to the realization that in my cell phone, my parents’ number is under “Home” and that now that Chris and I finally got a land line at our house, I have to change it. Even when I had my condo, my parents’ house was still home (seriously, why would I call my condo when I’m the only one living there) – and now, I have a new home. I know, I’m weird, but I just think of stupid stuff like that and it adds to my realization that all these “child to adult” changes just KEEP HAPPENING.
Reading. NERD ALERT. Want to hear something crazy? In the past five weeks, I have read 15 books. That turns out to be 6,554 pages. Between the road trips and the free time and the evenings, I’ve been a reading machine. I’ve read everything from the newest Janet Evanovich, to Jodi Picoult (who I recently discovered and really like) to classics from the high school reading lists (because that’s what happens when you run out of books and have to borrow from teenagers) to the hottest books since Harry Potter (the Twilight series), to my usual murder and intrigue books. Seriously, we’re like at a Level 14 hojillion on the Nerd Threat scale here.
Anyway, that's the lame-ass update. In related news, I also got internet at home (finally) so that I can surf and post in a blocked-by-work-free zone. That means I can maybe post more than oh, say once a month.
In other wedding news, maybe you are the person who wants to come up with a beautiful design for our wedding website. I'm about as good understanding HTML as I am understanding mandarin chinese, but I can do basic stuff. I've looked at various sites and they're just not what I want. So ideas would be welcomed!
Monday, June 30, 2008
What was NOT fine was that the crazy-ass counselors there insisted on treating us like we were part of their camp – which we weren’t. Because we are adults and high school kids, we have no interest in your stupid made up prayers to songs like the Superman theme that you make the 3rd through 5th grade campers sing. Our boys are STARVING after slaving out in the woods over stuff you don’t get to, and so maybe you could make it a little easier for them to get larger portions, instead of telling them no and/or looking like we just asked if you would eat your own arm if we asked for more of something. Gah. They were horrible and if one of them would have said anything to me, I would have flipped on him. Because that’s what Jesus would have done, I’m certain of it.
What else was not fine, you might ask? The MOSQUITOES. Holy crap, I have never seen so many mosquitoes in my life. It wasn’t like “Oh – a mosquito. I will swat you and your nearby brethren and fend you off with bug spray.” It was like “OH MY GOD – THEY ARE ALL OVER YOUR BACK!!!” and then you sprayed the other person like their life depended on it. Oh, and if the spray had any less than 25% DEET in it? The mosquitoes were like “This certainly is a delicious flavor this human has added to their delectable skin”. Freaky ass mosquitoes. By the end of three days we had gone through probably 10 bottles of bug spray and yet we were all covered with bites – I wore jeans the whole time and they bit me through my jeans. I had like 12 bites on my face alone, which, coupled with the eyebrow twitch I developed (DEET poisoning, probably) made me look like Woogie from “There’s Something About Mary”.
A goat bit my finger. I got locked in a gas station bathroom. The humidity was such that standing still in the shade, I was still pouring sweat. The food was so bad that I told the cooks that I was vegetarian so that I didn’t have to eat any of the prison-grade meat they were serving. I am so bruised that it looks like I got in a fight. I kind of did - you should see the other guys - they're now MULCH (see below for explanation). HA!!
And yet? SO MUCH FUN!!! The crappy stuff isn’t actually that crappy, because it’s all part of the adventure. And since everyone is going through it, it turns out to be funny. I learned how to not only run, but fix an industrial wood chipper. I turned dead trees into mulch for three days, along with my trusty sidekick Katie – we had earplugs in and so we got to where we could communicate effectively solely with looks. There was a barn there with assorted animals, including a motherless baby goat who needed to be bottle fed. I fed him and he was SO ADORABLE with his little milk mustache – he would run up to you and wag his tail and want you to pet him and pick him up. It was the adult goat who bit me – I was petting it and it was sweetly licking my hand before it chomped down on my finger, breaking the skin and making me yell (in my head) “Aaaaagggghhhhh!! Goat Cooties!” And the guy who ran the camp was so nice and so patient and so appreciative of all the work that we did, so it totally made up for the jackassery of the counselors. Besides Katie and I’s owning of the chipper, the rest of the group used a log splitter to cut logs, mowed a lot of high grass, dug holes, weed whacked, spread mulch on the trails, carved out steps in the side of the mountain down to a little amphitheater and basically pitched in to do whatever would help the rest of the group. My kids are so awesome.
After we left the camp on Thursday morning, we went west to Sparks, NE where we stayed at Dryland Aquatics. Thankfully, there were many less mosquitoes there. We spent Friday tubing down the Niobrara River on these giant tubes that were like having your own individual raft. We went on the six hour float, and 90 minutes in, it started pouring rain. We were prepared to be miserable for four more hours, but luckily the sun came out and we had the best time for the rest of the day.
I guess it’s hard to impart how amazing these trips are. We just have a great time, and for a week, nothing at home seems to matter. The kids leave their cell phones at home and everyone is focused on what we’re doing. People are always saying how great it is that I give up my vacation time to do this, but really? I’m not giving up anything. Not be a cheeseball, but what I get from going is way better than anyone can imagine. You just have to be there.
Next stop? Montana. I leave Sunday morning.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
I can't say though that I'll be any better this month, and here's why. Chris and I get a week to ourselves starting tomorrow, and then the deluge of STUFF! TO! DO! happens. Pretty much Chris' entire family is coming out to stay at our house for a week. That means we will have 6 extra people here in addition to the four of us. Which of course I want his family to visit, but that's just a lot of people in one place for sort of a lot of days.
Then three days after they go home, I leave for Nebraska for our mission trip. Gone for a week, home for a week, leave for Montana and gone for another week.
I just thought I'd let you know so you could, you know, plan your schedule accordingly.
In other news, I fought the rocks and the rocks won. We never did get to moving the rocks for the vegetable garden, but I am consoling myself with the thought that a) I don't have to re-landscape the entire yard THIS YEAR and also b) my first project (our front flower box) looks awesome and so the rocks didn't entirely win.
Guess what? I am REALLY GOOD at the Hannah Montana game on Wii. Chris bought it for Riley, and so I watched her play it on Friday night. Then Saturday I played and secretly? It is totally fun. And also secretly, my arms are sore today because of all the flailing with the remote. It's like Dance Dance Revolution with only your arms. And I am apparently completely out of shape.
My totally awesome boss is leaving our company and when he told me, I burst into tears. He was totally not expecting that and wasn't quite sure what to do. Because there's no crying in construction!
Anyway, that's all for now. Nothing interesting really, but you know, I like to let you know I'm still here. Skulking around your blogs and trying to think of something witty to write. Failing dismally, but at least THINKING about it...
Monday, May 12, 2008
“Snuggling and reading is usually a good way to help a 5 year old go to sleep”
“Please just go to sleep because I know that despite your assurances to the contrary, you are tired”
“Hey! Bedtime comes at the same time every night! Can we make it less like a pencil in the eye and more like a simple routine?”
“Have I mentioned how much I wish you would just go to sleep?”
“Mommy is in bed now and you should be too. No, I am not coming up there AGAIN”
“Dear ex-wife: you are going to have to deal with me FOREVER so you should probably be nicer to Chris about it”
“Dear ex-wife: you left for 9 weeks and magically, everyone else’s lives also continued so it is too bad if you thought that everything would fall apart while you were gone and the opposite happened”
“Dear ex-wife: Stop SAYING you’re the parent and start ACTING like the parent”
“Dear ex-wife: being a total bitch all the time helps no one”
“Dear ex-wife: Of course you can bring the children over to our house for the week a day early. But perhaps not at midnight and perhaps next time you could also bring their necessities like school uniforms and contacts”
“Dear ex-wife: Seriously, get a grip. Also, you have no idea who you’re dealing with. I’m just biding my time before I let you know”
“Dear ex-wife’s new boyfriend: Eeek. Good luck you sorry son of a bitch”
“I think I’d like to have more flowers and less rocks in our yard so let’s make that happen”
“Wow, there are more rocks here than I at first thought”
“Dear god, the rocks”
“I think the flower garden will be lovely and I am ready to start clearing rocks for the vegetable garden”
“I am afraid to look at the area we picked for the vegetable garden because I know there is a daunting amount of – wait for it – rocks out there”
“Does it seem like there are more rocks over there than there were yesterday?”
“Dear god, the rocks: Part II”
So yeah. That’s about the extent of it. See all the potentially FASCINATING reading you could have had?
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Boyfriend 2 – You were great from Day 1. I met you at a party and we had mutual friends, so we ended up hanging out. Weirdly, I had just moved from Ft. Collins and you had just moved from my town to Ft. Collins. We did the long distance thing for a while, and it worked out fine, and then you came back to Denver and started back at the college I went to. You were an amazing athlete, and I learned how to ski, mountain bike and rollerblade while we were together. You were funny and silly and totally hot. You were great with kids and you even won over P, who is not that easy to win over. My mom LOVED you, which also rarely happens. However, I would have spent our life together walking all over you and you would have been too afraid to tell me you were unhappy – kind of like when we broke up and I basically had to make you say it. I probably also would have maybe cheated on you, just because it was something more interesting to do than get my way all the time. From what I hear about the girl you married, it’s probably just like that (minus the cheating), but that’s what you’re comfortable with. I know you’re probably a great dad and I’m really glad that you’re happy.
Boyfriend 3 – Wow, that would have been HORRIBLE. I loved you a lot (and I know you loved me even more) but I would have never trusted you completely. You were the kind of guy who women openly ogled when we walked by – you were the guy that dressed nicely and looked excellent in everything you wore. You treated me like a queen and you hammered into my head that I should never let anyone treat me as less than that. You were generous and fun, and we had a lot of cool adventures. But as I got older, I would have resented your jealous streak, and been mad about how much time you spent with “the boys”. Actually, we stayed together a year longer than we should have – but the four years we were together taught me more about who I wanted to spend my life with than any other relationship. Thank you for giving me confidence and strength and for making sure that I understood that I deserved the very best and to never settle for anything less than just that. I will always be grateful for you.
Not Boyfriend – Well, to write this, all we have to do is go back in the blog archives a couple of years and see how wrong you were for me. Not for any other reason than you were so damaged by your divorce that you couldn’t see past your pain into the future. Well, that and also the fact you had no clue what you wanted to do with your life. You talked college, since you had dropped out. Which I encouraged, but I knew then that we wouldn’t end up together because I didn’t want to be with someone who was still in the drifting phase of their life. I needed more stability than that, and you just weren’t at that place. Other places you were not at included every other place you would need to be in order to have a healthy relationship. The funny thing is that you were exactly what I needed – you taught me how to be understanding and patient with someone who had been hurt by a divorce. When I heard that Chris was divorced, I almost wrote him off because I didn’t want to repeat YOU. But I didn’t, and I’m so thankful that I took that leap. The funny thing is, we were still talking and hanging out when I met Chris, but the day he and I started dating, I stopped hearing from you. It’s like you disappeared, and honestly, if I hadn’t known you since we were kids, I would think maybe you were a dream or something. Thanks though. Thanks for teaching me what I needed to know.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Yes, as a sidebar, I may have mentioned that I was engaged before – when I was 20. My parents were not excited. My friends were not excited. Every single adult in my life hammered me with reasons I shouldn’t be getting married. When I drunkenly kissed one of my fiance’s fraternity brothers at a party one night, I realized maybe all the adults might have a point about the not getting married thing. So I broke it off. And have never regretted it. I’d be divorced by now, mostly because he had the personality of a pine tree and I’m not sure what I saw in him in the first place, but whatever. He was a nice guy and we actually kept in touch for a couple of years after we broke up. I heard he got married a few years ago (to the girl he dated before me – what?) and I’m glad that he’s happy.
I’M happy! We’ve picked the date (4th of July 2009), the venue (backyard wedding!), size (small) and our bridesmaids and groomsmen. Plus, I’m marrying the best guy ever, and everyone is on board, including the children. They could care less about the marrying part, the more important question is whether they will get to wear pretty dresses. Which of course they will.
Here’s where Chris gets freaked out – my bridesmaids bought their dresses before he even proposed. Ha. It’s true. But here’s why:
I’m a girl. We spend a good part of our lives thinking about our perfect wedding, hashing out details that will most likely change with taste and age and time. However, there are some things that don’t change. One of those things, for me at least, was my bridesmaids. I have had the same four best friends since high school, and they have always been the only ones I wanted in my wedding. Whenever one of us gets engaged, it’s a given that the other four will be bridesmaids. Chris and I picked out the date for the wedding a few months ago, the official proposal just hadn’t happened yet. So it wasn’t like I was TOTALLY jumping the gun.
Plus, I sort of had help. Once we picked July 4th, my little OCD brain was like “Colors! Red white and blue!” but the sensible side was like “Oh for pete’s sake. We’re not having a patriotic themed wedding.” So I emailed Beth to talk me off that ledge. We’ve been friends for 26 years – she knows how to deal with me. She suggested just using red, and then once we agreed to that, she got excited and started sending me bridesmaid dress suggestions. I thought about it for a few weeks, and then a week ago, Beth and I got serious about dress selection. We decided on black and white print dresses with red accents. So we picked out a bunch (no traditional bridesmaid dresses – strictly cocktail dresses) and narrowed the field to three. Sent the three to Kendra, Karen and Becki, and they picked their favorite. Once we settled on the dress everyone liked, within 20 minutes, they had all bought their dresses. My friends are the best!
I know there’s a year to go, but anyone who knows me knows I love a plan, plus there’s a lot to think about. Luckily, I have a ton of people who are excited as well and who are creative and awesome, so it should be fun. Because if it’s not fun, that totally defeats the purpose.
Married, you guys. I’m getting MARRIED. I still kind of can’t believe it.
Monday, April 14, 2008
BECAUSE I TOTALLY DID!
Monday, April 07, 2008
So. Right now I'm posting from home - I made Chris bring his laptop home so I'd have internet and could post. Only I had to go to Abby's soccer game. Then I had to make some dinner - just for Chris and I because the girls are with their grandparents - and then I had to surf around facebook because I just got on today (during quota time - it sounds like nap time, doesn't it?) and THEN by the time I was done with all that, I'd had three glasses of red wine. So instead of something good, you get this.
Um, let's see. We went and saw Bon Jovi last week - THAT was awesome. They've still got it after 25 years in the biz - and while Richie Sambora may or may not have alcohol issues, what he does have are some bad ass guitar skillz.
Chris likes to watch the military channel, and ohmygod, it is so boring. It's on right now and he's like "honey, look at this!" and then he starts talking about something military related that's on t.v. and all I can hear is blah blah blah.
Did I mention I've been drinking? We aren't really red wine drinkers, but since Chris recently found out that his cholesterol is like in the stratosphere and that red wine can help that, well, we decided to try drinking it on a regular basis. Historically, I'm not a red wine drinker, but in a show of support, I got on board. I keep telling him that just one or two glasses can help his cholesterol and we don't have to drink it a bottle at a time, but somehow it happens anyway. And then I succumb to peer pressure - I can't let him drink alone, right? Before anyone starts staging an intervention, let me just say that this is the first time we've drank any wine in like a week, so it's not like it's every night. You know, for the record.
Alright. I've taken up enough of your time with a totally worthless post. See what happens when I get performance anxiety? I've been putting off writing a good post because I felt like I couldn't dedicate the time (Quota time! Ten minutes! Here comes the MAN!) and then when I could actually put some time into it, you get the blog equivalent to a drunk dial. I'm a great friend.
What? The bottle of wine is gone? That's ok...I love you man.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Saturday morning, I frosted the cake I had made on Thursday, and decorated it with LPS figures and sprinkles. Chris took the balloons to get heliumed up, and moved our furniture around to make room for seven 5 year olds to run around.
I won't bore you with more details, but suffice it to say, the kids had a blast. In order to avoid any potential meltdowns if they didn't win at a game, I had about 8 hojillion animal stickers that EVERYONE got after a game. After the first game, no one cared if they won - they were too busy deciding which sticker they wanted.
Look at my little punkin - she's so happy to be the birthday girl!Abby's mom sat and watched the whole time - didn't offer to help or anything - which I thought was kind of weird. Then again, she's at a party for her kid that she had no input into at the house she used to live in. That in itself was probably weird. Her parents were there too, and they were so gracious - her mom hugged me and told me what a great job I did and said she'd email me the pictures she took. And her dad just hung out with Chris the whole time. They love him.
The thing that baffled me was that in all of Riley's 8 years and Abby's 5, this was the first at-home party they'd ever had. I remember most of my parties, and the only time we went somewhere was to go to the pool, but then we always came back for cake (that my mom baked). Beth and I were discussing it the other day, and she never had anything but home parties either - we were remembering all the years of movies rented and homemade cakes and backyard obstacle courses and sleepovers and board games.
My mom said she didn't have parties as a kid, so she wanted to have fun parties for us when we were little. My reasoning is that I grew up with fun and creative parties, so I want to do that for my kids as well.
So tell me - did you grow up with home birthday parties or location parties? Inquiring minds want to know...
Friday, March 28, 2008
I was wondering if in the scheme of things, there is a less graceful way to go out than losing control of A SCOOTER on a SLIGHT CURVE in a NEIGHBORHOOD and hitting a PARKED CAR with your head. The article mentioned that it was unknown whether there were drugs or alcohol involved. I realize I'm no medical examiner, nevertheless I'm going to say there probably were. Otherwise, he's just a sober idiot who can't drive A SCOOTER. I'm sorry, I kind of just want to laugh. Maybe I'm heartless and unfeeling, but really. A SCOOTER?
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I bet that that last one totally did not happen to you guys. But it totally DID happen to us. I wish I were kidding.
I was merrily painting up a storm Saturday afternoon - I was on my third of four walls, and determined to finish all four before I took a break, otherwise I would never go back. The house was quiet - Chris was downstairs playing video games, Abby was asleep in the "fort" the girls had made, and Riley was keeping me company while I painted. I heard sirens, but kind of ignored them, as we live next to a major street and also near the fire station. They seemed to be getting closer...yep, hey! That fire truck just parked in front of our house!
Chris yells up to me "Some guy just died in our yard" and I was like "Ha ha, shut up!" because OF COURSE he had to be exaggerating. I went downstairs and saw him going out the front door, so I peeked out and saw that an ambulance had joined the fire truck. I grabbed a coat and followed him out front, telling Riley that under no circumstances was she to come outside. I walked over and stood next to Chris, and would you believe it? There is a guy laying in our side yard (not the main one directly infront of the house thank god, but the one on the other side of our driveway), his crotch rocket motorbike laying about a foot away from Chris' car in our driveway. By the time I got there, the paramedics were shaking their heads and looking at each other like "I think we're done here". I looked at Chris and was like "He looks dead". The paramedics agreed - they got out the white sheet and as they were covering him, I felt like maybe I was either going to cry or barf or maybe both. So I went in the house.
Pretty soon, a policeman came to the door. Riley saw him coming, and was like "Everybody just act natural. We don't want him to think we killed that guy". I was like "Honey - we DIDN'T kill that guy . Also, DO NOT say that in front of the policeman". And then I sent her upstairs just in case.
The police officer was nice - AND HOT. I was of course very suave - when he asked me if I knew what had happened, I said yes I did. After an awkward pause (I didn't know he expected me to tell him what happened - did he not already know?) I said "A guy took a header off his motorcycle...and died?" He agreed, so finally we were on the same page. He told us we weren't going to be able to leave the house for a few hours because they were blocking off the street until the traffic investigator could do his thing. When he left, Chris was like "He was nice" And I said "He smelled really good" and then went into the bathroom to see if I had paint all over my face or if I had looked halfway presentable when talking to Officer Straight White Teeth and Acceptable Amount of Cologne.
Anyway, that was pretty much it. Guy on motorcycle, not wearing helmet (and also sandals with socks - appropriate riding gear? I think not), loses control of bike and (so they think) went over the handlebars headfirst into the car parked in our neighbor's driveway. Died instantly - I hope. Because the weird thing was that none of us heard anything. No screeches or thuds or skidding - the only way Chris knew what was going on was that he saw one of our other neighbors stop in front of our house and start yelling. Chris couldn't see anything and so he went up to our guest bathroom and saw the guy laying in a heap in the yard. By the time he got back downstairs and put his jacket on, the paramedics were there and the guy was definitely dead. No blood - just major head trauma. However, I have no idea how long he was laying there - maybe our neighbor saw it happen, maybe he just saw the guy in the yard.
Anyway, that's the story. I still can't believe it - who does stuff like this happen to? Crazy.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Abby has been waiting patiently to turn 5 so she could play soccer, so since her birthday is in 3 weeks, it's about that time. I can't wait to see those tiny kids running around kicking in the general vicinity of the ball. I'm excited to laugh at the hijinks of 4 and 5 year olds who've never played before. I mean, to see them learn skills and sportsmanship.
On the other hand, Riley started yet another season of softball, which I am much less enthusiatic about. Sorry to offend any of you that might like softball, but ack. It is SO BORING. It's bad enough on it's own, but when the kids are little and can't get the pitches over the plate and then the coach has to come in and pitch pretty much EVERY TIME, but not before we sit through a bunch of throws that don't make it remotely near the plate. Luckily, there's a sort of three-pronged escape clause. The game is over when one team gets a certain amount of points OR the game has reached a time limit OR we've gotten to a certain amount of innings. Whichever comes first. And since I'm totally complaining about this, I'll say that three-pronged or not, none of those can come soon enough. It usually ends up being the time clause, because no one can get enough hits to make the point thing and no one can get enough outs in a timely manner as to help along the inning thing. It's good times, I'm telling you.
Speaking of prongs, last season we were driving home after a particularly looooong game in which the score was like 5 hojillion to 2, and Riley was like "If we would have had just one more inning, maybe we could have won!" (oh the eternal optimism of children) and I said to Chris under my breath "Yes! If we would have had just one more inning, I would have totally stuck a fork in my eye so I had an excuse to get out of there!" We laughed for a long time with Riley saying "What? What?" But of course I would never say that to her. Chris (who is also no fan of softball) thinks its unfair that I get to do soccer with Abby and he HAS to do softball (we're such awesome parents - being supportive of our children and their sports decisions) but I told him not to worry. I would at least come to a couple of games and I would even leave my fork at home. Unless we're at an all-day tournament, in which case, all bets are off.
I sound horrible, I know, and I do want the girls to play sports, it's just that is it too much to ask that they play a sport that we might be interested in watching? Their mom signed Riley up for softball, and then conveniently left the state for 5 weeks. Coincidence? I think not.
In other news, last night we were walking to the park and the girls were riding their bikes. Riley said "how come when I stop I can't balance on my bike, but when I start up again, I can balance?" I said "It's physics, baby. You'll learn about it in high school." And she's like "But why? Why does it do that?" So Chris said "It's physics honey - you're going to learn about it." But this was still not good enough. "Is it because I'm moving and not moving? Does that make me balance better?" And I said to Chris (under my breath of course) "Does she not understand that when we tell her that she'll learn something in high school, that means 'WE DON'T KNOW and don't want to sound stupid'?" Sigh. Now I guess I'm going to have to see what the internets say about bike balancing and the like.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Shadow Laws by Jim Michael Hansen - he's a Denver lawyer, and I'm that nerd who likes books that take place in my town because I know what the places look like and whatever. Anyway, it's a suspense/thriller told from the point of view of 3 characters, which makes for a good read.
The Watchman by Robert Crais - Part of a series about a private detective, this one focuses on the mercenary (with a heart of gold, of course) who co-owns the business and is protecting someone AT ALL COSTS from getting whacked. Fast, brainless fiction.
Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner - I love her books, and this was no different. Told from the point of view of four characters, it's a total chick book about pregnancy and babies and stuff like that.
Velocity by Dean Koontz - I actually read this a while ago, but wanted to add it anyway. I could not put this book down. Totally suspenseful and really fast moving. So good.
Dark Harbor by Stuart Woods - Suspense/mystery, part of the Stone Barrington series. Gratuitous sex and CIA intrigue and murder - I read it in one afternoon. I enjoy Stuart Woods so much though. Chiefs is one of my most favorite books EVER, and I DEFINITELY recommend that as well.
Dry Ice by Stephen White - Another one set in Colorado. Part of a suspense/thriller series centering on a psychologist. I love this whole series, and would also recommend Kill Me, which is the one right before this I think.
I've also recently read T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton - suspenseful, thought-inducing and not as fluffy as the previous ones in the series. And Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell. I really like the Kay Scarpetta series, because of the interesting forensic stuff. However, the characters are really starting to bum me out, what with the fact that apparently no one is ever entitled to any happiness or even a frickin' good mood every once in a while.
Don't watch the following movies: The Heartbreak Kid with Ben Stiller, because as great as I think he is, that is a totally stupid movie not worth the time we spent watching it. 30 Days of Night with Josh Hartnett, because although I like a scary movie here and there and also am not averse to vampires, I couldn't wait for this to be over. The premise was good - it takes place in a tiny town in Alaska during the month when there isn't sun ever. Perfect for vampires, right? Totally. And so this could have been good, but what it involved was a lot of blood and gore and vampires who apparently don't speak any sort of human language, except they scream a lot. There was no suspense, and also it followed not one thing I know about vampires from watching The Lost Boys, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the t.v. show) and Angel. Plus, there were no remotely hot vampires like Spike or Angel or even a great looking mullet-headed Kiefer Sutherland. AND to top it off, the end totally sucked. Booo.
You SHOULD watch these movies: 3:10 to Yuma. SO GOOD. First of all, in case you didn't know, I love Christian Bale more than, well, something I really love (I can't wait to see him in Batman this summer. Why? Because he is SMOKIN' HOT and can also act). Anyway he was awesome in this. I also enjoy Russell Crowe's acting (and he's pretty hot when he wants to be) and he was stellar in this. He plays a really bad guy who you can be sympathetic to without feeling bad about it. Also this kid Ben Foster plays a perfectly despicable psycho. Love. Hot Fuzz is also great. A lot of people haven't seen this because it stars two English guys and you know how sometimes Americans don't get British comedy? It is funny and actiony and I love these guys. They also did Shawn of the Dead (zombies!) and while I thought that was also funny, I like Hot Fuzz more.
Awesome mascara - Bourjois Volume Clubbing in Ultra Black. I like to look like I'm wearing mascara, because I go with the natural look on the rest of my face, so this is great because it makes my lashes look thicker and not just tinted black. I was a little wary because the girl who recommended it to me was wearing eye shadow in hot pink and bright blue (and not in a good way), and also because it has the word "clubbing" in it, which is a little preciously trendy and reminds me how totally old I am, but as it turns out, she was right and also it's a sub-company of Chanel, not some weird fly-by-night operation. Nobody likes shady fly-by-night mascara, right?
Ok. I think that does it. Anything else you want me to tell you to read or watch or buy or do? You just let me know.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Actual conversation with the intake person on the Ask a Nurse hotline:
Intake lady: "What seems to be wrong?"
Me: "I have the world's worst stomach virus"
Intake lady: "Okay..."
Me: "Seriously. Write that down. 'World's Worst.'"
Intake lady: "What are your symptoms?"
Me: "Excruciating stomach pain, for one. I will say that I tend to exaggerate, but in this case I am not. Also you should write that down too. Excruciating."
Intake lady: "..."
I hope she wasn't new. Otherwise, she's probably like "is everyone who calls here so bossy?"
The good news was that I read somewhere around five or six books last week. All good, so if you're looking for recommendations (Eddie), I've got some.
***********************************I got Chris a Wii for his birthday. So far, I like it. Except for how in the instant replays in tennis, my sorry Wii remote skills are right there in slow motion, as my onscreen person watches the ball go by and THEN swings or swings, misses and falls down. It's almost like if I were playing tennis in real life, only marginally less embarassing.
I have never had long hair my entire life, even as a kid. I've always had cute, kicky short to medium hair, and I like it. Right now, I am trying mightily to grow my hair out. It's working, however, I now have hair that falls almost mid-back that is a tangly mess of wavy/curly awfulness. Unless I want to spend time straightening and re-curling it (which most of the time I don't, because *duh* it cuts into my sleeping time), it always ends up in a ponytail. Any advice would be helpful. Because what I ENVISION is the awesome long wavy hair of the STARS. What I'm getting is decidedly not that.
Also, since I'm on a book kick, give me some recommendations. I've got two on deck right now, but will be done with those by the weekend. Also, I'm looking for new decor for Chris and I's bedroom - I've looked at the typical places, so if you've got any off the beaten path places with cool bed linens and whatnot, let me know that too! Awesome.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
After arriving on Monday and drinking much more than I usually do for three nights in a row, by the time Thursday rolled around and the final event was over, I was pretty much alcoholed out. However, Chris and I and 2 of our friends headed to the bar for one last drink before we called it a night. Ha. One drink. Good one. Before we could finish our one drink, about 12 of our co-workers showed up and another drink appeared in front of me and we're pulling up tables and chairs to accomodate everyone. When the round of shots arrived, however, is when my liver was like "bitch, please" and that's when it went ahead and took a standby flight home. Along with a lot of people's good sense. That must have been a pretty full flight.
Guess what? Peter Forsberg is coming back to the Avalanche! This is so exciting. I love him very much - because he
I was a bridesmaid in a wedding in which my friend married a guy like 10 years older than her. The marriage lasted maybe a year or two, and I was the only one of her friends that he liked, so apparently he got me in the divorce. Because she and I aren't friends anymore, but he and I are. As it happened, he was the reporter who covered the Avs for one of the big newspapers here, and so while he couldn't get me into games for free, I often met him downtown after the games for drinks at the place where the team hung out. I got to meet all the young guys and it was pretty fun, although what I really wanted was to meet Forsberg. Unfortunately, Peter never really went out after the games. Except for one time when I happened to be there.
I was standing with my friend near the bar, and here comes Peter Forsberg walking towards us, headed for the bathroom. His hair was still damp from the shower, and he had on a dove gray dress shirt, tie and black dress pants. Gah. And Ack. He said hi to my friend and I wisely stopped myself from running after him. You know, for the sake of decorum. On the way back, he stopped and chatted for a second, and my friend is like "Peter, this is Amber". Forsberg looked at me with those ice blue eyes, held out his hand and said "It's really nice to meet you". I, being a quick thinker, realized that I had a glass of wine in my left hand and my coat in my right hand, so I'd have to get rid of something so I could shake his hand. So, because I'm suave, I dropped my coat on the floor. And because I'm a delicate flower, I unobtrusively (ha) kicked it behind me, while also shaking his hand and trying not to faint as he kept looking at me with THOSE EYES. I think I also managed "it's nice to meet you too", which I was pretty proud of, because what my brain was TELLING me to say was "will you marry me?" Aw. Yeah. Don't be jealous of my superior skillz in chatting up sports stars.
You would think that I could have come up with something witty to say to him, or even just long winded, because judging from most of my entries, long winded is my specialty. Oh well. I must have pulled it off to some extent, because he didn't make a face or run away screaming, and I didn't faint or barf or fling my wine glass across the room, so all in all, well played. Everybody wins.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I'm taking Cheryl's lead today, because I don't have a lot of interesting stuff to talk about. It snowed again, after first raining, so that there was a thin sheet of ice covering the car this morning. Good times. I'm also leaving work early today, because not only do I want to miss the rush hour traffic, but I am also attending a preschool Valentine's Day party. Oh yeah. I'm actually kind of excited for the cuteness of it all. I felt all mom-like today when I dropped off the juice that I had signed up to bring for the party. I will also be feeling all mom-like later when Chris and I share a romantic dinner...with the girls, at - wait for it - Chili's. It's ok if you're jealous because I live a romance-filled life. Actually, Chris brought me roses and a really sweet card - he is a lovey romantic guy. In the most manly way possible, of course.
Anyway, back to the point of this. I'm going to say one thing I like about myself, and then YOU'RE going to tell me one thing you like about me. See how everybody wins? I love me and also, YOU get to love me as well.
It's Valentine's Day - share the love. Because I love you! And I hope you all have a wonderful day!
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
For instance, last night Abby was in the bathtub and was chattering away while I sat in a chair with my feet on the edge of the tub and daydreamed while partially listening. Does that make me a bad listener? No it does not. I have learned how to half-listen while still thinking about other things and yet answering at the required junctures. Besides, half of the time, she's not even talking to me - she's talking to herself. (I have also learned to listen carefully while appearing to be entirely uninterested. This comes in handy with Riley, as she may be trying to slide something by me while trying to sucker daddy into it. However, that is neither here nor there).
Back on subject. Bathtub, Abby talking. All of the sudden, I realize that she's talking to ME. Usually I am quicker on the uptake than that, however, she kept saying "Mommy. Mommy. MOMMY." Oh right. That would be me. She has taken to calling me that and I sometimes am right on it with the answer, and sometimes I'm off somewhere in Halflistening-ville wondering who she's talking to. Hmm. Perhaps there's some perfecting to be done in the whole not totally listening arena.
Man, can I stay on task with a story or what? Wordy McTangent, reporting for duty. Ahem. The conversation:
Abby: "Our new pres-dent saw he sadow and now we have sits more weets til winter.
Amber: "Our new president...saddle...what?"
Abby: "No. Sadow. SADOW."
Amber: *thinking* "sadow...winter...A-HA"
Amber: "Our new president saw his shadow and now we have six more weeks of winter?"
Amber: "You mean the GROUNDHOG saw his shadow. And we have six more weeks until SPRING. It's winter right now."
Abby: "Oh. Yes, that's wha I mean. Groun-hog."
At which point I had to explain the whole shadow/groundhog thing and we both got pretty bored with it, so I decided to not even TRY to explain President's Day.
Amber: "Did you sleep ok last night?"
Chris: "Not really. I kept waking up."
Chris: "SOMEone kept POKING me"
Amber: "Well, you were snoring all 'snooooorrrrkkkkkkxxxxxx' and I couldn't sleep"
Chris: "When we were first dating, you used to gently touch me to get me to stop."
Amber: "True. And I guess I also didn't sit bolt upright in the middle of the night and loudly say 'For the love of god. Blow your nose!' Do you think the romance is gone?"
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I went to Barnes & Noble the other day to look for a book that Abby's school had recommended. They didn't have it, but that didn't stop me from buying $50 worth of OTHER books. What, I was just wandering around and I kept seeing cute books, and then I remembered some that I had liked as a kid, so I looked for those. And I found them. Seriously, what adult my age didn't read "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"? Or "Miss Nelson is Missing"? I totally remember those, so of course I had to get them. The girls loved them, along with a NEW book about a little cat who thinks he's a crime fighting chihuahua.
Then I was at Office Depot yesterday waiting for my boss, and I saw a shelf of $10 movies, and what just happened to be on there? "The Neverending Story". So OF COURSE I HAD TO BUY IT. Beth and I used to love that movie as kids, and we even saw the horrible sequels. Of course we were cynical jr. high kids by the time the second one came out, and so we sat in the back of the theater giggling and providing a running commentary on how bad the movie was. However, it never diminished the greatness of the first movie, so I'm excited for the girls to see it. We also have "Annie" and "A Chipmunk Christmas", which the girls like.
Which brings me to my point. What books and movies do you remember loving as a kid?