Thursday, May 26, 2011

fourth time's the charm.

When my parents were here for Easter, I requested that my mom bring down as many old pictures of me as she could get a hold of so I could scan them and share them with my kids one day. I was surprised when she brought down a bunch of old scrapbooks and told me to knock myself out. So today I decided to start scanning. And what I found may just have to become a several part series on this blog. The albums were just that rich. But before I post "Horrible Haircuts of My Youth" and "Weird Things My Parents Let Us Do and Wear In Public, Volumes 1 and 2", I thought I would tackle an important issue first. It's called "Photographic Evidence That My Youngest Brother Was Raised by Careless Parents"

That's right, forget the middle kids. While I'm sure we got swept under the rug plenty, it was my little brother Jonathon who, according to what I found today, got the shaft. In my parents defense, the three of us older kids are much closer in age and Jonathon is 8 years younger than me. So by the time he showed up, my parents were probably awfully tired of raising kids with the kind of enthusiasm they once had. So the mantra became that if he wasn't bleeding from the eyes, he was probably okay. And so for your viewing pleasure and, I'm sure, much to the dismay of my parents, here's a little evidence to prove my point.

He was headed for disaster before he was even born. The happy couple took this picture of the crib area before their little miracle arrived. Homemade blankets, a baby monitor, diapers stocked up, and oh what's that little baby? The radiator is a little warm? Oh, you'll be fine. Seriously, who puts a crib next to a radiator? My mom insists that this radiator did not work. This coming from the woman who this year wished me a happy 26th birthday. (I'm 25.) Yea, I trust her judgement. It's a wonder they didn't cook him like a little Cornish hen. Moving on.

This is Jonathon and our dog at the time, a pit bull named Monique. In a picture taken just before this one, it's apparent that Jonathon had been given some crackers, which Monique promptly ate off his tray. Then she proceeded to check his mouth to see if there was anything else she could munch on. That's right folks, the dog is eating from the baby's mouth. Probably licking his little gums clean. I don't need to go into detail about why that's just plain gross. But what I will touch on is the fact that one of my parents is obviously so unconcerned with the dog and baby feeding session, they whipped out the camera and snapped a few pictures. I noticed a trend with this.

I left this one in it's scrapbook layout so you could see for yourselves just how little my parents cared about the well being of their youngest offspring. Yum Tasty? My poor brother probably hasn't been fed properly in weeks, while Monique the dog is sitting fat and happy, full of crackers somewhere in the background. Here he is, desperately trying to nourish himself with something, anything, and what do they do? Let him stuff himself and then take pictures of him like a circus bear. Oh, just wait for the next one.

Need something to wash down that sand? How about some dirty puddle water, Jonathon? Oh we know there are coolers nearby full of purified water, but it's such a long walk. Just slurp some of this up. And do you see that man just looking at him, just standing there carelessly as this little baby drinks himself into a nasty case of dysentery? Yea, meet my dad.

There were more pictures of course; one of him eating out of an onion bag, one of him eating dirt, and one of my sister feeding him sherbert from the gallon while he's crying. Not sure what that was about. The point is, my parents didn't care and they were taking pictures!

Somehow, despite my parents complete lack of regard for my brother's safety and sanitation, they managed to keep him out of harms way and he is a pretty well rounded kid. This is him with his friends at prom last Saturday.

And, in case you think my parents are just the worst, know that things have changed significantly. After the three of us older kids moved out and started families of our own, Jonathon has turned into an only child. Now they pay more attention to his schooling, his social life, and his health care more than they ever did for the rest of us.

No word on weather or not they still make him seep next to a radiator, though.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

virginia is for lovers.

Well, well, well. I do apologize for such a long break from blogging, but once you know what we've been up to in the last week, you'll forgive me. It's been a busy one...

We were in Virginia Beach all week looking for a place to live. And guess what? We found one!

It's a cute little three bedroom townhouse with a fenced-in back yard. And it only shares the garage wall with the neighbors, so hopefully, no more posts like my last one. It's in a cute little neighborhood that probably would be really quiet, except right next to NAS Oceana, which is the master jest base for the East Coast. We hope the constant sound of F-18's buzzing around won't be too much of a distraction. I don't think R could get sick of jet noise if he tried. Which brings me to my next item.

This was taken at a spot at the end of one of the runways, (not at our house, thank goodness). I have a feeling this is going to be R's new favorite place to take me for dates.

So we checked 'find a house' off our list of things to do while in Virginia. The next item on the agenda was to try and look for some job openings for me. And guess what? After a wonderful sequence of events that involved contacting a kind Admiral's wife who I met at a Purdue function years ago and telling her about my unsuccessful year of job hunting and my deep heart to serve people, I found myself with an amazing job!

It turns out she has a friend who runs a faith based non-profit, and is in need of an executive assistant to be her right hand man. And somehow, through God's planning, this awesome opportunity was handed to me!

So, our week was an absolute success. We even had time to hook up with some Navy friends we met while they were in Pensacola. Nothing feels better than having friends in a big city where you don't know anyone.

House? Check. Amazing job? Check. Good friends? Check. Now all we have to do is move!

I think I love Virginia already.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

losing my marbles.

Folks, because you love me, you are going to let me vent for just one minute.

If you live in an apartment that shares a wall or a ceiling with a neighbor, feel free to commiserate. If you live in a house and never hear your neighbors, stick around and read about the kind of fun you're missing out on.

We have new neighbors! We've lived here for exactly one year and for the first month we had neighbors that were never home. They were awesome. Then, they moved away and there was nothing but silence next door. Now, not so much.

Two girls who appear to be college age, but never appear to go to class, have moved in to the house that shares a wall with us. And what fun loving girls they are! They stay mostly quiet all day, then right around 1:30 or 2am, they invite friends over, head outside to the backyard (which is about 10 feet from our bedroom window and the window is about 9 inches from our heads), and start pounding down a case of Natty Ice and swearing as loud as they can.

But last night they decided that, after a case of beer and a rousing game of How Many Times Can You Use The F-Bomb When Telling A Story, they would take the party inside. That's where, as I lay awake staring at the clock which read 3:27am, I tried to decide what they were doing that was causing an apparent banging noise, lots of yelling, then what sounded like marbles dropping on the floor. Maybe they were playing marbles, I thought, as my eyes twitched from exhaustion. Someone must have won all the marbles, because the game quieted down and I drifted into a restless sleep while trying to decide if it would be better to blast the soundtrack from Hello, Dolly! tomorrow morning at 6am or wait til 3pm, when their inevitable hangovers were wearing off and the real headache was setting in.

And then today, as I enjoyed the silence coming from the other side of the wall, I realized two things. One; I am getting old. It's sad and it's true. First I'm complaining about the noisy kids next door and the next thing you know I'll be peering out of the blinds with my yappy little Shih Tzu, waiting to catch those hooligans who keep running on my front lawn and disturbing my perennials. And two; It's karma. My freshman year of college, I spent every weekend, and most weeknights, partying loud and late at my friend Megan's first apartment. She lived in a duplex above a grad student named Ping and we were doing a whole more than playing marbles. Ping, where ever you are, I'm so sorry.

So, I can only be so mad at our little party girls next door. I know they're young and thoughtless and so was I once upon a time, and they'll learn.

Until then, you'll have to yell cause I can't hear you over Barbara Streisand.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

happy mother's day.

R and I have been blessed to have fantastic mothers. They are both wonderful women who taught us some important lessons about working hard, loving deeply, and being unapologetically thrifty. We have our moms to thank for a lot of what is good about us.

We love you Mom B and Mom J! We hope your day is relaxing and you know how much you are loved.

Friday, May 6, 2011

iphone pictures that i love.

Thank goodness they made phones with cameras. When I'm out running errands and I see something ridiculous or too good not to share, I snap a picture and send it to someone who will appreciate it. But lots of times I forget to send them, or I'm driving and I've already endangered myself and the people around me enough just by taking a picture. (Just kidding, Mom! I never use my phone while driving! In fact I put it in the trunk just to be safe!)

So, hopefully these will make your Friday a little happier.

This one was taken on a visit to Wisconsin. People think I'm exaggerating when I say it gets cold up there.

I'm pretty sure a super size muffin top is something I'm trying to avoid at all costs.

The next few I found while looking for a gift for my nephew. All the Transformers, super heroes, and dark colors in the boy toy aisles leave me feeling very confused, so I always take a spin through the bright pink of the girl toy aisles to get my feet back on the ground. Little did I know these aisles would leave me with more questions than answers.

Like, if these are such loving families, how come you can only buy a mom and a child? I looked everywhere for a dad. And the mom on the left looks young enough to be a child. Kids raising kids...

Look at that happy bride! I'd probably be just as mad if he told me just minutes before they announce us as man and wife that he may or may not have taken a few swigs of his best man's flask just to take the edge off. I can just hear her muttering through her teeth, "You wipe that blank look off your face right now and you smile, Kenneth."

In a less heated section of the girl toys was this little number. Being a veterinarian is an incredibly noble profession. But glam it is not. You better tie that pink sash a little tighter and protect that dress, cause I think I hear a rottweiler with the runs in the waiting room, Doctor.

I just had to check her website out after seeing her ad on the side of a van. On her website, she has a section dedicated to "The Four Legged and Winged Ones I Love", and after several pictures of her with wolves, there is a picture of her and a man. Which begs the question, what is he hiding? Wings or four legs?

Speaking of four legged things that are loved...

Just look at her maniacal grin. Step away from the humane society, lady.

And finally, this little gem.

I am dying to know what Dad did to get himself ripped off the family van. Maybe he ripped himself off after Mom came home with yet another hundred dollars worth of shoes. P.S. This van was spotted at the mall.

At least the four legged ones that they love know where they stand.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

we are family.

What have we been up to the last two weeks? Well, I'll tell you. If you recall, we had my whole family down South for a Spring Break visit. It was a blast to have everyone together and it was eventful!

I threw a baby shower with my sister Melissa for our sister in law Valerie, who is hiding it in this picture, but has the cutest little baby bump, due in July.

While the girls were "showering", the guys went golfing. R just barely won the green jacket. Actually, he just barely missed teeing the ball into someone's kitchen window, but who's keeping score?

Noah helped us play Crack the Egg with Auntie Melissa on the trampoline. In reality, she ended up cracking her lip open, because evidently trampoline-ing quickly becomes a contact sport when all four siblings are together.

We made it to New Orleans for some sightseeing and beignets at Cafe du Monde. After New Orleans, we left Mississippi and headed to Pensacola.

After Mom and Dad went to bed, the "kids" stayed up late and Noah taught us how to rub Uncle Jason's head for good luck.

The next day, the guy's good luck paid off during a deep sea fishing trip. They caught 70 fish between them! We ate so good that night.

Fishing is hard work. You have to take breaks with a buddy.

That night we celebrated Dad's 53rd...I mean, 35th birthday! Melissa decorated the cake herself using only Cool Whip. Ace of Cakes? I think so.

We even managed to wrangle everyone in long enough to get a nice family picture on Easter Sunday.

On Sunday afternoon, everyone headed back home and R and Jason set off for a week on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. This picture was taken after they'd finished their 50 mile trek and survived bears, grueling mountains, and the horrible storms that swept through the South.

He returned to me safe and sound this past Saturday. We had such a great time with the whole family. It was a relaxing vacation before the craziness of moving starts.