Monday, September 29, 2008


A tribute to my grandmother on her 91st birthday

She was the smell of sizzling bacon when you woke up in the morning. She was the faded housedress and seasoned apron. She was the one who called you to meals and welcomed your friends for dinner. She was the mender of clothes, the voice you heard before you fell asleep, and the one who made your house - your home.

She was yours.

She was grilled cheese, goulash, corn bread, orange cookies, and the world’s best potato salad. She was hot dogs for breakfast, if you wanted them, and thick slices of ice cream for dessert.

She was the calm comforter who cared for you when you were sick. She was the voice of reason when your world spun out of control. She was your safe harbor, your rock, and your lighthouse as you navigated the waters of life.

She was yours.

She was our biggest fan. When we were born, she celebrated with our parents. She was the always available last-minute-babysitter. She reminded us not to slam the door, throw the gravel, and that the outhouse was not a toy.

She was ours.

She cheered our accomplishments whether they were straight A’s or top spots in athletic achievement. She gave advice when asked and listened and loved unconditionally. She played Kings Corner or hide and seek, and always had a Tootsie Roll or cookie for the… undernourished.

She was ours.

She is the pink-cheeked, white-haired friend they see every Christmas. She is the soft kiss and surprisingly strong hug they’ll always remember. They bundle up in coats and hats and sing “To Great-grandmother’s house we go,” as they travel to see her. She is the hallways that smell like disinfectant and the room that still smells like sweet orange cookies.

She is theirs.

They climb up in her nursing home bed and talk to her like their dearest friend. They watch those clear beautiful eyes absorb their childish troubles and offer comfort in hugs and simple words. In her presence, they are honest, unburdened, and strengthened.

She is theirs.

She is morning prayers, the worn Bible, and carefully written out devotional thoughts. She is Sunday services, hymnbooks, and well-worn church shoes. She is the nursery worker, Sunday School teacher, and universal grandmother to countless children.

She is a life still lived in service. She is the witness, the proclaimer, and the gentle persuader. She is the Book, the Word, and the Message in all she does. She is a child of the King.

She was yours.
She was ours.
She is theirs.

But mostly and forever, she is His.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday’s Food Fun Fact

It’s a mini-victory, but it’s a victory all the same. Yesterday, I celebrated exactly one successful week on the South Beach Diet! Whoo-hoo!

I’ve tried the South Beach Diet two times before.

The first time was just a trial run before the holidays to see if I could do it. I was able to do it and liked it. The holidays were right around the corner however, so…

The second time, I did great the first two weeks (Phase 1) - where you go without carbs and sugar to help retrain your body’s insulin production. However, when I got to the third week (Phase 2), when you can add healthy carbs and sugars back in your diet, I threw the baby out with the bathwater. I quickly went back to my old habits of eating carbs (not necessarily the good ones) and non-natural sugars, and before I knew it – the weight came back with a vengeance.

I wanted to get back on SBD for a number of reasons. First, in the beginning two weeks, you lose belly fat almost immediately. I mean, so fast you can actually feel it in your clothes. Secondly, when I’m following the principles of SBD, I feel healthier. Dr. A. (the creator), in the SBD book, explains how the diet actually cleans up your blood chemistry

Also, on SBD, I’m forced to think about what I’m going to eat (the choices are wide and plentiful); I can’t just grab the closest thing and call it nutrition.

Lastly, SBD has five amazing cookbooks, so I can make delicious dinners for me and Brett (who loves. loves. loves. it when I cook) that fit in the plan. Thanks to SBD, we’ve also discovered some delicious meals I never would have attempted previously. We especially enjoy the Rustic Tomato Soup (super-fast and easy) and White Bean Turkey Chili!

This time I know what I am going to change. I learned from my mistake last time of adding too many carbs and sugars back in too fast. This go-around, I’m going to slowly add those carbs and natural sugars back in – I’m even thinking of just eating one per day until I feel I can handle it.

When I tell people about SBD, everyone says the same thing, “Well, I just couldn’t give up bread, potatoes, or rice. I love my carbs!” Well, you are talking to the QUEEN. That’s exactly what I would have said before trying SBD. I couldn’t imagine my life (even for two weeks) without bagels – my favorite thing ever.

Believe me; I was as skeptical as anyone. But what I didn’t know was that those carbs are addictive! As soon as you give carbs to your body, it burns them up quickly, and creates a craving for more. No wonder we can’t “give them up”…it’s a “natural” addiction.

The body – nature’s meth lab. Heh.

So, by following the SBD principles, your body’s craving for carbs automatically decreases. Even thought many delicious foods are available in unlimited portions on SBD, you find yourself getting fuller faster with carb cravings reduced to next to nothing.

Also, for the budget-conscious (where I am currently being dragged kicking and screaming), you simply eat less food. You can save your money on quantity and put it towards quality.

In the SBD book, Dr. A. compares it to snacking. If you are sitting in front of the TV, and someone hands you a bucket of popcorn, it would be no problem to polish it off in the course of an hour show.

But, if someone hands you the same size bucket of steak bites, you are probably not going to plow through that bucket at the same speed. (This, of course, assumes you are not eating these two buckets of food concurrently. Because that’s just gross. )

The steak will fill you up with nutrition, and you’ll be satisfied. The popcorn will be burned rapidly by your body which will then send those carbs coursing through your veins, creating your body’s desire for MORE.

The book does a much better job of explaining it than I do. I’ve still got one more week on to go on Phase 1, and I have to say I’m enjoying myself. I never used to like eggs (in fact, I HATED eggs), but I’ve been trying making different omelets and have discovered if I use a savory cheese filling, the omelet is actually pretty good.

I also HATED salads, but I tried different variations and found I liked plain old heart of romaine with a little onion, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber, tossed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and topped with grated Romano cheese and sunflower seeds.

Some of my favorite foods on SBD Phase 1 are low-fat and reduced cheeses, olive oil, any kind of nut, and savory grilled steak. I don’t feel deprived at all and just the knowledge I don’t have to be overly concerned with portions makes me feel better.

I’ve still got one more week on Phase 1 to go, but I’m excited at the possibilities.

Care to join me for a bucket of steak?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Working Woman Wishes

When I was 16 years old, I decided to get a summer job. I asked my parents to help me look, but Dad was especially unhelpful.

“Look honey, Taco Bell is hiring! You love Taco Bell!”

“Dad!” I’d wail. “I’m already 300 pounds! Working at Taco Bell is NOT a good idea.”

“Sweetheart, I just read the Park District is hiring lifeguards for Magic Waters.”

“Dad! Seriously? Like I could squeeze into a swimsuit for the whole summer. Drowning people would say, ‘No thanks, Shamu.’”

Dad even drove me to Bob’s Hardware to apply for a job. I remember the two of us sitting in the waiting area as I filled out the application. Everything was going fine, until I got to the section that asked me to add up a column of numbers (a mile long).

I reached for my calculator, but Dad pointed out the application said to add it up mentally.

“Mentally?” I whined. “I can’t do this!”

Math has always left me frustrated and angry, probably because I’m totally right-brained. My creativity thrives, but repetitive and logical equations drive me to distraction.

Being easily frustrated is a trait inherited from my father, which is probably why he didn’t react when I threw the pencil down and gave a little scream of aggravation. Eventually, I finished the calculations and stomped out of the store with no plan of ever going back.

I also applied at Kohl’s but was told Sales Associates had to be a least 18 years of age. Afterwards, I wrote a scathing letter to Kohl’s CEO lambasting the store policy of age discrimination.

The early summer obstacles blew over, and God provided a great job working for a daycare. I took to it immediately, and it remains one of my most positive career experiences.

Brett’s recent bout with unemployment, coupled with his new job’s lower wages, my company’s announcement of no raises this year, some stupid financial decisions we made in the early years of our marriage, plus the ever-worsening economy and gas prices – have led us to a financial crunch here in 2008.

We consulted several knowledgeable people and one very helpful agency to see what avenue we should take to best stay afloat. The overall consensus was (ta-da!) we need to cut costs and make more money (like we didn’t know THAT) to help us through these lean times.

We never really had enough money for extras like gym memberships, cable, and high-speed internet – so we couldn’t give them up to save money. We slashed our budget further, eliminating extras such as eating out, newspaper delivery, cheapie dial-up internet service, our home phone, and (wail!) my beloved Netflix.

Still, it wasn’t enough. So, once we’d cut all we could cut, the only option left was to bring in more money.

Like that’s sooooo easy.

We’ve been specifically praying for divine guidance in this situation, and I especially felt a sense of peace about adding a part-time job to my schedule.

I’d considered getting a second job about a year ago, but at the time I just couldn’t imagine my life being that crowded. But late one night last week, I couldn’t sleep, so I started praying God would show me how to turn our lives around in the area of good stewardship and fiscal responsibility.

When I prayed about pursuing a second job, I felt a serene sense of harmony with God’s will. I approached Brett with the idea, and we prayed about it together. Then we took the idea to Pastor, and the three of us prayed over it.

We gave ourselves some time to think about it, and the more time goes by, the more we feel it is God’s definite leading.

As I considered the possibility, I began to see God’s hand at work in our lives.

The Lord has chosen not to give us children at this time in our lives. So, there are no children going hungry or having their lives wracked with worry about where they might have to live. Thanks to God’s plan, we don’t have to obsess about child care or causing irreversible upheaval in a child’s life.

For the first time, I have been thanking God for barrenness. Taking unbelievable comfort that His plan has worked to our good, after all (why does that always come as such a surprise?).

I am open to working many types of job, but I’d like to hear from you!

Is there any place you’ve worked that you just loved or hated? A particular store or industry? Feel free to share good workplace environments, too. I’d really like an insider’s guide to the optimal part-time job. I can work in the evenings and on weekends, so if you hear of anything – please let me know!

Now I just have to hope Kohl’s didn’t keep that letter!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Supercilious Salad Story

Brett’s new job is on second shift, so I only get to see/talk to him from 11:30 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. (which is when I promptly fall asleep). I’m usually a little tired by the time he comes home from work, and last night was no exception.

I was already half-asleep when he got home. My head was slumped down, and I was perilously close to drooling on the book I’d been reading to try and stay awake. Brett bounced into the room (he so AWAKE at night, now). We talked for a few minutes, and I told him I had made him a pork chop.

“It’s in the fridge,” I told him. “Oh, and I made you a salad, too. Only I wasn’t sure what you’d want in it, so I didn’t add tomatoes, onions, or cucumbers.”

My husband studied my sleepy-stupid face for a second. “So, you um, basically put lettuce in a bowl?”

“Oh yeah,” I agreed. “I guess that’s what I did. Enjoy your salad.” I patted him on the head, totally missing his point, as I dropped into a dead sleep.

And that’s all I remember, folks.

Remember, don’t cook or make salad when you’re tired. Stupid conversation (on your part) may ensue.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Case of the Whispering Co-workers

Only a few of you (who read my blog) have ever worked with me in a professional setting.

I hope it doesn’t sound too pat-myself-on-the-back to say this, but I’m a pretty easy person to work with. I’m funny, cheerful, and definitely a team player. I like to make friends with my co-workers and foster a positive work environment.

Plus, I always stock my candy dish with chocolate.

So, it came as a surprise when - in one of my jobs - that attitude turned out to be frowned upon by the management.

There were two other women in my department. One co-worker was about ten years older than I was, and the other was at least twenty years older. The three of us immediately hit it off.

I found myself looking forward to coming to work everyday to hang out with these hilarious and hard-working companions. Often, we would be in the midst of a mundane workday and erupt into laughter over shared home stories and office high jinks.

Our work was getting done faster too, since – though few career people will admit this – you are much more willing to help people you actually like.

Everything was going along swimmingly until we were unexpectedly called into our supervisor’s office. She broke the news to us that other people were complaining about our department.

“You are much too loud, and you keep laughing,” she warned us.

One compatriot leaned over and whispered to me. “What? Are we working in a library now? Is laughing illegal?”

I, on the other hand, was more than a little offended. I mean, I’d prided myself on bringing a joyful spirit to the office. And now I was being called on the carpet for it?

As we grumbled back to our office, we debated the cause of our reprimand.

“It’s because other people hate coming to work. They can’t stand to see us having fun and getting the job done at the same time.”

“They wish they could make friends at work, but they’re horrible, so they don’t. And then they have to make life miserable for everyone who isn’t a [unladylike word uttered by my co-worker].”

Judging from the smug expressions of several people who just happened to be ambling by our office at that precise moment, we were able to pinpoint our accusers.

Over the next few days, the three of us stewed over the situation. We wanted to show “them” that they hadn’t won. Which wasn’t easy, since several people were crowing over the victory in the break room, and assuming (since we were “nice” people) we would just crawl back into our offices and resign ourselves to a wretched working existence.

As we angrily slammed staples into paper and shoved files drawers back with our hips, we discussed various ideas to harness our exuberant personalities AND make a point.

Finally, I hit upon an idea.

“What if we did exactly what they were asking?” I suggested. “We could whisper our everyday work conversation. Whispering drives everybody nuts! We could be quiet as church mice, and follow the letter of the law.”

“They don’t want us to like each other, either,” one of my co-workers pointed out.

“So, let’s actively hate each other,” said the other one. “We could snarl at each other and call each other ‘hey, stupid.’ No one will know what to think!”

Getting into the spirit, my other co-worker piped up. “Instead of laughing, we could do the jazz hands deaf people use to signify applause.”

“Perfect!” The other two of us responded in sync.

We kicked our plan into action over the next few days. I would tip-toe into my co-worker’s office and whisper. “Can you fax this for me?”

She’d wink at me and say, “Get out of my office, jerk.”

Later, my other co-worker would put her mouth inches from my ear and tell me an amusing story about her dog eating a tampon, and we’d both wave our hands over our heads like we were on fire.

We discovered that whispering drew our accusatory co-workers inexplicably to meander slowly by our offices, no doubt convinced we were talking about them. When, in reality, we were examining the target audience demographic.

After four days of constant whispering, hurling insults at each other, and jazz handing, one of our co-workers – the main conspirator and queen of office unpleasantness – finally came into our department.

“Why all the whispering?” She demanded, not in a whisper.

“We heard we were being too loud,” my other co-worker said innocently.

“We surely don’t want to offend anyone,” I said, working my baby blues with wide-eyed fluttering lashes.

“We just don’t want to cause trouble,” my other co-worker intoned earnestly.

“Well, this whispering is driving me nuts! Can you all go back to the way you were?” She threw her hands up in exasperation.

“If you insist,” said the co-worker closest to me.

As she started to leave, my other co-worker stopped her. “Just one more thing. If you could stop by our supervisor’s office and let her know it’s okay for us to talk and laugh again? We’d really appreciate it.”

Nothing tasted finer than watching the dawning look of realization move across her face. She finally understood we’d known it was her comments that had started the whole thing.

Resigned, she huffed off to our supervisor’s office.

Elated, I turned to my friends, “Well, that’s over. What a relief! We can stop whispering.”

“Not quite,” said my other friend, as she lifted her hands over her head.

Grinning, the three of us happily jazz handed together in silent applause.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Rabbit Readings

I read this story in the Rockford Register Star a few days ago, and it just made my heart hurt. Rabbits are beautiful and sensitive animals, and this type of cruelty and abuse is indefensible.

I sent the following e-mail to the reporter in hopes that he will convey my sympathy to the family.

Hi, Kevin! I read your article in the 9/12/08 issue of the Rockford Register Star, Family seeks answers to rabbit’s death. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you writing sensitively about this family’s loss.

My husband and I own three house rabbits who we love very much. Normally, rabbits are not afforded the same status as beloved family pets as cats and dogs. I imagine, had this kind of animal abuse and mutilation occurred on a German Shepherd, it may have been considered even more “newsworthy.” So, the inclusion of your article, through sad, was very much appreciated.

Is there any way you could offer our condolences to this family on the loss of their pet? I would be grateful if you could pass our sentiments on this hurting family.

Thanks so much for your integrity and thoughtful writing.

At the bottom of the page, there is section to leave comments concerning this tragedy. As a rabbit caregiver, I would be appreciative if you’d add your voice to mine to let this family know you are thinking of them!

The Friday Fours

Someone tagged me! Since my mind has been blank when it comes to blogging lately, and my dreams have dried up and died, I was grateful when Alice tagged me for this topic!

1) 4 Places I go over and over: work, Mom’s, library, Dollar Tree

2) 4 People who email me regularly: Alice, Angie, Heidi, Kelly

3) 4 of my favorite places to eat: Chili’s, Olive Garden, Kiki B’s, Mom’s

4) 4 places I would rather be: Movie theater, Goodwill, Game Night, Disney World

5) 4 TV shows I watch: The Office, Criminal Minds, Big Brother, Lost

6) 4 people I tag: Heidi, October, Mom, Michelle

OK, your turn!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sleepy Snow Story

The air conditioner was broken. It was too late in the evening to call a repair service, so the couple decided it would be cooler to sleep on their deck underneath the stars.

When the husband woke up, he discovered he was sleeping in his car in his parents’ driveway. He was confused about why he was there and wondered where his wife was. But he forgot all about her when he saw his parents coming out the front door. They were so happy to see him! His mom wrapped him in a tight hug, and his dad slapped him heartily on the back.

Soon, he was settled inside, talking and laughing with his parents. He looked out the window and realized it had begun to snow. All of a sudden, he remembered his wife asleep on the deck!

He bundled his parents into his car and drove the two hours back home. Frantically, the three of them searched for his wife in the ever-deepening snow. They couldn’t find her!

Eventually they called 911 and search teams scoured the area. An EMT made a grisly discovery. The wife’s body was jammed against a tree, frozen solid. The EMT whisked the wife away to the hospital where doctors specializing in cryogenics were called in.

It was too late. There was nothing the doctors could do but give the bad news to the stunned husband.

Then…my husband woke me up to make sure I was breathing. He told me about this horrid dream he’d just had. The only bright spot was that he got to see his mom again (she passed away in 2005). But I died!

He was really freaked out, telling me it had seemed so real and, “I just couldn’t live without you!” He spent the rest of the night with his arms wrapped tight around me.

I just don’t know what is up with these crazy dreams of ours.

At least Adam Sandler wasn’t in this one.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday’s Tale

I was in college, and I was broke.

I knew I needed money to finish college, and I was scrambling - asking everyone I knew if they knew of any jobs. Luckily, a friend of mine told me that Adam Sandler - the funnyman actor from Saturday Night Live, Happy Gilmore, and many other raunchy films - was looking for someone to clean one of his many homes.

Immediately, I remembered I had actually met Adam once at a friend’s party. I went through my scrapbooks and located a blurry photo of me and Adam posing goofily with our arms slung around each other’s shoulders.

I called home and asked Mom and Gary if they’d be interested in moving to California and cleaning Adam Sandler’s home with me as a way to earn money for my college expenses. They were excited at the prospect and quickly agreed.

The three of us ended up in a palatial home in the Hollywood Hills. We started cleaning and hardly ever saw a glimpse of Adam. A few months later, Adam was hanging around his game room when I came in to clean. He challenged me to a game of pinball and before I knew it, we were laughing and talking.

Over the next few months, Adam and I became friends. It quickly became obvious we were also romantically interested in each other. My mother began to pressure me into talking about marriage with Adam. “Get that ring,” she’d say to me. “Then, think of all the money you’ll have.”

“But, Mom,” I argued. “I really need to finish college. It’s important to me.”

“Get that ring,” she’d repeat loudly.

Adam sensed I was under pressure and told me he understood I needed to go to college. He told me to follow my dream and sent me off with his blessing.

I took the helicopter flight to Boulder, Colorado where I planned to attend Boulder University. The snow was blinding white, and I eagerly embraced the cold weather. I made my way up the concrete stairs, under the hunter green awning that proudly proclaimed Boulder University in sleek gold letters.

I stopped by the reception desk where I was surprised to find the former president of my previous college, Dr. Joseph Stowell, working as the harried receptionist. I checked in with him and headed up to my new dorm room.

Another pleasant surprise awaited me when I met my new roommate. It was my cousin Candice! She had brought along her beautiful daughter, Brielle. I excitedly picked up Brielle and could not have been more shocked when she told me in a very grown up voice to, “Back off!”

Candice told me it was just phase Brielle was going through and admonished her daughter.

My cell phone rang just then. I answered it and smiled when I heard Adam’s voice on the other end asking how I was enjoying my first day of college. I started to answer him.

And then I woke up.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Second Blogiversary

It’s hard to believe I started blogging almost two full years ago.

Back then, in 2006, someone referred me to their blog. Soon I found out even my Pastor had a blog. Immediately, I thought, “Hey, if they can do it, so can I!”

After I found out it was free, I was ready to get started. I even remember typing my first blog post and accidentally losing it before it published. I was so mad! It took me forever to reassemble my thoughts and write it all over again. I’m still convinced there is some brilliant witticism missing in that first post.

For a long while, it was just an online diary. I didn’t get any comments, and when someone WOULD comment, I’d salivate with happiness! I e-mailed my blog address to people I knew would be kind and understood my warped blend of sarcasm and insecurity.

Over the past two years, I’ve watched as some of those friends have started their own blogs - even my mom who said, “I’ll probably never use it.” and now can’t get her digital photos downloaded fast enough!

I’ve shared my heartaches of marriage trials, infertility, and rejection. I’ve laughed with friends at flimsy trash bags, Puffy Coats, and Brett’s zip-tied pants. I’ve debated parenting issues and rallied at parents who let their kids misbehave in public. I’ve apologized, ranted, and raved. I’ve even watched myself mature.

Through it all, I’ve felt the joy and freedom that naturally go hand in hand with uninhibited self-expression.

The truth is that I sincerely love writing and - by extension – blogging. I’ve appreciated you freely sharing your advice, insights, and comments that constantly challenge me to think and reevaluate.

As I embark on this third year of blogging, I want to thank you for reading this – my blog – and sharing the journey with this obviously fundamentally flawed person.

Thank you!

Monday, September 08, 2008


My dislike of sports, especially “professional” sports, is well documented on this blog. See here and here.

However, if you will allow me a repeat rant?

There is a particular news station in our town that currently has an ad running where a local newscaster is saying, “We know you all love prep sports!” (at which point, I yell “No, we don’t!” at the TV). The newscaster goes on the say, “That’s why we’re giving you more coverage on the morning, noon, and evening weekend reports.” (at which point I resignedly sigh, “It’s your air time and real news stories to waste.”)

That’s really it. No big point to make. I’m just frustrated. It’s just a game – tiddlywinks, dominoes, and guys in tight pants throwing a leather ball and mauling each other – it’s all the same to me.

I just hate being bombarded with it on TV, sandwiched cleverly in between real news, like it’s actually important.

When. It’s. Not.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

My 2 Cents on Sarah

Look, I like her, too.

And my husband loves her. Are you kidding - a beautiful woman who moose hunts AND belongs to the National Rifle Association? Where's she been all his life, you know?

I guess I just want to remind us to try and NOT put her on a pedestal. The higher we lift people up, the farther they have to fall.

But that said, I'm all girly in high-pitched screams at the possibility of having a smart conservative woman in the White House (as everybody is over-saying) a "heartbeat" away from the presidency.

Team Sarah. (Oh, and that other guy, too.)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Why the Big Secret?

I’m not a parent. (I heard those of you who sighed in relief).

My inexperience leads me to ask many, many questions of my friends who ARE parents. These people give me a great eagle-eye perspective on life inside the family bubble. I especially love my friend Angie’s insight as a mom to five very active (and wildly creative) youngsters.

I remember once when Angie suggested we eat at Red Robin. We sat there shouting our conversation as kids screamed, yelled, and swung wildly on the vines over our tables (okay, not really, but it felt like it). On our way out of the restaurant, I remarked on the experience using words like “rambunctious,” “annoying,” “ear-drum-bursting,” and “duct tape.”

Angie just got out her keys and gave me blank stare over the top of her car. “Now imagine living with it 24/7,” she said dryly. “You get over yourself after a while and learn to enjoy the good.”

Now, it takes a true friend to tell you to get over yourself in such a way that you don’t want to lean over the car hood and smack her. Angie is that kind of friend. Lucky for her.

(In all honesty, Angie has a brown belt in karate and could drop kick me from here to Australia.)

Anyway, I’ve got a NEW question for all the parents out there.

Why do some parents keep their unborn child’s name a secret?

Recently, some friends of ours decided they weren’t going to tell anyone the name they had chosen for their unborn daughter. When I learned a friend-of-a-friend was expecting, I joyfully asked her what she was going to name her baby. “We’re not telling anyone,” she told me.

I have to say I am as human as the next person, and while secrets often do intrigue me, they also frustrate me. I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t understand why people make such a big deal out of keeping it a secret.

I understand people have a right to privacy, and I wouldn’t want to violate it. But when you’ve already told people you’re having a baby, why would you choose that moment to clam up? People are happy for you, and they want to share in your joy.

Does the secrecy make you feel powerful? That’s the vibe I get from people sometimes, plus the old, “I know something you don’t know” which I have to say feels like snobbery.

I mean, we all know you’re going to name your child something, so why the big secret?

Those of you who may have some insight, feel free to shed light on this topic for me. I’m truly curious, and I'm sure there’s some part of the big picture I’m just not getting.

I should offer this disclaimer - I am half-Rehfeldt. In our BIG family, most of us live open book lives. We DO share TMI on occasion, but often just because we want to know more about you, so we can strengthen our relationship with you. What can I say? We’re relatable relatives! And proud of it. And vocal about it. Have I mentioned the TMI? And had you already guessed the vocal part?

Movies with Michelle

My cousin Michelle, a wonderfully well-adjusted person, is recommending a family-friendly Christian movie. She watched it first hand at a screening where the guest speaker was (gasp!) Kirk Cameron (squeal!) from Growing Pains (I can sing the theme song to this show! – Show me that smile…) and Left Behind fame.

If you’re looking to watch a movie you can feel good about, check out her post and the movie. It’s got “Fire” in the title, so maybe something blows up! *Just kidding!

*Not really.
My goal for every movie is to have something blow up.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The TV Theme Queen

Here’s a link to the CD I blogged about yesterday. If you scroll down, you can see a list of all the songs I am now singing or humming along to in my car.

It’s sort of like how…*no one told me my life was gonna turn out this way – my job’s a joke – I’m broke – my love life’s DOA – but you’ll be there for me - like you’ve been there before – you’ll be there for me – as the rain pours down – you’ll be there for me – ‘cause I’m there for you, too!

*The theme to Friends (for those of you who might not have gotten it!)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Name That Tune

The other day I went to the library to formally petition the librarians to call the guy who STILL has that Coldplay CD checked out.

I’m not doing it just for me. There are approximately 15 holds on that CD before I can get my greedy little hands on it. But still, this ONE guy is holding up the whole process! I’m hoping he hasn’t broken or lost it and just not called the library yet.

Anyway, while I was there, I perused the CD selections and found a little gem among the new releases. It was a two disc collection of famous TV theme songs. How awesome is that!

As I perused the set, I noticed some of my favorites from yesteryear – Full House, Perfect Strangers, One Day at a Time, etc. I thought to myself, “Self, you would get a blast listening to this in the car, just riding along, remembering all those years spent indoors in the AC watching your favorite shows!”

So, I checked it out. I had a blast on the way home, singing along loudly. I’m sure the passing cars wondered why I was holding my hands up and snapping occasionally (The Addams Family).

I left the CDs in my car and promptly forgot about them, until we decided to take my car over to Mom and Gary’s for a Labor Day cook out.

“What’s this?” Brett asked as he popped it in CD player.

“It’s TV theme songs, and….” I started to answer.

“STARSKY AND HUTCH!” My husband screamed at one hundred decibels, an inch away from my ear.

“Yes. Oh, this one is Cheers. I like this song.” I started to hum along as I pulled out of the driveway.

My husband, who is rarely the passenger, had already flipped past the place where everybody knows your name, and was clicking through the rest of the CD.




He’d click to the next track, listen to the first few tones, and scream out the name like an excited contestant on Name That Tune. After he’d been proven right by the booklet on the inside, he’d pump his fist with an “Oh, yeah!” and giggle like a schoolboy.

Have I mentioned my husband is normally quiet and reserved?

Something about this CD brought out the kid in him, and I got a glimpse of what he must have been like as a junior higher.

I also lost at least 10% of my hearing in that one car ride.

In spite of my pleading with him to let me at least LISTEN to the full theme, he just kept clicking through. Finally, I just gave up and started nodding as he continued screaming titles at me.

During the round trip, I learned some new things about my husband. First, his parents let him watch WAY too much TV growing up. Secondly, he was amazingly accurate at guessing the themes. For a while I tried to guess too, but I couldn’t even come close to his lightning fast ability to match the theme with the show.

Just our luck, Brett finally finds his talent, and Name That Tune’s been off the air for twenty years.

And just when I wanted to apply to be Queen for a Day, too.