Friday, May 30, 2008

Family Trees

“In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.”
-Alex Haley

This week at work has been a bit slow, I've been waiting for clients to call me back to review the work I did last week, and it seems like they have higher priorities than me. Imagine that! :) Summer in my office also means that everyone is on vacation. Over half the office has been out of town yesterday and today, making it even harder to motivate myself to find work to do.

So instead, I got a harebrained idea. My grandmother was a genealogist and family historian, and was able to track that side of the family back all the way to the 16th century!! However, my dad's side of the family seemed to stop two generations back. So I signed up for a free trial at and got started. And surprisingly, I made a lot of progress.

I was able to go back to my 6th great grandfather, Henri, who immigrated to the United States from France!!! Our family does have a history!!!

And then, I thought, what about Rob’s family? I got lucky there, too, and was able to find two sets of third great grandparents: Dietrich and Margarethe, and Johann and Lesha, all who immigrated from Germany.
So needless to say, I’m hooked, and have emails out to my grandmother and to Rob’s mom to help fill in the blanks.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."
-Russel Baker

Summer’s coming, and the temperature’s rising. Outside, as well as literally inside our house. And we’ve chosen it to be that way. Rob and I are playing a little game, yes, it’s a game we’re playing with ourselves: “How long can we go without turning on the air conditioner?”

We played last year, and were amazed how cheap our electric bill was for May, so we decided to participate again. This is not an easy game to play in Atlanta, cause it’s already too darn hot here. Our main strategy is to open the windows, turn on the fans, and to limit the covers on the bed.

We’re trying to hold out through the month of May. Only four more days!! Hopefully I won’t melt before then.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Embrace the Pain

“The greater your capacity to love, the greater your capacity to feel the pain.”
-Jennifer Aniston

Rob and I took advantage of the long weekend to hit the gym several times. I’m on Week 7 of the Couch to 5K training plan, which means lots of 25-minute jogs. I did two this weekend, plus my first jog off of the treadmill! Let’s just say I’m hurting a little bit. I mean, every muscle in my body aches. But I did it! And I’m hoping to do it again this evening.

Our bank account might be twinging just a little bit this weekend as well. There was a 50% sale at Michael’s for framing, so we just bit the bullet and took all of our art in for frames. So although $470 isn’t too shabby for 5 frames, Rob has promised that I will be hearing about this little expense for a while. :) Look for photos of our newly decorated walls in the next couple of weeks!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

1 Across

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle.”
-Lewis Carroll

This weekend we brought home a Creative Loafing weekly newspaper—they’re usually available at all of the local eateries, but I’ve never actually picked one up. It was a surprisingly intelligent, amusing read. And, Rob and I spent an hour entertaining ourselves with the crossword puzzle. We actually completed the puzzle. We’ve decided this will be our new Sunday afternoon tradition.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Airport Entertainment

“The airplane stays up because it doesn't have the time to fall.”
-Orville Wright

On Sunday morning, we met our flowergirls (and their mom and dad) at the local airport for a picnic breakfast. It’s just down the street from our apartment, and one of the girls’ favorite hangouts. We brought the girls a giant foam glider to play with. It was as big as they were.

N gave it a try for a while, but in general, she was more entertained with the playground.
On the other hand, R was determined to make it fly. She and Rob sent it “flying” over and over again.
Of course, when we let the big boys play with it, bad things happened…
Rob accidentally crash-landed it out onto the runway. And the girls’ dad accidentally hit a toddler coming down the slide.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it

“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In my house, we have lots of collections. Some are reasonable: books, stationery, ticket stubs, and DVDs. Some are a bit odder: khaki pants, nametags, and hotel toiletries. And some are just out of this world: old cell phones and pillows.

This weekend we went on an adventure to add to our pillow collection. The rule with pillows has been [since about a year into our relationship]: “Rob, you can not buy more pillows until you get rid of some that we already have.” Otherwise, pillows would take over our whole apartment.

Rob went through our pillow collection and picked four that were not as worthy of the others, and presented them to me in order to make his case for more pillows. Now I must not have quite the same quality control abilities that Rob does because I couldn’t find anything wrong with these pillows. But the rule’s the rule… he’s willing to give up pillows, so I have to be willing to buy more.

On our oh-so-exciting Friday night, we stopped by Target, and saw that their pillows were on sale. We had been talking about how it would be nice to have king-sized pillows in our bedroom, instead of always falling into the valley between the two standard pillows we have. Rob, however, was not convinced that we should spend thirty dollars on king-sized pillowcases. So we carried the pillows around the store, but ended up putting them back.

Fast forward to Saturday, we stopped at a different Target to pick up snacks before a movie. We talked about getting the pillows, but decided to wait—maybe Bed, Bath and Beyond would have some, too (and we have coupons for BBB!). At BBB, we found new pillowcases that will match our new color scheme, and Rob finally wised up to the fact that we might have to invest a little bit into these new pillows. However, the pillow selection there just wasn’t that great. So we were headed back to Target!

Target #3 of the weekend: sold out of the pillows we wanted!
Target #4 of the weekend: sold out of the pillows we wanted!

There was one more Target on the way home—the one we stopped at on Friday evening. Rob and I ran through the store; we were on a mission. I was laughing so hard by the time we reached the pillow aisle. But, luckily, there were pillows a’plenty. After all that work, I could hardly put up a fight when Rob asked if we could buy two new standard size pillows as well. So needless to say, we slept well last night!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

A few of my favorite things...

“When the dog bites, when the bee stings When I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, And then I don't feel so bad”
- Oscar Hammerstein II

My favorite place in our little ol’ apartment:
In case you want to know details: The painting was created by my grandmother, and given to me as a graduation present from my grandfather. From left to right, green glass vase from Target; collection of photo albums, portfolios, and scrapbooks; photo from our wedding day photoshoot; photo of Rob's nephew on a toy tractor; wooden box that hold the lovely notes from our wedding guests; photo of Callie and I at Rock City; big B initial; candlestick from friend from home.

My favorite outfit, which I happen to be wearing right now:
Take a closer look at my favorite shoes (and my bright, white legs):

Meaningful milestones

“I will not celebrate meaningless milestones”
- Bart Simpson

Rob reached two milestones this week.
First: He’s been employed at his current job for five years. He received a packet in the mail, with the promise of a free gift. The options from which to choose the free gift are quite limiting. So now we get to decide, do we want some gemstone jewelry, a countertop kitchen appliance, a cordless drill, or a globe? Decisions, decisions… Why don’t they just give us a check for fifty dollars?

Second: The photo says it all!
And, yes, my crazy husband pulled up to the side of I-85 to take photos throughout the whole mile to fully capture the numbers rolling from 199,999.0 to 200,000.0.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

This Weekend, in quotes

"I'm a Tar Heel* born I'm a Tar Heel bred, And when I die I'm a Tar Heel dead."
-"Hark the Song," UNC fight song
*refers to Callie dearest, not me

“I’m sick.”
-Mama (said in the saddest tone ever) at 1:45 am Friday morning when she got out of the car at my apartment

She and Jordan had driven from Louisiana all afternoon, evening, and night, and apparently about halfway through their journey, she was hit by some big, bad bug. Fever, nausea, and all. Luckily Jordan was there to complete the trip. She woke up feeling much better, but popped Advil throughout the rest of the weekend. By the time she got home late Monday night, she was utterly pooped. But we made the best of it!

“And lastly….And lastly…”
-one of the Public Service Scholars, as he tried to summarize his experience at UNC

Friday evening we celebrated Callie’s participation in the Public Service Scholars program at UNC. Although we made fun of the speeches and how they read each person’s bio aloud, it was neat to see how such a wonderful program has really established itself on campus in the last 4 years. And it supported my belief that life today is not necessarily worse off than in previous generations. Those students certainly countered the notion that today’s youth don’t care about anyone but themselves.

“I doubt my mom brought the church directory to the restaurant.”
-Jordan, as we stuffed and addressed envelopes

Hoping to beat the postage rate increase, we spent Friday night, stuffing and stamping wedding invitations. I had designed them, and then brought them printed and assembled to Chapel Hill for the assembly line process. Unfortunately we were missing some addresses, and Jordan’s mom had not carried the directory to the restaurant. However, a great majority of them made it to the post office the next morning to begin their trip across the country.

“I just know, you’re a very important person.”
-an elderly woman at Callie’s Senior Recital, talking to one of my mom’s best friends, Kathy

Callie had quite a large audience for her Senior Recital. Her family (of course) and her friends (from all different organizations that she’s been apart of on campus), some people from the church that she worked at, as well as several of the music professors. Even Kathy and family were able to road trip down to Chapel Hill from Virginia for the afternoon. It was great to see them, and catch up with them over dinner at Brixx. And, yes, Kathy is a very important person. :)

“You can read about it in the program.”
-Chancellor at UNC, at the Commencement ceremony

The ceremony was in the football stadium on Sunday morning. The rain was really coming down; everyone was huddled under umbrellas. The graduates never even sat down. The Chancellor announced that this would be the shortest graduation ceremony in UNC history, and promptly conferred the degrees upon the graduates. He announced that several honorary degrees were awarded, but directed us to the program to learn more about the recipients. It was so funny to watch him flip the pages of the morning’s script to get to the good stuff. Although we were wet and cold, at least we didn’t have to listen to all of the periphery stuff that usually gets said at graduations. Can’t decide which is better.

“Can you tell us what’s in a Foxy Martini?” –Space-cadet waitress at Carino’s who misunderstood Mary Lou’s order of a Vodka Martini
We had some good meals through the weekend (Red Robin and Brixx come to mind), but we also had some less-than-desirable meals as well—and dinner at Carino’s Sunday night was one of them. We were scrunched into the farthest corner of the restaurant, where our waitress promptly forgot about us. She got the drink orders mixed up, she didn’t misunderstood that we wanted another loaf of bread, and the food just wasn’t that great. Happy Mother's Day anyway!

All in all, it was a pretty good weekend. We were busy and we were tired, but we actually had a good time doing it all.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A picture's worth a thousand words

“A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.”
-Ansel Adams

Rob and I were married last October, just over 7 months ago. That evening our photographer posted just a couple of photos from the day on his blog. Then over the next week, it was so exciting to see the photos that our guests had uploaded on our Flickr account. And then a couple weeks later we received the digital proofs from the photographer. More than 800 photos to pour over, and over, and over. Then right after Christmas, we ordered photos to print. Our 16x20 canvas portrait is just gorgeous—can’t wait to redecorate our bedroom with that bright blue.

And today… Today I’m bringing home the biggest baby of them all. Our wedding album. It’s been a long road of designing, editing, and then waiting for the album to ship from New Zealand. And today… Today it’s coming home with me. I haven’t told Rob that it’s ready, he’ll be super surprised when he sees it on the coffee table—he’s probably forgotten that it’s even coming. And my mom comes through town tonight, so I know that she’ll be excited to see it in person.

So all of you who won’t be sitting in my living room anytime soon, here’s the electronic version of the layouts—obviously not nearly as much fun as holding the real thing in your lap—but it’s the best I can do.

Read this doc on Scribd: WeddingAlbum

PS: It’s Nurses Appreciation Week and a special hoorah goes out to Ashley, my favorite nurse-in-training! Been thinking about you, should probably sit down and write you an email, or even better pull out my calendar and figure out when we can visit you this summer!

Chitter chatter

“Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood”
- William Shakespeare

I hope that when I have I children I can find more things to talk about with adults than what my kids are doing in school. Cause you know what? Most people could care less what your children are doing in school and all of the upcoming changes in the school system.

That’s what I’m subject to listen to right now in the office. And me, having teacher tendencies and dreams, I’m working very hard not to stick my nose into their conversation to show them the fallacy of their arguments. Busy-body, nosy parents, I’m dreading them already.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Best laid plans

"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”
- A. A. Milne

Planning, planning, and more planning…It seems that’s all my life is right now. Making lists. Anticipating hiccups. Brainstorming ideas. I’m rarely a perfectionist, I actually find that one of my strengths is knowing when to leave things be. However, when it comes to planning an event, I want everything to be spectacular, I want everything to run smoothly, and most importantly, I want everyone else to appreciate at least something from the event.

I’m quite an introvert, always more willing to stand aside and listen. I don’t want to be the life of the party, but I do like to be the one who makes the party come to life!

Here are some of the things that are being planned, or have just been planned in my life:

  • An all-day brainstorming event with one of our client’s at work
  • Observational research in store and at worksite for another client
  • Invitations and other graphic design work for Callie’s wedding
  • A 6-week Bible study on prayer
  • Pentecost/Mother’s Day worship service: decorations, readings, special bulletins, etc.
  • Our August trip to Arizona
Well, that’s quite a list, so perhaps I should get back to it.

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