Thursday, April 28, 2011

Portland how I love thee!

Zac and I love a little bit of travel.  We really do.  It's one of our most favorite things.  The sad part is, we are poor.  I know, I know, people that are poor should NOT be traveling, but we do.  The catch is, we either don't go far, or we go only places where we have friends to stay with.  This is the case for our next vacation.  We leave next Wednesday and get to stay in Portland until Sunday. Zac's best friend from undergrad is there and my best friend from chiropractic school is there.  Also, one of my very best friends lives in California, so she came up too.   This all works out in our favor and, in fact, makes for a really nice vacation spot if I do say so myself.  We went there last year for my 25th birthday, which you can read more about here, and in the few posts before and after it.

We had a blast last year.  I often laughed til i cried....which I like to do.  Chris, Lauren and Zac are three of the funniest people I know.  Carrie and Ernie (Zac's pals) are also hilarious and if Zac hadn't gotten to them first, I would have picked them for friends myself.  Over the course of our few days there we had many an adventure.  We started with Chris, Lauren, Zac and I taking a merry little jaunt in the woods.  

Chris' parents lived like 1/4 mile from a beautiful state park....lucky ducks.

Lauren and I loved it!

The next day we met Zac, Carrie, and Ernie at the market and got some great food from a whole heck of a lot of cart vendors.  Zac still talks about the perogis he got there. 

Isn't my husband a handsome man?

For those of you that know Zac personally, you won't be shocked to hear that after the market he was hungry and we headed for some oysters with Carrie and Erndog.

After a bit more wandering, I stopped and got my tatoo. 
(A reminder from my little sister's favorite verse to "walk by faith, not by sight")

The next day Ernie hauled Zac and I to Cannon Beach.  I gotta admit, the coast is absolutely beautiful.

The Zacman and his burly beard.

Zac hunting starfish for me cause I just had to know what it felt like.  This is a smile of his that lets me know he may just throw a starfish at me to see me yell and about fall off a rock.

So that's just a little bit of what I've got to look forward to.  I can't wait.  I am excited to get away from it all for a bit.  To not worry about the three presentations I've got in the two weeks after we get back.  To not worry about what the heck I'm gonna talk about for 20 minutes when I do a local radio show (that's right, they want me on the radio, it may get crazy).  To not have to sand or paint or stain furniture.  To not do laundry, or pay bills, or scrub toilets.  I will miss my family and the kiddos.  It seems like I miss them sooner and sooner anymore.  But that's ok, cause I'll have Zacman to hug on.  Until next Wednesday, lets all pray for unseasonably warm and dry weather in Portland!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dang it!

 Zac heard back about the job opportunity I blogged about here.  Not the news we wanted I'm afraid.  They ended up giving the job to someone else.  It was especially disappointing because the opening line on the "you didn't get the job call" was "You definately gave the best interview but...."  and that super sucks.  It sucks not to get a job that you want, and then to know that you were the best for the job and still didn't get it well that just plain hurts your feelings.  And your wife's feelings.  It turns out there was a guy working in their store already that applied, and they gave the job to him.  This, of course, tells me multiple things, starting with the fact that they already had decided before the interview who the job was going to and it was simply a waste of time for Zacman.  I'm more mad than sad now, but I think that's part of the 5 steps of the grieving process right?  I'm gonna skip right over bargaining and move into acceptance.  Well...I may stay mad for a little bit yet.  It's the Fox in me, we like to hold a grudge for a bit.  So now we wait again, for another opportunity.  Hopefully the next one will work out the way we want it.  In the meantime, thanks for all your prayers and support!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter my blogland friends!  I hope you get to spend the day with friends and family, rest assured that as much as you love them, Jesus loves you more!    

Now, for a couple of verses about being thankful.  

1Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

1Corinthians 1:4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,

2Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

1Chronicles 16:34 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

I am thankful for salavation through Jesus, for a God that always has me in his heart, for my family, my dear friends, my co-workers whom I love, and my husband who cracks me up daily.

oh...and Reeses Easter eggs!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Free time

I got to take 1/2 a day off today.  Wisely, I chose my day off this month based on when I had this 1/2 to maximize my off-time.  The way I figure it, this gave me a whole lotta time to do what I want.  Then I got to thinking about what I actually do with my off-time.  A majority of the time, I'm by myself, and it's entirely up to me to entertain myself.  I always do something a little girly just to satisfy the part of me that's concerned with being pretty.   I also try to do something nice for Zac to satisfy the part of me that wants to be a good wife.  Usually this is something small, like making him cupcakes or his favorite dinner.  I occassionally will do something crafty, like sewing or painting.  So last Saturday, on my day off,  I found myself alone, with my hair deep conditoned and my nails newly painted.  I had organized my closet, changed the sheets, and done laundry.  I also mowed the yard for Zacman.  I accomplished a lot and it was only about 2.  With my compulsitory stuff outta the way I did what I really like to do in my spare time.  Prepare yourselves, it's ridiculous.  In my spare time, when I've got nothing else I feel has to be done, I turn into a total guy.  Here's an example of what I mean. 

My tonight, Friday night, alone.....I had my half day at work and got home around 1, changed clothes,  ate lunch, and watched a little t.v.  I then cleaned my whole house, like hands and knees scrubbed the floor.  It was hardcore cleaning.  Not so oddly, I like a little music while I clean, maybe a little more oddly, I prefer rap.  So me and Snoop Dogg cleaned floors, dusted, etc.  After I got done cleaning I ran to Wal-mart.  While I was there I picked up some Easter candy for Zacman and (here's where the guy transitions stars) a six-pack of beer.  Yep.  I proceed out of Wal-mart, but was distracted by the Red Box and had to stop to pick up an action flick (and I already had one picked out at home).  I got home, heated up left over pizza, poured myself a beer, and am now over half an hour into Clear and Present Danger.  Now who out there would tell me that sounds like a bad time?  That's right, no one.  I am amused, I have to admit.  I'm not sure that if we did a survey, many people would guess that a good time for a 26 year-old married gal is rap and action movies.  But it totally is for me.  Like I said, it's ridiculous, but makes me happy.  I also got to wondering, if this is what I do with my free time what's everyone out there doin?    

I feel as happy as this guy about Blue Moon and deep dish pizza! 

P.S. For those of you that may be concerned about my pizza and action flicks, have no fear cause I am totally looking forward to trying the new body wash, eye shadow and mascara I picked up at Wal-mart tonight so I'm still a girly-girl.  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A voice like the angels

As you all well know by now my family is over-run with children.  Between sisters, in-laws, and cousins we will be having 8 babies this year.  EIGHT!  Crazy right?  We all know how much I love all these little beans and in particular I love to hold a baby and rock him/her to sleep.  When I do, I always sing the same song, Do You Remember by Jack Johnson.  I love him.  And I love that song.  And babies love it too.  Conveniently I've made it the top of my playlist so it's actually the song you are hearing right now...if your volume is up and your speakers are silenced that is.  
So a few days ago I'm over at my sister Annie's house and have decided that what Miss Ollie needs to fall asleep is a little bouncing and singing.  I propped her up on my shoulder and proceeded with said song and dance.  She passed right out as expected.  I went and laid her down and said to the family "I always sing the same song to the babes.  Ever since Aubrie was born.  Don't I hun?  It works everytime."  To which my occasionally hateful husband replied "Yeah....probably cause they can't stand to be awake for it."  And the whole family laughed.  This is the kind of love you can count on from my family.  They will be there for ya, they will move big cabinets, and re-finish basements so you can move in with them, and they will also insult you at every turn.  Thank goodness for them and their senses of humor otherwise my life would be very boring.....and you might have seen me on next seasons try-outs for American Idol.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

When in need

I have always been aware of the fact that I have more than I need.  That if I have something that I don't want anymore, that's still decent, there is someone out there that would be thrilled to have it.  For this reason, I always donate my clothes, appliances, housewares, etc.  If it's still got some life left, I want someone else to wear it out.  (thank you to craigslist for helping me get rid of a kitchen table and 4 chairs, two mattresses, and two t.v.'s)  I try to apply this principle to most things in life.  I give blood, I donate my change, I pick up hitch-hikers.  I just want to help.  

When my sister told me not all that long ago that babies with Down Syndrome are more likely to develop childhood leukemia I thought of one more thing I have, that others need and I took a little action.  I got online and went to Be The Match.  I ordered a kit and waited for it to get here.  I documented it,  now I'm going to write about it.  In a few you will know exactly what it takes to register to become a bone marrow donor and hopefully will be inspired to get registerd too.  

*First of all, some things you should know about donating bone marrow....

*70% of people that need a transplant do not have a matching donor in their families
(isn't that shocking!  I can't imagine being the patient waiting to find a donor)

*Donors don't pay any expenses

*It takes about 30-40 hours over 4-6 weeks

*There are two ways to donate: peripheral blood stem cell donation, which is most common (non-surgical, looks much like donating plasma....blood is removed, what they need is taken from the blood, a portion of the blood is returned to you) and marrow donation from the pelvis.  

Can you imagine if all it took to save a life was 40 hours and the willingness to be stuck by a needle?  After looking it over, there was no way I wouldn't donate.  So....this is exactly what I did.  I typed in my info and got my packet in the mail.  It looked like this...

Inside my packet were 4 long q-tip swabs and 4 barcode stickers.  

I took each swab, stared it down for a minute, then rubbed em on my cheeks.  

Swabbin the decks....

(attractive picture, I know)

After swabbing for 10 seconds, I wrapped a barcode sticker around each swab and put them in my handy dandy swab holder card thing.  

I put swab holder thing in my business reply envelope from Be The Match.  

Then I put my nifty postage paid envelope in the mail.  

Now I wait.  It takes about 2 months to process my sample and put me on the registry.  They will contact me if they ever need me.  That's it.  That's all I had to do.  It's a little scary because it's unknown and apparently the needle to the hip bone thing hurts a bit, but I don't care.  If I can spend so many years becoming a doctor because I just HAVE to be able to fix people, then I can deal with it.  I hope if you are not registered you will take the time to consider.  I mean....what if someone out there needs you?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Gifting...Zacman style Part Deux

I have written before about my foe.  It is a chocolate cake that I mess up everytime I try to make it.  That's just the way it seems to be for me and that darn cake.  But alas, I have more than one foe.  The second I has some similarities with the first.  I find them to both be delicious.  I would love to have both of them often.  They both occassionally make me cry.  What, oh what, could this second foe be?


Yep.  Onion.  I don't just cry as I slice and dice.  For hours after my eyes burn.  They turn red.  I look like I've just spent twenty minutes in the back of Cheech and Chongs fun bus.  It's odd.  Really.  I have no other sensitivities.  No seasonal or food allergies.  But onion just destroys me and makes my eyes hurt.  So now you are probably asking yourself "what in the world does onions have to do with birthday presents?  Has Zac given Abbie the gift of never having to cook again?!"  No, that's not it at all.  What the Zacman gave me to slay the evil onion is......ONION GOGGLES!  Who's jealous?

Aren't they ha-larious!  I laughed hard and immediately had to model them.  Zac bought them off of Amazon.  Apparently the reviews were phenomenal.  He couldn't resist....and I don't blame him.  It's hard to find a present so functional that makes the recipient look SO GOOD and prepares her for both cooking and extreme downhill skiing. 

So now surely you are curious as to how these babies perform before you finish punching in all your credit card number to get a set yourself.  And the survey says.....excellent!

I put those onions right next to my face.  I smelled them, but not even an inkling of burn.  Not a twinge, not a hard blink, not even a squint was necessary.  Holy guacamole!  I tell you, I am in love!  Not just with my onion goggles, but even more with my husband.  Jewelry and goggles, he really did put some thought into my presents this year.  How could a girl go wrong with a birthday present line-up like that!  The part that made me happiest....he gave them to me and said, " I got you green ones cause green is your favorite color.  And they have an anti-fog lense!"  Thank goodness for that anti-fog lense.  Ya know how I usually get all hot and bothered when cutting up vegetables.  Oh the impressive features of onion goggles. He is just a doll I tell ya! 

 If you are pumped about onion goggles, you can find them here.  And, don't tell Zac, but the are pink are FABULOUS and I may even love them more...

Ps. If you ever find yourself with five pounds of onion to dice for a chili supper, you know who to call. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A good birthday day

I know you are all dying to know what I did on my birthday.  Well, sit down, strap in, and try not to hold pass out from shear amazement.  First and foremost....I slept in!  It was great.  I love a good long sleep.  After that Zac and I pretty much had the day to do whatever.  We were sick of it by 10:30.  Ya see, we usually get up, hurry to get ready, and leave for church.  We are not usually home until about 1-ish.  Sometimes we stop and hang with the family and love on the our day was terribly open.  

We dillied.  We dallied.  Then we went to Wal-Mart.  It's exactly what you would've done too.  I got spray paint, and prettied up my flower pots.  I have big plans for them this year.  These three will hold tomatoes, peppers, and probably more tomatoes.  

And these will hold lots of herbs....LOTS!  I also swirrled all their dirt around and got everything ready to roll for when there is "no threat of frost." 

Whenever that will be....

(and yes...i also think the owl flower pot should have chives in him so he's got big crazy hair)

I took my sweet time doing this.  Then surfed the internet.  Then got so sick of listening as Zacman watched the Masters that I told him we should just go play a round.  So we did.  This is Big Z gettin his stretch on before playing some serious golf.  Well, not exactly serious as I find most things hard to take seriously.  Lets say it was a good stretch before playing some light-heared mediocre golf.  

( i just realized how terrible the grass looks at the tee...i swear the rest of the course didn't look like this)

Just look at that form.  He is the master of getting himself psyched up.  I have to give it to Zac.  He plays with me without trying to coach too much.  Which is good, since I'm not always grateful for help.  And when I say not always, I mean I will mostly tell him to leave me alone and stop bossing.  

We only played 9 holes.  I guess I only really played 8, but I laughed a lot at Zac's crazy antics, his Indy 500 driving, and his multiple failed attempts at picking up a stray ball while driving as fast as he could and leaning out of the cart.  And don't worry, when he missed the ball he'd just continue to drive in circles around it until he either snagged it, or caused two intense cases of vertigo.  This is a picture of us coming off of the course.  Zac has senstive eyes, and no organization skills, so he frequently wears my sunglasses as his are missing.  Case in point.....

After this we ran home, changed our clothes and headed to a nice dinner with most of the family.  Then we went to church, came home, and crashed hard.  It was a great day.  I'm hoping this Sunday will go just as well.  

Ps...what I learned on Sunday night really changed the way I think about creation and i'm really looking forward to sharing as soon as I write up a decent blog about it....

Pps...Zac gave me a second great present so stay tuned for details!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

To the best, of my best

I would like to take a moment, well, a few moments to wish my best best best friend Courtney a very Happy 26th Birthday! (sounds soooo much older than 25 right?! Weird.)

In honor of you, I'd like to take a short trip through time....
for instance, back to when we bought solid color t-shirts from Wal-Mart and then stitched on a cute design to go with our skirts.  Do you remember that? Cause I totally do.  We both had navy, green, pink and white skirts from American Eagle.  Or maybe that was Maggie and I...but that's where it all started.  This was from when you came to visit me in Carbondale wearing said shirt.....

How bout this gem?  This is when I lived in Murphysboro.... Christmas of 2005 when we decided to make jewelry trees.  They are hideously fantastic.  I still hang mine every winter and think about how you destroyed your fingers with hot glue and I told you your tree was ugly and you told me to shove it.  Oh the love we share :)

Remember this?  I came to visit you in Charleston.  We moved you and decorated your adorable apartment.  We stayed up all night being super organized freaks...we saw Mattkins for a bit too.  This is at his apartment he shared with Phil.  

And this was at my graduation, when you were so mad at Matt and I told you you were being stupid.  Again, out of nothing but pure love.  

But, you two worked it out and before long I was the maid-of-honor at your wedding.

( dress was too small and there was NOTHING I could do about it.  seriously. nothing.)

And before we knew it we had to meet again for Maggie to get hitched.

Then we got together for a visit one day in St. Louis and settled on a very excellent idea.  A birthday cruise to celebrate us turning 24.  Can you even believe that was just 2 years ago.  Seems like so long ago!
Thank goodness you were able to make a memorable entrance.

And we were too sun-burnt to go to dinner.
(I still laugh at the guy that set up our room that thought you were a man, and that we told him it was ok that our beds were pushed together)

Luckily we didn't have to wait too long for our next big adventure together, my wedding day.

I wish I had some of our super old pictures scanned onto my computer but instead they are all cut up and form mega-collages that sit in one of my mom's closets.  It's hard to believe how many of my memories include you.  Almost all the good ones, a few of the bad ones, a few embarassing ones.... 
You've been there for me through thick and thin.  You've helped to set me straight more than once.  You're frequently my voice of reason.  You've helped me build and end relationships.  And you've been one of the best examples of what it means to be a Christian that I could've ever asked for.  I am so thankful to have a friend that really will answer the phone in the middle of the night and listen, that will cry with me, and that will stand behind me.  You are the very best, of my very best friends and I will love you forever and ever. 

Happy Birthday again.  I hope it is just perfect!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mail time!

Look what came in the mail!  
I just love mail.  I'm not sure what it is about it...but I like it!  Then sometimes I open my mailbox and I am perplexed.  For example the day I flung all my other mail aside in excitement to read my new magazine and was immediately saddened when it was not House Beautiful but rather Hispanic Business.  

This is not the first time, oh no.  I've received this publication three times so far.  I'm just curious, what crazy kidder bought me a subscription?  Or, who is giving Hispanic Business such bad demographic info.  I couldn't be more WASP (that's White, Anglo-saxon, Protestant) and I'm not a business owner.  Oh well.  

P.S.  If any of you run into the good people over at PARENTING magazine, please tell them I have no children.  

Monday, April 11, 2011

Trading up

For my birthday from my ma, I got a great piece of loot.  When the sisters and I got started with our business, Ethel Edith, we had a few things in mind like spending time together, fixing up furniture, and rotating new pieces into our homes to replace things we liked but didn't love.  This is one piece I didn't love.  He is cute, don't get me wrong.  I have a vanity that matches it, and they will be great in a little girls room.  But for my room, eh.  

I saw a great yellow dresser in a store uptown a couple weeks ago.  I've been think about him.  He wasn't too expensive at plus he has fantastic old paint.  I loved him.  Then mom told me she was gonna get him for my birthday and I was pumped!  The lady that owned him cut me a sweet deal and took even more money off, so I claimed him for my own.  

A close up of his paint

 Now was my little dilemma.  I took out a turqouis dresser and put in the chippy yellow bedroom furniture looks terrible together!  This was the side table on my side of the bed. 

I knew what I had to do.  Last year at Third Sunday Market I found another gem.  I live by the motto, if you love it, buy it!  As long as you love the things in your house, you can figure out a way to make them work together. So, even though my current furiture didn't go with it, I bought what has become my new bedside table.  I would now like to introduce her to the world...

Oh my she's a beauty!  She's ready for her close up.

Old crystal pulls how I love you!  The best thing is, I get to pass on my dresser and side table to someone else now and they get to love them for awhile and I'm officially back on the hunt.  I need a large dresser now.  I will know him/her when I see it then my bedroom will be complete.   Wish me luck at the markets!

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