Friday, April 30, 2010

The Sound of Music (on repeat)

You will probably never meet two people as disinterested in music as Ben and me. I'm totally content to listen to the same music over and over again.

Several weeks ago, Ben got into the car and realized I've been listening to the same two CDs for the past four months. Never mind the fact that the CD player in the car can hold 6 CDs. Never mind the fact that I actually do own more than 2 CDs. I simply can't help myself. Ingrid Michaelson, how I love you. I just keep listening to those same 12 songs over and over again. And, our wedding music CD. Over and over and over and over again.

"You may need new music." Ben said. I guess listening to two CDs for four months is excessive. But I really can't help myself. If I'm in a happy mood, the wedding music CD takes me right back to that blissful December day. If I'm in a despairing mood, all of Ingrid Michaelson's music is so makes me happy (morbid, I know).

All that to say, I'm on the search for new music. For Ben's sake, of course. I sincerely don't want him to go crazy as I jam out to Ingrid for another four months. So, I'm thinking of Katie Herzig, Rosie Thomas, and Lady Antebellum, just to name a few. For variety, for a change. I think it is needed.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The End of a Mooo-ving Era

I have this habit of pushing things too far. Then, I regret it.

For instance, as you may (or may not) know, I am lactose-allergic. Basically and sadly, I have to avoid all milk products or I will be sick. For hours and hours. I would definitely make things easier for myself if I actually avoided milk products. But I can't. And, I don't. Of course, I get sick and proclaim I will NEVER do it AGAIN. But I'm a liar.

When Ben and I were dating, I convinced him I could eat an entire ice cream cone. "Are you sure?" His look revealed the depth of his concern. I rolled my eyes. "Of course! I will be fine." The next day? I ended up at the doctor because I experienced tightness in my chest. I couldn't breathe. Ben has never let me forget that either. I can't eat ANY milk products around him.

For the last year, I've had an allowance called "lactose pills". Those wonderful little green pills allow me to enjoy ice cream and pizza and nachos and lattes by blocking the lactaid in the diary product for a pain-free experience. (Doesn't that sound so scientific?) Its been blissful.

Except recently. About a week ago, I began to notice that my faithful green pills were not working. My worse fear was coming to pass - the eternal blockage of dairy from my diet. Panic set in - mostly over ice cream and Starbucks.

Last night, I gave it one last try. I called for my two favorite men to help me test out my fear: Ben & Jerry's. The verdict was tragic. My green pills have failed me. My allergy has gotten beyond my control. Good-bye all you wonderful dairy foods: lasgana, coffee creamer, and my favorite - ice cream. Farewell.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

5 Things I Can't Live Without

It's been a long time since I have done a 5 Things I Can't Live, enjoy!

1. At our wedding, Ben and I played Outkast's "When I look In Your Eyes". (Ben is still glowing over the fact that Outkast was played at the wedding.) There is one line of the song that was a foretelling of Ben's (future-and-now-married) life: "I'm even gonna rub your feet when they stank" (source) That said, I absolutely cannot live without this:  Aveda Foot Relief. I know I have a flair for the dramatic, but when that lotion hits my feet and Ben rubs them...especially after we've run and I'm convinced my feet will fall is renewed. Hope is restored. It is that good. Seriously.

2. This may make me sound like a stalker, but after 3 years, I feel like Jasmine Star and I are friends. For real. Let's not mention the fact that Jasmine has NO IDEA who I am...but let's definitely mention the fact that I LOVE her photography, her grace, her love for her husband, her dog, her family, her yoga pants and more. If you know me, then you know I'm all like "Jasmine and I are on a first-name basis" - even if it is all one-sided. If you love photography, CHECK.HER.OUT. NOW.

3. When Domino magazine - may it rest in peace - faded from the magazine aisle, I was heartbroken. There was nothing like it until now. Southern Flourish Magazine is 100% digital, 100% southern and 100% hip and chick. I'm in love. I love that this magazine has the edgy hipster look of all-things-that-I-love AND its all like, "Hey Ya'll" southern. READ IT!

4. You. The reader of my blog. You may just skirt over, laugh and leave. Or you may follow. Or you may stay awhile and read every single blog post and never admit it to anyone. It's okay. I do it, too. I literally squeal with delight when someone tells me they read my blog. Or laughed at my blog. Or leave a comment. I squeal. Out loud. Regardless of where I am. Every.Single.Time. I squeal. Some people will have thought I'd won a million dollars. And, I haven't. I just got a comment. And it made me feel like I just got a present. Don't be shy, please. I crave your attention. (Is that weird?) Tell me who you are. Please.

5. I know it is suppose to be 5 Things I Can't Live Without...but what if I can only come up with 4?!?!?!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Why I Don't Watch Wrestling

This scenario just occurred in our household:

Ben: You know Hulk Hogan?

Me: No. Who is that?

Ben: You don't know Hulk Hogan? How can you not know Hulk Hogan the wrestler?!

Me: I don't know him. (I don't watch wrestling)

Ben: You don't know Hulk Hogan? He had a reality TV show with his family. His wife ran away with their son's friend.

Me: I don't know him. Maybe the show was in the '90s. (Weird that his wife ran away off with their son's friend.)

Ben: HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW Hulk Hogan? That show was three years ago.

Me: I consider myself very well educated...particularly in the entertainment department. But I don't know him. (I read People in the Grocery store line)

Ben: Are you Amish?

So, here I am...up late to look at this scary creature (Just to prove I'm not Amish):

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Desperate Housewife

Not having a job will do strange, strange things to you. Especially, if you don't have a car. Especially, if your husband is gone all day (workin' for the bacon..workin' for the rent).

So, yesterday, I counted it an immense victory when I kept the TV off til 11am. I needed noise in between the looking for jobs, establishing profiles to post my resume and reading an e-book... Especially, if that noise comes in the form of Tyra Banks from America's Next Top Model or Patti from Millionaire Matchmaker. Apparently, I didn't need just any noise...I needed Bravo noise, especially.

But, when Ben FINALLY came home after a long day of pressure washing and then a painful evening of enjoying free tickets to the NBA playoff games, he came home to me. Which did not look like this:

It looked at lot like this (minus the police officer):


Apparently, I don't do well being stuck in a house for over 15 hours with only Patti and Tyra to talk to me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Photo/Blog Monday

I hope you guys have missed Photo/Blog Monday! I certainly have missed sharing all my fun finds.

My Photo of the Week was taken by my very-own-one-of-a-kind-husband, Ben. It took a lot of effort., as we circled around the man....4 times. It was embarrassing. But, it isn't everyday you see a hardcore the middle of the city. In the end, Ben thanked him.

Blog of the week.... . Seriously! This blog is OVERFLOWING with so many DYI and fun projects. I'm salivating at the projects I Ben will take on will be doing.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm Now A Housewife

I've had a job since I was 9 years old. Babysitting, office work,whatever, I've always been able to make my own money. The past couple of days, I've been home more than I've been in a long time. Years, even. Its been an adjustment. So, are you curious as to what I've done, lately? Let me tell you.

-Vacuumed (includes emptying that dust collector...why was I against vacuum cleaner bags, again?)
- Mopped
- Laundry (including handwashing pillowcases; 4 loads of laundry)
- Cleaning the bathroom (including cleaning the baseboards)
- Cleaning the kitchen (again and again and again...WHO keeps making this mess? Oh, wait. Me.)
- Cleaned all windows
- Updated my resume
- 12 billions episodes of various TV shows

Its crazy. Up to this week and because of our work schedules, Ben has done a lot of the cleaning. (Plus, he is OCD!) So, I will admit I had some difficulty in my new occupation -until I find a new job - as a housewife.
I've spent the days conversing with myself..."Where did Ben put that thing?" I had to search for the vacuum cleaner. Then, it was the "How do I work that dryer for maximum drying?"...

All I want to do now? Get a job. For real. I'm tired.  Not from the cleaning, oh no. From the SEARCHING for the cleaning items! When Ben comes home, he asks what I've done...I can't even remember because I'm reliving the scavenger hunt he has unknowingly put me through. Its been incredible. I'm finding the iron, the dryer sheets, the vacuum cleaner, the gazillion plastic grocery bags under the sink...

I've come to the conclusion that I've GOT to take up an in-house hobby. If nothing else for my sanity. For realz.

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Keep On Lovin' You"

I moan and groan in my sleep. Especially when I'm upset or if something is heavily on my mind. Last night, I must have been doing it, because I wake up to Ben pulling me close and whispering. " are safe. I'm going to protect you. I'm going to take care of you...shhh"

Life is an adventure. You absolutely never know what is going to happen or occur. Its hard to believe that Ben and I are close to celebrating 4 months of marriage (WAHOOOOOO!), and already so much has taken place. I'm thankful we get to walk this crazy life together. Its better. More fun. And, not quite as lonely. This is such a great song...I know its country, but the words are incredible. And, in this season, it makes me so thankful - even more - that Ben is here with me. Life could be worse, but God is faithful and I can breath easier.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The First Day

Today has been such a good day. Let me tell you about it:

9am: Regis & Kelly  - LOVE THEM. (But, who knew Regis was turning 79 this year?!?!)

11am: The View and Lunch - Such an interesting and dynamic group of women.

Noon - Nap time.

2-4:30pm - spent the afternoon at Barnes & Nobles and tried a Passion Tea Lemonade - yummy.

5:30-6:15pm - Ben tries to convince me to run.

6:30-7:20pm - Ben was successful. We ran a mile.

8pm - Dinner.

8:30pm - Coco before Chanel.

Its been a good day. This is me, reporting live from Day One of Unemployment.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Daily Cup

Its a habit I've never been able to break. It started in college, and its just gotten worse.

Essentially, its my ability to drink a cup of coffee. One singular cup of coffee in less than an hour in one place - if that happens, it's nothing short of a miracle.

Every morning, I make coffee for Ben and I. Really, just for Ben. And, every day, I pour myself a nice full cup. By the time I get to work, Ben's cup is almost empty. Mine is just as full as when I poured it. And, so it continues. By lunch time, I may have drank half of my cup. Maybe. If its a good day.

There have been too many times, too many occasions, where Ben has found my cup still full of coffee hours later and way too cold to drink. Eventually, the coffee gets poured out (I like to think I'm giving nature its daily source of caffeine), and Ben rolls his eyes. Then, please press "repeat" because it will happen tomorrow. Again and again. For forever. Literally.
I like coffee, I promise. But I don't like having an exclusive coffee date - just me and coffee. I need others to be there with me. I need a support group. I need a support group that understands that you can love coffee just not on an individual basis. That coffee needs company.

Sadly, no one gets this. Not Ben. Not Starbucks. Not coffee. I'm left by myself to continue to provide the flowers outside of my office their daily intake of coffee. They don't seem to mind.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

He Wants to Run a Marathon

"I want to run a marathon." Ben said.

"That's nice." I replied. I admit, I was half-heartedly listening.

"I need a running buddy." He said.

I should have taken the hint. "Well, I'm sure you can ask one of your buddies to join you." I tried to encourage him.

"Well," He said. "I thought you'd be my running buddy."

With that comment, his goal and the fact that I love my husband very much, I started running. It's been difficult. Okay, so I've thrown up, experienced shooting pains throughout my body and thought I'd black out several times. (I'm not being dramatic!)

But, I've done more. I ran 3/4 of a mile on Monday and 1 mile today. Let's not discuss the fact I still have to master 25 more miles. Let's just celebrate that 1 mile. Okay?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekend Bloopers

I spent the entire weekend laughing hysterically. There were so many times, I was all like, "Yep, that is going on the blog."

In light of that, prepare to laugh.

1. Ben and I went to see the movie "Date Night".

We arrive to the ticket counter. Ben: "We are here for a 'Date Night'."
The girl looks at Ben like he has two heads. I start snorting laughter.

2. Eating at the Mexican Restuarant.

We visited two restuarants in one night.

My prerequisite: I wanted a quiet evening. So, we walked into a smoky-mariachi band dining area. My head started pounded. I begged to leave. We did.
At the second and much quieter Mexican restuarant, I decided to order something that I had never had before. I ordered a mexican cheese rolled in a skirt steak served with avocado, beans and rice. And cactus. I told Ben, "I really like this casket." He started laughing. I looked him. "I meant cask-- er, cactus. I like cak-tus."

Cactus = hard word to say.

3. Church Small Group

We just joined a small group of married couples who are our age. We were so excited we did what ANYONE would do: We facebook/googled stalked them.
We are glad to have new friends.

4. As I was trying to fall asleep....

Ben comes RUSHING into the bedroom. "You will NEVER BELIEVE what our neighbors across the hall are talking about RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR DOOR?!?!?"
"What?" I mumbled into my pillow.
"Not pooping for an entire weekend!" He paused. "Do girls REALLY talk about stuff like that?"
Our poor neighbors.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My sister

Polar opposites. That is what we were. What we are. Joined by the soul-mark of being born into the same family so close in age.

I'm dark-skinned, brown eyes, brown hair.

She's freckled-sprinkled, blue eyes, blondish-brown hair.

As a kid, I was content with my books and my dolls.

As a kid, she wanted to build bridges. She wanted to an artichect.
She only played with dolls, because I did.

I named my dolls, Bradley, Patty, Benjamin, Brianna, Watermelon.

She named hers Sarajane. All of them. Every single doll.

I liked vanilla. She liked chocolate. I was a vegan. She spent her days feasting on Cheese-puffs and chocolate.

We spent our high school years as a tagged-team. I spent my afternoons in the kitchen watching her bake...We spent our afternoons in the library. She'd look at my Better Homes & Gardens, I'd look at her Architectural Digest.

She is the ultimate Kindred Spirit of my soul. When I brought Ben home, I told him, "If SHE doesn't like you, that's it."Thankfully, she did.

Biggest cheerleaders. Biggest accountability. Strongest supportors. Our passion-infused souls have conflicted with each other on numerous occasions. But even with those conflicts, love flowed like a steady stream.

She is my sister. And, I love her.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hot Wings

Dear Wild Wings Cafe,
I would like to cordially inform you that my husband and I will no longer be dining with you. Its nothing that you've done - Ben loves you...he just loves me better.....

Anyone who knows Ben, knows the man KNOWS hot wings. Ben loves them. Can't get enough of them. Its the final game of the NCAA Championship, the kickoff of Baseball, and Ben asked for hot wings. He was skeptical if I could make them.

"Honey, I just don't know if you have what it takes." He said as we stood at the poultry section of the grocery store.

I said nothing, just glared at the chicken wings - daring them to defy me.

We googled hot wings recipe. And, I began. I was tense. Nervous. This was make it or break it in my cooking career. First attempts haven't always been so glorious. But I ventured forth. Tense. Nervous. I made Lemon Pepper and Hot Wings.

Those wings weren't just good, they were melt-in-your-mouth, love-your-wife-forever, get-a-free-foot-rub good.

Ben apologized. He said he was sorry for ever doubting me. He said they were the best Lemon Pepper wings he had ever had. Ever. EVER.

Sorry, Wild Wing Cafe, you just lost a customer. A fan. His devotion for wings has moved closer to home.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Baskets and Lunchables

Ben has brought several new things into my life. He has incorporated me into his sports world...suddenly, I'm tossing around football terms and who will winn the NCAA championship. Like I know it all.

Recently, Ben has introduced me to two new things.

1. Easter Baskets.

I've never had an Easter Basket. Ever. It wasn't important for my family; it wasn't the focus of Easter for us. I never felt left out. Or lacking anything. Ben, on the other hand, received one every single year.

So, I decided to surprise him with an Easter Basket. To the rest of the world, this is no big deal. But to me this was HUGE.
a) I've never received an Easter Basket. Ever. Ever. So I have no idea how to make one. At all.
b) Ben always pulls out the BEST surprises for me. ALL THE TIME. Literally. Remember this one?

In order to address part A, I did what ANYONE would do. I researched. Here was the primary focus of my research:

Part B...was a little more difficult. Because Ben reads my blog, I won't reveal WHERE I hid the basket and its goodies, but I will confess that I did wake up at 4:45am to put the basket together. Thanks especially to the little boy at the chalkboard.

2. Lunchables.

I didn't grow up with Lunchables. My mom made her own bread by grinding her own wheat flour. For lunch, there was pasta with veggies or veggie pizza or p.b.&j. No Lunchables. It wasn't a problem; I didn't really like pre-packaged things. I still don't.

Yet, this past week, Ben and I got into a fuss. Feelings were hurt on many levels. One night this week, in the middle of our fuss, we went for a run. Together. (Isn't that what all couples do during fusses?!?)
Then Ben surpprised me with a picnic lunch on a bench in the middle of downtown....Over a dinner of Lunchables and Propel Water, we resolved our fuss. The Lunchable was decadent...and I would eat it again.

Then, we went to go have Ice Cream. 'Cause we are best friends. And, thats what you do when you resolve your differences.

My Easter Anthem

I'm up too early in the morning. But this one thought keeps coming back to my mind: What does Easter mean to me?
Very simply: He is RISEN. Death could not hold my Savior.

I am blessed to be friends with author Claudia Mair Burney on Facebook. This early Easter Morn, she posted this as her status:

"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song." -- Pope John Paul II

I love this because it so beautifully announces that Jesus brought a hope eternal and abolished the grave - "WE are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song".
Sing it.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My Prodigal Decor

Today, my family came to visit. It's the first time they come to see us since Ben and I got married. We were excited to see them...but I was nervous, too.

I was about to show off my home and decor to my FAMILY.
no pressure.

Well, as I requested, my dad "oohed" and "aahed" throughout the tour. My 12 year old brother kept asking, "WHY? ARE WE 'oohing' and 'aahing'?"

At one point during our afternoon, my dad said, "You know, Bethany, I guess its about time to give you back your "O" and "H"."

It took me a minute to realize what in the world he was talking about. It took Ben a minute to realize he didn't know what in the world my dad was talking about at all.

I've already told you how my house looks like the rainbow and Fruitloops vomited in my style. I can't help it. I love color. I love quirky things. I love words. I love family pictures and local art. And, IKEA, too.

The letters my dad spoke of? Well, sometimes, a picture paints a 1000 words.

Yes, yes, yes. When I was in college, I begged my sister to flirt her way into obtaining the O and H from the Huddle House sign they were taking down. The old vintage color of Huddle House is orange. So, in a couple of weeks, I will be welcoming home my wayward letters. I'm thrilled. Ben is, well, very gracious. I never cease to amaze him.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Books: My Past and Present

When I was a kid. I loved books. Okay, I still do, but that is besides the point. I eagerly awaited for the next Mandie Book to come out. I felt just like a jungle explorer when I found book 14 in the Trixie Belden series buried between Box Car Children and Hardy Boys at the library.

I was quite the adventurous kid, I tell ya.

I would try to copy my speech and writing to mimic Jo from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. And, don't even get my started on Martha Finley's Elsie Dinsmore books. It was a lot of work, trying to be like authors from another time.

I was so adventurous - I spent time in musty bookstores and antique stores looking for my next great read. All before I was 14 years old.

Then, there was Anne. Anne of Green Gables. The girl of my dreams. My heart. The character who just got me. The character who understood that the world really may end without a kindred spirit and that that would directly plunge me into the depths of despair. The girl who took note of names of homes...much like how my address must have that certain ring to it, or I'm not settled. I wanted red hair. Because of Anne. L.M. Montgomery, you ruined me.

I was livin' the life. And, I still prefer a book to a TV...(except Tuesday's Biggest Loser...and other shows I will never confess to watching)

In all the books, Jo found her Professor - this hairy, burly man who was such a nerd, Jo's heart was lost. Mandie falls for someone (I can't remember his name!!) and Trixie for that tanned, logically-minded boy named Jim. Elsie falls for her father's best friend. (Gimme a break - the book was written during the 1800s, when that was SOOO not creepy. But it is. Creepy.)

And, Anne? Gilbert chased her. Through it all. Every single thing. College. Teacher. Author. There was Gilbert. He loved her, that Anne-girl. And, Anne? She was too stubborn to realize she loved him, that Gilbert Blythe boy, until he almost died. Tragic, I know, right?

That said...I need a next good read. I've moved on in the world. I now frequent Barnes and Nobles. (Where, I'm convinced music announces my arrival.) And, lately, I'm reading books writtten within the last 5 years. I've been mesmerized lately by:
The Glass Castle
Sarah's Key
The Five People You Meet in Heaven

They've been great books; ones I've enjoyed a lot. But, I want to know: what books do you recommend?