Saturday, December 24, 2005

On the Road with Sweet Girl

Normally, I work on Friday and then begin to prepare for all the busy things that need to be done over the weekend. Today was a bit different. Champs and I woke up at 3:35 a.m. when the alarm bid us do so. It took us a while to acquiesce and get out of bed, but finally we did. We stumbled into clothes and gathered a sleepy Sweet Girl and piled into the car. At 4:24 a.m., we set off on the 550 mile trip to HomeTown City in Another State. It took us until about 2:30 p.m. to get here.

Not bad timing, all things considered. I realized again today what a terrific little girl we have. She traveled like a gem! She watched one movie on her portable DVD player (we kept it as a surprise until today and you should have seen her eyes light up) and then just generally slept and talked and sang along to the music. Other than one disagreement over who had the final say on a lunch issue (lately, she has begun to search for alternate definitions of the word "no"), we traveled in peace. I didn't even get one "When are we going to get there?!?!" whine that children are famous for - and for that, I am truly grateful.

The DVD and her magna-doodle were truly two worthy investments.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

What a Weekend!

OK, quick recap:

Friday: Sucked! I will never again use Western Union and that's all I have to say about that. Ugh.

Saturday: Mom moved out. She couldn't afford a moving truck, so Champs got permission to use his work van. We had great help (shout out to Geekwif and the Geek) from a bunch of friends and family with trucks and vans. Our house was a great heap of boxes and muddy salty snow water. Into the midst of this we got a call asking for a showing on the house.

Sunday: WE SOLD OUR HOUSE!!!!!!!!! PRAISE THE LORD! Yes, our house is sold. And in the middle of December, yet. In the last 3 months, there have been 84 houses for sale in our approximate price range and in our approximate area. One has sold. In September. Today ours sold. We have an appointment to go look at a 2 bedroom duplex tomorrow; it is half our mortgage each month (no garage, but we can live with that) and the owner is OK with us renting on a short term option.

You know, I could blog ad nauseum about this; there are so many cool details. Only it would take me hours to write it and you too long to read it. The upshot here is that God is Good and 2006 is going to be a much different year for Champs and I. We have our first real encouragement in months that we really will get to move to Hometown City, Another State this summer.

Now we just have to bathe Champs' eye in prayer. Once he has his contact and the assurance of some healthy time, we will be able to move and start the new insurance/new eye specialist journey in our new state.

2006: New Beginnings, Baby!

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Unsubstantiated Memories

OK, this is NOT a meme, but it is a game you get to play with me. I got it over at Geekwif's place.

Here goes:

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often) please post a comment here on my blog with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me. It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you're finished leaving your comment, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you.

I think this will be fun for all; like a bowl of Skittles and M&M's mixed; a color and a flavor for everyone!

And here are the great comments I got on this post:
Steph said...
Blond Girl - Remember that time we were at the Liquid Lounge and I dared you to walk out of the bathroom and cross the room with a string of toilet paper hanging out of the back of your skirt?! You even bunched it up to make it look used. We were laughing so hard that it took us five minutes to get a straight face and walk out of the bathroom! It was awesome, especially since you were wearing all black! And then you made eye contact with all of the hot guys in the bar in a totally flirty way, like you didn't know about the toilet paper hanging down to the back of your knees! And remember how horrified the waitress was for you because she didn't know it was a joke? That poor girl! She was so sweet and so mortified for you! What a night!

(P.S. Sadly, yes, I have done this in real life and by the way...I'm SOOOOO stealing this idea!! ;)

Plumkrazzee said...
Remember when you lost your pants? And it was snowing even!! Boy, that trucker got a kick out of you.

Marcia said...
Remember that time when we went shoe shopping and each spent waaay too much, but we totally thought it was worth it, because none of us had shoes that were like that before, and we could completely integrate them into our wardrobes, and gosh, we're we just going to be the hottest chicks in school on Monday?
We should do that again. It was fun.

CarpeDM said...
Blond Girl, remember that time we decided to race our grocery carts through Cub and pretend we were on Supermarket Sweep? Wasn't that fun?

Russ said...
Oh my gosh, I have GOT to tell everyone about the time we were in Maui and those people thought we were twins!! It got even funnier when the cops came because when we told them we were not twins they got so violent. I thought the hotel manager was going to pee her pants when you decked that tall skinny dweeb for picking his nose and wiping it on my shirt.
What a moron!!

Geekwif said...
One of my favorite memories of you is that night when we crashed that party out on Lake Minnetonka. You know, the one in that big old brick mansion?
We dressed up in the fanciest clothes we could afford - consignment shop fare of course - and snuck in by blending in with some legitimate guests. You were hilarious. Your talent for conversation never ceases to amaze me. You had everyone we spoke to completely convinced that we belonged there. You were absolutely the life of that party. Really, I think we saved those rich snobs from what could have been an incredibly boring party.
It was all going so well until we realized that your boss was there. Boy, that was a tough one to explain! How did you ever get out of that one anyway? Well, however you did it, that night was the start of a long and glorious tradition of snooty party crashing.

Heather said...
Remember that time we were in that club and that nerdy guy was trying to pick you up so you and I held hands and you said, "Sorry--I'm with her!" and we walked out like that?

MissMeliss said...
Two words:
Bobcat. Pudding.
Yeah, I don't tell the story either :)

Paul said...
I'll never forget the time you caught me under some mistletoe and tried to kiss me.

Saturday, December 3, 2005

2 Questions... Answered

Thanks to all who asked me two questions. Part of me wishes there were more, but I think it will take me more than a few minutes to answer these! Thanks for the idea, Russ! Here we go:

Suzy asked:
1. The pic above 'about me'. Adorable...who is she?

That would be our daughter, Sweet Girl. I am known for being unwilling to post full face pictures of her on my blog, for safety's sake. This picture was taken for her third birthday when she was in her "American flag" obsession. She loved them and loved the shirt she is wearing in the photo. She's even cuter when you can see her whole face, but what can I say? I'm a protective mom!

Yellojkt asked:
1. What was the worst job you had?

This one is easy. Once, when I was about 22 years old or so, my pastor asked me to work as a personal aide to this older woman he knew. She needed someone right away and I was between jobs. He said he knew the person at the agency, so I should just get over to her place to help her out and he'd take care of getting the paperwork so I could get paid later on. Well, this woman was going senile, so her behavior was a bit erratic. I was there about an hour and a half when she wanted me to do something. I can't remember what anymore, but it was something that would have been bad for her, so I gently refused. Not two seconds later she got up and went calmly into the kitchen without a word. A moment later, as my back was turned, I heard her shuffled steps into the room and toward me. I turned just as she was about a foot away - and she had a 10-inch French knife raised to stab me!

I stopped being a personal aide right then! I ran out of the house and called the pastor to tell him he needed to come up with a plan b. Come to think of it, I was never paid for my 90 minutes of work, either!

Oh, and the worst job I ever had that I got paid for was working behind the snack counter at K-Mart the summer after I graduated from high school. I had to wear orange and brown polyester and cook stinky food. Enough said.

2. What was the last article of clothing you bought, and why?

That would be a pair of long johns and a package of undershirts. Why? Because this is Minnesota. I'm freezing my ass off, man!

Kenju asked:
1. How long did it take you to decide that you wanted stomach surgery?

I deliberated with my husband and my doctors for about 3 months and then got a referral to the surgeon. I had to wait 18 months for my initial consultation and then about another 16 months before the surgery. So, I decided in early 2001 and had it done in October 2003. There were a lot of times that I could have changed my mind (almost did before I was wheeled in) but I knew, with my diabetes and the kidney damage I was facing, that it was the best choice. My driving factors were that I wanted to have another baby but my diabetes was so out of control that I couldn't even consider it and that I wanted Sweet Girl to have a mommy that others wouldn't tease her about.

2. Have you ever been sorry that you did it?
Oh, Judy, that's a loaded question. I'm not sorry I had the surgery, but I am very sorry that I went with the surgeon I chose and that I had it done open instead of laproscopically. I almost died a month after the surgery and have suffered much as a result of the doctor's negligence. I was hospitalized something like 4 times in the first 2 months after surgery and I've had 3 follow up surgeries to correct issues from the gastric bypass. But, I am healthier. I still have diabetes and take insulin, but my kidneys are in great shape and I am able to run around with Sweet Girl. The great irony is that I had the gastric bypass so I could have another child, but the complications that arose from the initial surgery culminated in a tubal ligation during my last surgery. The risks of pregnancy are now too great for me. So, no more babies for Blond Girl. I don't talk much about it, but this breaks my heart on an almost daily basis. On Thanksgiving, Sweet Girl wrote me a letter saying she was thankful for her brother and her sister - a doll and a stuffed elephant she has that she pretends are her siblings. This girl was not meant to be an only child. And I know your next question; yes, we will consider adoption.

Russ asked:
1. If you could have any job you wanted, any where you wanted, what would it be?

I would be a stay at home mom in a beautiful home in Champaign, Illinois. I would volunteer my time to a number of charities and I would be starting a home-based beading business. It's my favorite dream, Russ.

2. If you won the lottery, who would you choose (besides your husband and kid) to share the money with?
I would secure the retirement of my mom and Champs' mom and step-mom. I would give to the church and to 5 or 6 charities I believe in. Then I would buy selected gifts (very expensive ones) for my family members and closest friends. If we won enough (and one always does in one's dreams) we would pay off the mortgages and car loans of all our brothers and sisters. Oh, and then there's that home-based beading business....

Shannin asked:
1. What song will remind you the most of 2005?

It is a tie, Shannon, between "The Beauty of the Lord" (by Jared Anderson and The Desperation Band) and "Held" (by Natalie Grant). But the winner just might be "Wrap Me in Your Arms" by Michael Gunger. Each of them reflect my faith and the trust I've had to put in the Lord through my surgery, Champs' corneal transplant and the disappointment of not moving to Hometown City, Another State when we thought we would. They also reflect the awe that I am in of His goodness to us in everything; the big stuff and the happy stuff and the day-to-day stuff...

2. What is your favorite quote?
I have so many and yet I can't think of anything to attribute to a single person! I think they mainly fall under “sayings” more than quotes. One of my favorites is “Only you can choose your attitude” and another is “If you do ask, you might get. If you don't ask, you won't get.”

Princiss asked:
1. Do you have any phobias?

Um, yeah. Spiders, thunderstorms and getting on down-going escalators. I've managed, for the most part, to hide most of these fears from Sweet Girl… I don’t want to transfer them too much!

2. You've mentioned that Champs likes to watch football and you have learned a lot about the game since you've been married. Is there something that Champs has taken interest in that he didn't before you two met?
Yes. He didn't watch figure skating before he married me. My favorite winter sport is figure skating, which is usually broadcast on Saturday. He has learned to appreciate the sport the way I've learned to appreciate football; he can understand it, he'll watch it with me and even get interested in the results. But if I weren't here, I don't think he'd turn it on to watch it himself. Which is fair; I don't think I would ever turn on football of my own volition (although I do have to know how the Vikings do against Detroit this Sunday….)

Paul asked:
1. When will you post a picture of your thin, mysterious self?

The jury is out on that one… I am a bit private about our pictures. Funny that I am that way, especially since I met Champs on-line, but I just want to be safe. Besides, Paul, when are you going to post a picture of you and the lovely first wife? Hmmmmm?

2.Do I have to ask two questions?

Apparently not – see Bug’s single question below!

Ranger (sorry, posted anonymously, so can't provide a link) asked:
1. Will you accept the praise that I really like your writing but am not a rabid fan of memes?

Of course! Not everyone loves memes and I get that. I enjoy them because it is a creative way to get to know people. Thank you for the comment on my writing, though! Sometimes when I read other people's writing, I am humbled. Take Geekwif, for example. She just did NaNoWriMo and I read her excerpt. I had no idea she could write that well and I'm not sure that I could, even though I write for a living. So again, thank you for the compliment.

2. Did you know about Champs' Nestea Plunge and did you laugh?
Oh yes. He told me the story the first time I racked him. Well, he told me the story when he could breathe again... My laughter was that sort of I'm-so-sorry! I-know-I-shouldn't-laugh-but-I-can't-help-it laugh that everyone has done at least once in life.

LR asked:
1. If you weren't Blond Girl, who would you be?

About 9 years ago, Geekwif and The Geek gave me my nickname, Cathreeno. If I weren't blogging as The Blond Girl, then I guess it would be "Cathreeno's Confessions" or something like that. Actually sounds like a fun idea, but I've built up the whole "Blond Girl" persona, so I can't give it up now...

2. Who do you think is the most important female historical figure of the last, say, 200 years?

When I first read the question, I thought it said "hysterical" and my first thought was "well, Lucille Ball, of course!" Then I realized what it really said. Darn! That's not as easy to answer! I think my answer would be Eleanor Roosevelt, Mother Theresa, Helen Keller or Rosa Parks.

OldOldLady of the Hills asked:
1. What is your favorite food to eat in the morning?

A fruit smoothie made with orange juice, frozen pineapples, bananas and strawberries. I put in my liquid vitamins and minerals and it gets me going for the day. Love it!

2. If you could choose another first name, other than your own, what would it be?
Wow, I don't know! I like Irish names, so probably Erin or Kendra. I actually like my name and have for my entire life. I can't remember even once wishing I could change it, so I guess that's why I have a hard time answering this one.

Lightning Bugg's Butt asked:
1. What's the most embarrassing thing you'll reveal on this blog given your family reads it?

Once, after my second hernia repair, I went in to see my 60-some year-old surgeon for a checkup. He had me lay back on the table and lower my pants. I had forgotten which underwear I had on. They were briefs with bright pink, magenta, purple and blue circles, squares and squiggles. They kind of looked like an inkjet printer had puked on my undies. To the surgeon's credit, he didn't say anything. However, he stopped in mid-sentence and his eyebrow shot up for a moment; then he went on. After that, I was careful to wear conservative undies to my post-surgical checkups.

And finally, my husband, Champs, asked (and commented):
I have been asked to leave my questions, which is hard since I know Blond Girl so well. I am jealous! Everyone else had it so easy. Yes, I could have asked something that I already knew but that would be the wimpy way out of the deal and I am not that way. So, here it goes:

1. If you were to catch Osama Bin Ladin all by yourself and no one was around, what would you do?
Well, I would use everything you taught me about fighting. I would let the fury of 4000 victims empower me and I would beat the crap out of him. Then I would sit on him until a soldier came to help. Then I would claim my reward. Of course, if I had a working cell-phone, I would call someone to help and I'd trail him. If I could get him alone in a room, tied to a chair, I have to admit that my darker side would come out and I could think of a lot of mean things to do to him. A full body dehairing with a tweezers comes to mind, as does a 24-hour Aaron Neville music immersion or other forms of torture (I'm not sure I want people to know what kind of mean things I'm really capable of doing)... I dunno! The bigger question is, how in the hell did Osama get to Minnesota without anyone noticing?!?! Or how did I get to Iraq without me noticing?!?!

2. If you were cast to be in a movie that you have seen, what movie would you want to be in and what character would you play and why?
I would want to be Danielle in "Ever After" because the costumes were so beautiful and the story is so wonderful and she is such a strong character. Or maybe Rose in "Titanic", because I love the movie and it was the first movie we ever saw together... Oh, and because the costumes were so beautiful!

Well, that's it... I have worked on this post for more than two hours! I hope you all enjoyed this.