Monthly Archives: December 2011

santa came

we woke up Christmas morning to the sound of my dad calling otis to go “potty”  he must have stood in the door for five minutes trying to lure otis out of the bed.  otis never moved (i will be honest i never opened my eyes either; i just laughed to myself that otis was so tired).  it seemed like a few minutes later my mom was in there trying to get otis to come out of the room.  once again he never moved.  so we decided to get up since we had a ton of things to finish before the family got there for lunch.  we got up, got showers, me and andy went through our stockings and packed the car.  we cleaned (dusted, wiped down the bathroom, and vacuumed the floors).  we were almost done with everything when the first load of people got there.  that car load was 3 short and we learned the my great aunt martha passed out the day before and was in the hospital.  my two cousins stayed at the hospital with her and 3 of my cousins come (party to bring boiled custard because aunt martha told them they had to bring it).  (update:  aunt martha is home and is doing well).  people came in droves.  we had 21 (and a baby) people there eating lots of yummy food.  we had a great time catching up with people.  Christmas is usually the only time i get to see most of my family so i really enjoy being with them.  once everyone left we cleaned up the house and put everything away and jumped in the car and came home.  we made great time and had the car unpacked before 10.  it was wonderful.  we got in and relaxed a few minutes before bed.  the next morning we got up made a pot of coffee and some bacon, eggs, and toast.  it was so great.  (i will have to do a cooking post soon).  we opened our gifts and relaxed for a while until we had to go to andy’s parents house for our Christmas with them.  we got to their house around 3 and hung out and talked until we ate dinner around 530.  we ate dinner and opened gifts and talked until about 9. 

one of the best things about Christmas this year was the gift that my parents (and i – they are giving me more credit than i deserve for it) gave him.  he got a guitar and he looked really surprised and happy when he got it.  he played and played the rest of the night (Christmas eve) and some on Christmas morning (when he wasn’t needed helping out).  the day after he took it to his parents and played and sang.  there is something about hearing him sing and playing that moves me in a way that i can’t explain.  i was sitting on the couch watching his fingers glide over the strings and the power behind his voice and a tear slide down my cheek.  watching him do something he loves doing makes me the happiest person in the world.  i’m so lucky to have him in my life. 

as much as i enjoyed Christmas 2011, seeing family, playing with my little cousin and little niece, watching andy play, eating some of my favorite foods, laughing (lots of laughing) i am glad to see it go.  i am glad that we are moving on to a new year with hopefully a new exciting chapter of our lives.  now i get to go to bed and dream about going to work tomorrow and how much i wish i had the rest of the year off.  i am envious of teachers right about now.

jackass thieves

note:  face to face i tend to cuss.  i try not to depending on who i am with.  if i know it doesn’t offend you then i tend to cuss a little more and if i know you can’t stand it i try my best to not utter a cuss word.  i am very careful with what i post on facebook so that i don’t make parents or youth mad or leave a lasting impression on them teaching them potentially bad habits.  i don’t pretend that i never use that language i am just careful when i do and i try not to judge others that do.  with that being said sometimes a cuss word is the strongest way to get a point across…

i got a call on december 23rd from dad (who was picking up will at the airport).  he said do you want the good news or the bad news?  i said i don’t care (i am sure to my dad it sounded like i was ticked off and ready to come through the phone because i was ready to be done with work for the day and on the way to TN).  anyways he said well the good news is that they didn’t take the tv when they broke into the house.  i asked what house.  he said kingsport hwy house.  i said what?  he said they left the tv.  i thought he was joking and after a little bit more conversation i realized that some jackass really did break into our “Christmas” house and stole some Christmas gifts from under the tree.  they opened cabinets and pulled out drawers but didn’t make a mess or break anything (well except for a candle thing which seemed like an accident).  so i guess as far as jackass thieves are concerned they were pretty nice to not destroy things.  anyways the more i sat at work and thought about it the more angry i got.  the closer we got to the house, the more mad i got.  the more i talked to andy about it the more i wanted to hunt someone down.  when we got to TN a cop was there with my parents and brother filling out the report.  i got to listen to my mom tell the cop what was stolen (our Christmas gifts – but luckily not andy’s big gift).  there were some expensive bottles of cologne on the list among other things.  i sat there and was mad.  that night i called every place in greeneville that might sell the cologne and asked if they had any.  my dad finally found some the next morning and had to stand in line for it.  (be back to the jackass thief in a moment).

we went to bed pretty early on the 23rd.  on the 24th we got up made some desserts while my parents were at the police station.  when we were all up and ready we took otis and all loaded up in the atv and rode around the farm.  we went to grandmama’s house and ate Christmas dinner with her and aunt annie.  we opened gifts and went to church for the Christmas eve service.  we went back to grandmama’s and ate dessert.  when we got back to the kingsport hwy house we decided to open gifts so that we wouldn’t be rushed the next morning.  so we start opening gifts and my mom and dad start laughing when will opens a box and it was a bottle of cologne.  looks like the jackass didn’t get away with one of the bottles.  as we all opened our gifts mom and dad continued to laugh because our gifts had been spared.  not all had been spared, but a lot of the ones they thought were gone we had!  it was wonderful and amazing.  they didn’t make out as well as they could have.  what we can figure that they took was 2 carhart long sleeve shirts, a saw, some cookie molds, 3 copper luster pitchers, a dog toy and a pigs ear.  i hope that they opened the dog toy and pig ear and were pissed beyond belief.  i hope that it made them as mad as i was driving to TN thinking about them taking our stuff.  i hope that they get what is coming to them if they continue down that road in life.  i am so glad andy’s guitar wasn’t at the house yet and that me and andy hadn’t taken our gifts over there.  as far as the robbers go, most importantly i hope that they realize they didn’t ruin our Christmas and they are just mean SOBs – end of story.

Christmas day post to come soon.

youth pageant

andy works in a church so i get voluntold to help sometimes (most of the times).  anyways i help with the youth group.  i joke around that they annoy me but the truth is they really do annoy me.  it is like a game to all of us – they annoy me and i yell and keep up my image as the bad cop (since andy is always the good cop).

last sunday we had the youth pageant.  we practiced a few sundays and it was looking rough.  so i did what i do best.  i yelled and threatened them to do better.  and you know what?  it worked.  sunday night came and we practiced 2 more times and i felt good about it.  when the room filled up and the lights went down the youth (and children) pulled off one of the best pageants i have seen at this church.  all the kids knew their cues, they knew their lines, they talked loudly, they smiled, they looked perfect.  at the end of the night i was so very proud of the youth (as i typically am after anything they do).  as much as we play our game of them being annoying and me yelling at them, they are my youth and i love them.  i would protect them from any sorrow/heart ache/trials/hardships that come their way if i could.  i am glad that i get to be part of their lives and witness the great things that they are capable of.  but let’s not tell them – it would ruin my image.

perfect angel gifts

i try to get everyone the perfect gift (i know that i fall short of it most times) but during the year i try to listen for things that people like, want, need.  a lot of times you can pick up on something for everyone.  i don’t like getting people gifts that i think they will throw in a corner and hate.  this year was a little harder to get people good gifts because people haven’t been saying what they want (or rather maybe i haven’t been listening as well as i could).  anyways but we got people things that we think they will like. 

at church we got an angel off the tree.  we have a 13 year old boy (needed a coat and toy for his age) and an 10 year old girl (needed a toy for her age).  we went to target (my favorite store i do believe) and looked for the perfect angel gifts for kids we don’t know.  we picked out a coat for the boy and a hat to go with it, and moved on to toys.  not having a clue if these kids are nerds and just like to read, or are geeks and just like video games, or are boring and don’t like to do anything except stare at the wall, we had to make some hard decisions about what to get them.  we settled on several games (we wrapped them and put them in one bag for the boy) and did the same for the girl.  it was so hard trying to find them the right gifts since we don’t know them at all.  the entire time i was watching andy wrap the gifts i was thinking and praying that when they open them they won’t be disappointed.  growing up i had everything that i needed (and pretty much wanted) and i can’t remember a time on Christmas when i was disappointed and i don’t want any child to feel that way.  i pray that the toys will be something they can play and share with their siblings and that they will enjoy them.  i pray that on Christmas morning they will smile like i smile on Christmas morning.  i also pray that when they get older if they are in a position to help another child, i hope that they remember the joy in being an angel and they pick up an angel of their own and give them a Christmas morning full of joy and smiles.  it might not be the perfect gift for that child, but that child has been a perfect gift to God and me and andy felt so blessed to be able to provide them with a little bit of Christmas.

the blasted mall

two weeks ago me and andy sat down to make a list of things we needed to finish up our shopping.  so our list lead us to the mall (2 different malls in fact).  i will say we were able to knock a lot of things off our list at those two malls but it amazes me at the Christmas spirit in said malls.  first parking was a nightmare.  everyone assumes that we want your spot (and we don’t – sometimes we park further away just so we can spend more time walking and talking together).  anyways so after being almost killed in the parking lot we move inside where people assume that you are after what they want and that there must only be one in the mall.  they cut you off going into the stores and snatch things you are looking at away from the display before you can even make up your mind about getting something.  they rush to the counter and cut in line before you (like they know that the power will go out and the cash registers will be powerless).  when it is finally time to make our way out of the mall everyone decides that we didn’t buy enough so they walk really slow and stop randomly in front of stores so you have to decide if you are going to go in to get away from them (and potentially buy something else) or try to walk around them.  if you try to go around them they fan out and expand.  once you get out to the car there is always someone stalking you on the way to the car so they can get your spot, and if you don’t go fast enough they start to look at their watch and motion with their hands.  and once you get out of the spot (almost getting hit because the other car is in such a hurry) you feel like everyone is out to get you and all you want to do is make it home.  i don’t know what it is about this time of year, but all the crazy people come out and go shopping at the blasted mall. 

as much as i am complaining i do love shopping at the mall this time of year.  i love walking around and looking at everything (decorations) and things on sale.  i love looking at the people and what they are buying.  i love observing.  i love listening.  we went to BJ’s warehouse to get a few things and on the way out the door there was a family of 4.  a mom, a dad, a son (around 6) and daughter (around 4).  we were walking in front of them (sort of beside) and i saw the boy ask his mom for the receipt (it was really long).  she looked confused but handed it to him.  well his sister turned around (she was running circles around her dad) and saw her brother holding this long paper and asked what it was.  he coyly responded that it was santa’s list.  she asked to see it and he (being the loving brother that he was) snatched it away before she could see it and said nope you can’t “it is the naughty list and you are on it forever!” her face fell and she looked at her mom and dad and was like i don’t want to be naughty, i don’t want to be bad.  and all the time her brother had a snug look on his face.  (i almost turned around and said listen dude i’m santa’s niece and you are on the naughty list FOREVER – but i didn’t, i just laughed all the way to the car).  it is moments like those that reminds me of the season and of family and of why it is fun to shop this time of year even when it is crazy.  it is fun to see other families interact and of course it is fun to try to find the perfect gift for the people that i love. 

for those of you who still have shopping to do – good luck with the crazy people.  for those of you who are done – see you next year when i am trying to steal your parking spot at the mall.

many lies and many mini blogs

i have failed once again as an honest blogger…i will post pics soon.  i promise.  and it isn’t an empty promise. 

i also have so many things i have been wanting to write, but so little time to write it.  so today before i run from my office with tears of joy in my eyes i am going to try to do some small posts of catch up.  (that way the won’t be too long to read all at once).

i lied – again

i will get pictures and a weekend update up before Christmas!  sorry.

daycares and unexpected compliments

i try not to complain too much.  (i know that anyone reading this and eating or drinking just about choked on your food or drink).  but i really don’t, i try to keep things inside (well inside as in i complain to andy). 

i want to preface this part with – i am glad that i have a job.  i am glad that i am able to help in supporting our house, insurance, bills, eating, entertainment, and everything else in the world that takes money from us (that i didn’t realize until i was “on my own” away from mom and dad).  i am glad that my job is something that i am good at (i have a bit of ocd when it comes to my desk and work area and routine so shuffling my papers fits that).  i am very organized and that is key with what i do.  i am glad that my job is flexible.  i am hourly so as long as i get my hours in the don’t really mind too much when i don’t in and leave.  (when i was in high school and college i worked nights a lot of times and LOVED it – so peaceful).  in this economy i am truly grateful and thankful that i have a job.  with that said and out of the way…

there are days: i hate my job,  i hate where i work, i hate what i do, and i hate who i have to deal with.  i know that hate is a strong word and i try not to use it too often but there are days where in the mornings i want to sob as soon as i pull into the parking lot.  and i want to sob even more when andy drives away and leaves me here.  i am sad.  (it is those days that andy blames me for otis’ separation anxiety  because i feel like chewing on the desk/door frame/window sill/anything else and counting down the moments until i am back with andy (and back home in my comfy pants)).

as many know, i work with my dad (it isn’t his company but he is my supervisor).  we are very similar in temperaments (isn’t it funny how you become more and more like your parents as you get older…ok maybe not funny but scary).  we joke that it is like a daycare center.  that we have to come to work and babysit a bunch of three year olds (and most days this is pretty accurate).  we roll our eyes at how annoying some of the people we work with are.  we yawn at the empty promises from the top of the ladder.  we sigh at the end of the day because we know that tomorrow holds much of the same.  you may be thinking how is that like a daycare?  well i will tell you.  in the past month the supervisor over my division (dad) has had to send out 2 e mails explaining how to use inside voices (and after each of these e mails i had to witness severe pouting).  we have to listen to he said she said stories all the time.  to be honest i am over that.  i am so tired of that.  we constantly see people running to tell the upper ladder everything.  it is constant telling and pointing fingers and “you’re not my friend.”

with the end of the year comes a lot of closing up for me and a lot of extra yearly responsibilities that are added onto my already busy 8 hour days, so i get a little cranky. so today when i put someone on hold and told the person that was holding for them 2 times (once in an “inside voice yell” and a second time by paging the person over the loud-speaker for the entire office to hear).  i finally yelled in a little less inside voice and he glared at me as he swiped the headset to his ear, i got a little mad.  i went to my new supervisor and asked him how to deal with this situation (because it isn’t the first) and that lead to a long conversation about responsibilities etc.  in that conversation we talked about numbers (how this new super is judging all of us) and i said i was worried about the number thing since i have been unaware for a few months now as to how i am being judged since my job responsibilities are a lot different from the rest of my co-workers. he said “don’t worry about your numbers, i see how many invoices are going out of here – through one division – and i know that you are doing your job.  i ran the numbers earlier this week and compared them to my last office and they are similar and they had 3 people doing what you are doing.”  i thought you know that to me has been the best compliment (other than my pops) since i have been here 12.5 years.  realizing that i do a lot of work that if i was to ever leave they would have to replace me with 2 or more people, made me feel special in this “daycare”. 

as i finish this up my cubicle neighbor is beating on a cookie tin like it is a drum…and now she has moved on to her plastic fork on the desk….is it 5???

three trees

i have wanted to post more, but tis the season to be soo busy you can’t enjoy it fully…

i will post words now and then hopefully pictures tonight or this weekend. 

we have 3 trees this year.  we have gone from one real tree to 1 real and 2 fake.  with our real tree.  it is huge!  we have white lights on it and there are ornaments all over it.  some of the ornaments have been gifts, some of them have come from yard sales and auctions, some have been passed on from our childhoods, and some we have no idea where they came from.  but we love our ornaments and our lights and tree.  we have a pretty plain skirt (that doesn’t fit all the way around the tree because we had to get a larger tree stand last year when our tree fell over) but we love our tree skirt.  it took us months to find it because we wanted something simply.  we have a star on top.  i grew up in a house with angels on the top of trees and andy grew up in a house with bows on the tops of trees.  i think it is so funny because if we go to my families houses and look at their trees they have angels and if we go to andy’s families houses and look at their trees they still have bows.  i don’t know why but i didn’t want an angel or bow for our tree (i guess because deep down i felt that we would be “choosing” a tradition and leaving the other family out of it.  so we decided on our topper as a star.  i love our star.  mom got a box lot at an auction (i am sure dad bid on it) and in there was another star so we have 2 stars.  we were going to alternate stars each year because we love both of them but that was solved this year by an addition of another tree…

when i am looking for something cheap i give my wish to my mom and she goes on the prowl for it (and now poor kendra is right there with her) anyways i told her i wanted a small fake Christmas tree for an idea that i had.  i was thinking one that was about a foot tall.  well she found one (but it is closer to 3 feet tall and wouldn’t work this year for my grand idea) but it was so stinking cute i decided that i wanted to do a theme tree – i have always loved the idea of themed trees but to me they don’t seem all that practical (buying all the same ornament color or type and lights and skirt to me that gets expensive and what do you do with them next year??)  anyways but this little tree was perfect for that.  so our theme is blue gold and the twelve days of Christmas.  the tree came with 2 bags of gold balls (that is where the gold came from) and a strand of lights (that worked YAY).  i bought some blue snowflakes at a thrift shop i used to work at and mom gave me more out of the box lot that had the new star tree topper (they are identical to the ones i bought) so there was our blue.  my grandmother dee dee used to keep lillian and vernon in business when she was living and when i was cleaning out a storage trailer i found more proof of that.  anyways she used to put the twelve days of Christmas ornaments on her tree and i found out that my cousin kelli used to do what i would do and try to find all twelve days hidden on the tree.  so while i was cleaning out the storage trailer i found an extra set of the 12 days and took them home and added those to my collection of Christmas stuff.  this year when i pulled them out of the box i knew we could add those to the blue and gold to give it a little more splash of color and a little more meaning.  we bought a cute skirt at target that fits perfectly (i am sad to say it is green and doesn’t match the theme but oh well).

out littlest tree is about a foot tall and is fake and prelit.  once i saw how big the tree was that my mom got i have been on the look out for a smaller one.  each year for our anniversary we get an ornament that is the theme of that year.  i thought it would be a cool idea to separate those ornaments from the rest and have their own anniversary tree or something like that.  we found our tree at walmart (and a red skirt at target) and put it in our kitchen.  we will continue to use it for a few more years until we move to the other tree.  on our tree we have an ornament from charleston (honeymoon), a cotton angel (made from a real cotton bloom for year 2: cotton), a leather moose and arctic puffin (from alaska, hand-made for year 3: leather), and 2 plastic grape bunches a red and green (for year 4: fruit and flowers).  i love our tree and it reminds me of all the years we have shared and all the years we will have together. 

in other non-tree news our new roof was put on yesterday and it is great!  (ok well to me it looks pretty much the same but whatever).

otis loves a gift

is that mine?

 we don’t know why he does it or even the first time he did it, but otis loves presents.  he loves to open his gifts at Christmas.  people love to watch him open his presents and at Christmas in TN he gets to open a lot of gifts.  part of the problem is that he gets really excited when people start to open that he wants to help open all of them, so we have to remind him that they aren’t his gifts.  most of the time he stops and just watches just incase the tag is wrong and it really is a bone for him.   i hope to post a video of him opening a gift this Christmas. while i was wrapping gifts over the weekend otis walked in while i was putting a toy and treat in a box for his cousin haley.  he took up residence with andy while he was wrapping the gift.  he kept smelling and pawing at it trying to unwrap it.  we kept telling him that it wasn’t his gift so he stopped and just watched andy wrap the gifts the.  once he realized that he wasn’t going to get a gift he turned around and just pouted.

i'll just wait here.