Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Still alive--just moving.

Hiya, internets. Just checking in to let you know that I am, in fact, still alive--just deep in the throes of moving. Today we'll be completely out of our Georgia house, and tomorrow evening we'll be at the Tennessee house. One of these days I'll have some time to blog again. Someday. I hope. It won't take forever to clean the new house and unpack, will it? Will it?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Done. Mostly. And only because we had awesome help.

Other than the stuff going in our cars, and a whole lot of cleaning up, we're done.

A million thank yous to the guys who came and spent more than FOUR hours sweating their tails off to load the truck with Will. You're awesome. Your wives are awesome for sharing you for the morning. If I had another week and more money, I'd totally babysit all your kids and pay for you to go out for an evening. But for now all I can offer is my undying appreciation, because if it wasn't for you Will and I would still be trying to load it ourselves until probably midnight tonight, and everything would probably break before it got to Tennessee.

Friday, June 25, 2010

We'll be done...someday.

Can you find me?

The moving truck gets loaded tomorrow, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel (although just a brief one, since we'll have to unpack all this crap in a week.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guest Post: Ask the Internets Part Deux

You guys gave such good advice the last time that another reader has sent in her dilemma for you to pontificate on.

Today's question comes from Niki* (who, in an unrelated note, has a great ass), and I have to say that I'm just as anxious to read your responses as she is, because I'm in a similar situation with Ben.

I want anyone and everyone to feel free to answer, because I think even people who have not raised children can sometimes give good advice about child rearing, but if you
have reared children successfully past this stage, be sure to mention that fact in your response. It's always good to know someone made it out the other side alive.

What do you do when you have an older child who continually bullies a younger one?

The soon-to-be 12 year old, I'll call him 'Butthead', is constantly picking on his 9 year old sister, 'Drama Queen' (DQ for short). No matter what DQ says, Butthead has to disagree. Or tell her she's stupid. Or fat. Or ugly. If the two of them are involved in a task together, he bosses her, demeans her, gets the youngest kid to gang up on her, hits her, you name it. DQ isn't really a drama queen. Well, at least not more than your average 9 year old. She tries to placate her older brother, Butthole- I mean Butthead. She goes out of her way to be nice to him about half of the time, but it doesn't work. So she whines and cries and gets frustrated. In turn, I get annoyed and frustrated at her constant whining and his constant picking, so they both end up in trouble. It's unfair to her that she gets in trouble for being offended at his unacceptable behavior. I'm also worried about what her brother is doing to her self esteem. She's not stupid, fat, or ugly. And even if she was, it's not his job to tell her that a million times a day.

We have tried to reason with him. Fail.
We have yelled at him. Temporary fix. As soon as we leave the room, he starts back up. Fail.
We have made him work. Outside. In the hot-ass sun for hours. Fail.
Grounding. Fail.

Even the Teenager has noted that his behavior is too much. There's room for good-natured teasing in our family, but we aren't offensive. If someone gets upset, then the teasing stops. We have always modeled this behavior. We teach our kids that it's not fun if only one person is laughing. That's bullying. We don't 'allow' our kids to talk badly to one another. We don't 'allow' them to be violent to each other. I know this will happen regardless of what we 'allow', but they know and have been taught how to act. I don't even like horseplay because they always end up fighting. We have always taught and encouraged our children to get along. My husband and I speak respectfully to each other (always) and to our kids (most of the time, except when they need a good ass-chewin' they get one).

I am at my wit's end. We are at the point of giving DQ permission to kick her brother's ass to 'teach him a lesson' (she could, ya know) when he's being a punk. What do you think?

*Maybe it's her real name, maybe it's not.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Once bitten, twice shy?

So, I saw this on Greta's blog today.

It's an article about a woman who developed a "female condom with teeth" to help prevent rape, mainly in places like South Africa where rape is so rampant that it's pretty much just a normal way of daily life.

Click the link and read the article. I'll wait.


O.K., so what surprised me were the people who oppose it. What? I think the inventor should win a Nobel Prize for this. All the Nobel Prizes. Science, literature, peace, whatever. She deserves them all.

Sure, I agree that it doesn't solve the problem. Ideally, someone would find a way to stop men from raping women and young girls. But considering it's been going on for a couple thousand years and no one has yet to stop it, I'd say this is a pretty good deterrent in the meantime.

And of course the woman will still suffer psychological trauma and possible injury from violence, but she won't have to add to it pregnancy or disease.

And most importantly, it greatly increases the chances that the assailant will be prosecuted, and from all I've read, justice seems to be a major factor in the woman's healing process.

Honestly, I don't understand why anyone (with the exception of rapists) would oppose this.

If I were rich, I'd fund this so they could always be available for free.

What do you think?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Officially...worse than I remember.

So, I'm still packing, and time's running out, which means even less time to write this week. (And...totally out of guest posts. Hint hint.)

Anyway, Yesterday I got my official before and after pictures from the plastic surgeon. The afters show that my scars are still red, and I'm still a little misshapen and bruised. And I've gained mumblemumble pounds over the past six weeks that I haven't been allowed to exercise (and have kept eating the same number of calories).

But it's the before pictures that kind of shocked me. It's only been six weeks, but I don't remember being so...so...bulbous and globular.

Anyway, you know the drill--after the courtesy kittens you'll see the official before and afters.

Crazy, huh?

(And apparently I look thinner from the left, even before the tummy tuck.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Guest Post(s): Ask The Internets

So, today you get two, yes TWO, guest posts. And they're both looking for some advice. Help them out, internets. And be nice.

Our first post comes from LaFawnduh,* and she's wondering about proper Arch Nemesis ettiquette:

Pretend (if you don't already have one) that you have an arch-nemesis. Someone who systematically tries to destroy your life, and seems to genuinely enjoy doing so. Someone who is so relentlessly horrible that your daydreams frequently feature your nemesis, a large hole, and 2 tons of wet cement.

Now say, after a particularly dreadful attempt on their part to make your life miserable, you unexpectedly bump into them at the store. How would you react? What would you say?

Our second post comes from Lindsay,** and she's looking for some advice on getting oneself out of a rut:

Okay I know this is not necessarily the kind of thing that gets posted on Brandi's blog... But lately I've been in ruts...

Rut in the relationship with my husband. He's a good, wonderful, honorable man. But yet I feel like the closeness to him is lacking in some ways. I'm not talking about sex here- I'm talking about connecting on another level (yeah sex doesn't hurt when it comes to that), but I feel a disconnect. It's hard to explain.

Mostly my biggest rut is spiritual. I know I'm not the only one who feels that way. I just got a message from one of my friends (we'll call her Pam) saying she was having the same issue. Pam and I both had let things we should be doing go to the wayside. Basic things like reading scriptures. Or we miss church because of XYZ reason. Not that we plan on ditching, but we miss it because of sickness, vacation, the power went out and our alarm didn't go off, etc. You get the point. Things get in the way and we make excuses. And what sucks is the total lack of friends for both Pam and I at church. Yeah, I know I shouldn't be going to church just to socialize, but it doesn't hurt any (especially for a social creature like me) to have those friends there so you're more motivated to go.

So what do you do when you're in a rut (be it in relationships or churchy stuff)?

Yeah, I'm sure I already know the answer, but humor me and think about it.

*Not her real name
**Her real name...Or IS it?

O.k., internets, let your wisdom spill forth!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I feel Summer creeping in and I'm tired of this town again...

I've had that song stuck in my head all week. And that line is particularly fitting right now.

It's summer, and for most military families, that means moving time.

Every summer, even if we're not moving, I get antsy and feel like it's time to move. And if we've been someplace for a couple of years, I get really antsy and decide I hate where we're living. It usually passes. I had my moments (after about two years) where I was ready to leave Germany. And Maryland, too. But we ended up staying for four years at both and they ended up being my favorite places ever.

But Georgia...I'm so ready to leave. There are no ties that might make me end up loving it if we had to stay longer. Staying longer would probably just result in me jamming a fork into my eye. Repeatedly. I made very few close friends, and those that I did make have either moved already or will be moving when I do. I've met lots of other people who are very nice, but for whatever reason (mainly, my lack of effort), never became more than acquaintances. And then I dealt with some truly awful people--more awful than I've ever had the misfortune of knowing before. So, when we head out of here on June 30th, I won't be looking back. For all I know, Tennessee might be just as bad, but at least for now there's the hope that it will be a fun new adventure.

I do have to say that my crappy experience in Georgia did have a silver lining. It made me cling a little more (even if just through the tubes of the internet) to my existing friends. It forced me to seek out people I had things in common with, which resulted in friendships with people I knew before, but (again, due to my lack of effort) never really was friends with until I decided to unleash my inner freak on the internet.

Anyway, this urge to move every summer is strange. We moved a lot when I was growing up. I attended five schools between kindergarten and 5th grade. And even if we didn't move out of the school district, we often moved houses within the same area. One of the things I'd wanted when I grew up was to stay in one place. To have my kids attend the same school with the same kids their whole life. I wanted to have a house and just live there forever.

But here I am, and it's summer, and I'm knee deep in packing and happy about it. Life is weird.

Tomorrow I've got a special DOUBLE guest post for you. And they're both looking for your advice.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Guest Post: Religious Culture

Today's guest post comes from Heather (who is the sister in law of our favorite crazy Polish commenter, Sylwia). I agree with a lot of what she has to say, but there are a few points that I don't. When I finish my required packing for the day and then nap for six or seven hours, I'll be back to discuss those points. In the meantime, I'd love top hear what YOU think. Also, if you missed the info on Weekend of Awesome 2011, scroll down to the previous post.

I was going to title this post "Mormon Culture" but I feel like this is a trend throughout the country. I've noticed it predominantly with Mormons because I live among them. I have contact with them every single day. In fact, I am one.

I was born in Wisconsin and by the time I graduated from high school, I had lived in Indiana, Utah (for a year and a half), Kentucky, California, and back in Wisconsin. According to Mormons, I grew up "in the field." By the time I came back to Utah 5 years ago, got married, and settled here, I had attended BYU for two years, lived in Spain as a nanny, served a mission in Italy, lived in Oregon for a stint, moved to Alaska for a few years, and generally explored.

My point of this background was to let you know that I'm not some sheltered Molly Mormon just because I live in Utah now.

There seems to be a trend to hate, and it really bothers me. You can hate Utah whether you live here or not. You can hate BYU, especially if you can't/won't go there ever, because it's way too restrictive. You can hate the fanatical among your religion because they want to limit the rights of the downtrodden. You can hate the United States because all the politicians are corrupt. And you can hate Mormons because you know some Mormon hypocrites. But you can hate all those things without any reasons. Or at least without valid reasons.

Hear me out on this. How many of the people who hate BYU have never had their freedoms restricted because BYU exists? Granted, if you live in Provo but don't attend BYU, you could be affected. How many people say they're going to become ex-pats if so-and-so gets elected but then never ever try to do anything in their community politics? How many Mormons do you know that hate Mormons?

Thing is, if I don't hate, people think I must be naive. I don't know freedom if I don't chafe at the rules of a private school. I can't understand politics at all if I love my country. I must be a true Molly if I like Mormons. And there's only one explanation for loving Utah: I found a secret pocket of good Mormons.

Let me tell you the truth. I LOVED the rules of BYU. They made it harder for roommates to take advantage of me. They made it easier for me to concentrate on schoolwork. And I chose those rules! I'm a little bit on the fanatical side of my religion. Some things absolutely do need to be restricted. Most politicians are at least a little bit corrupt, but so are most non-politicians. And somebody has to do the job and get hated for it. Mormon hypocrites? I've met plenty. But I can't punish an entire culture because of a few bad seeds. After all, aren't we all flawed? Isn't the purpose of religion to help us get better? Doesn't it say a lot for those who are at the very least pretending to try to get better?

So why the hate? Do I have to hate everything about my culture because there are little bits of bad mixed in?

When I was 20 and living in Spain I felt my flaws very uncomfortably. I told the lady I nannied for that being around her made me feel fat, and thus I didn't like being around her (yeah, I was a bit self-centered back then). This very wise woman told me something that has stuck with me. It has pricked my heart many times.

"You have no right to complain about something you're not willing to change."

Yeah, some things I can't change. But I can't complain about cliques at church if I don't make a sincere effort to talk to everyone. I can't hate my body vocally if I won't try eating healthy and exercising. I can't hate the country that allows me to run for public office and change things if I won't run. I can't talk smack about the mean people at church because I become one of them.

Do I have to be hateful in order to be cool? In order to not be a sheep? Do I have to be mad or dense (or both) if I like my culture? Do I have to be some kind of communist if I am a fan of rules?

I don't think I do. I think maybe we should all be praying a little like the cheesy Serenity Prayer:

"Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Let's add to that. How about: "Help me to stop being critical of people and things that are a little too uncomfortably like me or of things I don't understand. Help me to have a little less hate in my heart."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A bunch of random stuff.

(If you do a Google image search for "bunch of random stuff," this is what you get.)

Creative title, no?

But that's what this is. A bunch of random stuff.

1. That cruise I was so excited for in March? Yeah, I can't go. But YOU should still go and let me experience the awesomeness vicariously.

2. Since the cruise is off, I'm most definitely planning another WEEKEND OF AWESOME. Send me an e-mail (listed over there on the top right) if you'd be interested in possibly attending and I'll get your name on the preliminary info e-mail list. And please include whether you'd prefer mid January (MLK weekend) or mid April. Sorry, this is a chicks only event. If you have a penis you can't come. Unless you have a penis and are breastfeeding. Wait, I should clarify--unless you are an infant who is breastfeeding. I don't want some 40 year old freaky guy thinking he can attend because he still breast feeds. And sorry, but no children unless they fall into the breastfeeding infant category already mentioned.

3. I had the horrible realization that I move in 2 weeks and I have hardly anything packed, so I'll be kind of scarce around here for awhile. I have a guest post lined up for tomorrow, but I need more. If anyone wants to submit one, I'll love you forever. Just e-mail it to the address listed on the top right. And also? You don't have to think like me or write like me or even like me at all to write a post. Heck, write a post about why you hate me. As long as it's fairly well written I'll post it. I disagree with a few points in tomorrow's guest post, but it's still a good post and hopefully will generate some conversation in the comments.

4. Poll for the ladies: Are the males in your home expected to put the seat down after they pee? Do you teach your sons to always put it down when they're done? Does the male to female ratio in your home play any part in how it's done? I need to know this, for real.

5. Penis*

*That's dedicated to you, H and S. And anyone else who gets it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dinner and boobs. And other stuff in between.

So, here's how we ended up spending our anniversary.

I decided we'd start our evening in historic downtown Augusta. We had dinner at Luigi's, which has been here since 1949, and apparently is frequented by Tiger Woods and his mistresses during The Master's. Will had a good steak. I had kind of crappy linguine with clam sauce. The clams were canned. I can make that myself at home. I was regretting not ordering the moussaka, which looked pretty fabulous.

Then I hung out with The Godfather of Soul himself.

Before we left the house, I did a little Googling and discovered that the art museum had a special late opening night, so I dragged Will there. We were pretty much the only people in the building. The curators were fawning over us like we were the first people to ever visit who weren't part of a school field trip, which considering where we live, might be true.
Anyway, as you can see, big, empty museum.

It started with a photographic display.
Please take a moment and look carefully at the bottom right of the picture.
Now, I'm no photographer (which, considering I took all the pictures you're seeing, should be glaringly obvious), but even I know that if you're taking an "artistic" shot of an historic building, you should probably wait until the 300 pound woman wearing spandex shorts with an atomic wedgie goes inside. Maybe it's just me, but I find she distracts from the subject.

Next were historic portraits. I'm sorry, but historic portraits of children are creepy.
Look at this little dude. He looks like a total ladies' man in that pose.
A total ladies' man who is a toddler in a sailor suit.

Then we moved on to "Southern subjects".
The guy in the glasses simultaneously terrified me and made me laugh.

Then there was this. The crappy picture from my phone just doesn't do it justice.
This was a wall mural. It was huge. And detailed.
It was titled "Surprise along the Savannah," and it left me with numerous questions.
1. What exactly was the surprise?
2. Why are they all naked?
3. Why are there so many naked men together at once?
4. Does the surprise have anything to do with the fact that there are dozens of naked men frolicking together in the Savannah River?
5. What's up with this guy?

Seriously, what's up with him?

Then, boobs.

And more boobs.

And we finished the night by watching Iron man 2, which was basically just more boobs...
Boobs in IMAX.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Thirteen years ago today

So, tell me something. Are there any husbands out there who actually plan dates? Who decide where to go and what to do and maybe even go so far as to line up the babysitter? Do these men exist?

On second thought, don't tell me. I don't want to know if mine is the only one who doesn't.

Today is our 13th anniversary. We have not had great luck with our anniversaries over the years. The army has kept us apart for at least four of them--I'm thinking maybe even five. Three years ago, on our tenth anniversary, Will was in Iraq. So, that made it sucky right there. But to add to the sucktasticness, I woke up that morning to discover that the diamond had fallen out of my wedding ring and it was nowhere to be found.

Two years ago, we had just moved to Georgia and then had almost immediately flown out to Wyoming to visit Will's family. We got home at 2 am on our anniversary, and then the moving truck with all of our crap showed up at 9 am. So we spent that anniversary bleary eyed and jet lagged and trying to unpack the essentials.

So, anniversaries=sucky.

And even when they haven't been completely sucky, I have had to be the one who planned any kind of celebration. Usually it's just been dinner and a movie (which, holy crap I'm so BORED with) and I have had to choose the restaurant AND usually the movie.

Tonight is no different.

Me: "Will, what would you like to do for our anniversary?"
Will: "I don't know."

(A few days later)

Me: "Will, what would you like to do for our anniversary?"
Will: "I don't care. Iron Man 2?"

So, at least he chose the movie this year.

Last year I even told him that all I wanted for a gift was for him to plan everything. I didn't want to make any decision about what we were going to do.

So...we did nothing.

So, internets, this year YOU decide. Where should we go? What should we do? Where should we eat? We leave in three hours.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Great Jelly Massacre of 2010

So, yesterday I was seriously considering taking Jarom up on his offer.

It was the first day in weeks that I wasn't up and showered and dressed before Will left for work. Because I still have to wear the surgical binder (just six more days!) I can only shower when Will is home to wrap me in it afterward. So he knew I wasn't showered and dressed and could not do so without him. He also knew that I was packing the house, doing laundry and cleaning bathrooms.

But what does he do? He calls and says that he's bringing a friend home from work for lunch because they have some work they need to do on Will's computer. I reminded him of my disheveled state, my inability to do anything about it without him, and that his computer is--get this--portable, and he could take it anywhere to do the work. Nope. For whatever reason they needed to do it here and they would be here in 10 minutes. That's when I first started wondering if perhaps Jarom was real and just how nice his 5 bedroom house was. Surely a guy who would sell his John Mayer CDs to defend my honor would never bring a stranger home when I was stinky and in pajamas, especially after I had plead with him not to.

So anyway, I hurriedly cleaned the bathrooms and jumped in the shower. Which left Will to make lunch for himself, his friend and Liam and Amelia.

After my shower, I was brushing my hair and Will came in to ask what the best way to get jelly out of the carpet was. I told him, and was a little alarmed because there's no carpet in the kitchen or dining area.

He and his friend left before I finished getting ready. When I came out into the kitchen (which, by the way, was spotless when I got in the shower) there was trash on the table, crushed popcorn all over the floor, a dish of left over potatoes just tossed into the sink (we do have a garbage disposal and, you know, a trash can) and the bread and peanut butter were still sitting on the counter. So, after sending an angry text to Will about the state of the kitchen, I started cleaning it up.

And then I noticed the jelly.

There was grape jelly dripping down the doorway of the kitchen. There was grape jelly dripping down the wall by the dining room table, which is a good 12 feet away from the doorway where the other jelly was. There was grape jelly dripping down the front of the refrigerator. There was grape jelly dripping down the front of the washing machine which is across the hall and in an entirely different room than the kitchen.

Cue second angry text.

And then I realized that I was literally stuck to the floor. It was like half the kitchen floor had been coated in glue. But it wasn't glue. Apparently it was grape jelly that had only been given a cursory wipe with a dry paper towel.

There was a fly on the floor on one of the jelly smears going crazy. I'm pretty sure it had a little housefly orgasm right there. I mean, I guess I would too, if I was a fly and someone coated an entire kitchen in sticky sweet grape jelly.

Cue third angry text, in all caps.

Apparently Will had been trying to shake the squeeze bottle of jelly so that the jelly would come out, and the lid flew open and he didn't realize it and covered a good 20 foot span of house with jelly and then did a crappy job of cleaning it up (because, you know, he was "working with his friend," which apparently involved watching videos on YouTube).

So Jarom, if you're real and you're reading this (which I know you are because you're ecstatic when I post, and because I have the heart of a big woman), know that for a brief moment yesterday your dreams almost came true.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I guess I'm getting divorced and moving to California.

So, I had this little nugget of awesomeness in my inbox this afternoon. I don't know if it's real or if it's one of you screwing with me. Either way, it made my freaking day.

If it's real, then I'm flattered, really, but no. Just...no.

Dear Brandi,

It's taken me months to build up the courage to write to you. I found your blog about a year ago and it was like finding the missing piece of my soul. I'm ecstatic when I see a new post; I'm forlorn when there isn't one.

I've had to work up the courage because I know you're married and have a family. And I know that you are a daughter of God and I know you must take your marriage covenant seriously.

However, I have prayed about this and I have received a revelation that you are to be my eternal companion. I've waited and prayed for so long to find the woman that is meant to spend eternity with me, and I know that it is you.

I want to tell you about me, and then I want you to sincerely pray to know if I'm the one meant for you.

My name is Jarom. I'm 39. I have a master's degree in education from BYU and I'm a high school teacher in northern California. I love Settlers of Catan and all the expansions, but I never have anyone to play it with. I love the original three Star Wars movies and was sorely disappointed in the three prequels. I own the entire series of Firefly, Battlestar Galactica and the first 5 seasons of LOST on DVD (Juliet was my favorite character. I know you're a Sawyer fan. I'm more like Dr. Arzt if I'm being honest). I used to listen to John Mayer all the time until I read that he was rude to you in school. I sold my CDs the next day. Now I'm into Jack Johnson and Taylor Swift. I like to ride my bike and take long walks and hike in the mountains.

I tend to like big and beautiful women, but I know I would still be able to love you now that you're small. I admire the work and dedication you've put in to losing the weight, but I also know that you have the heart of a big woman, and that's what matters to me.

I'm a Gospel Doctrine teacher at church, and I find the calling challenging but usually fullfilling. Like you, I dislike "Mormon Culture" and so many people confuse culture with actual doctrine. I sometimes imagine having long discussions with you about doctrine. I know we'd agree on so much.

I haven't traveled much. I was born and raised in Utah County and never really saw much outside of Utah, Idaho and Montana until I moved to California for my job.

I'm an only child, and I'm very close to my parents. My mother visits once a month. She says she comes to give my house a "feminine touch," and I know she's anxious for me to find a woman that she approves of and who will give her grand children.

I really want you to know that I would never ever dream of breaking up a marriage, especially a temple marriage. But one can't deny a revelation. I'm sure Nephi never dreamed of beheading anyone, and I'm sure Abraham never would have considered sacrificing Isaac, but when God tells you to do something, you should probably try to do it, right?

I make more than enough to support you and your children. I own a lovely home with five bedrooms. Your current husband would even be welcome to stay with us when he came to visit the children. I'm sure he's a good man. I know he's a lucky one.

So, pray and ponder and think seriously about it. I know this is all probably very overwhelming for you. You probably think I'm crazy. I'm not, I promise, but I can't deny my feelings any longer.

Yours truly,

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Dear Sierra Club,

Thank you for paying for military kids aged 9-12 to go to a week of sleep away YMCA camp at the lake. I was thisclose to selling a kid or two on the black market, but now that we can (legally) take one out of the equation for the next 6 days, I might not lose my mind after all.

Dear Internets,

Sorry I've been a delinquent writer. I think my thyroid has gone crazy. Again. My blood pressure and blood sugars are sky high. I'm bloated like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. I've been inordinately exhausted for a week. And I feel like my blog has turned into that of an 80 year old woman, what with all my complaining about ailments. Anyway, I'll try to write something that doesn't involve illness or surgery tomorrow, just because I love you.

And that invitation for guest posts is still open. Please?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I couldn't resist.

So, if you take one infomercial addict and force her to lay on the couch with nothing but the TV for entertainment for weeks on end, she's bound to end up buying something potentially awesome that's "not available in stores!"

And can I just take a moment to tell you that the Ronco Food Dehydrator infomercial never gets old? I've been watching it for 20 years at least and I'm still captivated by it. And I still want one. I don't know why I don't just pony up the $40 and buy it. Also? The Xpress Redi-Set-Go. I've been watching that one for a few years too, but haven't bothered to buy it. Mainly because I'd have to buy three of them to cook enough of anything for the whole family. But if I was a single college girl again, it would be mine.

Anyway, the product I succumbed to this time is Wen*. It's a hair product. If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you'll know that I've had some, ummm...issues with my hair. I got the most horrific haircut of my life two years ago and just when it started to recover, I had gastric bypass surgery and half of it fell out and the other half turned dry, frizzy and brittle. I haven't had a haircut in more than a year and it still doesn't reach my shoulders. My hair is a sad and pathetic sight to behold. So, I spend a lot of money on expensive shampoos and conditioners and products. Some help a little, but not much.

So anyway, I was laying on the couch one morning and the infomercial for Wen came on. It claimed it would do all the things I needed something--anything--to do for my hair. The before and afters were impressive, and hey, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Kelly Taylor Melissa Gilbert and Jennie Garth were endorsing it, so it must work! And while $30 a month for hair care seems a little steep, when I added it up, I've actually been spending more than that at the store.

So I ordered it.

And the first four days I hated it. I was ready to get a refund. My hair felt matted and it looked weird and felt weird. But I decided to give it the full week it recommends before I gave up. On day five it was like the heavens opened up and smiled upon my ratty hair. It was softer. I needed no styling products at all. It was far curlier than it ever had been, and far less frizzy. It was fuller and thicker and I no longer appeared to be balding. In short, it was awesome**. So, score one for Chaz Dean*** and his no shampoo approach to life.

I will say that I wish it had a fresher smell. It's almond and mint scented, which is fine, but I like a soapy, fresh scent for my hair. And the styling cream is just too sticky for me, so I'm glad it was free. And I hate that they automatically ship you a three month supply every three months. I'd rather buy it one bottle at a time when I felt like it. But, the results are totally worth it.

Now...I wonder if the Ronco Dehydrator would live up to my expectations?

*Wen, Chaz Dean and Guthy-Renker have no idea who I am. They did not send me anything for free in exchange for a review. I wish I had enough clout that companies sent me crap, but I don't.

**I took a picture and was going to show you a before and after, but in the pictures you couldn't see a difference. But trust me, it's there. And the lady in the child care center at the Y, who has seen me five days a week for the past 18 months, asked what I was doing differently with my hair today.

***Do you think Chaz Dean is his real name? I'm going with no.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Get on the boat!!!

So, internets, the jig is up. I know you've all been secretly dreaming of hanging out with me on a four day Caribbean cruise. No, no--don't try to deny it. It's O.K., don't be embarrassed. It's only natural that you'd fantasize about lounging poolside with me while we make fun of passersby.

But now it's time to make that dream a reality.

Join me (and O.K., Aunt Becky and lots of other bloggers/blog readers/awesome people who have no idea who I am/awesome people who don't even know what a blog is) on a four day cruise to the Bahamas. The cruise leaves March 7th at 4:30 out of Port Canaveral, Florida (Orlando). The cost is $381.34 per person (double occupancy) for an interior room. It's a hundred or so more for an ocean view. You have to pay a deposit of $200 per cabin (which is $100 per person) and then the rest is due by December 1st. You can set up a payment plan, which is pretty awesome. And you can bring your friends and/or families along too if you want. (I'm NOT bringing my kids. I'm using this to escape my kids. But you're welcome to bring yours.) And as Aunt Becky put it, "If you have a vagina, you can come. If you have a penis, you can come. Frankly, if you have both, you can come." So, don't get the idea that all this awesomeness is for the ladies only.

I wasn't cool enough to think of this. It had absolutely nothing to do with me. Aunt Becky came up with this brilliant plan as a cross between a floating blogging conference and a way to get to know her blog readers, and her blog readers' blog readers. And all their friends. And their families. And pretty much anyone on the planet who wants to have an awesome four days. And don't let the term "blogging conference" scare you off. Really, it's just a title to make this floating party sound legit. You won't be forced to sit through workshops or anything.

But what's important to you is that I'm going to be there! You can experience my social awkwardness in person! Anyway, please come. Please? (Unless you're a murdering lunatic, in which case please stay home). Go HERE for all the details (Which cruise line, which ship...all that jazz), and who to contact for booking.

And if you for real decide to come (which I know you will), send me an e-mail!

Umm...I really want to end this by saying "All aboard!" but that would just be too cheesy, even for me.

P.S. If you come, I'll totally show you my tummy tuck scars in person. But only if you want to see them, of course.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Yes, internets, I'm still alive! Sorry for the blogging hiatus. I'm feeling a little less tired, and I can actually leave the house now and then, so I should be back to (fairly) regular writing.

Anyway, we drove up to to see our new house/schools/town/army post in Tennessee this weekend.

And...it's even more rural than rural Georgia.

Here, we're miles and miles from civilization (although they did build a Wal-Mart five miles away last Fall, and there's a kick-A Mexican restaurant and a nasty, dirty McDonald's within three miles), but if we drive 10-15 miles, we're in the second largest city in Georgia (which isn't saying much, but still...).

In Tennessee, we're just a couple of miles from civilization (heck, there's a multiplex cinema and a Sonic within walking distance) but civilization doesn't offer much. You could walk the entire mall in about five minutes. The Wal-Mart is kind of old school (however they are in the midst of renovating it, which is good, but sucks because everything is out of place and out of stock). There's a Target, a Lowe's and a slew of restaurants, but that's about it (Oooh! But there's an Aldi! I loved Aldi in Germany!). There's nothing to do. There's a lot of farm land. There is a lovely historic downtown and a nice university (I'm contemplating some art classes). But there's not nearly as much to keep us occupied as there is here. Fortunately, Nashville is less than an hour away. I foresee a lot of Saturdays spent there. But maybe we just need to explore some more. Maybe there's a ton to do that we just didn't see.

The army post is larger than any we've lived/worked on before, and this will be our first experience living/working among infantry guys. Will has a theory about them, but I'll save that for another post. Infantry also means a HUGE number of young, single men. And that means some interesting businesses outside the gate. Liam decided to use his newly acquired reading skills as we were sitting at a light leaving post. "Jenna's Adult Toy Box and Tobacco Super Store is no longer off limits!" Awesome. So glad he can sound out tobacco. And so glad he didn't question what an adult toy box is. (And for those of you unfamiliar with the military, the post commander can make certain areas or businesses off limits if illegal or dangerous activity has taken place there).

As for our house, it felt smaller in person than it appeared in pictures. I think that's because it has average ceilings and we've been spoiled with 10-12 foot ceilings. Also, it's not open at all. Each room is its own room, unlike here where the living area is very open. And it needs a lot of cosmetic work. Part of me is excited to be able to do what I want with it, but part of me is already exhausted at the thought of all the work, especially since we're just renting it. But, we plan to live in the house for several years, so it's worth the time and expense to make it nice.

All in all, I think we'll really like it there. It'll just take some getting used to.