You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2007.

I guess I kind of forgot.  Not really forgot so much as I got kind of too lazy.  That and I normally post from work due to our dial up connection at home and lately I haven’t had a good opportunity to do non-work things at work.

 I guess it’s time for an update.  As far as list progress goes I think I’ve hit my first valley.  I didn’t run at all last week.  It was over 90 every day.  I did use our elliptical at home in the comfort of the air conditioning three times but I don’t know if it really made any difference.  I asked TTO to join me in training and while it’s good to have a buddy, he’s not going to let me slack off and I don’t think he’ll be too nice about it.  He’s already written up a training schedule and I’ve already tried to wheedle my way out of it.  The next ten weeks should be interesting.

Last night I went golfing with my parents.  It was a lot of fun.  My mom just recently took up the game and I was really surprised at how good she is.  I shouldn’t be.  My mom is one of those people that when she puts her mind to something not only does she do it, she does it extremely well.  It’s nice to see the two of them have something in common as well.  I, on the other hand, sucked it up big time.  Alice and her boyfriend met us at the course and we all ate dinner together.  It’s just too bad TTO had to work.

I’ve read exactly 16 pages of the first book on my list.  It’s tough.  I did read all of Harry Potter in just a few days.  I enjoyed it immensely.

In the being a good friend, etc. category the bridal shower I mentioned before took place on Saturday.  It was a nice, intimate little party.  I think I could have done a better job but as usual I procrastinated a lot of things until the last minute.  I really need to work on this aspect of my personality. 

Two weeks ago I went with my aunt, my goddaughter and Alice to Walnut Grove for the Laura Ingalls Wilder pageant.  It was fun, but we crammed a lot of driving into one day.  I had been to the pageant once before (about 17 years ago) with that same aunt.  It was nice to share it with Alice and K.

The paver patio off of our new deck is finished.  TTO and his brother worked on it for two full days.  It looks great and is another step in the process to fixing up our back yard.

I had a dream about getting a tattoo.  It was a weird bracelet-like design around my wrist.  It included a large, ugly sunflower.  Um, I don’t think I’ll go for that.

I logged back into my online WW account today.  Even though I haven’t used it in a few weeks I’m still down a half a pound.  This is another thing TTO is cracking down on.  If we’re paying for it I really need to use it.  I have one month until C’s wedding, 10 weeks until the 5k and roughly four months until we go to Mexico.  I’d really like to meet my goals for those dates.

I was doing pretty well with maintaining the blog.  Until the last week.  Big Daddy said last night – you’ve fallen off of the blogging bandwagon already?  I guess that’s what spurred this post.  I need to commit to writing something every day.  Even if it’s short and even if I have to write it at home.  I have never been good at journal-keeping but looking back now I wish I would have been.

There is a Make-A-Wish event coming up in two weeks that I’m considering volunteering for.  TTO has to work that day and I don’t have any other commitments.  It’s nothing big, just manning a concession booth at a fundraiser, and I think it would be a good way to meet some people in the organization.

Even though I was extremely lazy last week I did make dinner one night and it’s something that I think we would definitely eat again.  Also?  It was pretty easy.  Time consuming, but easy.  I made kabobs with a roast that was in our freezer.  I defrosted the roast, cut it into chunks and used a store bought marinade.  Some cut up squash and peppers and a few minutes on the grill and they were done.  Mighty tasty and I made enough for dinner, lunch for both of us the next day and lunch for TTO the following day.  Something new and a possible go-to recipe.

I have been dealing with an odd rash-like situation on my chest, neck and back.  I went to the doctor again and they’re still not sure what it is.  I have a feeling it’s related to the heat or sweating.  I’m using the cream they prescribed, but I’m also going to try soaking in epsom salts like Mamacita recommended.  In other “taking better care of myself” news.  I’m trying to cut out caffeine – again.  I’ve done this several times and have had varying levels of success.  When I went to the doctor I also asked her about my restless leg issues.  It’s been bothering TTO more lately so I thought I’d seek some professional advice.  Apparently it can be caused by a calcium deficiency.  So, I need to consume more calcium and lay off the caffeine which strips calcium from the body.  Between no caffeine, going back to strict WW and forced exercise I’m going to be one happy camper.

I recently applied for a new job.  I’m not sure what to think about it.  It’s with a good company and much closer to home.  At the same time, I’ve done a fair amount of “job-hopping” so it might be a good idea to stick it out where I am for at least another year.  I made myself sick last week worrying about what would happen if they called and I got the job and I had to quit.  Then I worried about them not calling because my resume sucked and I haven’t been at the jobs I’ve had for long enough.  It was a vicious cycle.  I think I’ve moved into accepting that whatever happens will be the right thing.

I’ve already written more than I planned.  It’s not very interesting but it’s a solid recap of where I am with the list. 

I really wanted to do at least 10 entries in July so there may be another entry later today.

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Today will have to cover a lot of ground.  I sincerely meant to post on Friday and also over the weekend, but it just didn’t happen.  Yesterday was work-filled until late in the evening so I’m now four days behind.  This calls for bullets.

  • I went for a run on Friday after work.  Let me repeat that – I went for a run on Friday after work.  That meant I ran 3 out of 5 days.  I won’t mention that I have not gotten any real exercise since.
  • We bought a fancy new home phone on Friday night.  It’s very exciting and oh, so pretty.  Too bad it couldn’t hang on the wall like we’d wanted. 
  • Saturday morning I met with M to talk about the bridal shower we’re hosting for C at the end of the month.  It was really nice to spend time with her.  Unfortunately she’s gone over to the dark side by buying a minivan.  And she loves it. 
  • I spent Saturday afternoon painting the door trim WHITE.  I have won.  TTO even LIKES it.  Now we just need to do the rest of the house.
  • Saturday night TTO and I went out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary.  It was so nice.  There were even two weddings going on while we were there.  It seemed appropriate.
  • At the restaurant we had Mexican Egg Rolls.  They have to be one of the most awesome things I have ever eaten. 
  • Sunday morning TTO’s friends and their respective women came over for brunch and we all went to see the Twins beat the A’s.  We had a really good time.
  • When we got home from the game we weren’t sure what to do with ourselves since the house and yard were already cleaned/picked up from having company.  We ended up going to see Transformers.
  • TTO was really into Transformers as a kid.  I was more of a Strawberry Shortcake fan.  I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like the movie – I was doing it more for TTO.  The movie turned out to be better than I thought.  Shia LaBeouf is really talented  and Josh Duhamel is really fun to look at.  It’s a great summer movie and the special effects were pretty amazing.
  • TTO’s grandpa is in the hospital and unfortunately things aren’t looking very good.  I’m sad for TTO because they’re close.  Losing a grandparent or anyone you’re close to is tough.  There’s obviously no way of knowing what will happen so I’ve just been saying lots of prayers.

I think that covers all of the highlights over the last few days.  I talked to Big Daddy again last night.  He said he’s been reading my blog.  His comment this time?  “Is it really a good idea to be putting all of this personal stuff out on the internet?”  It’s nice of him to worry about me, but since he and TTO are probably the only people reading I think it will be okay.

I know there is a “Love Thursday” out there on the interweb, but I’m choosing to devote my Thursdays to things I’m thankful for which I guess is pretty much the same thing.

 On Monday TTO and I will celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary.  I put wedding in there because we celebrate a few other annivesaries too.  For example, we remember to acknowledge January 2nd, 2002.  This was the day that we reconnected after not talking to each other for five years.  That’s the story I want to tell today because it’s how we really began. 

TTO and I grew up in the same small town.  We went to high school together and both sang in the choir.  He is a year younger than me so while I knew of him, I didn’t really know him.  We got to know each other through choir and one night after a basketball game he asked me out.  I surprised myself by saying yes.  I hardly knew him.  I was enjoying being single.  I thought I really liked someone else.  Over the next few weeks we got to know each other better.  Including making out in front of my two best friends and him accidentally spitting on me while watching Happy Gilmore. 

One night while on the phone with him I decided that I just didn’t want to be someone’s girlfriend anymore and I told him.  The phone went silent.  He didn’t hang up.  He just mumbled “I’ve got to go” and that was it.  He wasn’t in school the next day and one of his friends approached me and asked how I could do this to TTO.  I felt terrible.  I found out later that he had a perfect attendance record.  Me breaking his heart was the first time he had ever missed a day of school.  Ouch.

We did our best to remain friendly – I even convinced my best friend to take him to prom that year while I went with my new boyfriend – but eventually he quit choir and I became a senior with way too much on my mind.

A few years later I ran across a picture of him with his entire family in our hometown newspaper.  They’d just gotten back from a trip to Sweden.  I remember looking at the picture and thinking that he really looked good and I hoped life was treating him well.  Fast forward a few more years and we’re at New Year’s Eve where 2001 would turn into 2002.  I was living in an apartment in St. Paul with my best friend M.  I had no plans for the night and ended up on the phone with my on-again/off-again boyfriend of a little over two years.  He sounded hopeful that we would get back together in the new year.  I tried to go along with it and act happy even though I wasn’t so sure. 

That night when I went to bed I asked God to help me figure out what was going on with that relationship and what I should do about it.  It was the most honest and heartfelt prayer I had ever said.  The next day my good friend (and yet another ex-boyfriend) called and invited me to a basketball game.  “By the way, TTO is coming too.”  For some reason those words made my stomach jump up in my throat.  I spent the next 36 hours obsessing over how this would all play out.  I was certain that he hated me.  That it was going to be awful.  That I would want to go home early.  I came up with reasons for canceling, but for some reason I just didn’t.  It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

We went to the game and somehow TTO and I ended up sitting next to each other.  It was definitely awkward.  After the game we went out to a bar to celebrate the above friend/ex-boyfriend’s birthday.  It was still awkward.  Fortunately at the bar everyone started getting more friendly. 

We all ended up back at my apartment and TTO and I really started talking.  We talked and talked and talked.  Through the entire night.  The above friend was majorly ticked.  He thought that HE would be the one I’d want to talk to and get together with.  TTO and I stayed up the entire night.  I thought for sure it was just a one night coincidence.  It wouldn’t go anywhere.  He was also in a weird state of relationship flux and also?  He went to school over 4 hours away.

The next few weeks were tough and confusing.  The old boyfriend, the good friend and TTO were all in the picture.  I felt more sought after than at any other point in my life.  My phone calls with TTO were becoming more frequent.  I saw him a few more times before he went back to school.  He even came up to visit me by himself one night.  He kissed me and right after that I told him he should probably leave.  I don’t know what made me do that, but he thought any chance we had was completely over.

At this point my little sister got really sick.  In the hospital for days sick.  The old boyfriend came to visit me but I found that he only made me feel more uneasy about the situation.  The comfort that I needed was completely lacking.  TTO happened to be home for the weekend and after going to see my sister I went to see him.  He let me cry for as long as I needed.  No judgement, no explanations, no dismissal.  He was the warm, safe place that I desperately needed. 

About a month after that I made my first trip to SDSU.  It was a long four hour drive all by myself (that should have been my first clue that I was really falling for him).  It gave me a lot of time to think.  I think deep down I knew that I really wanted to be with him but my logical side felt that I’d put so much time into my relationship with the old boyfriend I couldn’t possibly just let go.

The weekend was great.  After so many phone calls and emails it was nice to really spend some uninterrupted time together.  I didn’t want to leave.  When I got back our phone calls got longer and more frequent.  The old boyfriend told me I was making the biggest mistake of my life by leaving him for TTO.  The good friend told me TTO was just setting me up to hurt me the way I’d hurt him.  I didn’t care.  I knew TTO was it for me.

We were both set to go on Spring Break trips.  I went to a party that TTO threw right before he and his friends left.  I wanted to take them to the airport but a nasty ice storm prevented that.  I asked him to think about me while he was gone but that he was in no way tied down and he was free to do whatever he wanted with whomever he wanted while he was there. 

I left for my trip before TTO got back.  The old boyfriend made a last ditch effort to get me back (12 of us planned this trip the previous October).  I called TTO from our port in Key West but he wasn’t home.  Then I used the old boyfriend’s phone from our hotel in Miami to try again.  I think he knew it was over by that point.

When I came home I went to see TTO at his mom and dad’s.  It was April Fool’s Day.  It seemed fitting.  I was absolutely head over heels for the man.  I told him that I loved him.  He told me that he loved me.  We’ve been saying it ever since.

There’s so much more to say – but this is already a novel.  I’ll just have to save the rest for another post.

__________________________________________

Babe,

I love you.  More today than yesterday or the day before or two years ago.  You mean everything to me.  When you tell me that you love me I can tell that you really feel it, you aren’t just saying it because you think you have to.  Thank you for continuing to be that warm, safe place for me.  You are my best friend.  I have more fun with you than with anyone else.  You give me the confidence to try new things and to really be myself.  You are kind, generous, thoughtful, patient, handsome and an all-around fantastic person.  I feel so lucky to be your wife.  I know it isn’t always easy but I don’t think it would be worth it if it was.  Thank you for agreeing to share your life with me. 

Here’s to 200 more.

Love,

Anna

I’m testing my patience by writing a post from home with our dial up connection.  I have been posting from work, but today I actually had to get real work done. 

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about driving and cars.  It will be 11 years this month since I got my driver’s license.  I turned 16 in February, but I waited until July to take the test for several reasons.  First, I got into my very first car accident about three months before my birthday.  I was really shaken by  it.  The accident wasn’t serious and no one was hurt but I was still scared.  Second, my parents didn’t have a car that they were willing to let me drive.  The car that I was supposed to have had been hijacked by my aunt and uncle and I didn’t get it until late June.  Finally, I didn’t really need a car.  My best friends were old enough to drive and they were more than happy to cart my sorry butt around.

 My first car was a 1986 Chevy Celebrity (affectionately nicknamed the Beemer) that my parents bought from my grandma after my grandpa passed away.  They had bought it new and not two weeks after they got it my grandpa burnt a hole in the driver’s seat with a cigarette.  Grandma was livid!  It was a creamy yellow with beige interior and velour seats.  I loved that car.  It was so good to me.  The only major problem that I had was a tendency to leave the lights on and kill the battery or lock my keys inside.  I also had the brakes go out on me driving home from school once but I just turned around, called my dad and he came and drove it home.  Then there was the deer – that ran into me!  Fortunately the car wasn’t too damaged. 

The one story that always comes up in regards to this car involves me, my best friend M and our friend D.  We were headed to a movie in a relatively unfamiliar town.  It was the dead of winter.  When trying to get to the movie theater I saw what I thought was a road –   large piles of snow on either side of a packed down path.  It turned out that it wasn’t a road at all.  I had driven us into a snowmobile trail!  I tried to get us out but ended up just digging us deeper into the snow.  We were hemming and hawing about what to do (this was obviously in the time before cell phones) when a guy about our age in a huge truck stopped to check on us.  His name was Sparky.  I’m not kidding.

So Spraky grabbed a chain, hooked it under the car and pulled me out.  We were so grateful that we didn’t have to call anyone for help that we failed to notice he’d almost torn my bumper completely off until we left the movie.  The next morning Big Daddy looked at the car and asked me what happened.  I was embarrassed and a little worried he’d be angry so I told him I wasn’t sure.  It just looked like that when we came out of the movie.  Big Daddy was not to be fooled.  He said, “That’s a nice story.  Now tell me what really happened.”  So I did.  BD wasn’t upset.  He just said to never let anyone but him or trained professional under my car again. 

The best part of this story is that a little while after I told him, M stopped by.  Big Daddy asked her the same question and she had exactly the same response.  He told her that she didn’t have to lie because he’d already shaken me down.

This time of year always reminds me of the long drives my friends and I would take around a neighboring town.  It was the best kind of fun and freedom.  If I could go back to any point of high school and relive it my choice would definitely be one of those nights.  We’d just drive around for hours.  We said it was to find boys and we did on occasion but it was really more about bonding with each other than anything else.

When I left for college I couldn’t have a car.  I entrusted my mom and dad with care of the Beemer.  When I would come home to visit one of the first things I would do would be grab the keys and go for a nice long drive.  I even made a few trips home just so I could drive and clear my head.  It was my form of escape.

Unfortunately the Beemer couldn’t last forever.  I really wore it out the summer between freshman and sophomore year by driving it between my two jobs in opposite directions of my hometown.  It was donated to charity and I was carless.  My junior year of college came with a campus parking permit.  My parents helped me out by buying me a Ford Probe.  I pity people that I see driving this particular car.  I hated it and it’s automatic seatbelts.  I couldn’t complain too much because I didn’t pay for it, but it was terrible.  It did afford the freedom to go off campus at will and this was the car I really learned to parallel park in.  It’s also the car that lost it’s catalytic converter on I-94 but I didn’t stop to get it because I was too mortified.  I made my first trip to see TTO in South Dakota in that car as well. 

After graduation we traded the Probe for a Chevy Corsica.  I don’t really remember much about that car because I didn’t drive it for long.  It ended up being Alice’s first car.  After a few months in the working world I went with my dad to the Saturn dealership and bought my very first “new” car.  I took out a loan from the Credit Union and brought home a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire.  I loved that car.  Not in the same way that I loved the Beemer but it does hold a special place. 

The Sunfire was my commuting car.  I drove it the 45 minutes from home to work and back again.  It was the car I sat in and screamed with frustration over jobs and bosses.  It was the car that made the most trips out to South Dakota.  It was the car that was parked in the garage of my first house.  It was the car that took Gus to his first dog park.  Then I got it stuck in (yet another) snowbank.  Another good Samaritan helped me out.  TTO decided it was time to trade in the Sunfire for a truck (for him!).  I ended up with TTO’s old car.  I won’t say much about that because it never felt like mine.

Last December we decided it was time for a new vehicle.  We did a lot of research – well TTO did.  He’s the research king!  We knew we wanted a smaller SUV with good mileage.  I was hoping for heated seats.  After some test drives we decided on the new Honda CR-V.  We got a decent deal on it, but it still feels like more car than I deserve to have.  Leather, sunroof, heated seats.  It’s amazing.  I’m really lucky.  However?  I’ve started to hate driving.  Driving used to be my refuge and now I can’t stand it.

 I commute to work on two fairly busy highways.  Last year I started going to work and coming home earlier to avoid traffic.  It helped for a while.  Now it sucks again.  What should be about a 25 minute drive takes over 40.  I didn’t mind the 45 minute drive that I used to make because I was actually moving the entire time.  Now I just sit.  And wait.  Which I am not very good at.  I know there are much worse commutes out there.  It just drives me nuts that almost two hours of my day are taken up with traffic.  Urgh.  Maybe I’m just not patient enough.  Maybe I need to find a new job closer to home.   I don’t know.   I just want my love of the road back.  I don’t even care how much gas costs.

TTO is peacefully tucked away in bed and I’m ready to join him.  He’s been putting in long hard hours this week.  I won’t get into what he does, but the hours are long and the work is fairly dangerous – this week it involves dynamite.  My dad works at the same place.  I try not to think about what they do there and what could potentially happen.  TTO and Big Daddy are two of the most important people to me.  I would never sleep again if I knew too many more details of their job. 

 I feel bad because I didn’t spend much time with TTO tonight.  Not long after he got home I left for my SECOND run of the week.  I went last night and took Gus with me.  It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t terribly successful either.  Tonight was much better.  I ran more than I thought I would.

I showed this blog to Big Daddy last night and he just chuckled at me.  He asked if anyone out there could read it.  I told him yes, probably, but who would?  He laughed again.  I asked him what he thought.  He said he thinks I have too much time on my hands.  If he only knew.

As I said yesterday, to get a start on writing consistently I’m giving each day a specific topic so I have a guideline for what to write.  I thought Tuesdays would be a good day to provide an update on my progress with the list.  Thus Tackling it Tuesdays – I told you I liked alliteration.

There are quite a few items on my list that are not really things to be crossed off, but things that I want to work on and things that I think will make me a better person and happier in my own skin.  I have two years and roughly 7 months to get through the list.  I know myself well enough that there will be dips and times where I feel like throwing in the towel completely.  It’s just my nature.  That’s why I feel like I need a really enthusiastic start.

First, I had TTO read my list.  I just wanted his input which was basically – yep, I’ve heard you talk about all of this stuff. How about you just do it?  Obviously he’s the one who does things and I’m the one who either watches or comes up with excuses for not doing things.

Over the last few days I’ve done the following List related things:

Went to the library and picked up the first book on the book list – Ulysses by James Joyce.  I’m a little frightened.  I love to read but I don’t know much about real literature.  It’s intimidating. 

This morning I registered for the Twin Cities Marathon 5k.  It’s on October 6th, giving me almost 12 weeks to train.  I e-mailed my cousin to tell her about it and she wrote back congratulating me and saying that she entered the lottery for the 10 mile.  Urgh.  I really have to focus on this.  I’d like to be able to run the whole thing – no walking.  I can’t express how much of a runner I am NOT.  But Zoot’s experience with her MARATHON! was really inspiring.

I also looked up information on entering a competition at the State Fair.  This is not exactly what I had in mind when I said a baking or cooking competition but I feel like it’s a good start.  I didn’t do 4-H like my mom or TTO when I was young (I was a Girl Scout!) so I never had the chance to try for a ribbon at the fair.  I think it will be fun.

Last night TTO came home with a can of white primer for the door trim.  Um?  Who are you and where is my husband?  He even did the first coats HIMSELF!  I can’t quite believe this.  I really hope it looks as good as I think it will so I can do the rest of the house.  It will be a lot of work, but I really enjoy painting.

I made a real dinner on Sunday.  With help from a store bought rotisserie turkey breast.  I made roasted potatoes and sauteed zucchini myself.  We would definitely eat this again.  Not really a go-to meal, but it would work in a pinch.  This also accomplished my new thing for the week – I’d never had a rotisserie turkey breast before.  It was delicious!  I also made guacamole and cut up fresh pineapple.

I made reservations for our anniversary dinner on Saturday.  It’s going to be a full weekend, but it will be nice to take some time for just the two of us.  We’re pretty laid back people and big fancy dinners aren’t really our thing (last year we had Chinese and a pie from Perkins!) but I’m really looking forward to this.  TTO works nights on our actual anniversary and I’ll be taking clients to dinner so we might not even see each other on the day. 

I am not a morning person but on Saturday I got up at the crack of dawn, put cinnamon rolls in the oven and drove TTO and his friend to their golf/drinking tournament.  I like doing things like that.  It might seem like an inconvenience but TTO does so much for me that I try to do smaller things like this to make his life easier.

Last night I was in major GSD (Get S*** Done) mode.  In the span of a few hours I cleaned out Gus’ crate and washed all of his bedding, cleaned the bathroom and bedroom, scrubbed the front step and door so I could put down the new mat, did two other loads of laundry, dusted all our furniture, talked TTO into vacuuming, paid bills, printed out my resume so I can work on revisions, gathered up all of the garbages, cleaned all of Gus’ piles in the yard and talked to my dad and my sister on the phone.  It felt good going to bed knowing that I’d actually accomplished something.  This non-procrastination will be very good for me.

 Tomorrow is Whatever Wednesday.  When I talk about whatever is on my mind.  This week’s topic?  Cars and Driving