30 April 2010

Have you ever...

....Hated someone for no reason. I mean someone you never met?

You make fun of them, talk about them as though you actually know anything about them aside from a few facts you observe along the way or hear from someone else that may or may not even be true... and then you think horrible things of them, who they are and what they do become things you detest. You and your friends get together and bash this person. You talk about how much you despise them, but you don't even know them. Not really. And you dare to interpret their actions or words in whatever way suits you best, whether or not they are actually true, you don't care. You think you know who they are and you see through them...  Every fiber in your body cringes and screams when you think about them and when you see that other people you know actually like them... you just think, HOW CAN YOU LIKE THEM? And you feel betrayed by those traitors. for no reason at all. It is all completely illogical.

And then you meet that person. And suddenly you forget why you ever hated them. You realize that the things you hated about them, those things were made up, or taken out of context. Irrational thoughts fabricated in your  own delusional mind. And the more you get to know that person, the more ashamed and disgusted you feel about how you had the audacity and gall to judge them at all.... 

Think about it.... Am i talking about you?



28 April 2010

Pics from the past two weekends

Pics from the past two weekends take 2:

 weekend 2







I swear he likes me....
SEE??? Happy Brady!

Lets try this again - You just can't win!
Everyone should really just worry about their own smiles and looking at the camera...Huh LORI????

oh and now for the lizard and toad:



What a BEAUTIFUL family: BRADY is HILARIOUS!!! 
I look like my dad!


OK - Spring Training has officially begun.... GO GATORS!!!

oh yeah. just like my dad.....

25 April 2010

A day at the farm....

My grandpa has a farm. Actually everyone has a farm in my family so it seems. Lots and lots of farmland. My grandparents live just outside of Charlotte in a small town. My grandfather raises, names, and eats his cows. I guess we eat them too. He has a tractor he uses to plow his field and transfer his cows from one pasture to the next. The tractor is sort of a novelty for a couple of Toddlers, though I'd hardly call Carter a toddler. He has the vocabulary of a 5 year old and the smarts to go along with it.

When i showed up at his house today, my grandfather and the kids were taking a tractor ride. Shortly after my arrival, they pulled up the long gravel driveway and Carter was grinning from ear to ear. Lori was standing beside me and her husband was on the tractor with Carter and my grandfather. Steve (my brother in law) stated that he couldn't tell Lori and I apart from the bottom of the hill. Normally i hate being compared to her BUT, from him that is a compliment. Carter was grinning from ear to ear when he saw me. For the rest of the day he was my shadow.  I tried to show him how to climb a tree, he was excited to see me do it. I've been climbing the same tree at my grandfathers house since I was a little girl. In the fall I used to shake pecans out of it so we could collect them before the squirrels would get them. I was in the mood to climb a tree today, so i came prepared in my favorite worn out blue jeans and a pair of tennis shoes. Carter was a little too small to climb yet, but he wasn't too small to hang from the branches and "swing like a monkey"... His words. My dad caught a lizard and a toad today for the boys to touch and hold. When he asked Carter what he liked the best, he pointed to Ellie. That's my boy!

We later drove to my grandmothers house. Since my parents were high school sweethearts, all of my grandparents live in the same zip code, which makes for a nice and easy Christmas. Only complicated by the divorce of my mothers parents, but it has always been like this as far as I am concerned. I am grateful that my grandparents waited until their children were out of the house before they divorced. Even if it were not a happy home, it was stable, and it was ran by both of the parents.  My grandmother does NOT have a child friendly house so we only stayed a short while. Carter put his carseat into my car and rode with me. We listened to Animaniacs Soundtrack while we drove as it was the only kid friendly CD I had, courtesy of Ricks Car - now my car - or OUR car i should say, though i'm driving it so its mine for now. There was a song on the CD that sounds like Barneys theme song. I think it was making fun of Barney, but Carter liked it because he recognized the tune. Go figure. Carter thought we were driving to my house so when we arrived, he asked where the big rocks were. I have huge rocks in my back yard and only through Skype has Carter seen. He was a little upset and wanted to leave my sister and come live with me, but when i told him i didn't have Max and Ruby, he was a little disappointed. I guess that was the deal breaker. 

Brady was still super excited to say my name and ran around saying gigi gigi gigi... It was good to see them these last two weekends, even if i only was able to see them for a bit today.  Steve and Rick will get along very well, so i'm excited to get to introduce them. It will probably have to wait for my graduation or Christmas. Whichever comes first. I hope that rick will make it to my graduation. I hope I make it to my graduation.. Whenever that will be.

The rest of my weekend (yesterday) was spent running errands and working on an outline for my advisor. I'm leaving for Bahrain in 10 days, so i guess i better get moving! I finally changed the broken belt on my vacuum! What a relief, my house looks a million times better. I watched Hurt locker last night and cleaned my living room. It was a great movie. I bought Snatch again as well. I lost half of my DVDs a few years ago, so its nice to rebuild my collection. I have no idea which ones i lost anymore, but i have over 50 movies, and I love watching the same movie again, so i'll never get bored. Of course, not the crappy ones. Those i try not to purchase. I own this one movie called Saved, and it is hilarous. Anyone that has gone to a Christian private school can relate to it. And there is this one scene (my favorite) Where Macaulay Culkin (who is in a wheel chair), holds up a sign and says, Will Dance for Money, and he does this little rock back and forth and a Ta-Da with his hands. I have watched that clip alone about 50 times because it makes me laugh so hard. I do love a good laugh. Anytime i laugh so hard i cry its a good laugh.And I do love MCulkin. Hes quite funny and dark. He's only 3 days older than me which is weird because by the time home alone was released, he was already 2 years older then his character, and so i've always felt so much older than him.... But i'm not.... The Good Son and Party Monster just show how diverse that kid can be, but here I am again, calling him a kid. I should be calling him Sir. After all, 3 days is like forever. Isn't it?

Oh man, its past my bed time. Signing off.

24 April 2010

Crows in the tree and Dreaming

i'm being literal here about the crows. There are about 3 crows (maybe more) in a tree in my backyard. I have a lot of super big trees in my yard. Its quite nice. Especially after seeing how now-a-days they take huge farm or field or whatever and plow it over, and then build a bunch of houses as close together as possible. And there is no shade because the land is just plowed over. I feel so lucky to have a huge yard with trees and a creek (that would have been awesome had i still been a 10 year old rather than nearly 30.. but maybe for old times sake i'll go build a dam and swim in it ) So trees. Crows. Its quite annoying. I seriously thought there was a great migration going on. Now I feel more like i'm stuck in an Alfred Hitchcock movie.. If its not one bird its the next. Still no woodpeckers that I can tell. There's nothing like being woken up at 6am to the chirp chirp chirp of baby birds waiting for that worm. They wren't kidding with the saying "The early bird gets the worm"  I'm in Aviary heaven... I will admit it is nice to drink a pot of coffee while watching the red cardinals, the yellow headed woodpeckers, the blue jays, the robins, and the like fly about, but the crows... Nobody likes a crow. Theyre big and loud. And have been caw caw cawing outside of my window since 6am. ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!

Today is going to be a good day. I'm going to get a haircut in a few hours, which im totally excited about even though I know the husband will say "why are you cutting your hair, i like it long". style honey. style. When i wear my hair in a pony tail for two weeks straight, its time for a cut. I have pretty great hair as far as manageability. its fairly straight and fine, but its also thick. Not like super thick (my mom has super thick hair) but for a blonde with straight hair, its pretty darn thick. When i have kids my hair will turn darker. I'm bummed out about that. it happens to most blondes i know except the truely Scandinavian friends I have. My sisters hair is darker than mine, i sure do like being a blonde. Mostly because i have dyed my hair other colors and i looked horrible, so letting it stay its true color has been what works for me. In my familys last portrait, taken before either myself or my sister got married, my hair had just been dyed brown. It is by far the ugliest picture of me on the entire planet. I look better 20 pounds heavier and blond than 20 pounds lighter and brunette. I don't know why, but God made me blonde and clearly the other colors don't work that well, though secretly I love myself as a red head .... :) Its like role playing. I get to be someone else for a little while.
And then its back to being me again. Red, no matter how permanent the dye is, never stays in my hair for very long. But i have learned which ones wash out quicker than others. I have another box of the dye, typically I do it right after thanksgiving and before Christmas. But alas, it always washes back to blonde. Whats a $5 box of dye anyways.

Last night I had a dream about a girl I have known since I was three. Her name is Lindsey. We were born on the same day, I was about 2 hours older than her. I remember she was born in Indiana, and i told her that. She was surprised (in the dream) that I had remembered, but then again, I have been blessed with the most incredible memory. My best friends Anna and Piper always referred to me as "The Vault". I've known them since age 6 and Birth respectively. I recall so many things from my life. Memories as early as age 2 and 3. Seriously great and vivid memories. The rest of the dream from last night is irrelevant, at least for sharing, its not yours to know, but the point is. I have the most vivid and real dreams. I always have. They are amazingly accurate about details and facts from past and present life. Its quite remarkable. Sometimes they are based in the future. Only I don't realize they are until the future has come to pass. Then I realize, I had dreamed about that very thing. Ok, I realize how that must sound, but its really cool. So i dream and I dream often. I think this is why sometimes I wake up more exhausted than before I had gone to sleep. My dreams reveal things to me. They are quite metaphorical. Im not really sure why I dream about people that i haven't even given thought to in quite some time, but I guess if i'm honest. I had thought about Lindsey a few months ago. She's my non-biological twin. My twinsey to her twinnifer (we made this up when we were 11)... And i remember it all. She helped me curl my bangs in the early 90s. Oh yeah! I wasn't that great at being a girl until my 20s. I'm still learning. I think i learned how to use liquid eyeliner right before i went to bahrain. NO kidding. I"m not a makeup girl. I"m a ponytail, blue jeans, lets go climb a tree and dig in the dirt type of girl. Often i wish i had a job where i could do just that. I also would like to just blow off this world and go to Costa Rica, live in a tent, and surf all day. Then again, there's nothing like a hot shower and a pretty dress to make you feel like a woman. I do love being a woman and I LOVE wearing dresses. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! I think i talked abotu my dresses a few weeks ago. Well I just added a few to the collection. I think its about time for a garage sale. I have way too many things. But for now, itstime to lay out on my deck, listen to the crows, and get ready waiting for my hair cut.

I think it is really starting to heat up in the Middle East. I'll be there in less than 2 weeks! I can't wait. I plan to kayak and swim if i can. three months has made a big difference in the temperature of the water. I like to say Vast Difference, but it reminds me of a sex ed joke. I'll save it for later. but that just shows another thing that i learned over ten years ago that still resonates in my mind. yup.
Marley has a new girlfriend. She likes the blondes too:


I'll leave you with this song. I hope the link works. I posted it on my facebook account but not all of you have access to that. This song reminds me of Rick and myself. We are separated by an ocean, and i'll be goign home soon. Wherever Rick is living, is where my home will be. He is home to me.

Plus i'm pretty lucky that for the rest of my life, all of his love and affections will be directed towards me. It may have gone elsewhere over the years, but now it is mine, all mine,  and that will never change until the day i die.

"I am just in awe at how amazing you are. How you managed to slip through the grasps of all the other grasping fingers and fall into my arms I think proves that there is a God. You are custom made for me. I have to be one of the most blessed men in all the planet." - Rick












20 April 2010

Pictures from the weekend

Carters Spiderman Cake....

 Brady is all smiles




 He did this to himself
 
My beautiful family



 My best friend Carter

19 April 2010

How many blondes does it take....

Today i got to work and three men were standing in front of the elevator waiting. I noticed immediately that the button had never been pressed, so the elevator had not been called down to the first floor. Two men stood patiently waiting, the other was engulfed in his crackberry. As i wondered how long they had been standing there, I parted the crowd and pressed the button and the elevator promptly returned to the ground level and the doors opened.
How many men does it take to operate an elevator? I'm not sure. More than three...
It only took one blonde.

Playing Cannibal

Sunday was another great day with the kids. We woke up and my sister made whole wheat pancakes. They were decent, but not as good as the fatty kind. We then went to church. Lori and I dropped the boys off in the nursery. Carter wanted to spend every second with me, i had to ride in the car next to him, i had to hold his hand, i had to carry him. When we dropped them off at the nursery, they assumed Carter was mine and Brady was Lori's. I like that. Because Lori and I look like twins and the boys look like twins (practically), so it makes sense for them to look like mine. Blonde hair and blue eyes runs rampant among us. apparently. I guess time will tell.
They give you a beeper for the kids in case they melt down and cannot be comforted. Loris beeper went off, but as she left the sanctuary, i heard about 5 others going off and it dawned on me, there was either a mutiny, led by my cunning nephews, or there was a malfunction. Ten minutes later, she returned without the kids. Beeper malfunction. It was funny. 

Yesterday , we did a lot of running around outside with the dogs. That was a lot of fun too. My dogs lick brady's face and he just laughs and laughs Carter really wants to play with them but he is a little more timid than his younger brother. Brady is talking coherently now. Once he figured out how to say my name: gigi - he didn't stop. Everything was, Brady say Carter, "gigi" (big smile), Brady say rock, "rock" Brady say grandpa, "gigi" (smile again). I think he knew what he was doing, but he was being funny. He found it incredibly funny to say my name over and over again. He ran around the house saying gigi, gigi, gigi. I could tell Lori had coaxed him into saying my name before i got there. its greatly appreciated. I wonder what my kids will call her? Probably Wo-wi. That's what my brother used to say.

After dinner, carter and I were playing in the living room before bed. Rather than playing with the stuffed Camel, he said, "gigi, you be the cannibal". What? "You know, you be the cannibal, and I will ride on you." tee hee. Ok. Lori came down and i said, carter, tell mommy what we're playing, MOMMY, we're playing CANNIBAL! It was so cute. Kids are super great for entertainment.  Finally Carter had to go to bed and I got in the car to head home. The dogs were so tired they slept the entire way home. I listened to my favorite play list and had an awesome time.

Lately I have been reading about dying to self. What does it mean to die to yourself. I hear it all the time, but aside from giving up the worldly things and money, what else does it really mean? And then, as i drove, and reminisced about the past year (music really does bring back memories), it occurred to me. Every time that I turn away from my old life, every time that i deny my flesh, every time that I deny myself from those sinful pleasure, I am dying to myself. Because those things are so natural for me to do. The things that come as second nature. The things that never occur to you as being immoral or inappropriate or wrong, but suddenly, as though you were painfully awakened into a new light, you see just how unacceptable things of your past may be, and you turn from them, you die to yourself.... That's how i felt anyways. As I drove i recalled things and places and people and faces, and I felt as though a part of me that once was, was no more. But this time, rather than mourning the loss of a life that no longer can be, I found great comfort and joy. And i was glad. I have a new found sense of freedom. I have new joy. And i have no idea where this road shall go, only that its the path i ought to take.

17 April 2010

escape

i'm at my parents house right now. I drove down here today after sorting out some of my soccer stuff. Since i'm the captain/manager, i have to bring money for the referees. I have missed half of the games this season, which sort of stinks because i really like playing, but my sister and kids flew up, and since i'll be moving by the end of year, i want to see my sister and nephews as much as possible. Oh i guess my parents too :)
I had a lot of fun playing with Carter. We made up this game where we took the hose and filled up a bucket. Carter ran back and forth on the driveway in his underwear and I threw the bucket of water on him. We did this about 20 times. He tried to do it to me but the bucket was too heavy for him to lift in order to dump it on me. So we found a solution. WE filled it up and i threw the bucket of water straight up in the air and we both got wet. Its fun to hear him squeal with excitement and joy. He kept saying, this is amazing, and Oh my goodness, this is so fun Gigi, lets do it again.
When it was time to dry off, I picked him up, hung him upside down and spun him around until we were both dizzy. Spin Dry. We had to do it about 5 times before the "last time". The trick I learned years ago (which young children) you HAVE to have a "last time" or they won't ever stop. Carter and I have so much fun together. I mean soooo much fun.  I have spent tons of time with him since he was a baby, so we have a close bond. He tells me he loves me all the time. He is such a kind person, even at such a young age. Always telling me what he thinks is pretty. And he is quite obedient. He loves my dogs too. He loves playing with them and even called before i drove down and asked me to bring them for him. Too bad my sister won't take my dogs.

After we came inside, Rick called. Uncle Rick. We switched to Skype so that he could meet Carter. Rick gave me a giant Pooh Bear that talks and a Camel that makes noise. I also brought my leftover Easter Candy (since its not good for a diet anyways) and gave it to carter. Not the chocolate of course. i gave Giant Pooh to Brady since its more up his alley (sounds gross right?) and the camel to Carter for his birthday. I told Carter with each thing i gave him, This is from Uncle Rick. I was trying to gain Rick some favor with the three year old. It totally worked. Carter got on my lap and said Hi Uncle Rick. Thank you for my Camel. Then he proceeded to tell Rick about the water games we played. It was really cute. Rick tried to make jokes, but I dont' think his humor was suited for a 3 year old with the attention span of a goldfish. Ok, maybe its a bit longer, but not much. 
I took some decent pics and will be sure to take more tomorrow. I'll post pictures when i get home. Kids really wear you out. I'm not sure how i'll have as many as I think I want. It sure is taxing. I really have no idea how people can work fulltime AND run a household with small ones. I guess it doesn't help that i not only spend time with them, but I am very involved with playing. I put them in a wheelbarrow and carted them up and down a hill a few times. We walked the dogs and played with the dogs. Other stuff too. So i'm tired. I'm going to bed early. We have church (early service) in the morning, and if i stay up late, i'll never make it...

It sure is great to spend time with these kids.  Its the best escape from reality, and comes with so much joy. Having my own will be the best, but i'm not ready. I'm way too tired, and this was just a partial day. 

16 April 2010

Moving on, one step at a time

i sold the jeep yesterday, so i'm sad to see it go, but happy. Glad to get rid of it and no longer deal with the fuss of showing it and responding to emails. Plus it was a reconstructed title, meaning at one point the Jeep had been salvaged. I recall my concern over that back when i first purchased the jeep, but the ex-husband reassured me it was no big deal. I recall asking about reselling it. We were going to keep it forever. As with anything in life, you don't dwell on the past, you learn, and you move forward. I won't buy a car with a salvaged title again. And i still came out ahead since I was the owner of the jeep. You can't buy a 2006 Scion for the price I received, and still have money leftover, so all in all, it was a good deal.

i also made plans to travel "home" to Bahrain in a few weeks. Rick is all love sick and can't live without me, so I made plans to go visit him again. I'm pretty excited about it too. I wonder how many more times I will go to "visit" before I actually move "home". Hopefully not too many more, considering i'll only have about 3 or 4 days of vacation left after this trip.

Since the day that I met rick in person, this is the longest we've gone without one another. Hopefully i'll be living overseas by the end of August.

The good news is that my dissertation looks to be moving forward. If only i could actually do some work on it i'm writing the next proposal draft and meeting my committee in May, after that, i'll have a little more work to do, and then i'll do my defense. Maybe be the end of July or maybe August.
I'm not sure when I will talk to my boss about "relocating" and attempting to keep my position. I'd like to have PhD in hand when I do so. I feel like it will give me better leverage. Hopefully by the end of May i'll have a better idea about getting the ball rolling.

My sister is talking about having another kid. That excites me because maybe we can have one at the same time. She wants to wait another year and then see how she feels. She has two really sweet boys, but i think deep down she really wants a daughter. I've talked Rick down from 2 years to one (sort of), but I think he is just trying to appease me. He really wants to travel a lot. I think you can travel with a baby. Then again, I think that my biological clock is ticking pretty loudly and i'm just not able to do much about it anymore. I'm nearly 30 and now that i'm married... Of course just because you are trying to conceive, doesn't mean it will happen. The opposite of this is also true... So you just never know. 

i'm leaving to see my family this weekend. my sister and my nephews will be at my parents house.
i'm so excited. i haven't seen Lori since before i got married and she and my mom are my best friends.
Carter is 3! Brady is 18 months. I can't wait to see them. We will play so much. I"m bringing the dogs with me and I know Carter is thrilled. I'm not sure Mocha is excited about it, especially since Marley tends to pick fights with her, but we will see.

So what are the next steps for Rick and myself???
I fear that the next step is deciding what to do with the dogs. Ideally, I'd like to bring them, but sometimes you have to let go in order to move on. The dogs probably wont' like living in an apartment after having free reign  the Moat. I joke that my dogs are land sharks, circling around my house and barking at anyone that attempts to enter my property line. Sadly, i'm not sure how well they will hold up as they travel overseas, especially because they are still so young (4 and 4.5)... I am not going to decide right now though. We have a love/hate relationship as it is, but they have been the only constant in my life since 2005, and we have really been through some rough times together -  from being abused, to grieving loss and enduring the loneliness. I am not sure they can live without me any more than i could them.

I am in the process of purging myself of "things". I have been selling and giving away my possessions like crazy. When you've got the momentum, you have to just stick with it. I have a lot of "stuff" anyways, so its good for me to let go. I've been in this process for a few years, but I have more incentive now. Plus i'm making a little money, all of which is going to the travel fund.

I'm presently looking into renting out my house, but I think i might sell it. It needs a lot of work still (roof, paint, wood rot...), and I'm really not up for putting the money into it. There is a downside to owning a house made out of cedar. I wonder how many Woodpeckers will inhabit my home this year. I haven't gone a spring without one yet.  I meet with a Realtor/property manager next week and we will discuss my options, and determine if it is better for me to make the fixes, or just sell it as is. I have put tens of thousands of dollars into my house already (new deck, appliances, kitchen, floors, garage, HVAC, etc), and I really want to recoup the costs. If i do sell it, i'll take the surplus and either stuff it into a CD, or refinance Ricks' home in Texas. He is presently renting the house, but he is not making any profit from it, and is actually losing a little money. Not wanting to lose money on two properties, we will make a decision about this after we figure out my job situation. so thats it for us right now.

rick is plugging away at work, fully rejuvenated by the fact that i'll be flying out to see him in less than 3 weeks. We are meeting in Duabi, and flying back to Bahrain together. My layover was about 8 hours in DXB, so we felt it would be a better use of our time if we met there and were able to be together asap! Plus its only 100$ give or take to fly from bah to dxb, so its really worth it. It is going to be hard not to kiss him when i see him, but rather than run the risk of going to jail
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/04/dubai-kissing-couple-jail_n_524736.html
we'll just hold off for the few hours and enjoy our time in the business class lounge, just being together....

My flight leave the US on Cinco de Mayo, and returns the 12th. Just a short little trip, but totally worth every dime. Yet another countdown begins....

14 April 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FAVORITE 3 YEAR OLD!!!

 

He is sooo funny!


FARM animals and Great-Grandpa

















Carter's First Beach Trip