Thanksgiving Recap

December 1, 2008

Hello again, everyone! I've officially returned from my Thanksgiving getaway, and holy crappers, it was so much fun.

Ladies and gentlemen, I absolutely cannot get over this picture of myself. Generally speaking I'm the most non-photogenic human being on the face of the planet. I can do my hair, spruce my makeup, lose twenty pounds, and look like an all around sex-kitten in the mirror--but then some dope will snap a candid, show it to me on that little camera screen, and I have to fight the urge to faint.

I'm like,"Dude! Why'd you take a picture of a chunky girl with bird poo smeared all over her cheek?!"

And the photographer's all, "Ummmm.....that's you."

But this shot, my friends, is the exception to the rule. I should consider posing next to the ass end of a dead bird more often--it seems to make me look cute by default:

***

Here I am at my ten year reunion, which I should add, was the most fun I've had in--let's see--ten years?!?! I love these people.

LOVE THESE PEOPLE.

Despite the beer bottle in the foreground and the facial expression that clearly says I AM A DOG AND WILL PLAYFULLY RIP A HOLE IN THE BACK OF YOUR PANTS, I was stone cold sober:
I didn't get any one's permission to post their picture on my website, but hello?! when have I ever given two poops about boundaries and respect?
Starting from the left, we have the lovely Tali (Ivy-leaguer, two master's degrees, sexy, successful, and fun--as hard as I try, I just can't hate her...), me, Melissa (who told me the truth about Santa in first grade--can't hate her either...), Cindy, Mary-Kate (New York artist with the hottest set of hooters I've ever had the privilege of accidentally touching), and the ravishingly beautiful Nancy.
***
This is Jon. Jon with approximately twenty-two bottles of beer pumping through his veins. I've never seen him in this kind of a condition, and I'm honestly debating whether or not I should call his mother--she would be so disappointed.
Sometime around midnight, Jon offered to take me to a Red Sox game, free of charge, and buy me dinner in Boston--he even sealed the deal with a pinky swear. I love it when my most successful friends extend expensive, drunken promises--really ups my own standard of living, ya know?
When I told Jared, he was like, "You're going on a date with Jon? I'm not sure how I feel about that..." So I said, "Jon's wife will be probably free that night, maybe you can take her on a date?" It worked--now Jared's totally fine with it.
***
This is Troy. Back in sixth grade, when I was a complete ho, I kissed him on the bus on the way home from our field trip to the Bronx Zoo. I can't remember why I decided to do it--it was either a dare, or the fact that I couldn't resist his chiseled little 90-pound body--I really can't remember. Either way, the band teacher found out and threatened to call our parents.
As far as I know, Dr. Hopko hasn't contacted them yet--but every now and again, the thought of that call keeps me awake at night. My father would kill me. Still.
I hope everyone had a Thanksgiving that was half as good as mine!

Happy Friggin' Holidays, Dr. Lawson

November 25, 2008

Do you ever find yourself wrestling with the deep and difficult things? Thoughts like, "Well that's funny, I really don't remember marrying a five-foot-ten-inch turd six years ago...."?

No?

Well I do.

Let's take today for example. Early this morning, I graciously offered to run James up and down the state of Maine, in a freezing downpour, to buy Christmas decorations for Jared's office. Jared's office you see, is on Main Street. And this Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the city has organized a Christmas party--which, I should mention, will occur right in front of his practice.

To really plop a cherry on the free publicity we'll be offering free ten-minute massages, cookies, candy, drinks, blah, blah, blah. So obviously, the office could use some Christmas decor and cheer.

For the sake of the story, let's just go ahead and cut to three o'clock this afternoon.

I parallel park in front of Jared's space, load my arms with three fuzzy white penguins, three 36" electric candles, three 48" stockings for the store front window, one three-year-old boy, (are you following?), two-hundred-and-fifty twinkle lights, thirty-six feet of faux-pine garland, a trash bag full of roll-out snow, and a Seasons Greetings doormat.

I teeter into Jared's office, anxious to create my winter wonderland, and do you know what the man--oh, wait, excuse me--the five-foot-ten-inch turd has the nerve to say to me?! Wait for it...

I only want the doormat. The rest of the stuff is way too tacky.

I'm sorry, Dr. Lawson, come again?

Fine, I'll keep the penguins. No one will notice those.

Seriously, I'm not getting this.

This stuff is not appropriate for a health care practice.

Well I'm sorry, would you rather that I string some lights onto an enormous, plastic model of a vajango? Would that be more "medical" for you?

So, do you know what I did? Really folks, take a stab at my reaction.
Wait for it...

I took all of the "tacky crap" home and put it ALL OVER our house, inside and out--because seriously, why place an elegant candle on your window sill when you can duct tape a three-foot ginormous candle in it's place instead?

Why not bless this house with a thirty foot roll of faux snow?

And really, why shouldn't James have a stocking that's taller than he is? Why shouldn't our dog have enough usable stocking space to receive forty pounds of biscuits? Why shouldn't I be able to fit my entire grocery order into a large, festive holiday stocking? And why shouldn't Jared....oh....err...forget it, I only bought three. I guess my husband will have to make due with his eight ounce stocking for a few more years. Tough economy, ya know?

WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH A BATTERY OPERATED SNOW GLOBE THAT HAPPENS TO BE THE SAME SIZE OF MY HEAD?!?!

WHAT?!
...and here's a random, sideways video of James posing as a ghost in front of the snowy candle scene.

video

Thanksgiving and Ten Year Reunions

November 25, 2008

I'm going out of town tomorrow, and I probably won't be blogging for a couple of days. It's not like I'll be away from the internet or anything, I'll just be too busy playing hula-hoop on my sister's Wii.

For those who are interested, the tentative schedule looks something like this (stalkers, please take note):

Wednesday Morning: Pick my nephew up in Boston. Allow him to consume McNuggets and orange soda against my sister's will.

Wednesday: Play Wii. Don't give the children a turn. Don't share with the elderly either.

Thursday: Run a 5k turkey trot. Wonder "Why in the hell do I run?" the entire time. Go home and ingest 4,000-6,000 calories with no guilt, because du-uh, I run.

Thursday Night: Write DORK across my cousin's head in heavy-duty permanent marker (it's an annual tradition). Get a serious talking-to from my aunt.

Friday: Practice lines like, "Oh, you're an attorney, too? We've got a lot of those, huh?" and "I'm sure Yale medical school is challenging at times." and "Actually, I think an online master's degree is quite legitimate."

Friday Night: Attend my 10-year high school reunion. Show off my new twenty pounds. When asked about my life, flash the hotty-hot picture of Jared that I posted in the upper right hand corner of this post. Be sure to flash it very quickly.

In honor of my upcoming reunion, I've also tweaked my vocabulary a bit. For example:
  • The word Chiropractor (my husband's profession) has been amended to sound more like the word Physician.
  • The phrase horribly misbehaved three-year-old (my son's profession) has a new pronunciation. It now sounds very similar to the phrase child actor.
  • And of course, the number Less than $30,000 annually, has been subjected to a multiplier. When I say it now, it comes out more like More than $250,000 per year.

And finally, in the spirit of the upcoming holiday--and this very list laden post--I'd like to mention what I'm thankful for this year.

1. I'm thankful for the upcoming Christmas season and all of the new Santa-related threats that I'm able to use on my child. Dude...they totally work.

2. I'm grateful for people who throw their backs out, and then, in their moment of despair, notice our new, eye-catching advertisement in the yellow pages. Ta-da!

3. I guess I only have two.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

All Hail the Holy Hottness

November 21, 2008

I'm straight and everything, but holy smokes, Beyonce is ridiculously hot. Mark my words friends, if I live to be 100 years old I will still stand amazed at that woman's unadulterated foxiness.

We're just about the same age, me and Beyonce. And whenever I see her, and think about that, I'm just like: Damn. I shouldn't have quit dance class. And it wouldn't have hurt if my mother had been a bit more creative in the naming department either.

I don't watch a whole lot of television, so I just saw this for the first time today. After that clip ended I sat at my kitchen table with my mouth hanging open, cheerio juice dribbling down my chin, my cereal spoon hanging limply in my fist, muttering the words, "Damn boy. You really shoulda put a ring on it..."

I'd give that video a serious PG-13 rating, so I certainly wouldn't watch it at work, or at your Grandma's house, or with six year old boys around--it'll get their wheels turning that much sooner.

And now that I think about it, you probably shouldn't watch it in front of your wife either. Trust me, it'll just cause her to think about what it would look like if she packed herself into that leotard--so she'll probably end up crying for a day or two.

If you do watch the clip, please make note of that spanky thing she does from minute 2:41 to minute 2:44. Sure it's only three seconds, but it's a powerful three seconds. It might just change your life for the better. I personally, have been practicing that maneuver all morning long. I'd like to have it perfected in time for our church talent show later this year.

I guess it's official...I have a girl crush on Beyonce Knowles. It's not any worse than my husband's man crush on Jason Varitek, I suppose.

And you? C'mon and spill it. If you're a boy, name your man crush. If you're a lady, name your girl crush. And if you're dating Beyonce, then please, for the love of heaven and earth, go put a ring on it. NOW!

I Think I'll Stick with Blogging

November 19, 2008
So. I recorded my very first podcast last night with these three guys.

The whole thing seemed to turn into a forty-five minute, highly offensive laugh-fest. It was also very confusing. One of the guys had a distinctive upper-Midwest kind of drawl (you know, when they say "bage" instead of "bag?"), but I couldn't tell Vanilla apart from RazZ if four of my fingers depended on it. Like I said--very, very confusing.

Throughout the entire podcast, all three of the men seemed to defer to the good old fashioned 'ladies first' mentality. This did not work well....

1) RazZ would pose a question.
2) A short, awkward silence would follow.
3) Amy would answer the question in three words or less.
4) A long, awkward silence would follow.
--Repeat--

I think they were all waiting for me to get to the joke. Welp, sorry boys, that was the joke.

Ouch.

Since last night, I've tried again and again to run the conversation through my head--you know, to figure out how just much humiliation I should prepare for--but my goodness, it's all a blur. I can only remember the following: calling some guy an "a$$ licker," saying I wanted to make out with a lady who peed her pants on purpose, something about growing boobs at age 13, and so on and so forth.

There was also some talk of camels? And doing some impromptu stretches on the office copier?

Good heavens.

After the podcast was finished, Nitmost and Vanilla both hung up--leaving me in a somewhat awkward conversation with RazZ (Don't you just love these screen names? Very super-heroesque.). He was like, "Well Amy, that was fun. Do you want to do it again sometime?"
I think I blushed a little, like I was being asked out on a second date--you know, instead of a podcast where I'm coerced to talk about 'that time I decided to poop behind a bush.'

I said "Yes."

Apparently, this podcast will be available for free on iTunes--which, by the way, puts me on equal footing with people like Justin Timberlake and Kenny Chesney.

I'll screen it first, and if it's any good, I'll tell you how to find it. But if I'm crazy lame, and it has the potential to make me lose my street credit as a funny girl, then you'll have to forget about the whole darn thing.
And in the mean time, I think I'll stick to writing.

Me n' Michelle

November 18, 2008

I'm contracted as a part-time employee, but believe you me, that's a big old fat joke. In the past two weeks--in addition to my normal twenty-hour schedule--I've had five night meetings, three lunch meetings, and two afternoon meetings (I skipped both).

James is with Miss Nancy in the mornings, only during my office hours--so you can imagine that lunch engagements, the dreaded three o'clock meetings, and nighttime get togethers aren't exactly convenient for a mom like me.

But we all know that the economy licks butt right now, and jobs aren't so plentiful these days. Bottom line? I've got to make this work.

So far I've developed and implemented three successful strategies for managing the work/kid conflicts:

1) Make shiz up. For example: I'm sorry I won't be able to attend this afternoon's meeting since I'll be on a conference call with the Governor. Or: I won't be able to make it to this evening's event since I'll be recovering from my female procedure. Either way, there won't be any prying follow up questions--they'll either be too impressed or too grossed out to put their words together--I promise.

2) Recruit some help from your husband. For example: If you can't make it home early this afternoon to help with our toddler, then I won't 'give it up' again until March of 2010. And if that doesn't work: Well fine. Consider your fishing rod accidentally thrown away. Again, there won't be any follow up questions. Trust me.

3) Pull a Michelle Obama maneuver. In all honestly, I've used this technique twice in the last ten days. Remember when Michelle Obama had to bring her baby to a job interview at that hospital in Chicago? Well I've tweaked the routine to meet my own individuals needs, and hauled my toddler to a couple of public meetings. Last night, James drank all of the apple cider and sneezed on an open package of Chips Ahoy at a local DOT hearing. And the week before, he matter-of-factly announced that he needed to go poop when the moderator asked if any one in attendance had any further concerns. And that was after he put his entire mouth around the nozzle of the water fountain in front of thirty or so people.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm totally getting fired.

Happy Monday

November 17, 2008

Hello.

I did a heck of a lot of writing for another project this weekend, and hot dog I do NOT feel like blogging today.

So you get nothing, except this...

1) I offer you my sincere wishes for an excellent week.

2) I am really, really done with nighttime meetings. I had three last week and I have one every night this week, except Friday. I'll tell you what--a salaried part-time job is for schmucks. Like me.

3) James saw Kung-Fu Panda last night, and now he's absolutely convinced that he is the Dragon Warrior (or whatever it's called). If that big, fluffy panda can do it, then James can probably handle it, too. But really, I might sign him up for the Little Ninjas class I saw in the paper last week. Is that only for rednecks?

4) I'm gonna cook a turkey when I get home from work today. Why not?

5) I really can't believe it's November 17th. Geeze Louise, time is going really fast these days!

Have a good day, everyone!

If I Could Turn Back Time

November 14, 2008

I'm pretty sure that I do something regrettable every single day. It comes as a result of being overly sensitive, overly dramatic, and overly guilt-ridden all at the very same time. Well, yesterday I raised the bar by doing something that can only be classified as highly regrettable.

Last night Jared threw one heck of a Grand Opening party in his office. The food was excellent, more than thirty people attended (including the Mayor), and the conversation was free and easy for everyone. Overall, I'd call it a smashing success.

About halfway through the festivities, I stepped outside to encourage the hairdresser from next door to come and get some food. But as I took one step into the hallway, I was confronted--face to face--with a smiling set of Mormon Missionaries. Such nice young men.

"Hi Sister Lawson," they exclaimed in unison!

To which I replied (in a snitchy little tone), "Holy cow, the missionaries?! Who invited you guys?!"

"Brother Lawson did. We're his patients. Do you think we should leave?"

"YES!....uh, no. Don't leave. It's just that Mormon Missionaries sometimes have the ability to bring a non-Mormon party to a very screeching halt."

"Really Sister Lawson, we can leave," they replied.

"No...don't go," I hesitated. "But can you take your tags off? Pretend to be a normal person for like one hour?"

"No. We can't."

"Well can you hold your plates up to block them," I demanded?

"Uhhhh...."

"Well fine, go ahead. Just don't proselyte, okay?"

"Uhhhh...."

"No guys, I'm serious. If I so much as hear a whisper of a word like 'Repentance' or 'Heaven' or 'Baptize,' I'm gonna kill you. Both of you."

And off they went.

Hoo boy. Not really keeping in line with the whole "love thy neighbor as thyself" thing. I'm sure they're used to death threats from angry homeowners with junkyard dogs and KEEP OUT signs, but from Sunbeam teachers? Probably not.

And that my friends, is my regrettable moment for November 13, 2008.

Perhaps tonight I will invite them over for family prayer, and when they knock I'll whip open the door, yell WHO THE HELL ARE YOU, then slam it and deadbolt it before they even have the chance to respond.

I bet it wouldn't surprise them one bit.

Are there any former missionaries out there? If so, how do I patch this one up? Cookies? Contacts? Money?

I'm can be such a butt head. Such a raging butt head.

Me and My Treadmill

November 13, 2008

This one goes out to Mindy--a reader who's been with me from the very beginning.

***

Yes, I'm still running--lots of three milers, a couple of six milers, and when I'm really feeling like a sex kitten I'll throw a ten miler into the mix. I'm not training for anything in particular right now, but maybe soon. Who knows?

Here are a few running points-of-interest for the three of you who like this topic:

1. Next Tuesday I'll be recording my very first running podcast. Yes, that's right--you'll be able to download my voice onto your iPod.

This makes me terribly nervous for a few reasons. First, I have a really high-pitched voice. When I talk, it honestly sounds 100% normal--but when I hear my voice on an answering machine I simply want to run away in terror, not screaming (why should I embarrass myself even more, ya know?). Second, I'm really not sure if I'm funny on the fly. Sure I can throw around a few good one-liners at a social event...but only if it's a party full of ugly people, or a frumpy parade, or a Weight Watchers meeting. Catch my drift????

So I'll keep you posted on the podcast details....and I don't want to give away too much, but here's a hint: one of the other participants is rumored to have a raging case of B.O. from a three mile jaunt in a monkey suit.

2. I'm going to look at a secondhand treadmill this weekend. Like most treadmills on planet Earth, this one has only been used twice. I found it on Craigslist, it's right here in town, and it really is an excellent deal.

Here's the catch--it's very important that I try it before I buy it. Now you may or may not remember this, but I run like an absolute fool. My stride has gotten much worse over the course of the last year and now both legs do that dreaded kick-out thing. So basically, when I run it looks like I'm trying to a) kick myself in the bum, b) play an imaginary violin, and c) clean my nose out with my tongue. All at the very same time.

I only run in the dark these days.

I live in a very small town, and I'm bound to see this woman (the woman who's selling the treadmill) again. Good heavens, we both have toddlers in the same age range--I'm sure I'll let her down on an elementary school committee someday. She'll come to dislike me eventually, so why should I give her any talking points ahead of time?

I can see it now...

HER: She forgot to bring the brownies! And...and...SHE RUNS LIKE A MONKEY ON DRUGS!
ME: Well she only used her treadmill twice and she still has a nicer body than me...SHE MUST BE ON DRUGS!
Definitely not a pretty picture. So seriously, is it appropriate to ask for some privacy while I try this thing out?

And that's all I've got, the podcast and the treadmill. Stay tuned...

Photo Op

November 12, 2008

Photo courtesy of James Lawson, age 3:
Nothing fancy. I won't bother posting two--they're exactly the same (thank goodness).

Inked

November 12, 2008

Um. Wow.
I'm happy to announce that my writer's block seems to have been cured. Your ideas are beyond fabulous, so please keep 'em coming. Somewhere, in the middle of your sea of requests, one particular comment hit me like a wad of spit in the eye. It comes from Katherine B, my exceptionally well dressed Texas friend, and it reads:

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your tattoos, what they were and what they are now. I don't think I ever heard you tell it though, I think I heard about them from Sarah.

Is nothing sacred? Do I have no secrets? Do you already know that Jared scrubbed the crack of his ass with my awesome new toothbrush last night?

It's true, he did. It's also true that I question the sanctity of our marriage on an hourly basis--but I suppose that's a good post topic to be used on another day. So, without further ado, here is the story behind my tiny little tattoos (yes, that's meant to be plural)....

As a side note, this post should also provide the answer to a question that many, many readers have asked: Amy, were you raised Mormon?

***
schumck (noun): any human being who gets one or more tattoos on their eighteenth birthday.

I am a schmuck.

On the morning of my eighteenth birthday, my roommate shook me awake and said, "Hey! You're finally legal! Wanna get a tattoo?"

I sat up in my bunk bed, squinted at Ali with some very sleepy eyes and nodded as I heard myself say, "Yeah. Okay."

One hour later we were in her beaten up Honda, headed to the only tattoo place we could find that didn't require reservations. It was in Radford, Virginia--and my oh my, that is one very sketchy town. I could go on and on about the six hour wait, the tattoo artist who was blind in one eye, or the dirtiest Hardee's restaurant on the face of the Earth--but it's never much fun to get bogged down in the details.

I will tell you this--the bearded blind guy never checked my ID (so much for being legal), and he insisted that I sign a contract saying something to the effect of: I promise that I love my body just the way God made it. I promise that I'm not doing this to make myself better in the eyes of other people. God thinks I'm lovable with or without tattoos. That's all that matters.

Then I'm pretty sure I released him of all liability for death, diseases, cooties, and so forth.

I wish that piece of paper had also mentioned the fact that this man was far more spiritual than artistic, because hot damn, he stunk at his job.

Sometime after 7pm I walked out of his shop with two new tattoos--one under each ankle bone. My left ankle sported a teeny blue wing, and I won't lie, it turned out really well. But the right ankle? Well, it honestly looked like someone left one hell of a bruise after kicking me with a pointy-toed hooker boot--nothing but a bright blue blob.

And here's a trusty piece of advice: Never ask a person with one bad eye to give you two identical tattoos.

At that time, I was a D1 collegiate runner on a scholarship--the tats were supposed to be a stealth little set of wings, not one wing and one blue booger. Dang. It.

A few months later, after a glowingly lackluster performance and some ongoing coachly disputes, I quit the team. I literally threw my running shoes in the trash and transferred to a school that was 1,000 miles away. And then, for the next two-and-a-half years I told the following story seventy-zillion times:

Yeah, that's a tattoo.....Yup, that's another tattoo....Well, it's supposed to be a wing....Because I used to run....No, not anymore.....I know, I'm an idiot....

And then I found God.

Honestly folks, there is no such thing as a simple story in my strange little life. No. Such. Thing.

Around that time, my roommate also happened to find God--very convenient. So one afternoon, before Bible Study (I kid you not), we stopped by Tropics North Tattoo Studio. What can I say? We were on fire for the Lord, and we decided to make it known with some permanent ink.

Yes, strange--but it made perfect sense to a couple of twenty-year-olds. Sarah decided to proclaim her faith with a tramp-stamp in the shape of an Icthus (Jesus fish), and I also went the Icthus route, covering both of my wing tattoos with little, purple fish.

Thankfully, this tattoo artist was fully sighted and he nailed the symmetry thing. He was also quite the conversationalist...

ME: Where'd you learn how to do tattoos?
HIM: You don't want to know.
ME: Oh.
HIM: I went to Bangor Christian school when I was a kid.
ME: Really? You're Christian?
HIM: I got kicked out. I'm still not allowed back on the property.

And then, a couple of months later, I joined a denomination that strongly discourages tattoos and asks women to wear skirts to church on Sundays. This has been very confusing for the children in my Sunday School class...

THEM: Sister Lawson, what's on your ankles?
ME: Little fish. The remind me of Jesus and how important he is to me.
THEM: Are they tattoos?
ME: Yes.
THEM: My mom says that Jesus doesn't like tattoos.
ME: Well your mom sounds like a prude.

And that my friends, is the story behind my tattoos.
I love my tattoos.

Desperately Seeking Something

November 11, 2008

Maybe you haven't noticed, but for the first time in two years, I have a raging case of writer's block--like a bumpy, oozing, infected case. Very hard to treat with antibiotics.

I can't tell you how many times I've opened my Blogger template, just to let out a frustrated huff and click my laptop shut in defeat as I reach for another Oreo cookie.

James's daycare is closed today--so sometime around noon I loaded him into the station wagon and headed out to meet Jared for lunch. As we sat at our favorite table in our favorite barbeque joint, I searched my head for ideas over a heaping plate of pulled pork. Because of my wordlessness, Jared was concerned.

We talked for a few minutes about my block, and my ever loving husband--the wonderful man that he is--offered up idea, after idea, after idea. Unfortunately they were things like, "You could write about trout!" or "What about fly tying?" or "I know! You should tell about that fishing trip I took to Oklahoma that time...."

"Or I could write about my plans for my second wedding," I said. "I'm definitely having this place cater it."

He got the idea.

So, in this dessert-like time of desperation, how 'bout helping a girl out?

Do you have a non-lame (that part is very important) post idea for The Lawsons did Dallas? Is there anything you've ever wanted to know about me (eg shoe size, hip measurement, those old college stories)? Are there pictures you want me to post (more light fixtures that resemble teets, our wood pile that's the size of Los Angeles, the scummy shiz that's stuck behind my bathroom faucet)?

If you have any ideas, requests, or suggestions, please send me an email or leave them in the comments. I'll be more than happy to oblige.
There's only one rule: You're not allowed to be all whiny if I don't use your idea. Whining is for fart lickers, not sexy grown-ups.

Oh, and yes, I know. I haven't posted James's halloween pictures yet. The files are acting all stubborn and screwed-up (just like me from the age of 16 to 20). I think I'm gonna have to re-dress him up, snap a few pics, and them post them. Please be aware: I still haven't sent out my 2007 Christmas letters, so all of you Hallo-wieners will have to exercise your patience.

And, as always, thanks for using your brilliant minds to contribute to such a worthy cause!

Shhhh....Don't Tell Jared it's Not a Man Room

November 8, 2008

I must be proud of this room re-do, because it took me about forty-million minutes to upload one zillion pictures that only three people in the universe will be interested in seeing--my mom, my dad, and my sister.

So here you go family!

This is a picture of what our den looked like when we saw the house for the very first time. I was like, "Yikes. That La-Z-Boy looks just like the crack of my ass." The real estate agent was all, "Sure does." **Joolee--that was for you**

This room obviously belonged to a man. As it turns out, a man who did a remarkable job masking the deathly odor of cat urine for our walk through. One trip to the dump, three cans of shellac, and one new floor later, the smell is entirely gone.
So those were the before pictures, and these are the afters. Please please please don't tell Jared that it's not a man room. He thinks the walls are blue. I think he's color blind.
If you squint really hard and cock your head to just the right angle, you can see our new floors. They're dark, wide, wood laminate, and I think they look like a million bucks--not the $1.99 per square foot that we paid.
That's my Grandma's desk sporting a new coat of light green paint that was leftover from our kitchen walls. And get this, that's the kitchen chair I grew up throwing tantrums in. Amazing what a $3 can of barn red spray paint'll do, huh?
Oh, and I usually shy away from the cutesy effect with all my might, but I found these buttons in my Grandma's sewing table and really wanted to showcase them. Next thing you know, I'll be snapping pictures of baby cats and tacking them up all over my bathroom. Cute is a slippery slope, my friends--a very slippery slope.
So--I really like the way the curtains turned out. From a distance, they're a greenish/creamish kind of color, but up close they have this cute little swirly pattern that will probably be out of style by the spring. And dude, I totally made those curtains. Feel free to leave excessive, gushing compliments in the comment section.
Here's the rocking chair pad I talked about a few posts ago. I ordered an extra yard of fabric and made the removable foot-rest cover to match. Again, please go heavy on the compliments. And see those flowers? Sometimes Jared's not so bad after all!
I ordered these watercolors from this Etsy shop. This one is the cherry tree, and the $2 WalMart frame really isn't worthy of showcasing it. I get zillions of compliments on these prints, and whenever I do, I say "Thanks, I painted those myself." Then I turn in the other direction and whisper, "I'm such a freaking liar!"
This is the apple tree print. I wasn't lying--those frames really do blow goat.
As you can see, we're running a little low in the furniture department. Eventually I'll put an overstuffed reading chair in that corner, even though I don't read. But in the mean time I've gone with the road bike on a stationary stand. It makes me look hardcore, even though I'm nothing more than a lazy-ass in disguise. And, in true Amy fashion, the exercise equipment is set up right next to a print of a giant chocolate cake.
I like to use that closet door to showcase James's latest piece of artwork--as long as it matches the rooms and isn't totally ugly. See? I really am an excellent mother.
Here is a close up of James's latest creation. It's entitled "Scary Monster Eating a Scary Flower," and according to the artist it depicts a scary monster eating a scary flower.
Here is my cake picture. I bought it at TJ Maxx for $24.99 and consider it my 'big splurge' for the room. I'm totally classy like that.
And here is a picture of our new light fixture. I know it doesn't look like anything fancy, but when you weigh it against the 1964 replica-of-a-breast light that we used to have, it's really very nice.
See?

Hope you like it, Mom! And thanks for painting the trim, Dad! I love you guys!

Tagged

November 6, 2008

I've been tagged.

10 years ago:
1. I was at Virginia Tech on an athletic scholarship. We were sponsored by Adidas, and I returned all of the shoes they gave me for cash. They were ugly, what else was I supposed to do?
2. I was dating a guy whose last name was Smirnoff. I really didn't like him, and I'm pretty sure the feeling was mutual.
3. I adopted an Iguana and named him Holiday. He now lives with my cousin in Florida, and from what I hear he's about four feet long.
4. I had a really stupid haircut.
5. I lived right next door to the school's heavy-weight wrestler. He was absolutely ginormous and smelled like an anus.

Five things on my To-Do List today:
1. Grocery shop. Jared was upset about the can of soup I packed in his lunch today. I don't blame him. It was cream of mushroom, he has no microwave in his office, and I failed to throw a can opener into the bag.
2. Buy some fabric to make curtains for the den. I've said it once and I'll say it again--I'm so domestic it hurts.
3. Think about going for a run, but fail to do so on account of my laziness.
4. Complain about my weight.
5. Clean out my email inbox.

Five things that I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. Pay off our student loans.
2. Pay for our house.
3. Buy my husband a bird dog.
4. Plan a family trip to Disney World.
5. Send Jared and his bird dog on a hunting trip to Alaska.
(I take my imaginary millionaire responsibilities very seriously.)

5 Places I have lived:
1. West Hartford, Connecticut--born and raised. Where everyone plays an instrument (very well), where everyone is the state champion of something, and where every teenager thinks a yearly tuition bill of $40,000 is pretty darn normal.
2. Old Town, Maine. I've heard the paper milled closed down and the town no longer smells like turnips dipped in poo. Definitely a step in the right direction.
3. Dallas, Texas. It was always 110 degrees and we'd hear gunshots almost every night. Jared was like, "Amy, put the gun away."
4. San Diego, California. This is a lie.
5. No where else terribly interesting.

5 Jobs I've had:
1. Jelly donut filler. This was my first job.
2. Sandwich maker. This is the job that made me want to cut my own finger off, just so I could go home.
3. Babysitter with a masters degree. No seriously, my first job after grad school was as a nanny.
4. Affordable Housing Specialist. We had to move because we couldn't afford to pay for housing. Seriously, it's true. (Hi Richard--I miss you!)
5. Wife and Mother extraordinaire. Emphasis on extraordinaire.

Have a good day everyone!

Inside My Head. Inside My Heart.

November 5, 2008

Dear Diary,

I'm just so sick of these days.

The days where I show up to work one part frazzled (from wrestling an unwilling three-year-old into a pair of mittens), one part stressed (because of tonight's 6 o'clock deadline), and one part sad (because that's just the way I am these days).

It's the sad part that's really getting to me.

You see, I can handle the frazzled part with a few timeouts and a couple deep breaths. I can handle the stressed part with a well crafted to-do list and my ringer switched to 'off.' But the sad part? There's really no way of escaping it. The best I can do is close my office door, wedge myself into the teeny little nook between my desk and the wall, and let myself cry.

Sometimes I turn the radio up so the woman across the hall isn't able to hear me. Sometimes I don't. It comes on so fast, and I really don't care who has to witness my whimpers any more.

I'm usually okay. You know, I'm able to return a few phone calls and I'm able to throw together a half-decent presentation for a morning meeting. But sometimes--oh sometimes--the craziest little nothings can throw me into an emotional tailspin.

Like that stupid #$%^ing printer jam--how that little frustration turned into an impromptu cry fest for the baby, I'll never understand.

I guess I'm a little lonely. It kind of feels like the rest of the world has moved on (as they absolutely should). But here I am, left behind in a creepy, dusty ghost town with nothing to do but listen to the echoing squeaks as I spin myself around and around on an empty bar stool--and occasionally shout obscenities into the air as I squash the tumbleweeds with the bottom of my boots.

I can see the road. I can see for miles in every direction. I just can't figure out how to do anything with all those options.

And then I remember that I'm not any cowboy. I'm just a 27 year-old girl who's wiping my own snot with the sleeve of my favorite hooded sweatshirt--who likes to make mix CDs with titles like "Blah Day Mix" and "For When I'm Feeling Down" and "Sometimes Life Sucks."

Good heavens, it's like I'm turning into a depressed teenager again. If you happen to see me shuffling around in Goth style clothes while listening to Nirvana, please, by all means, call my mother to discuss your concerns.

I guess this is the point where I need to learn to take people's advice, and just be patient with myself and my feelings.

So what if the sun rising over the lake doesn't bring to mind loveliness, and peace, and God's greatness? So what if the changing leaves don't inspire me to ponder the beauty in death? So what if the only things that make me laugh these days are Jared, James, Sesame Street and The Office?

SO-THE-FREAK-WHAT?

This is where I'm at. And I truly believe that the more I can feel it, the more I can talk about it, the more I can just deal with it, the shorter my stay will be in this lonely, abandoned place.

I'll take my time, but you can bet your ass that I will not wallow. I will not tarry.

I'd rather take my time and find my way to a normal place, than spend way too long trying to admire the wreckage through a set of rose colored glasses. Besides, I don't even own a pair.

And you know? This lonely place? I'm guessing that it will always be there--unfortunately, no one has the power to bull-doze it. Even after I've moved away, I'm sure I'll be forced to take the unexpected weekend trip, or just swing by for a minute or two.

And that's okay. That's life.

In closing, I'd like to thank every one who has taken care of me during this last month and a half. Thank you for reading my blog and thank you for each of your kind acts. Thank you for sending too much email for me to answer, and thank you for allowing me to experience this grief in a very public setting. I know it's a sharp turn from my normal daily dribble, but somehow, I find it to be very therapeutic.

Love,

Amy
(That picture up there is all over the internet, so I really don't know who to credit it to. But damn, that is one hell of a tumbleweed.)

To Hell in a Handbasket....

November 5, 2008

No, no. I'm just kidding. Seriously, that was a joke. And I don't care who you are, Ronald and Nancy seemed like such a nice couple, didn't they?

I've been careful not to reveal my political preference on this blog, but today I'll let you in on a little secret: I'm a registered Independent.

And it's not because I'm an indecisive weenie. If you want to know the whole truth, I feel uncomfortable affiliating myself with any group or party that almost never functions in accordance with its ideals--government, social, religious or otherwise. Again, that was not a slam--it's just the truth.

So I'm an independent--who leans a certain way.

Honestly, I have no idea why my feelings on global warming should be directly connected to the way I feel about abortion or the war. And seriously now, how is gay marriage related to the financial policy? It makes no sense to me, and I just don't feel like adjusting any of my views to lay nicely against a set of party lines, ya know?

So you want to know who I voted for? Well, tough luck. But I will say this: I have a great deal of hope in Barack Obama. I think he's a good man, who's brave enough to want to lead this nation, and I have a feeling that he kicked my trash on the SATs. I owe him nothing but my respect and support, and you bet your bottom dollar that I'll keep hoping for the best.

I would also like to discuss the fact that Obama is the hottest President we'll have since JFK. Barack is totally smokin', he looks like a million bucks in an expensive pair of trousers, and if I had to wager a guess--I bet he wears some nice cologne.

I'm thrilled to have a President who appears to work out, and sincerely hope that he uses his authority to change the traditional American handshake into the traditional American ass-slap. And then I hope I get to meet him.

Seriously folks, you could bounce a quarter off of that backside. I've played in over and over and over in my imagination, and it works every single time.

I'll miss the McCain/Palin duo, seriously, and wish them nothing but the best. I hope Palin has all the time in the world to snuggle her little baby and her soon-to-be grandbaby. I also hope she'll work hard to maintain her zillion percent approval rating in Alaska--because that's pretty extraordinary. I think I have a six percent approval rating in my job.

And McCain? Well, I just hope the man retires, buys a helluva nice place on the ocean, and drinks liquor out of coconuts. He's an honorable man who's served our nation in the ways that count, and back in the day, he had quite the set of buns as well.

Election Day

November 4, 2008

I love election day. In fact, I love election day so much that I sincerely wish I could make out with it. If only there was a way....

There's just something about the lines, and the booths, and the decrepit old people collecting my ballot that makes me want to raise myself up a flagpole and belt out a couple of patriotic songs. Again, if only there was a way....

And not to mention how much I love writing in "Jared Lawson" as my candidate of choice for the United States Senate. Whenever I have a difficult time deciding between the mainstream candidates, I usually cast my vote in favor of my husband. What can I say? He's smart, he's sassy, and he photographs beautifully.

I also love petitions--and with the exception of something truly insane, like supporting a parent's right to tattoo a little baby's face, I'll support almost anything going on the ballot.

...You think it should be legal to ride two large turkeys to work? I can respect that. Let's take it to a vote. Where do I sign?

Like today for example--as I was leaving the Town Office, I was intercepted by a young man who was shabbily dressed in jeans and a ball cap that wafted the strong and distinct smell of marijuana. He staggered into my path and was like, "Excuuuuuse me ma'aaaaaaam. Can you sign my petition? Please? It's for medical marijuana."

And I was all, "It's just to get the question on the ballot, right? Signing this doesn't say I support medical marijuana, does it? Wait. Did we go to college together?"

I was right, signing my name simply expressed my desire to move the question this time next year. Fair enough. So I signed. Probably not the most Mormon thing to do. (Because everyone knows we prefer to mix pain pills with anti-depressants--and that my friends, is already legal.)

Just as I picked up the pen and began to sign--I shiz you not--my elderly neighbor walked by, and--wait for it--an older woman from church walked by. Excellent. Ex. cell. ent. I think they both gave me the hairy-eyeball.

That's how it works in tiny towns--lots of hairy eyeballs.

Just so you know, I have absolutely no opinion about medical marijuana. As long as sick people don't win the right to eat my cheezy-doodles without permission, I'll gladly stay out of the issue.

So Happy Election Day, everyone! Just remember: you can write-in my husband if you're undecided, be sure to look over your shoulder before you sign anything, and GO VOTE!--you'll totally lose your right to complain if you don't.