Monday, October 17, 2011

Thank You For 14 Years of Friendship

Saturday was one of the most difficult days of my life because I had to make the most difficult decision I have ever had to make.  I had to decide between selfishness and selflessness, pain for another or pain for myself.  However... love is selfless... and I loved my kitty cat, Darlin.

Over the past couple of months specifically, her health has been declining drastically.  She wasn't making it to the litter box, was having trouble eating, was blind, was deaf, and was even having trouble walking.  She would stumble and fall and sleep nearly twenty out of twenty-four hours a day.  In a word, she was disoriented.

I received some wise advice from my mother-in-law (who recently had to put down her eleven-year-old dog): you have to weigh the quality of life compared to the chance that the animal will get better.  Well, there was no quality to Darlin's life anymore for her- she didn't know where she was, who she was, or who was with her.  She struggled through each and every day, and if she wasn't struggling, she was sleeping.  So... no quality of life.  There also was absolutely no chance of her health improving because she was fourteen years old and extremely feeble.

Those were the facts.  And those facts came with a serious choice:
1) I could be REALLY selfish and wait until she became even more disoriented, started feeling severe pain, and died on her own.

2) I could STILL be selfish and wait until she was obviously in pain and then put her down- allowing her last memory to be pain.

3) I could make the most difficult choice, be unselfish, and put her down before she was in any horrific pain but was obviously not really enjoying life, per se.

I never thought I would be fervently praying for my kitty to die, but I was.  I didn't want to go through with it... I wanted her to die peacefully in her sleep- oh how I would have been thankful to know that she had just gone in her sleep before I ever had to make "the" decision.

I received a call a few weeks ago from my mom and dad letting me know that they thought Darlin might be dying- she was having trouble making it to the litter box and was no longer eating.  I said my goodbyes over the phone, asked for them to love on her, and just hoped that she would go while sitting in my dad's lap (one of her favorite places to sleep) or in the middle of the night while sleeping in her bed.  However, we also discussed the possibility of her needing to be put down.  I watched her stumble around on web cam for a bit, discussed what was going on with her, and then knew the choice I had to make- the best choice for her.

There was, however, a light at the end of that short, yet emotional, tunnel.  My parents told me that she was doing better!  She had started eating again and seemed to be having a little bit of a better time with "living".  Phew!  That was a close one!

Pain struck again, though, Friday, when my mom called me to let me know that it was, indeed, time.  She had made an appointment for Darlin to be put down at 10:30 am Saturday.  There wasn't much time, but she wanted to inform me and confirm that it would be okay with me.  I knew that it was the right choice, but there was one condition... I had to be there.  Travis and I were going to make it up to Tennessee by the Saturday- no other option.  The vet was super helpful and generous; she opened later on specifically for us so we wouldn't have to make it to a 10:30 am appointment and so I would have some time with her before having to say goodbye.  It was final... after 4:00 pm, Darlin would be in peace at last.

How would we get to Tennessee?  We would either have to pay a whole lot of money to fly commercial (with the potential of us still not being able to get a flight), spend 12 hours each way driving to Tennessee (driving through the night Friday), or Travis's dad, Shawn, could fly us in his small, private plane.  This was one of those times where I was so thankful, that I barely knew what to say because words couldn't quite express my gratitude.  Shawn and Becky flew us in the private plane to Tennessee, early Saturday morning (to return the next day).  I don't know quite how to express my gratitude to them because it is impossible to do so; it was a huge sacrifice for them... one that will never be forgotten.

Saturday was a solemn day.  When I arrived at my parents' home, Darlin was in her bed... where she spent most of her time.  When I picked her up and held her, I could see in her old, tired eyes that it was time to let her be in peace.  I spent Darlin's last hours with her.  She purred and she snuggled, and I loved on her: kissed her, hugged her, held her, sang to her, and talked to her.  I told her how much I loved her.  I told her that the only reason I was going to do what I was about to do was because I loved her.  And I prayed... I prayed so hard that God would just let it happen there in my arms so that we wouldn't need to go through with the thing I had been dreading.

I wished that time would stop.  I wished that time would go backward.  I wished anything except that time would move forward, but it did.  The hours ticked by, and with each passing hour, my heart broke a little more.

When it was finally time to go to the vet, I held Darlin close to me in my sweater and kept her warm and cozy.  We made it to the vet, and my mom- God bless her- signed the consent form for me.  Once we went in the room, I confirmed with her that it was the right thing to do- I couldn't help but doubt my choice over and over... how could something so selfless and "right" for my kitty, break me inside so much?  She confirmed that she thought it was time (I had heard this confirmation so many times, but I didn't quite want to believe it).  She explained that she needed to take Darlin to the back to insert the catheter, which would then stay there until we were ready to have the injection (we would of course be in the room for that).  When I handed her over and the vet took her away to the back, I broke down.  My back slid down the wall until I was sitting on the floor of the office with Travis's arms wrapped around me.  I sobbed.  And sobbed.

As much as I wanted Darlin back in my arms, I dreaded the vet bringing her back to me.  Her bringing Darlin back into that room would only mean one thing: the moment I had dreaded was about to occur.  However, time moved on...

My little kitty was brought back into the room with a catheter in her sweet, tiny paw.  She was also a little tired and subdued because the vet had to give her something so the catheter wouldn't hurt going in.

I sat down on a chair in the corner with my sweet baby girl in her bed in my lap- her favorite place to be: in a lap.  My parents and Travis surrounded us.  We all prayed over her and each of them kissed her sweet little head and said, "I love you."  I held her close, kissed her and said, "I love you," many times... but never enough.  I nodded to the vet, and my baby for 14 years went into the most peaceful sleep while we had our hands on her.  Just as her eyes closed completely, I stroked her head and held her paw.  The vet checked her heart, but I already knew she was gone.  She went fast.  She went gracefully.  She went peacefully.

I can't explain the urge you feel to say, "STOP!" as the injection is already happening...  it's like... even if you wanted to change your mind at that point, you can't.  It is no longer your choice.  Even as she laid still before we left... there was an urge to say, "No, wait!  Please, not yet!  I changed my mind..."

Soon after she passed, I asked if I could pick her up.  I held my tiny, limp kitty cat in my arms, kissed her, and told her again that I loved her.  I then laid her down on her bed, curled up as if she was sleeping, and crossed her two sweet front paws.  She was beautiful.

I set her and her bed down on the vet's counter and left the room so my mom could discuss the cremation with the vet.  After about a minute in the lobby, I found myself going back into the room to see Darlin's face one last time.  I just wasn't ready to say goodbye.  Not that I would ever be.  I pet her again, kissed my fingers and placed them gently on her head and left the room for the last time.

I don't know how to express to those who have never had a close pet what it feels like to have to make a decision like the one I made for Darlin.  I can't express the pain the occurs inside when you have to watch your sweet kitty of 14 years pass away in your lap because of an injection that you, yourself, gave the "nod" to the vet to give...

Other things in my life have happened in a way where I could "spread out" the emotion.  What I mean is, usually when hurtful things happen in your life, you can transfer some of that sorrow to anger, bitterness, happiness, relief, etc.  When hurtful events happen, usually there are "mixed emotions".  I can deal with mixed emotions.  But this... is pure, undiluted sorrow.  I have never known such dense, complete sadness in my heart.  In other situations, the emotions are spread out amongst others.  This helps because you are called to support and console others even if you are hurting as well.  If Darlin was a kitty Travis and I had gotten together, he and I would share the sorrow- thus spreading it out.  I would console him and he would console me- we would both carry the heavy burden.  Darlin was my kitty cat.  My baby.  I am not saying that others weren't big parts of her life or that she wasn't a big part of others' lives... she definitely was.  However, if asked whose cat she was... the answer was "Brittany's".  We were friends from my childhood into adulthood- loyal companions.  What I am saying is that I didn't have anyone to console... I didn't have anyone with whom to share the immense burden- not the exact same burden at least.  These are the reasons why this pain was worse than anything I have ever experienced thus far.

Darlin wasn't just any kitty- she was special.  She was a lap kitty.  She loved much and was loved much by everyone that knew her.  She would come when I called and play tag with me when she was younger and stronger.  She was my companion, friend, and baby.  I grew up as she did.  Unfortunately, pets grow faster than we do, thus, death takes them long before it takes us.

I wish I could say that I can now think fondly of her without ever feeling my heart crack and crumble inside or tears flowing down my cheeks, but I can't.  It takes more time.  More than anything, it takes the Lord's healing.

I think one of the best ways to end this is by saying thank you.  Thank you Mom and Dad for loving Darlin and caring for her.  You two proved selfless till the end to not only my kitty but to me as well.  You took her under your wing when Travis and I couldn't, paid for health expenses even when money was tighter than normal, and gave her love from the beginning until the end.

Becky, thank you for your consolation, support, and advice through this whole ordeal.  You helped solidify in my heart and mind that I was making the right, humane choice.  Thank you for the times you have taken care of Darlin when my parents have come to visit and brought the cats with them.  I know the kitties messed up your study's bathroom, but you were generous and gracious about it despite the chaos.  During those trips, you were loving to Darlin, spent time with her, held her, and pet her even though she caused you some allergy issues.  I know she appreciated the attention.

Shawn, thank you for your support and willingness to fly on the drop of a hat to get me to Tennessee to be with my baby for her passing away.  I know that flying in your plane costs you a lot in time and money, and you have never asked us once to reimburse you for gas- in fact you refuse our offers to pay for some of it.  This weekend could have been a stressful 24 hours on the road for Travis and me, but thanks to you and your generosity, the trip was so much less stressful (even considering the circumstances).  It means so much to me that I was able to be with Darlin until the end.

Travis, thank you for all of your support throughout this emotional roller coaster.  You have held me when I have needed to be held and backed off when I have needed some alone time.  You loved Darlin- that is the greatest gift you could have given to me for her.  In Tallahassee when she was with us, you would help me bathe her, feed her, clean out her litter box, clean up her messes, and spend time with her.  There were times when you would be sitting at the kitchen table doing homework with her curled up in your lap; I am so glad you have those special memories with her.  Other times, we three would cuddle on the couch together and fall asleep- a little "family nap".   She loved you, too.

Mom, thank you for getting her for me.  It is times like these where we have to remind ourselves that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.  You claim to not be a "pet person", but you took care of Darlin's "pet needs" (litter box, food, water, etc.) better than I did many times- especially when I was younger.  As she and I grew older, you took care of her "sick needs"- putting pads down around the litter box in case she didn't make it, taking her to the vet when things didn't seem right, feeding her wet food when she could no longer eat the dry food, cleaning up a variety of her "messes", bathed her when she was too weak to clean herself, and so much more.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart- I know Darlin was thankful, too.

Dad, you were one of Darlin's favorite people (probably the top of her list near the end).  You loved that kitty, and you made sure she knew it.  You held her on your lap even when she drooled and pet her even when she was too old to clean herself- your hands had to have been filthy and your clothes covered in fur after holding her, but you didn't care... or at least, you cared more about her than those other issues.  I never had to worry that she was being neglected emotionally because I knew that you considered yourself her "grandpa".  There were times when I am sure it was "inconvenient" to love on her, but you were selfless until the very end.  She loved you so much.

Darlin, thank you for 14 wonderful years of friendship.  You were a loving, sweet, tiny kitten that grew into a loving, sweet, tiny cat.  You were loyal to me always despite not always being able to live with me.  I had a great childhood, but somehow you made it even greater.  I guess you just had a way of making life better.  You were a sweet addition to my life that I will never forget.  Thank you for snuggling with me.  Thank you for always saying hello with a sweet little "meow" when I would walk into the room.  Thank you for playing tag with me.  Thank you for coming when I called so I would know that I never had to try to hold or play with you against your will- you weren't that kind of cat (you weren't "fickle").  Thank you for going on trips with me.  Thank you for beating cancer a couple of years back and giving us more time together... I guess those vets didn't know who they were dealing with when they said you wouldn't make it more than a year.  They didn't know they were dealing with my Darlin.  Thank you for playing with me.  Thank you for napping with me.  Thank you for...everything you gave me.  Thank you for being my little "darlin'".  No other name could have suited you quite as perfectly.  Thank you for your love and devotion.  You are in peace now, never to suffer again.  You had a long, wonderful life full of adventure, love, and prayer for you.  Having to say goodbye was the hardest thing I have ever had to endure... but I did it out of love for you.  Love is selfless and kind- that was the most selfless and kind thing I could have done for you.  You didn't deserve to suffer any longer.  You deserved peace.  And now you have it.  My heart still breaks for you... I think there will always be at least a small scar on my heart from October 15th, 2011- the day I said goodbye to my sweet, one-of-a-kind friend.  You were beautiful as a baby, and you were beautiful lying still.  You were so beautiful.  Thank you for all you have given our family.  Thank you for all you have given me.

I miss you. 

I love you and will always love you.

Goodbye.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Are You Pinterested?

My sister, Lindsey, recently introduced me to this nifty (yes, I said "nifty") website called Pinterest.  It is a site used for exactly how it sounds: you pin stuff in which you are interested.  Still kind of a weird definition?  Think bulletin board.

Perhaps you now have or have had a bulletin board where you would pin up interesting pictures you clipped from magazines- beauty ideas, outfits you wanted, exercise/diet inspiration, etc.  Pinterest is like an online bulletin board which stands to reason considering that everything these days is online (including some magazines).  You "pin" pictures you like from various websites to your boards (you have different boards on your Pinterest page to categorize your photos).  Pinterest automatically grabs the URL and posts it with the picture so that the proper site gets the credit for the photo. 

You don't just need to pin from websites; you can also "repin" from someone else's Pinterest page.  Don't want to repin, but want to show appreciation for the pin?  "Like" it!  Pinterest even allows you to comment on pins as well.  You can follow other boards so that you can keep up with pins people have added.  Forrrrrr example, you can follow Lindsey and me (and obviously many more, but c'mon, let's be honest... ours are the coolest- duh!

Well, if it sounds interesting to you, check it out!  In order to join Pinterest, you have to go to the site and request an invite (I'm pretty sure they do that to avoid bots).  Click here, or here, or even HERE to check out my personal Pinterest page!  It may sound strange, but trust me, it's fun.  Enjoy!

P.S. Let me know what ya think!  ;]

Thursday, July 28, 2011

As Promised...

Mamma Mia!  Meatballs!  I am going to discuss meatballs because, for the very first time the other day, we made them!  They were yyyyyyuuuuummmmmmmmmyyyyy!!!  In case you have never made meatballs before (Hey, it could happen- after all, we were living proof of that!), I am going to give you a quick description of how we made them:

Uno) Mix 1 lb. ground beef with pepper, salt, garlic (lots of it if you are like me and love garlic- proof that I am not a vampire... in case you... had any suspicions...), an egg, bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, and oregano.  (I'm not being specific because there are soooo many meatball recipes online that you can use; we actually combined some recipes to make ours.)

Due) Form the mixture into balls (duh.)

Tre) Get some olive oil in a saucepan nice and hot (like sizzling hot).

Quattro) Once the olive oil is super hot, place the meatballs into the oil (they should sizzle and pop some).  Turn the meatballs so that they get nice and brown on the outside only.

Cinque) Boil some pasta sauce in a pot.  (Important Tip: Put a lid on the pot!  That is, unless your walls are red.  Then you can go to town I suppose... if you don't mind that there is crusty, old sauce rotting on your kitchen walls for all of eternity.  Meh, to each his own.)

Sei) Plop those meatballs into the sauce, and let them boil for 25-30 minutes to ensure that they are done.

Sette) Near the end of the 25-30 minutes, boil your pasta (you don't want it to get overly mushy while the meatballs are cooking).

Otto) Pour a few delicious meatballs as well as sauce over your pasta, top the whole thing with a little Parmesan (if you desire it), and voila!

Buon Appetito!

Next on our list of topics is Krumkakes.  Let's look at a couple definitions shall we...
  • Krumkake or 'Krum kaka' (, meaning bent or curved cake, plural krumkaker) is a Norwegian waffle cookie made of flour, butter, eggs, sugar, and cream. Krumkake are traditionally made during the Christmas season.
  • A Norwegian Christmas cookie. The cookie is made on a specially designed iron carved with intricate designs. The cookie batter is normally flavored with cardamom and is baked on the iron, and then while still warm rolled into a cone shape.
thebakingpan.com/baking-glossary/k.html

I became ambitious and "bake-y" the other day, so my friend Alyssa and I had an impromptu Skype baking date!  She made chocolate chip cookies, and I made this Norwegian treat for the first time!  I have had the Krumkake press for quite some time now thanks to Grandmother Engebretsen (She knew it would be the perfect gift!).

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the Krumkakes I made.  Oops!  However, I have more batter, so when Travis and I make some more (he was at work and didn't get a chance to make them the first time), I will take pictures and post them on the blog.  =]  Until then, let me give you a taste of what Krumkakes look like by showing these pictures I've found:


 

 




Finally, we shall discuss...

... wait for it...

... wait for it...

BUTTONS!!!

Now, if you have not come to the realization in your life that buttons make everything better, then 1) ::gasp::!  I am shocked! and 2) What a terrible shame!  Your life must be so empty!!!

There, there.  Never fret... now that you are aware that buttons do, indeed, make everything better, you can look forward to a life full of button bliss!  You're welcome.

Anywho, the reason I am even discussing buttons is because I have added them to my apron thus making my apron like... a million times even more awesome (at least!).  Are you ready to see the before and after?  I said:

(::big rocker shouting voice::)

ARE YOU READY TO SEE THE BEFORE AND AFTER?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

let's do this thing.

Before- notice how sad the flowers are because of their lack of buttons.

After- notice how happy the flowers are now that their lives are no longer button-less.

Needed a closer look?  I knew you would.

Last one too close?  Try this one on for size!


Ok, enough of that.  Well, now that I have... typed... your ear...eyes... off...  Nope... that just isn't working.  

Well, now that I have rambled on and on about meatballs, Krumkakes, and buttons for pleeeenty of time, I shall bid you adieu!  (There, that was better, wasn't it?  I think so, too.)

Any thoughts to share?  Let me have 'em by leaving a comment!  Thanks for reading!  =]

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Quick Update to "Hold You Over"

Hey T.A.B.L.E. Talk readers!  Yeah!  That's right!  I see all... ::counting::... four of you!!!  Awesome!  (BTDubs, I don't technically see you so don't worry if you aren't wearing pants or were in the middle of picking your nose or something... but seriously, save that for the bathroom... nasty.)

I just wanted to give you all a quick hello and preview of what you will be reading about in my next blog post.  So first, HELLO!

Now that that is over with, what's up next?  An awesome three-part discussion (...because you know I LOVE lists... particularly ones with three components for some reason... can we say OCD???) on meatballs, Krumkakes, and buttons!  Doesn't that sound fun!?

-Stay tuned!-


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Heartbeats, Aprons, and Vomit

So today I am going to talk about puppies. 

Hopefully, you are thinking, "Why, that has absolutely nothing to do with the title of this post!"  If you aren't thinking that, then clearly you didn't pay attention to the title... and whyyyyy not?!?!?!  The title is a very important part of writing pieces!  Now then, you are forgiven.

Clearly I am not going to be talking about puppies in this post.  I am going to be talking about the three things mentioned in my title.  (Lookin' forward to "Vomit", eh?  I can tell.)

1) The first thing is not only number one on the list, but it is also the most important thing on the list to discuss.  TUE Tuesdays ago (Get it?  Meh, whatever- it was the 5th- you get the picture), Travis and I got to experience hearing our baby's beautiful heartbeat via doppler!  My parents also came down from Tennessee to hear it!  =D  Yeah, they are just a little excited.  Travis and I heard the heartbeat together first, and then my parents came in and heard while Mom videotaped.  Speaking of the video... enjoy!


2) The next thing to talk about... er... type about... is my new hobby!  I have taken up sewing, and I am grateful that the skill is kind of "in my genes".  My mom is an excellent seamstress, so I am hoping some of that awesomeness trickled through the bloodstream and made its way to me.  Well, I guess you can be the judge of that... just kidding... no judging!!!  Below is a picture of my first independent sewing project (independent meaning I called my mom every 5 minutes asking for help)- a cute, colorful apron:


3) And now... the moment you have all been waiting for... (cue exciting music)... vomit.  Yes... it happened again.  I threw up again.  Two times in fourteen weeks?  I have been BLESSED!  This last time was not caused by gagging myself with a toothbrush (soooo lame).  This time was just kind of random.  I think it was caused partially by me not eating first thing, partially by me being dehydrated, and partially by me taking a hot shower before eating- I get overheated very easily.  Regardless... puking = un-stinkin-pleasant.  You should be very grateful I don't have some form of visual media for this point.  You're welcome.

Toodles, people!
PUPPIESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!
 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Initiation

I have passed initiation.  I am officially pregnant.  How did I come to this conclusion- that I am "officially" pregnant?  True, I have been "officially" pregnant for quite some time now... because, well, you can't be more pregnant.  You either are or aren't.  However, alls I'm saying is that if pregnancy was a club, I just completed initiation.  That's right...



I barfed.



Do you want to know how this happened?  It is the dumbest reason... no really.  You are allowed to laugh at me.  The evil, wicked tool of torture??


That's right.  I threw up due to brushing my teeth.  The thing is, when I used to brush my teeth (pre-babyinthebellay), I would accidentally gag myself all the time because I am serious "tongue-brusher"... I think tongues need to be brushed quite thoroughly.  However, your gag reflex becomes quite a bit stronger and more demanding when you are pregnant.  Thus, before when I would gag, my body would say, "::Gag::  Oops!  You are good... no worries!"  Now?  Now my body says, "::Gag::  Hey!  You are throwing up!  Let's do this thing!"

I have nearly thrown up recently while brushing, but I have been able to drink water in order to stop it from happening.  I have been grateful for this blessing- the ability to stop the purging.  Yesterday morning?  Not so much.  I drank water, yes.  However, I knew that this time might be different... which is why I decided to visit the Porcelain Express.  Thankfully I hadn't eaten breakfast yet, so I only threw up my spleen.

This is all to say that I am now an official, sworn-in member of Club Pregnant.  Thank you and good day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Got a Sweet Tooth? She Can Help!

As many of you know, my mom graduated a few years ago from Palm Beach State College with her A.A. Degree.  While at school, she met Monique, a sweet colleague who became a beloved friend.  Little did I know JUST how "sweet" she is!!!  My mom sent me this menu today from Monique's new company, asking what I would like (since Mom is coming down on Sunday to celebrate Independence day with us).  As I browsed the menu, I was shocked by the incredibly reasonable prices!  Usually specialty "treat" places charge an arm and a leg for their yummy goods.

If you are considering having family over for the Fourth of July, consider Monique's Sweets & Treats! to provide something yummy for your guests.  Hey, let's face it, even if you aren't having anyone over, everyone likes a little random sugar pampering!  Yummmmm!  Check out the menu:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Why is Today Significant?

Why is today significant?  You really don't know?  Are you actually asking that?  No?  You weren't?  ... ::ahem:: Can you work with me for a sec???  kthanks.

So you were asking why today is significant... well, I will tell you!  Duh!  It is National Porcupine Appreciation Day!


no not really.

However, it is significant.  Today I am officially 11 weeks pregnant!  That is right!  At 12 weeks, Travis and I will get to hear our baby's HEARTBEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am beyond stoked.  I am also excited because my mom and dad are coming down for Independence Day, and that means my mom will be able to come and hear her grandbaby's heartbeat!!!!  =]  It will be a great day.  I have a feeling that hearing that beautiful sound will make it that much more real to all of us.  I am excited!  =]

Yay 11 weeks!  ...sorry porcupines.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Brittany!!!

For you long-time readers out there, you probably remember that June 15th is one of the most special days in the whole year, ranking somewhere around Christmas, and my personal favorite, Arbor Day.

Actually, I don't even know when Arbor Day is... but i do know that today is....


Brittany's 22nd Birthday!!!!


Happy birthday, love! Because of you, I now love June 15th, April 30th, December 19th, and January 12thish. (Let everyone else guess what those dates are....)

I am so happy to be your husband and so excited to bring a baby into this world with you. I love you more and more each day and can't wait for the next 25,550 days or so with you!

Love,

Travis

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Pregnancy

I don't want to eat unless it is, of course, not good for me.

I have to pee a million times a night.

I am exhausted.

I am bloated and constipated.

And...

It is worth it.  =]

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

And Baby Makes Three...

I'm sure if you are friends with my mom or my mother-in-law on facebook, you know by now that Travis and I have a little one on the way.  =]  As far as I know, I am at 8 weeks tomorrow.  Tomorrow is also my first doctor's appointment, so I am excited!

I would share the completely terrifying picture of Travis and me with the first test, but 1) It will haunt you in your sleep and 2) It is a First Response pink dye test with an extremely light second line indicating pregnancy.  Thus, I will share with you our digital test.  After all, you cannot get a more straightforward answer than the word "Pregnant"!


Here is a movie my mom made to help break the news to Travis's parents as well as the facebook world!  She is so creative and technologically skilled!  Check it out!  =]



Travis and I feel extremely blessed beyond reason and are so happy and excited for January 12, 2012 to come!  We are already in love with him or her... and he or she is already causing mommy to not fit into some clothes... uh oh!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

On the Road Again...

Off to Florida!  Goodbye awesome Tennessee weather; hello horrid, boiling Florida heat!  =\

Ahhhhhh!

Yummmmmm.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Random, Not-So-Life-Changing or Super Significant Birthday!

I just wanted to write this post to say...

HAPPY

23RD

BIRTHDAY,

TRAVIS!!!!!!!!!!!


Travis, I love you with all of my heart, and I have enjoyed spending the last seven, yes SEVEN, of your birthdays with you (for those whose brains are smoking, that began with his 17th birthday)!  You are my love, my husband, my best friend, and my brother in Christ.  I am so happy to be with you. 

I feel like no matter how close we snuggle, it is never close enough; no matter how many times we kiss, it is never enough; no matter how many times we say "I love you" to each other, it is never enough; and no matter how much time we spend with each other, it is never enough.  You are satisfyingly unsatisfying.  You are so wonderful and fulfilling, that I just can't get enough of you! 

Love, you were brought to me by the Lord, no doubt, and I could never thank Him enough for bringing you into my life.  I am so incredibly blessed to call you mine.  And I am yours.  =]  Happy birthday, Travis.  I love you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Oh Me! Oh My!

I lied.  I am not going to discuss my being sick because... well... I am wayyyy past being sick now- duh!  Thus, I will move on to more important things.  Things that you, yes you, as the reader will want to know!  Well then, let's begin!

Uno) We are moving back to South Florida ::waits for gasps::... we will be moving to Jupiter, Florida beginning this Sunday, May 22nd.  Details will be shared at a later date!  ;]  Oh yeah... cliff hanger... gotta love it.

Dos) Travis and I have already moved out of our New York condo.  That's right.  We are fast.  Errrr.... not to mention that my loving, hard-working parents drove all the way up to NY from Tennessee to help us pack up and load up the POD (If you don't know what this is, look it up!  It is pretty neat!).

As you can see, we have been busy bees, so please don't judge me for not posting much... I feel your judgment... STOP IT!!!

Now we are in the process of working out a lease with a two bedroom apartment in Jupiter.  I just have to say... the difference in the cost of living between NY and FL... wow.

Currently, we are spending some time in Tennessee with my parents before we have to go down to Florida.  We are enjoying the crisp, fresh mountain air as well as my parents' company!  =]  We will be here until Sunday (the 22nd); that is when we will head down south.  However, heading south will be only a pit stop for me before heading back up north for my birthday trip!  Many of you know this interesting tidbit about me, but for those of you who don't, let me fill you in: I have never woken up in the same state on my birthday.  That's right.  Each and every birthday, I wake up somewhere new.

Because we thought we would be in NY longer, we had already planned a trip to Vermont!!!  Welllllll, we didn't cancel the trip, we're still going!  The only bummer is that Travis cannot go with us because of the timing.  boo.  =[  Actually, a couple of things have ended up being bummers since our super-duper shot gun exit out of New York.  I bought Travis tickets to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Beethoven concert in Poughkeepsie, New York for May 21st for his birthday (May 20th- hey, that's tomorrow!  What a coinkydink!).  ::sniff::  We had to... ::sniff::... SELL THEM!!!!!!!!!  ::sob::  SO not fun!  Needless to say, I owe him a super amazing present because that concert was going to be the bomb diggity yo.  Some things ended up being bummers, but meh... c'est la vie.

I will catch you up on a few other things at a later date, but for now... fin.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Post 100: Significance of the Snapshot

And the Answer is...

SPRING BREAK!!!  Hudson Valley Christian Academy (where I teach art and theatre) is on Spring Break from April 18-22.  This means that I have the week off from teaching- woohoo!  More importantly, we are going to Tennessee for a week to spend time with my parents in their home in Roan Mountain!  Now, that was a simple, yet thorough enough explanation to move on to the next photo... it is kind of blurry, but you "get the picture"- haha!  Get it??  The picture!?!?  Because it actually is a pic............

Oh, one more thing.  This will make more sense if you ignore the .7.  Got it?  Good!


Since we are on the last of the "Significance of the Snapshot" posts, I am going to reveal the significance of this snapshot without you having to guess.  Isn't that nice?  I'm just spoon-feeding you the answer!  Why, in my day, we had to walk FIFTEEN miles uphill both ways just to get a hint at an answer... and that was for DRAWINGS, not conflabit photographs!!!!

So now that you hopefully have more of an appreciation for the answer due to my tangent, here goes: I said to ignore the .7... so that would leave... 100... it is the 100th post.  Meh.  Okay, so I know it wasn't that life-changing, but give me a break- I'm sick!  In fact, my next post will be about my crud-tastical sickness and the fever that never dies.  Get. excited.

On a different, more depressing note (as if "the fever that never dies" wasn't depressing enough), I missed my blog's 1 year anniversary!!!  BOO!  It was April 3rd!  Doesn't that stink?!  I thought so, too.  So, let's take care of a few things:

1. HAPPY 100 POSTS TO MY BLOG!  *sniff*  It's like I just wrote the first post yesterday...

2. HAPPY BELATED ANNIVERSARY TO MY BLOG!  Boo for missing it.

3. STAY TUNED FOR THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT 100 POSTS!  As said, it shall begin with a lovely explanation of the odd things going on with my body.  I WISH I could say that for some weird reason I am experiencing rapid weight loss and massive muscle toning without doing a THING... but, alas, I can't.

Now, on to the last bit of business.  Please leave a comment with your favorite snapshot from the "Significance of the Snapshot" post series.  Obviously the pictures are not super artistic or actual "good pictures", so I want you to pick the snapshot that is your favorite based on what it represents.  For example, if you are relatively maniacal, you may choose the picture of the thermometer and Ibuprofen because you are just tickled by the fact that I am ill right now.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Thanks for reading!  Thank you in particular to those who took the time to guess the significance of some of the snapshots!  Stayyyyyy tuneeeeddd!  Oh, and please comment kthanks.  =P

Friday, April 8, 2011

Post 99: Significance of the Snapshot

And the answer is...

Okay, so that one was easy.  I am apparently sick?  The reason I have phrased this as a question is because when I took my temperature this morning, it was 100.4, but when I took it again this evening, it was 98.6!  Very short-lived fever?  I guess so!  So am I sick still?  Well, I still feel icky and lethargic not to mention that my throat feels a little sore and... erm... mucus-y.  I know- yum.  My head also still feels heavy and feels dizzy-ish every once in awhile.  Therefore, I think I am still sicky but not with a fever.  I guess it was more of a toaster oven fever rather than a Crock-Pot fever, thank goodness!  I think I should definitely be fine for work on Monday, but that was a close call.  Teaching at an elementary school with a fever is usually not the best idea (although it is probably where I acquired the delightful little virus in the first place).  Okay, this brings me to another point... can we discuss how grotesque this was on Wednesday?

One of the Kindergartners sneezed and the "super snot" somehow made its way down the entire front of his shirt.  *GAG*  But the real gem was when the child cleaned up his... erm... mess... and then proceeded to wipe. the. table. with the same tissue.  Did you just die a little inside?  Yeah, me too.  I looked at the helper and said, "I am Lysoling that for sure!"

Ahhh, now that I have filled your evening with a joyous visual (Oh yeah, it will be burned into your mind FOREVER.  Trust me.), I will TRY to get the visual out of your head by giving you a different picture to examine.  Truth be told... this is just temporary.  That other visual?  It will NEVER. BE. GONE.  *shiver... twitch*

Post 98: Significance of the Snapshot

And the answer is...

So those of you who know Travis and me really well should know that we have had our share of trouble with Travis's first car- the Audi... of DOOM!!!  To give the car some credit, it drove smoothly and served us well when we needed extra space or All-Wheel-Drive.  Considering that it was either the Audi or the Mini Cooper for long trips or snowy streets, the Audi was good to have around.  When we were planning our long, snowy drive to Tennessee for Christmas, we knew that the Mini was not going to be able to make the trip.  After all, it was Front-Wheel-Drive and had already had a slippy-slidey incident.  No thank you.  Therefore, we decided to get the Audi checked out and serviced so that it would be in ship shape for our trip.

wow.

Thousands of dollars in repairs?  Really?  It seemed that the time had finally come where we realized that we absolutely could not dump anymore money into the vehicle.  It was just sucking money... like some sort of... money toilet.  Therefore, instead of taking a chance with either of the death traps we liked to call cars, we decided to buy a Certified Pre-Owned Honda C-RV- lots of space and All-Wheel-Drive.  Voila!  We decided that we didn't really need both cars; we didn't ever really use both of them at the same time.  Plus, we could use the money from both of the cars to help us purchase our new Honda; thus, we decide that we would sell the Mini and Audi and downsize to one car.

We turned in the Mini to help with the purchase of the C-RV, and we decided to wait on the Audi so that we could try to sell it for more than Honda would have given us for it.  Well, the day finally came: April 5, 2011... the day when death on wheels... erm... I mean... the beloved Audi was finally sold.  Yippee!  Hooray!  *Proceeds to happy dance.*  The money toilet is now officially out of our hands!!!  I could not be happier about this!  It seemed like every time we turned the key on that thing, it had some issue or another.  As said, it drove well, but truth be told, I think it was a lemon from the beginning.  Unfortunately, some cars just are.  Thankfully (praise Jesus for His provision), that lemon is not our sour lemon any longer.

Main point?  The picture represents Travis's first car, the Audi, that is now officially sold: drive free, little Audi... drive free.  This goodbye was bittersweet (but mostly just sweet!).

"Ya'll ready for this?!"

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Post 97: Significance of the Snapshot

And the answer is...

The screen shot stands for Warrior Wives for Christ.  It is a forum that I created... and by saying "I created", I mean, of course, I made up the idea, became confused, asked Travis for help, and watched as Travis created it for me... I know... laaaaame.  Oh well, Travis knows more about that stuff and has more patience- I have to lean on his strengths just as he leans on mine (precisely why I cook and bake- although Trav can make a mean PB&J). 

Anyway, it is a free forum that we created for Christian wives to share their struggles, victories, and recipes!  It is a place where Christian wives can vent about things, chat about things, discuss their faith journeys, etc.  The best part?  It is anonymous!  I know many women like to process issues verbally, and this is a great way to do just that.  They can talk it out... erm... "type it out"... and receive support from other women who have dealt with or are dealing with similar issues.  The forum is also good for miscellaneous discussion such as discussing favorite verses, favorite recipes, and SO MUCH MORE!!!  Sorry, had to.  =D  It is basically a fellowship forum created for women who love Jesus and love their husbands.

I hope you will check it out!  As said, it is anonymous, so if you choose to join, please choose a user name that will keep your identity hidden.  This isn't a place to discover juicy gossip about the Christian ladies we know and love- it is meant to be safe and open so that we can support one another in our faithful journeys with the Lord.

Here is the link: www.WarriorWivesforChrist.com  Enjoy!

What is the next picture?  You can't stand to wait any longer?  Oh fiiiine!  Take a guess! =]

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Post 96: Significance of the Snapshot

And the answer is...

My parents came to visit on March 18th!  Now, before you assume I am out of my stinking mind (which, for those of you who know me, you understand that I am most definitely out of my mind), I will explain how a picture of a barbecue represents my parents' visit.  They came as a surprise to me on Friday, March 18th!  Travis fooled me into thinking that a friend of his was coming to New York and needed a place to stay.  Therefore, I knew that I needed to clean the house to prep for his "friend".  I am very thankful that Travis told me to clean; I think I would have pummeled him if he had allowed my parents to show up at our home when I hadn't had a chance to make sure it was ready for them!

Therefore, Friday, after I came home from substitute teaching, I began helping Travis clean the rest of the condo.  (Travis was home that Friday because he had stayed up way late the night before and hadn't gotten too much sleep.)  At one point, whilst cleaning, Travis claimed that Susan (our beloved neighbor- I just adore her!) was at the door wanting to talk to me.  At this point I am thinking, "Why right now out of all times?!"  Don't get me wrong... she is super sweet and wonderful, but I was rushing to clean for Travis's "friend" for goodness's sake!!!  As I rounded the corner and approached the door, expecting to see Susan, guess who came trompin' through the door!

Santa Claus!

...Sorry, just wanted to make sure you were paying attention.  It was actually... MY PARENTS!  Yayyyyyy!!  I have been surprised three times in my life: my 16th birthday party, my engagement, and this visit.  My jaw dropped to the wooden floor (still trying to get the splinter out of my chin).  You know that look people give you when they are thinking, "Ha ha!  We win!"... yeah.  They got me.

"But Brittany," you say, "What does this have to do with a barbecue?"  Weeeeeelllllll, I am SO glad you asked.  However, first I must correct your use of a conjunction to begin a sentence... you know that is a no no.  Tsk.  Now, to answer your grammatically incorrect question, this has to do with the barbecue because my parents were super duper (oh yeah, I said it) generous and bought us a barbecue for our condo.  We were grateful and stoked!  Travis barbecued that night, and it was deeeeelicious!

Okie dokie!  Ready, set, gooooooo:


Okay, okay, so I know that it isn't a "snap shot" per se, but it is a screen shot.  Does that count?  Guess what?  You don't have a choice!!!  Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Post 95: Significance of the Snapshot

And the answer is...

No, I am not heading to Africa or any other continent for that matter.  I have not been experiencing a relapse into childhood where I am now playing with dolls, and if I was... you would never know.  Moving on then...

The doll is from a few Sundays ago when Harmony Outreach's John Bentley spoke at our church.  He talked all about the organization and what it has been doing to reach and help orphans in China.  Travis and I are now the prayer family and monthly supporters of a beautiful baby girl named Wu!  If you could pray for her as well, we would so appreciate it.  She needs multiple surgeries for her exstrophy of the bladder.  It is a blessing from Jesus that we can have the privilege of praying for this little girl.  The fact that the Lord can use us as a financial vessel is an added bonus!  Anywho, when we signed up, we received this adorable, handmade doll as a gift.  It represents a specific minority group in China.

If you would like the Lord to use you as a vessel in collaboration with Harmony Outreach, please click the link above (the first mention of Harmony Outreach) to get involved.  If the Holy Spirit calls you to help a child and you follow that call, I promise it will be a blessing to you as well (After all, aren't we always blessed when we obey our Heavenly Father?).

What is the next picture?  SO glad you asked!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Post 94: Significance of the Snapshot

And the answer is...

I have recently begun teaching art at Hudson Valley Christian Academy.  I teach the 2nd-4th graders on Monday and the PreK-1st graders on Wednesday.  (I am also teaching an after-school theatre program on Tuesdays- fun fun!)  I had the 2nd-4th graders create shamrocks in honor of Saint Patrick's Day.  We used one session to make preliminary sketches of shamrocks and form them with modeling clay.  We used the next session for painting them with green acrylic paint.  Finally, on Tuesday before teaching drama, I sprayed acrylic gloss on each of the shamrocks, making them look shiny and finished!

Therefore, since these pictures are meant to represent something going on in our lives, this one represents the fact that I have a new job teaching art.  I guess it could also represent the fact that Saint Patrick's Day was a recently occurring holiday!  Although I don't really celebrate St. Patty's Day, I did manage to put on a green shirt this morning in honor of the holiday.  Oh yeah.  Don't get too overwhelmed by my holiday spirit.  holiday.  Sorry, just wanted to say it one more time in this paragraph.

Next snapshot- can you guess the significance?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Post 93: Significance of the Snapshot

And the answer is...

Allll right, so some of you guessed in the general vicinity of the correct answer- yes, I did cut Travis's hair.  Ohhh but wait!  There's MORE!  I didn't just cut Travis's hair, I... well... I guess I will start from the beginning:

It was a few weeks ago when Travis and I decided that we simply could not let his hair grow out anymore than it already had.  He was beginning to look like a porcupine when he gelled his hair for work.  Cut Travis's hair?  Sure!  I could do that!  I have done it quite successfully many, many times.  All I have to do is pop on that #4 guard, cut his entire head of hair, take a #1 guard and thin his sideburns, take his facial razor and use the back part that pops up to shave the hair on the back of his neck down to the skin, use that same razor to trim his sideburns up, and, finally, clean up/make sure it is perfect. 

Now, this past time that I was cutting his hair, I was doing a GREAT job!  I was really fast and knew just the right angles to get the cut done correctly.  In fact, we were finished in less than 30 minutes- woohoo!  That's a new record!  Time for him to take a shower and voila!  "Oh, wait.  Let me just get this section riiiight...GASP!"  I can't exactly explain to you the feeling one gets when she has just created a crater in her husband's hair due to the fact that she didn't change the #1 guard to the #4 guard before landing the shaver onto the right side of the very. top. of. his. scalp... but what I can tell you is that the feeling?  You don't want it- especially when you know that your husband has the chance for revenge soon when he dyes your hair. 

Anywho, Travis quickly caught on to the fact that something went terribly, terribly wrong.  And when I say "quickly caught on" I mean strap a diaper on that man because I just scared him silly by gasping a gasp that instantly let him know what went wrong.  As Travis ran to the mirror to check out the damage- the "crater on the moon" if you will- I had to make a decision... a decision to laugh or to cry. 

I chose laugh.

As Travis gave me the "you little stinker!" face, I plotted on how to salvage the haircut- and his pride.  He had to go to work the next day, no question... he couldn't hide out for the weekend allowing for two days of growth in the one unhappy patch.  It had to be fixed that very night.  I decided that I would cut the top shorter and blend it into the longer sides.  Now I know that this sounds totally bizarre, but it actually worked!  Part of the reason it worked was because he gels his hair.  Thus, he simply needed to gel down the sides and gel the top up, and tada!  Another reason it worked was because I think (by the grace of my Savior) I did not push the guard completely onto Travis's scalp when I used the #1.  Whatever the case might have been, the hair cut actually worked out.  In fact, now Travis is asking if we should cut it again because he says it feels long to him!  Ha ha! 

Then again, no matter how well things work out with your wife's botched haircut, you will still always have that coworker who asks if you have just joined the military.  Such is life.

Here we go againnnnn:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Post 92: Significance of the Snapshot

And the answer is...

My dad turned 57 on February 2nd- his birthday! Yay! If you look in the last post's answer portion, I made it a little obvious to what the coin picture was in reference (Can you tell I took forever and a week trying to figure out how this sentence could not end in a preposition?! How AGGRAVATING!!!)! Hehe! And I quote: "I came down to surprise my dad for his birthday." That was a not-so-subtle hint, eh? Here is the next photooooooo (Hint: Along with it comes a verrrrryyyy funny story- well... we can laugh about it now at least, right?):


P.S. I am not going to ignore the fact that I haven't posted in a million billion years. I just had a lull: a mix of lazy, busy, and writer's/picture-taker's (I don't want to use the word "photographer" for myself as that would surely make actual photographers embarrassed for me/insulted...) block. Sorry about that! I'm back with some schtuff to share!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Post 91: Significance of the Snapshot

And the answer is...

I am in Texas- the Lone Star State! Why? Well, my sister and her hubby live here, and my parents have been visiting with them for the past month. I came down to surprise my dad for his birthday. Super fun! Thanks for guessing! Give this next snapshot a go:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's Time to Play...

Guess the "Significance of the Snapshot"!

Remember how I said that I was going to do a countdown to my 100th blog post? No? Then read the post prior to this and it will alllll come together!

Aaaaaanyway, for those of you who are updated, this is how it is going to work. I will post a picture that represents something or other (related to my life), and your job is to guess what it represents. Now if you were there when I took the picture, please let others do some guessing before you give it away! ;]

Here goes! Let the game begin! Here's the first picture:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Get. Excited.

Check it out! This is officially my 89th blog post! *YAYYYYYY!!!!* I know, right? See, told you- exciting. So, I was thinking about doing a countdown beginning with my 90th blog post. #100 will be the "blast off" post- A.K.A. the zero of the countdown. But what to do...? A picture a day? A random fact a day? A verse a day? Answering a question a day from readers? Guest blog posts? Why don't you decide! This is my nifty little way of making you do the thinking for me. You like how I did that? Anyway, please, please, pleeeeeaaaase submit an idea for my "Countup to 100" extravaganzaaaaaa! If you would like to submit an idea but would prefer to submit it privately, please e-mail me at brittany.engebretsen@gmail.com. You can also make a comment anonymously. Otherwise, comment away as usual!

Let's make this interesting.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mathematics and the Messiah?

My father-in-law sent this to Travis, and it was pretty interesting. Therefore, I thought I would share it with you, dear reader! Enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tooooooo Muchhhhhhh Sugarrrrrrrrr!!!!!!

aldskjfasdklfjsdklfasdklfjsald;fjsl;df
sadfkasdjfklasdjf
asdfkasjdfklasdf
sadfkjasdfl';jsadklfjasdk;lfjasdkl;falsdkfj!!

^ That is my brain on Hershey's Kisses.

Toodles!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One Year and One Month =]


"Don't go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore
I wouldn't leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are

Don't go trying some new fashion
Don't change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care

I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are.

I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you.

I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are."

-"Just The Way You Are" by Billy Joel

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We Were Hopping and Bopping to the Crockodile Pot!

=D Get it? The title? HAAAAAAA!!

I am going to share with you a wonderful slow cooker recipe. It was first introduced to me by my mentor during my teaching internship. It comes from Brenda Arnold who submitted the recipe to Allrecipes.com. What I love about this recipe is that it contains few ingredients, it can be modified according to taste preferences, it takes barely any time to prepare, and it makes plenty of servings (for large families or small families that want to "stretch" meals for financial or time limitations).

Okie dokie! Now that that is out of the way, here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 (10.75 ounce) cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup


1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix


1 1/4 cups water (My mentor advised me to add 2-3 beef bullion cubes in order to add a little bit of flavor.)


5 1/2 pounds pot roast


Directions:

1. In a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture.

2. Cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low setting for 8 to 9 hours.


BAM!
done.

Easy peasy, right? The preparation time is 10 minutes! What could be simpler?! Okay... maybe something microwaveable or PB&J, but what could be simpler and substantial...er...? That's riiiight. Anywho, I made this pot roast this morning (it is on low cooking right now), and I added chopped up carrots to it. I didn't have any potatoes, but I would recommend adding chopped potatoes, carrots, and any other vegetables your family likes. Maybe not lettuce, though, because that will get soggy and gross. Plus, who wants meat-flavored lettuce? NOT ME! However you choose to make it, this is a simple meal that is sure to tickle your taste buds and impress your guests!
Ciao... down! =D

Monday, January 17, 2011

Is There Anybody Out There?

E-mail: brittany.engebretsen@gmail.com
Chain mail=NO!

Cell Phone: HA! Yeah right! I don't want any weirdos calling me! (Shoot me an e-mail if you want my number!)

You know what... I just had an epiphany... I am really not going to give out anything other than my e-mail here because of the aforementioned reason, so go ahead and shoot me an e-mail if you want my Skype name, AIM name, or cell phone number. Ha ha! Sorry about that! I began writing this blog with every intention of giving out my Skype and AIM names, but then as I thought about it just now I was like, "Hmmm, that is stupid..." Thus, please e-mail me so that we can chat.

That is one of the sad things about leaving Facebook- it did help me easily keep in touch with friends through Facebook Chat and the messages. However, I have already received a couple of e-mails from people who wanted to keep in touch despite my leaving Facebook, and I have really enjoyed how much more personal it feels communicating with them. It isn't posted on a wall for all to see, and I can really just take my time reading and responding to what they have to say.

Anywho, this is just my personal opinion. I am not trying to rebuke others for having Facebook by any means. I am simply expressing that I am personally enjoying my communication/life without it. =]

With that said, please feel free to e-mail, call, or IM me at any time! Okay... not any time... if you call at like 2:00 AM, I will be kind of peeved. Puppy Ciao!

P.S. If you understood my title (A.K.A. where/who it comes from), you get a cookie- a virtual cookie... O <--- there it is... I know it looks like an uppercase o, but trust me... it is a virtual sugar cookie. Bon appetit! If you "get" the title without having to "Google", please comment with your answer/guess! No cheating!

Chaotic Cleaning Collision of Cool... Caribou

So I discovered a new method of cleaning the other day. I like to call it "Whirlwind Cleaning". This is a type of cleaning where you give yourself about 1 and 1/2 hours for you and your spouse/roommate/poor innocent friend roped into cleaning with you must go throughout your entire condo/dorm/home/apartment/etc. cleaning the main areas that need... cleaning. Now, to some, this may sound like normal, weekly cleaning. To those of you who are as naturally compulsive as I am, you understand why I have a problem with this. You see, when I start to clean my condo, I become a stubborn, OCD, nit-picky cleaning fiend. Instead of just doing the minor cleaning things to make the condo look nice and neat, I have to go all-out and make sure I clean every nook and cranny perfectly.

This becomes a problem because it tends to create an "all or nothing" cleaning theory. "If I start now, it is going to be a difficult, drawn-out process that will take hours and hours to accomplish. Therefore... nahhhhh. I will try another time." See that being a problem? If not, please read it again because it is super obvious.

This becomes a massive issue because then the condo gets messier and dirtier, yet I refuse to clean up because I know how much of my day it will devour. Well, this compulsive cleaning style comes to an abrupt halt when a guest calls up and says that he will be there in about an hour and a half (much earlier than you expected). Chris, if you are reading, yes... that was you.

This happened the other day, and boy, I will tell ya... although my jaw dropped at the news of an early arrival, I didn't have time to pick it back up! *Insert image of me running around the condo cleaning whilst my jaw sways limply to and fro* ... kind of a disturbing image... reminds me of Jacob Marley in Disney's animated A Christmas Carol. If you have seen it, you know what I mean. If you haven't, what are you waiting for? Go see it right now. I know it is mid-January, but seriously... now. Trust me, it is good. Anyway!

I didn't know that I could clean so fast. It was like magic. Oh, and let's discuss how my mom and dad gave me this new vacuum that they weren't using. It is one of those ones that has the bag compartment rolling around while you vacuum using another piece attached by the hose... something like this...


So anyway, I have officially named mine "The Ninja Vac".

Please note the legit ninja dress shoes.

That's right... ninja. Why? Because as I was busting around the condo with that thing, I could detach the head, use the hose to pick up bigger things (small pieces of paper and such), reattach it, and resume vacuuming in seconds flat! With my other vacuum, it was a big hassle because the hose was looped around a hook and attached to the side; hard to explain- all you need to know is that it was a pain in the bootayyy. The Ninja Vac is thusly named because I plugged the cord into the wall on one spot- ONE SPOT!- and it reached the whole condo. Yes, my condo is a relatively small size, but not that small! Let's also discuss the annoying cord situation that occurs with other vacuums:

1. You spend a junkload of time unwrapping the cord in order to vacuum the house- a task that you don't want to do in the first place!

2. You vacuum each room, dragging the cord to as far as it can reach, getting frustrated when it runs out prematurely.

3. You (annoyed) pull the cord out of the outlet, plug it into another outlet, and proceed.

4. Finally, you are finished. Phew! Ahhh, time to relax, but then... NOOO! The cord... it still needs to be wrapped BACK around the hooks on the vacuum.

5. Wrap, wrap, wrap, wrap, attempt to clip the plug onto the cord... attempt again... drop plug... oh snap! It is unwrapping again!!! Re-wrap, clip plug, chuck vacuum angrily into the closet and proceed with the rest of the cleaning- that is... unless you are too stinkin' frustrated to continue at that point.

Not with the Ninja Vac! You simply press a button, and the cord retracts back into the vacuum... that's right. Be jealous. Needless to say,

I

am

in

love

with my new vacuum!

Thanks, Mom and Dad! I appreciate the Ninja Vac more than you could even fathom! Did I mention that it sucks the dust right off the baseboards? Ahhhh, blissful vacuum.

Thus, with my new vacuum, my hubby, 1 and 1/2 hours of time, and a bucketload of stress, that condo was ready for company. At least, I hope so... Chris, if it wasn't... stuff a sock in it!!! I need the other readers to believe me!

Anywho, do you have a similar impromptu cleaning extravaganza story? Please share it below as a comment! I would love to have a good laugh over a story with which I can relate. If you just want to express that you liked or disliked this post, feel free to use the "Fast Feedback" buttons. Have a glorificiouso day! And happy cleaning!

P.S. I am aware of the fact that I shouldn't begin a sentence with a conjunction... it is called WLS: "A Writer's License to Style". No, I just made that up actually.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ruh Roh!

Okay, so apparently switching the URL for the blog is causing more problems then I had hoped. Joy and rapture... that is ruptured vein from all the stress!!!! Deeeeeep breaths..... phew! All righty then, I'm good. It's good. Fabulous.

Now then, if you subscribed to T.A.B.L.E. Talk, GREAT! And sorry. Now that I have switched to this new, fabulous URL, you must re-subscribe because otherwise, you will be getting updated posts from the other website which I will not be using other than to direct people used to the other URL to the new URL. joyous, right?

Sorry about this! Hope you aren't terribly annoyed. See? This is what the "dislike" button is for... so that you can vent your frustrations in a virtual, non-pain-inducing-to-Brittany kind of way! =D Anyway, the same rules apply to subscribe to the blog; unfortunately you just need to redo it because the blog is confused. It isn't even one full year old; give it a break! It will prove itself to you! It promises! Anywho...

Toodles!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Peeve-ation


Well, I am a little peeved right now... not much... just a little. It isn't a big enough deal to get too peeved about it at all. I will save massive "peeve-ation" for another, more serious occasion. It is just that... when I switched out the URL, all of the "likes" disappeared!!! What is with THAT?! Boo! Anyway, that is all. Adios, people!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Turn and Face the Strange Ch-Ch-Changes!

Hey everyone! Just popping on here really quickly to announce that the new URL for my blog will soon be http://tabletalkny.blogspot.com. I thought that would be easier to remember and spell. Sorry that so many changes are happening at once, but "I do believe (they) have been changed for the better..." Anyway, sorry about the mass confusion! Please bear with me! Just remember the title of the blog- T.A.B.L.E. Talk plus the state in which we reside- New York! Please do me a gihunkous favor and click "like" or "dislike" (doesn't really matter which; I am looking for a large enough number) so that I know you have acknowledged the change. I don't want to switch over prematurely and have people thinking my blog no longer exists. After all, I was crazy enough to get rid of Facebook. What would stop me from deleted my blog as well?! Don't worry, I haven't gone that utterly mad... yet. Happy blogging!