Saturday, January 15, 2011

directionally challenged

so, as part of my blogging I have decided to unleash embarrassing "secrets" about myself. I put that in quotes, because those close to me know these truths, but I thought I would share them with the entire world.

My name is Jordan, and I am directionally challenged.

I suppose you are born with a sense of direction.  Some sort of internal compass that can guide your way when you get lost.  I suppose you could follow the sun, if you knew what direction it rises and sets.  I don't. I made up a jingle about the sun rising and breakfast, but then I couldn't remember if the sun rises with eggs or waffles (east and west).  So, as far as I am concerned, the sun setting just means it gets dark, and the sun rising means I have to go to work.

Story #1: I am 16.  I am going to Wichita to visit my "person" (One of my very best friends) and it is my first really big road trip.  I was a little nervous, and my big brother says "Its a big Shawnee (the main drag in our small town)- just think of it like that and you will be fine. " So, I take off in search of I-35N to embark on my first road trip.  I found it, and thought I was a geographical genius.  Got to Wichita, and arrived at my destination with a little help from my person's dad.  Had a delightful weekend, and it was time to head back to Oklahoma.  Here's the deal- I'm a very literal person.  And while my brother told me to take I-35N to Kansas, he didn't tell me that there was a different way home.  It's a big Shawnee, right? There isn't a Shawnee north and a Shawnee south.  It's just Shawnee. So, I jump in my pathfinder and head home on I-35N.

As I am driving I realize that things don't look familiar.  But, I have my giant book of 600 CDs, and I am rocking out and smoking the occasional cigarette feeling really grown up, so I didn't pay much attention to it.  I keep driving and realize that I see an awful lot of cars from Iowa.  'There must be a game or something' I think to myself... and I keep driving.

Never mind that it was summer, and there probably wasn't a game.

Did I mention I had really blond hair then?

Finally, after almost 4 hours I arrive at a toll booth.  I decided I would ask how far Tulsa was, because I didn't remember it taking this long last time.  I ask, and the sweet toll person said "Tulsa is the other way sweetie.  You are almost in Kansas City."

I called my person.  I did a u-turn at the toll booth, and she answered.  I'm pretty sure I said every curse word in the book, and then I hear her dad DYING LAUGHING.  Yeah- real funny, Lyndy.

4 hours later I arrive in Oklahoma. They still give me hell about it.

Story #2:  I was watching Glenn Beck just now, and he was talking about how the children of China are passing the American kids in school.  They are much smarter than us.  Duh Glenn- that is startling news. (sarcasm implied) Please allow me to reinforce the stereotype of the dumb American.

As children we are taught the map of the United States.  All the states are memorized, as well as their capitals, and you fill in blank maps in school.  This is important information after all.  You should know where you live. I usually did okay for these exercises, although the northeast is still a bit tricky for me.  They are too tiny.

When I was 19, my family went to Hawaii for a vacation.  I was always so interested in Hawaii and I found it fascinating that Hawaii and Alaska were so close to each other and have wildly different climates.  Hawaii is warm and tropical, and Alaska is COLD!

I learned on the flight to Hawaii that it is not directly under the United States.  Also, it is not right next to Alaska.  I blame Rand McNally for this misconception. Put the freaking states where they belong please.

I hope you have enjoyed my honesty.  I am sure it gave you a laugh.  I am really not the blooming idiot I have portrayed myself to be.

I am what I say I am- directionally challenged.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

the birthday of pasta sauce

Ahhh... first love.  When John and I started dating, I was head over heels. Anything he said or did was wonderful, and I thought he was the cats meow. Still do. However, those first love goggles came off about 8 months after we started dating. It was my birthday.

Sometimes I would drive from Stillwater to Norman, spend the weekend at John's with friends, and go back for the school week. We would eat at Othello's, and drink wine, listen to music, and go home. Sometimes we had friends to hang out with, but sometimes we didn't.  That is when I also fell in love with puttanesca sauce. Mmmmm. My mouth waters at the mere thought of it. The subtle hint of anchovy, and the delicious herbs and olives...crushed red's my favorite.

So, for my birthday we invited my dear friend Turie and her boyfriend Cory (now husband) over to run to dinner and have drinks.  We were going to Othello's. I was so excited and wondered what the first birthday present from my new prince would be.  Turie and Cory got there, and I was ready to open my gifts.  I opened Turie's, and then it was time to open John's gift.  I tried to be delicate because I had no idea what could be inside.  I gently removed each piece of tissue paper while I was dying inside with anticipation. DYING. Then I pulled it out.

Pasta Sauce. A jar of it. That was it. Oy.

When I was little, all I wanted every year was a pink Barbie car.  The kind that you actually get in and drive around.  I would come home thinking that it would magically be in my garage, and it never was.  Not saying that I was deprived, cause I was far from it- but man, I wanted that Barbie car.  NOT getting it taught me a valuable lesson though. Be grateful for what you have, hopefully you have most of what you need,  and always leave room for the things that you want. So I didn't grow up with the silver spoon that others have thought was in my mouth. I'd call it a pewter spoon.

With that being said....

Back to pasta sauce. 

Apparently I said "where is the rest?" and Turie laughed, and I am sure that John was mortified.  He said "that is it."  Am I horrible or what?! I still don't understand why he didn't throw a coupon for a home cooked dinner with maybe some dried pasta in there or something... poor kid was clueless.  I mean, pasta sauce? Now that I know him a little better, I get it.  He was being thoughtful in the way that a man knows how and a woman won't ever understand and will always complain about. 


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A letter to my 18 year old self

I have a babysitter that I adore, and she is leaving me for OU in the fall. I am terribly upset about this, as my children love her.  However, it got me thinking, what would I do over? What did I do right? What would I tell myself if I could go back? So, I decided to write a letter to my 18 year old self. 

Dear 18 year old me,

Your life will change more in the next 10 years than it will for the rest of your life. You will go to college, marry the love of your life, and have those children that you have been dreaming of since you were little.  You will have your heart broken, you will be filled with happiness, and totally confused all at the same time. 

I know that you will listen to me, cause I am really cool like that, and you will want to be like me when you are my age.

It is your senior year, and you probably still unsure about where you are supposed to go to college.  you don't know it, but this choice will determine the rest of your life.  I hate to say that to an 18 year old, but it will.  It will shape you into the person that you are going to be, and give you experiences that are beyond your wildest dreams. Hint- pick orange. Choosing your best friend to be your roommate is not a bad idea.  She is still as close 10 years later, and she will stand by your side on your wedding day. 

Don't eat biscuits and gravy from the Virtual Bean every day.  You will get fat and create bad habits. Go with Jennifer to the gym, and start using wrinkle cream.  QUIT SMOKING. It is disgusting. And no, you won't quit when you have children.  That's a bogus excuse. Don't tan either.  You don't want to trade 5 years of looking great for a lifetime of looking like hell.

You can still be proud of bonging three beers at the same time on Big/Little night.  You still are ten years later.

Napster isn't as great as it sounds. Besides the fact that its stealing, its giving you some awesome viruses on your weak PC. Enron isn't really a great investment idea either, but that's beside the point.

Try and study a little more (school really isn't "free"), and don't drop out of the music program. Screw all those orchestra snobs.  If they want to wear black dresses and play in symphonies forever, let them.  It's okay you don't sing opera, and don't let a snotty blond haired teacher tell you otherwise. 
Write the kind of music you want to write. Stand up for yourself.

Continue to be a good girl like you were taught to be. Boys have bad intentions. Most all of them.  This tall kid will come around in about 4 years and he will be different.  He will take your breath away and make your belly hurt from laughing so hard.  You will decide to share your life with him, and it will be the best decision you will ever make. You will continue to laugh more than you ever thought was normal, and maybe it isn't, but it sure makes life fun.

You know how mom always makes you get the bikinis with the thick sides? Don't yell at her for it.  She's right.  Showing less is way more attractive in any situation. 

Treasure your friends. As you grow up they end up being more like your family. And although girls may be catty, you will find a group of women that you admire and adore, and they will be there for you during some of life's wackier moments. They will be vocal about your strengths, and candid about your weaknesses.  Trust what they say and you just may grow to be a much cooler person than you currently think that you are. 

Listen more than you talk.  After all, you have only one mouth, but 2 ears, and 2 eyes, therefore you should listen and observe twice as much as you speak. This continues to be a problem as you age. 

Be present.  As Sarah Palin says, "there is no dress rehearsal- this is the real deal." And it is.  Be present in your everyday life or moments just may pass you by faster than you can imagine. 

It's a fun ride, and it really is a wonderful time in your life.  Treasure each moment you think that you have no idea what in the world you are doing, cause I've come to the conclusion that no one does no matter how old you are. It's just getting started, and it gets even better. 

Love, J


**if you are wondering why the entire post is highlighted in white, I am too. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

10 things no one told me about marrying a giant

Our little Florida bungalow. tear. 
So, my 5th anniversary is rapidly approaching. I was thinking about how much we have experienced in these five years, including doubling the size of our family.  I have thought about the three times that we moved and how in each house we have lived in we have experienced major life changes.  In Florida, we were newlyweds, so take what you want from that- its blissful and we wanted to kill each other all at the same time. The first year is an experience I would never take back.  For a woman that has no patience, God definitely instilled some in me during that year.  When you don't live together before marriage (only way to go in my personal belief) you get to know each other all over again, and in a different light. I've learned to put my hairdryer up after every use, and he has learned that if the sheets aren't tucked in just how I like I will make him get out of bed at 3am and help me remake it.  I once had the sheets so tight that he literally broke his toe trying to kick them loose.  I will never live that down.

When we first moved home we fought the fertility battle, and beat it down, and in this last home we have had two remarkable children.  I have heard an incredible amount of unsolicited advice from many people since that diamond has had a presence on my finger, but no one NO ONE could have prepared me for this.

I married a giant. 
I promise my pants were cool when I took this.

I am 5'2, and somewhat petite.  My husband is 6'5, and slender.  One day I actually made him lift me up to his eye level and carry me around the kitchen, and things really do look different.  Really different. Here are my top ten things (in no particular order) that I have found most interesting about my situation so far. 

1) Register for a step stool. And a ladder.

2) You will never have a foot board on your bed.

3) You will never have interchangeable vehicles.  Meaning, I can't drive his truck because I can't see over the steering wheel, and he can't drive my SUV cause his head hits the roof and he looks like big bird.

4) When remodeling a kitchen or building, exclude all upper cabinets.  I have climbed in the sink and accidentally stepped in the garbage disposal. 

5) Photos: I must stand on an object or all pictures include John's whole body, and just my head at the bottom. 
Example- looks like we are same height.  I actually had to rent  a crane to lift me up.

6) Light fixtures cannot hang in the air unless above a table or another object.  Also, watch out for lights over bathroom mirror.  Mine was shattered today when he was changing his shirt. 

7) Old Navy big and tall.  ALWAYS on clearance.  Since you can't buy his length in any store, this comes in handy. 

8) HOWEVER, Gap is terrible for tall men. (But great for petite women)  Shirts are short and wide. So, and XXL hits him at his belt, and our whole family could fit in it. 

9) When you can't find something, its almost always on top of the refrigerator. 

10) Any favor where a tall person is needed he is asked, and no, he doesn't want to play on a basketball team.  Sorry, folks. :) 

That is everything that would have been useful 5 years ago.  When I was little, my family used to make me scale up cabinets like a spider monkey to retrieve items that they couldn't reach.  I also had to crawl under things, and on trips I had to sleep on the floor of the van.  Why? Cause I was small. It was a bugger of the grandest sort. So I can only imagine the annoyance John feels when someone asks him to reach for something or to hang something for him, but he is generally a great sport.  I have also relaxed because I know in a few short years, I will have little spider monkey's of my own that I can send into crevices to retrieve lost items.

And now my mind has drifted to when they can do chores... ahhhh...

Lastly, I am not a huge sports fan.  I love Oklahoma State athletics with my whole heart, but I must admit I have been out of it since having kids.  I have been watching a little more football recently, and it has to be said-- I don't care who wins the national championship, but I think the pretty trophy should go to the best dressed.  Dear Oregon, I would like a football helmet. Coolest. Ever. OSU could for sure make our orange that obnoxious.  Get on it, T Boone.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Will's First Noel

So, I have been meaning to post this for weeks now, but I kept getting sidetracked with rants about how I will not have a resolution this year and how my child is obsessed with Toy Story. This is a summary of Will's First Noel, perhaps the most memorable Christmas Pageant our church has witnessed in years. Well, maybe just since Will and Jack's daddies were little....

Every two years, our church does a production of the first Christmas. I remember being in this, and I remember what an honor it was to be cast as the angel Gabriel. However, I don't remember being a lamb.  Maybe it is because I was 2. After the first practice, I determined that my child didn't really need to practice (he's a natural star) , so we would just show up the day of the big production.  He is 2, and he is going to do whatever he wants, and he is not going to stand still for anyone, let alone a woman that he doesn't really know.  The day of the big show he was not feeling well, and was very grumpy.  He's a happy child, so I thought that it would pass, and he would put his costume on as soon as he saw cousin Jack participating.  Wrong.
Not happy about white sweatshirt.
So eventually W got dressed but refused to participate.  We sat in the front row thought that once he saw all the kids sitting with their assigned flock, that he would eventually participate.  The show started, and even the presence of cousin Jack wasn't attractive enough to persuade W to join his flock.
laying in the front of the sanctuary debating his debut...
Slowly, W inched his way to the action.  Now, here is where I admit that he was a bit of a distraction, and that I should have been a 'good mother' and retrieved him and left the building. However, I am just a normal mother, and I thought that if he wanted to participate- inch by inch, or whole heartedly- that it was his right to do so.
Finally joining his flock.

The next events can only be described through video.  I'm not yet smart enough to edit this ad I'm not sure it will show up, so if it does you will have to suffer through my family singing (not me singing. I SWEAR) and John's terrible filming skills. 

That was our first noel.  I have a feeling that Will and Jack will crack us up for the rest of our lives. 

To the lady that was behind me and pushed me out of the way to get a picture, shame on you.  To the rest of the audience, either I am sorry that my child and nephew were completely distracting, or your welcome for them making you laugh.  It has been noted to include more shepherds next time.

It is snowing in our small town, and as I type this I am watching Sarah Palin's Alaska ( and jealous of my friend's Julie and Keli, Alaska's newest transplants from OSU) and watching the fire.  I have to admit that I am wearing a maternity sweatshirt and maternity leggings. I am cozy rosy, and I plan on wearing these clothes as long as I want.