Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Please Pray

I wanted to ask you to be praying for the parents of the 3 children you see above. I have never met this family... but they have been weighing heavily on my heart for the last month. On May 5th, Emma (4), Katie(2), and Kyle(5) were riding in a car with their Mom Lori, who was driving, and their Grandmother. They were on a major California freeway, and traffic had slowed to a stop. A semi driving somewhere between 55 and 70 mph never slowed, plowing into, and over the back of their minivan. All three kids were sitting in the back... Katie and Emma died at the scene. Kyle was rushed into surgery but died a few hours later. Lori and her mom were hospitalized for quite awhile but did survive.
I don't really think any explanation is necessary as to why I would ask that we all be praying for them. But the reason I bring it up almost one month after the accident is because I know that the more time that passes, the more reality sets in. I know what it's like to lose one child. But even then, I cannot even begin to fathom how I would take the next breath if I lost all three at one time and in such a tragic way. It takes my breath away just to think about it.
So please pray for Lori and Chris. From what I have read, they are a wonderful Christian family and they need our support as they grieve the loss of all that was their family. You can see videos and pictures, along with a message from them if you click on these links: Coble Memorial Page or Coble Family
Thanks everyone.


So Eric and I have both recently acknowledged that most of what makes this whole blog thing fun... is the comments! So to our faithful commenter's... (yes, even those of you whose opinion we don't always appreciate).. Ahem... (John Moran)... we say "thank you"!

As far as the rest of you stalkers go... SPEAK UP!! Click on the comment button below and contribute to the random (and sometimes useless), conversations! We love hearing from you and it definitely motivates us to keep the updates coming! (Whether you want them or not!!) :)

And speaking of you, John Moran... PLEASE don't miss my reply to your "anonymous" comment in my previous Shopping Turmoil post. I have to have the last word on this one. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cicadas and Garage Sales

I've been living back in Indiana for over a year now which seems crazy to believe. As time goes on... the good of the Midwest is slowly starting to reveal itself to me. The absence of Cicadas for one... HUGE points there. For those of you particularly out in the west who may have never received the pleasure of meeting these disgusting and obnoxious creatures...
here's a visual:

Disgusted yet? They are loud and gross and crunchy and when they come... they are EVERYWHERE!! But they are not here.... yet. And for that, I am so very grateful.

Now I can't go and compliment the great state of Indiana without also voicing a complaint in one particular area: Garage Sales.

Two years ago at this time I was making out like a bandit in the city of Reno. For several weeks I faithfully got up around 6am and scoured every corner of town looking for the junk of another, that would inevitably become my treasure. I found baby clothes that had never been worn for a quarter, a $5 coffee table, a barely used jogging stroller and hiking pack. I felt there truly could be no greater satisfaction in life than to find much needed treasure in beautiful condition and pay 2% of the original price. Life was good.

And then I moved to Indianapolis. As the winter months passed I found myself more and more excited... anticipating the incredible "finds" that would be waiting for me this season. Our new home needs so many things and I couldn't wait to show Eric my thrifty side!

News Flash: one man's "junk" in Indiana... is pretty much just that - "junk" - no matter who it belongs to. No "treasures" here... not one. I was sure that the first week was just an "off" weekend. "Too early in the season", I told myself... give it another week. This past Saturday I even got my husband psyched up for our big "Saturday Morning Garage Sale Date!". I dragged him out of bed at 6:30am (OK.... he was up first). First priority was, of course, Starbucks. With my Grande Caramel Macchiato in hand, it was on to the huge school community sale down the road! Can't go wrong with huge community sales right?


For the first couple hours, we refused to give up. When one town turned up with nothing... we moved on. We wound up an hour from home in the end... and all we had to show for it was a half a tank less of gas. Eric tried to explain to me that things are different here. While the true "hillbilly" culture dwells quite a bit south of our home... it would appear that the mentality has a way of filtering north. I lost hope when I arrived at a driveway and found a man selling only three things: a lawnmower that appeared to be 20 years old, a rusty piece of equipment I couldn't even identify, and a box of used bras - only 25 cents a piece. *sigh*

Defeated, we drove to Sears and debated which grill to buy. At least the Memorial Day Weekend sale offered $50 off.

My head tells me it is time to give up. But my heart tells me that even in Indiana, there must be some wasteful and overindulgeous people who want to get rid of perfectly good stuff! I may have to give it one more shot this next Saturday. I just can't resist the "possibility"... and I'm not ready to give up hope. I'm pretty sure Eric's hope left him around 8:30am last Saturday though, so I'll probably be on my own for this one.

Friday, May 18, 2007


So when I was a kid... I know I had some sort of allergies to something. I know they must have been significant because I vividly remember the reward I received following the allergy shot my mom would give me.

A handful of carob chips and raisins.

Yep... carob chips.

Funny how I can't for the life of me EVER recall any problems or symptoms that I suffered from. (Maybe mom can enlighten us all.) But one thing is for sure... I'll never forget the reward. For awhile I believe I truly did look forward to dipping my hand into that big 2 gallon bucket that at one time held sherbert (talk about a treat!), and pulling out as many carob chips and raisins my little hand could hold. That is, until the day I discovered chocolate two doors down at Susie's house. My best friend had it all... warm cookies after school... Capri Sun... and chocolate. Gradually (and behind my mom's back), I was introduced to the "good stuff"!

I know my mom had the best of intentions... but did you know that they actually feed carob to DOGS as treats?! Enough said.

So after a good 20 years or so completely free of any allergies whatsoever... I now am suddenly a frequent user of Claritin D. Apparently central Indiana is one of the worst locations when it comes to allergies... and I have learned of several people who even grew up in the midwest (as I did)... moved away... and then returned specifically to central Indiana, who now suffer from this seasonal nuisance.

It can only mean one thing:

Mom, I'm not falling for it this time. When you come to visit, don't be bringing any carob chips. I want the real thing.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Shopping Turmoil

This post is a little belated since it occurred a couple days ago... but I have to share this problem I have developed since this thing called "marriage" happened to me. Prior to getting married... I loved - let me say it again loved to shop. Well, I married a man who is very wise in his handling of money. I wouldn't go so far to call him unbearably frugal... because I have found in many situations that a little charming persuasion on my part can convince him to dish out the cash on random occasions. However, one of the biggest marital adjustments for Eric has been the acceptance that women just cost more than men. That's the bottom line! I don't go out hoping to drop $140 at the hair salon... they just don't give us any choice!! Men can buy a pair of underwear for $5 and be done with it. Women on the other hand, cannot stop there. (Well, we could but it's really not pretty)... Nope, we have to purchase bras in addition to our underwear! And do you know how much THOSE cost! I'm not talking about the ones at Walmart that wouldn't even hold a golf ball up... if you want a bra worth wearing you have to drop another $45-$60!!

So back to my original story. Since I got married, I have developed this guilt complex that seems to follow me no matter where I go. From Target to the Gap... I can't win. I wander around these stores doing what used to be my favorite activity... and no matter what I look at... I FEEL him. It's actually kind of creepy and beyond frustrating!! But Eric is there... right on my shoulder asking me why I really need that t-shirt when the ones I wore 5 years ago still maintain a little bit of their original shape. Now to Eric's defense... he really has never scolded me on any purchases I have made. And I know that in most cases, returning home with a few clothing items in tow would produce little more than a teasing remark of my overflowing closet and the true need for the items I bought. But it doesn't seem to matter... he's always there. Like that little obnoxious angel on your shoulder that always tries to convince you to do the right thing. Sometimes, you just want to be bad ya know?!

Which brings me to that little devil that also seems to whisper those words of rebellion. Meet my friend, Jessica. OK, OK, Jessica is far from a little devil in reality. She's one of my favorite people in the world in fact! But she is Eric's worst nightmare when it comes to shopping influence!!! :) Jess came out to visit me a couple months ago and did an excellent job of talking me into blocking out guilt complex a little bit. Since she has left, the battle continues to rage when I am out and about... but this past week I had a breakthrough!!

When Eric and I were in Tennessee we visited some outlet malls. In one store, Eric commented that I would look nice in a little sundress... (I know, I was shocked too). So shocked in fact, that I didn't take him seriously and wrote it off... commenting only that "we really should save money and I don't need a thing"! (Reverse psychology - a very good tactic I have picked up on in the last 9 months or so). Fast forward about a week when I was picking up a Mother's day gift at the mall. I heard my name being called from across the street. I looked up, and there was Ann Taylor Loft... (I swear... she was calling me!). It is so hard to resist a visit with an old friend when you haven't seen them for so long... and I didn't want to be rude... so I popped in for a quick "hello". As soon as I walked in the door, I saw them. 2 adorable sundresses. At first, the guilt told me not even to try them on... then promptly, Jessica was there on my other shoulder telling me to "go for it" and reassuring me that I have been really good for so long. And then my mind went back to Tennessee... "he HAD said I should get a little sundress"...

Within 10 minutes I had been liberated. The dresses looked pretty good! Ann Taylor promised 10% off if I opened an account (of course I will promptly cancel)... and I was walking out the door with BOTH sundresses in hand!! (OK and maybe a cute little tank top as well)... Thank you Ann... thank you Jess... and thank you Eric for the idea!!!

I will save the discussion that ensued when I returned home and sweetly reminded Eric of our discussion in Tenn. and how he thought I needed a little something... He's still a little puzzled as to how A sundress meant 2 of them and a shirt... But hey! I'll admit it... I'm kind of a "give me and inch and I'll take a mile" kind of girl these days. It's all of that pent up shopping anxiety!! Maybe I need therapy.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Smoky Mountain Get-Away

So to celebrate Eric's completion of his second year in Pharmacy school, we decided to take a little trip down to Pigeon Forge. We stayed in this amazing cabin minutes from Smoky Mountain National Park. The place was so beautiful and had it all... full kitchen, pool table, air hockey, whirlpool tub, and a hot tub on the balcony that looked out over nothing but mountains!! Here are some pictures to prove it all!!

The view!

This was the view from our balcony and the hot tub!

Smoky Mountain Get-Away II

We had a really awesome time doing a whole lot of nothing... along with some hiking and even white water rafting!! I was so excited to be back in the mountains! Even though this particular mountain range looks nothing like the Sierra Nevadas! At least the roads weren't flat!!

Weekend of Showers

So 2 weekends ago I took at trip up to Chicago for 2 bridal showers and 1 baby shower, all of good friends of mine. Eric had to stay home studying for finals so I was on my own with the girls. It was great to have a chance to catch up and see everybody again!!

Shara, Carrie and I at Becky's bridal shower.

And the 3 of us again... this time with Becky also!

Carolyn is due the end of this month!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hypothesis, Variables & Literature Reviews

Does anyone really care??? I mean, seriously?? Quantitative vs. Qualitative... um... who really thinks about this stuff??? Oh wait... Melissa... I bet you're one of the brainiac intellectuals (like my sophisticated terminology) that get's a kick out of all this research lingo.
These are my musings tonight as I sit just 2 days into my 1st class of Graduate school wondering as I knew I would, WHY on EARTH I am back in school?!!! My only comfort is knowing that in just 6 short weeks this Research class will be OVER!!
I've got lots to post from the last couple weeks... a weekend of baby and bridal showers in Chicago and then our BEAUTIFUL trip to the Smoky Mountains this past weekend!! To be honest I havn't wanted to post above my videos of Ricky and shove them down lower! I'm just so excited to be able to share them. Maybe I'll figure out how to put a link on the side of the page so they are always easy to access!!!
Pictures will be on the way tomorrow! Wait 'til you see the place we stayed at!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Classics

I just figured out how to get my videos posted!!!
Get the kleenex ready! These are the BEST!!

Well... here's the one that I'll never get tired of watching... It has everything... from those expressive eyebrows, the backwards wave and the tongue roll! I took this video about a month before he died. Elmo was a present for his 1st Birthday. I figured we had spent enough time playing with him in Target... might as well bring him home. Enjoy - it's priceless.

And for those of you who may not know about Ricky... click on the link to the left. You will find our story there...

(click on the arrow in the center)

And one more: