October 20, 2009

The Life of a Gamer

One thing you should know about me if we are going to continue our relationship is that I love games. Actually, I'm obsessed with games. I am competitive to my core. I will fight to death and I will pout if I lose. My biggest thrill is winning, and to be honest I am a huge winner.

My husband and I have a game closet. It is filled with all kinds of games; we do not discriminate. We have Monopoly, Clue, Gestures, Cranium, Rook, Playing Cards, Candy Land, Hungry Hippo, Phase 10... the list goes on and on.

Seriously, the best gift you could give us is more games. I get such a rush from playing them.

So logically corn mazes are super exciting for me... right?

Well, you'd think they would be. Except for some reason at the end I'm always disappointed. I feel like if a person wonders around enough they're destined to get out. Where's the competitiveness in that? Now, if it were a corn maze with paint ball war attached I'd be all over it! Then you'd have a clear cut winner and loser. I need to be a winner.

Each year, though, I try. I try to force the thrill out of a corn maze. I research where the biggest and best are and I go. Hoping that this will be the one to meet my need.

This past weekend the destination was The Rock Ranch. The ranch is owned by Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A. I had heard that the corn maze was awesome. So when I woke up to 30 degree weather with a forecast of rain, I was not dismayed. By golly, we were going!

(Plus, it was an excuse to use my turn-by-turn navigation system in my new car. Two birds. One stone. One happy wife. Jeremy was not about to argue.)

Yup, my sweet husband went with me in the cold and rain!

This is the start. The theme was Abraham Lincoln. Each fork contained a question and the answer told you which direction to go. Plus the maze was shaped like his head. Cool, right? Sadly, Jeremy and I both forgot to study up on our facts, but we studied him in elementary school. How hard could it be?

 This was at the top of one of the walkways. At this point, we were doing alright. They had a praying area we stopped at and said a quick prayer just in case.

Soon, though, it just got hard. We couldn't find questions. Probably because we were going the wrong way. We ended up going back towards the entrance instead of away from it. I needed a map. I love maps. (Seriously, I have this obsession with knowing where I am in the world at all times. My friends make fun of me when we go on trips.)

 After a while, I got hungry. We'd be wondering around for what seemed like a century!

But like I said. Anyone can get out of a corn maze. We eventually did get out and I was left unsatisfied. It was fun and all. (If you have kids you should definitely go to the Ranch.) But I didn't get the full thrill out of winning against an inanimate object. So I beat the corn- yay!  The corn has no clue that it lost. It has no clue that I won either! I might as well have lost. And that is a horrible feeling.

October 14, 2009

The Ugly Side of Marriage

Let me start off by saying that I love my husband. He is absolutely wonderful. He's so sweet and funny and I couldn't ask for a better mate.

OK, now that my conscience is clear...

He's driving me crazy.

 I don't mean just a little nuts. I mean full on out of my mind crazy.

Jeremy knows how to pick at me. He knows what sets me off. He knows how to slowly get underneath my nails and just push. This past week he has pushed and pushed and pushed and I am about to snap.

Oh, how quickly he forgets that I was the one who took him to the hospital, monitored his pills and ice, walked the dog, cooked, and was simply there for him for the last two weeks as he's recovered from surgery... and he's not even fully recovered! He seems to not realize that I can take him out with little effort. I mean, seriously?? You want to mess with me??

It all started on Monday when he told me my blog was lame and I needed to just live my life.

.... Yeah.. no words.. none....

Then,  he decided that since he's "hurt" he should control our one TV.  If I am not forced to watch the History Channel or the Discovery Channel, I am forced to watch The Ultimate Fighter or just the UFC fights. Have you ever watched a UFC fight? The whole premise of this "sport" is to stick two grown men in a cage and tell them to beat each other up until one passes out, dies, or gives up. You can only imagine how much blood loss happens during the fights. It is ridiculous and gross and for some reason my sweet, lovable husband is obsessed. I beg him to let us watch a show we both like, but somehow he always turns it to Spike to see a fight.

The worst part is we live in a two bedroom apartment. It's not like I can really escape. I mean, I either have to be bored in our bedroom or in our kitchen/living room/dining room area which contains the one TV. It's a lose/lose situation.

Oh,  I am not over. Jeremy has also been off on his sleep pattern. We normally go to bed around 10. Jeremy has to be at work at 6 a.m. so going to bed early is a necessity. Yet, this week he can't fall asleep. When Jeremy can't fall asleep, he thinks that naturally I'll want to stay up with him. So he talks, moves around a lot in the bed, begs me to turn on a light so he can read, and basically drives me crazy. I already normally don't sleep well at night, but having a two-year-old for a husband makes it nearly impossible.

Two nights ago, I finally told him that if he couldn't fall asleep,  he needed to go into the living room, turn on a light, and either read or watch TV, but he was not allowed to stay in our bedroom for a minute longer. I slept better that night than I have in weeks!

I know that he is still recovering from surgery and all. I know I should probably give him a break. But if he keeps at it, then he's going to have to recover from more than just surgery... I have been paying a little attention to the UFC fighting moves.... so beware Mr. Jeremy.. beware.

October 13, 2009

Cake Pops

This weekend was HUGE. I got a car!! AND I made Cake Pops!! Seriously, this weekend was huge.

As you are aware, I am no cook. I struggle through the whole process yet for some reason I dream. I dream of being the cute woman who makes perfect cupcakes. I think it is my event planning background. I want to be the Bree  Hodges- the perfect hostess.. and sadly, in my mind, that includes cooking. So I get these crazy ideas to try something new.. something complicated.. something that will make me look like gold. It's really torture. Honestly, I regret it most of the time.

But like I said, this weekend was huge. I was on a high from the new car smell. I bravely went where I have never dared to go before. Cake Pops. This story can only be told through pictures. Enjoy!


Making the cake. I was proud because I have done this before.

Proof that I CAN make cake mix out of a box.

The BEST part of baking is licking the spoon, bowl, mixer things, etc. I take this part seriously. It is to be enjoyed by all present... and leftover mix is NOT allowed!

Unfortunately for Jeremy, he did not realize just how important it is. He left chocolate on his mixer thing. Don't worry. I reprimanded him and told him what I expected.

And then I licked all the chocolate off of it for him. You know, to show him how it was supposed to look.

After the balls had frozen for a few hours. I poured myself a large glass of wine. Put on a TV Show. And started what I knew would be the hardest part in this whole process. (Side Note: I have not had wine in MONTHS because of my diet. Let's just say it was truly amazing I was still sorta standing up straight when I was done.)

These are the gloves I stole/paid for somewhere along the way from the doctor's office. I recommend wearing gloves! It was really messy!

My one mistake was I burnt one bag of chocolate. Thank goodness I had enough sense to buy two! Looks like I'm learning something!!

I stuck the lollipop sticks in after I froze the balls. I also recommend buying the really thick lollipop sticks.

I scooped the chocolate onto the cake pops with a spoon. I did not dipping. It was too risky!

Don't they look great???!!! I seriously wanted to do cart wheels throughout the apartment. I couldn't believe it.

I am now set in the baking category for the next year... or until I see another idea that touches my need to be a good hostess... I do hope it doesn't come for a while....

October 11, 2009

Things that make me go "aw yay!"

Oprah has her "favorite things" list. I have my "aw yay!" list.

Number 5 on my list is my onion goggles.

They prevent tears when cutting onions! It is so awesome. I could cut onions all day long!

Number 4 on my list is Vampire Diaries.

I know this isn't a thing, but it does make me go aw yay! I am addicted. The show reminds me of Dark Shadows. It's way cool. Check it out for real. Thursdays at 8 p.m.

Number 3 on my aw yay! list is my new purse hook!

It is seriously cool. No more does my purse have to sit on the nasty floor. I don't have to put it in my lap. No worries about someone stealing it. It is the best invention ever!

Number 2 and 1 (because it is just that great) is my NEW CAR!!!

For the past two months, Jeremy and I have been a one car family. My car decided that it had lived long enough. And it died on Highway 247. It was a sad day at our home. For the past two months, we have managed. We traded off the best we could, but to be honest with me in grad school, I got the car the most. I felt so bad. But no more!! We now have two cars!! And mine is great!!

It's a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu. With remote start, OnStar, tons of compartments and storage, and, of course, the new car smell!! It is wonderful!

Even Parker likes it!

It came with XM radio too.

 AW YAY!!!!!!

October 9, 2009

The Kid Within

Today, Jeremy and I went to the surgeon's office for a follow up visit. I always dread going to the doctor. The wait is forever long, moving from one waiting room to another with actual doctor time coming to about 5 minutes!

The wait is excruciating espcially if you are as impatient as me.

I get antsy when enclosed in a tiny room. Antsy and bored- a dangerous combination. It is the time when the child from within decides to show up.

Let me just start by saying that I went to the doctor's office today prepared. I brought my grad school accounting book ready to study like a civilized adult. In the wait room, I had Fox News to occupy me with my book. I felt good.

Then, Fox News announced Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. I was immediately in shock and decided to voice my opinion. How could someone who has done nothing in his first year in the Oval Office win what is supposed to be the most prestigious award in the world?? A woman across from me snickered as Jeremy told me I needed to keep my voice below a whisper. I know that I'm opinionated and occassionally I voice these opinions, a lot of the time without concern has to who is in my audience. It just adds to my wonderful personality.

Soon, the nurse rescues Jeremy by calling us back to a small room with no TV, a view of a building, and old magazines. This is when I get bored. My first step to fix my problem is to sing. I've been watching and really enjoying Glee.. I know it's not normal to burst out in song and dance in the middle of a conversation about sneezes, but I had to do something to pass the time. Right as I was about to hit my high note, though, I see the latex gloves. I'm going to attempt to make cake pops this weekend (don't worry pictures will be put online) and a part of it is messy. I needed gloves to help keep my hands as clean as possible. I immediately run (yes it was only 4 feet away) to the gloves and grab two of the large ones, run back across the room (again, 4 feet- I didn't want to get caught!), and shoved them in my purse. This what followed:
"Should I have grabbed two of the size small instead?" (They didn't have medium)

"Jessica... seriously." The sound of Jeremy snickering. Back story: I have man hands. Jeremy apparently broke up with me the first time partly because he couldn't get past my big hands. All I can say is: Thank you Dad!

"Jeremy. That is not nice. I just don't want them to be too big!"

"Come on, Jessica. They aren't going to be too big. I mean, I like your big boned hands."

"Big boned! That's horrible! I did lose weight. And I happen to think that some of that weight was in my hands."

The sound of Jeremy's laugh... and mine.. I know I got my dad's hands... what is a girl supposed to do??

At this point, I decide it is game time. High Five, Low Five, Middle Five... Too slow.. except Jeremy tricked me. He would distract me and get my hand everytime... you see the kid within?

Finally, I win and move on to the rolling stool. This provides the most fun. Until I notice that I can move Jeremy's bed by stepping on a peddle. Jeremy tells me to stop and something about the doctor coming in (We'd been waiting for over 30 minutes)... and I go back to spinning...

And then I fall off the stool on my tail bone... It was hysterical. My mom's voice entered my head, "You see what happens when you play around?? Now, sit in your chair and be still."

Which I did, but the whole time I was thinking about how much fun I had goofing off while waiting.

Acting "adult" is way over rated.

October 7, 2009

Getting to Work

It’s absolutely horrible. I have to go 9 miles. 9 miles! That’s it. It should be easy. I should be able to get in my car and 10 minutes later arrive at my office. But no. My work just happens to be located in the farthest most corner of the city. It is convenient to nothing and no one.

On average, it takes me 30 minutes to get to work. Can you believe it?? I swear you’d think I live in Atlanta. 30 minutes for 9 miles. Ridiculous. My husband commutes to another city over 30 miles away and he can get there faster than I can get to my office. It’s dumb.

Problem #2 is that I cannot get anywhere on time. You see, I hate sitting around after I get ready for the day. I want to get ready and go. I don’t want down time. I thrive in the fast pace of getting ready in less time than I need.  And due to the multiple outfit changes that happen each morning, I am inevitably late.

It’s not that I don’t have option, though. There are 4 routes that I can take.

For the first 9 months of my job I took Route #1. It was as close to a straight shot as I could get. But it was taking me over 30 minutes because EVERYONE takes this route. I would get stopped by every red light and if I got behind a slow car… it was over.

Then, I switched to Route #2. On this route, I go through a windy neighborhood with a lot less traffic. It took off 10 minutes on my commute. I was stoked!! Then, school started. And a police man who had never gotten trained in safety patrol decided that he should direct traffic. His first day at the post, I almost hit him because I forgot to put in my contacts and wear my glasses. My bad.  A couple weeks later, though, I almost hit him on purpose because he really, really doesn’t know how to direct traffic. After 10 minutes of waiting to go, I decided to finally direct myself and go. Stupid patrol man. So now my commute was back to 30 minutes.

Then, I talked to my co-worker. She told me she took another interstate and it only took her 15 minutes. I told her no way! And decided to try it this morning…

As usual I am late. I left my apartment when I was supposed to be arriving at work. Darn.

Then I go Route #3.

It was amazing! I got to my office in 15 minutes!!! No lie. I was sooo excited I called Jeremy and told him my late wasn’t really late because I took off 15 minutes of my late. He told me I was making no sense, but was happy for me nonetheless. 

I immediately run to my office suite and wait for my co-worker to tell her my happy news. I told her about my route and how much stress she took off me and how I really appreciate her telling me a new way to go. When I get done, I notice she is just staring at me blankly.  “What’ wrong?” I ask. “Well, I can’t figure out how you got that I go that way. I never go that way. And I would’ve never told you to go that way. But I am glad it helped you.” She goes on to tell me the way she does go.

Oh, well. Somehow I ended up on Route #3 and it has changed my life. Thank you universe!

October 6, 2009

Dear Parker

Dear Parker,

As you know, your father just had surgery. He's weak and slow. He cannot play with you like you want nor can he take you for walks. I promise he still loves you despite this recent change.

I, on the other hand, have taken over all these responsibilities. This last week has been fun as I have selfishly had all your attention. You are a cute and lovable dog. However, your cuteness only goes so far.

If you don't stop ringing the bell and begging me to walk you an hour after I took you outside, you will not live to see another day. You should learn to take care of your business in a timely and complete manner. Remember, my precious baby boy, I own you; not the other way around. And trust me, your adorable expressions will not change my mind.


P.S. Thank you for reminding why I am not ready for children anytime soon.

October 3, 2009

Amelia Bedelia and Me

I am Amelia Bedelia in the kitchen. I do not know what it is. Maybe it is the red hair. Maybe it was inherited. For years, though, it has haunted me. I remember once my mom asked me to make lasagna for dinner. My mom's lasagna goes by the name of Stouffer's. Easy, right? I follow the directions until I get to the part that says "tent the cover". What the heck? I had no clue what it meant so I left the cover off. Yup. Before I knew it the lasagna was burnt.

Another instance was making egg rolls. They were frozen and needed to be baked in the oven. (See a trend from my childhood?) My mom asked me to rotate the egg rolls. I went to the oven, opened it, took out the pan with the egg rolls on it, rotated the pan, and stuck it back in the oven. My mom looked at me with a blank stare that pretty much happened every time I was in the kitchen and told me I was not to rotate the pan. I was to rotate each egg roll. Well, why didn't she just say that from the beginning???

Experiences like these were commonplace so when my husband offered to take over cooking at the beginning of the summer, I literally celebrated for two weeks straight. No more tears as I threw out another failed dish. No more tears as Jeremy "advised" me what could be done better or how to properly cook something. No more. I was free from the torture of the recipes that are unclear and made for people who cook naturally. I could breathe again.

Needless to say, I am now a stranger in my kitchen. I have cooked once since that day. I decided to make blueberry muffins from a pouch. Once they were done, Jeremy took one bite and said "Wow, I didn't know anyone could screw up blueberry muffins." Yup.. I slowly put down my wooden spoon as it tried to beat him and walked away to never attempt baking again.

So what came over me yesterday is a complete mystery to me. It was my husband's 27th birthday and he had a crummy week. On Tuesday, he had hernia surgery. He could barely move, was doped up on meds, and just felt bad. I wanted to make this birthday as great as possible. I had not had a chance to do anything for it because all I could think about the week before was that he was going to be cut open by a doctor and come back to me hurt. I felt horrible.

So I decided to go to Publix. I would get him a beautiful cake, his favorite ice cream, and balloons. I went to the bakery and saw an oreo cream pie. Jeremy loves oreos. How perfect! I should have just grabbed it and left... but I didn't.. for some reason I decided to go down the cake aisle. Why???

I noticed that they had a "No Bake Oreo Pie" mix. 15 minutes with no baking and it was a little over $2. "I could handle this!" I thought. I also noticed that they had a pie crust already made and the filling sold seperately, but I seriously thought I could do it all. It would be so special to Jeremy for me to make something homemade. Oh... I should have seen the signs!

I read the directions on the box. "Mix 4 tbsp of butter with the crust mix." I melt the butter and mix it with the oreos. I then lay it in the pan and notice that it isn't filling up the bottom... then I see that I mixed the butter with the Oreo Crumbs instead of the CRUST mix.UGH!! So then I mix the actually crust mix with another 4 tbsp of butter, add it to the crumbs, and create the crust. It's ok, I think. It will just taste buttery. That's minor. Right? Well.. what I failed to read was that those crumbs I used in the crust was supposed to be put in the filling mix!! This is when I started to cuss. Spoons started flying. And Jeremy came in to see if I had hurt myself to which I replied, "NO, I JUST RUINED YOUR BIRTHDAY!" Jeremy kindly said no i didn't. (Probably because it was already crappy and I just added to the crap-fest like the awesome wife that I am). And then he said he would still eat it.,,,, Great...... He would suffer through my crappy WHITE pie with only the only oreos being in the crust smuthered in butter. To make matters worst, as a last resort, I decided to make the cake look happy by adding a ton of sprinkles to the filling...

Why I didn't just buy the freaking cake is still a mystery to me....