Thursday, December 16, 2010


I was just wasting time on Facebook, which is something I do far too often, and I got to thinking about a good friend of mine.

My friend Thomas is more like a brother really.  Back before I was married, when I was still living with my parents, he moved in with us.  We didn't have an extra room, so he moved into the basement den and slept on the sofa sleeper.  He was already a good friend before he moved in, one of my best friends in fact, but his moving in really solidified his status as my brother, at least to me anyway.

Yes, he definitely earned brother status.  I can remember him shaving his legs and leaving all that wookie-ish hair in the bath tub.  Who does that?!  He often pestered me and my sisters to "rub his hair" while we were watching TV.  We'd be on the sofa, and he'd just plop down in front of us and say, "Rub my hair."  Seriously?  He didn't say please; he didn't even put it into question form.  I guess that's what brothers do...?  Oh, not to mention there was dozens of used tissues all over the house from him.  Ew.  And cleaning his tattoo for him.  Good grief, there are quite a few brother-type things I can remember from Thomas.

But you know what, it only makes me love him more.  Because used tissues, and wookie hair aside, he's a great friend.  He was there for me during the worst time in my life.  Really.  No matter what happens in our lives or how long we go without seeing one another, I'll love him like I love my other siblings.  I've always had sisters, but now I also have 2 brothers.  My parents adopted John and Gabe a few years ago, so I officially have brothers, and while I do think of them as my brothers also, there will always be a special place in my heart and my family for Thomas.  He was my first experience with any kind of brother, and as far as I'm concerned, as long as he'll put up with the label, he's got it.

Things have changed since then though.  It's been about 5 years, maybe a little more.  I'm married and have a son now, and we all live away.  Thomas has been married and divorced, has a beautiful daughter, and is in the Navy, currently stationed on a boat that's been away from home for way too long.  I'm not sure when he comes home.  I keep asking him, but talking to Thomas, especially asking for details about his deployment, is like talking to a brick wall.  You don't really get much of a response.  Haha.

Anyway, I just want to say that I love him.  I know we haven't seen each other in years, but I miss him very much.  And I fully intend to see him the next time he's back home...if only I knew when that was....?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Catch up and Happy Christmas!

Hey guys!  Well, thought I've posted a few times since semester ended for me (on Thursday) I feel like I haven't caught you all up.  So, here's what's been going on with us.

Harper: Potty training is a slow, painful process.  Also, he seems to be enjoying spending time with Mommy sans school.  That makes me happy. 

Heath: Heath finally got to do his training for work!  For the life of me I don't know what the darn thing is called, I just know it's the one he's been trying to get since we moved to Louisiana (2 years ago).  Anyway, it's a 12 day trip, and he'll be back on Friday.  Harper and I miss him and are excited to see him.  This trip has sort of been a preview for us, if you will.  You see, he wants to get assigned to a boat next, and he's trying his darn-dest to make that happen, which would mean he'd be gone for up to 6 months at a time.  This short 12 day trip gives us an idea of what life would be like.  And, though I wish he were here, it's really not that bad.  

Danielle: As you can probably tell from my abundance of recent posts, I'm done with school!  I love love love the feeling of being done with a semester, especially when I pass all my classes.  My plans for break include blogging, reading, painting perhaps, and most definitely cleaning my house.  I don't even know where to start, but it's far too cluttered, and it's driving me crazy.  


For Christmas we're going to Virginia to visit Heath's family.  It's going to be so nice to see them.  It's literally been years since we've been up there!  So I guess it's about time.  We're making it a road trip too, stopping to visit my friend Brittany and our friends Matt and Lindy (sort of) along the way.  We're also going to visit Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson!  I can't tell you how excited I am about that part.  Heath loves politics and history, and I've got to admit I've got a small interest in those, as well as a bit of an obsession interest in Thomas Jefferson's life, so it'll be wonderful to see his home.  

In addition to Christmas travel we're seriously considering going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for Mardi Gras break, just for a long weekend.  Honestly, it gets so crowded here during that time, and we'd love to get out of town for a bit, not to mention it's right around my birthday in February.  Happy Birthday to me!!  I'm so getting a wand!  We also have definite plans to visit Yellowstone at the end of May.  It'll probably still be a little chilly up in Wyoming, but it was either May or the end of Summer semester, so either way cold.  

This is a lot of travel for us, and it definitely means we'll have to save some money, but I think it'll be worth it.  Harper's old enough now to enjoy these things, and Heath and I are ready for some fun stuff!  He works hard and I'm really burned out form school.  Still, I can't shake the feeling that this is a tad lot irresponsible.  It would be better to save money and put off vacations until I'm working.  

Oh well, I'll get over it.  

I've finished most of the Christmas stuff here at the house.  The tree is up, stockings are hung, gifts are bought and about halfway wrapped.  The only things I still need to do are finish getting stocking stuffers, wrap Harper's stuff, and go to the post office (yikes).  

Finally, last but not lease, and on a completely unrelated note (seriously, could I have any more intros to this paragraph): I worked out today.  Harper and I got up and went to the YMCA this morning where I did 50 crunches on that sit up machine thing (ow!), and I RAN.  I never run.  Like, I haven't run since I was in Junior High.  I mean, I've worked out in some fashion since then, but running just hasn't happened.  I can tell you this much, it hurt like you wouldn't believe, and I'll be doing it again.  Because, though it did hurt, it felt wonderful.  

I got inspired to run by reading Sarah Palin's book America By Heart.  In it she mentions that she runs to keep fit.  She says she likes it because you don't have to be particularly skilled (that's me) or athletic (definitely me), you just...go.  And she's right.  Haha, I know this isn't even a big deal for most of you, but for this fat girl it so is.  So I'm taking my Palin inspiration and...running with it.  Haha!  Running, get it?  

Well anyhow, that's what's up with us.  How are your holidays going?  

Oh, by the way gals, I'm loving your Christmas posts.  Your trees, traditions, and nativity scenes are wonderful.  Keep em' coming!  And Happy Christmas!  

Our nativity.  

L to R: Heath's, mine, and Harpers.  I honestly love that they don't match.  

Our (fake) tree.  I realize now that I cut of the star, oops.  

Yes, I know this picture is sideways.  Harper really wanted to decorate cookies because he saw it on Caillou.  

My sweet boy in front of the tree.  Golly I love him.
Merry Christmas everyone!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

How to use proper grammar.

I know we all occasionally have typos, and that's ok. This, however, is for those...other people.

P.S. I got this video from The Empress at Good Day, Regular People. If you haven't already, go ahead and check her out.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Hour

Who's up for margaritas?  Anyone?  No.  Ok.

The truth is, I've never actually had a margarita.  I know, right?  I have absolutely no reason for not having had a margarita.  I mean, I don't drink that much anyway, but still, to have never had one is admittedly a bit weird.

But that's not the point.

The point of todays post is to tell you all that I'm done with school for the semester!  (That's why I want that margarita now!  I deserve it.)  I'm finished with all of my finals.  I'm still waiting for some of my instructors to post grades, but I'm almost positive that I passed everything.

Since I'm officially done with school, I now feel that I can tell you all about my Biology lab instructor.  I shall call her Ms. Bitch, because it suits her.  Believe me.  I know, I know, I sound terribly mean, but let me explain.  I don't even know where to start, because if I started at the beginning it would take forever.  So, I'll just give you the highlights, like at the end of a football game.

Incident 1: Over the semester I had a health scare, and I had quite a few doctors appointments.  It was a stressful time for me, and I ended up missing her class twice.  It's not what I normally do, but once I had a doctors appointment, and another time I was finishing up another appointment and was just too stressed to go straight to class.  I didn't want to give her details because 1) it's my business and 2) she didn't care, so I just said to her that I didn't have a note, but I was absent due to a medical issue.  It is unexcused and I accept that.  Well, Ms. Bitch thought it appropriate to say that "There comes a point when you have to prioritize your life," meaning because my ass wasn't in school I'm immature and don't have my priorities straight.  Well, news flash Ms. Bitch, if I'm dying, I don't give a damn about Biology Lab.  Thanks.  I should say though, that I was polite to her, I said "Thanks," and walked back to my seat, finished class, and left.

Ok, so, there were other small things to happen here and there, like the time she sent out an email saying that she "wouldn't entertain any more questions about the final," not format, not content, not anything.  However the icing on the Bitch cake was during said final.  Dun dun dun,

Incident 2 (ok, it was actually more like incident 5, but who's counting): Our class filed in to take the final, I was the 3rd one in the door.  She said something and pointed to the wall, but I didn't hear her, so I said, "Where do you want us to put our bags?"  Her response was this: She pointed to one wall, and said "Put your backpacks up against the wall like everyone else."  I have a few problems with this statement: first, she was pointing to the wrong wall, and second, most people were standing still, not moving toward a wall with the intention of setting down bags.  So....huh?  

Incident 2 continues though, because as we were all getting seated I asked her if she curves the final.  She ignored me.  I promise you, I said it loud.  As a matter of fact, several classmates heard me and looked back and forth between us in anticipation of an answer.  Yeah.  So I called her by her name and asked again, louder this time.  In turn, she ignored me...again.  Yeah.  Needless to say, I was frustrated.

You want to know the icing on the cake?  Not 2 minutes after this incident, she thought there was a question in the back row, so she stopped her little speech about the "rules of the final", looked up, and innocently asked, "Oh was there a the back?"

No f*ing joke.

I'm so glad I don't have to deal with Ms. Bitch again.

P.S.  My review of her was not good.  Oh, and graduate students should be heavily monitored when allowed the control of teaching a class.  For real.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm not pregnant.

Hey guys!  I know I've been kind of out of touch, but it's finals week.  Tomorrow are my last two finals, after which point I will be back in the blogosphere full force.  It seems like I go about a week between postings now!  I want to post more, and I can't tell you how many times I've made notes to myself about various blog ideas...that have inevitably ended up being literally thrown away.  Though I haven't been writing very much I have still been reading.  Let me just say that all you ladies crack me up!  This two weeks is stressful for me, because of school and Heath being out of town for work (and potty training), but your posts continue to be place of rest and laughter for me.  The whispering writer always makes me laugh, and today's Nativity post at Ostriches Look Funny had me cracking up!  You're not only funny gals though, you make me think too!  And some of you (shame on you!) occasionally make me cry just a little.  Your stories and thoughts are beautiful, so thank you!

Alright, the title of today's post is true.  I'm not pregnant.  I am writing about baby names though.  On Facebook today someone wrote about baby names, Twilight baby names specifically.  I was wondering what your thoughts are on baby names?  Not Twilight specifically, just names in general.  For names you've already chosen for kids you already have, did you name your child after another person, a character, a virtue maybe?  Were you bound by any guidelines for the name? Example: All the first born sons in my husbands family have the initials HBK.  FYI, good boy names that begin with H are harder to come by than you might imagine. 

My son's name is Harper Benjamin.  Obviously we stuck to the HBK rule.  We chose Harper because it was cute.  That's as complicated as it got.  We chose Benjamin because it went well with Harper and (bonus) it's a bible name.  

It's unlikely that I'll have this many kids, but still, I want to be prepared.    

So, though I'm not pregnant, here's my rough draft list of names:

Elizabeth Darcy (Pride and Prejudice, people)
Rosalie Anne (like Anne of Green Gables, and YES Rosalie is from Twilight. The character isn't my favorite, but the name just sings to me!)
Emalie Isabella (Emalie was the name of my baby doll when I was a kid, and Isabella is not from Twilight, it's purely coincidence.)
Margaret Josephine (Little Women)

Laurence Alexander (Little Women again and my Dad's middle name.)
Bram Franklin (like Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, and Franklin just because I like it.)
Joseph Abraham (bible name and Abe Lincoln)
Jefferson Edwin (like Thomas Jefferson, and Edwin just because.  My husband really likes Edwin a lot, so technically this is his choice.)

The only boy name I've got my heart really really set on is Laurence Alexander, the rest is not definite and could change when we get to that point.  As far as the girl names though, they're basically set in stone.  Especially Emalie and Rosalie, the former being my first choice.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Book signing.

I'm not political.  Or at least, I wasn't political until recently.  I still can't commit to saying I'm into politics, but I have taken more of an interest recently.  I suppose Heath was bound to rub off on me at some point.

You might be wondering why I'm talking about politics right now.  Well, I'll tell you.  It's because the book signing I went to on Monday was Sarah Palin's.  I don't know how all of you feel about her, but as it's my blog, I'll tell you how I feel.  Haha.  If you don't like her, please don't get offended.  Each person is entitled to their own opinion of her.  You absolutely don't have to like mine.  You want to know?

Well, I love her.  I recently read her new book, America by Heart.  She seems like such a down to earth, regular person.  I admire that.  I also admire her for her family and her Christian values.  Her family is not perfect, no one's is, but she's supportive of them as they are supportive of her.  They're in things together, and I really like that.  It seems like more and more political figures don't care about their families, what with all the mistresses out there and all...  I think it's really sad.  It's sad for the spouses of these politicians, and it's sad for the country.  How much integrity can a man (or woman) have if he (or she) is willing to betray their vows to his (or her) spouse?  If said politician can so easily break vows to his (or her) spouse, what's to stop him (or her) from breaking commitments to the random strangers that are his (or her) constituents?  It would have been so much simpler to just use "his" without including the "(or hers)" part.  

Anyway, back to Sarah, she was so nice, and though I don't have time to give you all the details of our meeting right now, lets just say that she was worth waiting.  And it's nice to see a politician who values the constitution and the founders as much as she does.  We need more like Sarah!  :)

That's all I've got time for right now.  This is totally open for debate, so if you've got an opposing view, I'd love to hear what you think (seriously!).

Also, seeing as this post is rather lame as is, I will probably amend it later, with quotes from the book and a picture or two.  For right now though, I've got to go!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I love to read.

I really, really do.  There's little better than losing yourself in a book.  I love wandering through Hogwarts on a cold Fall evening.  Though I desperately wish to be in Griffindor house, I do believe I'd probably be in Ravenclaw.  It's just what my gut tells me.   Also, every Christmas season, I enjoy the chaos that is the Bennets.  :)  I know the story never changes, but every time I read it, I learn something new, something I never noticed before.  

Well, a blogger-buddy of mine posted a BBC reading list.  She, in turn, got it from her blogger buddy.  You can check out her blog for that link and said list here.  

The list came with...well...  It came with what I consider a personal challenge, almost an insult.  Apparently the BBC has very little faith in us as readers.  In the following list of 100 books, those silly kids at the BBC think we will have only read 6.  Really?  6 books?  I think not.  

If you're up to the challenge, repost this and follow the rules to tell us what you've read.  

•Copy this list.
•Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.
•Italicise the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.
•Highlight the ones already on your reading list. 

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The King James Bible
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) – George Orwell
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Complete Works of Shakespeare
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
Emma -Jane Austen
Persuasion – Jane Austen
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
Animal Farm – George Orwell
The DaVinci Code – Dan Brown
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez 
A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery 
Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Atonement – Ian McEwan
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Dune – Frank Herbert
Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
Dracula – Bram Stoker
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Inferno – Dante
Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
Germinal – Emile Zola
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession – AS Byatt
Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
Watership Down – Richard Adams
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Hamlet – William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

That's right BBC, I've read 10.  That's a little more than your estimated 6.  Though, it's not enough.  I want to get as far from this number 6 as I can.  I do believe that over the holidays, I have a lot of reading to do.  

Alright guys, it's your turn!  What have you read?  What's your favorite?