Thursday, May 31, 2007

New Job!

Well, for the first time ever, BJ and I are financially somewhat stable. That's right, I got a job. I am the new office manager at Veteran's Garage Door. Allie is training me for the first two weeks, and we're having a pretty good time so far.

With two people working, there is a whole lot of down time, but we find ourselves busy pretty, also. Here are some of my favorite moments from my first two days:

-Early Wednesday afternoon, Allie and I decided it was time for me to do my first phone answering. The phone rang, we both looked at me, and Allie said to go ahead. I picked up the phone, and...nothing. It was one of those fluke calls where there is no one on the phone.

-I spent a little time yesterday calling applicants to tell them the officer manager position had been filled. I know, it's a little bit evil.

-This afternoon was REALLY slow, so we are both have our own ways to pass the time. One way is simply by drinking a ridiculous amount because its something to do. Of course, this leads to a lot of bathroom time. As some sort of test (mainly trying to make the time pass), Allie decided she would not go to the bathroom until 4:oo. At 3:50, her nose randomly started bleeding, and she was forced to run to the bathroom. When you're really bored, these things are actually entertaining.

-I think my favorite memory, though, happened before my first day of work on Wednesday. I squatted down on the floor to ask Gus if he would still love me after I left him home all day. His answer was simple. He rubbed his nose against mine. That was some ooey-gooey preciousness.

I'm sure this new job will generate many blog posts. The guys I work with are hilarious, and, let's face, garage doors are a fascinating subject.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Shopping like a grown up

When my brother graduated from ACU three years ago, my parents got him a lab top since he was planning on going to grad school and he like computer-type stuff. Me, not so much. I'm NOT going to grad school, and I do NOT like computers. But they did want to get me an equal size gift, so I got money to go buy a couch for my home.

I've been researching online for a couple of weeks, so when Memorial Day rolled around, I was ready to go out shopping. I had figured out online that if I was careful, I could probably get a five piece living room set for the money I had. Mom came up to help out, and we pretty much figured out the whole furniture thing in the first two hours and spent the following six hours shopping for what really matters: clothes. After Mom left, I took BJ to Ashley Furniture to show him his choices, he fell in love with one set (basing his decision on which is was more comfortable), and we bought it.

This was really exciting. We are coming up on our one year anniversary, and we are still having a bunch of firsts. This was our first big purchase. We were actually pretty giddy on the way home from the store. It feels like we may actually be grown ups, but I'm still not sure.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Thoughts on dreams, death, and Gus's messed-up hair

Saturday morning I woke up and started piddling around the house cleaning as always. Suddenly, while making the bed, I was struck by an image of a dream I had had earlier that morning. The more I thought about it, the more the dream came back to me. It went something like this...

I was at Grandma Farr's farm with Gus sitting on the swing in her back yard. Grandma came out and saw Gus for the first time (she only saw him in pictures before she died). She said, "He looks dirty", and I said, "He needs brushed." She went inside and looked around the house for old brushes. She brought me out a few old broken brushes and we brushed Gus together.

If Grandma had ever met Gus, this is exactly what would have happened. She was always working, always cleaning. And she was a bit of a pack rat, so she would have had plenty of brushes hidden away for Gus.

After the dream, I was a little thrown off for a couple of days. It was the first time I had dreamed about her since her passing, and she was very real and present in the dream. I remember when Grandma Pierce died, and I would dream about her, I loved hearing the sound of her voice and laughter so much. I felt that same way Saturday. When someone special is lost, I believe that dreams about those loved ones are one of the most amazing gifts God gives us. For a short moment, I got to hear her and see her and be reminded of her unique quirks. It was a very good dream, although I wouldn't have minded it lasting a little bit longer.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I have to go, I have to go, I have to go...!

Gus is by far the easiest baby animal I have ever raised. He's calm, hasn't been very sickly, and is actually really good with guests. But he does have one weakness: he's had a hard time figuring out a way to communicate with BJ or I that he needs to go out. He knows he isn't supposed to relieve himself inside, so he usually just holds everything in until he has to trickle a little, and BJ and I stumble upon the drips and run him outside as fast as we can. Needless to say, this isn't a very effective method.

The real problem driving this whole issue is simply that Gus doesn't whine. Sienna is the world's biggest whiner. She whines when she thinks she might detect a trickle coming on, so we always know when we need to take her out. But Gus doesn't want to inconvenience us. Or rather, his intelligence hasn't caught up with his bladder.

Yesterday, though, for the first time ever, Gus let me know he had to go. Maybe he's actually the smart one and has been doing this for a while, but I just figured out yesterday what the I-have-to-pee signal is. This is how it goes: Gus runs up to me, turns in a circle, sits down very quickly, and then stares at me with unusual alertness. If I don't catch on soon enough, he repeats the turn-sit-stare process.

I wouldn't call this new method brilliant or even practical, but if this is what Gus has come up with, I have little choice but to take him out everytime he turn, sits, and stares alertly at me. Somehow, the inaneness of the whole process fits Gus, who is currently lying next to my desk chair panting loudly with his purple tongue hanging out, as always.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Graduation Weekend

Since Thursday, BJ's parents have been down from their home in Illinois to see my sister-in-law, Alison, and I graduate. BJ and I have both been blessed with spectacular in-laws, so we have a great time when they come down. Here are some of the memories from this weekend.

Friday night, I had BJ's parents, Alison, and her fiance Breandan over to our place for dinner. It was my first time having all of them for a meal, so I had a blast preparing everything. We had this laof of bread (it was my first time to braid bread!!!), clam chowder, salad, and hot milk cake with ice cream.

This is me and Alison and graduation. Thunderstorms cam right at the end of graduation, so there was no recessional. It was nothing short of a disaster trying to find family and friends afterwards.

On Monday morning, BJ and I took his parents around campus. I got some really good portraits of them at Jacob's dream. What I want to do is get portraits of my parents at the same place and frame large prints of each for our house.

Last but not least, here is a very characteristic moment with BJ's dad captured by BJ's mom. BJ's dad get a little camera happy any time he get's his camera out, so while we were at the sculpture, he was trying to get all sorts of crazy pictures. Classic.

Friday, May 11, 2007

When I grow up...

A couple of weeks ago, my brother tagged me on his blog to do a top-ten goals list, and I figure that the night before my graduation from college is a good time to do this. I've thought a lot since he did his own list about what my goals are in life, and I soon realized that I am not a very ambitious person. It was really, really difficult to come up with ten. So I just tried to picture in my head what I want to see if I could see into the future. Here's what I saw in no particular order.

1. Kids. I'm the world's single worst babysitter EVER. But, in defiance of all logic, I still really want to be a mom. I think it is because I saw the relationship my mom had with her mom and I see the way Bro and I now are with our mom, and I know that I'm supposed to take part in that tradition of motherhood. When I was a kid, I played with baby dolls all the time, so I guess it shouldn't surprise me that motherhood became a part of my list so quickly.

2. Own a small business. I know that if I really want to do art for a living, I pretty much have to start a business of my own because there just aren't many good jobs out there. Also, I think I would like the independence of being a small-business owner.

3. Travel. I want to leave the U.S. at least once. My preference is Europe because that is were the art is I love so much. BJ, Bro, and I are already scheming towards this end.

4. Embody hospitality. Here's were I get hoaky. I want to create an environment in my home where people feel welcome. This means several things to me. Good smells coming from the kitchen, a pleasant but not extravagant decor, lots of heirlooms and things from the past in each room, art, the piano playing, and most importantly, loving and welcoming spirits inside (other than the dogs. I'm talking about BJ and me). BJ and I love having quests in our home, and I want to be the kind of hostess where people love coming to my house.

5. Maintaining my weight. I don't want to be one of those women who says "Now that I'm married, I don't have to worry about my body." Avoiding the American obesity crisis is important and really difficult for me. Important because I want to feel good about myself, be healthy, and look good for BJ. Difficult because weight problems run in the family and I love to cook and eat. This is both a goal I don't like to see on this list and one that is very important to me.

6. Go Green. I think that as a Christian, it is only right to be sensitive to the needs of the environment God has blessed us with. But I'm not very good at doing this. I think that this mainly stems from ignorance. I want to become more informed about how to take care of the environment and then implement the information.

7. Spend daily time with the arts. All art is intriguing to me, but sometimes laziness convinces me that TV is more entertaining than painting or drawing or playing the piano. I want to become more disciplined about daily devoting myself to the arts I love so that I can continually improve.

8. Give personal gifts to those I love. This goal probably sounds a little wierd, but let me explain. During the days following grandma's death, it occured to me that every single member of her huge family had items made from her hands that they will always cherish. She crocheted place mats, afgans, and hot pads, made quilts, sewed clothes and aprons, and did countless other personal gifts for Christmas, birthdays, graduations, and marriages. In fact, one day when I was taking a short moment to sit down and mourn her passing, I realized that the blanket I had wrapped myself in to cry was made by her hands. I want to spread that kind of tangible love to my friends and family, ecspecially when I have kids.

9. Have a healthy marriage. Here's what I'm hoping for: thirty years from now, the church where BJ and I are attending decides to do a marriage class, and the most natural choice for who to teach this class is BJ and I. There are going to be a lot of ups and downs, but I just hope that we keep steady, always keep the romance, and grow in our faith together as well as separatly.

10. Something about God and faith goes here... but I'm not sure what it is yet. I'm at a funny place in my life where I know faith is the most important thing, but I'm not sure why or how it is going to play out. I hate when twenty-somethings talk about how confused they are in their faith and yada-yada-yada. But, it is kind of complicated. I just hope that when the end comes, I've worked through some of the confusion to a state of peace and some sort of certainty that God is actually there.

Friday, May 04, 2007

A few random sayings from a uniquely random guy

Sometimes, I just don't know what to think of the things that come out of my husbands mouth. Here are a few from the past week.

This was said in Dairy Queen while BJ was trying to decipher what Sienna's image of herself might be:

"I'm Sienna...Invader of kitty litter boxes!!!"

The other night while I was getting sentimental about our upcoming move from our first apartment together where we have so many good memories, BJ gave me a bit of a reality check:

"Yes, but now we will make new memories in a less crappy house."

And, finally, I have no idea where this comment came from:

"Sex is one of the few things not made better by milk."