Friday, February 27, 2009

There oughta be a law against...

  • popping popcorn at work if you're not intending to share with everyone
  • claiming that chewing gum will satisfy your craving for potato chips or chocolate (Do you hear me, Extra? That's false advertising if I ever saw it.)
  • taking your baby to the movies, with the one possible exception being those special kids' showings they do on weekday mornings
  • having two weeks in a row of reruns during the normal television season (The Office...grrr)

What about you? Any laws you'd like to see? I'm sure President Obama will consider these just as soon as he gets done reducing the national debt, fixing the economy, and pulling the troops out of Iraq. :) Yes we can!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Things I Just Can't Seem to Remember

  • Which is baking soda and which is baking powder. This has caused some problems. It is very difficult to scoop either one out of a pile of flour.
  • The phone number of the radio station I listen to every morning. You'd think after hearing it at least a couple of times a day, I'd remember it when it came time to call in to win Jason Mraz tickets this morning. But, no. :(
  • Any song on the piano. Eight years of lessons and a few more years of playing on my own and still the only song I know from memory is "Heart and Soul." Impressive.
  • Which colors are primary colors. This sounds silly, but I'm always wondering, "Do blue and yellow make green? Or do yellow and green make blue? Or is it something else entirely?" This has come up on more than one occasion when I've baby-sat kids and we've done a painting project.
  • How to do CPR. I've done the certification once and seen it demonstrated at least 10 times, but I'm embarrassed to say I have no idea how many breaths and how many pulses. I just pray that if I'm ever in a situation where someone needs CPR, there will be someone else to do it. Probably when I have kids, I'll carry a little card in my pocket at all times that tells me what to do.

Overall, I have a great memory. I remember all of my teachers' names from Kindergarten on. I remember my family and friends' birthdays. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've forgotten a doctor's appointment, homework assignment, or deadline. It's just funny to me the things we remember and the things we don't.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Marriage Advice from Robin Williams

Darby and I watched Good Will Hunting last night. It was the first time I'd seen it, and I highly recommend it. My favorite character was Robin Williams' character, Sean, a counselor whose wife recently passed away from cancer. He's recruited to counsel Will (Matt Damon), a math genius with a troubled past.

One day, Will asks Sean if he ever regrets having married his wife. Sean gets offended, thinking that Will is implying that he regrets marrying her because she died. Will quickly clarifies by asking Sean how he knew his wife was "the one." Sean tells the story of seeing his future wife for the first time in a bar while he was waiting for Game 6 of the World Series to begin. He had a ticket to the game, but he let his friends go without him because he "had to see about a girl." Will cannot believe that Sean would miss the World Series for a girl. Sean's response goes like this:
"No, I'm not kiddin' you, Will. That's why I'm not talkin' right now about some girl I saw at a bar twenty years ago and how I always regretted not going over and talking to her. I don't regret the 18 years I was married to Nancy. I don't regret the six years I had to give up counseling when she got sick. And I don't regret the last years when she got really sick. And I sure as hell don't regret missin' the damn game."

One time, Will tells Sean that he hasn't called a girl he really likes back because he thinks she's perfect now and he doesn't want to ruin it. Sean tells him a story about his wife:
Sean: My wife used to fart when she was nervous. She had all sorts of wonderful little idiosyncrasies. She used to fart in her sleep. I thought I’d share that with you. One night it was so loud it woke the dog up. She woke up and went ‘ah was that you?’ And I didn’t have the heart to tell her. Oh!
Will (laughing): She woke herself up?
Sean (laughing and crying): But Will, she’s been dead for 2 years, and that's the stuff I remember: wonderful stuff you know? Little things like that. Those are the things I miss the most. The little idiosyncrasies that only I know about: that's what made her my wife. Oh she had the goods on me too, she knew all my little peccadilloes. People call these things imperfections, but they're not. Ah, that's the good stuff....
You're not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you've met, she's not perfect either. But the question is whether or not you're perfect for each other.

Wow! It's so refreshing to see a healthy, devoted marriage portrayed in a movie. That's what it's all about: loving each other in good times and bad and appreciating the other person's little quirks. Although I hope that Darby and I don't have to go through something as difficult as Sean and his wife, I know that if we did, he'd stand by me and support me, and wouldn't regret any of it. I'd do the same for him. It's wonderful to know a love like that. And if I ever met an untimely death, I know Darby would enjoy sharing my sleeptalking stories with everyone. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Can I gripe?

For just a minute?

I HATE the healthcare system in this country. It is expensive, difficult to navigate, and sloooww. While I was unemployed, I had the cheapest insurance I could find that would still provide semi-decent coverage (although not maternity care, which would have been a disaster had I accidentally gotten pregnant). It cost me $150/month and still did not cover the lab work that I was required to get as part of my physical to substitute teach. What?? I've told so many people that it's like you pay for health insurance just to have the privilege to go to the doctor and pay him/her.

Last month, I called to schedule my yearly exam with an ob-gyn. The earliest I could get in was mid-March. That would be fine, except my birth control prescription is up in Feburary. I called the doctor I had seen for my physical in September (she's a family practice doctor and a gynecologist) to see if she could write me a one-month prescription just to tide me over. (I can't go in to see her because she's not on my new insurance that I have now through work.) Over a day after explaining my whole situation to her nurse, I finally got a "no" response. Here's how the conversation went:
---Dr. _____ says she can't write you the prescription because you need to come in for your yearly exam.
---Uh, yeah, that's the problem. I can't get into see this new doctor for another month.
---Well, Dr. ____ says if you won't come in to see her, she can't write you the prescription.
---Sure, I get that, but the thing is, I can't come in because she's not on my insurance any more.
---Well, then she can't help you.
---What do you suggest I do?
---Call the doctor who originally wrote you the prescription (in Texas).
---Okay, I just thought it would be better to have the doctor who's seen me most recently and actually lives in this state write it.
---Nope. She can't unless you make an appointment with her.
---(Big sigh) Thanks. Bye.

Really? It's not like I'm asking for some kind of prescription sedative or narcotic! Come on a sister out!

Similar situations to this have played out so many times. If you ever move, it is so hard to get in to see a doctor. You have to wait until they have a special "new patient" appointment. So if you wait until you're sick, you're out of luck. But if you go just to "get established," you still have to pay your co-pay (which can be fairly high) for basically nothing.

The sad thing is, I'm one of the lucky people. I actually have health insurance. What about people who don't? If you don't have insurance through your job, it's extremely expensive to get it on your own. I can see how a lot of families simply can't afford it. It's ridiculous. And I'm not trying to bash doctors or even health insurance companies. The whole system is just a huge mess. Is there any solution? The only one I can think of is to marry a doctor, and, alas, it's too late for me. :)

UPDATE: (Friday morning) After a tearful call to the doctor's office in Abilene (in which the somewhat rude receptionist informed me that the doctor could not extend my prescription unless I made an appointment to see him...okay, sure, I'll drive 15 hours!), I called the new doctor I am going to see in March. Her extremely friendly nurse took care of me, and I should have my prescription tomorrow. Crisis averted! I am so thankful for kind receptionists and nurses. In my experience, they seem to be so rare. I know they have stressful jobs, but it's really hard when you're already stressed out, and they treat you like you're an idiot. (Well, okay, maybe her perception of me was somewhat colored by the fact that I almost immediately started crying. I know it shouldn't have been that big of deal, but I just couldn't hold it together.) My doctor in Abilene was SOO great, and I know if I could have just talked to him, he would have done everything he could to help me. Unfortunately, his receptionist didn't seem to share his compassion. Anyway, my rant is now officially over. Next time, I will be back to posting about love, food, and other happy things.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine's Day

Darby and I had a wonderful Valentine's Day. On Saturday, I made us a yummy dinner and served it on our china. We had prosciutto and fontina stuffed chicken, roasted potatoes with artichokes and feta, and homemade bread. The chicken was very good. For the recipe, click here. (I used a whole egg to dip it in, not just the white, and omitted the Dijon mustard.) You bread it with Saltine cracker crumbs and pan-fry it. I've never tried cracker crumbs as a breading before, and I really liked how much flavor they gave the chicken. I forgot to take a picture of dessert, but we had Dark Chocolate Soup with Cinnamon-Toasted Pound Cake Croutons. It was as rich as it sounds, and delicious! It was a little difficult for me to prepare dinner with my bad toe, but I did okay. I would chop a few things, then go lay down, stuff the chicken, then go lay down, etc. It took a while, but it was worth it.

Darby got me a very sweet card and a mini-box of Lindor truffles (my fave). I felt bad because I didn't have a card for him on Saturday morning. I had been intending to get one when I did my grocery shopping on Friday, but I ended up not going because of my foot. I normally make my own cards, but I have this tradition where I always buy Darby the same type of card for every occasion (one that folds out multiple times, has cartoons of animals dressed as humans, and rhymes). Anyway, he said he didn't care, but we went to the store on Saturday and I found a card that met the criteria. I would hate to break with tradition. :)

Our gift to each other was tickets to see Lord of the Dance on Monday night. Darby really likes Irish dancing, and we noticed back in December that Lord of the Dance was coming to the U of I in February, so we've been eagerly anticipating the show. It was really cool! Definitely one of my favorite dance shows ever. I like how the dancing is very skillful and athletic without being overtly sexual (for the most part--there was one dance in which the women stripped off their dresses and finished the dance in basically underwear...I could have done without that).

All in all, it was a great Valentine's Day. Darby and I have really gotten away from buying each other gifts, except at Christmas; instead, we spend the money to go out or go on a trip. For us, it's a lot better use of our money, and it saves us the stress of finding the "perfect" gift. Plus, it helps out in our quest to stay uncluttered. It's a win-win situation (or win-win-win, as Michael Scott would say).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Who I Love: My True Love Edition

Why I Love:
  1. He tells me how much he appreciates me every day. He is always thanking me for little things, like cooking dinner, picking him up from school, doing laundry, etc. I never feel underappreciated.
  2. He is a great friend, not only to me, but to all of his friends. He's better at keeping in touch with his college friends than I am!
  3. He watches HGTV and TLC with me and will even admit that he enjoys some of the shows.
  4. He makes it a point to be home in time for dinner every night, even when he's really busy at school. It is so nice to know that we will at least have that 30 minutes to an hour together every evening.
  5. He encourages me when I'm doing my workout videos at home. He sits on the couch on his computer, and says, "Wow! You're really strong. I'm really proud of you." It helps me keep going. (That kind of makes him seem like a louse. He can't do the videos with me because we only have one ball and one set of weights.)
  6. I asked for an espresso maker for Christmas, and I have yet to learn how to use it. He always makes lattes for us, and they are soo good! I offer to learn how to use it, so I can make a drink for him, but he always refuses.
  7. He is a perfect travel companion. We both love to stay in nice hotels, enjoy local food, go to museums, and walk everywhere when we travel. I love that we can turn even a short weekend trip into something really special.
  8. He tries to go to bed at the same time as me, even though I go to bed early. If he has to stay up, he tucks me in first.
Obviously, there are many more reasons why I love Darby, but I tried to list things I haven't necessarily talked about before on this blog. We don't have a perfect marriage by any means, and we do have our differences and arguments. But the good far, far outweighs any bad, so I choose to focus on that. I can honestly say that our relationship keeps getting better. I can't wait to see how we will grow in the years to come,

Friday, February 13, 2009

In sickness and in health

Well, I'm at home again. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. with horrible pain in my toe. When I got up, I couldn't put any weight on my foot. I took some extra-strength Tylenol, and propped my foot up with the hopes of controlling the pain enough to go to work. By the time 8 a.m. came around, I still wasn't able to put any weight on it, so I had to call in. I would have been fine once I got to work and could sit down, but there was no way I could shower, get ready, and drive 20 mins. It ended up being really good that I stayed home because around 10 a.m. I started feeling incredibly nauseous, and it's just now gone away. I think I took too much Tylenol. I usually take Advil, but the doctor told me I could only take Tylenol. Evidently, it does NOT agree with my stomach. I am feeling a little better now and was able to take a bath, brush my teeth, and change clothes. Woo-hoo!

I'm really hoping I feel better tomorrow. I have big plans to cook a fancy meal for Valentine's Day. I'm not sure if I'll be able to stand long enough to cook it, though. I might have to rely on my sous-chef a little more than usual. Speaking of my sous-chef, not feeling well has reminded me again of how much he takes care of me. This morning, he carried me from the bed to the couch, so I wouldn't have to walk on my foot. Right now, he's at the store buying me Sprite and mac and cheese. He's good to me every day, but I just love how he takes care of me when I'm sick.

I really enjoy Valentine's Day, but I'm glad Darby and I don't need a special occasion to show our love for one another. Every day is Valentine's Day when you're married to such a wonderful guy. (Awwww....sappy, right?) Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion to my love series, focusing on the one I love most of all. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Who I Love: In-Law Edition

Sorry I missed a day on my "week of love." Turns out posting every day is a little ambitious, even for me. But I'm at home today after having a mole removed from my toe. The doctor ordered me to lay down all day with my foot elevated.'s a tough life. :)

I've talked before about how lucky I am to have the in-laws I have. I know a lot of people have tension with their in-laws, but that is so not the case with me. Here's a few reasons why.

Why I Love:

  1. She is crazy-talented, and we benefit from that talent. She has made us three sets of curtains and two sets of throw pillows. For the latest round of curtains, I didn't have to do a thing. She found some fabric, e-mailed me a picture for approval, went to stores in Dallas to find enough of that fabric, made everything, and shipped it to me. For FREE!
  2. She is very thoughtful and always picks out great gifts.
  3. She's a great cook. She claims not to be but every dinner I've ever had at her house has been delicious. She gave me a recipe book with some of her favorite recipes in it, and I've enjoyed making them.
  4. She was a big help getting ready for the wedding. She was willing to do anything I asked, but she wasn't pushy about being involved and didn't give unsolicited opinions about decorations, etc. I've seen enough wedding shows to know that many mothers-in-law are not so unobtrusive.
  5. She's a great hostess. Staying at their house is like staying at a bed and breakfast (seriously). Every room is perfectly decorated; there's travel-sized toiletries by the sink; there's coffee served every morning and dessert or hot chocolate every night.
  6. She's fun to spend "girl time" with, whether that's shopping or going out to eat at cutesy places.
  7. I'm always doing laundry at their house, and, not only does she not mind, she's been known to finish it for me while I'm gone. I've come back on multiple occasions to find piles of clothes neatly folded on the bed. It's awesome!

Why I Love:
  1. He likes to watch Dr. Phil. When I'm at their house, I get to watch, too!
  2. He is funny in a very dry way. When Darby and I were dating, this used to unnerve me. I never knew whether he was kidding or not. But now that I know him a little better, I "get" his humor and it makes me laugh.
  3. He is very laid-back. I don't think I've ever seen him get angry or upset. I could stand to be more like that.
  4. He's affectionate. Some dads don't show affection to their sons, but John will kiss Darby on the cheek, and he always says, "Love you, boy."
  5. He serves others in a lot of ways, but he's never showy about it. He is a great example to me of doing what's right because it's right, not to be praised for it.
  6. He makes a mean breakfast. When we're visiting, he'll make us bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches or French toast. he passed on his French toast making ability to Darby, so I reap the benefits even when we're not at their house.
  7. He helped Darby and me move to Illinois, and he didn't turn around and go home when he saw me freaking out and crying the night before we left. :)
And the most important reason I love both of them: They did a great job raising Darby. He would not be the man I love if it weren't for them. I will forever be grateful to them for raising such a wonderful son and then willingly sharing him with me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Who I Love: Parent Edition

These lists don't even begin to describe how awesome my parents are and how much they have done for me. The older I get, the more I appreciate the many large and small ways they showed and continue to show their love for me, Hannah, and Matt. I'm sure when I have kids of my own, I'll realize even more ways they blessed me. But here's just a taste of the many reasons I love them:

Why I Love...

  1. No matter how old (and big) I get, she always lets me sit in her lap while she rubs my back.
  2. Like me, she always uses correct punctuation in text messages, even if that means it takes her 30 minutes to write one.
  3. She will drop everything to be there for her kids. My sophomore year in college, I was really stressed out about school, work, etc. I was about to go on a Spring Break Campaign and happened to mention to her that I had no idea when I was going to do my laundry. She drove to Abilene (in a tornado!) and did my laundry for me.
  4. She will do things she really doesn't want to do (fly on an airplane, ride cable cars at Disneyworld) if it means her kids will get to do it.
  5. I know I can call her for sympathy, even if it's just a small problem. She understands that sometimes I just want to whine.
  6. She's going to be an awesome grandma, but she doesn't pressure me to have kids. After seeing the way some people's moms act, I really appreciate that.
  7. She cares (and cared) for all of my grandparents like they were her own parents, even if they were her in-laws or stepparents. I don't think anyone could have given me a better example of the selfless love God wants us to show to others.
  8. She was really supportive when she found out Darby and I were moving to Illinois. I know she misses us, but she doesn't make me feel guilty for living far away, and I know that she is truly happy for us.

Why I Love...

  1. He is very generous. Last year, I asked for money for new tires for Christmas. A few days later, I got an e-mail from him saying he had transferred the money to my account just because, not as a Christmas gift.
  2. Like me, he likes to argue (or, as I prefer to call it "have discussions"). We can disagree without being angry at each other.
  3. He uses his vacation and/or weekends to do things like help me and Darby move. My junior year, he drove out to Abilene one Saturday to help me paint my room.
  4. He inspired my love for reading. I never felt pressured by him to read, but I sure saw him doing it a lot. (He even reads while he brushes his teeth! I'm not that obsessed, but maybe someday.)
  5. He is, in general, a serious person, but he can be crazy, especially when he's wrestling with Matt. He has a really good sense of humor; he's one of those people who's effortlessly funny without being over-the-top.
  6. He gives me good advice about finances, career, school, etc. He is very wise, and I trust his judgment. I also appreciate that he doesn't expect me to do exactly what he says all the time. He gives me guidance, but lets me make my own decisions.
  7. He knows a lot about the Bible and is continually studying to learn more. I really enjoyed having him as a Bible Quiz/Bible Bowl coach in junior high and high school.
  8. When I called my mom to tell her Darby and I wouldn't be coming home for Thanksgiving, he's the one who called back less than an hour later to see if they could come up here. Now, I don't know exactly what happened, but what I imagine is that my mom hung up the phone really disappointed, and dad came to the rescue with a great solution. If it was mom's idea, well, I still appreciate dad for driving up here! :)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Who I Love: Sibling Edition

I have always loved Valentine's Day, mainly because I like pink and hearts. But I also think it gets a bad rap for being only about overly-commercialized sappy, romantic love. I think it's a great reminder to think about all of the love we experience in our lives, whether that's romantic love, familial love, platonic love, or Christian love. This week, I'm going to post every day about some of the many people I love in my life and why.

Why I Love...

  1. She doesn't make me feel weird for skipping a shower. In fact, she actually makes me feel better since I NEVER skip more than one day. :)
  2. She likes shopping as much as I do and is always up for a post-holiday spree.
  3. She is hilarious. She doesn't update her blog enough, but when she does, I usually laugh out loud.
  4. She gets excited about little things like me. When I'm with her, I feel more fun.
  5. She's a great sister-in-law to Darby. Although it took her a little while to warm up to him when we were teenagers, she now makes him feel like a true part of the family.
  6. She's honest. If I ask her if an outfit looks bad, she will tell me if she thinks it does.
  7. She loves to sing and is really good at it. She and I once spent an entire vacation perfecting a duet of "Never Gonna Get It." On the way to Mexico one year, she, Krista, and I went though an entire Spanish hymnal. I am not so talented, so if it weren't for her, I would probably not sing so much.
  8. She has a heart for children. I know she will be a great mom and aunt someday.

Why I Love:

  1. He lets me call him "Matty," "Tatty," "Fatty," etc. without getting embarrassed.
  2. Whenever I come home, he gives me a really big bear hug.
  3. He is very deep spiritually. Even though he's my younger brother, I have a lot to learn from him.
  4. He loves books and Starbucks as much as I do.
  5. On every gift at Christmas, he puts a tag that reads something like this: "To: My ugly, retarded sister with a mustache From: Your perfect angel brother." (Except they're a lot funnier than that!)
  6. He is very generous. When Darby and I got married, he gave us a $100 Barnes and Noble gift card and one of the most thoughtful cards we got from anyone.
  7. He encourages me to eat more sweets when I'm home. One of his best lines: "Kayla, you're an Anderson. Eat like one!"
  8. He's never been like a lot of guys and "too cool" for his family. Even when he was in high school, he enjoyed spending time with us and talking with us (unless he was just acting; he IS a really good actor...hmmm).

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Quite a coincidence

I meant to share this story when it happened a few weeks ago, but I forgot until now.

About three weeks ago, on a Friday, Darby took our car to get some minor repairs done. We chose the shop because it was close to our house, cheap, and they could do the work in one day (really important to us now that we only have one car). So we got the car back Friday afternoon, and everything seemed fine. We're driving on the Interstate Friday night, and I notice that the cruise control isn't working. It will turn on, but when you press "set acceleration," it doesn't regulate the speed. Now, I use cruise control every day on my way to and from work, so I knew it had to have stopped working sometime between Thursday evening and Friday night. Hmmm...

Darby called the shop on Saturday morning and (very diplomatically) asked if it was possible that the mechanic could have inadvertently jostled some wires when he was doing work. The mechanic got on the phone and said that he wasn't working anywhere near the box that controls the cruise control, so it had to be "just a coincidence." But we could bring it in and he would give us an estimate on what it would cost to fix it. thanks.

Thankfully that seems to be the only thing wrong, and it's not like the car is undriveable or anything. Our friend, who's a mechanic, is going to fix it for us at a discount. (We didn't ask him to do the work in the first place because we knew he wouldn't charge us fairly, and we didn't want to take advantage of him.) I know we could have probably made a big stink to the first shop and gotten it fixed for free, but I'm thankful that I don't have a husband who's willing to get mean and angry about small things. Life's too short. And I guess there is the small possibility that it really is "just a coincidence." :)

Monday, February 02, 2009

I'm not a grandma!

For the past three nights, I have stayed up past 1 a.m. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've stayed up past 1 a.m. in the past two years. And now...three nights in a row?? I'm crazy! What could possibly cause this normal twenty-something behavior? Three words: Jon and Katy. We went with them to Nashville this weekend to visit Katy's sister. It's about a 6-hour drive. We were supposed to leave Friday at 5 p.m. Jon ended up having to work late, so we left at 7. We didn't even get to Nashville til 1 a.m. Okay, I did sleep for like an hour and a half in the car, but still. Then I actually woke up at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Saturday night we went to see Katy's sister's roommate's band play. The show lasted until 12:30. I couldn't believe I actually made it. I did sleep in until about 9 on Sunday, but usually I like to get a good 8-10 hours on the weekends, plus naps. Last night we made the trip home. It took over 8 hours after we made the "quick" detour to Missouri to eat at Lambert's, and I only slept about 1 hour. We got home about 9:15, but then, of course, we had to watch the one-hour Office episode after the Super Bowl. After that, Darby and I were having so much fun talking about the weekend that we didn't fall asleep until about 1. I am so tired right now, and I have huge bags under my eyes. But at least I can say that, on occasion, I am still fun. Tonight it's back to grandma schedule...I plan to be in bed about 9!