Pillowina: My most creative gift of all time.

When my husband and I were dating, I had the tricky task of getting him the perfect birthday gift. I wanted to do something sentimental but fun. I was out and about and spotted a pillow shaped like a person. The pillow made me think of a story he had told me about a body pillow he had in college affectionately known as “Pillowina”. “Pillowina” had long hair, wide eyes and eyelashes, and full, luscious lips. At least that’s how I imagined her looking. I wouldn’t know. I didn’t get the chance to meet her.

“Pillowina” had a horrible fate. Chris’s roommate sought revenge on an issue I won’t discuss, and he turned “Pillowina” into a man. Not just any man. Calvin Coolidge to be exact. Calvin was apparently very bossy, crude, and spoke very loud ghetto. I had no idea the thirtieth President of the United States was anything like this, but Chris’s roommate confirms his story. Calvin was all of these things, and much more.

The sex change didn’t keep Chris from sleeping with this body pillow. By the time I had met Chris, President Coolidge was accidentally left behind in some hotel. I didn’t ask questions. However, anytime I heard stories about “Pillowina” or Calvin Coolidge, I detected a tone of sadness in Chris’s voice.

So, I got to work. I snatched up that pillow, went to the craft store, and before you knew it, I had made a new, improved Pillowina. Here is a picture of the box she came in:

Notice all the photographs of memorable events in Chris’ life.

This is a close-up of the poem on the box describing this “toy”:

Here is a sampling of “when” moments:

Inside the box was the new improved Pillowina:

She even plays Brahm’s lullaby when you press her hand. She’s perfect for those restless nights!

The gift didn’t get quite the reaction I had hoped for. In fact, I found Pillowina hidden in the basement. She was shoved behind a mountain of boxes underneath the stairwell. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought Chris was hiding her. In fact, he confessed that she would have been thrown away if he didn’t think it would hurt my feelings. I’m starting to believe he doesn’t like or appreciate Pillowina very much… Gasp!

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Published in: on March 11, 2009 at 5:13 am  Comments (4)  

A New Found Love…

I was invited to go Contra dancing last night with a couple of coworkers. I’m pretty sure I have found a new hobby (beingst that I have SO much free time and all)! I went without my husband, which was a HUGE mistake on his behalf. (It’s probably best he doesn’t know I had to sit a few dances out because I couldn’t find a partner…) It was an interesting lot of people: most were sober; some were not; most had minty breath; some did not; most wore deodorant; some did not; most were straight; some were not (this can become a bit awkward); most men wore pants; some did not (one wore a mini skirt-yikes!); most men wore belts; some did not (A few strutted suspenders. One even had flair all over his! And yes, I admit I had my eyes on him all night! My Facebook friends can relate.); most were monogamous; some were not. I would say it was a very eclectic group of folks!

The best part of the night? I asked Mr. Flair to dance the final dance with me, and he accepted! I’m pretty sure I ended up being the belle of the ball after all!

Published in: on March 7, 2009 at 5:33 pm  Comments (1)  

Life is Good!

I guess my mojo’s back, despite the haircut, which by the way is growing on me! 🙂

Yep, life is good!

Published in: on February 25, 2009 at 7:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Just something to ponder on…

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

Published in: on February 24, 2009 at 1:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

CandE (can-dee) Day!

After reading about Mr. Z Day, my friend Carrie and I decided we needed to have C and E Day. I mean, how can you not copy something that great? We decided to celebrate C and E day during breakfast for two reasons:

  1. We teach different grade levels and it is impossible to synchronize our lunch times.
  2. Apparently we are not the same caliber of teacher as Mr. Z is. We felt like there would be more ambiance without kiddos around!

I gathered up some greenery, dainty tea cups and the least spotted silverware I could find. Carrie got out her hope chest and pulled out some place mats. I awoke at 5:30 to ensure I would have plenty of time to stop by Einstein’s Bagels.  Carrie ran by Starbucks and grabbed a raspberry white chocolate mocha for me and a regular chocolate mocha for herself. Though the finished result is not as polished as what Mr. Z pulled off, I’d say we did pretty good for a couple of first timers…

The pair of heart-shaped cups is a nice touch, don’t you think?

Carrie is toasting the fact that her recent haircut looks so much better than mine!

What a lady I am. Such dainty cutlery skills.

And a huge thank you to the lady that made CandE possible! Thank you Claire for covering Carrie’s morning duty! How did we survive last year without you?

Thank you Mr. Z for inspiring me to slow down and smell the roses! I hope that we’re not the only ones to follow in your footsteps!

And like Mr. Z, we did get a few stares and a lot of questions. Some lingered and celebrated with us. It was good times. Perhaps we’ll have CandE day again real soon.

Published in: on February 24, 2009 at 5:48 am  Comments (3)  

No mo mojo…

I got a not-so-good haircut. I went to my normal hairdresser, who is absolutely amazing! I’m not sure what happened. I should have taken in a photo of my last haircut, cuz it was lookin’ pretty good. But instead of planning ahead, I tried to find duplicates of it in some magazines layin’ around in the lobby. Big mistake! Here is a pic of me right after my last good cut.


Not bad if I say so myself!

I was freaking out yesterday with the new not so good cut, and I had hopes that my distaste with the cut was because of the style. Maybe it was more of a curly cut. So I got home and washed it, and low and behold, it’s not a curly cut either. It’s an ugly cut. And then I proceeded to cry.

I haven’t cried over a haircut since I cut my own bangs when I was about fifteen. I cried for days and days over that mishap. So, I am currently on day 2 of crying over this new cut. My family has given me a few words of encouragement. Noah said it makes me look like a woman in a vintage cigarette ad. This is a vintage cigarette ad. Enough said.

Although, I’m certain Noah meant it looked more like this, I really miss the longer locks framing my face. Chris said I look like a flapper from the 20s. Maddie said if I pin it back it doesn’t look so bad. Carrie said that it is just an average cut, and I’m not used to seeing myself with an average cut because my hair usually looks fabulous when I leave my hairdresser’s. So, between cries, I have been trying to play with it to see if I can figure out how to style it in a way I’m not embarrassed to step out into public.

I guess I needed a reality check. I had no idea I had become so vain about my hair. I mean, I definitely feel good after visiting Mrs. Nancy, and I talk about how good I look, but it’s mostly in jest. I guess even the best of us make mistakes every once in a while. I’ll post pics in a bit. I am still trying to fool with it enough so that it’s bearable to look upon.

Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 12:07 am  Comments (1)  

Miracles

This has been a week of miracles. Miracles I have personally already witnessed, and miracles I am praying to happen. God is a mysterious being. He created us, knows us so well, yet I don’t think we will ever fully know or understand Him until we are reunited with Him.

I have been away for a while. When I have found time to write, my postings are often tired and make mention of a personal struggle my family has been going through. Things hit a treacherous peak around Thanksgiving, and circumstances in man’s eyes seemed very hopeless. However, when we are a child of God, there is always hope. We just have to have faith. And sometimes our faith seems to run out, and when it does, God has a way of miraculously restoring it in magnificent ways.

This week, God intervened in a way I never would have thought possible. He has provided my family with an answer we never thought possible. I so wish I could go into details, but for privacy reasons I won’t. You will just have to take me at my word. God is good!

I am now asking for another miracle. My best friend Pamela is in dire need of one. Her youngest son was in a car accident Monday night and is now on life support. Her family is very special to me, and they have been through a series of heartaches. She lost a son a little more than two years ago, and she lost both her father and husband less than a year ago. All losses were very tragic and hard to understand. Yet her faith is still holding on. I don’t really understand how. Most of us would have already given up and turned our backs on God, but she continues to believe and have faith in Him. Please pray for God to intervene and I am asking for a miracle. I do want God’s will, but at the same time I do not want to see someone I love so much suffer another loss.

Please say a prayer for this family. Pray that God intervene and allow some good to come out of this horrible situation.

Published in: on January 17, 2009 at 3:35 am  Comments (2)  

Slowly getting in the spirit…

I thought the cartoon above was cute. It’s sad, but this is the attitude many of us take with the holidays. However, my negative outlook on the season is just as harmful as forgetting why we celebrate Christmas. In fact, it may be worse, because there’s nothing worse than being around a sourpuss during the holidays.

Did you notice the new look of my page? It’s festive! It makes me want to sing a Christmas carol. This was step one toward trying to get in the mood, if you know what I mean.

Step 2: Yesterday I took my kids shopping. They had asked if they could buy a gift for each other. So we gave them a modest $10 budget to spend on each other, and they were told to get creative. We broke up into teams. Maddie and I shopped for Noah, and Chris and Noah shopped for Maddie. It was a lot of fun watching the kids get excited about surprising each other. In fact I caught myself singing, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” while scouring the mall. Uh-oh…

Step 3: Today I stopped by WalMart on my way home to pick up some yarn, ribbon, and jingle bells so that I could begin wrapping presents. I came home and wrapped a few presents, and I was beginning to have…. GASP… fun! There, I said it. But then Chris and I began disagreeing on how holiday festivities should go down, so now I’m back in my sourpuss mood. We are having a really hard time coming together this year on how the holiday festivities should roll out. It’s like we’re picking a color for our bedroom walls all over again. Only this time it’s quarreling over what kind of food we should serve at Christmas. Here is a picture of how things looked at our house tonight:

Not really. It’d probably be more realistic if the above couple were pointing hairdryers at one another. But, hey, we’ll get work it out. We always find a way to compromise.

I am not a negative person normally. Cynical at times, but not negative. I don’t know what happens to me this time of year. I think it’s all the stress. Finals and grades are due, students are rambunctious, gifts still need to be bought, but work days are long. This is also the year Maddie and Noah spend Christmas with their dad. I thought I’d be use to this by now, but I’m not. I just want some type of steady tradition. But as Chris pointed out, our family is too big for steadies this time of year. He keeps telling me to be more flexible and less bullheaded, but that is so hard for me to do. The more stressed I get, the deeper I want to dig my heels in.

Tonight, I am going to go downstairs and clean up the remnants of my wrapping fiasco. I am going to come back upstairs, take a nice, long, hot bath, and then I am going to climb in bed and get a head start on this week’s homework. When I wake up tomorrow, I will give this whole holiday cheerfulness thing another go. Don’t worry, I’ll end up smiling before the month is over:).

Published in: on December 16, 2008 at 6:06 am  Comments (1)  

Happy Holidays! So why not me?

A couple of years ago I wrote about how the holidays depress me.

Well, this year this still seems to be the case. Last year I did much better, but I have relapsed. I am having such a hard time getting into the “holiday spirit”. What brings joy and laughter to most, brings tears and sorrow to me. My list of reasons is long, but I am trying hard not to turn into a woman version of Ebenezer Scrooge. Perhaps I should pull out my copy of Charlie Brown’s Christmas and sit down with a box of tissues. For some reason, lil’ Linus always has a way of helping me remember what the season is supposed to be about. Do you struggle with the holiday blues? If so, how do you deal with them? Have you found any traditions that help you get over the hump? I need suggestions people, or my family is going to vote me out of the house. I don’t want my foul mood to spoil everyone else’s holiday.

Published in: on December 15, 2008 at 6:06 am  Comments (1)  

The Art of Marriage: an unread but saved poem…


Things have been very difficult for my family lately. No, Chris and I are not having marriage problems, but we have had our share of trials in the last few months. I really wish I could write about them, but they are so personal, and I cannot be certain that I am at liberty to even discuss them. I can say this: though the trials have become harder to bear, I am blessed in so many ways. I have the most wonderful children. By raising them I am beginning to understand how God is able to love us unconditionally. I have such a wonderful mate. If Chris were not a part of my life right now, I don’t know what I would do. He has held me in his arms more than once this past week and allowed me to just cry on him. He is my best friend. I have a job that I love and that I’m good at. I have extended family and friends who love me. I  found an awesome church last spring that I’ve been so happy attending. These are all wonderful gifts, and I cannot begin to express my gratitude.

I was cleaning up some computer files and stumbled upon a poem I had contemplated having someone read during our wedding ceremony. But out of respect for Chris, I decided not to. (He is not as “chicken soup” as me, hates wordy, mushy poems, and we were already marching back up the aisle to “Frog Went a’ Courting” because my nickname growing up was Miss Mousie, and my father and grandfather would sing this song to me while they played the guitar and fiddle. I also had tiny ballerina mice and frog prince charms tied around centerpieces as if the marching song wasn’t enough. Need I say more?).

So, as I was opening documents and reading them to determine whether they should be deleted or not, I found this poem, and I couldn’t help but get a little teary eyed. I do not know a lot about Wilferd Peterson, but he definitely seemed to know what a real marriage is all about. And in case you don’t know, dear reader, what the art of marriage is, I encourage you to keep reading on. (I got the idea of addressing you, the reader, from The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. If you haven’t read it, it is an awesome book that I was able to read aloud and bond with my son. Another thing I’m grateful for!)

The Art of Marriage

Wilferd A. Peterson

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.

A good marriage must be created.
In marriage the little things are the big things…

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude
of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humour.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.

It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.

Published in: on December 5, 2008 at 4:18 am  Comments (2)