Monday, June 29, 2009

Three Current Pursuits - Part III - Texas Rangers baseball

***EDIT***** Girls, if you have zero interest in reading about Rangers baseball, scroll down to see what we got at our first wedding shower yesterday - much more interesting. (-: Boys, read on. *****

The most light-hearted of my new pursuits is renewing my interest in Texas Rangers baseball. My status as a fan has been mostly dormant since about 1993 (about the same time Nolan Ryan retired). As a whole, I enjoy live baseball but am not that fond of TV baseball. It's a stretch to say I have even a passing interest in MLB, but there's no time like the present to change that.

It's putting it mildly to say that the Rangers have historically been a poorly-run franchise. Despite having many major stars grace the field for them in Arlington, they are the only MLB franchise to have never won a playoff series (dating back to 1961), and that includes all the new franchises that somehow were able to do in less than ten years what the Rangers have been unable to do in four decades.

However, they have new leadership that is focused on building the franchise from the farm system up, and that gives me reason for optimism--at least enough to get started again. They have been in and out of first place so far this season, but I don't expect that to last as it seems to be somewhat of a fluke. I will be happy if they finish with at least 81 wins in their 162 games.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

First Wedding Shower

Today Mark and I had our first wedding shower with a group of dear friends! We had so much fun and got some awesome gifts. yay!!!!

I am super excited about all the gifts. Here's some pictures...

We got three of the items in a set of bathroom accessories for which I registered. We got a cute toothbrush holder, a soap dispenser, AND a cotton jar - I've always wanted one of those. Aren't they adorable?
Anyway, we also got KitchenAid hand mixer!!! Yay! I will definitely be using that for cookies

And we got an airbake cookie sheet and an AWESOME KitchenAid rolling pin. I love making pies and baking, and I am so excited to use the rolling pin. It is non-stick and heavy - very nice. Much better than my cheap, $5.00 wood one. I'll have to let you guys know how it is.
And we also got this awesome Acacai wood cutting board. It has grip on the bottom so it won't slide around while I'm using it and I'm pretty sure the type of wood doesn't swell, and it's really nice and fun looking. Apparently there's no picture of the cutting board, but I assure you, it's pretty awesome.
We are so excited about all our gifts. It was so fun and great to get them. Yay!!
We are getting a couple hours to relax this weekend before the (short) workweek. We will likely take the boys to the dog park later. They love to play with other dogs.
Oh, and Mark's car is definitely dead. Blown head gasket. So we're down to one car. We're working on that....
Happy Sunday!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Three Current Pursuits - Part II - The Bible

Recently, I learned that our church was organizating a group to read the entire Bible straight through in a 90-day span. Since it was set to start in June and run through August, I thought it would be a perfect time for me since it would take me right up to the start of football season.

Reading the Bible has always been something that I have enjoyed, but recently I have displayed a tendency (like so many of us do) to only read the relatively digestible stuff like Psalms, the Gospels, and the New Testament Epistles. Although I have read several Old Testament books multiple times, I have neglected most of the prophets and the latter three books of the Pentateuch. I am faced with the reality that if I really want to know the person of God, I have to go to the source--not just the parts that are convenient and easy to read, but the whole thing. And the fact that I will be doing it all in 90 days allows for somewhat of a bird's eye view.

So, since 6/3 I have set out to read the entire Bible in a 90-day span. So far I am on schedule, having finished I Samuel yesterday. It has gotten easier now that I have found a way to read on the treadmill using "BibleZines". They are sections of the Bible produced in the form of a magazine. I think they were originally created in an attempt to make the Bible "cool" for teens and young adults. In that aspect they fail (at least in my opinion), but they are wonderful for the treadmill.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When it rains....

Well, we got the car to the Honda repair place. And we got some bad news. it doesn't look like the car is going to repairable - this is not for sure yet, but we should find out more today and are planning for it to be that way.

Mark went to the dentist yesterday - it had been a while since he went, so he had 4 cavities. Yes, four. Poor guy.

This morning, mark came to pick me up to take me to work. He came in and said... "I have bad news... your car has a flat tire." ugh. Thankfully, the tire was fixable and only cost $12 to repair. Can't complain about that. Still bracing for news on Mark's car.

They say bad news comes in sets of threes. I'm hoping those are our three for a while. Since they all happened within a 24 hour period, I'd say it qualifies.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jon + Kate brings hate

Let me first qualify this post by stating that I watch very little TV, zero reality TV, and have seen the show, Jon & Kate Plus Eight exactly one time EVER. Based on recent reality TV history (I can't help but hear about it despite my best efforts), the break-up of Jon & Kate Gosselin should come as a surprise to no one. This is simply one more in a long line of reality TV couples to split.

My personal theory on the matter is that having TV cameras around 24/7 in ANY marriage is asking for trouble. Every couple is going to have their challenges with0ut each one of them magnified under the microscope of national TV. As we can attest to with the 50% divorce rate, maintaining a healthy marriage is no small feat even without constant media attention. When you combine regular, every day challenges with a nation audience the mundance conflicts seem big and the real issues appear huge.

Based on the radio commentary I heard on the situation this morning, many are saying Kate is crazy and does have legitimate issues that few men would want to deal with. However, Jon certaily found a way to deal with them for 10 years up until now. It was only when the media microscope came in that the situation changed. Would have still split up without all the extra attention and scrutiny? Maybe, but we'll never know.

What do you think? Does media attention make relationships more challenging?


Monday, June 22, 2009

A Father's Day to Remember

So, yesterday was Father's day. The one day a year people pay homage to their Fathers, shower them with gifts, and express their love.

Yesterday, Mark and I piled in his 1998 2 door white Honda Civic (that still doesn't have a muffler) with our dogs, Brinkley and Miguel. Both of our fathers reside in a town about an hour away, so we had a brilliant idea. We would drop Brinkley off at my mom's house so he could play outside with his brother (Reese), and then head on to Tahlequah. Well, about 30 minutes into the trip, we pull off the highway on the road toward my mom's house. As we start to accelerate, the car dies.

Mark's like, "um the car just died".
I'm like, "that's okay, just put in park, and try to restart it" and i turned off the air conditioner. He did that, and the car did not start.
I asked, "Well, is the engine hot?"
He responds, "I dunno."

So, I lean over to peek at the temperature gauge which was COMPLETELY through the roof. Not only was the engine hot, it had completely overheated to the point of shutting the car off. Great.

So, there we are, barely into the parking lot of a Dollar General in the car. With the dogs. Did I mention it's like 100 degrees outside? Because it is. Brinkley, the huge mammoth dog, is in the back seat panting like he's in a competition. Little Miguel (who has zero teeth) is sitting on my lap panting with his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth because he doesn't have any teeth to keep his tongue in place (he's 13 years old). So I tell Mark we have to get water for the dogs. So he goes and buys some water and I start giving it the dogs and they are like continually drinking it. Thankfully, my sister was only ten minutes away so she came and got us and the dogs.

 We waited at my mom's for an hour or so until Mark's parents came and drove us to my apartment. We had to leave Brinkley at my mom's (he's too huge to put in their car with four people). So Mark's car is at a convenience store, Brinkley is at my mom's, we never made it to my dad's (who turns out wasn't home anyway - what's that about?). 

So, today, Mark and my brother are taking a tow dolly to get the car. So I'm in my brother's car, my brother is in his fiance's Xterra, and she's in my car. And Mark doesn't have one. Poor guy.

I just hope the car won't cost a million bucks to fix. It already has 215,000 miles on it.

Whew. And I was ready for a relaxing Father's day with Fathers. 

It's always something.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Three Current Pursuits - Part I - Health

Kathryn has been after me for some time to make a post, and I just have not made time to do it. Well I have set aside some time to write and actually have a series of posts to start about some of my current pursuits. I expect that most of you will likely relate to at least one of these pursuits. Today's topic is my most urgent pursuit, which is my health.

My reasons for wanting to improve my health are both short and long-term in scope. In the immediate future, I will be tested to see if I qualify for the preferred rate for life insurance. Additionally, I am getting married and want to be thinner for the wedding and the cruise. In the long-term, I have simply gotten way too fat and out of shape and do not want to sustain that state any longer. On top of those things, with Kathryn coming aboard as my wife I will have a full-time cheerleader encouraging me and keeping me accountable to this goal.

In order to pull this off, I am (surprise!) exercising regularly and cutting calories. Did you think this would involve rocket science? Coffee is my only consistent vice at this point, but I justify that because it seems to provide some degree of appetite suppression. For those that don't know, I have a serious problem with eating for pleasure in massive quantities and treating my body as a proverbial amusement park, so this is a big step for me. Although I have exercised consistently at various times even while I have been overweight, I have never aimed for or seen significant weight loss due to my dietary bad habits.

So far I have seen solid returns dropping from 201 pounds to under 190. Of course my weight fluctuates throughout the day like the stock market, and my new "floor" is 186. I would like to be consistently under 180 ASAP because that is when the real work begins. It's always easier to lose weight when you are at your fattest because you have the most to lose (as % of your overall body weight). At that point I will have to up the intensity and possibly incorporate weightlifting to continue to lose at the same rate. I want to finish somewhere between 160-170 and stay in that range going forward. That should allow me to keep good health, eat sensibly, and stay in top form for my wife.

The biggest challenge so far? Probably not eating inexpensive fast food. My biggest vices in this area are SuperSonic Breakfast Burritos, Taco Bueno, and any place that has a dollar menu.

The easiest part so far? Knowing that I'm not spending nearly as much money on food. And so you know, it took me quite awhile to come up with an "easiest".

Well I hope this was at least moderately interesting to some of you. If it wasn't, don't expect to be amused by all of my posts. I'm still not back in the hanging of this blogging thing. Oh, and if you like Twitter, check me out at

For now,


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Engagement Pics

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First Wedding Gift!!!

Okay, so I sent out the first batch of invitations last Thursday. Since, as I previously mentioned, I love mail, I was SOOO excited to get my first RSVP cards back. Well, Monday was like the best day of my life. I checked the mail before going into my apartment, and I had TWO RSVP cards, and one congratulatory card from a friend on the engagement. So that was awesome, especially since one of the rsvp cards had a wedding check in it. So, I was pretty pumped about that.

Then I got back in my car from the mail area and drove to my apartment. As I was about to walk up stairs to my apartment, I thought I saw the corner of a cardboard box near my front door. Now, before, my eyes have played tricks on me and I have imagined packages and they haven't been there. So, I tried to calm myself down as I walked up the stairs. I turned there corner and there. it. was. Not just any box. We'r
e talking mother-of-all boxes, almost big enough for a refrigerator (okay not that big, but still, I could fit in it). I was ecstatic. I ran into my apartment and immediately worked to get the box open. Inside was the mother of all gifts. A gift that I put on my registry but didn't expect to get but have always wanted and hoped for....

A down featherbed. And an attached card from the gift giver that made me laugh out loud. (you know something's funny if you laugh out loud and you are alone.)

Oh my gosh. I was acting like a 5 year old on Christmas. Literally - like squeeling and all. I tore the sheets of my bed and flung that sucker on there and put my sheets back on and jumped on my bed. Brinkley (see large dog in photo) jumped on there with me, too, because I think he realized that since I was so excited, the featherbed must be pretty cool. (Plus, he chills on my bed while I'm at work, so he felt some ownership). 

I felt like I was in heaven. On a cloud. It was magnificient. I don't know if any wedding gift will be able to top this. I'm doubtful.

Anyway, the only downside (ha ha, get it? "down" side?) is that it was VERY, VERY hard for me to get out of bed this morning. That's just a price I will have to pay.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pink is My Favorite Color

I love getting mail. I absolutely love it. I always have. In college, a pink slip in my mailbox meant a package, and that was pure joy. At my current apartment complex, if I have a package, they still put a pink slip in my box.

When I see a pink slip I freak out and immediately check to see what time it is. The office closes at 6:00pm. So if I check my mail after that if I'm home later than usual, it means i will have to wait until the next day to find out what I got. It's pretty devastating.

The good news is that the ladies in the office know how much I love getting packages and have actually walked them over to my apartment so I wouldn't have to wait. How great is that?

So today I had a pink slip. I ordered wedding invitations almost two weeks ago and have been anxiously awaiting their arrival. So when I saw the pink slip I was SOOOO excited. I ran into the office and exclaimed, "I HAVE A PACKAGE!!!!" and they went and got it, and it was a Dillards wedding registry book. I was soo disappointed. I mean, it was nice of Dillards or whatever, but man, that does NOT compare to the invitations.


Hopefully they'll come tomorrow.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Wedding Planning

Well, the wedding is coming up and we have done a lot of planning, but still have a lot more to do. We took our engagement photos last night! Yay! When we get some I will post them on here.

Things we have so far:
Wedding Dress
Wedding programs
Some center pieces
Food/utinsils/serving stuff

Things we don't have:
Some centerpieces
Wine glasses
Mark's outfit

Okay that's all I can think of for now. Whew. I hope it all comes together!

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Blog Settings

Okay so I've been messing around with blog settings. Everyone has really cute blogs and I have no idea how to do that... I'll definitely take advice...not that I have any followers yet... (-:

First Blog

This is a test.  I am trying to figure out this whole blogspot thing.

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