A Wonderful Present for Wonderful Friends

This will be short and sweet. . .

My BFF and her hubby had their baby today! Liam is a big brother and guardian angel to Eli.

Welcome to the world Eli! I am your crazy Auntie Amy and when you get a bit older we will explain how even though I am not related to you I am still your auntie. Hearing the news from your grandma this afternoon brought tears to my eyes. You are a sweet little miracle that I prayed for since last winter.

Hearing Stacey’s voice this afternoon was wonderful, it still feels like a dream but I am so happy for you all. I cannot wait to meet you and see the smiles from your parents in person.

And for those out there still searching for their special someone or longing to be blessed with a little miracle, it can happen. I have witnessed it.

And I will be doing my Snoopy dance from now until probably next weekend when I meet you!

Love,

Auntie Amy

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The Gift No One Wants

Saturday I was feeling a bit off but figured after such a hectic day before it was just my body saying get some rest. I got back to my place after spending the day with Chandler enjoying the pretty snow and settled in for what I had planned a lazy evening. I got that by enjoying two naps and waking after the second one on the couch around 1am to shuffle to bed.

But it isn’t Christmas unless I get sick. I think I am sick on/around Christmas most years. This year it was 2am, Sunday morning and a trip to the bathroom for the gift of the stomach virus. And it was horrible. I went through several rounds of rotating which end where but the first round was the worst.

And by worst, I mean I am still cleaning my bathroom. . .yep, it was horrible. So horrible in fact that I just found out today that the Sunday night football game was delayed until this evening. What? When did this happen? People, I slept when I wasn’t in the bathroom and apparently have no recollection of anything happening outside of my bedroom. Did anything earth shattering happen while I was out?

Yesterday was better but the dragging feeling is still there and I cannot wait until I am functioning at a 70% level. I attempted work yesterday, that was a fail. I tried again today and I hope that any emails I sent out made sense. Working through a monthly report that normally doesn’t take all that long was time consuming today and my brain hurt. I have been in a fog and it isn’t pleasant.

Chandler got sick too but fortunately I don’t think he had it as bad as me and he was also about three hours behind me before the virus struck him down. And should we find the culprit of this little gift I want to hurt them because this virus is pure evil. But the worst part for me?

I had leftover Provino’s for dinner Saturday night. . .umm, yeah, not going to be eating there for a bit. The memory of it Sunday morning is just too harsh. Instead I will exist on crackers, pasta with no sauce, bread and Sprite Zero.

I’ve Been a Good Girl Santa

This has been one of the best Christmases ever! I got my white Christmas, in fact, it is still snowing a bit. Plus I realized just how blessed I am this year.

I wasn’t the happiest of campers this time last year. I was preparing to move to Chattanooga, leaving friends and loved ones behind. I was dragging my feet at preparing everything for the move and was in a funk for many months. The only time I really smiled was when I was at home, in Nashville.

But I got an early Christmas present in the form of Chandler. And he has surprised me with how easy it was to just go with it. Forget about what I didn’t have in my life, the location I was in and the frustration of wanting to be back home. I still miss my wonderful friends but he filled a void that I didn’t think could be filled.

Spending this time with him and his family has been a lot of fun. They are loud, funny and the whole house was chaotic. We spent time with my family too. And while it is the total opposite, it was nice to just sit around, talk, open presents and watch tv. He is great in that aspect, I don’t have to ask twice, beg or make any deals, he just nods and says okay.

And while the presents from my parents were great I am thankful for just being able to relax and spend time with them and not feel like a teenager. I have often felt like I was still a college student since it has been just me for what seems like forever. So having that special someone with me at my parents put a smile on my face.

So my letter to Santa (at Macy’s because to me that is where the real Santa hangs out) was received my the big guy himself and he granted everything on my list. And I have to say I am quite grateful for that.

And while I sit and play with my Kindle and spend the gift card my parents gave me for it (amazing, having a guy that confers with your parents on what gift to get!) I will smile even bigger because the best gift I got was Chandler. Santa just let me open that one a couple of months early. . .

Stacey and Jason are preparing to meet Liam’s little brother in five short days and that is another great present. I can’t wait to meet this little guy and tell him what a strong and brave big brother he has and how lucky he is to have him as his guardian angel.

So I hope that everyone got what they wanted this year and to remember that sometimes when you don’t want to do something it sometimes turns into something great.

And now I have some snow to watch falling. And a cat to cuddle with, oh and some heartburn to fight with. . .

I Got My White Christmas

While I have been getting weather updates about the possible snow I didn’t take it seriously. I think it has to do with living in Tennessee my whole life and these weather updates only caused a stampede to the store for milk and bread. So when they call for it I go about my day ignoring the dramatic updates because it never amounts to anything.

As I was getting ready to hit the bed last night I thought about the weather but thought we might see some flurries but that is about it. Needless to say, I am a kid in grade school, giddy doesn’t even describe it, when I woke up this morning and looked out the window. Snow, lots of it, snow that makes you remember what it is like to be a kid again.

Merry Christmas and I hope everyone enjoys the beautiful snow!

The One With the Christmas Present

Apparently opening gifts on Christmas must not work for me now! When I was growing up we started opening them on Christmas Eve because of dad’s work schedule and the fact that if we didn’t I would have been standing next to my parents bed, not saying anything, just standing there until they woke up at the crack of dawn. So opening the night before allowed everyone to get some sleep.

Chandler and I exchanged gifts tonight. I wish I could say I got him all kinds of cool stuff but he is really hard to shop for! But I got something that I never thought I would get. . . are you ready?

A Kindle! I think it is well known that I love books and reading is an all consuming part of my life. So now, as he put it, it will be a bit easier to take my books to work to read because I can just load up my Kindle. And he got the really cute pink Kindle case for it. Oh my! I don’t know what to download first. I can add cookbooks, audio books and all kinds of books to it. And to think when I travel all I have to do is load that cute little thing up and no more hauling heavy books around.

But the reality is I wouldn’t have cared what he got me because I have been so blessed just to have him in my life. Never, ever in my life have I been so content and willing to just let go of some of my quirks. And that is the bestest present of them all.

And we perused my old yearbooks last night and I totally forgot about his hair in high school. As he was singing Justin Beiber’s Baby last night I couldn’t stop lauging because he had an early Beiber hairstyle. Or as he kept saying last night, see, I had hair!

The Kindle is charging, I already have Scrabble loaded on it and have the free sample of Julia Childs’ newest book on it. And then he said, “Now you get why I was asking you why you wanted to buy so many books!” Well, taking me to a bookstore at any given point will cause me to go a little nutty.

Now I am off to search Amazon’s website for books. Oh my, this could get dangerous.

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Confession: I have an online journal, one that is locked down and only friends that I have made through a certain message board can read. It allows me to share my life more in depth, rant about silly things and make friends with women across the country. That is how Stacey and I met and why when I say that she has seen me at my worst that it is absolutely true.

But this morning I checked it to see what was up with my friends and Stace had posted an update which included a forecast for snow! In Nashville! Just in time for Christmas!!!! Oh how I was jealous! Just itching to get back there since we get more snow there than here. And how it never seemed to happen when I was there.

Although I finally remembered the Christmas several years back when I was getting ready to head to Cleveland to spend the holiday with my parents. Oh, that’s right! It did snow right at Christmas and I was there! A Snoopy dance was forming in my head right at the very moment I was thinking back to that year.

I was hauling my crap and presents down the steps to get everything in my car when I realized I would have to dig my car out of the snow first. That was the year I also learned there was a fabulous little invention called washer fluid that doesn’t freeze. And that I did not have it nor did I have a lot of gas and I would need to get some before I left my neighborhood.

I love the cold weather, the snow and everything that comes with it but have you ever had to use your keys to break the ice around your gas tank? It isn’t a pretty sight. Nor is it a pretty sight when you are trying to figure out how to run the wipers because there is snow falling but the salt that the county sprayed on the roads is coating your window.

I had to stop several times before I even got past Rutherford County just to wipe my window down so I could see. I also finally found this magic fluid that I poured into my washer fluid so I could actually spray the windshield. The roads weren’t great but I managed to get out of town and by the time I hit Manchester I was in the clear for snow but secretly wished I could take it with me all the way to East TN.

So while my friends in Nashville enjoy a white Christmas, I will have to settle with about half a dozen flurries (if I am lucky) and my memory of that one white Christmas that I had. And I am pretty sure that those friends are probably saying some not so nice things about me right about now for wanting the cold and snow to stay around. I am the Cold Miser and Stace is the Heat Miser!

And her little bundle of joy will be here on the 30th and I cannot wait to meet Thumper! And he seems to be quite happy to stay in his mom and be comfy, I just hate to tell him that he has been served with an eviction notice.

 

Then and Now

I have spent the day working on cleaning up my apartment, which is a huge undertaking considering I normally wait until I cannot stand the mess for one second longer. This has been a common theme to my life, I could care less about the mess but at some point it does cross the threshold and I must dig deep to get it back to looking halfway clean.

As I was working on the mess of the year in my apartment I started to think back on previous years and relationships. Yes, this relationship is quite different from the previous ones. And I had to laugh at myself when I thought that maybe the previous ones were the right ones for me.

Me Time

Then: It was all about me, if I wanted to spend the day alone, do my thing, hang with friends, shop, etc. I did it. I wouldn’t care if they wanted to spend time with me because having time to myself was important.

Now: Well, while it is nice when I have a little downtime, like today, I tend to miss Chandler and would much rather be with him than to do whatever floats my boat. When I was shopping yesterday I was ready to get back home to him and spend time with him. I would rather have him with me, aggravating me in the grocery than go by myself.

Reading

Then: I read even when I was with the other ones but they typically didn’t read much or not at all. Bubba’s family thought it was strange that I enjoyed reading so much. I also felt like I couldn’t really get into the book if the guy was there because then he might feel like he was being ignored. Jorge read but always got irritated that I read so fast, that point was driven home when we were both reading Bill Clinton’s book.

Now: Chandler is a reader, we will sit on the couch or curled up in bed (because there is actually room there to stretch out) reading. We will stop while reading to share interesting points in the books we are reading as well as tell the other one “you need to read this book.” Reading has always been a big part of my life and to have someone to share that with is a wonderful feeling.

Eating

Then: Either I was the one cooking or when I was with the boy, he cooked but it was never one of those things where as I cooked we would talk and laugh while I was cooking. It was also a very 50s backdrop where I was the one stuck cooking and cleaning with a rare word of thanks. Also, I always worried if I was eating too much, pigging out on sweets or the worst, eating out and not being able to finish my meal because while I don’t look like it, small portions fill me up quickly. But that could be from all the sweets I can eat!

Now: I still cook but Chandler can make the reservations, well, he can take me out to eat. He can make koolaid but that is about it. He appreciates my cooking and will even take plates into the kitchen and load them in the dishwasher. He also enjoys talking to me and visiting me in the kitchen causing distractions galore. And if I have a hankering for sweets, well I dig in. I am completely comfortable with eating whatever around him. Of course, the new year will need to bring about a few changes for me in terms of getting healthy and a few pounds off but for once, that is all for me.

Relating

Then: There were conversations to be had throughout my previous relationships and there was some laughter but for the most part those conversations were either one sided or only hit a few topics. Sports, food and maybe music. Not a lot of variety and certainly not a lot of enjoyment or challenges for the brain.

Now: Besides the fact that I have almost peed myself on occasion from laughing so hard at him being silly, we actually talk. He challenges me to think about things. We talk about the future, we talk about our pasts and he always has to have a session of tickle Amy which leads to laughing, snorting, squealing, screaming and a time or two a slip of the toots. Which turns me red and leaves him laughing. Thanks sweetie. I really appreciate it.

Family

Then: They were always in the background, well for the most part. Being two hours away meant my parents didn’t have much interaction to the latest beau. Bubba’s family was around but the longer I was with him the more I felt like his mother didn’t care for me to be around. Jorge’s family was wonderful, sweet and kind. We did have dinner with them from time to time but again, it was always the guys and their families, never mine. The boy’s family, well, I never met them. He lied about them coming into town and never offered to take me to them to meet them, so it was never a part of the picture.

Now: Besides the fact that my parents have met him, he likes to tease me about them being thrilled that I am closer now. We have spent time with them and will spend part of the holidays with them. This is completely new to me and it is kind of nice. They like him, he likes them and we never have an issue when I tell him we need to stop over there. His mom is very sweet and I see her weekly. His whole family, as he describes it, is loud. He is the middle of three, with an older sister and a younger sister. They are funny and needle him which makes me quite happy. Of course I already admitted to him that I never want to piss them off, they could hurt me. I wasn’t lucky enough to meet his dad but from what I have heard, he was a wonderful man. I have also met their kids and Chandler fits right in with them seeing as how he is seven. . .His niece could slice him to bits with the looks she gives him. They, just like my family, are huge animal lovers, so furry little friends are all around.

But overall, adjusting my life to have him in it has been really simple. I used to think, “Gee, this is the last one I am going to kiss/hug?” and I would be sad about it. Those first dates and getting to know someone while scary can be kind of fun. Now? Oh dear, I couldn’t think of anyone else in my life. He just fits in and I don’t worry about missing out on stuff I used to do. I like having him around, making room for him (all 6’3″ of him). I like how he enjoys making me laugh and that when I say I want to watch a kiddie movie he is all in. I still have to work on the rom-com but hey, I can manage that.

All in all, those lazy weekends that were all about me are not missed. I would rather be curled up reading, talking and laughing with him than to get in my marathon naps.

But since he wasn’t with me today I did manage to hit the grocery, go through old clothes, cook, vacuum, dust a bit, pick up crap and take a small nap. I still need to wrap some presents, put my clothes up and read but I have gotten quite a bit done. It helps when you don’t have distractions but I like having that distraction around so I will enjoy the random day here and there to deal with my mess and spend the rest of the time begging him not to tickle me.

Shopping and Round Two of Mac & Cheese

Christmas shopping, while fun, is even better when it is done early. Less crazy people, easy parking and the ability to get in and out of the mall is quicker. Unfortunately I have been on the procrastination craze as of late. Meaning that I got up somewhat early to get to the mall.

Of course, shopping this year is a bit tougher. I had my places I went to in Nashville, I had the choice of parking in a garage or valeting and the mall I went to there was never as crowded as the mall here. But then again, in a larger city you have several malls, several Targets and other shops to choose from. Here? Not so much.

I scored a sweet parking space and hit the mall. This year is also tougher since I am shopping for Chandler. Trying to pick out gifts that he might like is a bit trickier than previous guys I have dated. Music? He has everything under the sun. Video games? He has the latest games that he wants. He did put on his list a house, a car, a guitar with lessons and even a piano with lessons included. But unfortunately that is a bit out of my price range at the moment.

But I managed to find a few things and even met up with Bird and her girls. The girls were quite helpful picking out items. When I made an emergency run into Victoria’s Secret for a new bra they offered up fuzzy slippers and girly panties for him. But I am kind of thinking he might not like a pair of underwear made for a woman with the word Pink on the back.

As we finished up in the mall we gathered to discuss lunch options and I got to witness an epic parenting fail. A man was yelling at his under two year old son to stay with him. The woman was pushing the stroller and the kid was going the opposite direction. He kept yelling at him and I wanted to start laughing because the kid was barely two, if that. Reasoning skills really aren’t that high on their skill set at that age. We listened to the man bellow all the way through Dillards as we were heading to the car.

I picked up Chandler and joined Bird and her family for lunch. Then it was to the grocery store where much of my time was spent suggesting this or that for dinner followed by the answer of “I don’t know” from Chandler. And I decided that I would attempt to make mac and cheese again tonight for him. He did look at me like this might be a mistake. And I again stated that I don’t fail at cooking, so this failure to make something as simple as mac and cheese should be easy.

I am happy to report that the BBQ chicken turned out correctly as well as the mac and cheese. Although his choice of cheese (smoked cheddar) might not be the best to use. Next time we are going to go with a sharp cheddar.

And with that, I will hopefully finish up my shopping tomorrow, clean the apartment, take a nap and finish baking. At least this next week is a short one! I could use for some more time off.

Emmit Otter’s Jug Band Christmas!

Once again the weather has turned ugly here but while the reports say snow and sleet I have yet to see any. And that is the part that makes me sad. I don’t mind the cold but if it is going to be this cold I want snow darn it! And of course my beloved Nashville got some this past weekend and probably getting some more as I type.

So while I curl up on the couch with a blanket, Chandler and Wookie I realized that I had yet to watch Emmit Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. So we are currently watching it while I daydream about waking up tomorrow to a snowy scene.

The last time I visited DC I finally hit the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum and American History Museum. Besides getting to look at some really cool dinosaurs; I also got to see Emmit and his Ma live and in person. They were on exhibit as well as several other characters from the Muppets. While Sonia hates puppets and went to check out other exhibits, I wandered through remembering my excitement when I was little. I also teared up a bit because meeting The Chef, Kermit and the rest of the gang meant quite a bit to me.

I also got to see Julia’s kitchen and dreamed of the day that I would have my own kitchen where I could really spread out all of my gadgets. Of course what I wouldn’t give for her spread!

And now, back to Emmit Otter and the hope for some snow.

The One Where I Get Busted

Last night Chandler and I were talking about our relationship and the fast track it is on. Many factors played into it but the funniest part (at least for him) was after we first talked, he told me to call him later in the week and we would get together to do something.

Friday came and I had not called him yet. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to do something or that I had plans already for the weekend. . .it was because I had opted, as I had since I first moved here, to keep myself closed off to people. I had a plan and the plan did not have anything to do with staying here. I wanted to go home, to Nashville.

I had stopped at Target and Earth Fare for a couple of items and didn’t hear my phone ring, so once I got home I realized that he had called. I called him back and we chatted, discussed options of things to do and then agreed on seeing a movie that night.

Being that I can be a horrible person, I could have just ignored his call but I didn’t for whatever reason. I called him back and I haven’t regretted that decision, not even for a second.

But last night he called me out on it and I had to admit to him that I was being silly and should have called him that week, like he had told me to. But I am a bit stubborn and I can relate to the parable about the guy asking for God’s help in a flood but never takes the boat, helicopter, etc., instead drowning and asking Him why he didn’t save him. Yep, that is me from time to time. It has to be His grace that had me opt to call Chandler back.

And I get it, no need to boast that I was the silly one or the I told you so’s from friends and family. It happens when you are not planning for it or even looking for it. I have to laugh about it now because that K family stubborn streak has gotten me into trouble more times than not but thankfully, Chandler can see past it, the many quirks I have and the ability to trip over my own feet and see that I am worth beating over the head with a club from time to time.

Life is kind of funny sometimes, I look back on the boy, Jorge and Bubba and laugh. Those guys, while having some sort of redeeming qualities were not the ones for me. And I no longer have to force that stupid square peg into the round hole. And thank goodness for that because I was getting exhausted!