Friday, September 25, 2009

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Welcome everyone to the unveiling of our NEW & improved blog that coincidentally looks exactly like our old blog. I pretty much have the world's coolest brother who helped us move our blog over with his mad tech skills & I owe him big time for all his help!

A Day in m's Life
I always find it interesting hearing about other people's routines, so here is a typical day in my life...

Alarm goes off at 5:18 & I proceed to press snooze until 5:40-5:50ish, take shower, get ready in guest bedroom while watching Clean Sweep on TLC (I'm always bummed that I miss seeing the "reveal" at the end which is my fav part!), grab some juice & head for work around 6:40, get to work at 7 & start monotonous work day of data entry, scanning, filing, printing TPS reports while squeezing in some blog reading, FB & general internet surfing to keep myself sane while listening to Pandora (usually the DMB station), go to break room after a couple of hours to get Dove hot chocolate & cup of ice for my juice.

Go to lunch at 11:30 usually at Quiznos, Taco Bell or Milano's Pizza & then either shop at Target or go read a book at the lake down the street from my office, occasionally pick up a Chai Tea Latte from SB's if it's rainy or a rough day, come back & read my fav blog that I hold out for at 2, count down the minutes until 4 & drive home while listening to K-LOVE (I'm still hooked).

Get home & pick up everything that Ben has moved or left out from that morning after I left the house perfect, watch whatever sit-com is on TBSHD (Seinfeld, Friends, etc.), give Ben a giant hug when he gets home & debate about what to have for dinner, rarely eat at home, go out with friends or stay in & watch TV & do random chores/projects around the house, go to TCBY every Wed for Waffle Cone Wed, hang out with the world's most awesome hubby, brush my teeth, floss & go to sleep after our cuddle routine.

A 4AM Awakening
A couple of nights ago, around 4A our carbon monoxide detector started going off. Ben proceeded to get up & fiddle around with it for 5 of the longest minutes of my life (he couldn't find the battery in the dark - even Cali was annoyed & started her puppy moan). Finally the beeping stopped & then it seemed like forever before Ben came back to bed. I asked him what he was doing & he said that he lit the lighter to see if there was a gas leak...seriously.

Relapse - It's Official
This week I broke down & added Grey's Anatomy back to my TV queue - I just felt like I owed it to George to morn his TV death & leaving the show. Then tonight Jennifer Love Hewitt is having her baby on Ghost Whisperer (the show I'm most embarrassed that I watch), so I obviously can't miss that! TV is like crack I tell ya!

This weekend I'm throwing a jungle-themed baby shower for a close friend of our house...all by myself. This is a bad combination for a perfectionist like myself, but I know it will be a lot of fun! October has a lot of fun in store for us including a trip to Austin for team training, a Wilco concert & out-of-town friends & family visits! Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Billboard Spotting

If you noticed a few blog entries ago, I can really get worked up about them. Sometimes I get worked up about something related to it. Today, I saw one and was intrigued by it. It read, “I’m gay and God loves me the way I am.” Underneath the text was a confident looking white male with spiky hair and a nice smile, not unlike me.

At first I was like, “Wow, here is propaganda from the liberal government to advance gay rights.” I call that my programmed response because it came first and is steeped in my background. My second thought was, “That’s a good billboard full of truth.” Regardless of the intent of the ad, it wasn’t in your face, it wasn’t judgmental or snide, it simply conveyed a statement, which in my belief system holds true. I began to wonder how I tend to look at people, gay or straight, out of the context of God’s love. Maybe this is the intent of the advertisement, I don’t know. I think it is important for me to have reminders like this, because at the end of the day I need to believe that “I’m Ben and God loves me the way I am.” I want other people to see me and believe God loves me, because when I do that with other people, I treat them differently.

I don’t know if other people take billboards as far as I do, but I appreciate billboards when they make me think. Unfortunately, I think someday it may be necessary to put up a billboard that says, “I’m a Christian and God loves me the way I am.” Maybe that’s another blog for another day...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Don't threaten me with love, baby. Let's just go walking in the rain.

It’s a rainy Friday here in Memphis & seems like it’s been like this forever! We keep saying that we’re getting prepped for Dublin, but I’m not sure how I feel about rain & overcast skies all the time. Ben says we’re going to have to drive somewhere with sun soon.

Storks Everywhere!
In one of my recent blog posts I talked about how practically everyone we know is pregnant. Well, it’s only gotten worse & I actually sat down & counted up how many couples we know that are currently preggo - wait for it, wait for it…16!! Seriously people, what’s in the water?! A friend of mine said she figured that maybe because of the economy & a lack of job security that people might hold off on the baby-making…obviously not.

My New Fav Pair of Jeans
I have been in search for a new favorite pair of jeans for awhile now. The other day on a whim I tried on 4 different brands at Kohl’s & wala - I found them at last! They are a dark pair of GLO brand jeans that fit like they were made for me (which is amazing since most jeans are typically 2-4" too long). The best part was that they only put me back $20 - love it!

Random Things That Drive Ben Crazy
*being wasteful (i.e. Starbucks drink sleeves, Styrofoam containers)
*squeezing the toothpaste from the middle of the tube
*church lady singers (you know what I’m talking about)

TV Relapse
I must confess to you all that I have had a small relapse since the new fall TV shows began. Don’t get me wrong, I have stuck to my guns with Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, 90210, Survivor, Grey’s Anatomy & Ghost Whisperer. However, I did “accidentally” tape One Tree Hill & Gossip Girl the other night & they were both awesome premieres! I guess for some reason I still have a craving for teen dramas…it makes me feel young.

My Office Characters
We watched the premiere of The Office last night (which was hilarious btw) with our friends Ray & Lindsay & it got me thinking about all the “characters” at my office. This is what I came up with so far:
*happy, snappy whistling ADD guy
*Nascar t-shirt lady
*nervous laughing guy
*“Hey good-looking” old guy (he says this to me every time I see him, but somehow it’s sweet & not creepy)

That’s all I’ve got for today y’all. Oh, the blog pic is of Ben & our friend Mick going to hear Condoleezza Rice speak at a fancy $500/pp dinner this week. Here’s hoping to a weekend full of snuggling while listening to the rain, pumpkin spice lattes, renting movies & sleeping in!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.

Friday is FINALLY here! Now what kind of blogity ooey gooey goodness to fill your minds with today… man, now I’m craving brownies!

The Great Ireland Migration Begins...
On our road trip this past weekend I decided to make one of my infamous lists on the back of a receipt of things we need to do to prep our house to sell. Ben recently had a piece of siding fixed that had blown off during a wind storm & this week we installed wood blinds in our living room & dining room. They look awesome & I feel kinda like we’re in Jamaica on vaca every time I’m in those rooms because they remind me of our bungalow-style room. Next up - weed & mulch the front garden this weekend!

Weekend Extravaganza
Last weekend we went to Fayetteville, AR with a quick detour to MO to drop Cal Cal off at my parents. Kuddos to them for puppysitting on such short notice! Cali was a little confused, but loves them & had a great time. Theology of Missions = not so bad after all. In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve ever spent that much time devoted to studying the Bible in a fun, new way. Our team already seems like family & we are excited about experiencing this new chapter in our lives with them. Oh, & we did treat ourselves to a delicious Taco Bueno meal on the drive home. 

Smokin’ Roaches
A few nights ago I turned the kitchen light on & a GINORMOUS black roach crawled out of the sink which caused me to scream multiple times while doing my scary bug dance. My hero (i.e. Ben) came to the rescue with a deadly weapon (i.e. a flip flop) in tow. The funny thing was that while I was commentating the “slaughter” I kept screaming & squealing which caused Ben to freak out & jump every time the roach would reappear. In the end the victory was Ben’s & all was well. 

I ♥ Fall
In my 20’s I have fallin’ in love with fall. Now, summer used to be a big contender due to school being out, church camp, my birthday & swimming the summer away. However, now that I am (gulp) an adult, fall has a whole new meaning.

I love feeling the cooler weather come in & the leaves changing colors & falling off the trees. I love the anticipation of new fall TV shows, OU football, Halloween & Thanksgiving. I love drinking hot Starbucks drinks, taking walks with cool breezes with Ben & Cali after work, carving pumpkins & wearing my favorite hoodie. Winter, spring & summer just aren’t doing it for me anymore.

As I was driving to lunch today I saw some flags at half-staff & I got a little teary eyed. I was thinking to myself about how in my lifetime, today is the day my kids will someday ask me where I was when it happened. May God bless & give courage to all those directly & indirectly affected by 9.11!

Friday, September 4, 2009

A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.

There are not many Fridays in the year where we have a 3-day holiday weekend to look forward to, so take a moment to enjoy this glorious day!

Vaca 411
We spent last weekend at a cabin in Spencer, TN close to Fall Creek Falls State Park & had a wonderful, relaxing & somewhat boring weekend. Boring you ask? Yes, apparently the beautiful views, endless movie rentals & all the books we’ve been wanting to catch up on were not enough for our ADD brains. Neither of our phones rang all weekend & once you’ve seen one sunset, you’ve seen them all.

We did go on a couple of awesome hikes & experienced some fine dining including Pizza Hut, a local Mexican restaurant & Maggiano’s on the way back home. We had a good time & simply decided that in the future our vacas need to be a little more active.

My Office Quote of the Week
(overheard when a guy was asked what he was doing this holiday weekend) “Not a lot, probably just hanging out around the house. Maybe go to Cracker Barrel or something - ya know, mix it up a bit.”

P.S. When going to Cracker Barrel is “mixing it up” in my life, please shoot me.

What Will They Think of Next?
I recently started using Gmail & was excited to customize my Inbox, so I checked out their "themes"?. I chose the Tree Theme & noticed that the background changes according to the weather. When it is sunny outside, the background shows a clear sky. Consequently, when it is raining or even thunderstorms, the background will change to match the current conditions.

At first I was confused & freaked out not knowing how THEY knew what the weather was like where I was, until I realized I had typed in my location - whew! Just another small step to chips being inserted into our brains & machines taking over the world.

Well, we’re off to who knows where this weekend - AR for Ireland team training & possibly MO if we can’t find adequate accommodations for Cali & my parents decide to take care of their grandpuppy for the weekend. There will be lots of driving, learning about the theology of missions (oops, I just fell asleep) & hopefully a Taco Bueno stop along the way. Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Our Cheese Stinks

How have I not read the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” until now? I remember my dad getting it awhile ago (in the distant 90’s) for Christmas and thinking what a funny title that was for a big person book. Last night, I made Monica read it before she went to bed, and consequently, she was exhausted today, but I wanted it to seep into our other-consciouses while we slept. If you’ve read it, you will understand the title of this blog, and if not, it only takes like 40 minutes to read.

This book reminds me how stories told well can have an impact on a deeper level. Anyway, I recommend it highly if you are up for a good challenge and/or you are feeling stuck in your current situation, which is precisely why it impacted the Benicas like it did. I literally feel like I have an extra little hop in my step today, and no, I don’t have a rock in my shoe!

Beyond that, I was able to use my excessive worry about a letter from the insurance company to get the opposite result of what I was expecting. I think that is called negative optimism. Goodness, how would all these things work out without my worry? Not a risk I’m willing take! I’m only kind of kidding...