These Are My Hairy Kids

Since my post this weekend will be a lovely story concerning one of our dogs and her misbehaviors, I figured I should go ahead and let you all meet them. How could you not love those goofy faces?? Yes, we’re the crazy dog people.

Black & White With Crossed Eyes – Sage
Flying Red Dog With Pointy Ears – Mae
Fluffy Cotton Ball With Long Tongue – Wrigley 

Who else has an animal they love? Cats? Dogs? Birds? Monkeys Disguised As Small People? Tell me about them! Or better yet, show me a picture. 🙂

Kids For Dummies

Being as I’m neither a parent nor an expert in the field of parenting, it’s not very often that I’m ready to judge someone’s ability to parent. However, occasionally something happens that makes me wish there were legal forms requiring a signature from a doctor, lawyer and priest before one could utilize their reproductive organs.

When I pulled up the red light I was so busy trying to figure out why my favorite radio station wasn’t coming in that I paid no attention to the vehicle next to me. Then, using my super hero-like peripheral vision, I noticed the passenger side window of a bright red mustang rolling down and it caught my attention. It’s cold outside, why in the heck are they rolling down the window?

When I looked over I really expected to see someone tossing a McDonald’s bag or ashing their cigarette, in which case I promptly would have rolled down my window and screamed one of the following before speeding off in a cloud of dust:


Instead of sharing my obviously judgement thoughts with the world, I sat speechless with my jaw in my lap when I saw neither McDonalds nor Marlboro tumbling out the window…

No, what I saw coming out of that window was the tiny fingers of an adorable blonde-headed little boy. A three-ish year old in the front seat of a Mustang, leaning on the dash, rolling down the window and sticking his hands out to wave at me…all while dad tells the other end of a cell phone about last night’s American Idol premiere.

Dad noticed the window was down and rolled it back up just in time for them to speed off ahead of me when the light turned green. About a mile up the street I was going around 52 mph and they were a good ways ahead of me, so let’s be generous and say they were going 60 mph (which is 10mph over the speed limit in this area, but if you don’t buckle in your 3 year old I’m not entirely surprised when you are speeding with one hand on the wheel and one hand fixing the sun visor your unrestrained child was just hanging off of).

For some perspective, watch as this unrestrained three-year simulation child flies almost through the front window after a crash at 30mph (!!!!) and sustains what the narrator describes as “most likely fatal injuries.”

I follow a few heartbreaking blogs of amazing women (“From IF to When,” “Got Love – Been Married – Now, Where the Hell’s The Baby Carriage?,” “Many Many Moons,” “Seriously?!” – I could go on and on) who would LOVE the opportunity to buckle their child in, while this parent carelessly risks the life of theirs.

There are so many fabulous couples battling infertility who would do anything for the chance to safely strap a baby into a rear-facing car seat or booster seat in the back of their car, while this guy practically asks for his child to be taken away from him.

Why, with all the knowledge we have about child safety, do people still risk the lives of their kids like this? All it takes is one blown tire or one quick glance off the road to change your life entirely…to end your life entirely…to end your child’s life entirely. 

So, while I don’t honestly think that there should be consent forms before someone has a child, I wish that parent’s would understand the magnitude of the choices they make. I wish that people who were going to be bad parents just wouldn’t ever get pregnant and that people who would be absolutely wonderful parents wouldn’t have to fight the frustrations and heartache of infertility. 

I guess all I’m saying is I wish the world was a more fair place…and I wish I could protect kids like this from the consequences of the choices their parents make. 

Desk Repurposed To Kitchen Island

Since we moved into this house in July of 2009 I have really wanted a kitchen island, but the ones I found were either ridiculously expensive, too small for our space, or really ugly tablesonwheels type contraptions. I knew I wanted something big-ish, because we have a relatively large area to fill, and I knew I didn’t want the regular cabinet-look that so many islands have. 

I had a little time off after the holidays and when I ran across these two blogs featuring a couple ladies who had made their own islands – My Repurposed Life & My Cottage Charm – I was inspired to embark on a DIY Kitchen Island Project (despite my complete lack of home improvement tools and/or knowledge). 

It basically begged for my love.

My skeptical wonderful husband thought I had lost my mind when I called him from Goodwill and told him I had just bought this desk and would he come pick it up for me. He begrudgingly agreed in attempts not to stifle my creativity (I have to admit, I was pretty sure I had gone insane as well….did I mention we don’t even own an electric drill at this point??….yah….can you see how this might not turn out so fabulously?). 

I made a trip to Lowe’s and got the items I needed to start my project, while I was there I decided to buy myself a random orbital sander and the hubby decided to buy an electric drill, this ended up being a necessity (uh, duh?!).

I took all the drawers out and assessed the paint situation, which appeared to be a whole-fricken-lot of thick, brown paint slopped onto a coat of white and a coat of primer. This called for more serious measures than my random orbital sander.

This stuff smelled RANK and it looked very similar to a substance I had to gather in saran wrap and do cell counts on in the allergy clinic I used to work at (yes, I made people blow their disgusting snot into a piece of plastic wrap and put it under microscopes to assess – I actually think it’s pretty cool, stop judging me).

          This is where, he later told me, my husband walked in the
          garage and decided the desk would either stay like this
          in the garage forever or end up looking horrid in our kitchen.

I finally got most of the paint off, sanded the areas that would show and painted everything with a coat of primer. 

I added an MDF board as the base and attached four wooden legs to get it to the height I wanted. 

This is where I stopped taking in-process pictures. Oops (and that is why I’m not a DIY blogger). Here’s a run-down of what I did:

-Nailed on primed & painted bead board panels to ends and back

-Added Corner Moulding to give cohesive look
-Gave everything one more coat of Valspar Antique White
-Stained a piece of solid pine with Minwax Golden Oak
-Coated the top with 3,000 coats of Minwax Polycrylic
-Fitted the top and screwed on (with help of wonderful husband)
-Replaced hardware on drawers
     This would be the back of the desk. 
Hooks from Hobby Lobby (1/2 Price!) to hold rolling pin.
There will be an oak towel rack here, but I want to paint it to match
the island and I haven’t gotten around to it. Use your imaginations.
Hope you still have your imagination hat on, friends. Remember when I mentioned our lack of all things tool-related? Well, that includes a saw. On the other side of the island I plan to add a shelf and cabinet door but, since it would take me approximately 12 years to use our hand saw to cut out my shelf, I am waiting until my dad can come down and help me.  Also, the area where I want a door has strange dimensions, so I’m going to see if I can recruit him to help me with that, too. He’s pretty awesome at that kind of stuff, so hopefully he won’t mind. 🙂

I had an absolute blast with this project and I can’t wait to do something else! Thanks so much to My Repurposed Life and My Cottage Charm for their inspiration and help!! 

Caffeine Will Make You Fat

Every once in a while I’ll see a news story about a drunk burglar calling the cops on himself or someone will say something outlandish and it will stun me. My husband and I often have a conversation that goes something like this:

Me: “HOW could someone not know that taking Benadryl will make you sleepy. WHY would you do that right before you drive 8 hours in the dark. WHY!?”

Him: “You’re being too hard on people, everyone doesn’t learn this stuff.”

Me: “I know that, but seriously – it’s Benadryl!  How do you not know that??”

Inevitably the conversation ends with me, in my infinite wisdom, declaring what I know to be common sense. Basically, that is to say it ends with me judging someone as a complete moron for not knowing some random factoid that I was really, truly convinced everyone knows.

Today one of these encounters went a little like this:

Girl A: “You know caffeine is, like, literally the most fattening thing for your body.”

Me, Thinking: She’s joking. She doesn’t think that. WHY would you think that? Her friend is about to crack up laughing, because that was a joke.

Girl B: “No it’s not. The stuff in your coffee is fattening, but the caffeine isn’t.”

Me, Thinking: True. Yes. Correct. Girl A will now say, “that’s what I meant” so I can stop standing here with my chin on the floor and my eyebrows on the ceiling.

Girl A: “NO! The caffeine is fattening. Seriously! How do you not know that?? It is absolutely the most fattening thing you can put in your body….worse than chocolate and fried chicken.”

Me, Thinking: Oh my gosh, she really believes this.

At this point they walk outside. I finish putting away my 15 feet tall stack of notes (while wondering where all these diet pill manufacturers went wrong by putting caffeine in their pills – what are they trying to do, make their customers obese!?) and head out the door, where I again encounter Girls A and B.

Girl B – to new Girl C: “Is caffeine fattening? Tell her caffeine isn’t fattening.”

Girl C: “Sugar & cream in your coffee might be, but the caffeine itself isn’t.”

rl A: “Fine, whatev. Y’all are wrong. Don’t blame me when you’re 300 pounds.”

Me, Thinking: Maybe I should lay off the caffeine….

Have you ever had someone say something to you that was so wacky you found yourself scrambling to pick your jaw up off the floor? Do share. I can’t be the only one who occasionally finds themselves stunned by the sometimes peculiar beliefs of others. What’s the weirdest thing someone has ever said to you?

It’s Raining Mud

We’ve had a lot of interesting new experiences since moving from the Houston area to West Texas in 2009. Other than our first year married, new jobs and medical school, we’ve also witnessed a few things unique to this area.

Some truly beautiful:

Some just plain awesome:

Others slightly less enjoyable:

When we found out we were moving to the great Llano Estacado more experienced westerners started warning us of the famed “Mud Rain” we were sure to encounter upon arrival. After our first year went by and we still had no idea what they were talking about we came to the conclusion those cowboys had drank too much moonshine. With another semester under our proverbial belts and still no showing of the mysterious natural disaster I had pretty much decided everyone in these parts had fallen off their rockers. Then, on a fateful day in early 2011, it happened. 

The wind started a-blowing The wind was blowing 200 mph like it always does.

A cloud of furious dust stirred up from the bowels of the great plains.
A brown watery substance started falling from what used to be a sky.

And suddenly….my new red car experienced something right out of The Transformers. One minute it was happily chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool, bragging on it’s brake pads outside of school….

and the next it was hanging it’s radiator in engine-cooling shame….

Yes folks, we experienced our first mud rain shower and I am happy to inform you that we have all survived. I grew up three hours north of here, but I have never seen anything like this. It was so bizarre. It seriously rained mud onto my poor car (who would usually be parked in the garage, but was displaced because of it’s selfish owner’s secret furniture project).

And, unfortunately for old red up there, that Mazda belongs to a medical student who would rather blog than take the time to wash her car and would rather eat than use the limited bank funds to pay for a car wash….so he might be looking like a survivor of the 1930’s dust bowl for sometime. 

Christmas Gift Awards for 2010

We’ve had our Christmas gifts for a couple of weeks now, so I thought it might be time I share with you some of my favorites.** I mentioned in the last post that we are absolutely spoiled so don’t get all up in arms that my family so totally rocks more than yours, you’ve been warned.

Without further ado, my top ten list of gifts and their awards for Christmas 2010:

I really love to cook and bake. One of the gifts I was most excited about
from our wedding showers was my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. Unfortunately,
it’s a hassle when you want to make cupcakes AND icing (or other recipes
requiring you to mix multiple parts) because you have to wash the bowl in
between. My lovely step-mom was nice enough to buy me an extra bowl
for my stand mixer so I wouldn’t have to do dishes while baking! 🙂
Over Thanksgiving Vacation I witnessed my sister-in-law make the
most round, tasty homemade pancakes I had ever seen. I asked her
what her secret was, considering my pancakes typically turn out like some
sort of half-raw-scrambled-pancake-gunk, and she told me if you use one
of these skillets that pancake-making is super easy. Being the smart &
totally rocking family that they are, my dad, step-mom and sister (Morgan)
bought us this small electric skillet. Guess I’ll make them some pancakes
next time they are in town! Seriously the 1st round pancake I’ve ever made.
Plastic doctor’s kit? Um hell’s yeah! Okay, so things are not always
what they appear. My wonderful mother, in her infinite nurse-mom wisdom,
knew I had been wanting to practice suturing. So, she had her friends up in the OR
(she’s an L&D nurse) start saving all the expired suturing tools & supplies so
she could wrap them up for me in this little doctor’s kit for Christmas!
Gift card for a deep tissue massage from my amazing catch of a husband.
Need I say more?
My 15-year old sister, Morgan, seriously came up with
the coolest freaking gift idea ever. She made us our own
personalized Jones’ Soda Bottles. Now, I’m sure this would
be a super cool gift for anyone, but come on….our last name is
JONES! These drinks were made for us! Freakin’ Sweet! 
This is seriously the cutest, most functional purse
I have ever owned. A gift from my mom, her husband
and my little sister (Madison)
 that I’m lucky my mom
didn’t steal while I was recovering from an egg-nog stupor.
She got it from BagDuJour, a freakin’ sweet Etsy seller,
so it’s hand made! Plus, being a (low-key) Etsy seller myself, I
always like to support the small businesses over there! 
Even though my handsome husband really hates writing notes, he
knows how happy they make me. As I mentioned before, Christmas Cards
are one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. So, I’m always ecstatic
to see what card he picks out and to read the note he writes in it. 
It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a super sweet
gift relating to our alma mater, Texas A&M! My wonderful
Aunt & Uncle got us this A&M jar and filled it to the very
top with pistachios! YUM! They got us lots of other wonderful
gifts, too. They single handedly spoil us more than any
aunt and uncle should….and I love it! 🙂
I wanted to name this one the “How’d We Survive This
Long Without It” award, but it wouldn’t fit on my ribbon.
My handy-man Dad got us this Shop Vac so we could vacuum
up the messes I (and HE!) make in our garage a little more easily.
It also functions extremely well to vacuum up the fur coats
our dogs leave behind after riding in our cars.
Seriously, they shed enough to kill an entire Allergy Office.
How does a shirt win the “Melt My Heart Award,” you ask? Well, allow
me to explain. My little sister, Madison, is 16 and has recently gotten
her first job (as a waitress….where I waited tables….as my first job)! She
chose to use her hard-earned pay check to go out and buy ME, her big sister,
a Christmas gift. Not just any Christmas gift, but a really adorable shirt.
I mean really, what 16 year old do you know that spends
their money on someone besides themselves?

So, there you have it folks. The Christmas Gift round-up for 2010. There were so many amazing things given to us, it was really difficult to narrow it down to just 10!! I am so thankful that my life has been blessed with such wonderful people. I seriously would not be the person I am today without the love and support of my rocking family.

Which of your gifts would get an award?
Do you have a favorite gift that you gave or received this year?

**NOTE: If you are reading this and you gave me a gift that is not included it does NOT mean I didn’t like it. This is just a quick run down of some of the great things I got this year. There are so many more that I didn’t have pictures of or couldn’t include in this post for the sake of length. Do not come to me complaining or asking why I didn’t like your gift. I did like it. I’m probably wearing or using it right now, actually.