Cara Box

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One of my favorite bloggers, Kaitlyn at Wifesessionals, hosts a monthly box exchange called Cara Box. Super fun. This month I got paired with her! Lucky me! Who doesn't love brown paper packages tied up with strings and blog friends? Sign this sister up.
I'm convinced Kaitlyn is half Martha Stewart, half ninja oragami master. Her wrapping is adorable and flawless. I almost didn't want to open all my little gifts.

 The theme for November Cara Box was childhood. Kaitlyn asked a few questions about my life and concocted a box accordingly. She sent so many fun things to remind me of growing up.
Cupcake cards? Too freaking cute. I did eat a heck of a lot of cupcakes as a kid. Let's be real though; I still devour those tasty snacks like a champ.
She made me this super cute printable for Oklahoma, where I was born and raised! It's definitely brightening up my ugly cube at work.

These little stationary cards are way too cute. And who didn't love new markers as a kid?
Had so much fun receiving and sending Cara boxes this month! Head over to Wifessionals to see what I sent Kaitlyn. Sign up next month to receive your own special box!

make. it. stop

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Guys, it finally hit me. The bug. The fever. The plague (as my friend so affectionately named it). I thought I was strong; I thought I'd be different... but nope. After almost a year and a half of marriage, visions of nurseries and plump baby buns are dancing in my head.

This is a problem. I promised Grahm when we bought the house that we wouldn't have a little Roach baby for two years. So I've got to nip this is in the uterus, my friends. And fast. Maybe I should slap on some maternity pants and hook my skeeter bites up to a breast pump to get a real mental picture of motherhood. Maybe I should offer to babysit octuplets. Maybe I should get a puppy.

Or maybe I should make a list of reasons that babies aren't always ... easy breezy lemon squeezy.

1. Liquids of all kinds: Poop, milk, and puke -- oh my! I'm not ready for poop to be the topic of everyday conversation. How much did she go today? What color? Texture? Just... no. I'm also not fully prepared to sniff another human's rumposaurus like it's totally normal. Then I have to actually handle the party in my baby's diaper. Like every day. Ghastly amounts of it. No amount of wipes, cloth diapers, or Huggie Supremes will ever make that an acceptable situation.

And then there's the whole thing with my chest becoming the "land flowing with milk and honey." Mooo, Jena, moooo. Yes, it's beautiful... it's just so... awkward. What if I have TWINS? Mooo.
2. Lack of sleep: Sleep is really the only thing I'm talented at. Give me a warm blanket and a couple of hours, and take some notes on how a real woman naps. Take that away from me and what will I be? A wrinkley, crab-apple who opts for fifteen more minutes of sleep than taking a shower (wait, that's true right now).

3. Babysitters: As if the little rodent wasn't sucking your wallet dry already, they even cost you money to spend some time away from them! Spontaneous trip? Movie date? Gotta pay extra for some kid to watch the kiddos, and then you'll spend the whole time worrying that the babysitter is making out with a boy on your sofa while little Jimmy plays with the kitchen knives. Good thing we've got in-laws in town. (Yes, Papa Roach I'm volunteering you. Hope you didn't make plans for two years from now.)
4. Stretch marks: Now, I'm not saying this busted can of biscuits is looking really good these days. But at least under all the flub, I know there ain't no permanent scars. Wounds of love, I know. I'll carry those with pride one of these days, but until then... maybe I should just enjoy bikini season and not being compared to a used rubber tire?

5. Did I mention poop yet?

This list didn't work. I still want one... even if I'll forever be labeled a butt-sniffing, stretch-marked, hygiene-questionable cow who hasn't had sleep or a shower in months. It'll all be worth it for a little boy who looks just like his sweet daddy did.

Someday, guys. Someday.
Until then, my grubby hands will avoid holding chubby chunks of love.

food babies and families

Monday, November 26, 2012

Well, my love handles have officially transformed into beastly sacks of burden. The food baby in my belly (and thighs) is super impressive. (Thanksgiving, you are the father!) Commence operation return to normal size.
Grahm and I headed to the middle-of-nowhere Texas on Wednesday for his biannual family reunion. We had a blast. The ranch was beautiful. The family was fun. And the food was abundant (just how I like it). We participated in eating, skits (please see Grahm's blonde wig), football, eating, kickball, arm wrestling, eating, singing, etc. with over 100 family members. Huge reunion, lots of fun and food. The Roach family knows how to eat, people!

Friday night, we drove to Oklahoma to see my crazy family for the day. We ate, played several games of Wahoo (the most intense marble game you'll every play), loved on baby Olive, ate some more, watched the Bedlam game (Go Sooners!), and chatted with the grandparents. It was short, but incredibly sweet.
I love them all and miss them so much. So thankful we got to see both sides of the family this year!

 Hope everyone had a fantabulous, finger-licking, fat-expanding Thanksgiving!
I'm gonna go try to cram and jam into my skinny jeans.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My heart is full today. (Probably not as full as my stomach will be in 48 hours. Greetings, food baby.)
I'm not really sure why I'm so happy today. Maybe it's the Dr Pepper in my hand. Maybe it's the Christmas tunes ringing in my ear. Maybe it's the fact that my boss offered to keep me beyond my temporary position. Maybe it's my sweet husband who makes me laugh every morning by forcing me to stay in bed even after the alarm has gone off four times. Maybe it's the lovely friends in my life who try to keep up with me despite living millions of miles away. Maybe it's because I get to see my wonderful family this week. Maybe it's the fact that I get to hug my sweet grandparents, laugh with my dad, kiss my joyous mom, and catch up with my fun siblings.
I'm incredibly blessed. Incredibly happy. Incredibly loved.
Incredibly undeserving of it all.


Monday, November 19, 2012

When I walked out to my little Toyota Yaris on Saturday morning about to head to a church meeting, I wasn't expecting to find Dink looking like he'd had a wrestling match with a garbage truck and the Invisible Man.

Trash was everywhere. All of my compartments were open and empty. We had been robbed.

I almost laughed. Poor guy. He clearly picked the wrong little car to burgarlize. I didn't have any money, fancy gadgets, or anything else (in the car anyway) that you can sell to the bum down the street for a quick buck. Clearly, his time would have been better spent plundering the nearby trash bin.

I felt totally violated, like someone looked up my skirt searching for a pot of gold.

And then I started remembering things in my car... Two pairs of earrings. A leather jacket my sister gave me. Car charger. Sunglasses. Work badge. Apartment key. Car title and insurance. And my Bible.

I know, Petty Betty. You were crying over a ten-dollar pair of earrings and a Bible? To be fair, they were my favorites. You know the go-with-everything pair almost as valuable as a go-with-everything bra.  And the Bible was the first thing Grahm ever bought me. It had all my notes from the past three years, and its pages held favorite picture of a 6th-grade, glasses-wearing Grahm that a sweet friend gave me at one of my bridal showers. None of it was actually valuable, but it was sentimental to me.

We had to change the locks. This guy knows my name, my address, where I work. It's creep-tastic, to say the least. I may or may not have slept with my eyes open last night and a butterknife under my pillow. Just in case. (Dangerous is clearly my middle name.)

Moral of the story: Don't be lazy. Take your crap inside the house. And for the loves of Moses, lock the damn door.

I hope your girlfriend likes my earrings, pal. And next time, don't smoke in my car and leave the cigarrette on my floorboard. Love, Pilfered and Second-hand Smoked


Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's time for a 500-follower giveaway! I'm not sure why y'all stick around this little blog of mine, but I am so glad you want to read about my failed recipes, fart jokes, and crazy-lady ramblings.

Diane from BlueBirdBride sells these fabulous bubble necklaces. She has graciously offered up a $20 giftcard for one of her lovely pieces. I wear my necklace all the dang time. They're super fun! She has all kinds of sizes and colors. Do yourself a favor and check out her Etsy shop here!
If you know me at all, you know I love Modcloth almost as much as my thighs love ice cream. I shop there entirely too often, much to Grahm's chagrin! Here are just a few snapshots to some of the adorable shirts I've purchased there. (I don't know how girls get their husbands to take pictures of them every day for their blogs. It was so awkward. I felt like it was my first day of school or something.)

I'm offering a $20 Modcloth giftcard to shop around their site full of gazillions of fabulous clothes. Go ahead, get addicted like me.

And I don't know about you, but I have so many albums I want to buy! Mumford and Sons, Neon Trees, Imagine Dragon, etc. So here's a $15 Itunes giftcard to go crazy with!
This giveaway ends Monday, the 26th! Good luck!!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

They say it takes the average couple 8 seconds to decided whether not a house is "the one." I think Grahm and I are more like 3.5 second-ers. Scrolling through houses online was easy peasy; I nixed gobs and gobs of homes. Blinding neon tile? Nope. Linoleum? Gross. Washer in the kitchen? Heck no, techno. I was kinda like King Henry VIII with his unfortunate wives, "Off with its head!" (What?)

You can't really blame me though. I mean, the pictures people put online in hopes of selling their homes are absolutely ridiculous. Poor quality, unmade beds, dirty bathrooms, deer heads everywhere, and babies in the corner of the shot. ("Nobody puts Baby in a corner!") You ain't gonna sell your house like that, people . . . especially to this Picky Phyllis.

This process has been incredibly frustrating, but fun. At times, I thought we were searching for a magical unicorn that could poop chocolate and play the ukelele. Finding a home in our budget that didn't look like an out-dated troll cave seemed impossible.

After our foundation fiasco and boo-coos of tears, I was sure we weren't going to find anything we liked as much. But then we found this one... and we love it one million times more than the first house. It's more beautiful than we could ever have imagined for our first home. Bay windows. Hardwood floors. Crown molding. And the best part? The inspections this time were clean as a whistle, a huge answer to prayer.

We are incredibly blessed to have each other and so thankful to serve a Sorvereign Lord who provides for His children. In exactly four weeks, the Roaches will be home (the people, not the bug... fingers crossed).

a long, sad tale

Monday, November 12, 2012

This post was supposed to be about how I rocked my third marathon this weekend. I was supposed to tell y'all how I got a PR and beat my best time of 4:13, despite my buns threatening to fall off of me. Unfortunately, this is not going to be that post . . . except maybe the butt cheek part. That's still very true. Any minute now.
 We all woke up at 4:45 on Sunday to get to the race on time. There were 30,000 runners (yikes), so we braced ourselves for unbearable traffic. We got there an hour early, pumped and ready to run.

Funny side story: After taking a million pictures before the race, I headed to (what I thought) were the public restrooms. While in line, I got asked by a woman holding a tray of hors d'oeuvres and cloth napkins if I had a VIP port-a-potty sticker. Excuse me, what? Of course, I didn't. So I had to wait in a ridiculously long line where all the other "commoners" emptied their bladders.

Finally, I lined up in our corral. While I waited for the countdown, visions of PRs danced in my head. I wanted a 4:10 finish with a secret goal of breaking 4 hours. I knew it was going to be extremely difficult, especially since I had slacked on my training. But I was optimistic. I was ready.

When we heard the countdown, we started running. Gazillions of runners packed like sardines all scrambling for a spot to run. It was such an adrenaline high. I love marathons. I love running with thousands of other crazy people who think 26.2 miles sounds like fun. I love the crowds, the signs ("Run faster I just farted!"), the cheers. It's all so glorious.

Everything was fine... until I hit mile 7.
Two women stopped abruptly in front of me. I quickly had to dodge to the right to avoid crashing into them. And that's when it happened... pop goes the knee. As someone with a history of knee problems (ACL surgery, knee sprains, etc.), I knew this wasn't good.

The pain was excruciating, but what I could I do? I didn't have a phone. I had no idea where Grahm was. Somehow I managed to walk/hobble/run seven more miles; every mile I was just praying to see my husband. Once I saw him at mile marker 14, I collapsed in his arms and sobbed. I knew it was over.

He held my hand, comforted me, and walked with me (very slowly) five more miles. At mile 18, it was obvious I couldn't do much more. I was in so much pain, and we were moving so slowly. It was horrifying and embarrassing. I couldn't NOT finish. I had to... I had to finish.

Grahm very sweetly told me that he thought I should stop to prevent further injury, but offered to walk the next 8 miles with me if that's what I really wanted. I knew I couldn't do it. Once again, I sobbed in his arms...realizing this would be my first marathon to not finish. So much training. So many long days of running. All of it was gone. I felt like a failure. We got shuttled to the finish line with a van full of people crying because they didn't finish either, for whatever reason. It was incredibly depressing company.
I'm not sure what I would've done without Grahm. He comforted me and whispered so many encouraging words. He told me he was proud of me for doing the hard thing, stopping. While I'm still embarrassed and frustrated with my dumb ol' knee, I feel incredibly blessed to have married such a wonderful man. He's my number one fan, even if, for the first time, I didn't get a finisher's medal.

Rock and Roll Marathon, I will defeat you next year... if I can ever move my legs again.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Dear Marathon: You're in two days. 48 freakin' hours. I think I'm going to bite the pavement and die a slow, embarrassing death. My butt cheeks and I should probably just surrender now. Thankfully a few of my favorite ladies are going to be chuggin' along with me.

Dear Daylight Savings: Not a fan.You make me want to sleep forever, something I already struggle with. Driving home in the dark on the San Antonio highways is like defying death every day.

Dear NanoWrimo: Ouch. Writing a book is more difficult than wiggling into my skinny jeans these days. My word count is embarrassingly low. Like lower than my math score on the ACT.

Dear Grahm: Thanks for nixing one of my female character's names this week. Harper Collins. Didn't even occur to me why that's a terrible idea. I like Harper. And Collins is your middle name. Brilliant, I thought! I did NOT think about the huge-mongo publishing company until you laughed in my face when I told you her name.

Happy weekend, everyone!

THAT just happened

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Funny and I are like flat-chested buddies. (I was going to say "bosom," but this 32A-er doesn't really fit that bill.) So when my sweet friend, Kaitlyn, asked me to be apart of her new link-up (THAT just happened Thursdays) I was all over it like rat on a Cheeto.

THAT just happened:

Somebody stop that guy before he strikes another pair of unsuspecting buns!

Anyone remember Boy Meets World? My siblings and I loved to watch good ol' Cory and Topanga (I am still jealous of that chick's hair), but only when my parents weren't home because we technically weren't allowed to watch anything that wasn't Arthur or Wishbone. (Christian sheltering for the win.) Anyway... my friend told me yesterday that they're following up with another series! Crazy! It'll feature a married Cory and Topanga with a teenage daughter... whoa. I feel old.

Link up and share your ridiculousness for the day.

THAT just happened

Do it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Today I got up early. Put on my favorite red shirt. Debated wearing Grahm's obnoxious elephant tie. Decided against. Drove to a little school two minutes away from my house. Waited in a ridiculously long line. Felt like I was about to take the ACT. Resisted the urge to belt out the National Anthem. Grabbed a patriotic sticker. And cast my ballot.

It was empowering.
Go vote. Seriously. Get off your buns, and go make a difference.

But please don't be a one-issue voter. Yes, gay marrige and abortion are important things our country needs to figure out. But they aren't the only things. Clearly, they really aren't on either candidate's agendas. One guy has no intention of legalizing them, and the other has had four years to take action... and he hasn't. No matter where you stand with these issues, I hope they aren't the only reason that you're voting for whoever you are. Don't let those issues be your only issues, because our country has bigger fish to fry.

(You know I couldn't resist putting in my two cents.)

Hopeless Grocery Shopper

Monday, November 5, 2012

(Yes, I know. My chin looks like an unsightly combo of Arnold Swarzeneggerer's and Honey Boo Boo's.)
Grocery shopping puts me in a fantastically grumpy mood. Staring at all that food and not eating it... man, it’s hard for this busted can of biscuits to resist chowing down on everything I see in the aisle.

It’s a claustrophobic experience, really. Too many people. Too much food. Entirely too many decisions. I feel like the aisles are caving in around me. They’re taunting me, “What’s the matter? Can’t remember those Pinterest recipes? By the way, boxed pizza is not a meal, you terrible wife."

Before I got a job, I would go grocery shopping by myself (terrifying). Now that I’m gainfully employed, Grahm and I have been going together. Mistake. I’m not sure what it is, but every time we enter the land flowing with processed food and obnoxious shoppers… we become grouchosauruses.
We have friends who love to go to the store together. Like that's their thing. I don't get it. At all. Even after a year of marriage, we are still learning to combine our shopping habits. Grahm likes to buy the expensive brands; I grew up on the Wal-Mart equate stuff. He likes to buy in bulk (“Look, babe! We can buy 27,639 rolls of toilet paper; it’s on sale!”); I do not. Grahm likes to fly down each aisle; I move slower than a blind amputee so I don't miss a sale on the powered donuts.
It’s my fault, really. A compulsive buyer who’s terrible at making lists doesn’t make for an efficient grocery shopper. I buy everything I don’t need, and nothing I do. I skip things on recipes (“Eh, do I really need eggs?”). I go for items that I probably will use once, maybe. Dry mustard. Gorgonzola cheese? Score. Yet I forget the essentials. And I always forget to check the fridge before we head to the store. We may or may not have four bags of cheddar cheese right now.

This is right after I scolded him for riding the cart down the aisle. Don't ask why the Comet is next to the eggs. There is no rhyme or reason to grocery shopping with the Roaches.


Friday, November 2, 2012

November. NanoWrimo. Nonsense. Nads. (Ten points to Gryffindor for that alliteration.)
It's that time of year again, people. Crazy writing weirdos like me have all decided it'd be a good idea to write an entire book in a month. That's 50,000 words in 30 short days. A marathon of typing (carpal tunnel, ah), long nights, and boo-koos of caffeine.

The point is not to poop out brilliance in this timeframe (although that'd be excellent). It's to get it out, allowing the plot dancing around in my head to escape and dance footloose and fancy free on the page.

I attempted this last year, but failed miserably. My plot was as stale as your grandma's toenail.(What?) This year, I hope, it will be different. My goal is not to complete 50,000 words, but to finally start the suspense novel I've been thinking about for the last several weeks...

Grahm supports me better than my best padded bra. He's always encouraging me to write, or helping me plunk out the itty gritties of a plot. I'm blessed to have someone who wants me to do what I love. Hopefully he will still remember all of this when I ignore him for my protagonist this month.

So if you need me, I'll be here. On the couch. Wrapped in my leopard snuggie. With ice cream or pumpkin pie beside me. And I'll be writing, writing away.