This and That Thursday!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

This week has been a blur of to-do lists, gorging myself in pizza and chocolates (it's the holidays, right?), and boxes. Gracious me, if I pooped right now cardboard would surely come spewing out (gross). I'm up to my eyeballs in it.

Not only have we (and by we, I mean me: Jena = 37 boxes, Grahm = 0. . . because I'm OCD, not because he's as lazy as the lazy Susan in your grandmother's house . . . ?) been unpacking ourselves into an oblivion and making decisions that are wonderful and life-changing like "Where should the silverware go? Here it's closer to the dishwasher, but there it's closer to the table" but we've also been wrapping presents for Christmas. . . or at least trying to get ready for our 15-hour road trip to Nashville. (We better get extra presents for this century-long drive, mom.)

Grahm is actually some kind of oragami master sculptor. What this kid can do with some Scotch tape and cheap wrapping makes my measly attempts look like Helen Keller went to town on the present. It's naked-baby-picture embarrassing.

My only job was to pick out the dang wrapping paper. Epic Dollar Tree fail. That red crap is completely see-through. And this "silver" stuff turned out to be a giant roll of Seran-wrap . . . seriously, who wants to wrap their presents in invisible wrapping paper? Not cool.

So if the world ends tomorrow, Grahm and I will be somewhere between Mexico and Nashville with a car full of unwrapped presents and house full of cardboard. That merits a mega whale face

Link up with the lovely Katie and me!
Recently Roached

vlog: new house tour!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The videography is splotchy. The lighting is terrible. My editing is like a kindergartener with a color-by-numbers book, just can't stay in those lines. The commentary is just a lot of silliness. Pretty sure I point out the "pretty windows" in every room. But you get the gist. Here's our new home.

Thanks to my wonderful parents who paid for movers, the sweet people on Craigslist who gave us free boxes and packing paper, anyone who remembered and sent a nice text message, and my sweet in-laws who came over to celebrate with us/provided our first meal in the new house (pizza, duh).

Merry Christmas to us!

the ache in our hearts

Friday, December 14, 2012

I'm heartbroken for Newton, CT and the small school of Sandy Hook. It's overwhelming, really. I found myself physically shaking while watching clips of news segments and Obama's touching speech. How awful. How gut-wrenching. How absolutely terrifying.

My mind whirls with so many thoughts: sin, darkness, children's screams, my teacher friends, unopened Christmas presents, empty desks, confused siblings, mournful parents, lostness, brokenness, hurt. It's incomprehensible.

Here I am safe and sound in Texas, and yet I find myself angry with God. How did You let this happen? Why are innocent people, young children no less, being killed? Where were you, God? Why didn't you stop him?

Some will blame a lack of/too much gun control, insufficient mental health care, poor school security, and, of course, a psychotic gunman with emotional instability. These may be true. But they do not still our anxious, questioning hearts. We still have hurt; we still have questions; we still want to know why.

We live in a broken, sinful world filled with people just like Adam Lanza, people just like me. Yes, he did the most heinous crime imaginable. Yes, he will forever be remembered as a mass murderer who stole the lives of so many young people.

But friends, without Jesus, we are all just as lost, crazy, and depraved as Adam. We are all just as capable of such despicable crimes. Our God does not love us because we haven't shot someone. He doesn't love us because we're good people. He love us in spite of our sinful selves. Jesus is our only hope, the only Savior who can turn our wayward, ugly hearts toward Him. The only one who can heal the ache in our hearts.

There are no words of comfort any of us can offer those families today. I wish there were. I wish we could take away the pain for them. We will never know why such a tragic event happened today, but we can trust that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. We can trust that He is with those families, that He didn't abandon those children in the school, that He has a purpose in suffering no matter how absurd that seems to us.

This day, as my friend so clearly put it, makes me long for heaven--to be free from this broken world.

This and That Thursday, v. 2

Thursday, December 13, 2012

So THIS happened. I have this condition, and I have for a while now, it's called: I'm as blind as an elderly cyclops bat. Staring at a computer all day to edit grammar is hard on these old crusty crusts of mine; I found myself swimming in contact solution only to still feel like my eyes were pooping itty gritty cement turds all day.

So, glasses! It brings me back to THAT horrifying time in my sixth-grade years where blue-rimmed spectacles were my jam. I got these digs from Firmoo, seriously one of the best eyeware sites ever. They're having this amazing deal right now where all first-time buyers get prescription glasses for free! Check it out here, and you too can embrace your inner hipster, Einstein, nerdy, I-should-probably-have-a-cup-of-jo-in-one-hand-and-a-copy-of-Hemingway-in-the-other shades. (Phew, hyphens!)

THIS guy may or may not have taken a solid ten minutes to notice his new four-eyewinkered wife. Pretty stinkin' cute. It used to bother me when he didn't notice things like big ol' brown things on my face (that sounds like poop, doesn't it?), but now I just think it's part of his quirky charm that I love so much. 

Here's one of 12879 failed Christmas card attempts. ("I am the Walrus," anyone?) I don't know, guys. I feel like a Grinch who's taking a dump on holiday cheer cause I'm just not THAT into Christmas cards this season. Our first Christmas together, I was all about it. Remember ours and my father-in-law's awesome pop-up card featuring us? With the move and our inability to take a decent picture, I'm about as motivated as Lindsay Lohan is to clean up her trollish ways. Besides, who wants to go to the post office at this time of year anyway? (Ohhh, she's an angry elf.)

Link up with the lovely Katie and me today!

Recently Roached

a home

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

As a little girl (and even now as a big buns grown-up), I dreamed about what my house would look like way more than I ever fantasized about my wedding day. After all, the wedding is just a day. Just a celebration. Our home, however, is our life. A place where we will grow and share and laugh together.

I pictured the curtains. The elegant dishes. The comfy couches. The hardwood floors. The colorful decorative pillows, though I never thought I'd have a husband who absolutely loathes them.

And most importantly, I imagined a warm home full of love and laughter. I thought about the man with whom I'd share this wonderful place and my future children creating lasting memories in our home.

And now, here we are, just a few days away from closing on our first house.

It's scary, nerve wracking even. It's a lot of money and a lot of responsibility. But it's exciting. And wonderful. And such a blessing. Grahm and I can't wait to make this beautiful house a home, our home.

All that stands between us and our house is three days, a down payment, and a crap ton of packing. God is an incredibly good Father, and we are incredibly blessed.

letters FROM Santa

Monday, December 10, 2012

This time of year, everyone always focuses on letters to Santa. What they want, reasons they've been a good kid this year, etc. But what about Santa's responses to our ridiculous requests that may or may not put a Christmas cookie up his otherwise jolly buns?
There's gotta be some letters that gets Santa's stockings in a wad and makes The Claus come out.
(Thanks Kristene for the cute idea!)
Happy Holidays, Becky:
Last year's cookies gave Rudolph the trots all the way to Miami. And I chipped my front tooth on those mysterious nut things. Here's an Easy Bake Oven. Learn something.
Cheers, Santa 
Merry Christmas, Victor Randolph III:
Twelve years in a row on the Naughty List? That's a record, kiddo . . . even Hitler made it to the other side a couple of times.
Your biggest fan, Santa
P.S. Enjoy scrubbing a colonel's pot with your toothbrush at military school. I dropped the hint to your parents.

Hello again, Daniel:
Don't bother unwrapping this magical, elf-wrapped box; it's as empty as your cold, little heart. That's right, I see you. I see everything. Stop stuffing your sister in the closet, jerkwad.
Best wishes, Santa

Dear, Jennifer:
Stop asking me for scandalous pictures of Brad Pitt. It's creeping me and the elves out.
Love, Santa

Hi there, Mrs. Claus:
I've told you a hundred times; I can't take Christmas Eve off. Tell your mother she can bite me in my plump, holiday buns. Be home late. 
Warmly, the Kringel to your Chris; the egg to your nog


Friday, December 7, 2012

I'm in a long-distance relationship with almost everyone I care about.

LDRs suck more than the buttload of liposuction Joan Rivers had on her trollish face. They're difficult. Frustrating. Disappointing. It's hard not to feel so disconnected since I'm at least ten hours away from all of them here in Mexico. No matter what, I can't help but feel like everyone is slowly slipping away from me like Wilson, the volleyball, in that tragic scene of Cast Away. Damn ocean.

Keeping up can be hard. We're all so busy. So absorbed in our own lives. I hate that. I want to be there, where they all are. I want to be involved. Lately that seems about as possible as my buns ever looking Kim Kardashian's (not that I'm trying or anything, yikes). It seems nearly impossible to avoid.

This been a hard year for many reasons, but mostly because of these LDRs. Distance is just the absolute pits. I wish traveling was as easy as flushing myself down a toilet to arrive wherever I wanted to go, Harry Potter style.

I miss all of the beautiful women who stood beside me on the best day. They're all wonderful people who have so enriched my life. I miss my family, laughing with them and being overly competitive with board games. I miss them all.

We're all where God wants us, I know. But sometimes I just need to wallow.

This 'n That Thursday, new link-up!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yay for new things. And blog friends. And my first weekly link-up.

And for the record, I think I became a genius last night. Like... that button down there was all me, y'all. Miracles happen. After 2.5 billion questions to the sweet Helene, who just so happens to speak Blonde (my language), I can finally put on my big-girl blogging panties and make my own button!

Recently Roached

This: Jerkwad apartment complex. Mama ain't happy. Thanks for NOT telling us we had to give you a 60-day notice to vacate. You're a real peach. Thanks for extending the lease another freaking month, so that we have to cough up 1100 bucks we weren't expecting in January. Ridiculous. This only makes me more excited to move next week. Si-a-freakin-narah.

I hope Santa stuffs lumps of coal up your knickers and everyone mistakes it for poop.  

That: Packing. We haven't really met this go round, which is a problem. We have the boxes, just not the packing paper. It's astounding how much crap we have acquired this year; we're like those freak garage salers. Kinda terrifies me to move into a 3,000-sqft. home. We'll have too much space to fill. I don't exactly want to wind up on the next episode of Hoarders.

This: Can we just take a moment to think about how "Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "Call Me Maybe" are both nominated for a Grammy? Holy buckets, batman. What is WRONG with America? That's almost as bad of a decesion as Khloe Kardashian hosting the XFactor.

Grab a button, link up with the fabulous Katie and me, and give us a little this and that from your week.

An Ode to Jillian Michaels

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Jillian Michaels, you beastly woman, you:
You frighten me.
I'm pretty your biceps could crush me with the force of a thousand dragons.
Don't get me wrong, it's inspiring . . . in a please-don't-eat-me kind of way. At times, I'm almost certain you're going to jump out of my computer screen and sit on me, forcing my buns lower to the ground for push ups. My muscles are already crying like someone took a sledgehammer to them in my sleep, thank you very much.
I'm confident I'll never be as ripped as you, no matter how many times I complete this 30 Day Shred. Ten push-ups to you is like a stroll in donut park (Ha. Just kidding. You've probably never eaten a donut in your life.), but for me, I'm sighing and snorting like a slowly dying walrus. 30 Day Shred? Try 30 Day Dead.
As much as I'd like to crush steel with my inner thigh, I don't exactly want my future babies to shy away from their Amazonian mother. I also don't ever want to be able to beat my husband in an arm wrestling competition. . . for his sake. Embarrassing.
Like the aftermath of chilli cheese nachos, you're pushing my body to places it has never been before. (No trots yet though. Buns crossed!) I'm almost as sore as I am after running marathons as I am with your twenty-minute workout.
You scare me, Jillian, but I kinda love you anyway. I'm enjoying working out with my goofball husband who may or may not have been forced to take these pictures last night.
Only 23 more days to go!

Can I eat pizza now?

The Language of Love

Monday, December 3, 2012

If you were in a Christian sorority like me you've probably heard more than you ever want to about love languages. I swear every chaplain we had dissected these five languages like a frog in biology class (ick), inspecting its innards and squishy unmentionables. Because of this, I know these languages like the back of my thigh (unsightly cellulite, in case you were wondering).

Quality Time
Physical Touch
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service

When we were dating, I was definitely a QT and Physical Touch-er. (Essentially the top for every MAN... greaaaat. What's the manly version of Jena? Jenar? Jen-ster?) I loved spending time with Grahm Cracker, and I loved when he held my hand or put his arm around me for no real reason.
I've been thinking about these lately and how, after a year and a half of marriage, my love languages have drastically changed. Like I'm talking MJ's before and after pics. Black and white. 
I just took this quiz (below), and my results were kind of shocking. Acts of service blew everything out of the water, cannonball style. For me, I feel the most loved when Grahm does little things for me to show me he cares. I shouldn't really be surprised by this; I grew up watching my dad do sweet things for my mom every day.
Grahm has learned this about me. He never wants to clean (who does?), but he frequently picks up a toilet brush and scrubs himself into an oblivion even when I don't ask. Granted, I still am high in the Physical Touch. Nothing says "I love you" like a spontaneous make-out sesh during the commercial break of one of our shows. (Classy, right?)
His languages are words of affirmation and physical touch. Grahm's lowest (acts of service) is my highest. It's fun and sometimes challenging to learn how to love your spouse well, in the ways he needs it the most. It's something to be aware of and to pray for.

But isn't it awesome how God created us all so uniquely? We all love, but we all love differently.
What's your love language?