Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Day In The Life of Vin and Auntie Ash

Just in case you were wondering... phonetically, it's pronounced "an-ee ash". Thank you for respecting my chosen name and saying it correctly. The baby may struggle with it at first, but I'll make sure it sticks.

SO. Until Brooke chooses a nanny (at which point we will throw a party), Alyssa and I keep Vin on Thursdays. Oh how we cherish our time with the OtherOther White Meat. I REALLY REALLY cherish nap time and bottle time. BECAUSE I strive to adhere to the lifestyle outlined by his parents, as those are important aspects of raising him in a structured routine........................... and also because he is very quiet during those times. And because I think it's funny to feed him in non-traditional positions when he gets squirmy.

Today I asked him if he wanted to do a photo shoot, and being MY nephew, was all "DUH. Get your camera lady." So I did and he struck the perfect pose.

Then we played a new game I call 'Chase Me Around This Ottoman, You'll Like That"... and he did

It wasn't until the Zany Zoo that things got crazy with Auntie Ash. He likes it when I get crazy.

But because he's an introvert, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN MY FAMILY, he asked me to leave him alone for a minute with the balloons to recharge.

But, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN MY FAMILY, he was back for more Auntie Ash in no time


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Song of the Century

Just Like Heaven
Katie Melua

Enjoy. I did.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

QuickQuick Slow Slow right through Brookie's Birthday, Baby

I L O V E T O D A N C E.... mostly after really fantastic news or 2-3 drinks, but Alyssa and I have dance parties in her room occasionally for no reason. And that's where I had my first dance with my nephew.

Our dance of choice was a two-step. I tried really hard to follow, but had to take over halfway through. All in all, it was a great dance.

p.s. I love taking pictures with this littleprecioushead because, well, I love him. But also because he makes me feel REALLY tan. I've started calling him The Other Other White Meat.

And 30 years ago today, his momma (from whom he got those baby blues and white hues) was born... the Honor of the Anderson family. Literally, I tell you.

I remember our childhood like it was yesterday. Or mainly the stories that other people tell me because I have a terrible memory. But I what I DO remember is Brooke teaching us to spit watermelon seeds 20 years ago... "like thiii-es" ... and I also remember her catching me sneaking out once or twice and threatening my life ... or crying like a baby as I sped down McDermott at 5am trying to catch everyone THAT FORGOT ME AT THE HOUSE and were on their way to the airport to ship her to the Naval Academy!! ... and I fondly remember having a nervousness heart attack during my toast at her wedding ... and seeing her with her newborn baby for the very first time, all smitten and sleep deprived and endlessly in love ... what a trip through life, sister. Love you dearly. Happy Birthday :)

Does anyone else think it's really sad that those Thanksgiving photos from TWO THOUSAND SIX AND SEVEN are the last sister pictures I have on file of us?? Other than this series, of course...

That was a fun little flashback. Now it's dinner time. And mint chocolate chip ice cream cake (Serving II) time. Peace.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Operation: Oklahoma Optimism

Oh, Today, you sweet beautiful day ... full of carrot cake muffins and coffee ... quiet bakeries just made for studying ... sunshine from all angles ... the promise of a new church experience in the morning! OOOOH SQUEEZE THE HAPPINESS FROM MY VEINS AND MAKE IT HURT SO GOOD.

I'm having one of those happy days. It might have something to do with the fact that I slept past 6:30am without the screams of a 10 month old. OR A TEXT FROM HIS MOTHER REMINDING ME THAT HE WOULD NORMALLY BE SCREAMING NOW IF HE WERE ACTUALLY IN TOWN. (Really not funny, Brooke. I was sleeping like a baby that morning, but I forgive you). Or, n e r d a l e r t!!!, it might have something to do with my first Organic Biochemistry test on Monday that I'm strangely excited about! OR it might have something to do with the fact that last week was quite possibly the worst week of my life and things can only go up from here.

I kind of look at this little situation like postpartum depression. No mother wants to admit after giving birth that she isn't madly in love with her child...... I feel the same pressure here (in different regions of my body of course. haha sorry). I don't want to openly admit that I'm not madly in love with Oklahoma and school right now. But then again, I just did, so maybe maybe I do want to. I've just been so excited about this opportunity for sooooo long, planning my dive and diving my plan, preparing for grueling curriculum, a crazy schedule, meeting tons of new people, completely changing career paths! And here I am, a month into it, feeling unchallenged by classes with WAY too much free time, and I've met a handful of married 23 year olds that just can't hold a candle to the souls I love and miss so dearly in Houston.

So here's the good news. That was last week. I was able to recognize and process this black cloud over my head and found a little box to put it in. It went something like this. Step 1. cut a hole in the box. Step 2, put your junk in the box. Step 3... throw away the box (I don't know what you were thinking, but this is a family blog)

I threw that bitch so far, it threw my shoulder out. Along with my back.

But my back can only get better, my sore throat is almost gone, I visited THREE precious little places that were so Houston-esque it made my heart smile, and I'm gonna kick ass on my orgo exam Monday. Operation Oklahoma Optimism has commenced. Oh happy day.

And I JUST decided I'm going to the mall tomorrow. I'm not into retail therapy so much as workout therapy, but given the circumstances, damnit, I'm buying myself something.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

18 Years and Counting

So aside from my trip to the ER, this weekend's focus was NIKKI. My precious Tamara Nicole Hawkins. She's my oldest running buddy, dating back EIGHTEEN years. I think we can all agree it's a miracle to keep a friendship that long and yes, I feel oh-so blessed to have her in my life.

Quite frankly, I'm also really excited that I'm just head over heels for her soon-to-be-hubby, Justin! He's genuine, funny, God fearing, honorable... and downright quirky sometimes and I L O V E a little individuality. He was precious enough to involve me in the engagement a few months ago when he decided to pop the question in Houston. He staked out the location, planned the execution and I was there in camo with my camera on continuous shot to capture Nikki saying the most important "Yes" of her life. Ugh. I get goosebumps every time I think about it.

So November 14th, here we come. My dress is ordered (thank goodness she chose a pretty color for white girls), my shoes are purchased (perfect height and strappy-ness), and my Maid of Honor hat is ON. I've already started rough drafts for my toast so it'll rock the house... kind of like my dancing (please see Exhibit A of my signature MJ move below). What can I say? I like to be prepared. So it's no surprise that when I ended up in the emergency room at 2pm on Friday, my main focus was HOW IN THE HELL WILL THIS WEEKEND WORK?? And then..... like God whispering down on me, Dr. Devo said "here's some Darvocet and muscle relaxers. Have fun."

And thus, we executed Bachelorette Party Weekend 2010.

A day on the water, tubing and lounging, a lingerie shower at which we made her try on every piece of lingerie for us... Justin will NOT be disappointed... a game of twister with a tipsy bride, some celebratory fireworks, and .... the finale .... a soul train dance party.

and a birthday brunch the next morning. What a way to turn 28. I love you, sister.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Check Out and The Cheese

I've spent the vast majority of the last 4 days in a state of dizziness. A whirlwind bachelorette party weekend at the lake will do that to you, but so will a medication cocktail of Darvocet, Carisoprodol and Steroids.

Let me start from the beginning.

It was a warm and sunny Friday afternoon. After hopping into Brooke's new mommy vehicle (that I am so proud to announce is NOT a mini-van), we arrived at the Tinker Air Force Base commissary for one hell of a grocery shopping experience. Normally I would have been dressed to impress all the single, uniformed hotties on base, but I was running late and feeling rather low maintenance, so for the first time in like EVER, I left the house without a stitch of make up on, toe nails unpolished, a wife beater and butt panties WITH JEANS. I know... the NERVE. But back to the show.

In a matter of a month, I went from buying groceries for one (and I use the term loosely, because I went maybe once a month)... to buying groceries for a family of 4.5... to buying groceries for a BACHELORETTE PARTY OF ELEVEN. It was d i f f i c u l t. Mostly because I inherited my dad's observation skills and kept missing food right in front of my face, but also because I was with BOTH lippy sisters that thought everything I did was ridiculous.

It was right around Dairy that my back started aching, but that wasn't unusual (the back aching, not that it happened around Dairy). Over the last few months, I've had to give myself mini-massages to work out some knots in my lower back, but I just attributed that to regular lifting soreness and didn't think anything of it, until....................

check out and the cheese.

I'll never see an 8 oz bag of mozzarella in the same light. As I bent down to get the cheese and make the routine transfer to the conveyor belt, my life flashed before my eyes as the most excruciating pain I've ever felt shot through my lower back and I felt a pop. And I was stuck. Everything went neon, started tingling and I couldn't catch my breath. I thought I was going to black out. For a second I even thought I was dead, until Alyssa gave me the usual "quit being such a drama queen" look, and it was back to reality.

The reality that I couldn't move, I'd never felt anything so painful, and it was my spine. You know, the thing that HOLDS YOUR BODY TOGETHER. The thing that protects your SPINAL CORD - the body's thoroughfare of information from the brain to the nervous system?!?! I was freaked out, crying like an infant, and most importantly, requesting my sisters stop laughing at me so the cashier and other onlookers would stop following suit. Unbelievable.

Once they got me on a motorized scooter (I don't wanna talk about it), the ambulance put me on a stretcher and away I went. It was a horrible drive of sharp left turns and a painful and USELESS IV, but the EMT provided some unintentional comic relief when she was on the phone with the hospital... "we've got a 27 year old female, 5'4", 120, stats stable, bent over to pick up some cheese..."

Good Lord, how did I get here?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Born With Ants in My Pants

So many lessons, so little time.

I'm a go-er. A do-er. Unlike my 20 year old counterpart, this Anderson sister has a real problem LAYING. Just sitting and doing absolutely nothing. I really tried to 'just be' this weekend and it was like torture to my soul. I'm not over exaggerating. Okay, yes I am, but only because it makes for a good story. But yikes, it freaked me out exactly how much I like to GO. DO SOMETHING. ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING. FOR GOODNESSAKE, BECOME SOMETHING.

(side note: I learned this weekend that I should NOT BECOME a boat-backer-upper. I have gentle hands, you see, but very LARGE biceps that can't find the "slow and easy" button for reverse. Just kidding. But apparently I have no control over boats. Or my mouth, but that's neither here nor there. Moving on.)

I'm a go-er.

This is what I tried to do for many minutes. It worked for about 20 of those minutes at a time.

Then this is what happens on the 21st minute -- a Ridiculous Pose photo shoot. This pose wins.

Then this is what happens after all ridiculous poses are chronicled. Ashley must GO. BECOME. a slalom ski-er. I'll be damned if I still have to get up on two, but I'm a champ at kicking one off!

I'm seriously laughing so hard right now thinking about how many times Alyssa's rolled her eyes at this post since she started reading it. Kisses, sister.