Friday, December 30, 2011

Flash Bulb Friday

I always suspect everyone sees the new year as a new beginning. A pathway into something fresh and clean, that can be transformed into any type of sucess we wish it to be.

For some reason, the new year this year seemed to bring a sort of peace to my heart and soul. Perhaps the baby growing in my stomach has me crazy anxious and really hopeful for 2012? Maybe that has a little something to do with it. So, today's photo isn't the best of quality (because of taking it on a film camera in 2001 and subsequently scanning it and copying it and resizing it over the years) but it is just peaceful.

It was taken on a whirlwind girl's trip through Europe at Vimy Ridge in France. It was en route back to the dreaded ferry across the English Channel back to Dover, England. It's a Canadian War Memorial dedicated to soldiers who died in WWI. It seemed like a bit of a random stop, but it was a gorgeous day and it was a somber moment after all the chaos and lights and scandal of the big cities we had just passed through over the previous 2 weeks. It was a fitting end and a calming, peaceful, moment to cherish with good friends, both new and old, as we wrapped up our tour.
Here's hoping everyone can find their peace in the new year... no matter the size or shape it presents itself in.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Year in Review

Here's this year's recap of all the interesting (and non-interesting) adventures from 2011 in the lives of Gail & Puff.

January - Spent my 29th birthday cleaning Puff's vomit off my car door. And I decided I still hated boats, but that was the last time I'd ever have to hate them in person.

February - Traveled to Atlanta and Columbia to hang out with our very dear friends, followed by a day and a half of suffering from a gnarly stomach virus. We sure did become good friends with the porcelain throne in 2011.

March - Turned up the romance on a weekend getaway to a swanky spa in the mountains of North Carolina. Turned down the romance the next weekend when Puff's dad made the pilgrimage from the Great White North to remind him what spring feels like.

April - Tailgated in dresses and sportcoats at the Carolina Cup horse race. Repurposed that same tailgate dress a few weeks later for Easter with the MIL.

May - Celebrated one year of putting up with each other's crap with dinner at a steak restaurant, where a sweet couple bought our meal for us. Then we spent the rest of the month counting down to our big whirlwind anniversary trip (the most important part of an anniversary, right?) and jetted off to Copenhagen, Denmark, to gorge ourselves on pastries.

June - Continued to gorge ourselves on pastries, only this time it was in Stockholm, Sweden. (I think we skipped pastries in all those other countries in between!)

July - Spent a week combining visits to The Fort and the Great White North to see our respective families. I learned you could not pay me enough to live in Michigan. There is no price worth losing my sanity.

August - Puff treated me to a weekend at a swanky golf resort in Charlotte so I could sip pina coladas and lounge in their pool.

September - Puff's company sent him to Germany while I went to the shooting range for the first time. I basked in the sun at the pool overlooking the ocean in Folly Beach, SC, with the girls while learning I was finally PREGNANT!

October - I got to hang out with a rock star, sip daquiris on the street at 10am, experience a prison rodeo, and expose Puff to the wonders of tacky souvenir shops in Myrtle Beach.

November - Monumental morning sickness. Epic temper tantrum from the MIL. (Which I believe has become a running trend for Novembers in our lives, if you look back at last year's recap HERE) Super uncomfortable Thanksgiving weekend. Yup... still pretty much hate November.

December - Great "Hell Week" at work, except I never would've thought it would be my last. Got some devastating news, had to make a really hard decision, turned our lives upside down, and had to muddle through Christmas pretending like everything was fine and dandy. (Oops... haven't posted about that drama here yet? Saving that for after Puff's had a chance to fill in his family!) On the bright side, my family is totally full of rock stars who love me and Puff super much. They showered us with love, support, and baby gifts for Bimmer. We are so blessed to have them in our lives!

So... our NYE plans are non-existant. We're trying to save our pennies. And Bimmer kinda nixes the martini or rum-fueled evening I would normally enjoy. Plus, a pregnant woman's bedtime is somewhere around 8:30pm. That's a good excuse for not seeing the ball drop this year. What was my excuse for all those years from 2003 until now???

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry & Bright

Puff and I have been back from The Fort for a few days, but the time spent with our family and friends for the holiday was sooooo theraputic! It had been since July since I had spent any quality time with them and I missed them so much. Not to mention, I'm a total Christmas fiend and was uber-pumped to hand out the gifts I had gotten for everyone.

Here is me and my dad showing off our respective bellies in front of the ginormous gift pile at their house. Hey... at least I have an excuse for my ever expanding stomach!

It was baby gift overload from my parents this year... including a Graco car seat and stroller! We are so beyond blessed to have my family. They are over-the-moon excited for Bimmer's arrival and also loaded us up on bibs, receiving blankets, onesies, and other toys too. But they didn't forget the new mommy and daddy either... I got a camcorder (to take video of Bimmer, of course) and Puff got a giant case of his favorite beer!

Christmas Eve, we got to head over to Granny's house for this gift extravaganza. This was the part of Christmas we missed last year, because of the pending snow storm in the mountains of TN and NC. We stuck it out this time (no inclement weather of any kind... yay) and were able to spend hours with my mom's family, opening gifts, partaking in some bourbon slush (non-alcoholic for me this year), and catching up with everyone. It finally felt like a real Christmas. And I was so excited to share it with Puff... but even more excited knowing that little Bimmer will be there with us next year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and merry Christmas with their families and friends. Just so hard to believe the holiday has already come and gone. Don't worry... I hit up Target's after Christmas sale yesterday and have already started stocking up for next year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Tunes Tuesday

I recently bought two new CDs (yes, I still buy CDs since I've never figured out how to buy stuff on itunes) and have been rotating their airplay in Ozzy (my new car) the past week or so. One of those albums is Nickelback's "Here and Now." I've been a huge fan (as embarassing as that might sound) since about 2000 or 2001. I've seen them in concert 3 or 4 times and they're a total guilty pleasure. So I was uber-pumped to hear they had a new album coming out. I typically love to rock out and play some air guitar to their songs. They're good stress-releasers in the morning on the way to a rough day at work. And on the way home too.
However, I was terribly disappointed. The sound is different than usual, in a way I can't quite pinpoint. And there aren't any crazy awesome songs like "Photograph" but I'm sure they'll find at least one or two to overplay on the radio in the coming months. (Thankfully, I avoid the radio like the plague, so I'm kinda out of that loop these days.) However, after the first run-through, I decided I could totally latch on to the last song on the album, called "Don't Ever Let it End." It's the most radio-friendly of the bunch, which doesn't always appeal to me, but it did this time.

All told, I give the album 3 out of 5 stars. It's good enough to listen to, but not good enough to obsess over. However, I give this song 4 1/2 stars, since to me, it's the standout on the disc. Happy listening!
Don't let it end. Don't let it end. Don't ever let it end.

Well, I got two tickets to the game.
It would be great if I could take you to this someday.
Well, I'll walk you home when the whole things done.
If you're there, I don't even care which team won.

We could stop at the coffee shop.
And make fun of the cops in the parking lot.
We could laugh as we both pretend that we're not in love and that we're just good friends.

Well, I'm tired of pretending, but I'm terrified of it ending.
I know if not for you there's nothing I could do to ever let it end.
And I know you feel the same way, because you told me drunk on your birthday.
And as you pulled me near, whispered in my ear - don't ever let it end.
Don't let it end. Don't let it end. Don't ever let it end.

Saturday I'm gonna take her out.
Because her favorite band is gonna play downtown.
Gonna sing the song we've all heard, about those two young friend who should have fell in love.

Later on we'll cut through the park.
And she can hold my hand because she hate the dark.
And we could laugh as we both pretend that we're not in love and that we're just good friends.

Well, I'm tired of pretending, but I'm terrified of it ending.
I know if not for you there's nothing I could do to ever let it end.
And I know you feel the same way, because you told me drunk on your birthday.
And as you pulled me near, whispered in my ear - don't ever let it end.
(Please promise me that this won't end) Don't let it end. Don't let it end. Don't ever let it end.

Greatest times we ever had, was crazy nights just looking back we can laugh.
You never know where life's gonna go, because we're the only ones who will ever know.

About Sunday night, just her and I.
Sitting side by side in the full moon light.
I pulled her close just to hold her tight and the both of us could tell it just felt right.
She looked at me in the sweetest way.
Like she could tell what the hell I was about to say.
Must have took a while just to find the words cause she cut me off and finally said it first.

Well, I'm tired of pretending, but I'm terrified of it ending.
I know if not for you there's nothing I could do to ever let it end.
Yes, you know I feel the same way, because I told you drunk on my birthday.
And as you pulled me near, whispered in my ear - don't ever let it end.
(Please promise me that this won't end) Don't let it end. Don't let it end. Don't ever let it end.
(Please promise me that this won't end) Don't let it end. Don't let it end. Don't ever let it end.
Don't let it end. Don't let it end. Don't ever let it end.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Flash Bulb Friday

Can you even believe that Christmas is almost here?!?! Puff and I are back in The Fort for the holidays and no matter the weather, we are sticking this year out. We can get snowed in for a week for all I care. There's no way I'm missing Christmas again with my mom's family this year.
Right... so I will never forget when my cousin was in like 2nd grade (at his Catholic school, mind you) and they went around the room talking about their family traditions at the holidays. What was his tradition that he shared with everyone? Bourbon Slush.

Damn straight... it's not a Christmas in our family without a few tupperware containers of the stuff. One of these days, I'll learn how to make it myself. I will have to learn eventually... because for the rest of my life, the holidays won't be complete without a red Solo cup full of the stuff.

Merry Christmas everyone! Don't drink and drive :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Light It Up

As funny as it sounds, the other day, a Publix commercial stopped me in my tracks.

They were talking about all the things people worry about and think they want at Christmas. Yet, if we look around us, we probably have everything we could ever need. That couldn't be more true.
The past few weeks have been really rough, but I'm not ready to elaborate on why. Instead, I need to take this cue... the cue from the grocery store commercial... to look around me and see that I pretty much have anything and everything I could ever possibly need. Sometimes we get blinded by outside distractions, while we have the world already in our grasp.
I have my health, my family, and my friends. I have a loving husband and a baby on the way. I have a roof over my head and food on my table. With those things in hand, I can muddle my way through any forthcoming obstacles. And as the holiday season engulfs us, I must find a way to set aside these other distractions and focus on what really matters. It is a time to celebrate life and love and to be happy and share with those who love us in return.
Puff and I have an annual tradition of going to a local suburb to a house where two gay guys go crazy over-the-top with their lights each year. We took Kimhead last year (HERE) and we are already getting excited about being able to take Bimmer next year. I am such a sucker for a Christmas peacock.
Puff and I also skipped the animal light display (HERE) with the giant mutant cow, in favor of a closer, more tame experience. It was, however, a bit disappointing. The lights were the same as they had been years ago when I went with The Ex. That point aside, it was still a great evening, because I was celebrating the season with the man I love the most, and who loves me more than anything. And isn't that what the holidays are truly about?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Motivate Me Monday

No, it's not new music today, but it's one of those albums I totally forgot I had and am remembering how much I totally loved it! I probably forgot about it because uploading CDs to my Ipod is a chore and I refuse to learn how to use iTunes. I'm ridiculous and I love it. I also occasionally like some alternative rock. Even the screaming kind. And for right now, I've got "Bleed it Out" blaring on my work computer and hoping the GM doesn't walk past when he's aimlessly screaming "Fuck."
Right... so this CD is "Minutes to Midnight" by Linkin Park. There was a song or two that got major airplay back in 2007/2008 when it came out. I haven't bought any of their music since then though. Do they even have any new music? Eh... I suppose maybe I'll look into some post-Christmas sales to beef up my CD collection. (Yup... still buying CDs. Still ridiculous.)

Every so often, I just need to tune out the rest of the corporate world and retreat to my head-banging, loud rock 'n roll jammin' by myself. It can definitely help with a shitty day. And there have been some days lately where the shit didn't just hit the fan, it looked like someone went snorkeling through an over-flowing septic tank. So for a brief, fleeting moment, let's all retreat into the music. Clear our heads, take a time out, and let someone else explain how we should feel for awhile.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Flash Bulb Friday

Um... in case you haven't gathered, winter is kinda coming. Now, I realize that "winter" in South Carolina isn't quite as bad as WINTER in Minnesota. But still... I moved south 11 years ago to avoid snow and cold and that horrible few minutes when you first get into a car that's been frosted over during the night. BRRRRRR!!!!!! (Although I probably don't have much room to stand on the whole bitching about weather right now, since it was about 70 degrees here yesterday!)
So, with that being said, I'm flashing back to November 2008 when Meg and I took our "Lesbian Extravaganza Cruise" through the southern Caribbean. This picture was taken during a mad dash back to the boat (um... pending storm anyone???) on the island of Barbados. Earlier that day, we had gone snorkeling with sea turtles and crashed the beach at the swanky resort where Tiger Woods had gotten married.
I wasn't in love with Barbados, but at this time of the year, anyplace with temps above 70 would suit me perfectly!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

16 Whole Weeks

I'm officially 16 1/2 weeks along now in this whole Baby Bimmer Saga.

On the bright side, I've now been medicated for about 5 weeks and that anti-nausea medication is like a frickin' dream come true. I could totally have a second baby if they dope me up on that stuff earlier than 11 1/2 weeks! Remind me again why I was such a dummy and didn't call to inquire about that sooner? Eh... lesson learned for next time, right?

Not too much has changed, other than the lack of nausea. Although I am starting to show. I broke down and bought some maternity clothes. Puff was pretty certain I was starting to stretch out my regular clothes. I was pretty pumped to get size 8 pants buttoned for a few days though during week 15. It's the minor victories, people. I did realize, however, on the first cold morning that my winter coat is NOT going to last me through the rest of the winter. (Even if winter is just until sometime in February around these parts.) ::sigh:: Just another expense. I'm gonna owe Puff a lot of blow jobs for this one.

Side Note: That's funny because when we were at Target one day when it was crazy busy, buying maternity clothes, he said (rather loudly) that he would pay for half of the clothes if I gave him "a BJ" later on. Don't worry... several people heard him. That boy is nothing if not loud.

I went to the doc yesterday for my 16 week check-up. Which totally means that our next visit in January will be the next ultrasound. Which means we will finally get to know which "K" we are meeting this May! (Both names we have picked out just happen to start with the same letter. Coincidentally, they're both Irish in origin as well.) The heartbeat was really strong, which made me feel so much better. I've been under a ton of stress lately and have been having some cramping, so I was definitely concerned about the health and well-being of little Bimmer. Apparently he/she is pretty resilient and thankfully the holidays will afford me about another week of rest and relaxation.

If I can contain my excitement for a whole 4 more weeks until the next ultrasound!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Have a Merman Holiday

Remember last January when Puff and I scored this awesome find at a store in rural South Carolina?
Well... when we were in New Orleans back in October, we hit the merman jackpot! And since Christmas is right around the corner and we're decking out our trees in our finest and fondest ornaments, I thought I would share with you the amazing merman options. Could you not just see an entire small tree of these somewhere in my house? That would be so badass.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Help, I Need Somebody

As much as I hate to admit it, I need help.
That's a pretty fucking hard thing for Miss Type A over here to say out loud. I'm not exactly good at asking for help or delegating things to other people. Why ask someone else to do something that I am perfectly capable of doing myself, and if I do it, it will be much more self-satisfying and cause me less stress and worry. However, Bimmer is already teaching me a good lesson about how to be a good mom. And good moms need help.
During my hell week at work, I typically run about 9320483 miles a day, lose at least 5 pounds, survive on chocolate covered pretzel samples and perhaps the occasional piece of pizza if I can sneak a slice. I don't sleep right, eat right, or treat myself right. But this year, Bimmer had other plans for Mommy. After a day and a half of acting like I was the same ol' Gail of yesteryear, it hit me. My body started to rebel. My back ached in ways I never knew possible. And the scariest part... I started to get cramps. Abdominal cramps that felt like I was about to start my period. I was awake half the night in tears, freaking out in the guest bedroom as Puff slept soundly in the other room. I tried to text him to see if he could get me an ice pack, but he ignored the text for too long, so I had to get it myself. (Even though, at that point, he was awake and reading still.) That was when it hit me... I've got to figure out a way to let people know I need their help right now. And I may need more help than ever before as we approach May.
I started to tear up telling my boss that next morning that I wouldn't be able to properly do my job. He was pretty cool about it and promised to let me do whatever I needed to do to make sure I was taking care of myself AND my job. I have to give my assistants, A & L, a total rock star shout out, because they saved my ass that week. I am indebted to them forever for their awesomeness! All told, the week went well on the work front, and I was able to ask for help from everyone around me to make it happen. And they were all more than happy to oblige. It's such a humbling feeling to know that so many people care about me and Bimmer and want to help make sure we are resting and taking it easy, even when that seems impossible.
Now I've just got to figure out how to ask for help from Puff. He's stepped up occasionally without too much prodding (carrying a dirty bowl from my perch on the couch to the kitchen, or cleaning the bathroom before Kimhead came to visit) but other times, it's like he's oblivious to my plight. Yes, I know I asked for this baby and I knew it wouldn't be easy. But I'm carrying his child, so he needs to take care of me the best he ever has before. One night got exceptionally obvious that I need to be a bit more straight-forward in my approach to asking him for help. We had a house guest, so we had to sleep in the same bed for the first time in about 2 months. My big week had just ended and I was suffering from aches & pains from my shoulders to my back to a cramping calf muscle that made it almost impossible to stand. When his snoring got obnoxious and I wasn't able to sleep, I hinted at us needing to sleep separately. He didn't get the hint until I was wincing in pain, climbing out of bed to unplug my fan to relocate to the couch. It wasn't until I was halfway out the door and muttered that he was kind of an asshole that it clicked in his brain that perhaps, of all the nights, this would be a good one to step up and be chivalrous and offer to go to the couch himself.
The feeling of helplessness that I've occasionally had to deal with lately is a feeling I honestly hate. I am a strong, independent woman who has never backed down from a challenge. This is just a challenge of a new type. It's a challenge to take the best care of myself and my body (and my baby) and realize that the world won't end if I can't run around work like normal. And if there are piles of stuff on the dining room table for longer than I normally like, well, either Puff will need to step up and start being proactive, or I've got to let it go. It's going to be super hard, but I've got a few more months of baby-baking to keep my eye on.
So... thank you to anyone and everyone who has run like a mad-woman for me, argued with clients for me, brought me food and ice packs, and all the other things I can't even begin to list. You guys are all amazing team players and it makes it a lot easier to want to be a part of that team when I've got great people like you!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Flash Bulb Friday

It's no secret Puff and I love to travel. Therefore, it's kinda given that we love to watch travel shows. Recently, Puff went on a total DVR binge of shows about Australia and New Zealand. (We've ruled out Tasmania as a place to go.) But oh, New Zealand. How I love thee!!!
I realize it's been a whole 6 years since I was there, but it's just engrained in my soul. And 2020 can't get here fast enough so I can take Puff and Bimmer (and maybe Bimmer's little sibling) with us on our 10 year anniversary trip back to the most amazing place on this planet. So... I know this photo isn't that great. It was taken with an old point-and-shoot digital (back before they were very good) but you still get the point. This was a bridge over the Shotover River, where we took the Shotover Jet... one of the coolest things ever! (HERE)
When we were watching one of the shows, they were at a river that was the most magestic turquoise color. Puff said out loud, "There's no way that's real. They must be using a filter on the lens." Um... no, Puff. I've been there. There really are rivers that clear and amazing. Not to mention every other fucking thing about the entire country that's amazing. ::sigh:: I'm getting myself all worked up here!
We still haven't decided if we'll hit up Australia while we're in NZ in 9 years or not, but I actually don't really care. I mean, sure, I want to go to Oz at some point, but those Kiwis just have my heart. And if I had to make the decision right now, I'd take a month off work, rent a van, and check out all the far flung corners of NZ with my family... hiking through forests just dripping green, drinking water straight from a glacier-fed creek, and chasing sheep in pastures with mountains looming in the background.
The Maori call the island "the land of the long white cloud." They're the original tree-huggers... everything being one with the earth. And I am so grateful for that. Because I know it will still be preserved for my family for years to come. I can't wait! Damn you Puff... now you got me so excited I won't be able to sleep for the next 9 years!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Take Me Out

What was your best date ever? I mean a knock your socks off, will never ever forget it kind of a date. The one you weigh all other dates against.
I was a starry-eyed, daydreaming, naive 17 year old girl who had been transported to the mystical world of Maui, Hawaii. He was a 30 year old NYC transplanted surfer with a buff body, dark tan, and Italian looks that sent chills through my spine. We met by chance at our hotel and after a week of flirtations, including a photo together flashing the "Hang Ten" sign, we finally figured out a way to sneak off together. (Yes, my parents approved. Or well, my mom did. Dad wasn't so sure. In hindsight, he was right to be wary.)
He picked me up on his Harley and we cruised down a coastal road more beautiful than any I had ever seen before. Lush volcanic mountains looming overhead to our left, waves crashing against black rocks to our right. I clung to him with all my might; scared to death but literally living a daydream. We finally pulled into a deserted beach and he helped me navigate the boulders out to a perfectly flat rock perched out into the ocean. The Pacific lapped just below our feet as we chatted and laughed. I don't remember a thing we discussed, but I remember that kiss. Oh, what a kiss! To actually feel wanted and desired by a man of his caliber, when the high school boys back home wanted nothing to do with me, was the best feeling in the entire world. He held me in close, arms around me, as we made out before the Hawaiian sunset.
Not to forget the whole pressing me up against a palm tree for one last kiss before we got back on the motorcycle to leave. That was pretty good too.
It was my first "real" date. I was a junior in high school. And no offense to any man since then, but I started off my dating life right. In fact, no other date has ever come close. How could it? The sparkle in my eye at that age was magnetic and I grasped to every lingering thought of him for as long as I could. Yes, pathetic as it is, I kept that photo of us together in the steering wheel of my car for at least a year. We never spoke again after he dropped me off at the hotel that night. That's probably for the best. Knowing what came of him and his life would probably ruin the fantasty I've clung to for these past 13 years.
But then came Facebook.
After a random dream that included his name, I did a quick search and up he popped. I can't see any of his information or any of his photos (except the one above) but when I did see that pic, I had to smile. Even though you can't make out much of him in that photo, it's pretty perfect. Still tan. Still in Hawaii. Still surfing. And still a perfect reminder of that once-in-a-lifetime experience I had all those years ago. Life may be much better now, but that doesn't mean I should throw away my past. Not when a moment was that good. And that sexy. ::insert grin::

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Give Thanks

I've never been very thankful for Thanksgiving.
Or well, I've been crazy thankful for the paid day off to watch Cowboys football, but not for much else. I've not spent Thanksgiving with my family since 2003, so it just isn't one of those days that sits very well with me. The Ex routinely left me out of town to visit his family, without inviting me. I also don't like Thanksgiving foods like turkey, dressing, cranberries, or anything pumpkin. Yuck! Since marrying Puff, we've tried to establish our own tradition for this holiday, but there was some drama leading up to the day this year, so we had to make alternate arrangements.
But hey... when your plates look like THIS on Thanksgiving, I'm kinda OK with alternate plans. We made crazy last minute reservations at a swanky restaurant in town. So swanky, in fact, that we never would eat there on their normal menu since I'm way too picky an eater to handle their fancy-pants menu options. But it was great... mixed green salad, roasted potatoes with caramelized onions, potato puree, stuffing (that I actually ate), cranberries (that I actually ate), cheddar & chive biscuits, and prime rib with horseradish. I'm making myself hungry just thinking about it! (Of course there were other options too, but that's what was on my plate!)
All told, our holiday turned out pretty well. No, it wasn't what his family necessarily preferred, but it turned out to be the best and right option for us. Especially in my current pregnant state. Because we all know I ate all that food, came home, and was ready to eat again two hours later!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Man Candy Monday

Now, we all know my heart belongs to the Dallas Cowboys. However, I'm not exactly in love with Tony Romo's looks. Nope... he's no Troy Aikman. Heck, he's no Drew Bledsoe or Jim Harbaugh even. (Or remember John Lynch and Mike Alstott? ::sigh::) So, when it comes to picking the sexiest football player right now, I've got to jump teams over to Puff's... the QB for the New York Football Jets.
Meet Mark Sanchez. At the start of the season, he did this super sexy GQ article. You know that man was getting so much play already that this definitely pushed his social calendar to full-throttle. How could you resist him? Yum! (And that buttface up in Green Bay is totally just jealous of the Dirty Sanchez hottness!)
He can play QB to my center any day!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Flash Bulb Friday

As I mentioned before, this is my craziest week of the year. Thank goodness I had the foresight to pre-write some blogs, eh? LOL! I can't leave my fans hanging just because I have a life!
Anyway... since it's already December (can you believe it?!?!?) I thought I'd post a little holiday cheer. I saw these handmade signs at an event back in 2008 and regret to this day not buying one. I didn't buy them because they were dated. Had they not been, I totally would've snagged up a bunch of them and stashed them in my gift closet to give the following year! ::shrug:: I missed out.
Speaking of Christmas gifts... I am thisclose to being totally finished. Just a few gift cards I need to buy in The Fort when we get there later this month. But Puff is done (I spoiled him rotten this year!) and of course I even have some 2012 gifts done too. All marked down in my color-coded spreadsheet.
Go ahead and hate. You know you're just jealous!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

For When You're Bored

It's my crazy busy week at work this week... so I'm sorry if I seem a bit aloof and uninteresting.
Since I've been a total slackass in getting a Blog Roll started, I figured I'd just post a random one today, in hopes that maybe you care and will check out these other awesome bloggers. We've gotta support each other, right?!?
This is my all-time favorite blog... I'm addicted!
Through YHL, I found her good friend, Katie, who lives in Atlanta, and whom I am totally going to have take photos of my children one day.
Probably the funniest shit I have ever read on the internet. Ever.
Because I wouldn't be a woman blogger without knowing and reading her...
One of my good friends, who is a Yankee transplant in the south with me.
A great "mommy blog" from a friend from high school.
The wonderful story of my dear friends & their babies
Rach's blossoming sewing blog with lots of adorable baby gifts!
A new snarky, bitchy woman blog that I just picked up that makes me giggle.
Hope you find someone else you love as much as I do! Thanks to all of you dedicated readers and I promise we'll be back to our regularly scheduled life in a few days! Wish me luck and sanity!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bimmer Bump

I'll try to cut back on the baby updates here, but I've got about 13 weeks worth of Spanx-wearing to catch you up on!
Since I'm crazy obsessed with photos (in case you didn't notice) there was no way I wasn't going to document this pregnancy to the fullest. So, in some cruising on Etsy, I stumbled across some belly bump stickers and I had to have them. Plus, I can repurpose them in scrapbooks later on. I'm always thinking people.
The 9 week mark was celebrated in Myrtle Beach (HERE). Overall, Bimmer cooperated other than a few overnight binges of donuts and crackers in the hotel bathroom so as to not wake Puff. And that Sunday morning dry heaving in the hotel hallway, followed by a mad dash back to the room, which concluded with me curled up in the bed, overlooking the ocean, watching HGTV, while Puff went to the pool. This kid is totally gonna owe me one.
It was, however, between weeks 9 and 10 that I discovered my "pregnancy pants." They're a pair of J. Crew lounge pants that we scored at the outlet mall for like $25 that was the best investment EVER. I'm pretty much sure they will be a staple of my wardrobe until May. And the bigger I get, I will probably be less inclined to care what others think, and will probably end up wearing them in public. No shame, people. None at all. Oh, and this was also the week I broke down and bought a size 12(!!!!!) dress pants to hopefully get me through a bit farther. They were too big to wear still, but they were on great sale at Banana Republic, and I figured they'd give me a bit more time before having to succumb to maternity-wear. I'll keep you posted on when they actually start/stop fitting! I did officially start showing (noticeably to me and Puff, anyway) at the 11 week mark. Which didn't make hiding it at work for another few weeks any easier!
Making it to 12 weeks without hating this unborn child was a bit of a miracle. I have my moments. I try not to, but when you're literally feeling sick to your stomach every waking minute (including the waking up in the middle of the night three times to dry heave minutes) it's really, really hard to enjoy being pregnant. I know, without a doubt, this is going to be the most rewarding thing I've ever done with my life... to hold that little miracle. But for the love of Troy Aikman, it's going to take a lot of convincing (or post pregnancy amnesia) to get me to agree to do this a second time around! (Even after anti-nausea pills, I still never felt "right.")
I hear there are perfectly good babies in Guatemala that could use adopting.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Flash Bulb Friday

As I'm sure I've mentioned time and time again, Puff's a car guy. After leaving The Ex, who was a comic book/action figure/glorified 8 year old kind of guy, I was happily refreshed. It seemed like something I could definitely get into a bit more than, say, Star Trek conventions.

This photo was taken the first fall we were together, in a tiny town in South Carolina at a school or veterans club or something like that. It was my first foray into the world of car shows. And surprisingly, I didn't hate it. In the 3 years that we've spent blissfully together since then, I've been to better shows and worse shows. I've taken more photos of cars than I could ever need or want in my entire life. I've enjoyed the time we get to spend together when we are there, even if I'm overwhelmed with useless knowledge of the packages offered and the types of engines.

But as Thanksgiving has just passed, and I'm heading into Hell Week at work, I just had to step back and look at my life through rose-colored glasses. I am so thankful for my husband and the life we live. I am so thankful for the baby he has given me. I am so thankful for the chance I took 3 1/2 years ago to go on a blind date with this man. Who knew that car shows would end up being a staple in my life? I certainly never did. But then again, sometimes God has pretty awesome plans for us that we can never begin to imagine.

I just hope those plans someday involve that Audi A7! ::Insert sheepish grin::

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Baby Update

Now that "The Scenario" or "The Situation" is out in the open, I figure I better run down the (kinda scary, kinda ugly) first 8 weeks that we kept (reasonably) well under wraps.
Remember when I mentioned HERE that my girl trip to Folly Beach got off to a late start? Well, that was because my ass was in the ER for 3 hours being scoped out for a possible ectopic pregnancy. It hit me like a ton of bricks... that middle of the night cramping. I knew some cramping was normal, but this was constant. And only on one side. And getting on the InterGoogle at 2am to "research" was probably a bad idea.
A few calls to the doctor, late on a Friday, and blood work followed. When the cramping got worse that night, I made Puff take me to the ER in an attempt to get a vaginal ultrasound done to confirm the baby was in the right place. No such luck. A $200 copay later, and I was sent on my way to the beach with some Tylenol and an order to go straight to the hospital if there was any bleeding. Thankfully, we passed that test and I got my cute little 5 week bump photo on the beach! (After the bartender scoffed at me for ordering a virgin pina colada. The nerve!)
Since the cramping was still constant into that next week, I went in to the doc for that ultrasound. And you know what they found? NOTHING. A blip on the screen was a dark circle of inconclusivity. Apparently I had a gestational sack, but no yolk sack. And they couldn't decide if it was ectopic or not. More blood work was ordered. And the result was that busted vein that had me looking like a domestic violence ad for almost 2 whole weeks.
A week later, I had Puff accompany me to the doctor for a follow-up ultrasound. I was prepared for bad news. I hadn't let myself get my hopes up about the baby to that point. I didn't want pure and utter devastation. However, the second I got deflowered by the giant dildo-like wand, the technician said she saw the yolk sack. And it was not ectopic. A few maneuvers later and at 6 weeks and 2 days, we saw the first flicker of a heartbeat. A rate of 105 was deemed perfect for Bimmer. It was a fantastic day... even if Puff did say the baby looked like a "pimple throbbing to pop." 
By week 7, Bimmer had been on 6 airplanes and had been to South Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Louisiana, and Mississippi. We're starting this little one off right! Oh yeah... and Bimmer had also been to his/her first prison rodeo. (Expect more to come!) All those flights came just in time to coincide with pretty much constant nausea. It started between weeks 6 and 7 and happened pretty much on the dot, every night at 1am and again at 5am. Those were the worst. Those were the sleeping with a plastic bag in my hand and a pack of crackers on my chest, filling the bed with crumbs. (Don't worry... it got worse as the weeks wore on!) During the day, I drank Sprite and ate Saltines and pretzels almost constantly. I packed on the pounds and felt bloated and gross, even though I knew it wasn't baby weight yet. It was "I'm eating carbs and drinking soda so I don't vomit on my keyboard" weight.

And, at some point, it was bad enough for me to tell Puff I was never getting pregnant ever again. Remind me of that after Bimmer actually arrives and I'm begging Puff to inseminate me immediately again so we can have the Irish Twins I've always dreamed of having!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

She Belongs in the Nut House

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but I've got to bring an epidemic to your attention: The Crazy Bitch.
I hear all too often from male friends of mine about their wives or girlfriends and their insane antics and it just baffles me. Everything from extravagant shopping sprees to "forgetting" to pay the bills to romantic interludes with other men at out of town meetings to quitting their jobs for no good reason to not being happy for their son when he announces a pregnancy.
It just seems like more and more often, I hear of women who just expect their husbands to keep throwing money at them. You know the last things I had my husband buy for me? Dinner at Chili's, a snow shovel, and half the grocery bill. I just do not comprehend the mentality behind these women. Is it really worth risking having your power turned off to buy a new Iphone? I once knew a woman whose husband was deployed overseas with the military, so she sold their second car for a few grand. You know what she bought with that money? A purse. A motherfucking PURSE. She got a purse for the price of a CAR. Basically, Puff and I spent 10 days in Ireland for less than that. Or, for a non-travel related comparison, that's probably what we spend a year for groceries.
You know how much my purse was? Probably $25 on sale at Kohl's and I'll carry it until a hole gets worn in the bottom. But yet, I see Facebook posts of wives who are hinting at needing $400 designer handbags? Women... get a grip! Or get a job! The worst of these women are the ones who don't work yet their husbands pull down a full-time job, a part-time job, and still have trouble making ends meet. But dammit, when she needs to go on a binge at the craft store, he's got to be the one to fund it? How the heck does that make one ounce of sense?!? If I want to splurge on a wreath from West Elm, it's with my own money. Because I have a job. I split the household bills proportionately to our salaries. We share the domestic work at home. We are a TEAM. And you know what you don't do to a teammate? Treat them like shit.
That's probably what gets me the most irked about these women I hear about. (And trust me, I hear the gripes all the time!) The guys are trying to do the right thing, taking care of their families. But then they get berated all day long by these crazy bitches who send nasty texts, emails, and voicemails. Even their therapists think they're nuts! Now, I've heard of guys being pussy-whipped, but I'm here to point out that not all pussy is attached to a certified nutcase or gold-digger. Puff's a lucky man. ::insert grin::
When I asked Puff what he would do if I asked him for a $400 handbag, he said that if I didn't ask for anything but that for Christmas and my birthday... he would pay half.
Smart man. Smart man.
SAHM Disclaimer: Please don't get your panties in a wad about this. If you're not draining your husband for no good reason, I'm totally cool with you. As long as you don't sit on your ass all day and ignore your children or put them in day care so you can spend all day at the gym and Starbucks with your girlfriends. Then, we might have an issue.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Biggest News Yet


We've drafted a new player. They're a bit undersized and still not quite ready for the starting lineup. But I have a gut feeling they're going to make a giant impact on this team before too long.
We got the good news back in mid-September. Do you know what I was doing earlier that same day? I was at the shooting range. BEST. DAY. EVER.  
My immediate reaction was not the one of elation I had expected. No, it was disbelief. Puff and I had been trying for what seemed like forever (but was, in reality, only a few short months) and so when that plus sign appeared on the stick, I stormed out of the bathroom and demanded he drive me to CVS to buy another test. Or twelve. Thankfully, the cashier didn't question me like they had when I bought an ovulation kit the month prior. Assholes.
After taking another test that evening and one the following morning, just to be sure, I started to allow myself to get a tiny bit excited. We walked through when to call the doctor, when we would start telling family and friends, and I picked out a piece of furniture in the CB2 catalog that would look super adorable in the baby boy nursery in my head. (We all know we already have the names picked out!) All I have ever found missing in my life since I met Puff was a baby. And here I was, finally served one on a silver platter. And all I could think was, "Fuck. This is some scary ass shit!!!"
So... in case you haven't gathered, I'm going to be pretty up-front and real (as usual) with the remaining months of this pregnancy. Just remind me to hide these entries from the kid when they're old enough to read! Oh... and until we actually welcome this little munchkin in May, I figure I need a cutesy name to use for it. Other bloggers I read called their in-utero baby "Cash" or "Peanut" or "Bean." I've decided this little rock star baby will be "Bimmer." (That's prounounced beamer.) What can I say? My baby daddy is into cars!
And we know what store Puff will be running to in January the second we find out the sex so we can snag up one of those bad boys for Bimmer to rock!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Flash Bulb Friday

Now, I've made no secret of our distaste for New Orleans. I know that seems to be the unpopular take on the city, since so many other people have just loved it. Maybe we just weren't in the right mindset for it. Who knows. Regardless, while we didn't love that part of our trip as a whole, there were great moments.
Like this photo. It was taken early on Saturday morning, before 10am probably, when Puff and I were wandering the streets of the French Quarter. We went off the typical tourist streets a few blocks (per usual for us) and stumbled across some beautiful little hidden gems.
After photographing an old nunnery (is that the right term?) when we walked back down the street, I saw these shadows on the building and just had to stop and click. That early morning stroll with no one else on the streets, hand in hand with my hubby, was the best part of that city. I relish and cherish those quiet moments we have together, experiencing new things.
While we probably will never experience New Orleans together again, I always look forward to our next wanderings. Who knows what city will be next!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

For the Listening Impaired

Puff told me that he listened to yesterday's song and didn't understand a word the singer said until he got to the 4 minute mark. ::sigh:: I think it's all that techno and rap crap that Puff listens to has damaged his ears. So, for my listening impaired husband, here are the written lyrics to yesterday's song.

It really is beautiful.

Find Me Here
Speak To Me
I want to feel you
I need to hear you
You are the light
That's leading me
To the place where I find peace again.

You are the strength, that keeps me walking.
You are the hope, that keeps me trusting.
You are the light to my soul.
You are my're everything.

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

You calm the storms, and you give me rest.
You hold me in your hands, you won't let me fall.
You steal my heart, and you take my breath away.
Would you take me in? Take me deeper now?

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Cause you're all I want, You're all I need
You're everything,everything
You're all I want your all I need
You're everything, everything.
You're all I want you're all I need.
You're everything, everything
You're all I want you're all I need, you're everything, everything.

And How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

18 Months o' Love

Puff and I were married May 15, 2010. That was 18 months ago. I can't even believe how life has changed since then.
The Lifehouse album, "No Name Face," came out in October 2000. I was recently transplanted from The Fort to USC and was in a whole new world. This album resonated with me, as a lot of them do, and Lifehouse instantly sealed themselves as one of my all-time favorite bands.
So when it came time to pick a song to walk down the aisle to, ten years later, there was no churchy crap even considered. Not for this rock 'n roll gal. Nope... there was only one song even in the running and that was "Everything" by Lifehouse. The song sent chills through my body the first time I heard it, and when I listened to it again, in preparation for the wedding, it made my eyes well up with tears.
It is the perfect love song. It was perfect for my wedding. It was perfectly Gail.
What's even more perfectly me? The fact that I timed the whole walking down the aisle thing (picture me pacing back and forth on my deck measuring out the steps, listening to my Ipod on repeat) and that I came out right at the 4:48 mark (in this video). Those who know me, expected nothing less.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Recently, I was at Walgreens (no surprise there, since I swear I end up there twice a week or more) and I got behind a down-trodden man. He was buying a 4 pack of the cheapest toilet paper they had. And he was literally counting out pennies to pay for it.
My heart sank a bit. I spend way too much time being wrapped up in my own little upper-middle class bubble sometimes... driving a nice car, living in a prestigious zip code, wearing nice and new clothes, eating out whenever and wherever I want, traveling the world, buying name-brand groceries. I could've easily handed the guy a dollar or two to help him out, but I worried if that would hurt his pride. He had enough change, and taking a minute to wait in line while he finished his transaction wasn't going to be the death of me.
As we barrel full-steam toward the holidays, maybe it's time for me to take a step back and be grateful for what I have, and to also figure out a way to help those less fortunate. I am the queen of hesitancy when it comes to donating to charities. I have been so jaded over the years that I always worry where the money is actually going. So when Puff's company offered an opportunity to buy gifts off a gift tree for low income senior citizens, I thought that could be my chance.
It's a small step. I realize that. I realize that I hoard my money and don't give freely enough with it, or my time. I am selfish and I acknowledge and understand that fact. Perhaps 2012 will be the year I figure out the best way for me to help someone else, but to also feel OK with that decision. I want to make a difference, but I want to know I'm making the *right* difference.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Flash Bulb Friday

Have you ever eaten deep fried chocolate chip cookie dough? Well, then you're totally missing out on the sweetest. most divine, most amazing thing God and his carnies has ever created. Seriously... go find some. Right now. I will wait.
So, when Puff and I ventured to our first South Carolina State Fair together in October 2008, it was a grand adventure. I had the day mapped out, down to the funnel cake drenched in powdered sugar pixie dust that I intended to devour. However, a giant Pillsbury dough boy on top of a food truck caught my attention. From there, I was hooked. I will never look at a funnel cake the same way again... not if there is fried cookie dough to be had.
We made the pilgrimmage back to the fair in 2009. However, 2010 had us back in The Fort for a wedding during fair time. And 2011 had us with friends in town  and a trip to Myrtle Beach. So, we missed it again. I hold that guilt like I let down my only child by missing their starring role in their kindergarten play. That's how much fried cookie dough means to me.
So... since I've had a few weeks to mourn the fact that we were not able to get to the fair this year, I'm taking a step and admitting I have a problem. Since I figured this photo of the ferris wheel was more visually striking than me covered in sugar and fried heaven, I thought it would be the feature instead. But don't be fooled... I couldn't frickin' care less about fair rides. I'm pretty sure we're all clear now where my state fair allegiance lies. And who gets all my cash.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Our Inner Redneck

Puff grew up in Atlanta, yet his family never made it to Myrtle Beach. I kinda thought that was some strange rite of passage wherein every single family had to pack up the mini-van and head to the "Redneck Riviera" at least once. (Once was all we made it in my family... my mom's sorta kinda a travel snob. Now you know where I get it!)
So, when Puff and I were given the opportunity to stay at the fancy pants Marriott resort in MB for a total of $100 for a weekend (never mind the timeshare tour we had to take) I jumped at the chance. I also tried to find some stuff for us to do that was more appropriate for our taste, so we ended up spending the bulk of Saturday wandering Brookgreen Gardens. Being late October, we weren't sure it would be very pretty, but were pleasantly surprised. It was the perfect t-shirt and jean kind of weather.
And this lone gator that was in one of their ponds was really concerning me. Those other people didn't even notice. I suppose that's why occasionally I support Darwin's theory... survival of the fittest would've been pretty awesome to see in action to watch those idiots in their plaid shorts, cardigans, and loafers get attacked by an alligator. ::Insert halo::

Of course, no trip to Myrtle Beach is complete without a stop at one of the 2934083 tourist shops hawking Confederate flag beach towels and baby sharks in jars. We spent more time here than I care to admit... all just looking for a magnet. (I collect them from my travels!) But of course, we had to revel in the abundance of tackiness. You don't get to do that around home very often!
Sunday morning, we were up crazy early, bundled in hoodies and jeans, to take in the sunrise. The vantage point of our hotel on the beach was pure perfection. It had been years since I had experienced a sunrise on the beach. And it was made that much more special by getting to share it with my wonderful husband!
The funniest thing of all was that we ended up liking it way better than New Orleans! Who would've thought that history and charm and cobble stoned streets (plus daiquiris at all hours of the day) would be trumped by ferris wheels and marsh views over broiled shrimp and hush puppies? We won't be rushing back any time soon (especially not during peak season) but maybe in a few years we'll take our kids. And I'll get to play some putt-putt golf!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Today marks the third month of my "Top Ten" list! From the controversial (HERE) to the Skirt! Magazine Facebook page featured (HERE) I seem to have struck on something good here. While a list of movies seemed the natural next segue, I thought I'd jump to a more difficult topic this month. (Always gotta challenge myself, right?) It's difficult because there are just so many amazing places that could fit on this list: Where are my favorite places in the world?
As a rising thirty-year-old (still got a few months of twenties left) I am proud of my accomplishment of having been to 44 states and 30 foreign countries/territories. When I meet people who have never escaped the borders of the state of South Carolina, I kinda cringe. I understand it's not everyone's top priority, but it is one of mine. And with that being said, here are some places I just have to recommend...
My Top Ten Favorite Vacation Destinations (in no particular order)...
1) Queenstown, New Zealand
2) Estes Park, Colorado
3) St. Simons Island, Georgia
4) Maui, Hawaii
5) St. Lucia
6) San Sebastian, Spain
7) Venice, Italy
8) Anywhere in rural Ireland
9) Cape Code, Massachusetts
10) Tallinn, Estonia
Sure there are many different reasons why I love these places. Like the hot motorcycle date along the coast of Maui or the road trip with my then-boyfriend-now-husband through Southern Ireland. One constant? The gorgeous scenery. I'm a total sucker for a place that just lends itself to postcard worthy photos. I am certain there will be plenty more places to amend this list in the years to come... Iceland and Croatia anyone???
Until then... where's your favorite getaway spot?