Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lucy and Ella's Day of Fun

Well as most of you know…I received a complaint from the St. John the Baptist Parish Humane Society a few weeks ago stating that I was neglecting and not feeding my dogs. I felt like a guilty mom…and I am determined to make it up to my sweet puppies.

So I told them that January 23, 2009 would be forever known as Lucy and Ella’s Day of Fun! (Notice the Friends reference).

When I told them about it they were very excited…

First we went to the bank…I don’t have any pictures of this, but Lucy tried to stick her entire head into the little bank cylinder (the thing that goes up the tube). She really likes the smell of money!

After we left the bank, we went to get gas and then to the car wash. Lucy loved the car wash…she chased the little scrubber things up and down the car. Ella was a bit terrified (maybe this could be looked at as abuse). I let her sit in my lap during most of the car wash…so that should make up for it…right?

Once our car was all clean, we headed toward our favorite pet store (sorry…no pictures of us in the pet store..but there will be some later of Lucy and Ella enjoying our purchases). We spent way too much money at the pet store, but Lucy and Ella are definitely worth it!

Well we left the pet store about noon…and I was getting hungry, so we stopped at Lucy and Ella’s favorite fast food joint…the Sonic! They each got a dish of vanilla ice cream and I let them eat it in the car…oh this was just so much fun (Jace is going to kill me when he sees these pictures!)

The ice cream must have been very good…Ella inhaled hers and Lucy was a bit slower but just as determined. The lady in the car next to us laughed the entire time…but I don’t care. When we were done with the ice cream, the nice Sonic attendant came to see if we needed water…well of course. He brought us a big glass of water, and then Lucy and Ella proceeded to drool all over the car…and we dumped some of the water out in the back seat (oh Jace is really going to kill me…hehe).

When we were done at Sonic, we decided it was about time to go back home. Once we got home, I let the girls pick a treat from our purchases from the pet store…of course they both picked the one with peanut butter.

After devouring our treats, we all took a nap (it had been a very busy day. I let them pick their favorite napping spot. Lucy chose my bed (which is really no surprise…it is very comfy). Ella chose to sleep under the bed (this is where they normally sleep at night).

After our nap, we went for a nice long walk in the neighborhood (no pictures of this, because as you can imagine, walking two 50 pound dogs on a leash all by yourself is quite a challenge….I wasn’t going to try to take pictures of this).
Overall we had a really fun day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

When did it all begin?

So I’m officially addicted! All day I think of things I can write about in my blog.

As promised, I am going to tell you how Jace and I met. Now I want to preface this blog with the reminder that I remember nothing (please read my post from Feb. 10 for an explanation). If I get some of the details wrong, I’m sure that someone will come behind me and fix them. Also, I guess when I get started it is difficult to stop, so pace yourself, this one is a novel.

The first time I met Jace was my junior or senior year of high school. He was involved in the Association of Baptist Students at Louisiana Tech University and they came to my church once a year. This particular year we decided to do a hayride and then go back to the church to play games or whatever. All that I can remember of the party is playing a game called “Chubby Bunny.” The object of the game is to see who can stuff the most marshmallows in their mouth at one time. Well Jace and I happened to be on the same team, so I got to pass the marshmallows to him as he stuffed them in his mouth. He ended up winning (everyone else stopped at like 10 or 11…not Jace; he managed to stuff about 20 of those marshmallows in his mouth). Of course the most attractive thing about this game, is that you can’t exactly swallow the marshmallows, you must spit them back out. Oh yes, gross. Not exactly “love at first sight.”

Later that night, I remember us all sitting down at tables eating hamburgers or hot dogs or something, and I sat across the table from Jace and one of his roommates, Gary (they are really the only people I remember being there). At that time, Jace was wearing his state championship ring for baseball, and I can remember making stupid high school girl flirty comments to the cute college guy about his ring (you know what I’m talking about…we’ve all done it girls!). I don’t know if he even remembers my stupid flirty comments, but I remember at the end of the evening being totally in love with all college guys. No stupid high school guy was ever going to do for me.

A year or so later, I started college at Louisiana Tech University. I decided to also join the fun at the Association of Baptist Students. By this time, I didn’t really think much back to the days of “chubby bunny” and “stupid high school girl flirty comments.” So I started school in September, and by about October I was in love (or lust, or total infatuation…whatever it was it was sickening). I just knew that Jace was the one for me…he just didn’t know it yet. See, the thing I have realized over time, is that when it comes to this type of thing, guys just don’t get it.

Over the next few months I did my best to impress him…of course he noticed nothing. All of my friends, on the other hand, noticed everything. I guess it was November or early December, we were having a Friday Fun Night (or something) at the ABS, and well, um, I got caught by one of my good friends, checking out Jace’s, um, backside. I’m turning red just at the thought of this. Jace noticed nothing…totally oblivious….thank goodness, because if he knew at that time that I was checking him out, I have no idea what he would have done…geez. I was such a stupid girl with a huge crush on a really cute college guy.

So over the next few weeks, Jace and I became pretty good friends. I can remember chatting with him on AOL instant messenger on Tuesday and Thursday mornings (I didn’t have class until noon on those days, so I had plenty of time to chat). We also went to the movies, hockey games, and out to eat, just with a bunch of other people. After Christmas, I think the boy started catching on.

A week or so after Christmas (I think…this very well could have been before Christmas) my mom decided to cook up some yummy food, and I called a few of my college friends and asked them if they wanted free tasty food (now, they REALLY had to want this free tasty food, because I was still living at home at this time, and it was a 45 minute drive from the college to my house). Keith, Micah and Jace decided to make the drive for my mom’s food. Before they came, I told my mom that I was pretty interested in Jace. See, my mom and I have never really had the kind of relationship where we discuss boys. I think she just wanted me to finish college, and that was all she was interested in at that time. At the end of the evening, after everyone went home, I asked my mom for her opinion on Jace. I don’t remember exactly how she worded it, but she basically told me that he was out of my league, and that I really didn’t stand a chance. I love my mother, but geez, way to make a girl feel good (and I’m sure my mother has no idea to this day that she even said that, and I’m sure when/if she reads this, she is going to freak out, but it’s all part of the big story).

Well, after that delightful conversation, I decided to drop the whole thing. Give up on the boy. It was over, and I didn’t stand a chance.

Jace and I (along with several others) were in a Monday night Bible study together, and our Bible study group decided to go to the David Crowder Concert. It was loads of fun! Still to this day I get chills when I hear David Crowder sing “Come Thou Fount.” After the concert, we all went back to Jace’s house and hung out for a while. Since I lived 45 minutes away, I had to leave a little early to go back home. As I was leaving, Jace took my keys and removed this little blue light from my keychain (looking back, I think this is how Jace flirts…but still, I’m not so sure). Anyway, I left the light with him and walked outside. This time he followed me.

About half way to my car, Jace stopped me and handed me my little blue light. Then he asked me if I would go have dinner with him sometime (or something like that…I really hate that I can’t remember this, because it was just so perfect). My response was “OK.” Yes, I just told the guy that I’ve been drooling over for months now “OK” as if I wasn’t excited, or my insides weren’t about to burst. See I had played this day over and over in my head. I had imagined how he would ask me, if he would ask me, so I guess when he did ask, I was caught off guard that I didn’t know what else to say.

January 19, 2001, our first official date. The first date was a bit awkward, but aren’t they always a little weird? Jace and I were pretty good friends, so we knew each other pretty well. He came and picked me up at my house, then we went to Copeland’s for dinner (yes…he drove 45 minutes from his house to my house, then we drive 45 minutes from my house to Monroe, then after dinner we drove 45 minutes back to my house and he drove 45 minutes back to his house. So, 3 hours of driving for that poor boy that night…I guess he did kinda like me…hehe). So, I’ve been on first dates before. I know the standard protocol…don’t go on the first date hungry, because you will look like a pig. So to avoid looking like a pig, I ate dinner with my family about 5 that evening. Jace came to get me about 6 or 7. When we made it to the restaurant, I was in, not hungry at all. I was nervous, and my stomach was all queasy anyway, and then like an idiot I ate a full dinner prior to my dinner date. So I just ordered a salad, not because I wanted to give him the impression that I’m one of those salad eating girls, but because I thought it would be best if I stayed away from all fried food, things covered in heavy cream or butter, and really anything else on the Copeland’s menu.

Overall the date was great. To be honest, I didn’t want that day to ever end. That night, Jace met most of my family (parents, sisters, brother, cousins, etc.). He was a trooper. The next day, Jace’s entire family came to visit (parents, brother, aunt, uncle, cousins, etc…you get the picture). So after only one date, we’ve officially been introduced to each other’s entire family. Awkward, yes, but it’s like they say with a band-aid, just rip it off quickly. That’s how we dealt with the meeting the family issue….get it over with quick.

The first few months of dating are always the strangest. What do you call each other when you introduce him to one of your friends…is he my “boyfriend”….that seems so 7th grade, and you know we are all grown up now and in college. And how many dates to do you go on for this “boyfriend” title to become official. Who comes up with these rules!? Some couples have a nice sit down conversation to discuss “where the relationship is going.” Not us. I can’t remember a time when we discussed anything about what we wanted in the relationship, or where we were going. It just kinda fell in place. We just knew, I guess, or we just didn’t really want to have that awkward conversation. They always said that you would know it when you found “The One” and I think it’s true. It’s that person that you are totally comfortable with, the one who will allow you to be yourself and you don’t feel weird about it. I can’t explain it. If you’ve ever been there, you just understand.

Jace graduated from Tech in May 2002 and moved back to Baton Rouge to live with his parents. If you’ve ever had a long distance relationship, you know, it really sucks! The thing is that now if we want to go visit each other, we have to find a place to stay (for him that meant staying with college friends or my parents, for me I would always stay at his parents’ house). So once a month or so we would make the four hour drive to visit each other. This got old quick! Whenever we were together, we never did get much alone time (not that we were doing anything, but you know…sometimes adult couples just like to be alone every now and then….to talk or whatever). When he came to visit me, all our friends always wanted to hang out, and then when I went to visit him, we spent a lot of time with his family. Maybe I will do a future post on long distance relationships and why it is a terrible way to have a serious relationship. For now, I won’t bore you with all that information.

We managed to make it through that very rough time, and in October 2002, Jace asked me to marry him…and of course I said yes! We got married about a year later on October 18, 2003.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What do you really know about me?

"Tell me about yourself." This is the first thing they ask in an interview, on a first date, when you meet his parents, or just about any other time you meet someone new. For my second attempt at blogging, I want to introduce myself.

I was born in a small town in North Louisiana called Farmerville. Both of my parents, and their parents, and their parent's parents were born and raised near Farmerville. Most of their brothers still live in that area. I am the second child; I have one older sister, one younger sister, and one younger brother. I love my family! I love having two sisters and one brother. I used to be envious of those kids that only had one sibling, but now that I'm older I'm so happy that there were four of us. I can't imagine growing up with only one sibling…those poor unfortunate people!

My dad has had many jobs. He is one of the hardest working men I know…something about a boy raised on a farm. He's been a cop, he worked a bulldozer at the landfill, he sells insurance, and his most recent endeavor is politics (he is a police juror in Union Parish). I am very proud to be his daughter.

My mom is such a sweet, tenderhearted person. She always seems to be in the best mood, no matter what is going on around her. From the time my older sister was born until I was 13, my mom was basically a stay at home mom. Being a mom was something she mastered. During those years, she managed to cook dinner every night (I can't remember ever going out for McDonalds for dinner), and she made most of our clothes. She took her first full time job after having kids when we started private school. Mom always reminded us that our education was most important. I don't think I ever would have made it this far without her.

My mom used to tell us when we were growing up that your sisters will be your best friends. I didn't know what she was talking about until I graduated from college, got married, and moved away from them. She was so right. I wish I lived closer to them so that we could do more stuff together, but that's just not the way things work out. My sisters are my very best friends.

Now for my schooling…I attended Farmerville Elementary School for K5-3rd Grades, Farmerville Middle School for 4th – 7th Grades, Claiborne Christian School for 8th – 11th Grades, and Ouachita Christian School for 12th Grade. I graduated from high school in May 2000. After high school, I started Louisiana Tech University. I got my degree in Finance in August 2003.

I will post an entirely separate blog about how I met Jace, but suffice it to say that we started dating my freshman year of college. We dated about a year and a half, then got engaged. We were engaged about a year, then we got married, on October 18, 2003.

Recently this list thing went around facebook, asking you to tell 25 things about yourself. Below is my list…

1. I was born in a town called Farmerville, where the high school football team is really the Fighting Farmers.

2. I love country music! My favorites are the old stuff from George Straight, Reba McIntire and Dolly Pardon. (and of course any of the old songs my Dad's band plays!!)

3. I ran a cop off the road when I was 16.

4. My favorite food is onions….grilled, fried, sautéed, raw....I can't explain it.

5. One year for my birthday (maybe my 3rd or 4th), my mom made this beautiful bunny cake and put coconut all over the top….I don't think she knew at the time how much I hate coconut.

6. At the age of about 3 my favorite song was "Chantilly Lace" by The Big Bopper and I would sing this in public any time I had the chance. Mom and Dad tell stories of me singing this on stage at the Farmerville Watermelon Festival in front of lots of people. (I was also a big hit at nursing homes).

7. I broke my arm in 3rd grade because I thought it would be a good idea to slide down the banister of the steps leading up to our playhouse. The doctor let me pick out what color cast I got, and I chose hot pink.

8. I got lots of stitches one summer (I was about 7 or 8) when my sisters and I decided to make frog houses with a post hole digger. I nearly lost my right foot when I put it in the hole before Joani was finished digging.

9. I used to share a bedroom with my little sister, and she kept the room a lot cleaner than the boy I share it with now does.

10. In 1988, I was convinced I was going to get another little sister, and was pretty upset when it turned out to be a boy….I didn't know how much fun a brother could be.

11. My favorite day ever is October 18, 2003.

12. I have one ear that kinda comes to a point…sort of like an elf ear. Jace loves to point this out to anyone that will listen to him.

13. I could eat Chick-fil-a everyday. And my order is always the same… "Number 1 with a coke, please."

14. I love playing board games with lots of people. Right now Apples to Apples is my favorite.

15. I watch "The Girls Next Door" when no one else is home. I'm not sure why, I just do.

16. Jace and I are no longer allowed to play Risk, Monopoly, and recently added Checkers…it is just bad for our marriage.

17. My favorite color is green. I just got this really cute bag from Old Navy that says "Green is the New Black" and I love it!!

18. I've never been any good at pointing out a "that's what she said" phrase. I guess my mind doesn't stay in the gutter.

19.My dream job would be where I can wear blue jeans every day, create my own schedule, and bring Lucy and Ella to work with me. (I'm convinced this exists somewhere!!).

20. I kissed Jace first.

21. My favorite vacation I took with my family was during the summer of 2001, when we went to Washington D.C. I was in awe of the Capitol building, and I took a picture of it every time I saw it. When I got home and developed the film, I had about 100 pictures of just the Capitol.

22. I crack up anytime someone says the word "duty." Especially when they are trying to be serious.
23. In college, I moved in with a girl I barely knew, and it ended up being the best decision I ever made! I never had to clean the toilet the two and a half years we lived together…she was the best roommate EVER!! Jon…count your blessings!!

24. I am totally freaked out by real life looking concrete bunnies. I also can't stand it when they put an animal head on a human body (there was a car commercial a few years ago with dog heads and people body…now they have a commercial out for soar throat relief with giraffe heads on human bodies….freaks me out every time!)

25. I named my dog Ella because it rhymes with yella.

Geez…that is a lot of information to throw at you in one entry, but I think you should have a better understanding of who I am after reading all of this.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Am I a Blogger?

So I have enjoyed reading several blogs over the past year, and I have decided that I would love to be able to write about my experiences, just as these people have done. Not necessarily so that other people can read it, but mostly so that I can remember.

See I have a terrible memory. I didn’t realize how bad my memory was until I met my husband. He can recite movie lines after only seeing the movie once, while I can barely remember the plot. He can remember exactly what it was the made him mad at me, and I can’t remember what he said at the beginning of the argument. He remembers every detail of every trip we have ever taken, and I only remember things that we took pictures of.

Growing up my family never really told stories of what happened to them as children, and they rarely tell stories of what happened to me as a child, so I don’t have that many childhood memories either…and now I’m thinking that this problem with “forgetfulness” could be inherited, seeing as how my parents don’t remember the stories either.

Then I met Jace. If any of you have ever been to a Raney family dinner, you know that these folks don’t forget any stories (the only thing they forget is who they told that story to and how many times). I love this family and all their crazy stories…and I hope to one day pass down crazy stories to my kids and grandkids (please don’t take reference to children as a need to question me as to when I plan to have children).

So in an effort to try to remember things, I am going to write them down. I’m going to warn those that choose to read this…I have no plans on being a daily blogger. As mentioned earlier, I have a terrible memory, so things will happen and I will forget to write them down and they will be eternally forgotten.

Hope you enjoy the blog.