Thursday, May 29, 2008

We Are Ready

Okay -- that time of the quarter again

Vacation TIME!!!

So I flew Maggie to Tulsa yesterday (she loves airplanes, hates landings)

we got our stuff packed eliminating any loose lithium ion batteries, and liquids or gels greater than 3 OZ.

I told the neighbors, I set the sprinklers.

I think we are ready.

We will post with pictures when we return.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Daddy!!!

In honor of Daddy Doyce's birthday on Thursday, we would like to offer the following performance:

Happy Birthday, Daddy!!! We love you!!!

Steven, Amy & Maggie


These people are exhausting

So I've been thinking for the last few months that our house is almost two years old now, and with most of it floored with barely off white carpet its probably best to have it cleaned to keep the barely off white -- just barely off white.

Now that we are all confused; yesterday while picking up a pizza from Brooklyn Pizzeria -- our favorite authentic NYC pizza joint, I saw one of the dreadful signs (you know the ones a little wire frame some plastic board, a little vinyl lettering and WALA, a business is born), the sign said "Carpet Cleaning -- 3 Rooms $60.00"

I quickly added up in my head just how many rooms REALLY needed to be cleaned, and since there was no maximum sq footage requirement we really only had three (the living room should probably count for two by itself, but their rules not mine)

I save the phone number in my phone under the contact "Carpet Cleaning" -- then while Amy is in the post office, I decide what better time than now to book a cleaning appointment.

Fast forward 18 hours. The guy shows up, he is nice enough; but much to my chagrin he shows up in a pickup (aren't carpet cleaning machines usually mounted in a van, I say to myself), not this one. This one is a little grey contraption he rolls out of his pickup and into my garage, it says HOME DEPOT TOOL RENTAL on the side, he needs an extension cord (one of mine, he didn't bring one), I offer my most durable cord and supervise the setup process. He begins the process and I wander from the weed pulling duties in the flower bed, to the kitchen for a drink of water, (per my wife's instructions [he should be watched] I look at him through the window, he doesn't know I can't see him through the glare on the window, but he knows he is being watched.) after wandering back and forth for about 40 minutes I sit at the kitchen table and start reading a book.

He then turns off his machine, indicating that he has finished. Now keep in mind that I usually have a problem starting conflict (someday I'll post about the time I paid a cabbie $40 plus a $5 tip when his placard clearly said the fee should only be $20) but he said "Lets see what we got here," he then puts a bucket under the dump valve on his little roller carpet cleaning machine that says HOME DEPOT TOOL RENTAL on the side, and clearly opens it, and clearly nothing comes out. He plays it off, and looks in the machine and kind of huffs and start rolling up his hoses, and I say "Was there no waste water?" (perfect opportunity to admit a mistake) he says "Yeah, I haven't dumped it yet!"

Clearly he is lying, I watched the valve open, I saw nothing come out, I looked in the machine (while he was inside the house 'Looking to make sure he didn't leave anything') it looked brand new, not one drop of water in the part of the machine where clearly you would expect water to be. I then walk on the carpets with my socks (its like walking through a swamp), they are soaking wet. I now know that I have to man up and confront this guy; I nervously sit on the freezer in the garage while he begins rolling up his hoses, and I finally say it, "Yo man, before you roll all that up can you show me the waste water, because your face kind of said it all," he's like yeah it wasn't hooked up right or something."

So now as I type this he is starting over (spraying no additional water), but sucking up lots and lost of dirty water. Sometimes a guy has got to stand up for himself, you know what I mean.

On a lighter note, my wife is so sweet - all these little things that I do for her she appreciates so much, and I appreciate her appreciating them. The charm bracelet is lots of fun for me; if ever I am at a loss for what to get her, a charm it is. And she loves them; they mean SO MUCH to her; I'm glad to do it.

Coming very soon pictures of me on a Candy Red Vespa with Pearl White Trim -- and the story of how and why, and oh how ridiculous I look.

More to come

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Our Charmed Life

I received my first charm bracelet for Christmas during my 7th grade year. I still have it. I love collecting charms for the meanings they hold and the stories they tell. They bring back great memories. I can tell you why I have every charm that I have. I now have three charm bracelets.

This bracelet is the story of us - the love story of Steven and Amy Norton.

Steven bought me two charms for my birthday the year we met - the ice skate and the airplane. I wore this bracelet on my wedding day. Every charm on this bracelet represents something about us. It's not all-inclusive, and I continue to look for more to fill in, but we collect them to mark the important occasions in our life.

The ice skate - We went ice skating on our first date. It was the most perfect first date ever. For me, it was love at first sight.The valentine heart - Our first kiss was on our third date which was Valentine's Day 2004. It was so romantic!

The bee - Steven has always told me that I'm the "bees knees."

The plane - Steven is a pilot, but I have the charm because the best date we ever had took place in an airplane. Steven was teaching at a flight school at the time. One night, he took me up - just the two of us - and introduced me to "his world." It was amazing! There really aren't words to describe it. And he even let me fly. Brave guy, huh? LOL

I love you - To commemorate May 22, 2004 - the day Steven told me he loved me for the very first time. And yes, I told him that I loved him too.

The frog on the lily pad - Steven proposed at sunset on Tuesday, June 15, 2004, on a bridge overlooking a pond filled with frogs and lily pads. My answer is still yes, Yes, YES!!!

Bride and Groom - Because that's who we are. We officially became "Bride" and "Groom" on November 20, 2004. We maintain the titles because we still feel about each other the way we did on that day; and we never want to get over it. We will forever be the giddy couple who just can't get enough of each other.

The cruise ship - We took a cruise for our honeymoon - Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica - AMAZING!

The Christmas tree - To celebrate our first Christmas together, which also happened to be our first married Christmas.

30 - I turned 30 the summer after we were married. Steven took me to Sea World in San Antonio, TX. It was a lot of fun. The morning of my birthday, Steven woke me early and told me to get ready. He didn't tell me where we were going. He just told me what to wear and told me to get in the car. Off we went. It was a wonderful surprise. The birthday cake - Also commemorates my 30th birthday. It was a great birthday!The apple - Steven took me to "The Big Apple" (a/k/a NYC) for our first wedding anniversary. It was an amazing trip! We went to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (which is MUCH more exciting in person); and we went to all of the touristy spots. We spent 10 days in New York, and it was perfect!Texas - We moved to Texas in the summer of 2006. It's hot here, but Steven is here. I'll follow you anywhere, Babe!Skis - Steven "taught" me to ski in Salt Lake City in March 2007. Perhaps I should have said Steven tried to teach me. I'm afraid that I wasn't a very good student. I loved being outside in the snow with Steven, but skiing is HARD! I spent more time on the ground than I did standing up or skiing. It took me two hours to get down the bunny hill. I don't think Steven and I have ever laughed so hard before or since. It was so funny! Thanks, Babe!The snowflake - This year Steven took me skiing again - in Oregon. This time I took classes. Turns out that I'm a pretty good skier. I need more practice, of course, but I only fell down once in two days of skiing; and that wasn't even my fault. There was so much snow this year - 18 inches overnight. It was beautiful!My life with Steven is perfect. I wouldn't change anything about it. We definitely live a "charmed" life.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

World's Best Husband

I definitely have the World's Best Husband!!! Today I was having a rough day at work. My husband called to say hello, and I told him about it. He encouraged me, as usual, and made me feel better. About 10 minutes after we hung up the phone, I got an email from him telling me that he called the spa and booked a one-hour Swedish massage for me as soon as I got off of work today! All I needed to do was show up. How sweet is that?!

Well just let me tell you how sweet! I just got home from my one-hour Swedish massage, and I must say that it was HEAVENLY!!! I have never been more relaxed. It was WONDERFUL! SPECTACULAR! FANTASTIC! AMAZING! I totally melted. It was great!

And to top it off, my husband said that I can have a one-hour massage every week if I want one! I can certainly get used to this!

Yes, ladies, my husband is the BEST! And for all you men out there - take a lesson! What do women want?! We want to be pampered!!!

Thanks, Baby! You're the best!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's getting hot in here!

Houston, Texas is not known for its mild climate. I cannot describe to those who are from the North how horrid the conditions can get here in the summertime. Let the fun begin! Last week the temperature reached the 90's for the first time this year. I called Grandma who informed me that it was a cool 60 at her home in Washington. I would love to have 60-degree temperatures in our neck of the woods. Fortunately the air conditioning is working well; and it is starting to become necessary for more and more hours each day.

This all begs the question "Why do we live in Houston?" Well there are a number of wonderful things about Houston. For starters the people are as nice as can be. The cost of living is next to nothing compared to areas like Washington DC and Chicago (other possible locations within my current company). There are really a lot of things to do. As the fourth largest city in the US, Houston is riddled with free or low cost activities that Amy and I don't take advantage of too often (although we probably should). It's the only city I know of where you can drive for two hours and still be able to say "I'm still in Houston." There aren't many hills if one should get a hankering to go biking, but there is a lot of water (and dreadfully a lot of humidity).

Amy and I like Houston. We don't love Houston, but we like it. We found a wonderful church; and we are meeting lots of new people all of the time. And most importantly, we finally got the landscaping the way we want it (after only two years - wow!).

More to come.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Story of Us - Part 4 - Fast Forward

Our second date involved a trip to the Boat Show. We walked around for hours climbing all over the million dollar yachts. Not once did Steven even accidentally bump into me or brush my hand. It was crazy. On our first date, we held hands for hours. On our second date - nothing. We had a great time, but there was absolute NO physical contact. LOL

Our third date just happened to fall on Valentine's Day. Steven arrived with lipstick roses. (They're yellow with red tips. They're gorgeous! I dried them and still have all twelve of them in a vase.) I made him brownies - from scratch. We went out for Mexican food.

Steven was a perfect gentleman. Conversation was pleasant and easy. I felt like I had known Steven forever.

After dinner, we headed to a comedy club where a friend was performing. We were early so we just sat in the parking lot and talked. After a few hours he drove me home. We never did see the comedy show.

Somewhere during the evening, we started holding hands. This time it meant more than just supporting me while ice skating.

When we got back to my apartment, we stood outside talking under the stars. Then he kissed me! It was amazing - tender and gentle and perfect.

We had several more wonderful dates, and then came the time to meet my parents...

Madly In Love

Today I am madly in love with my husband. I want shout it from the rooftops. I want to tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere. Today, more than ever, I love you, Captain Reverend Steven Lee Norton.

Thank you for marrying me. Thank you for choosing me. I am truly honored to be your wife, and I want everyone to know how truly blessed I am to have you share my life.

Today and always, my answer forever remains, yes! Yes!! YES!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Story of Us - Part 3

After dinner, we went ice skating! I love to ice skate. I am not a great skater, but I can certainly make my way around the circle and stop and turn. I can even go backward. However, when we got there, I asked Steve to help me lace up my skates. As we stepped out onto the ice, I reached for his hand to "steady myself." Apparently these two things gave him the impression that I had no clue how to skate.

So there we were on our first date, holding hands, skating around in an endless circle, laughing and getting to know one another. It was perfect.

At one point when we were taking a break, Steve sat in a puddle of water. When he got up, I commented that his hiney was wet. As he raised his untucked shirt to show it off, he said, "That's OK. I have a hot butt. It will dry quickly." What a line!

When we were too tired to skate anymore, we left the rink and went to Braum's for ice cream. We both ordered mint chocolate chip. While we were at Braum's, I had the thought again that this could be the man I will marry.

As he drove me home, Steve asked, "So where would you like to go next week?" What a great way to ask for a second date!

Stay tuned for details of the second date. Once again, it was a surprise, and socks were a requirement.

P.S. When Steve saw Shannon at work, she pumped him for information about how it went. He told her, and she busted me out by telling him that I knew how to skate. Thanks, Shannon. LOL