Monday, January 26, 2009

If I Get a Hankerin'

So as I'm leaving one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Waco, TX a gentlemen asks me for the time. We all know where this leads, I give him the time -- he begs for money, as he is 'starving'. I don't really have a policy in this arena, but I rarely give these people money unless I'm feeling really led to do so. So I use my normal, 'I have no cash' line (in Sunday School we were studying 'What Kind of a Liar Are You?' -- very fitting in this circumstance) -- and then begin to feel badly as I am walking towards my hotel.

These feelings are quickly diminished when I notice a Salvation Army kitchen only a block from the restaurant opening its doors for the evening meal. I went back to this same restaurant today, and was hoping my little friend was going to be there, I would have told him where he could go to get some food. Is that wrong?

I just hear these stories over and over again about these people asking for money on the street, but never actually accepting offers of employment, or actual food. Instead only wanting money to use as they see fit. Amy and I saw some kids on the road one day with a sign that said "Who Are We Kidding? -- WE NEED MONEY FOR BEER, FIREWORKS, AND GIRLS!" Now that's just funny, I was half tempted to hand over some change, but quickly decided two of those three things didn't exactly lift up the Lord, so I just smiled and drove on.

We are getting excited about Claires pending arrival, I stole a video off of the Baby Leeuwner Blog that made me laugh so hard, I just knew all of you would want to see it. Have a great day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

We Are So Blessed

So many things in our lives remind us every day of how thankful we are for our for our relationship with Jesus Christ. As Christians Amy and stand in faith every day for peace, harmony, happiness, health, zeal, good relationships, and supernatural blessings. We are very fortunate to both have strong Christian families that stand with us, rejoice with us, and continually pray with us. Every day I thank God for my wife, I always remind her how important she is to me, and I'm sure to let her know that she is the best thing that has ever happened to me. We both thank each other for the gift of marriage every day, and we always do our best to show the other how much we love and appreciate them.

When I look back at the list of desires that I had on my heart ten years ago, I can honestly say that every single one of them that I have stood in faith for has come to pass. That's not to say that the list is complete, because its not, there are more things, and in good time we will stand in faith for those things, and they too will come our way. I am continually amazed at how powerful we as Christians are, and what mountains can be moved with a simple act of faith.

I was in a meeting with the HR department at my company about 18 months ago, we were talking about different methods on the table for recruiting new pilots. One thing that came up was the formula they had been using to evaluate applicants, and judge their ability to successfully pass training, I quickly noticed that based on the criteria they were looking at I personally was not eligible to get an interview when I was hired. I asked about this, and they told me that it was true. They called me to offer me an interview even though I didn't fit into their formula exactly the way they would prefer. When I asked why, she told me it was based on the recommendations of some other people in the company, and that it was very rare circumstances. Now here I was two years later, helping to re-write the policies on how applicants are screened.

What is more interesting about this is I wasn't looking for a job when I was hired. I had a secure teaching job at a reputable college, and they called me. An airline called me out of the blue and wanted me to interview with them in three days. Out of the twenty applicants they interviewed that day only two were hired, and I was one of them.

God not only opened the door to a new, better job, but he helped to break down the brick walls between me and the end result. I was reading in a book recently about a guy who saw everything in his life as a challenge. I don't think that author was a Christian, but he made a good point in that everything worth having has a brick wall in front of it. The brick walls aren't there to keep people out, they are simply there to show how badly you will work to climb over it. With God this climb is certainly easier, and undoubtedly can really just be eliminated with a little dynamite.

Our faith is strengthened constantly, but our Church is for sure a huge encourager in this arena. I have to tell you that if you need help in the area of faith, watch some sermons from Lakewood, to watch the videos you have to get a password which takes about 45 seconds, but it is worth it. With sermon titles like: "Living Without Crutches," "Choosing Faith Instead of Fear," and "Living a No Excuse Life," you can't go wrong. Amy and I do everything we can to make each other happy, and we spend a lot of time doing everything we can to help our relationship grow, not only does it help us, but I believe that the example we set for others around us speaks into their lives, and can hopefully be a ministry to them to work towards God's best for their relationship as well.

And one more Bear Grylls act of craziness, he picks up elephant dung and squeezes the juice into his mouth as a source of hydration -- again like its perfectly normal!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Five years ago today Steve and I met on a blind date. We were set up by my sister-in-law who worked with Steve at the time.

When he picked me up, Steve had a beautiful bouquet of flowers with him. We went to dinner at Pomodoris - Italian food. It was delicious, and the conversation was delightful. After dinner we went ice skating. We held hands the whole time. To cool off, we went to Braum's for mint chocolate chip ice cream. It was a perfect date!

That night I knew I had met the man I would marry. I am the luckiest girl in the whole world!

I love you more than anything, Steven! Thank you for marrying me! The last five years have been blissfully happy! I'm so glad you picked me! Happy Anniversary, my love!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Brag Post

I am continually amazed at how over-the-top God is! So I am going to take a few minutes to brag on Him.

As you can imagine, I have been doing quite a bit of baby shopping recently and even flew to Tulsa this past weekend to register and shop with my mom. All of this baby-itis has given me the "I-wants" pretty badly. I don't want my girl to have just OK stuff. I want her to have the best of everything. I want her room to be perfect. I want her clothes to be fabulous. I want everything to be just right.

Last week, on Wednesday evening, Steve and I were talking; and I mentioned that I wished I had a part-time job of some sort that would let me work only when I wanted and let me do only what I wanted that would allow me to work from home in PJs and would pay me a lot of money so that I could afford all of the baby stuff I want. Sounds like a pie-in-the-sky job doesn't it? Well it isn't!

On Thursday morning (the very next day - less than 18 hours later), I got a call from the HR Manager at the company I used to work for. He asked if I would be willing to work part-time from home for one of my favorite department managers. I told him I thought that might work. He told me that he would get back with me, but I haven't heard from him since.

Then today I got an email from the department manager who asked if I was still interested and if I could meet with him. I went in this afternoon and very clearly stated my demands for pay, hours, etc. He gave in without a fuss. In fact, he even added to it saying that if we were traveling or if I didn't feel well or was tired or whatever, I didn't need to worry about it. He would work around ME and my schedule.

I am being paid more than I have ever been paid in my life. I work when I want. I can turn down any assignment I don't wish to do. I work from home - in my PJs. And I love my boss.

I totally love that God gave me more than I asked for - even when I wasn't really praying or really even asking. He just gave it to me because He's the kindest person I know. He just wanted me to have everything I want.

And because of this fabulous new job offer, my daughter will have the perfect nursery, the fabulous clothes, the best of everything. And my husband and I will still have the wonderful life of leisure and travel that we want.

God is such a good God, and He has blessed us exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ask or even imagine!

Monday, January 19, 2009

But I'm Steve Norton...

Try it some time -- when you aren't getting your way simply state "But I'm Bridgette Davis!" See how people react. Its quite humorous. I got the idea while watching the last season of Boston Legal (a show I'm sad to see go). Denny Crane was forever reminding people who he was in order to get his way. I've made it a joke among my friends, but only today did I try it outside the circle of people I know.

We had a service appointment with our friendly Sears Service Team today that unfortunately was not met. One thing leads to another and while I'm on the phone with these people who are telling me they cannot make it out today, I accidental blurt 'But I'm Steve Norton.' There was silence for just a moment, and right when I thought that the operator might actually say, 'Oh now I see an opening.' Instead I got 'Yes sir, I understand that I am talking to Mr. Norton of Humble, we cannot come out until Thursday, do you understand?' as if I am some elderly person who is a little hard at hearing.

I'll try it again in the coming days, meanwhile I challenge all of you to also give it a try -- it will be like Ahoy Ahoy week, great fun, and it will surely put a smile on peoples face.

While on the treadmill this afternoon I turned on Discovery Channel which typically has the only daytime TV worth watching. Man Vs Wild was on, if you haven't seen it I must warn you it isn't for the faint of heart. This idiot, Bear Grylls tries to kill himself with exposure to the harshest elements. In one episode he found a dead Zebra which is picked at for dinner, then he promptly climbed in the carcass for night time shelter as if is was perfectly normal. I was reminded about the audacity of him when he was marching through Siberia where the temperature was -50F. He needs to cross a small creek, so of course he just takes his clothes off and throws them to the other side, talk about leaving yourself no other options. He then proceeds to jump in the water, again like its perfectly normal.

I for sure could not do his job. When I was in the Air Force there was a brief attempt to recruit me as a Survival School Instructor. I watched the video of what these guys have to go through and promptly decided in the negative when I noted the amount of crustation that was ingested on a daily basis as a source of 'protein'.

Work with the trainer is coming along nicely - I've lost 10LB 3% body fat and 3 inches. I'm not sure what the 3 inches means, I know it wasn't all in my waist, it must be total in the all the areas they measure -- who knows. I think its funny that when I started this little exercise five weeks ago losing weight was not the goal. It turns out it is a requirement to reach the fitness level I am striving for.

Have a great evening, enjoy LOST coming in three short days, and we will chat later.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chip Lady

Here is a classic from a Johnny Carson show back in the 80's -- VERY FUNNY!!

Ms. Young worked at a chip factory where her job was to remove from the packaging line any chips that were defective -- she clearly had an interesting eye for quality.

Monday, January 12, 2009

You Know You're From a Small Town When...

They have stairs to get you from uptown to downtown yes this is an actual photo from my hometown. If you look closely you can see the 'Kelso Stairs.' There are 130 steps to get from downtown to old uptown, sadly this may be one of the last pictures of this historic landmark from 1933 as they were damaged (as you can see) in a landslide that consumed several homes.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Baby Blog

To keep this blog from becoming a "baby blog," I have created a new blog that will be all about Claire. It will have updates on how I'm feeling, the diary of the pregnant lady, pictures of the nursery, pictures from the ultrasounds, etc. And once Claire arrives in May, it will be all about her and her wonderfully pink world.

Check it out:


Quite honestly one of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was a package of SHAM-WOWs. It is a VERY unique and most useful product. My BIL, Matt, also received some and quickly commented on how he would never have to buy paper towels again. I laughed, but it wasn't until I searched out the commercial for the SHAM-WOW on YouTube that I realized this is an actual claim from the MARKETERS of the SHAM-wow (note the emphasis).

Most products we see on infomercials have been around for years. Clever people simply throw a new spin on them and go crazy with a marketing campaign to move some product. A classic admitted example is the Ginsu Knives. These knives are just knives. They have been around forever. One day an ad agency decided to run an experiment. They pretended like they were new, gave them a new name and voila (new word for me on the blog, quite fun) the product took the world by storm. The SHAM-wow is cracking me up. It's a stinkin' chamois. I love that there is a company out there touting this product like it was just invented yesterday.

Let me quickly pause to point out that I am LOVING the SHAM-wow. I use it to dry myself off after swimming. It makes me feel like an Olympic athlete. There is no latent evaporation when drying with a SHAM-wow, so I get out of the water and can be dry instantly and go about my business. We have also used it to clean up a water spill in the kitchen; and of course, I used it to dry the car after a thorough washing.

All that being said, as a service to you, the consumer, I want to caution you that I think you may be overspending on paper towels. $20.00 per month, as touted in the commercial, is a ripoff (no pun intended). I don't keep track of specific towel usage; but I would say, being very, very liberal, that we might spend approximately $53.64 per YEAR on paper towels. We buy these from our favorite supplier (Sam's Club, of course), and they last a long time. They are select-a-size to really double the useful life out of each roll. If you are really spending $240.00 a year on paper towels, I strongly urge you to invest in a warehouse club membership. It will be worth it in paper towels alone.

As I come up with new and fun uses for my SHAM-wows I will keep you posted. I'm thinking of trying to dry Maggie after her next bath. She loves the theatrics after a bath -- shivering as if she is near death. Perhaps the SHAM-wow will aid in a quicker, cleaner dry? Also I MAY experiment with a no paper towel week, just to see if it is possible to truly go through life with only a SHAM-wow.

And don't forget - the SHAM-wow is completely washable. You really should try them out for yourself. They're fabulous!

Have a great day -- and thanks, Shannon, for the SHAM-WOWs! They are great fun!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Let there be light

Today my wonderful husband installed the ceiling fan, chandelier and dimmer switches in the nursery. It looks beautiful!!! Here are some pics:

Steve came home yesterday from a four-day trip and was shocked at how pregnant I look. Apparently I'm growing rather quickly these days. Baby bump photos coming soon...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

I know its a fun title and here is a fun kick off. This nice lady was really worried about the health of her unborn baby because there were jackhammers in the street.

So concerned that she decided to calm the child with some intravenous nicotine
Seriously some people -- I remember working for a certain church at one point in my career, my job was to handle all property and maintenance issues. There was an unusually large air conditioning unit on one end of the property that was causing problems for one of our "Neighbors." Keep in mind that this particular AC unit had been in place for about six years, and the said neighbor (in fact her whole neighborhood) had been in place for about two months.

This lady was so angry about this AC unit and the noise that she actually turned psychotic. She called every day at about 10AM, I referred to it as the 10AM comedy round-up. She would call, I would gather all of my colleagues around and I would turn on the speaker phone. The ranting and senseless raves would go on for at least five minutes about how her children were going to have brain damage, and the noise was causing structural damage to her home, her plants were dying, she couldn't think and had constant headaches. On and on, I felt bad for her, but never mind my attempts to interrupt her with some solution based dialogue, no. These comedy round-ups were absolutely pointless.

After about two weeks of this, I FINALLY was able to tell her that I would more than generously split the cost of erecting a brick wall around the unit with the hopes that it would diminish the damage claims that she was making. She agreed that this would be a possibility, but I never heard from her again. Perhaps she moved, perhaps her husband bought her some earplugs.

I was reading a book today, and it had some good ideas about efficiency in everyday life, there were two recommendations that I loved.

1. Never allow yourself to be on hold with the phone to your ear (put it on speakerphone and do something else).

2. The easiest/politest way to get off the phone with a telemarketer, hang up while you are talking -- they will simply think the connection was lost and move on.

Interesting points, and good ideas. I have to be careful with my time, I easily get consumed with small tasks that could almost always wait. But in my mind I have to do it now for no apparent reason, other than I want to get it done.

I hate waiting for the parking lot bus after I'm done working. It is the most meaningless time spent doing nothing but standing outside. I can only people watch or enforce the smoking policies of the airport for so long (yes I do politely inform people who are blowing smoke in my direction of the designated smoking area.) So I decided about a month ago I would work on my networking. While standing waiting for the bus I go down my contact list and call people I want to keep in contact with, but can never seem to find the time for.

Not everyone needs to be corrected. I remember going shopping with my Grandfather about 15 years ago. After he found the gift he wanted for his mother the clerk told him about the complimentary gift wrapping that was available on another floor. When she opened it that evening, he gloated to everyone that he lucked out with a special that included free gift wrapping. His mother quickly corrected that this particular store "Always had free gift wrapping." The other day Amy and I were with a friend who was so excited that she had just received a 20% off coupon to Bed Bath and Beyond -- Amy and I bit our tongues, not wanting to burst her bubble by announcing that we get those dreadful things at least twice a month. We let her be excited, and it was okay.

My challenge for 2009 to not sweat the small stuff, complain less, be happy more, and let little things slide. Listen more, be interested in other people, more than anything -- and most importantly be more Christlike.

Have a great day -- by the way who is going to put a countdown to the new season of LOST on their blog? -- they will get a shout out for sure!!


Monday, January 5, 2009


No, not the snack cracker Combo's (which is the only food I know of that can give me heart burn). This is a COMBO post. The first post truly authored by both me (Steve) and Amy. This is necessitated by the fact that I am away from home, and the subject requires pictures that only Miss Amy currently has access too.

We did have a great New Year. This was only the second time since we've been married that we have actually attended a 'party' for this particular holiday. Fun times, lots of fireworks (which I don't really get), and of course a fun round of Cranium. I got to do lots of acting, singing, and drawing -- all things most people find very humorous.

I ran into one of the flight attendants that was on the flight in Denver that was involved in the accident. I asked her how things were going for her. She brought up something I had NEVER thought of before. In the post accident fire ALL of her luggage was destroyed. And what wasn't destroyed was to be confiscated by the NTSB. So all this to say, when she arrived back in town Continental had arranged for her, and others in the similar situation, to have a locksmith go with them to their car to have it re-keyed and then the same at their homes. Very handy; but I think just keeping the ol keys in the pocket is the safest and most convenient bet.

The nursery project was great fun. Crown molding couldn't be easier to install, especially when the know-it-all neighbor (who was kind enough to lend me some tools) popped in every so often to ensure we were doing everything the way he would do it. I hope I don't sound tacky or curt in my tone about the KIAN (know-it-all neighbor). It's a fact -- he really does know everything. I am going to build some shelves for the room next week. The KIAN can't wait. He wants to help. I'll probably need the help and will be most appreciative.

The paint color chosen for the project was "Princess." I'll have you know that Amy came home with no less than 60 shades of pink to choose from. I immediately singled out the color "Princess." After Amy conducted her thorough review, she too came to the conclusion that Princess was the color of choice.

I'll leave the rest of the post up to my wife...

Hi all. First, I must tell the world how perfectly wonderful my husband is. He is so handy and so willing to do anything I dream up. Thanks, Babe!
The nursery is looking great. I realize right now it looks very simple, but I have a great vision for this room. I can already see it coming together. Here are a few pics:
Installing crown molding
Adding a little caulk to cover the nail holes
And voila!
As Steve mentioned, the nursery is "Princess" pink. The crown molding looks fabulous! The chandelier should arrive today or tomorrow. Hopefully Steve will get the ceiling fan and chandelier installed this week. It's coming together so nicely. What a perfect room for our baby girl!
More pictures to come...

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Last night Steve took me to see the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. It was fabulous! We had front row seats - on the floor - right next to the stage. We could have reached out and touched a rockette.

We saw this show at Radio City Music Hall in NYC three years ago. We loved it then. But believe it or not, they have made the tour as good or better than the original. The only thing missing was the art deco architecture and decor of the Music Hall.

What a great way to start off 2009! It's going to be a wonderful year!