Thursday, February 21, 2008

Least Favorite Songs Ever

After watching American Idol last night, John and I started talking about the songs that we really can't stand. Here are just a few of the songs we came up with:
  • McArthur Park (Someone Left the Cake Out in the Rain) by Richard Harris (dumbest song ever)
  • Ironic by Alanis Morrisette (seriously Alanis, learn the meaning of the word "ironic" before you use it in a song)
  • Who Let the Dogs Out - Baha Men (although it does make me think of a hilarious story about the Baha Men that Scott Meyer once told Jenn and me)
  • Tubthumping - Chumbawamba (ridiculous)
  • Kokomo by The Beach Boys (and putting John Stamos and his giant hair in the video did NOT help)
  • Christmas Shoes by NewSong (horrible!)
  • Old Red by Blake Shelton (a perfect example of why some people hate country music)
  • Underneath Your Clothes by Shakira (why???)

What would you add to this list??

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Taxes, Cruises, and Other Random Thoughts that Somehow Tie Together

Over the past 6 months, my family has been planning to take a Disney Cruise for my dad's 60th birthday. After getting over the shock that my dad is going to be 60 (which not only makes him older, but also makes me not 21 anymore), John and I started thinking, praying, and trying to decide if we were going to go or not. On the one hand, it is probably the ONLY time this will ever happen in my family. My dad is not much of a vacation person - definitely NOT a beach person - and as we all get older and our families get larger, it is not going to be as easy to get all of us to go on one vacation together. On the other hand, cruises are not free and our money is tight. We're not making as much money here as we thought we would and to spend a ton of money on a cruise just doesn't seem like something a wise person would do.

After many months of thinking it over, John decided that I should definitely go on the cruise and we could pay for it with our tax money. We have had incredible tax returns the past 2 years, so he wanted to use part of the money to send me on the cruise with my family. Although he REALLY wants to go, he doesn't feel like it would be a good financial move for both of us to go, so he's going to go to Kentucky to visit his sisters while I am gone - he can fly for free and stay there for free, so no money worries there! I called Disney, made my reservation, and started to get really excited about the cruise. It all was sounding great, until...

John has been using an amazing guy in Miami to do his/our taxes for many years. The guy specializes in doing taxes for people in aviation - there are so many write-offs and deductions that pilots can take and this guys knows all of them. John has been gathering all of our tax information over the past 3 weeks (which in itself was hilarious as I had 4 jobs and he had 3 jobs last year, not to mention all of the other paperwork we have!) and sent it all to Brian the Tax Guy last week. While John was away on a trip last week, he called to tell me that he had good news and bad news. The good news was that Brian wasn't charging us his usual price and we were getting some money back. (Brian is an amazing guy!) The bad news was that it was significantly less than what we expected due to some things that I thought had been taken care of that hadn't (like John's deductions from his paycheck). Not the end of the world, but not what we were expecting (hmmm...this seems to be the theme of this past year)

Of course, being the rational person that I am, I freaked out. After talking me down off the ledge, John assured me that it was going to be okay, that it was still enough to pay for the cruise, and that he did not want me to even think about trying to cancel. He said that he would rather spend the money than have me regret not spending that time with my family.

I talked to my mom about it the next day and was encouraged to hear her say basically the same thing. She's been reading the new book by Kerry Shook and said that it is teaching her how to make the most of each day and to be concerned about how she invests her time, not just her money. I also talked to my good friend, Holly Guyon, about it this week. For those of you who do not know, Holly is younger than me and recently lost her husband to cancer. We used to be close and have thankfully been given another chance to be close again, even though we live very far apart now. She said, "my perspective on quality time has changed so much, seriously, it's just money compared to quality time and memories that you won't ever get if you're ever torn between not going or going you should GO!"

So, instead of feeling like a selfish brat for spending the little bit of tax money that we are getting back (and still trying not to feel like a horrible wife for taking a vacation without my incredibly generous husband), I am looking forward to the cruise again. I am really focused on making each moment count and to come home with a head full of memories and not just a bathing suit bottom full of sand.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah

While reading last night, I stumbled across this quote by William Penn...

"Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keeping what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away."

Anyone who has been my friend for any length of time knows that I usually have to say 999 words in order to get to the 1,000th word that actually says what I think, feel, and believe. Those first 999 words can be all over the place and make absolutely no sense at all. They can be critical and negative or they can be full of compassion and love. No matter what the topic, I will always speak honestly (most of the time, too honestly - I think most of my close friends wish I wasn't so open all of the time!) and even if I know that what I am saying is contrary to the way I am supposed to feel or act, I love knowing that my real friends will do as this quote says and be able to sort through my words with kindness in order to find the truth in what I am saying. No, this doesn't give me the freedom to say whatever I want or to hurt people with my words, but it does give me the freedom to be myself and to be honest with the people who are God-in-skin to me.

I hope that you have friends like mine who allow you to be yourself, who accept you just as you are and not for what you give to them, and who can listen to you and understand what you are trying to say. I am so thankful for my friends and pray that they would consider me this kind of friend as well, even if I do talk too much.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


The definition of humility is walking through the airport with your pilot husband, talking to everyone in security, being introduced to the pilot and co-pilot at the gate, getting to sit in the cockpit while they prepare for the flight, being seated in first class, having all of the flight attendants ooh-ing and ahh-ing over your wedding ring, when you suddenly realize that you never zipped up your pants when you got dressed.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Going Home

John and I are going home tonight for a total of 22 hours - just enough time to see our families and get 2 much needed haircuts! It may seem silly to travel 800 miles for a haircut, but it is a great excuse to go home.

The best trips home are the ones that give me time to spend with everyone that I miss. Unfortunately, this will not be one of those trips. I am hoping to get to see my dad for longer than the drive back to the airport!

As much as I look forward to the visit, it is always weird to go back. In some ways it is like we never left and in others, it seems like we have been gone for a lifetime. I sometimes feel like every trace of my existence has been erased from South Florida and the people that I love that are still there. I know that it isn't true, but keeping in touch with everyone is a lot harder than I expected.

Speaking of keeping in touch, who have you been meaning to call or email? Well what are you waiting for??? I'm gonna go call a FL friend right now!