Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006: A year in review

  • 100% pass rate on Science, Reading, and Writing SOLs
  • Helped form the Kindness Committee at school which has been a huge success
  • Started to love teaching again (years 2 and 3 were chaotic and nondescript, respectively)
  • Made some great new friends and got closer to old ones
  • Fell even more in love with Ross
  • Got a new brother
  • Got a new hobby which has given me more stress relief than any medication could
  • Finally dealt with some family issues-can't tell yet if they are resolved, but I think we are on the way
  • Learned once again that marriage requires you to make the decision to love your partner as best you can everyday-luckily for me that decision is usually not very hard to make
  • Became part of a new church that seems to be just what Ross and I have been looking for all along
  • Realized that Ross and I are growing up together quite nicely
Looking at this list I'm seeing that 2006 was a positive year. It wasn't perfect: there were losses and setbacks, but it's all part of the game, I guess. I'm not making any resolutions for next year. I feel like I'm on the right track at this point. However, I do hope that I spend next year loving people better and getting even more comfortable in my own skin.

Friends, I hope you all have a great New Year's Eve and I wish you many blessings for 2007.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

There is something seriously wrong with me.

I just cried my eyes out while watching The Family Stone. Like clogged up nose, ugly-faced cried. What the hell.

Friday, December 29, 2006

My New BFF

I had to take my car in for its state inspection today. I always wait until the last possible minute, so getting it done on Dec. 29th is a HUGE improvement from when I used to beg them to take me on Dec. 31st. Normally I take the car over to the Goodyear on Three Chopt (I have no clue why) but I decided to stay in the city this time, mostly because if there was something really wrong with the car, whoever had to pick my ass up and take my ass home wouldn't have to drive very far to get said ass anywhere.

So, I took it to Ferguson Autosomethingorother. I took it there because I found it on the Internets and it was on a street that I knew. Little did I know that I would find my new best friend sitting just inside.

This little slice of heaven sits between Broad and Clay Streets (two places known for their classiness) among several other automotive repair/parts establishments. As soon as I walked in I knew I had made the right choice. First of all, there was a huge plaque showing that this very place had been named by Richmond Magazine (a.k.a. the River City Consumer's Bible) for being on of the best mechanics in town. Seriously, Henry Ford himself could have come back from the grave and pointed his bony, rotted, crumbly finger at the place croaking "Don't go in there!!!!!" and I would have gestured to the Richmond Magazine with a smirk on my face - I mean, he was from Michigan, what does he know?

Anyway, after settling in and finding out that Mr. Bill Ferguson, owner and manager of the shop, could not let "such a nice lady" (that would be me) leave the premises without new brake pads. After calling me a nice lady, he could have told me that my bigdaddymackerator needed a new cylindrical cup cap and I would have believed him and handed over my credit card to pay for the job. But no, new brake pads just needed to be located and installed, a process that ended up taking longer than Bill would have liked. However, if it hadn't taken so long, Bill and I wouldn't be as close as we are today.

Our chatting started with Bill barking random questions at me such as, "So how tall are you, anyway?" as if it were something I had been go on and on about, because, you know, I'm huge. He also asked me if I like to cook, where I went to high school, if I had given my mother any grandbabies yet, what my husband did for a living, what I did for a living (notice which one he asked first), and whether or not I like computers. I answered the last question with an affirmative nod and a shrug. And that's when the magic happened. Bill spent about 45 minutes showing me all of the "crazy" forwards that his daughter-in-law had sent him, as well as pictures from his son's wedding in which he kept pointing out the 6'11" bridesmaide who was from the "Ukraine or one of those crazy Eastern European countries where the ladies get real big." He also told me that if I was ever around at 10:00am the "oriental vendor woman" from down the street would be by with what the guys at his shop call the "CHINK TRUCK" in case I wanted a snack. Yeah, you read correctly.

All in all I ended up waiting for 4 hours for everything to get done. Ross road up at around 11 so we could go to Hardee's for lunch (I know, I went to the gym for 1 1/2 hours after I got home to make up for it in my mind). By noon everything was done and Bill and I bid farewell until next December. Needless to say, it was an eventful/fun morning. Except for the whole racial slur thing.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

My mom *may* have shoplifted me from the baby store.

It seems that I have a security sensor somewhere in/on my person that was never removed/deactivated prior to my mother bringing me home from the hospital. Why do I think this, you ask? Well the thing is, whenever I walk into or out of a store, I am the one who sets of the alarm. Yeah, it's me. Pretty much every single time. I visited two stores today: Target and CVS. And guess what happened. I set of the security alarm walking into and out of BOTH STORES. But the funny thing is, never once did anyone demand to search me or my belongings. Instead they just looked at me, smiled, and shouted over the din of blaring sirens that I was "ok" and could move along. How do they know I'm ok? I could have $4k worth of lifesavers stuffed in my girl parts for all they know.

(Please note, I do not have $4k of anything stuffed in any of my parts.)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Why you should go to Gold's gym*

*This blogger is a real person, not a paid actor.

I am in love love love with having a gym. Maybe this is because I have a really nice gym. Granted, the only gym I have to compare it to is the fitness center at U of R, which, let's be honest, I only went to like 3 times in my four years there. Anyway, I love my gym. To the point where I kind of want to be there all of the time.

When I signed up at Gold's they asked me what I wanted out of a gym. I said I wanted it to be safe, clean, and for the people to be friendly. That's all. Not a particularly tall order but, hey, I'm a girl who knows what she wants. Anyway, Brad (my super-nice orientation guy who sent me a thank you letter for joining-I like to think that he doesn't do that for everyone) said that I would definitely get that there. AND BOY WAS HE RIGHT!

Watch out, friends, here comes a list. Why I lovey love love my gym:

  • Big, huge spotlight shining down in said parking light like a beacon from God saying, "You will not get attacked at a place as magnificent as this."
  • TVs on the treadmills. Hello. This makes exercising easy like Sunday morning, rather than like you are walking/running to your death.
  • Said treadmills go up to an incline of 50%. Amazing. I'm gonna say it, my butt is looking more fabulous than ever, and that's saying a lot considering what a fan I already was of my posterior.
  • Sauna in the ladies' lockeroom. I haven't used it yet but I love knowing it's there!
  • Free classes. That's right. Free. And no signing up.
  • No kids. We all know I love kids to the point of A)wanting to eat them or B)having my head blow up from cuteness, but I really appreciate not having them there as a distraction.
  • Great magazine selection. Again, makes it easy like Sunday morning.
  • They have a rack for you to hang your keys when you go in. And since it's Richmond, no one would be so rude as to steal from you. (As we all know, in Richmond, people won't be rude. They might kill you, but they won't be rude).
Hopefully I've convinced you all to drive straight down there and sign up. I don't even care if you use me as a reference (even though if you do, my name *does* go into a drawing for a "big screen TV.")

Save me a seat in hell.

Ok. I'm not really a mall person. I don't like the parking and the walking and the having to carry your coat around and what not. It's just not for me. But, as it was the Christmas season and with the Christmas season comes gift cards and necessary returns, I decided to bite the bullet and just venture out to Chesterfield Towne Centre (they spell it that way to make it seem fancy) to take care of my errands. Why the CTC, you ask? Because, frankly, I'd rather drink my own urine (hell, I'd drink your urine) before going out to Short Pump on the day after Christmas. One can only take so many David-Yurman-jewelry-draped, Tide-with-lavender scented West End mothers and croc-clad children in his/her lifetime.

Anyway, I felt like things were going to be ok when I got there. I found a parking lot very close to the entrance and took that as a good sign. Maybe I wouldn't end of shaking my fist at complete strangers at the conclusion of this trip.

Well, I didn't shake my fist, but I will tell you that after making a return and buying some jeans (25% off, helloooooo!!!), a trip that took all of 15 minutes, I left feeling genuine hatred for the following people:
  • Anyone under the age of 23
  • The fitting room attendant at GAP who seems to think that the fitting rooms are in the pants of the "cute boy" working at the register
  • Grown women who wear oversized, fleece sweatshirts embroidered with any cartoon character that doesn't wear pants (e.g. Pooh, Daffy Duck, etc.)
  • People who walk around the mall like they are taking a stroll in the park and then suddenly stop in front of a store to discuss whether or not to go in there and as they stop they block the way for everyone in their vicinity because, I'm gonna say it, each member of their strolling party passed 300lbs. a long time ago
So there, I'm a city snob. I apparently cannot be in any area other than my place of work or within walking distance of my home. It also seems that I'm only friends with people that are my age or older and who I feel are attractive, in-shape, and well-dressed (but not too well-dressed-see my previous comments about people who live in the West End). It turns out that deep in my black heart of judgement I have found myself to be a jerk. Why don't I feel bad about this?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas Eve

The Christmas holidays have gotten off to a spectacular start. Ross and I spent the evening alone which happens about as often as Halley's comet graces us with its presence. We cooked beef tenderloin in the crockpot and played Scrabble and Dominoes. All of that sounds like we're 85 years old until I tell you that whilst playing these games we kissed a lot AND watched Kill Bill vols. 1 and 2. I must say, while I loved the movies independently, watching one right after the other is amazing.

Ross and I woke up this morning before 10, only so we could get to McDonald's in time for breakfast. We came home, got real fat, and then opened our presents. I got a Dust Buster (I asked for it, seriously), Amy Sedaris's entertaining book, and a pair of fancy boots (which will have to be sent back because they are too small, but I'm more deeply in love with Ross than ever for even trying to buy me shoes). I also got lots of deodorant in my stocking, as well as a toothbrush, dental floss, and candy.

Ross got an NCAA official football (because he's 8), a copy of Moby Dick, and the Stuffed Cougar cookbook so he can make me dinner. He too got deodorant in his stocking, as well as candy, a spatula, and, the pis de resistance (I have no idea how to spell it and I prefer to say it like that anyway): plastic army men and a T-rex to be part of our nativity scene (pictures to follow soon, I'm sure).

Today will consist of me not cleaning up the mess from last night's dinner, Ross throwing the new football around with Justin Morgan, us going to church, and then dinner/presents at Ross's parents. I hope I get more deodorant.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Let the holidays begin!

I finished Christmas shopping today. At least I hope I did. I have this nagging fear in the back of my head that I've forgotten someone very important. If that turns out to be you, I'm very sorry. You shouldn't be upset anyway-it's not your birthday.

Ross and I will be doing our couple's Christmas on Christmas Eve morning. He will then go play football and I will go back to sleep. Church is at 4 (I've never gone to church on Christmas Eve and I'm very excited) and then we have dinner with his parents.

Christmas morning doesn't start until 11am this year (God Bless my sister-in-law who knows how to lay down the law in the most diplomatic of ways), followed by a lasagna dinner at my dad's. I am very very very excited about all of the festivites, I must say. Especially the lasagna.

No Sh*t

Oh the absurdity of it all.

De-Fatting Update

I joined the gym on Wednesday. I went Wednesday night, Thursday morning, and this morning as well. I think that's a pretty good start. I'm focusing on cardio (bike, treadmill, etc.) so I can build my stamina back up. And with the built in TV on the treadmills at Golds, the time passes really quickly. I feel so much better already.

I think I'll go for a little bit tomorrow morning and then take a break for a couple days. That is, I'll go if I can kick this cold that seems to be creeping up my throat. I DO NOT WANT TO BE SICK FOR CHRISTMAS. But oh well, now I'm going out in the cold with my cold to finish up Christmas shopping.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The De-Fatting Begins

Today I joined Gold's Gym down in the Fan. I'm very excited because now I won't be fatty-fatty-fat-fat. The people down at the gym were very nice and I even got a good sign-up deal because I work for Chesterfield County. So that's good. I even went for an hour tonight. I like there a lot because the people seem not-lame, i.e. not super intense and if they are, they're quiet about it. They even have a room called "Ladies' Gold" where, you guessed it, it's just for ladies. I went in there so I could figure out how to use some of the equipment without looking like a jackass in front of everyone. Another, you guessed right again, lady was in there. She seemed more concerned with getting the TV to work and putting her hair into a ponytail than with exercising. I, on the other hand, was a focused and hard-working gym member and can't wait to go back tomorrow.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Today was seriously a good day.

I mean, I had the wonderful Christmas miracle as mentioned earlier, as well as a good day at school during which some of my kids gave me presents that I will actually use (including Bath & Body Work Brown Sugar and Fig scented lotion-mmmmmmm).

The gloriousness all continued when I got home. I had a nice nap and woke up to my hubs telling me that dinner was ready. He fixed fish sticks and macaroni, which was my most favorite thing to eat when I was little. Ross has been refusing to fix fish sticks since we got married, so this was all very exciting. While we ate we watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and I fell in love with Robert Downey, Jr. I was proud of myself for being in love with him because he is perhaps the most grown-up looking man that I've ever fallen in love with. Look:

Can we say handsome? Yes, we can, Mr. Downey, Jr., and you. are. it.

Along with that, tomorrow is my last day of work before winter break. I am very very excited.

I’ve already had a Merry Christmas.

Today one of our little girls in 5th grade got a huge surprise. Her father is on his second tour in Iraq. She and her sister had been told that he wasn’t going to be able to make it home for Christmas. But today she got called up to the office and found her daddy standing there waiting for her. Then they called her little sister up. When the little one saw him she said, “I asked Santa for you to come home for Christmas!!!” Both of the little ones just started sobbing because they were so excited. And of course we all were crying, too. It was beautiful. After seeing two of our babies so happy, I don’t really need anything else this year.

5 things you probably don't know about me...

1. I get up and go to the bathroom about 5 times before I finally go to sleep. I don't know if this is from being terrified of wetting the bed or from hating to get up the middle of the night. Either way, it's annoying.

2. People accused my of being anorexic all through high school.

3. I have never been west of the Mississippi River.

4. When faced with gross things in real life, I have no reaction whatsoever and remain very calm and collected. But if you tell me about them, I will moan and scream like I'm going to vomit.

5. I have never broken an arm or had stitches (wisdom teeth don't count).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Weekend Wrap Up...

Friday evening: Had dinner with the hubs and his dad at Mexico where I ate lots of chips and drank a margarita. Went with hubs to MattWhite's house where we met up with him and Shelley. Drank some lemoncello or whatever the mess it is out of tea cups. Went back to our house and beat Justin Morgan at Trivial Pursuit. Fell a little bit more in love with Shelley.

Saturday morning: N/A I was in bed

Saturday afternoon: Stopped at McDonald's on the way up to Fxburg. Discovered that this particular McDonald's was the worst one on earth. Drove up for Maura's graduation part-ay. Talked to Maura's mom about what it was like to be a nun. Ate lots of chocolate.

Satuday evening: Drove back down to Richmond. Tried to get dressed for Nic and Kate's Christmas party. Nothing fit because of my science fiction boobs. Decided to wear black pants, white button-up shirt, sassy red shoes, and one of Ross's ties. Was a little nervous about how I looked. Apparently it was a hit. Had an awesome time at the party and saw a lot of people that I really don't hang out with enough. Fell a little bit more in love with Jennifer Murphy.

Sunday morning: Excercised (yes, it's true!)and took a shower before 1pm.

Sunday afternoon: Made piggies in blankets. Went to church. Partook in after-church potluck/Christmas party. Poked at Georgia-With-Child's belly, trying to get her unborn daughter to move. Failed.

Sunday evening: Spread a little Christmas cheer in the form of taking Remus his Christmas present. Went to Target. Cursed the fact that any idiot can have a child. Bought some hamster food and Christmas odds and ends. Came home and ate peanut butter toast. Gonna go snuggle with the hubs and go to bed.

Hearts and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


My hair is now EVEN SHORTER. What with my short hair and tattoo, Ross is in hubs-heaven for serious.

I had jury duty again today. Like last week, I went into the big room where they wrangle everyone, then went and sat in hallway for 90 minutes. I was then told to go home because the case I was being called to had been settled. So, lucky me, I get to go back next week. Oh well, I got a day off that didn't take from my personal/sick days.

The how has been Christmasfied. Normally I'm finished decorating by 10am the day after Thanksgiving. Ross and I have both been Scrooges this year. But I decided no more. I put on Elf and decorated the house, dammit. We are both in a much better mood now that Ross's childhood is splashed all over our Christmas tree. I only had like 4 ornaments to contribute to our collection because my mom must not love me as much as Ross's mom loves him.

I am done with my Oceanoggraphy class that I was taking for recertification. So I don't have to take another college class for 5 years. I finished all of my work tonight. And let me tell you, I did my last article summary on this, and I know my professor will love it.

I have spent so much money on Christmas presents. I'm terrified to look at our bank balance. Sigh.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Weekend Wrap Up...

Friday night: Ross's/Mark's Birthday Extravaganza. Much beer drinking and chips eating and Queen singing ensued.

Saturday morning: Nothing I was still asleep.

Saturday afternoon: Cleaned up the house in record time. Ate some peanut butter toast. Did some Christmas shopping at Lane Sanson in Carytown (seriously, the most crowded place I've ever been in my life) and at Ben Franklin (also known as my heaven).

Saturday night: Joined my brother at Bottom's Up for his birthday dinner. Saw possibly the most chubba baby in my life and my head seriously almost blew up from the cuteness of it all. Went home and went to bed.

Sunday morning: Went to the Salvation Army for "Loaves and Fishes" with our church. Prepared large quantities of noodles, sauce, vegetables, garlic bread, and fruit salad.

Sunday afternoon: Served said food. Went to Barnes and Noble and Target and spent over $100 in less than an hour on Christmas presents. Went to church and then had snacks, including the best chocolate chip cookie ever.

Sunday night: Got the customary Taco Bell dinner. Wrote an awkward but necessary email. Puttered around the house. Currently watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and periodically crying.

Only 1 1/2 weeks until Winter Break!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

We Catrows know how to throw down.

I ended up missing my school's annual Christmas party (which I just realized I haven't been to once in my four years there) because we needed to throw Ross a birthday party. Ross is the more extroverted of the two of us and LOVES hanging out, but for some reason, we've only had parties for my birthday. So, it was overdue.

I must say it was the easiest party we've ever thrown because all it involved was sending out a couple emails telling people when to show up and that they better bring beer because, for God's sake, the Catrow family was not going to be buying anymore beer for anyone, especially when it's Ross's birthday. Our friends listen very well (or hate being places without beer) because come with beer they did. Lots of it. And we revelers drank it all. Actually, I think Jennifer Murphy drank most of it, but hey, who's counting.

Let's just say my stomach still hurts from spending the entire night laughing. So many people that we love so much were there (not all of them, for sure, but lots) that it almost didn't matter that our downstairs is only slightly warmer than the blustery outdoor air. There was lots of Wii playing, much singing along to Queen, and Jake even went under our house for us to turn off the pipe that runs our house so it wouldn't freeze. I'm not sure why he did this during our party, but I wasn't going to argue because I sure as hell wasn't going under there. And we all know Ross wasn't.

Everyone cleared out at around 2:30am. I hadn't seen 2:30am since college. But I went to bed thoroughly exhausted and feeling happier and more loved than I had in a long time. And it wasn't even my birthday.

I've been found!

One of the ladies I work with found my blog! Don't be scared, friends, I know she's legit. She even put a picture of me on her blog and said some really nice things about me. Here's the picture:

Be sure to check out her post about my school's participation in the Red Scarf Project and think about participating in it yourself.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Just a suggestion…

So yesterday I had jury duty. It was fairly painless, but I still need to call in every Wednesday of this month to see if I need to go back. I was excused before even going into the selection/courtroom because two of the cases on schedule were dismissed. So while that made for an easy, short morning for me, I still might have to go back.

Anyway, while sitting outside of the selection room, I got a glimpse of the people there to participate in cases. First of all, I think I hate lawyers. Or maybe I just know that they know that I’m not as smart as them, so rather than be intimidated, I just transform that into hatred.

Also, and I don’t mean to be rude, but, I mean, if you’re going to court because you have been charged with a crime, it might be a good idea to, oh, I don’t know, tuck your shirt in. Or maybe comb your hair. How about taking a shower? Maybe, don’t look like you spent the entire night awake smoking meth. But, again, I’m just making a suggestion.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


This tattoo itches like no one's business. I had read on some Internets that as the tattoo heals, you might experience some irritation and itching, because, I mean, you had your skin cut on purpose and then had ink put into it. But I mean, c'mon. And as Ross can tell you, I'm really bad about not scratching itches. One reason I don't wear shorts in the summer is because my legs are disgustingly red and scabby from me scratching bug bites with reckless abandon.

I've been doing well with the tattoo though. I don't scratch it at all. I just wince a lot. Like to the point where I think people might believe I have acquired some kind of facial twitch. I'm terrified of removing a scab (yum!) and messing the tattoo up somehow, so it's hands off, at least until the Internets have said I've healed.

P.S. One of my kids had chicken pox and I know sometimes adults get shingles from kids with chicken pox. There's no real reason to think that I will get this, but my constant itching doesn't help with my paranoid tendencies.

He's old and he's mine

Today Ross turns 26. He is so close to 30, it's nuts. But anyway, Happy Birthday, Hubs. You're growing up so nicely. I love you.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Weekend Review

(BTW: I’ve decided that everyone should do this. Friends, I really do want to know how you spent your weekend. Make it part of your Monday morning routine.)

Friday day: Found out that there’s a Reams baby on the way, got my flu shot, came home, sat around waiting for Matt and Maura to get here.

Friday night: Have a lovely, long-overdue reunion with Matt and Maura, got an awesome novelty T-shirt from Maura as a belated birthday present, went to Ginger for dinner (mmmmmmmmmm to the max), bought a pint of Smirnoff Ice (classy), went to Matthew’s apartment for some drunken knitting (ALWAYS a good idea) and some double Wii tennis (I have a very sore spot on my hand from when my hand and Justin’s Wii-mote made contact. Watch out, he’s strong AND intense about his Wii tennis).

Saturday day: Woke up incredibly sore from my flu shot and my hours of physical activity from the night before, got a snack of croissants and hot chocolate from Capital Coffee with Maura, went with Maura to get her haircut, took Maura out to lunch at Eddo Squid (much less crowded in the afternoon) for her birthday, ran some errands at Target, came home, said goodbye to Matt and Maura.

Saturday night: Went to Bacchus (yes, more Italian) with Ross and his in-laws, made a random trip to Kroger to buy bread and a mop, wrapped some Christmas presents (bought during my Target errand), yelled at the dogs a lot, realized I was crabby, went to bed by 10:30.

Sunday day: Woke up feeling much better, cleaned the bathroom, watched “America’s Next Top Model” marathon, took a shower, went to church, ate some cookies, came home, fed the dogs, vacuumed the downstairs.

Sunday night: Babysat my friend Remus, changed a gross diaper, read a story, put a baby to bed, folded some laundry, comforted a screaming Remus, brushed my teeth, comforted a once again screaming Remus, handed him off to his parents, off to bed.

Friday, December 01, 2006

More babies!!!

No, not me. Still. But the guy I teach fifth grade with is expecting with his wife! He's so excited and suddenly now and expert on everything about pregnancy-it's hilarious. Needless to say, there was much squealing when he told us.