Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Gladys Magazine Article

If we're friends on Facebook, you've probably seen some buzz about this magazine article that featured Michael and me. A friend and former co-worker, Michelle Wright, contacted me and asked if she could interview me for a piece in Gladys Magazine.

What Michelle didn't realize was that just a few weeks before that, someone prayed with us during our church's Leadership Retreat and told us he thought God wanted us to tell our story.

Pretty cool how that all worked out.

Michelle is a classy, sassy, beautiful anchor I worked with a few years ago in Pittsburgh. I think she did a great job telling our story. And I know how long winded I was in the interview, and what it takes to cut a story down - so trust me, she is GOOD! :) I'm so happy for our wedding photographer, Amy, too. Because her photos were featured, and she is also an amazing, beautiful person.

Here's a mini-version (just a screen grab) of the article.
A mini-version is also viewable on Facebook. But, if you really want to READ it, you'll have to buy this edition of Gladys Magazine. It's sold at Barnes & Noble, but it's kind of hard to find, so I recommend buying it online. It's a beautiful magazine! Very well put together. And it's a wedding/bridal issue! Always fun to look at that stuff, right girls?

I want to thank everyone who has given us such positive feedback on the article. It was so much fun to be a part of this!

Now, I need to get my butt to the Post Office to mail the two copies I found to my Mom and my Granny, stat!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Saturday Morning Post

This is my Hubs, I'm guessing, about 32 years ago. Is that not the sweetest thing?

Hello friends, Happy Saturday.
Tomorrow, as you know, is Easter.
A lovely holiday celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, which changes everything.

I still remember the first Easter that I understood that. It was the biggest celebration, ever! I didn't grow up going to church. I always had wonderful Easters, though. My family always got together, we did Easter egg hunts at my grandparents' house, ate ham, got new clothes and dressed up, all that. It really was great!

The summer before my senior year of high school, I became a Christian. However many months later, my church participated in this huge Easter Celebration with a bunch of local churches at the Virginia Beach Amphitheater. It was a huge deal. That day, when I was 17 years old, I realized why people make such a big deal out of Easter.

Because He rose from the grave. That, my friends, is a big deal. And it changes everything. He is all powerful. Thank you, Jesus!

I don't mean to or want to be all preachy, so I'll stop there.

Now, a general update.
I was without my iPhone for about a week, which really impairs my ability to document our lives, I have found. Because I remember the week that was by looking back at pictures. And I have almost none.

I can tell you that one day this week, I brought a prize home for Michael, because he had a hard day of work. In marriage, it's generally a good idea to treat your spouse how you would like to be treated.
So, I brought him something from Starbucks. Hot Chocolate. Which I would never get, but I'm happy to give!

I can tell you that I am proof that freezing dough and batter and baking it at a later date can make you a happy person.
Because there is just something so right about turning this, which I made more than a month ago into these, just yesterday:
I can tell you that after an epic week of exercise last week, I didn't exercise once this week.
Someone may need to remind me that I am supposed to "run" a 5K in about 6 weeks. I need some more motivation, and probably less baked goods.

It's a rainy Saturday. A good day to stay in, and snuggle someone you love. Do that. I think I will, too. That is, of course, after I clean the apartment, go to Costco and Harris Teeter, and maybe World Market. Cheers.

Monday, April 18, 2011

What a GREAT Day! I met Tom Brokaw!!!

Not to bury the lead here, but I have to list everything that was great about today because it has truly been an absolutely GREAT day, and I don't want to forget any of this.

1. I had a good hair day.
2. My husband told me I looked cute this morning (actually, he said I looked like a teenager).
3. I got to work from the White House today.
4. I got the first question on a press conference call.
5. I talked to my best friend in the world, Ann, for almost an hour on Skype!
6. I landed a great interview for us to do tomorrow.
7. I met Tom Brokaw, told him about Brokaw and showed him a picture!
8. I left my rolling bag (bane of my commuting existence) at the White House.
9. Mr. Wonderful met me for an unplanned dinner out.
10. Who knows what else great can happen today! (to quote my husband just now - "The day's not over yet.")

**UPDATE: Moments after I published this, I started Facebook chatting with my little brother in Afghanistan!

It's not even my birthday! And all this, after a really horrible night of "sleep!" I'll take it!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Molehill Mountain and a New Wheelchair

I have this amazing skill of making a mole hill into a mountain. Some people do not recommend this. I, however, do this effortlessly. It's a natural born talent, I tell you.

My husband is getting a new wheelchair. We have known this for weeks. It's a process. He met with the wheelchair guy the day I was on my way to New York for the Trump interview.

In an effort to NOT be a control freak, I told him I did not need to be there for the meeting, and I trust his judgement.

I think I kind of lied.
Because when we were almost getting to New York, Michael and I text back-and-forth as such:
Of course, we were kidding.
Then, I did the stupidest thing.
I worried.
Then, I did the second stupidest thing.
I called him.

What followed was a good almost-hour of me interrogating the poor boy about the future chair, how it looks, how it works, how much it weighs, etc., etc., etc. I think my two co-workers in the car were getting tired of my questions, and I know my poor husband was on his last leg, and he is a very patient man!

But... I am his wife, right? Sure, a wheelchair is an important thing. It has to be safe, and practical and what not. But, as his wife, one of my supreme duties is to make sure, at all times, he looks good. It is a responsibility I take seriously, and I actually enjoy. It's why I made him get rid of a denim shirt, and why he does not own denim shorts and doesn't wear white socks with black shoes. I have a little extra duty with this wheelchair stuff. And... I was so afraid this was going to be our future:
(not green, but that does make the photo worse!)
Of course, I had Michael e-mailing me pictures as we discussed, as any control freak would do.
This sucker had me shaking my head "no" at it's name. "Invacare." Eeeewwww! That sounds so hospitaly and as we say around here, "handi-tard." I did everything I could think of to talk him out of it. But, I couldn't.

That night, after I bought my pants, of course, I totally did NOT sleep in that NYC hotel room because, my stupid self googled it again, right before bed.
I'm so dumb.
I googled almost all night long.
Knowing all the while that I was not going to be able to bring this up again after putting him through the gauntlet on the phone.

I was still uneasy about it, but I had to let it go.
He's the one who's been in a wheelchair for 16 years, not me.
So... maybe he is right.
Maybe it won't be that bad.
Maybe it won't look like we rented it at the front of Wal-Mart as I think it will...

Then... about a week later, we were out and about running across town for doctor's appointments and lunch and such, and Michael has an epiphany. All of a sudden, he's urgently trying to reach the wheelchair guy. He thinks he made a mistake. Because he noticed how I get the chair in and out of our SUV, and realizes the handi-tard chair WON'T work for us!!

I'm not gonna lie. I was crazy relieved. Invacare??? I did not want my 34 year old husband rocking some invalid-ride, ya know? I just knew anything would be better than that.

When he was on the phone with the guy, he showed me this picture on his laptop screen:
Waaaaay cooler, right!?!??!! The name is too: Quickie Q7 or something like that.
The red wheels, no. But he won't have red. (at least, I don't think so - I did not put him through the gauntlet this time)

In the end, it was a practical matter that changed his mind, not the fact that that other chair wasn't "cool looking."
But, that's okay.
My work here is done.

Soon, M will have a new ride.
As for the old chair??
We're brainstorming ways to turn it into a BEACH CHAIR.
Yeah, baby!

How to Make Yummy Roasted Chicken Breast

Last Sunday, while Mr. Wonderful did a little bit of this...
I came up with a yummy Sunday Dinner.
It has to be a Sunday thing for us, because during the week, I can't take more than half an hour to cook anything, or we'll majorly miss our bedtime.

All you need is some chopped up veggies...
I used a red onion, potatoes, mushrooms, celery, and green onions. I tossed them with some Wegmans Basting Oil, thyme, rosemary and some poultry seasoning.

You'll also need some chicken. I did a double chicken breast, because that's what I had in the freezer.
But, a whole roasting chicken would be good, too. Rub her down with some basting oil, salt and pepper... and put her on top of the bed of veggies...
Then, cover the dish with some tented aluminum foil.
Roast at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes, or so, depending on the weight of your chicken, and your own oven, and ENJOY!
I've been having so much fun with our fresh veggies from Arganica! We're getting another delivery tomorrow morning and I. am. pumped.!!

The Saturday Afternoon Post

Starbucks Tribute Blend is amazing. This has nothing to do with the content of this post, just wanted to let you know that.

Hello, everyone.
I didn't have my usual Saturday morning post.

But, I did get a good night's sleep, and I cleaned the apartment, and watched a little bit of a documentary about the Egyptian Sphinx before I fell asleep again. Then, my dear husband called in a prescription for me so I can get some much-needed relief for major itching on my hands. Darn Eczema! So, I made a trip to the Mall to get said prescription and drop off my dress for the White House Correspondents Dinner to be altered.

Because everything I buy has to have about a foot and a half cut off of it.
I don't love this dress, but we're on a budget, and it was $40 so, it will do. It's black. And I can wear my shoes from last year, so that's good.

I've been rocking this Jergens tanning lotion stuff my mom sent me. It works! You should get some. That was random.

We have had an adventurous week around here.
WE PAID OFF CREDIT CARD #2!! We still have 3 more to go, but we are making major progress and I would just like to give God, and my Mother-in-Law a shout out for making that possible.

Brokaw had his surgery. I totally milked it and got Michael to let him sleep in the bed with us for a grand total of 4 days (I love to have Mr. Puggles snuggled behind my knees). He came through it great. If it weren't for the surgery, we could have paid off another credit card this month, but we love Brokaw, so, we took care of him.

We had some other doctor stuff this week, for Michael. A hard couple of days. I'm still processing all that business. He'll be fine. We'll be fine. We could be in for a bit of a lifestyle change, but after crying, and having a long, deep conversation on a sunny day in the parking lot of a soccer field, and some pretty extensive googling on my part, we can do this. There may be more to come on this. I don't know. If you'd like to pray for us, we would appreciate that.

I'm so thankful I was able to take off of work on Wednesday and Thursday to be able to just focus on the medical stuff. Juggling that plus work is too much stress! I stress out so easily, so I'm glad I was able to focus on one thing at a time this week. Thank you, Lord.

In other news, I've been religious about drinking a whole lot of water, and working out for the past 2.5 weeks, and it's paying off! I'm down 6lbs! Yeah!

And that's in spite of these two things last weekend...
and...Drink. More. Water.
It's amazing.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pants Are Generally a Good Idea

Last week, I had a major rush of adrenaline.

I was in New York, for a work trip. But that's not the reason for the adrenaline rush.
Neither is the fact that we interviewed Donald Trump.

That adrenaline was because I FORGOT MY PANTS.

Some people forget toothbrushes. Maybe even underwear.
Me? I forget my pants.
That's right, folks.
I brought half of a black suit.
I realized this as I was unpacking in my hotel room, the night before the big interview.
It was about 8:30. As you know, most retail stores CLOSE AT 9PM!

So... I whipped out my iPhone, searched for the closest Ann Taylor Loft (because I can always be sure their pants fit me!) and high tailed it in the rain!
I walked in the front door of this store, and pretty much screamed, "I need a pair of black pants in a 12P and I don't even care how much they cost!!"

I was in a dressing room, stat.
First pair I tried on, I bought.
They were on sale, and I had a coupon (naturally) so I also got a new jacket and shell. :)

Good thing, because as I said... we had a pretty important interview the next morning.
Photo credit: Ian Rushing
That's right.
The Brody File interviewed The Donald.
Lots of 3rd person stuff going on. Just kidding about the 3rd person stuff.
But, we really did interview The Donald.
After the interview, we shot our entire show in Times Square.
Photo credit: Mark Bautista

You can watch the show here.
The trip was a blast.
Sometimes I can't believe I get paid to have this much fun.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Reconnecting with Friends on Facebook

This morning Dana told me about the outpouring of encouragement a former co-worker had received via Facebook. They were all great friends ten years ago. Now that she needs loving support, her old office family are there, posting away.
We have both bumped into old friends online, and right on time. We were able to say the right thing and offer support.
That sense of community gives folks a place to belong. Church can be that way. Family too.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Saturday Morning Post

I had an hour to myself this morning.
Rejoicing during my 40 minutes or so of sitting here, alone with my blankey and my cup of coffee and my Bible.
I desperately needed this time with God to get my heart right!

I don't know about you, but every now and then, I have to just come to the Cross and get cleansed, again. And again. And again.

This time, it was jealousy that had crept into my heart.
Since I was a little girl, way before I knew the Lord, I've had a problem with jealousy. Comparing myself with others, looking at what they have, where they are, what they're doing and thinking my life is boring, I have nothing and I never get to do anything cool.

That is ridiculous, right?
But, it's SIN, people!

I take responsibility for this sin, truly, I do. It's my fault this got out of control. But, you know where I believe it was born? Facebook. Yep, Facebook.
And I love Facebook. I really do. It's an incredible tool for keeping in touch with people. Love it!

But, I'm going to chill on it for a bit.
Because I find myself looking at other peoples' lives and comparing my life to them and getting jealous, sinfully jealous of their lives.
Their new homes.
Their shopping extravaganzas.
Their babies.

It's not that I'm not happy for these people. They're my friends. Of course I'm happy for them!
It's just that sometimes, from here, life doesn't seem fair.
Not that it is or is supposed to be.

But, anyway. I'll be posting blog updates to Facebook still. And reading comments and messages and such. But the general, time-sucking activity of just scrolling through the changing profile pictures of people's allegedly-perfect lives? Not so much, anymore.

Time to go get my love out of bed.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Our Family Walk

I'm so glad that big yellow fireball in the sky is back! One day this week, after getting home from work, I changed into some comfortable clothes, Michael hooked up the dogs, and we went for our first family walk in months. It felt GREAT! Really looking forward to many more of these this Spring and Summer!I love the sunshine. I love being together. So much to be thankful for! Cheers.

Farm Fresh!

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a membership to Arganica Farm Club through a Groupon.

Basically, it works like this: You pay a monthly membership fee, then pay for fresh produce (and whatever else you want, but so far we've only tried the produce) and they deliver it in a wooden crate on your doorstep on Sunday mornings.

It's all fresh, local, and organic!
So, 6:00am Sunday morning, when I was taking the dogs out, THIS was on my doorstep along with my Washington Post!
Check out what was inside!!
Broccoli, lettuce, kale, lemons, potatoes, a sweet potato, brussel sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, bananas, baby bok choy, a butternut squash, a mango and a red onion. Phew! I think I got it all. I do not think we will be ordering anything this weekend, because we are still working on eating all of this stuff!
It is happily tucked in the produce drawers of my fridge, and that makes me very happy. A full fridge and a full pantry make me very happy. We are so very blessed!

I happen to think the box fits nicely on top of the fridge. Yay for that.

I am so stoked because I have a goal of totally changing the way we eat this year to a healthier, more natural, organic diet. Phase one was meat. Thanks to the Springfield Butcher, we eat almost exclusively local beef, pork and chicken now. *Note- that also came from a Groupon! Yeah!

Now, with Arganica plus local farmers markets will be opening for Spring/Summer soon (fruit!) that will complete phase two. Dairy will be next, then grains. I'm excited about these changes!

I'm also excited about learning how to cook new foods, like this baby bok choy I cooked this week.
All you do is rinse it, chop it up..
And saute it up with some olive oil and garlic. Deeelish!

All Dressed Up

Every spring there are two dinners for the media in DC. The Congressional Correspondents Dinner (formerly known as the Radio-TV Correspondents Dinner) and the White House Correspondents Dinner. They're like Junior Prom and Prom, respectively.

Some people love these things. Some people dread them. Maybe I'm a nerd. Maybe I'm still in the "newer" years of my days as part of the Washington Press Corps, but I enjoy them!

Last week, a group of us attended the Congressional Correspondents Dinner.
I dragged three dresses to work that day.
Because, as we've discussed lately, I've gained some weight. So, I had the dress I just bought (that I'll probably end up wearing to the White House Correspondents Dinner in a few weeks), the dress I wore to the White House dinner last year, and the dress I wore to the Congressional Dinner last year, which is the same dress I wore to a company Christmas party a few years ago. Confused yet?
Sorry about that.
Bottom line is, we had Chinese the night before the dinner.
So... I wasn't sure what was going to fit.

I took my lunch break the day of the Dinner and went shopping with my lovely White House Correspondent. We were shopping for shoes.
But, we found this glorious purple hat. It was a little big for me.
Um... and Jennifer.
Sadly, we did not leave with the purple majesty.
I did, however, score a dress for TEN DOLLARS!!!
This was my best bargain in a long time. The original price of this puppy was $140. I thought it was $40, then it rang up for $10.78 and I actually felt guilty leaving the store.

The only thing about these media dinners that keeps them from being the ultimate experience is that you can't really bring your spouse. Boo! But, I understand.

I still had a HOT DATE though!
My purple hat shopping buddy, of course!
At the actual event, we ate...
Some sort of fish something... it was pretty decent. I liked the bread the best, of course.
And we listened to a couple of Congressmen attempt to be funny. Some were funny, some were.. not so much.
My other date for the night, a White House official. Shout out to Shin!
I always enjoy getting all dressed up and experiencing these events. I'm also always happy to get home to my loving husband who listens to me tell story after story about the night. He's so interested and supportive and I could not live this life without him! Maybe one day I will be important enough to bring him along. Oh, the day!

Monday, April 4, 2011

App Obsessed

I may or may not be obsessed with this new App I downloaded to my iPhone.

It may or may not be keeping me busy while I sit still for what seems like hours in DC traffic.

And while I enjoy coffee, and/or lattes...

And celebrate the bounty that landed on my doorstep Sunday morning...
And my husband singing to me...
Yes, indeed.
I may or may not be obsessed with this.