Thursday, May 29, 2008

Anniversary, Birthday, & Vegas!

Last week was an eventful week. We celebrated our 1st anniversary on Monday, the 19th. On Sunday, Matt asked me if I wanted my present today or tomorrow on our anniversary. I told him of course I would wait until the day of. He was really anxious to give it to me. Later that night, he brought out a wrapped present and I unwrapped it and really, had no idea what it was by looking at the side of the box. I saw the front and saw that it was a MacBook. I couldn't believe it! I was so thrilled. My old Sony Vaio needs to be tossed and I never pull it out anymore unless I HAVE to get something off of it. We hooked up our internet to be wireless and now we both have independence! Pretty exciting.

The past year has flown by. We can hardly believe it's been a year. I am truly grateful to have Matt in my life. He does an excellent job taking care of me and often wonders how I ever survived on my own. I assure him that I spent 10 years on my own and made it just fine. It has been a wonderful year and we have kept busy and things are just getting busier as Matt started his Bar course last week and now is at class from 9-12 or 1 and then at work (at the firm or washing windows) and studying at night. I was just sustained as YW President and so we may never see each other again between our schedules. I guess that's life. I've been told it only gets busier when you add the kids into the picture etc. etc. (No, I'm not pregnant!).

Friday, was my 29th birthday. We went to Vegas after Matt's class. It is just our luck to go on a weekend when it was raining and chilly in Vegas (I'm told it rarely rains there). We still managed to have a good time. Sally and Mike Hess (my parents' neighbors and good friends in Farmington) stayed with us at my parents' home and we had a great time with them eating out and going to Mama Mia and playing two rounds of Settlers. We spent time with my brother, Scott, his wife, Melissa and their family playing Rock Band, eating out, and celebrating my birthday with a yummy dinner and ice cream cake. I don't remember the last time I had a cake all lit up for my birthday and it was really scary seeing all of those candles lit up. Thanks Melissa for a wonderful meal (I actually ate steak and enjoyed it)!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Anniversary To Us!

Today is our 1 year anniversary! It's hard to believe that it's been a year since Matt and I got married. The time has really flown by. And needless to say it has been the happiest, most fulfilling year of my life. Matt has been a tremendous blessing to me. I feel that all of the years of my life leading up to our marriage was a time of preparation to make me worthy of that wonderful man and beacon of celestial light; my man Matt.

Matt offered to buy me several expensive gifts to commemorate our union, but I politely declined. The last year has been the biggest gift I could ever hope for, and I can only anticipate that the years ahead will be just as wonderful. Matt, however, said that though the last year has been pretty good, he would still really prefer to get some sort of gift, though he was less than insistent. He's so wonderful.

Today we plan on going out to eat, probably the Chef's Table. On Friday we're going down to Vegas for a combined anniversary/birthday getaway for me. My most cherished birthday present will be riding 5 hours in a car and spending the weekend with my sainted husband.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

AT Reunion Dinner

It was so fun to get together for dinner with the old team from AT. We had been trying to coordinate plans since February and we finally were able to set a date. Look how cute we all are:

Left to right (back row) - Megan, Kristen, Kelly, Me, Catherine, Brianne, Pam, Susan (front row) - Danielle & Leslie.

Race for the Cure!

Every year, Ann Taylor encourages us to join in with Race for the Cure in our support for caring about the community and finding a cure for breast cancer. Last year, we didn't participate b/c it was right around the same time as our wedding. Two years ago, a group of us went from the store and had a great time. It was my first 5K ever! Well, this year was my second! Those of you who know me well, know that I hate running. I didn't even attempt to run until two years ago, outside of that torture they put you through for gym class in high school and junior high. This year, I decided to run at least 3.15 miles every morning (well, almost) in preparation for the big race. I was a bit concerned I would be running alone as all of my associates told me they would be walking. Several said they could try running, but may have to stop to walk. I was definitely going to run the whole way regardless. The morning of the race, I was happy to find an associate from the Gateway AT who said she would run with me! We ran it in less than 30 minutes! I was thrilled with that time, it was faster than what I had been running at the gym. I love races with a cause. It's always emotional to see people running for loved ones that they have lost to cancer. There were also some humorous shirts: "Big or Small, Save them All" and "Save the Ta Ta's." The group of us from the store did a bit of shopping afterward and then ate lunch at the Cheesecake Factory! We had a great time.

My Team: Chelsie, Me, Jamy, Susan G & Susan W, and Holly holding the sign.

Nicola and I posing with the Mannequins (She is the store manager at Gateway).

The Gateway team: Rosanna, Nicola, and Antoinette.

I'm Back and Taking Control!

Sorry I have been MIA lately. Matt is right, I take much more interest in reading everyone else's blog than in creating my own. I see it has been over a month since I've posted, so I have a lot of catching up to do. We spent Mother's Day with my sister, Heather, and her family. Katie made me a card and I thought it was so cute, I took pictures to post. When I got to the house, Katie called for me to come upstairs and she said I had to close my eyes. She had been making these cards in her mom's bedroom and there were signs on the door that said "Do not disturb." Matt was kind of bummed he didn't get a card, but Katie promised him one for Father's Day.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Economic Stimulation!

First, some housekeeping. Robyn seems to have completely abandoned the blog, despite months of pining for one. So I've appropriately renamed the blog to reflect that fact.

Just moments ago the Steeners received their economic stimulation bribe from President Bush. Desperate to leave office on some sort of high note, W has resorted to bribing all 280 million of us with a paltry $600 per taxpayer and $1200 per family, with $300 per child. The Steeners, for our part, whole heartedly endorse his shameless, shallow pandering. I am curious what you'll do with your bribe and have included the four most likely scenarios in a poll and invite your participation.

Speaking of economic matters, specifically getting rich quick off the stupidity of others, I've received several very curious letters in the last couple of months from complete strangers. The first was from someone in Florida, the second was from Oklahoma, and the one I received yesterday, from Indiana. According to the letter, all I need to do is send $1 to the people on the list, and, long story short, if everyone on the list follows through, somehow I'll make $800,000 in just a few weeks! At first I was understandably dubious, but when I saw on the last page of the letter that this scheme was featured on Oprah, all doubt was dispelled.

Considering how the receipt of this letter is so close to the receipt of our economic stimulation bribe, it seems obvious that I am being prompted to follow through with the letter. If sending the 5 people on the list a dollar could net me $800,000, think how much I'd make if I send each one $200! 200 times 800,000 is about $160,000,000 if my math is correct. I'll keep you updated on the results!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Can Men Have Cankles?

Short answer: yes. We'll return to that in a moment.

Three posts in four days is a pretty prolific output for me. I felt the need to make a light hearted, non-Reverend-Wright-related-post to clear the air of any contentious feelings, especially among our readers who may frequent the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

Some time ago (more than 3 months, in fact) I was playing basketball at the local LDS chapel when I planted my left foot awkwardly and completely rolled it underneath myself. What resulted in the next few minutes can only be described as a massive, hairy man-cankle. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this lingo, a cankle refers to the bridge between the lower leg and the foot that is usually characterized by its angular, lean girth. But a cankle is unusually thick, so that the calf appears to totally subsume the ankle, only to have its advance halted by the foot itself.

To wit:

See also:

I'm glad to say that after 3 long months my cankle is now 99% returned to its normal size, though I'm still not in basketball playing condition yet.

If you feel the need to comment, please restrict your remarks to the cankle itself and not the hairiness of my legs or toes.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Revisiting Reverend Wright

Two days ago I posted my thoughts on the Reverend Wright. I had no idea of the firestorm it would create! Sister was pitted against brother, friend against brother's sister, and brother-in-law's brother against friend! Some readers thought that far too much was being made of Reverend Wright. I'd like to address why it is a big deal and why people should care that Barack Obama associated with someone like Reverend Wright.

Obama is a new kid on the block in political years. He hasn't been around for a long time like a lot of the other guys which, yes, can be a great advantage. But whom a person, especially a candidate for President of the United States, associates with, is highly probative of several things. Think of who your friends are. Why do you call them friends? I can't speak for everyone, but I hang out with my friends because we have things in common. We believe the same things, we have a similar sense of humor, political beliefs, and see things in generally the same way.

Reverend Wright's comments shouldn't be imputed to Obama directly. But presumably, Wright has been preaching his garbage for the whole time Obama and his family attended their church. Whether Obama believes it or not, the fact that he stayed in the congregation so long is essentially a ratification of Wright's beliefs, and that's bothersome.

I'm curious, how much of Wright's "Blame America" Gospel rubbed off on Obama? Did the fact that Obama looked up to Wright lend any credence to Wright's views in Obama's mind? If Hillary Clinton can be raked across the coals for her "sniper" gaff, and McCain can be criticized for being 71 years old, then certainly Obama should be held accountable for the words of one of his closest associates.

The first sermon Obama ever heard from Reverend Wright, according to his memoir, "Dreams of My Father," was entitled White Man's Greed. The sermon apparently provided him something that made Obama want to return. Only now, when Obama has everything to lose has he "distanced himself" from Reverend Wright. Obama's relationship with Wright is just as revealing as Hillary's gaffs, her philandering albatross of a husband or McCain's unfamiliarity with the economy.

Most likely, the whole Reverend Wright ordeal won't affect Obama too much. Those who love him do so unconditionally. I suspect that for most of his supporters, his articulate manner, megawatt smile, and vague promises of change are just that comforting and convincing. One news outlet reported that the vast majority of voters in Indiana, for example, were unswayed by the Reverend Wright fiasco.