Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy 100th Post to Me!

So evidently the 100th post is a big deal in Blogger World. I'd like to thank the Academy. Err...I mean, I'd like to thank Benjamin. Without his heart surgery, there's no way I'd see 100 this soon! That middle-of-the-night frantic blogging has paid off and I have arrived! Kidding, of course.

I've read several people's 100th posts, and apparently what you're supposed to do is to tell 100 things about yourself. But I know myself and I need parameters.

I got my 100th post idea from Monica. I loved her format and decided to steal it. Except I'm horribly, horribly wordy. This is an incredibly long post, full of pictures, links, and humor attempts. It took me a couple nights (several hours) to do it. NO JOKE--My DVR is now at ZERO percent.

Just in case you didn't know, any time text shows up in blue, you can click on it and it'll take you to a website of whatever is in blue. For instance, if you wanted to go to a site where you could buy a really good book for any new parents of a Down syndrome baby, click here.

So, grab your coffee or your Dr. Pepper and get comfy. Don't feel bad if you don't know me well and don't really want to read it. Just don't tell me. :)

Here are ten top-ten lists of my life, thus 100 things about me. (Please note that these are not "top-ten" lists in true fashion, as I am not ranking them in any kind of order. I'm simply listing ten of my favorites under each category. I don't have the time nor the mental capacity to rank them within each list.

Favorite Restaurants (Worldwide)

1. American Cafe--Chattanooga, TN
The first time I went here, it was called Silver Spoon's. I went with my friends from high school: Laurie, Joyce, Sherry, and Greta. It was the first time I ever remember being out with girlfriends without our parents. I also remember that Laurie, on suggestion from the waitress, ordered the chicken pot pie and did not like it. So she got a coupon for a free dessert. The restaurant later changed its name to Mozzarella's and is now American Cafe. I still call it Mozzarella's. I love the Grand Chicken Caesar Salad (but with buffalo chicken instead of grilled). And the spinach con queso dip w/chips is to die for.

2. Genghis Khan--Okinawa, Japan

This is a Mongolian barbeque restaurant on the island of Okinawa. We went here in 2005 when we visited my relatives who live there. (No, they're not Japanese.) You fill up one bowl with raw veggies and one bowl with raw meat. You drop it off with the cooks and they cook it. It was SO SO good. I've tried a similar restaurant in Chattanooga (Genghis Grill) but it was sadly not as good.

Me, Matthew, my mom, and my cousin Casandra:

Did I mention it's all-you-can-eat? I think I got two bowls this size. Yum...

My best friend, Joyce, lives in NYC. Matthew and I have visited her and her husband twice since they've been married. (We went to NYC once the year before they wed, two months after 9-11.) One night, we stumbled across a restaurant on the upper Westside that was just delightful. Maybe it was our superb waitress, Leah. Maybe it was the fact that we saw a semi-celebrity. But I think it was the baked mac-and-cheese that won my heart.

Joyce, me, Matthew:

4. The Full Moon Cafe--Manteo, North Carolina

Don't worry. It's not a nasty place. There's nothing objectionable about it except its name. The food is delicious and upscale (at least for my palate). It is in the quaint water-front town of Manteo, NC, in my favorite place ever, the Outer Banks.

5. Big Al's Soda Fountain and Grill--Manteo, North Carolina

My family started going to the Outer Banks when I was 13. We have been many times to Big Al's. My cousin Carol always gets a chocolate coke and we all think it's disgusting. I like a cherry (fountain) coke and the Big Bopper cheeseburger. Yum.

6. The Wharf Restaurant--Outer Banks, North Carolina

Sadly, there is no link for this one because it went out of business several years ago. Such a shame because it was a great seafood buffet. From the peel-and-eat shrimp (my relatives prefer the crab legs) to the banana pudding to the player piano playing "Holy, Holy, Holy" and many other hymns, it was the best ever.

I think this photo was taken in 2000, the summer before Matthew and I got married. (I know b/c my hair was long for our November wedding.) That's me on the far right with in the black pants. I don't know the rest of these hooligans.

7. Cafe Sol--Barbados

In June 2007, Matthew and I went to Barbados by ourselves. Andrew stayed with my parents and they had the time of their lives. So did we. One of the highlights was this Mexican restaurant. We ate there twice it was so good!

8. Courtyard Cafe--Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville, TN

Okay, so the nachos weren't that great. Though the chicken caesar salad was very good. And the deep-dish cheese pizza was wonderfully seasoned. But the reason this made my top-ten is that it was what we needed. The cafeteria in the Children's Hospital was pretty much just Subway, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. A former co-worker and friend, Stephanie, told me that if we went out the door by the Subway and walked across the street, we'd eventually come to this cafeteria. I'm SO glad she did. It was a nice break when we needed it. It was just the right length of a walk. I have fond memories of walking there in the beautiful, breezy, fall weather with Matthew, trying to get our minds off the stress of Benjamin's surgery and recovery. Once, we walked there in a downpour. Most of the walk was covered, but the wind was blowing and we got kind of wet. It was a beautiful storm. Oh, yeah, and the pizza was truly delicious. I've already told Matthew that when we go back up there for Benjamin's post-op appointment on November 3, we're going back for more pizza.

9. Restaurant Taverna Akropol--Athens, Greece

In June 2004, Matthew and I went on a two-week long mission trip to Greece with some youth and college students of our church. (We were not the only adults!) This was one of the many delicious meals we shared as a team. Some people (not me!!) tried escargot, sucked straight out of the shells. Nooooo, thank you.

If you look very carefully, you can see my face right above the table on the left. I'm the sixth one down, real close to the table. Matthew is the seventh one down on the left; he's sitting up like a human being.

10. Provino's Italian Restaurant--Chattanooga, TN

You've gotta love a free meal on your birthday. And Provino's is great, fattening Italian food. We go many times a year because there are a lot of us, and each of us has a birthday. It's almost always someone's birthday and it's always really, really good.

Movies I've Seen So Many Times I Can Quote Them

CDs I Can Listen to All the Way Through, Over and Over

(Remember CDs, anyone?)

Places Close to My House that I Like to Go To

1. My parents' house--It's not just the pool in the backyard or the wonderful view. It's that my family is there. I love them all so much.

2. Wal-mart--Less than five miles away. I love it!

3. My church--A wonderful place with wonderful, godly people

4. Hamilton Place Mall--The largest shopping mall in Tennessee!

5. The library--Half a mile away, great kids' books. I can see it from our upstairs windows. Unfortunately, the road is busy and has no sidewalks, so we cannot walk there.

6. CVS--Half a mile away as well. Great for those middle-of-the-night Dr. Pepper runs. :)

7. The playground--Andrew loves it!

8. My mom's school (Where I taught for seven years)--The best school ever. With the best staff and students. I was so proud to teach there and I cannot wait to send my children there.

9. Tres Amigos--In the same complex as CVS. Did I mention Vegetarian D?

10. My brother Justin's house--This was my parents' house until about 2 1/2 years ago, when they moved and sold it to my brother. I lived here from age 10 until I moved out after college. We have *so* many wonderful memories at this house, and I'm so glad it's still in the family. Even if it smells like bachelorhood. This is a picture of my parents outside the house about a decade ago.

People & Things That Make Me Laugh

1. Me--Let's face it. I can be funny. And I crack myself up more than anyone. Because I get me. Even when it's stupid. You've got to be able to laugh at yourself or you'll just spend your life being paranoid.

2. My husband Matthew--Our humor jives. I'm so glad. I can't imagine not having laughter in our house.

3. My younger brother Justin--Dry wit, explosive laughter, intelligent yet goofy

4. My cousin Marianne--Same as Justin. Only female. Much prettier and with a better fashion sense.

5. My son Andrew--You've got to love toddlers. They're *hilarious*.

6. My cats Frank and Nancy--When we got them they were 13 ounces each. Now they're over 15 pounds each and Andrew's best friends. They're so fun and make me laugh.

7. The Office--I love Dwight and Creed!

8. Seinfeld--The best sitcom ever.

9. Big Mama's blog--She is not even big. Now that is funny.

10. Signs and t-shirts in Japan written in English (as seen on our 2005 trip)--These simply speak for themselves.

Things That I Think Are Overrated

1. Hawaii--We went for a week in 2005. It was just okay. I mean, I had a blast with my family, but that's a long way to fly and an expensive trip. I personally prefer the beach in NC.

2. Having a job--I *love* being a stay-at-home mom! It is very fulfilling. Even if I don't always get a shower or a salary. :)

3. Long hair for women--I've had short hair for years and could never go back.

4. Saving the environment--Sorry. I'm not purposefully wasteful but I've just got more important things to do.

5. Dogs--I'm a cat person. Dogs scare me. And kind of gross me out. Please don't jump on me. Or poop near me.

6. Hand sanitizer--Ick! The worst part of the PCICU was having to use it every time we entered Benjamin's room.

7. Organic foods--No, thank you. Groceries are expensive enough.

8. Developmental milestones--I am coming from both ends of the spectrum on this one. Andrew knew all 26 letters of the alphabet by recognition at 21 months. Benjamin most likely won't walk until he's two or three. Every kid is different. And they're all wonderful.

9. Politics--Couldn't care less. I vote with my heart and my gut. I try to understand it all but have so many other things to do. I may have a master's degree but when it comes to politics, I just feel stupid.

10. Running--I know my friends who hear me say this all the time are sick of hearing it, but I only run if something is chasing me. I just don't get it.

My Pet Peeves

1. Bad grammar, punctuation, spelling (Don't worry--I'm not judging you. It mainly bothers me coming from teachers or on signs of businesses. I mean, HIRE SOMEONE WHO CAN SPELL. I'd be glad to do it for a nominal fee.)

2. When people scrape their plates with their utensils ( husband...cough...cough...)

3. The various driving grievances that bug everyone (following too closely, pulling out in front of me only to turn in two blocks, going too slowly, etc.)

4. Unkempt fingernails, especially on men

5. When people don't return their cart at the grocery store (You know who you are, and, yes, I just gave you a dirty look.)

6. Fakeness in people--Authentic is best, don'tcha think?

7. Men who don't help their wives with the kids or the house. I mean, really? Are you an adult?

8. Inappropriate clothing on little girls (or older girls, too, for that matter)

9. Sports fanatics (YAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!! GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!! YAAAAA!!!!!!!!! I WANNA PULL MY HAIR OUT IF I SEE ANY MORE BRIGHT ORANGE!!!!!!!!)

10. When my DVR cuts off the ending of my television shows

Concerts I Have Been T0

1. New Kids on the Block--March 13, 1990 (Sigh. I loved every big-hair minute of it. A special shout-out to my friend Melanie who went with me. It was the *most* fun.)

2. Amy Grant--April 1995 (Sadly, this was my first date. The reason it is sad is because I was 18 and a senior in high school.)

3. DC Talk & Audio Adrenaline--February 1996 (Two words: mosh pit)

4. Elton John--1998 (It was just him and his piano. I was there with a guy I really liked. Sadly, it never materialized and was just like a candle in the wind. Or like Daniel my brother. Or something to that effect.)

5. George Strait Country Music Festival--2000 (SO wonderful. Performers included Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, and, natch, George Strait.)

6. Sammy Kershaw & Aaron Tippin--2000 (Aaron was a great entertainer. Sammy was okay. He didn't sing Vidalia and I was ticked.)

7. Chris Rice--2003 (I love Chris Rice!!!!!!! He was amazing.)

8. Paul McCartney--September 2005 (What a show!! I went with my mother and my older brother, Michael, when I was pregnant with Andrew. It was the LOOONGEST concert ever. It should've been for the price of the tickets! My favorite song was "Good Day Sunshine.")

9. Harry Connick, Jr.--March 7, 2007 (What a great concert! I heart Harry.)

Things I Cannot Live Without
(Obviously I don't mean *THE* most important things like Christ or my family or my house or my Toyota Sienna.)

1. My DVR--Okay, seriously? How did I survive before this? I could never return to the VCR. To quote my brother Justin, "This thing has revolutionized the way I watch television." (This, of course, coming from the man who said that honey butter changed his life...)

2. Mexican food--More specifically, a cheese burrito with cheese sauce instead of red sauce, with sides of rice and beans. Otherwise known as Vegetarian D at Tres Amigos.

3. Christmas music--Don't even get me started about how much I love Christmas music. I start listening to it in October. I'm even going to a Harry Connick, Jr. Christmas concert in Nashville in December!!!! WOO-HOO!!

4. Puffs Plus w/lotion--Don't leave home without them and do NOT accept any substitutes. They are well worth the extra money. And they often go on sale at CVS.

5. Dr. Pepper--Nectar of the gods. Or at least of me. Not that I'm a god. Oh, never mind. I really like it.

6. Wireless Internet--How else could I be sitting in my living room right now typing this and watching the season finale of Project Runway at the same time? Hello? Priorities!

7. My cell phone--Not just for the stranded motorist anymore! Although my family makes fun of me b/c I have a Zack Morris phone. (i.e., a non-flip phone) I just don't like flip phones! If I can make calls and text, that's all that matters.

8. Cheese--There are few things that aren't made better by adding cheese.

9. Pampers diapers--More specifically, Pampers Swaddlers for newborn through size two and Pampers Cruisers for size three and up. Like the Puffs Plus, accept no substitutes; they're worth the extra cost. Use coupons at Babies R Us and buy the really big box. Sam's also has good prices but only if you don't have coupons b/c they don't accept them. Their loss!

10. My Tiny Love mobile--Mary Jo sent this as a baby gift when Benjamin was born and it is seriously wonderful. New moms, don't be stingy with money on this one like I was when Andrew was born. I use it multiple times EVERY day. We even took it with us to the hospital when B had his surgery. It plays classical music and lasts 15 long minutes!

Important Dates in My Life

1. March 14, 1977--This is the day I was born. Pretty important day if you ask me. The thing I love about my birthday is that it is 3-14. As in 3.14. As in Pi. Happy Pi Day! Who doesn't love pi(e)?

2. August 13, 1981--This is the day I gave my life to Jesus Christ and asked Him to come into my heart, as written in my dad's Bible.

3. September 24, 1999--My first date with Matthew

4. November 19, 2000--Our wedding date. It actually snowed that morning!

5. December 4, 2002--Matthew and I refer to this as the B.D.E., or Best Day Ever. We were up in New York City visiting Joyce and her husband Shibu. We woke up that morning on an air mattress on the floor of their "living room." They were both at work, so it seemed like our place. We looked up and out the windows only to see lots and lots of snow falling. It snowed ALL day as we walked around and window shopped and looked at the Christmas decorations. It was truly a magical day that epitomizes our carefree life before kids. :)

6. July 12, 2005--The day I found out I was pregnant with Andrew. We had just returned from Japan the day before and I was up in the middle of the night with jetlag. I watched one of my favorite movies, Dances With Wolves. When it was over, it was 4:30 a.m. I was waiting until "morning" to take the pregnancy test, and I figured it was time. When the LOOOOOOONG three minutes was up and I realized it was positive, I ran and jumped on the bed where Matthew was peacefully sleeping. We had been successful on our first month of trying!! YAY!

7. March 24, 2006--The day our sweet Andrew James was born

8. August 25, 2007--This was five days after finding out I was pregnant with Benjamin. The reason *this* date is more important than the day I found out follows. We had tried for two months unsuccessfully to get pregnant with our second child. The third month, I thought we were unsuccessful again, so I told Matthew that we would have to try again another month. We weren't too horribly discouraged, just wondering how long it would take. That was on Thursday. On Sunday, Matthew left on a plane to go to Connecticut for work. On Monday morning, I had a hunch that I might truly be pregnant, so I took a test. POSITIVE! I told a few close friends and some family members, but I kept it a secret from Matthew allll week. Why? Because he was out of town and I wanted to tell him in person. His flight from Atlanta to Chattanooga was delayed and delayed and then cancelled, so I called and got him the last seat on a shuttle for the two-hour trip. I arrived early, telling the lady that when Matthew Amick came in to pay for his trip, to hand him a "Congratulations" balloon. Attached to the balloon was a picture of Andrew wearing a "Big Brother" t-shirt. The time was 2:07 a.m. (Don't fret--one of my family members came to stay at our house while Andrew slept!) I hid around the corner and videotaped the whole thing. Here is the picture and the video. In the video, he is calling me on his cell phone to see if I'm on my way to get him. When the lady hands him the balloon w/the picture, it takes him a minute to get it, and he says, "Are you *kidding* me?" (Don't forget to go to the bottom of the page to pause the music before watching the video!)

9. April 24, 2008--The day our precious Benjamin Matthew was born. An hour later, we learned he has Down syndrome.

10. October 3, 2008--The day Benjamin had open-heart surgery


Molly Todd; Owatonna, MN said...

I totally agree about the Vols... my sister in law and brother in law are from TN and they have Vols crap all over. They bought Noah a Vols outfit and I refuse to put it on him. I'm an OSU Buckeye and UofM Gopher fan thank you... but seriously... don't wear bright orange unless its for hunting!!!

Oh and I *love* the video of Matthew!

Sara said...

Okay, here are my thoughts:

(1) Mongolian BBQ rocks and we eat it at least 1x per month.
(2) You look amazing with long hair!
(3) Your funny things made me LOL on several occasions.
(4) I am horribly offended at your "things you can do without." (lmbo, just kidding)
(5) My infant wears Juicy Couture, including "Juicy" across her butt. Enough Said.
(6) When you guys come to California I promise to take you to eat *real* Mexican food, not that fake crap you think is Mexcian food.
(7) Will you please make your playlist on your blog all Christmas music for the next 3 months? I prefer Bing Crosby.
(8) I agree that the Tiny Love mobile is the ultimate baby toy for at least the first 4 months.

Great 100th post!

Amber said...

Two things...(working here!)

I may have a master's degree but when it comes to politics, I just feel stupid. - same here!

Pi Day - I CANNOT believe it! I send my best friend a Happy Pi Day email EVERY March!

Kristen said...

I am also a cat person who drives a Toyota Sienna, can't take dirty fingernails, and I REALLY can't take grammatical errors (especially in public places). The pictures of Japanese signs had me rolling -- SO funny!! I love your blog, Angela! Congrats on the 100th post! :)

Amber said...

PS - I hope by "chicken pot pie" you mean the real deal, not that crap in a pie crust. That would be a faux pas.

Amber said...

WOOT! No more nonsense words to type!?!?

Diana said...

GREAT 100th post! Ok to give my run down... I love American Cafe espeically smoked chicken pasta. Paul loves Fiddler on the Roof. Your Mom's house looks so nice. I am horrible at grammar despite the fact I am a college graduate no masters yet just a BS. However it is in Chemistry so of course I love Pi Day come on!!! You are one of the funniest people I know! SERIOUSLY! I love the Office and I have to say the show would not be right without Dwight. I love my small dog but his pooping is annoying! I also grew up with cats so I am all animal friendly. I am with you on the developemental milestones. My kids is smart and sweet but didn't crawl until almost 11 monrhs old... could be b/c she weighed as much as some two year olds!! Oh and I have unkept fingernails this is b/c before I got pregnant with Emma I bit my nails and so now I have no idea what to do with them. Who didn't love NKOTB? Can't live without my DVR... what are commericals? You inspired me to eat Mexican today... my thighs will be cussing you tomorrow!

thisismamashouse said...

I love this list!! The christmas music!!! Do you remember you and I confessing on bz back when we were pregs with our march babes about listening to our Christmas music in October!! Until then I seriously thought I was the ONLY person who did that!!

And I cannot get enough of the signs...Those alone make me want to make a trip overseas!!!

Melanie said...

NKOTB RULES!!! And I also have to agree with you on the love for Harry Connick, Jr. Kyle got tickets for us for my birthday the first year we were dating. He hasn't gotten me another birthday gift since because he says he's still trying to come up with something to top Harry. Did I mention they were FRONT ROW seats right in front of his piano?!?!? When is the concert in Nashville? We'd LOVE to go see him again!!!

I was disappointed when I didn't see Shag listed as one of your favorite movies, but all was forgiven when I got the shout out with the Shag reference. The only reason I still have my VCR is to watch the VHS tape of Shag you gave me when I graduated from high school forever and a day ago!!!

Lots of love,

P.S. I think Justin's house is pretty special, too.

Alicia said...

I'm so out of the loop on all this 100th post thing. I missed out, oh well, but I love yours! It was fun to read and had me laughing. Love the video of how you told Matthew about your 2nd pregnancy!

Casey said...

Hey Angela. It's MomToLys from Hot Topics. I enjoy reading your blogs, and think that this is a wonderful 100th post!

I cried at the video of Matthew getting the balloon. It was so touching.

You have a beautiful family, and you are truly inspirational. Oh, and you're funny, too.


P.S. I love Harry Conick Jr.

Sarah and Matt said...

I am not sure how I missed this post, but I have enjoyed the last 15 minutes I spent reading it. Funny how being a BZ buddy has allowed me to "share" some of your favorite days. I got chocked up again when I watched the video of Matthew finding out you were pregnant with Benjamin.

You are hilarious and I love that you realize it and embrace it. I too think I am pretty darn funny. Lucky for me most people agree.

And I am a fellow Pi lover. It helps that that is Piper's nickname :)

Christia said...

I totally remember Matthew's balloon, aww that was so sweet!
I seriously love you.

Anonymous said...

very very fun reading your 100th post and learning more about you. what an adorable way to tell your hubby about Benjamin :)

Kara M. said...

Cheese...I could live off cheese and...

Dr Pepper...I agree. I could not live without it.

Mexican food...another thing I couldn't live without. Growing up in the SW, Mexican food is a staple, lol. I could (and have) eat it every meal of the day

Organic foods...yeah give me a break, $7 for a gallon of milk? No thanks, we go through 3 gallons a week, that'd be a bit too pricey. PLUS I bought organic carrots once and they were bad before we ate them!! (3 days later)

Those shirts, check out this site! Lol

Your parents have a beautiful view!!!

LOVE the Sound of Music. One of my absolute favs. Amelia and I watched it after my best friend joined a convent so I could explain to her what a nun was, lol!

Anne of Green Gables/Avonlea are some of my fav books/movies. My grammy, cousin, and I used to watch them all the time when I was a child and we used to always plan to take a trip to Prince Edward Island and still haven’t gone. Being a redhead, I always appreciated Anne : )

joyce said...

what i wouldn't do for your memory! :) love your 100th post, here's to many more.

snippity1 said...

Wow...what an awesome 100th post! I stumbled across your blog wuite by accident, but I will definately be coming back! Dr. Pepper rocks!

tarynddavidson said...

I met George Strait ;) shook his baby soft hand and immediately felt like an iron worker. I LOVE SAMMY AND AARON, though i have not seen in concert. Love em!
My mom wouldn't let me go to NKOTB because that was Satan's lair for little girls. I thought my mom was a B.

March 24 - precious Lennon changed our purpose.

Your trips to NYC make me a tad bit jealous - it has been my life long dream to go to NYC - ever since I was a little girl.

Hawaii - loved it! though, the beaches were not as nice as I dreamed. some were. most were gross. and what was with the free roaming chickens everywhere?

Things you cannot live without - 7/10 matches is not bad, not bad at all! ;)

We buy organic meat if it's there and always buy organic milk, but everything else... whatever is available. I could care less.
Most of your things that are overrated are dead on... except the hair thing... i just look like a truck-driving lesbian with short hair.

And i laughed out loud when you put yourself as funny... it is a running joke btwn charlie and i on whether or not i am funny. i am. it's just true. he thinks he is the funny one.

Anne of Green Gables.. seriously one of the greatest. Most my childhood days were spent watching that.
I believe you and I might be "kindred spirits" ;)