I had one boyfriend in high school. We dated for about a month. It was my senior year, and he was a sophomore. (I told you I was a geek...) Our relationship was immature to say the least, and though he broke my fragile heart right after Spring Break, we sure did have a good time on our first date (i.e., an Amy Grant concert). LOL
We used to talk on the phone for hooooouuuuuuuuurrrrrrrsss. My poor family. This was before cell phones, and I was not one of the "lucky" girls who had her own line. Thankfully, we did have call-waiting, but BOY I tied up that phone for a spectacularly long amount of time during March and April of 1995. Good thing I had two brothers who were too busy playing video games to want to use the phone. But I don't think I was my mom's favorite people during this time.
Anyway, one of the things we liked to do while we talked on the phone was to watch Jeopardy together. (Ahh...young love.) The first time we did this, I was very impressed that he knew many of the answers. Obscure answers. Impossible answers. I mean, I knew he was smart (would I date anyone who wasn't...oh, wait, I did later...), but this was like Kramer on Seinfeld when he got hit in the head and suddenly knew all the Jeopardy answers. During the commercial break, my "genius" boyfriend caved and told me that he had two ABCs. One of them aired about 20 seconds ahead of the other one, so he was able to find out the answers before I was. Dork. Smart dork.
As far as Jeopardy goes, I like the Teen Jeopardy. And also the Kid Jeopardy. Because then I don't feel so inadequate. But then it also sometimes makes me feel even more inadequate when a ten-year old knows more about marine biology than I do. This was especially true in high school when, as I have already stated, I was a nerd. I remember in March 1993, about a week before my 16th birthday, there was a Teen Championship on Jeopardy. I had watched it all week, and was greatly anticipating the finale. Well, a few days earlier, my neighbors across the street asked me to babysit their kindergarten daughter. Always one to want extra cash (you know, the whole $0.50 an hour that babysitting used to yield back then) to buy protractors and cool notebooks, I said yes.
Before I left home that evening, I set the VCR in the den to record the finale of Jeopardy. I was the only one who knew how to program it, and I gave my family strict instructions not to watch any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Sweatin' to the Oldies. Leave the VCR alone. I am recording Jeopardy.
I walked across the street to babysit. Upon arriving, I started feeling a little strange. The parents weren't dressed in any kind of "going out" clothes. They didn't seem to be in any kind of a hurry. But I didn't think much of it. They were kind of weird anyway. Then their phone rang. It was my mom. She said that she was sorry, but she accidentally messed with the VCR and she wasn't sure how to get it to record again. I looked at my Swatch watch. The time was 7:34. Jeopardy was on right now. I was so livid. I tried to talk her through it on the phone, but she was so technologically challenged that she couldn't find the TV/VCR button that I could have found in my sleep. (Aside from being a nerd, I was an avid TV watcher. Good to know I have stayed true to both of those qualities in my 30s.) My neighbor, who caught wind of the rising frustration, suggested that I just run back across the street and fix whatever I needed to.
And run I did. Running those hurdles in eighth grade track finally paid off as I leaped over every obstacle on the way. As my family can attest, on March 5, 1993, I burst in that house like I was on fire. And I was. Jeopardy fire. They were probably already halfway through Single Jeopardy, and I was missing it. As I ran down the stairs (yelling at my mother for disobeying my instructions and ducking b/c I was so tall I could have hit my head) and swung open the door, a strange texture hit my face. Strange words filled the air. It was silly string. And my friends and family shouting, "SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Yep. It was my surprise Sweet Sixteen Party.
And like the oblivious dork that I was, my very first thought was, "But I can't come to my own party! I have to babysit!" My second thought was, "Move out of the way...I need to get to the VCR."
My 16th birthday was actually on Sunday, March 14. I am not sure why my mom didn't plan my party for the Friday before it, which was March 12. But it is a very good thing she did not. She must have channeled her inner Miss Cleo and known that on Friday, March 12, our area would be hit by a storm. A really big storm. A storm that is known by locals as the Blizzard of '93. But I prefer what Wikipedia calls it....The Storm of the Century. I am not kidding. Click on that link. To quote the article, "Cities that usually receive little snowfall, such as Chattanooga, Tennessee, received anywhere from 2 to 4 feet (1.2 m) of snow, causing some municipalities to adopt at least an emergency winter-weather plan for the future where one might not have existed before."
We were sent home from school early on March 12. We lost power that night. It snowed 22 inches as I recall, and we were without power until Sunday. My birthday. My mom cooked homemade chicken soup over the kerosene heater. My brothers and dad took cold showers. I just stewed in my own filth until the power came back on and the hot water heater started working again. So for my 16th birthday, I got a hot shower. And it was lovely.
Speaking of Jeopardy, there is a recurring category on there called "Potpourri." I used to be confused by this, because the answers never had anything to do with that smelly stuff that made me sneeze. Then I realized that this potpourri meant "a miscellaneous collection." Then it allllll started making sense.
Well, this post is kind of like potpourri. Well, it was originally intended to be. Then I started going off on tangents about Jeopardy, blizzards, and Amy Grant.
But here are a few random things I would like to share on this chilly morning before we pack up the van and head to the beach.
I lost another 1.4 pounds on Weight Watchers this week! I am now at 10.4 pounds in five weeks. My clothes fit so much better, and I have SO many more options in my closet. Granted, these are all clothes I bought after Andrew was born in a size bigger than I was before getting pregnant with Andrew, but, hey, it's still progress.
I wanted to share a very special post with you. I know many of you will not click on it, as I usually don't click on things that other people link. But this one is spectacular.
I don't often talk about my faith on my blog. I don't know why. It is probably the most important thing in my life, and that is increasingly more true since Benjamin was born. But it is still kind of a private thing to me. It probably shouldn't be. But it's kind of complicated. It's hard to verbalize. But I read a post this week that really changed my perspective. I know many of my readers probably follow Angie Smith's blog. Briefly, she lost her daughter, Audrey Caroline, earlier this year, and she has been through the fire. But God has been so faithful, and she has been so real. Click here to read an amazing post she wrote this week. Like many of her writings, it is nothing short of amazing. (You may want to wait until you have time to read it b/c it is long, but well worth the time.)
Speaking of religious things, for those of you inclined to pray, I'd like to ask you to pray for my dear friend Stephanie. She has been battling with Lyme Disease for almost four years. (If you don't catch it early enough, it is nearly impossible to get rid of.) Her body is weary of the drugs, and her soul aches for healing. Read her latest post by clicking here.
I recently found Emily's blog, "chatting at the sky." It is really good. Simply and understated, full of wisdom. Like you found an old friend. I read a post this week that made me cry. It is short, so don't hesitate to click here and read it. It will especially mean something to those moms out there with young children. (Which is like, 98% of my blog readers, LOL.)
I was reminded of this poignant post this morning when Andrew finished his cereal and we had this conversation:
Andrew--"I want some more Alphabits!"
Me--"Do you want some Corn Pops instead?"
Andrew--"Nooooo....Because.....do you know what, Mommy?"
Andrew--"I like Alphabits."
Sigh...I am going to miss this cute stage.
And lastly, I would like to offer you the opportunity to help out with a great cause. My friend Laurie, who was at the fateful Sweet Sixteen Party in 1993, works for the American Cancer Society. I received this email from her this week. Please read it and seriously consider purchasing one of these bracelets. There is a picture of one at the bottom of the post. I know I will be sporting one! Here is here email below:
I'm a team captain this year for the Cobb County Relay For Life, which is going to be held May 8-9. I'm walking in memory of No-No, who died from lymphoma the month before Katie was born. As one of my team's fundraisers, we are making and selling bead bracelets with a silver charm that says "hope" - "inspire" - "friends" - or "family." We think the bracelets, which feature Relay's signature color purple, will help spread the message of hope that we are fighting back against cancer (there are 10.5 million cancer survivors alive today - more than ever before in American history - thanks to early detection and new advances in treatment) - and serve as a visible reminder for WHY we must increase funding for cancer research and patient programs.
We also think these bracelets could be a sincere and meaningful gift to someone currently facing cancer, offering hope and encouragement during diagnosis, treatment and recovery. I wondered if you would be willing to include a brief description of this fundraiser and include a picture of the "Hope" bracelet on your blog? We are taking pre-orders now. Each bracelet will sell for $10 (this includes shipping). Interested individuals should go to my personal page (http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLFY09SA?px=6078623&pg=personal&fr_id=13236) and click on the "Donate" tab in the top left to make their secure online donation. Then they should email me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) with their shipping address and order. Thanks in advance for helping us spread the word and raise money for the lifesaving work of the American Cancer Society!
Okay, that's it! I hope you enjoyed your potpourri this morning. Hope it didn't make you sneeze. Or fall asleep. Now go watch some Jeopardy.