February 14, 2011

The Four Shades of Purple Story, pt. 1

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! How was your day?

Our Valentine's was rather uneventful. Caleb had a party at school, for which I made chocolate rice krispie treats. Other than that, the red and pink holiday passed quietly. Jason and I aren't big into celebrating on the actual day, due to crowded restaurants and over-priced flowers. We'll probably go out this weekend, when the grandparents can watch the bud.

But, in honor of Valentine's Day, I thought it would be fun to tell y'all a story from me and Jay's dating days.

A funny ha-ha story. A not necessarily romantic story.

How about the first time he asked me out?

Admittedly, Jason tells it much better than I do. I laugh every time he does. But since he's not much for writing, you guys are stuck with me. Mu-ha-ha-ha!


Once upon a time . . .

. . . there was this guy named Jason. My friend Shawn had introduced us at church and we talked after service on Sundays, mostly about books. He was 19 and attending community college. I was 17 and also taking classes at the same campus for high school credit. We had toilet papered our pastor's house with Jason's brother and sister a couple months before (long story, another post). Oh, and he drove a brand new two door Ford Focus. Purrrr.

I began seeing that little coffee-colored car in the parking lot at the college on Tuesday nights. And Thursdays. In fact, I started looking for it every time I drove on campus, and I almost always found it.

One night, during a break, we discovered our classrooms were right next to each other. (Subtle, Lord. Really subtle.) He was taking some big and important Majorly Impressive Math Course. I was learning how to say Hola and Me encanto su coche.

He didn't always have break when I did, so on my way back from the bathroom, I would sometimes peek through the window into his class to see if he was there. The students faced away from the window, so he never saw me.

One week, he invited me to get a soda with him during break. I said yes. The next night, we got sodas again. Then he asked me out to dinner.

(And this is the part Jason does so well when he tells the story . . . )

I turned four shades of purple.

And now, for some history.

I was a bookworm at 17. College-bound and working very hard towards a scholarship to pay my way. I had no desire to date. I saw no reason to causually date when I would most likely be moving far away for college in a year. Also, I did not want to date until I was ready to pursue a serious relationship.

Additionally, I was convinced that "boys" would get in the way of my schooling, lower my grades, and jeopardize my college career. So while boys were nice, dating was strictly forbidden for the next four years of my life. I was convinced that was what God wanted.

In reality, though, I had concocted a Plan and simply stuck God's name on it. It was a very holy, spiritual-sounding Plan. Surely God must be pleased. Had I only known He was about to blow my Plan to smithereens.

Because that night when Jason asked me out? I didn't want to say no. I didn't want to say yes, either, because, HELLO! I didn't date! But I didn't want to say no.

So I turned four shades of purple. Threw every excuse in the book at him. I wasn't available for dinner. I voluteered at Awanas on Wednesday nights. I had youth group on Mondays. Classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

"Ok," he said. "How about lunch?"

Lunch?? Um, I can't. I have school work during the day. I need to study. I help my dad out. I work part-time at the local florist shop.

Jason raised his eyebrows. I was sweating profusely by this point and just wished he would take a hint and go away.

"Well then. How about breakfast?"

Breakfast?!?!?! This guy wouldn't give up. And I was out of excuses.

"I'll check my calendar and get back to you," I mumbled. Thankfully, break was over and I could hide behind my spanish book while I privately panicked to myself.

(stay tuned for Part Two, in which Jason gets to have his breakfast, but not with me . . . )

February 11, 2011

Drama in Rugville

You may remember the rag rug I started for Caleb's room a few weeks ago.

You may also remember that I hinted I'd had some problems along the way.

Well now you get to hear that story, along with the hilarious twist (pun fully intended) this project has taken since then.


I started crocheting with gusto after hours spent cutting up blankets and sewing the strips together. Seriously. The prep was a lot of work. My thumb was sore from using the scissors and I was ready to see something tangible. So I pulled out my hook and went to work, crocheting the flannel fabric exactly how I *thought* I'd been taught.

Exactly how I'd crocheted in the past.

And, as I would soon find out, exactly wrong.

(Would now be a good time to mention that I have crocheted thick winter scarves doing the same sort of stitch? And they each turned out perfectly?? Sighhhhhh. I guess some things aren't supposed to make sense.)

I got roughly four rows in before I realized my mistake. Not because the rug looked funny, but because I just happened to find a beginner's crochet book at the library. There were detailed instructions for the basic stitches and pictures and before long, I discovered I hadn't crocheted correctly once in my whole life.

Imagine my shock and dismay. Like the rug had just been pulled out from under me. ;)

Oh, I crack myself up.

Anyway, the nice librarian lady copied a couple pages for me (because it was a reference book and could not be checked out) and I tripped merrily home, thanking my lucky stars I was only four rows into the project. How easy would it be to rip them out and start over? This time correctly? I was armed with newly acquired knowledge that included how-to pictures. I couldn't go wrong. Not this time.

Well... yeah.

This time, I'm twelve rows in. That may not sound like a lot until you realize the rug is over five feet long. I feel I should have noticed something was off a lot sooner. Except that I just kept crocheting row after row, blanket after blanket and never thought to stretch the whole thing out to see how it was coming.

Until yesterday. When I decided to take some project-in-progress pictures:

It was then I realized . . . I'm not crocheting a rug.

I'm crocheting a rainbow!
Or as Caleb declared when he arrived home from school:

Seriously? Seriously?!?!
I had a good laugh, friends. A real good laugh. I even called Jason in to have a look.

"Look, honey! See what I made!"
"Um, isn't that supposed to be a rug?"
"Yeah, but now it's a rainbow. I didn't even know I could do that!"
He laughed, too. Then together we tried to puzzle out what had gone wrong.
Best I can figure, I accidentally added a chain at the end of every row. Jason thinks I may have skipped some stitches, too. (Natalie, Tabitha, any ideas ladies? You two know way more about crocheting than I do . . . I'd appreciate any input!)
The real question is, how do I fix it? Assuming I don't want to make a rainbow rug? Assuming I don't want to rip out twelve rows and start all over again, possibly damaging the fabric in the process?
I might try to fill in the part under the rainbow and make a half circle rug instead. But I'm not certain that will work.

Oy ve.
And I had step-by-step instructions with pictures!!!
So what do you think? Is there hope for me, or should I hang up my hook? ;)

February 6, 2011

What it Means to be Four

(But before the photo expose on the life and times of four year olds, please walk down Memory Lane with me. I can't believe how fast my little guy is growing up!)

{First Birthday, 2008}

{Second Birthday, 2009}
Look at that blonde hair!

{A very happy Three and a Half Birthday, 2010}

And now here he is, one grown-up four year old. Can you believe it? And what happened to the blonde hair??? He is mostly brown-headed now. A few highlights remain, but they are fading. So sad.

*Sniff, sniff*

Ahem. I'm ok. Really.

*Clears throat*

Now with no further ado, what it means to be four:

Being four means playing with pretend snow in the livingroom when it's too cold and rainy to play outside.

It means exploring the nether regions of Wal-Mart . . .

. . . and discovering exactly what sort of things hide behind boxes of toilet paper.

It means being silly and making Mommy laugh . . .

. . . by using common household items in ways the manufacturer probably never intended.

Being four means imagining up an Animal City, complete with cars and buildings.

And when the Flood comes, it means rescuing all the animals on an aircraft carrier.

Being four sometimes means getting into things you probably shouldn't have.
{Acrylic Paint, Thanksgiving 2010}

How much more fun is it to make messes that are planned and approved by the Mommy?
{Shaving Cream, just a few days ago}

Being four means adventure and fun and life lived to the fullest. It means enjoying every single day and getting excited about the little things. It means sharing that joy and excitement with others.

Not sure if Rexy agrees with that last statement. I think he might rather have avoided the whole "shaving cream incident" as his plastic counterparts now call it. Not sure you'll ever live this one down, Rexy. You have my sympathies.

Lastly, being four means playing hard and crashing hard.

Little boy, you are absolutely precious when you sleep. I will probably think this no matter how old you are.

Yes, life is good at four. But grown-up. Oh, so grown-up!

You get yourself yogurt and a spoon without help.

Any time of the day or night when a yogurt craving strikes your fancy.

You take medicine from the tiny plastic cup instead of a dropper.

Though you don't get sick often.

You're already three and a half feet tall and zoning in on fifty pounds.

But you still love to snuggle and be held. Oh, I hope you don't outgrow that for a long time!

You chatter and talk and inform us of all sorts of things throughout the day. The robot hiding in the trees, for example, or the fact that you're "too sick" to go to church but "feel better!" when you want to hike instead.
We love hearing every single word. We waited so long for you to talk!
So happy Four, Caleb! Your Daddy and I love you and we're so proud of all the growing you've done this last year. New adventures await you now.
I can't wait to see what they will be.