Sunday, January 17, 2010

Orchid Heaven

Mike got back from a trade show late last night, and he came bearing gifts!

This is a Vanda.

Mike hung it up under the oak tree in our front yard so he can enjoy the newly warm weather.

Vandas are one of my favorite types of orchids.  They grow without any sort of potting media in their roots and get HUUUUUUUGE!  These are the types of plants that you pass onto your grandchildren!

This is my other Vanda, which has joined his new friend the in front yard until our next cold snap!

The other orchids (and one houseplant) that Mike brought home.  The trade shows are for anyone involved in the plant nursery industry, and since we supply potting soil to plant nurseries, we have a vested interest.  One of the side benefits of this trade show is that there are LOTS of orchid dealers there, and they want to get rid of their display plants quickly (read: cheap!)

I hate having to be alone the few times Mike has to travel for work, but I like it when he comes back with orchids for me!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Kitty Cat or Roly-Poly?

I think Morgan is very glad to welcome the warmer weather!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

New Year's Eve 2009

We went to Mount Dora for New Year's Eve.  Before we left, I decided that I wanted a nice picture of the two of us...because let's face it, how often do we BOTH look nice at the SAME TIME?  Not very often.  Unfortunately, there's no one around the take pictures of us now that Nils is gone - and let's be honest, that's the only reason why we got an exchange student in the first place (Kidding, Nils!)  So I set the timer on the camera and hoped for the best:

Darn it, Mike!  Why are you so TALL?!?

Not again!


[test shot]

At this point Mike decided to bring out the actual tripod.  Unfortunately it's pretty short and make for awkward camera angles.  And that is my story on why my butt was cut off in this picture - and I'm stickin' to it!!

Move OVER, Mike!


Not the best, but it'll have to do!

Friday, January 08, 2010

St. Augustine Pictures

Mollie had a grand ol' time at Mike's parents house when we visited for Christmas.  Mostly because my sister-in-law and brother-in-law brought their dog, Fender, too.

Fender takes his toys very, very seriously, as you can see.

Notice the intense concentration.

Mollie tends lack a sense of focus.  She much prefers to run around like crazy until she spots something to go after.

In this case, she decided she wanted Fender's toy.  Not any of the thousand toys we brought....FENDER'S toy!

You may think that Fender has the advantage, here, since he has about 50 pounds on Molllie.  Unfortunately, Mollie is faster, and Fender is also a tremendous wimp.


It didn't seem to bother poor Fender too much.  He moved on pretty quickly to the ball Mike was tossing:

But so did Mollie!!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Not What I Had in Mind...

I was trying to make the most out of my last few days of freedom before returning to school. I was cleaning out my pantry - I had half of its contents on my counter. And then I felt the need to sit down. An hour later, Mike walked in the door to find me in the bathroom, throwing up into the bathtub. And throwing up. And throwing up some more. Matter was exiting my body through every available orifice. I decided that a trip to the Emergency Room was in order.

Now, you must understand something. Up until Monday night, I had never, ever, been a patient in a hospital. I've somehow managed to walk upon this Earth for 24 years and never land in a hospital. I wasn't even BORN in a hospital (thanks for that, mom). I've always been pretty proud of that fact, so I must have been really, really sick for me to ask Mike to take me to a hospital. Actually it was more of a demand to quit checking my symptoms on WebMD and GET ME TO THE ER PRONTO! So after grabbing a puke bucket and my purse, we headed to my very first trip to a hospital.

I had actually been to the Leesburg hospital before, but not as a patient. When I was a camp counselor, I had a camper mangle her foot just before bedtime. My 18-year old, 130-pound self somehow managed to carry that 80-pound, bleeding, semi-conscious camper to the nurses' station. Then I had to accompany her to said hospital, where everyone thought I was her mom. But I digress.

I remember a few things from my previous visit to this hospital. First, the waiting room is not a pleasant place to be. Second, you have to go through something called "triage," where they determine how bad your situation is. Now, I can understand the logic behind this process, because you don’t want a guy having a heart attack to be waiting to be seen while a 7 year-old gets a few stitches because his little sister pushed him into a wall*. But when you feel bad enough to go to the Emergency Room, you already think your situation is pretty bad and want to be seen NOW...not "as soon as possible." I managed to help my situation along by having my husband answer the triage nurse's questions while I retched uncontrollably. We only had to wait about an hour and a half, according to my husband. He managed to find me a long chair, which a curled up in. That time period is a little hazy for me.

*this is a test to see if my brother actually reads my blog.

When we got called back, I got to change into one of those flattering hospital gowns. I didn't figure out that it tied in the back until AFTER I had to make a run for the bathroom. Luckily my husband had the foresight to run behind me and hold it closed. What a great guy!

A few hours later, it had been determined that I was indeed going to live, even if it was without the honor of being a Hospital Virgin. I was given 2 bags of fluids, released with a prescription, and told that no, I could not keep the flattering hospital gown. Mike drove me home, put me to bed, drove an hour to find a 24-hour pharmacy, and got back to the house about 1:00. He woke me up enough to shove the anti-nausea pill under my tongue and collapsed into bed. Before I fell asleep, I remember thinking, "it's finally over."


About 3:00, Mike started getting sick. And oh boy, if I didn't think that the night had gone bad before, it was definitely falling apart now. I stood outside the bathroom, listening to the man who had been and would be responsible for my care going through the same thing I was going through, and I feel apart. I panicked, knowing that I was not physically able to take care of him or even drive him to the hospital. So what did I do? I called my mommy. She helped me assess the situation, and it was determined that Mike was indeed miserable, but did not appear to have it as bad as I did and did not need to go to the hospital. He spent the rest of the early morning hours in one bathroom, while I spent them in the other bathroom. Boy am I grateful we don’t live in a one-bathroom apartment anymore.

This is not what I had in mind when I said I wasn’t ready to go back to school – which I will on Monday, by the way. It’s also not what I had in mind when I said I wanted to lose weight. I remember when Mike and I were engaged, that someone told me that the true test of our marriage would come when we both got sick at the same time. Well, we’ve managed to survive that test so far, so I guess we’ll make it!

We’ve slowly been recovering together, thanks in part to my mom, who brought us supplies, and my dad, who drove me to the doctor yesterday. We both are incredibly sore and sleep a lot, but we…made it!! We won’t be running any marathons soon, but we’ve decided that when this is all over, we’ll be celebrating with a trip to Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Yum.

Oh, and half of the contents of my pantry are still sitting on my counter.  Just in case you were wondering.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Christmas Letter 2009

I started off sending Christmas cards with the best of intentions this year, but after Christmas passed I realized that I had forgotten a lot (a LOT) of people!  So if you are one of those people whom I completely forgot to send a Christmas cards to, sorry.  Please understand that it's not because I don't like you, but because teaching is taking my brain to a whole new level of dingbatty-ness this year.  Here is our 2009 Christmas letter - if you click on the image, it should get bigger for you.  Enjoy!

Hooray for Christmas Vacay!

I have been in hibernation since Christmas - I managed to delay the effects of all the stress I've been under for a little while, but after Christmas I really crashed.  I haven't been doing much, except maybe a little reading and cleaning.  Sometimes I just sit.  If you know me, you know how rare this is - I very rarely sit and do NOTHING - even when I'm watching T.V., I feel the need to be working on something.  But all that is about to go by the wayside, since I am gearing up to go back to teaching on Wednesday.  The days of sitting will soon be over!  But it's been a great Christmas break. 

I hosted Christmas Eve this year, 2nd year in a row.  I read somewhere that if you do something 3 years in a row, it becomes a tradition.  We will see about next year!  We all went to my church's Christmas Eve candlelight service, in which Mike played.  Then we came back to the house and had fondue.  It's casual and we have a lot of fun rotating around the table to get to the different types of cheese.  And then there's the CHOCOLATE fondue, too!!

This was Mollie's first Christmas with us, and she was VERY excited to have everyone over for Christmas Eve.  She thought they all came over just to see her!

Here you see her in a deep philosophical conversation with my great uncle Jerry.  They are probably evenly matched in their wits.  I kid.

My cousin April was happy to provide plenty of cuddles for Miss Mollie.

Mollie tried to pay her in kisses  :)

"Hi, I'll just climb on the couch and wedge myself into that impossibly tiny space, thanks."

"this is not what I had in mind..."

I did get a few non-doggifed pictures:

Me with my mom and dad.

Why did I not move that kitty-smashed bag out of the background?!? Morgan the cat decided it was a great place to nap.

I didn't get any Christmas day pictures - we're still debating on who actually forgot to put the camera in the car before we headed to my mom and dad's house.  I'm hoping my mom will send my some pictures I can share, and that my mother-in-law will do the same! [hint, hint!]