Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What Makes Friendship Beautiful

Ok, so for the next 3 days of my life I'll be traveling. 2 days by car to Pennsylvania, and then 1 day by plane to South Carolina (vom). As exhausting as it might be, I'm so excited to get home and see everyone for a little bit. I feel like I'm so behind on blogging all of the fun things I did last week! 

Last week Krysti and Whitacre (her dog son, who is also Scout's long lost twin brother) came to visit! It was a little spur of the moment, but that's typical Meredith & Krysti. I can't begin to say how much fun it was to just hang out for more than 48 hours. I didn't feel like we had to talk all night long to catch up! We ended up cooking lots of yummy food, being completely dog obsessed, and taking tons of pictures. That equals a successful weekend in my book. It probably seem like a boring week for most people, but Krysti and I haven't had a weekend to just hang out like old times in...well...forever. Weekend visits to Asbury just doesn't cut it. Only with your best friend can you go to work during the day, come home to a cleaned, swept house and be completely OK that your guest did it. 

 I told you they were long lost brothers!
Is it bad if I gush over dogs more than babies? They are so cute!
 We made Non's Chicken Pot Pie soup! This soup has become our "signature" meal together. We make it every chance we get. Now that we don't have to work in the cruddy basement of Glide Crawford dorm, over a sketchy stove that might explode at any minute, it tastes even better. 
We drank these babies...sometimes it really is a great thing to not be at Asbury! If you haven't tried Smirnoff Cherry Lime, you need too! I'm pretty positive they will be my new evening summer beverage!
Good booze, good food and great friends can't compare!

 I am so blessed to have such a good friend in my life. Now that Scout and Whitacre are besties, our circle of best friend love is complete. I wish we could always live right next door to each other. The beautiful thing is, when we are together its like we were never apart. I think that is one of the most comforting things to have in a friendship. We managed to squeeze in frozen yogurt, puppy chow mix, local we like our sweets...along with shopping, movies, dog washing, and pranking a kid who left his bike in my yard. I guess we haven't changed that much, haha! We did go thrifting, and found so many cool things! Come back tomorrow to see what we found for Thrifty Thursday!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Story of Us

OK, so if you don't hear from me over the next few days, its because I will be extremely busy getting packed up to leave for home this summer. You saw my to do list yesterday, its crazy. Today I added about 4 things I forgot to that list. Unfortunately I have about 1,000 things I want to blog about! It always happens this way! With Krysti visiting I actually had a fantastic week & weekend, with re-life, fun, girlie-time, which made for interesting things to blog about! And lets not forget about new news on Evan...I miss that guy! (High school girl voice) I did this because we're totally in love. 

1. What are your middle names?  Evan's middle name is Ross and mine is Leigh. (Meredith Leigh Slee...should we blame my mom or Evan for this?)
2. How long have you been together?  8 years...dang.
3. How long did you know each other before you started dating?  Probably about a year or so. We met when I was 14 and he was 16 at our church youth group. 
4. Who asked who out? We had been hanging out just as friends for awhile. But, Evan finally asked me to be his “offcial girlfriend” in his car.
5. How old are each of you? I'm 22 (23 in about a month) and he's 25.
6. Did you go to the same school? We went to different high schools, but both ended up at Asbury University for college
7. Are you from the same hometown? Yep. Kittanning PA, our parents live about 500 yards from each other.
8. Who is the smartest?  For sure Evan. I took an IQ test and sent him the link to take it. I scored a 108 (trying extremely hard) and Evan scored a 128 even though he said he “got bored” towards the end and just started picking bubbles...that's not annoying or anything.
9. Who majored in what?  I changed my major about 100 times Art, English, Education, History. While Evan majored in Bible Theology with a Communications minor.
10. Who is the most sensitive?  I don't think either one of us is sensitive at all really. Maybe I have my monthly moments every now and then, but for the most part we are bluntly straight forward to a fault. Feelings aren't our forte. 
11. Where is the furthest you have traveled as a couple?  Um...from our home in TN to PA...I will get my honeymoon one of these years!
12. Who has the worse temper?  I do for sure. I'm constantly letting my temper get the best of me by snapping at people when I'm angry. Evan is always cool, calm, and collected, if he ever did lose his temper I think he might slaughter people.
13. How many children do you want?  That's a great question.
14. Who does the cooking?  We both take turns cooking. Evan is naturally better at it than I am though.
15. Who is more social?  Haha that one is me for sure! I never shut-up while you usually have to pry words out of Evan at any occasion.
16. Who is the most stubborn?  We are both crazy stubborn, but pretty bending when it comes to each other. I believe my old nickname Evan used to call me was "Muley." He's just "A Slee"...they are all stubborn in that family!
17. Who wakes up earlier?  Evan. He's up at 4 every morning to go to work. I'm naturally a morning person though too...4 o'clock isn't morning though...that's nighttime in my book.  
18. Who is the neat freak?  Evan. Sometimes I joke with him that he's borderline OCD about things. I'm really working on that this year to save him from strife...and so he doesn't divorce me.
19. Where was your first date?  Um, we really didn't have a first date. We were always hanging out together before we were ever officially dating, so there was never a first “big date."
20. Who has the bigger family?  We're even. We both have 1 younger sibling and about the same amount to aunts/uncles/cousins.
21. Do you get flowers often?  Never. I only kill flowers. Evan knows the real way to my heart is through something that goes to my stomach.
22. How do you spend the holidays?  Pretty laid back with our families. Since our families are literately yards apart, it makes it easy to do holidays with both sides of the family on the same day. The downside is having to eat 3 Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter dinners in one day...
23. Who is more jealous?  Neither one of us are the jealous type. 
24. How long did it take to get serious?  We were very serious from the start. Neither one of us were interested in dating someone for the fun of it. We both had the same mindset of only dating someone who you would consider marrying. 
25. Who eats more?  Sadly I use to out-eat Evan daily, but since I've mustered up some self-control he's the “big eater” on campus now. Neither one of us put crazy amounts of food away. 
26. What do you do for a living?  I wish I knew! Lately I've been thinking about the possibility of becoming a high school principal. Maybe a photographer? Who knows though.
27. Who does the laundry?  Both of us. We are pretty equal on all the house chores.
28. Who is better with the computer?  I'm a serial computer killer. I'll go with Evan on this one.
29. Who drives when you're together?  Always Evan. I'm a bad driver.
30. What is your song?  Oh gosh...don't judge...but “I Swear” by John Michael Montgumery. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Blurry Vision

This week has been a blur. But a good blur. Scout and I are both sitting here exhausted. 

I've been puppy sitting, cleaning, packing, shopping, cooking, making to do lists, finishing up the school year with a bang, all while having an awesome visit from Krysti (and her pup Whitacre). Its a good thing Krysti is just a puppy obsessed as I am. Things got a little furry around here if you know what I mean. Saying my house is a tad furry, would be an understatement. Tomorrow my sweeper is calling pleading my name. 

Things to do:

Meet with the kid I hired to mow my lawn while I'm gone
Look at getting my mail forwarded/held
Clean my entire house: baths/beds/clothes/kitchen/dust/sweep
Clean out the fridge
Get Evan's phone shut off
Get my hair cut
Mail Evan's package (that I still haven't sent after a week...)
Pack for Pennsylvania & South Carolina
Pack Scout's bag
Refill and replant the hole to China that Scout dug in my backyard
Order my glasses
Hopefully pick up our pictures I ordered
Sushi date with Lisa
Put gas in the car

My list of things I have to do before I leave for Pennsylvania on Thursday is kinda overwhelming, but I'm sure I'll get the important things done. For now I'm pushing away the million things I have to do by focusing on Friday. Friday my bum will be covered in my cute new suite, getting a free skin scrub from the sand, while the sun kisses my pale skin to tan perfection. Oh dear Lord I can't wait! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Picking the Right Cookie

This past Saturday I saw The Five-Year Engagement. I had been wanting to see it for awhile now, since it recieved a higher-than-normal rating on Rotten Tomatoes of a 63%. Let me be clear by saying, I don't normally want to see chick-flicks in the first place, so this was out of character for me. They rank somewhere on my list right around Anime. Maybe I should have listened to my gut instinct to stay away from the sappy, funny romance, because as I sit here, I'm still trying to figure out how it had so many positive reviews. I guess I need to get a different sense of humor, because the comedy just didn't rub me the right way. And let's be honest, I'm kinda of bitter about romance movies in the first place...if you can't tell. To give you a background of the story, Violet and Tom are in love. (Duh) Tom proposes to Violet, and they move to Wisconsin because Violet was offered her dream job there. They try to plan their wedding in vain, as one thing after another comes up. Unfortunetly, Tom has to give up his dreams of running his own restaurant to support Violet. Throughout the story Tom becomes hopelessly miserable, and they begin to drift apart. For much of the movie their relationship hangs in the balance. As much as I hated how long it was, combined with the on-again, off-again relationship of the characters, there was one scene of the movie that really stuck out to me.

 The main character Violet and her sister, are having a heart to heart while they play with her sister's 2 small children. They begin to talk in "Cookie Monster" and "Elmo" voices to not only entertain the kids, but to talk in adult code in front of them. Violet is so confused and undecided as to whether she wants to marry Tom, or if there are better fish in the sea. Violet is so wrapped up in finding the perfect one that she's having a hard time committing and accepting anyone who isn't absolutely flawless. Violet's sister become increasingly frustrated and blurts out:

"Elmo thinks there is no right cookie. You just have to pick one and take a bite!"

Her sister becomes baffled for a good reason, she is in a completely different situation than her sister. She ended up marrying Tom's brother, who in kind terms, is a loser. They had a one night stand that resulted in her sister getting pregnant. Violet's sister married Tom's brother mainly because she was pregnant. If that wouldn't had happened, they would have quickly gone their separate ways and never saw each other again. Her sister is obviously living a life that she never saw herself having. She's not bitter or unhappy with how her life turned, honestly she couldn't imagine anything better, she is madly in love with her husband and kids. Seeing her sister agonize over a perfectly great guy makes her snap and talk some sense into Violet. She quickly lets Violet know that there isn't such a thing as the perfect cookie, because she had experienced first hand how life works. You work with what you have, even if it isn't perfect.

Not to make cookies a deep analogy, but I look at it this way. We all start life out with a full box of cookies. There are all types of cookies out there with all sorts of flavors. Certain flavors attract us more than others. I personally like all chocolate flavors. I've always been pretty selective when it comes to cookies; I only sampled one or two kids of cookies before deciding what kind I wanted. I figured why waste your time sampling peanut butter cookies, when I knew I wanted chocolate! At some point I met a chocolate cookie that I thought I could stick with everyday, so I took a bite and bought the box. If you're smart, you'll know not to keep a checklist of every single ingredient you want in a cookie, because you probably won't ever find it. You'll just end up picking apart every cookie you try. Pick a main flavor and take it with or without nuts as a compromise. I'm not saying buy the first bag of cookies you think would be OK. Lets be honest, who wants to eat a so-so cookie everyday? Not this girl. Its knowing that there are good parts about cookies, like sugar, and bad parts, like calories. Remember to be selective about who gets try your cookies. The more people we let sample our cookies, the less we will have to fill our cookie jar in the end. Give them a smell, not a bite. I can't promise eating same the same cookie everyday won't get stale or repetitive. You have to be creative. Sometimes you have to make an ice cream sandwich out of your cookies, or dunk it in chocolate milk instead of plain old white, even then, sometimes slathering cookies in hot fudge is totally called for. Its more about the fact that you have a special one-of-a-kind cookie all to yourself that you don't have to share with anyone.

 In the end its all about the choices you choose to make, as with everything in life. I made a choice picking Evan, and I choose to love him unconditionally everyday, despite his lack of perfect ingredients sometimes. For all I know, there could be another guy out there who I would get along with better or love more easily, but the facts are: there will never be a perfect cookie, on this physical earth, that fully satisfies me in every possible aspect of my life. Returning my cookies for new ones will only result in the same vicious cycle of used, half-eaten, broken cookies. In my book I have a strict no return policy when it comes to cookies! So stop obsessing over finding the perfect cookie! Just pick one and take a bite!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

As I had mentioned before, this past Saturday was a lot of fun. Kaylee (a fellow Army wife) came up from Nashville and we went antiquing at my favorite location: This Old Place. I try to only go there once in a blue moon because I always have to get something. Aka I always spend money (Sorry Evan). They just have too many good things to pass up! I restrained from buying about 100 more things that my eyes saw. I ended up with 3 things. 

This shelf was $12. I'm trying to decide if I want to put it in my bathroom or the spare bedroom.

My rings never leave my hands, even when I'm doing dishes or cleaning. Evan told me if I ever lose my engagement ring, he won't be buying me another one. I believe him. Therefore, they are permanently glued to my fingers. I don't know how exactly how I'm going to use this, but I couldn't pass it up for $1! It looks so sweet and delicate.

This star is awesome. I like the fact that it was unique because it was 3D, and who doesn't love grey? Evan's Grandma and Great-Aunt make every grandchild in his family a quilt for their wedding gift. The star pattern in my quilt almost matches this star pattern exactly. When we were checking out the lady tried to charge me $20 for it...oh don't worry I caught it. For $15 its the perfect accent in my spare room! This room still has a long way to go, but its slowly coming along.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5 Reasons Why You Should Go Out of State for College

As many of my close friends have been busy with graduation ceremonies and parties, I can't help but think about the major impact college has made on my life. College is a major decision for anyone. Out of your high school graduating class the majority of your classmates will attend a local, in-state university. Either a small "starter" school or a mindbogglingly large state college that's close to home. Being close to home is nice, you can go home on weekends, see your old friends, have your mom do your laundry for free, all while staying in your comfort zone. I, however, believe that going out of state to college is the best choice that any bright, free-craving, 18 year old could make. 

1. You'll grow up 
Don't know how to do laundry? 2 weeks after arriving to school, you'll open your underwear drawer to find that Mom didn't do laundry! Oh wait...Mom isn't here anymore. Along with learning to do laundry, you'll learn from your mistakes, the hard way. Things that your Mom has been badgering you about, but you thought she didn't know what she was talking about. Things like not eating raw Pillsbury cookie dough, not staying up until 4 a.m. and then trying to go to class all day, cleaning your room, etc. Although learning the hard way is never fun, I can promise you, lessons learned the hard way will stick with you. This is all what growing up is about, discovering what being responsible, moral, and self-sufficient means, in your terms.       

2. You'll be wiser
Duh, that's why we go to college, to learn! Obviously you will you learn more about school knowledge, but you'll also learn how to study, learn how to manage time, and learn how to be more responsible. In college I learned how to study and take tests; Up until then I had no idea how to properly study for an exam. It made me a more disciplined and organized person, because frankly I had to be. It wasn't like high school where it wasn't costing me a penny to tool around and fail tests. In college you are paying money out the wazoo to fill your brain to the brim, so you take advantage of it. Book knowledge isn't the only wisdom you'll gain. You'll learn how to handle people who have different prospectives than you might have. At Asbury there were people from all over the United States, and the world for that matter who attended school. Through class discussions and friendships, I have a much broader range of perspective than many of my hometown friends. All of my high school friends, were raised by conservative, Christian, higher middle class families. We all generally agreed on the same issues because of the similar situation in which we were all raised. It's not a bad thing, its just how our mindsets were established. None of us were questioned or confronted with outside, challenging impressions. At College you have class debates and discussions with professors and students who see things differently. You get first hand experience, viewpoint, and examples on why they respectfully disagree. We're all entitled to our opinion. I think it would be impossible to not to expand on your views after discovering how profoundly eye opening it might be!

3. You'll be adventurous 
I promise you, all of your friends that stay around home for college will be tempted to go home every weekend, and I can understand why. Its hard making new friends. It isn't any fun being "the new kid" at the lunch table. Their mom will do their laundry, and they'll hang out with the same old high school friends. When they graduate, they'll only apply for jobs near home. Then, they'll complain when they can't get a job. They'll live in their moms basement. After you move away from home, live on your own, graduate, get a job in another city, work hard, and none of it will be a big deal. Because you have already taken the first step. My friend Krysti applied to every hospital in the United States for an internship. When I asked her where she hoped she would get into, she simply shrugged her shoulders and said that anywhere could be cool. Friends who stay in Pennsylvania would only apply to hospitals in Pennsylvania. Then, if they wouldn't get in they would simply wait until they could apply again, even if it took months of being stuck in limo while working at Applebee's to make ends meet. The very minute an in state graduate talks about moving out of state, families go crazy. It is literately a mammoth deal. Being able to "think bigger" and see outside of the box will become a no brainer. 

4. You'll learn about yourself
The only you, you have known up until now has been the person that has lived with family, and has a certain stereotype in school (which sucks, but it happens whether we like it or not). Getting out of state gives you a whole new fresh start that you won't get if you stay around your old stomping grounds. In high school I  probably would have been voted "Most Likely to Quit College," but when I arrived at Asbury University I was more than thrilled to lose that careless, class clown stigma. Yeah, I was known as the prankster on the hall, but I cared about my grades, I was involved, and met all my required deadlines; I was a different girl. College made me into the person I am today. I grew up, I gained knowledge, had new perspectives, I was ready to go anywhere in the world to follow my dreams. All of these things were because I went away to college. I learned who I was, what I wanted in life, and acquired the ability and confidence to get there.  

5. You'll have best friends for life
Unless you're super awkward or something.
Yeah staying up way too late, going to Taco Bell instead of studying, and playing pranks aren't always the best choices, but dang do they make the best memories. I can't say enough about how grateful and truly blessed I am to have met all of the wonderful people while at school. I loved everything about living in the dorm. The friends and community that were there felt like a family. At first, when everything that was once familiar was so far away, these people became my family. It still amazes me that people from so many different diverse places can still have so much in common. These people laugh and cry with you through all of the highest of highs, and lowest of lows. Your future children will call these people "Auntie" or "Uncle." It's completely different than Friday night sleepovers with your old BFF from high school. These friendships are the ones that stay with you long after you walk across the stage. They become so intricately apart of you, you would lose apart of yourself if you didn't stay in contact. I know I will have these friends in my life...well...for forever. All of the student loans in the world couldn't come close to replacing these amazing people now in my life, all because I went away to college.

Being out of state has its cons too. You'll probably end up paying more money, since out of state kids don't qualify for that specific states' grants. Also, any scholarships you might receive from your home state probably won't be able to be used in another state. In this economy that is a big factor that sway a lot of peoples' decisions on where to attend. But, having connections in two different states can give you broader job opportunities, which is the obvious goal after working hard to graduate. You might miss your family, but for me it made being home that much sweeter. You'll make friends that will become your extended family. I am a truly a transformed person for the better. I can promise you, if you do decide to take the leap to attend college outside of what you know as home, you will never regret it. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Small Moment

Yesterday I gathered up a pile of clothes to do a few loads of laundry. I mindlessly grabbed socks, underwear, shorts, and shirts that I had aimlessly left disgaurded on the bathroom and bedroom floor. Each piece was quickly plucked into the hamper as I made my way around the room, like making my way through a maze. To my satisfaction the maze of work clothes, jeans, and PJ's slowly evaporated. I rounded the corner of our bed continuing my cleaning fury, unaware of what I was about to face. 

A crumpled white t-shirt found its way to my hands. In my mind I knew it was just an undershirt, but in my hands it felt sad and heavy. I froze, holding it steadily. Slowly I lifted it to my nose and breathed in deeply. It still smelled like him. It made me feel overwhelmingly comforted but somber all at the same time. I was fixed in the middle of my room holding a plain white t-shirt, just staring at it deciding what to do. 

"Do I wash it?"
 "No, I can't do that, it won't smell like him anymore."
"Its eventually not going to smell like him, so why wait for it to gradually fade away?"
"Because, if I wash this I might not remember what he smells like."
"What if its the last thing I ever smell of his?"
"Meredith you can't think like that."
"I know, I know."
"I should probably wash it and get it over with."
"Ugh fine."

I stood holding the shirt over the washer feeling uncertain. The water plunged into the soap accumulating a bed of bubbles that was quickly rising, hungry to wash away any essence of Evan that was left. A prick of annoyance pressed past the pensive mood.

"What am I doing standing here gawking at a stupid shirt?"
"Its not stupid."
"Yes it is, why am I letting the stupid Army make me feel this way?"
"You just want remember him."
"It's ridiculous, I'm not playing this game. I'm just going to wash it."

I tossed the shirt in and slammed the lid shut.

I get upset at myself when I let these kind of things get to me. Only in this world does laundry become an exorbitant, emotional endeavor. Something as simple as a white undershirt can stop me dead in my tracks, petrified like a hunted wild animal...its flustering sometimes. It takes me right back to the moment when we first moved in together. Proud that I, his wife, got to wash them, fold them, and put them away in the perfect part of his dresser with care. The moment where we were getting ready for a date together. I loved watching him shave and get ready; he looked so handsome in his plain white t-shirt. How many times have I hugged that t-shirt and its hugged back, warm and intoxicating. Now its a cold and formless. I miss the person inside that shirt. Tender moments like this painfully come to life when hes away. It makes me feel happy, sad, angry, and rattled all at the same time. I don't always know how to deal with it, but I know I can't keep him here by not washing his things. Instead of holding on to a shirt that he once wore, I need to wash it, make it smell good and clean, fold it crisply, and tuck it away in his dresser. When the day arrives that he comes home, which will be soon, I'll watch him open his dresser, reach in and put on his familiar white t-shirt.

A few weeks after he gets back I'll probably be grumbling at him for not putting his shirt in the laundry!      

Monday, May 14, 2012

- Large dramatic exhale -

This is my last full week of work before I'm off for summer break. I can't believe its the end of the year already, but I'm more than excited to get out of this building for a few months. I now know why they give teachers off for the summer: children would die. This break is necessary to save lives. I wish I was joking. All those teachers you see in the news for hitting their students and thought were crazy? Well I beg to differ my friends. They were totally legit and completely justified. Ok I'm just joking, you should never hit a student, yada yada yada...unless they deserve it. Sarcasm is a real friend this week. I'll be headed home for awhile to visit with my family and then come back here to finish out my summer until school starts. So many things are going on in the next month its kind of unreal. I'm excited for it all! 

This past weekend was a lot of fun. Saturday my friend Kaylee, another Army wife, came up from Nashville to visit. We spent the day thrifting, (my awesome finds will be on here soon) then went to dinner and a movie. We saw The Five Year Engagement. I'm still tying to figure out how in the world the movie got a 63% on Rotten Tomatoes, because I thought it was super strange. Maybe I just didn't understand the type of humor in it. The whole time Kaylee and I just kept laughing awkwardly with confused looks on our faces, not being totally sure if something was funny, unexpected, or serious. Plus, I hate movies where it takes years for the characters to realize they are perfect for each other. Just friggin get married.

 I am really proud of myself; I've been keeping everything pretty tidy at my house. Now I know this might sound trivial to some, but for me this is like keeping Gollum from his precious. Please don't picture me as a main star in an episode of Hoarders. I'm clean; I'm not organized, but I'm slowly getting there. I've started with just focusing on the kitchen and living room area, then I can work up to my Kryptonite area...our bedroom. I have problems putting clothes away. This is all on top of puppy sitting I might add. Rudder, my friend's lab puppy, has been with Scout and I since Thursday. Lets just say I've got really good at cleaning carpets. He and Scout have had such a good time playing together though, its worth it. They are so cute when they play together, its entertaining enough in itself!

Evan will officially have Skype this deployment! They were trying to figure out a way to wire internet to their bunker/living area to have it. They needed a spool of internet cable; it just took them awhile to find some. Lord knows how you come across that in Afghanistan. I didn't ask, I was simply happy they got it all set up. I'm beyond excited that we will be able to see each other! He also received his mailing address, so the boxes can officially start being sent. He needed baby wipes and hand sanitizer, so I got those things, and then some to send him. I'll try to remember to take pictures the next time I make up a box, so I can show everyone what I pack to send him. This time around I packed his mail, some magazines, his favorite snacks, and a few other things that are going to be a surprise! 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

You can be addicted to certain kind of song

So I've been listening to this song on repeat for the last 2 days. (Like the rest of the world)

Or, the Glee version which is equally amazing. I'm honestly not a Glee fan usually, but I do enjoy the song they re-do from time to time. This is definitively one of them! 

Or, a bunch of phenomenally talented people who all play on 1 guitar together, that also happen to have killer voices.

Or, last but nowhere near least, amazing Asian dancers (with mustaches).

Which one do you think is the best?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Why You Should Hate The Notebook

I don't understand the absolute obsession over The Notebook. I'll give it to Nicholas Sparks, he did a great job romanticizing a story that is completely unrealistic and utterly stupid. 3 quick reasons as to why you should hate The Notebook.

1. It makes cheating not only OK, but elusively romantic.
2. It leads people to believe that you can eat and pay rent with love.
3. Impulsive, foolish, and childish decisions are welcomed without any negative consequences.

If you still don't believe me, please by all means, read on. It makes my heart hurt to think that this is what girls think real love looks like. Now before I have people scratching my eyes out over this, please read this short, adapted story written by yours truly to see the real version of The Notebook.

Pretend you knew a girl named Sallie. Her parents adored her, and did everything they could to make sure she could be successful. She was bright, beautiful, and on the right track to a prosperous life. Then, Sallie starting hanging out with Moses. Moses was a nice boy, but not exactly the best for Sallie. Her parents understood that Sallie was in love, it hurt them a lot to know she was so unhappy by taking her away from him. Deep down they knew that they were doing the best for their daughter. If they didn't move away, Sallie would simply marry Moses and immediately start popping out babies. They would most likely be poor, living paycheck to paycheck. They would struggle and live a hard life to make ends meet. Who would want this kind of life for their precious daughter? Her parents knew if she simply got away from this summer crush she would soon move on, like most young love does. Sallie had bigger dreams to fulfill than staying in a tiny town, she just didn't know it. Sallie does eventually forget about Moses, even though it was unbearable at first. She becomes a nurse and is really good at what she does. As a nurse she's caring, smart on her feet, and takes care of her patients with tender care. She meets a handsome, young, brave soldier who treats her like any girl would want to be treated. Ron loves Sallie so much, he buys her flowers for no reason, he would do anything for her, and he truly cares about her. Her parents love Ron, and take him into the family as their own son. Then, Sallie goes through a quarter life crisis. She wonders how different her life would be if she would have done things differently. Don't we all do this? Then again, we don't all act on it...Anyway, Sallie decides to visit her old small town, and see how everyone is doing, specifically Moses. Ron is so supportive and trusting of Sallie, that he fully supports her in wanting to get away for a few days. He knows all the stress of planning their wedding is really getting to her. Sallie ends up finding Moses. Over the years he has turned...insane, literately. Sometimes he sleeps around with a local girl he doesn't care about, who is willing to answer to his every booty call, but its no big deal. It's totally romantic remember? He's been so obsessed with Sallie that hes been engulfed by building her dream house, despite the fact he hasn't talked to her in years. Creeperish? Just a tad. Sallie ends up hanging out at his house, flirting with him like crazy, and hooking up with him. Word gets around like it always does, and people hear that Sallie has cheated on her fiance, that any girl would kill for, with the crazy high school fling down the street. I believe the word that most people would bring to mind is slut. She then tells her fiance what happened, who is absolutely heartbroken, but he loves her so much, he forgives her. Unfortunately, Sallie doesn't know who she wants. Ron decides that if Sallie really wants to be with him, he will wait for her, and if she doesn't, he loves her enough to let her go to be happy. (Who does this?? Why does nobody feel bad for Ron?? Seriously if anything, everyone watching this movie reading this story should be beating each other to get to Lon, I mean Ron!!! HELLO!!!) Sallie ends up choosing the mildly insane, but sexually satisfying Moses. Because we all know that good sex is the most important part of any marriage. When Sallie gets old and loses her mind, Moses treats her just like the crazy person she is by reading her the same story everyday. Because like she will remember, right?! TA DA! Who thought that was a good story?!

It really doesn't sound so appealing this way, does it?

I think the reason I hate The Notebook is the simple fact that nobody feels bad for Lon. Allie is a very hurtful and self centered person, only thinking about what she wants, and only how it effects her. She changes her mind on a dime and gets away with it! Lon is absolutely crushed, but its ok because Allie and Noah are totally in love. Never-mind that Allie has has built a life with Lon. Never-mind that she told him she loves him and promised to marry him. Allie has changed her mind, so he has to deal with it. "Lon loves Ally, is emotionally stable, financially stable, enamored by her, but it does not compare to the more raw and passionate relationship between her and Noah, and in the end Lon lets her go to Noah. Whilst it is easy to see the beauty of the true love between Noah and Ally in this situation, we forget that Lon is left behind and that this is a good man who loves and cares for Ally deeply. The fact that she leaves a man like this for a more tempestuous relationship and financially insecure man, leaves men to think, what do women want?" (via)

Girls swoon over The Notebook because of one simple reason: devotion. If we met Noah/Moses in real life we would all think he was a complete whack job for building the exact replica of the house Allie/Sallie dreamed of when she was 16. But separate the bonkers and you'll find adoration. Isn't this what we all really want? For someone to love us just like our wedding vows say. In good times and bad, sickness and health, rich or poor. Even when Allie turns her emotions on a dime, hurting everyone around her, Noah loves her anyway. He hangs off of a ferris wheel to get her, he dances with her in the middle of the street, doesn't pressure her to have sex with him, he writes her letters everyday for a year, he works tirelessly on a house that she might never see, he makes her a candle light dinner, kisses her in the rain, he leaves wild flowers on her pillow when she wakes up...I could go on. Noah wants Allie, and only Allie, until they are old and wrinkly. Girls, you need to realize that there are Noah's' out there for you, but these Noah's aren't hairy or insane; they have jobs, they have responsibilities, they have goals. They don't have time or money to build dream houses for years on end, waiting for you to find them. They are called Lon's.

What The Notebook didn't show was 10 years down the road when Noah was zoning-out in front of the radio with a beer, while Allie had 3 kids hanging off her screaming their brains out, while she tried to clean the house and cook dinner all at the same time. They didn't show Allie and Noah fighting about all those years he was sleeping with another girl for kicks. If he was really that devoted to her, why didn't he wait for Allie? They didn't show the red lines scribbled through their checkbook, which made them so stressed they couldn't enjoy being together. They didn't show all of the mindless fights because of their unstable, unpredictable emotions. Because that is what real life looks like. What more could a girl ask for than to be loved, adored, and taken care of by a handsome, emotionally strong and stable man? So Ladies, (and gentlemen) save yourself some headaches and pick yourself out a Lon.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Meredith Currently...

Obsessing over...Netfix. Can we talk for a second about how my last "Currently" post I was obsessing over trying to not sit in front of the TV? Bahaha! Now that, that goal is out the window...Since we opted to not have cable we purchased Nexflix instead. In all seriousness, I rarely miss cable. Yeah, there are a few mindless shows I miss like America's Next Top Model, 16 and Pregnant, and a good Sister Wives every now and then, but for the most part I'm living just fine without it. Should I be admitting I watch those shows? Then, Netflix had to go and get Army Wives, Blue Planet, Matilda, (Special Edition!), and about 10 new history shows/documentaries...what is this girl supposed to do?! 

Wishing for...the ability to eat as many chocolate chip pop-tarts without gaining a pound. I went grocery shopping Monday and they accidently fell into my cart. OK, so we both know that isn't true, but heres the deal. I don't buy junk ever, because if I do, I'll just eat it. I talked myself out of ice cream, I talked myself out of Oreo cookies, but chocolate chip pop-tarts? Not so much...

Thinking about...How amazing technology is. I was Skyping with Evan yesterday morning, and I still can't believe I can see him live-time in Afghanistan. I know I act like an old lady about it, but its amazing what kind of technology we have at our disposal. Just the other day I was reading a newspaper article about some soldier's wife seeing him die over skype. I guess they were skyping and their place got bombed or shot at. Its absolutely horrible, I can't imagine witnessing my husband being killed thousands of miles away. You would feel so helpless only being able to watch. But, itsn't that crazy that this wife knew immediately, and saw it with her own eyes? Before anyone could knock on her door or call her phone! Imagine how horrible it was for couples before us. I mean I probably wouldn't hear from Evan for another 2-3 weeks, or until a letter finally could make it home to let me know where he was. Then, who knows how long it would take for me to respond and then get it back to him! The Army wives of yesteryear were 100x stronger than I am! I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm extremely thankful for the internet, cameras, e-mail, and cell phones. Now that I think about it, I wish I would have taken a picture of us Skyping! 

Anticipating...flying. I'm super obnoxiously deranged when it comes to flying. I usually warn fellow passengers around me that if I'm hyperventilating, I'll be OK; just ignore me. I usually resemble a woman that's been in labor for 12 hours strait. My breathing is the classic he-he-whoo, while I try to grip the arms of the seat. My head stays down and my eyes do not leave the floor for any reason. Because that will keep me from dying if the plane goes down. After I drive the long 10 hours home, I'm going with my mother-in-law to South Carolina to visit my sister-in-law and her fiance there. We get to bask in the sun and eat lots of fresh seafood for a week. Oh, I seriously can't wait to tan these poor pale legs! To get there however, we have to fly. Lets have a brief overview about things I don't enjoy doing:

I don't enjoy going fast.
I don't enjoy being any more than 2 feet off the ground.
I don't enjoy seeing clouds.
I don't enjoy being confined to a small space.
I don't enjoy feeling like throwing up. 

Ergo when you combine all of these things you get flying, which in my mind is the worst possible things all tied together. I feel sick just thinking about it. The odds of me dying in a plane crash are about 1 in 11 million, so the statistics say. But every time I have to walk down that long creaky ramp to the plane, terror sweeps through my brain. "You'll be that 1 in 11 million!" Each bump of turbulence feels like dropping over the edge of a roller coaster cliff. Let me be clear: I hate roller coasters. In one flight in particular we hit bad turbulence. Most people continued to sleep and didn't think much of it. I can remember forcing myself not to scream bloody murder, by physically keep my hands firmly over my mouth while tears streamed down my face. I was so scared. So needless to say I'm already physicing myself out now. It's totally healthy, I promise.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Out with the new, In with the old!

So this week has already felt like its been a little bit too crazy. I'm not sure how this is even happening considering its just me at home with no definite ever. This past Saturday Lisa and I hit my favorite antique/junk store in town The Old Place. Here is our awesomely cute finds!

 We found this bench for Lisa to use to decorate, it was only...hold on to your pants...$7.50! It looks like something from Pottery Barn, except we didn't have to sell our first born children to have it! The vase to the right with flowers was $3 (I think). The cute little clear bottle beside it is a honey bottle with the cutest little saying/graphic on the front of it. ($7) I honestly can't remember what she paid for the two jars on the left, but I can promise you they were cheap! She also snagged a lamp for her living room and an awesome old rustic window like this one: 

for $15! Overall Lisa found some great things; her house already looks more moved into than mine does! 

 This is my first plate to hopefully be apart of my large plate collection for my wall. $2
 This cookie jar was $9. Its possibly one of my favorite things in my kitchen! Not to mention milk and cookie together...get it? 
 Although I didn't buy this, it was an old storage tray/box that was pretty neat. It was only $15 and I've seen the same things in a Pottery Barn magazine for $50! Eventually I'll buy a few of these to have sitting on the coffee table and fill with my cute trinkets and decorations. 
 Our next stop was carpet. We were told by a friend that this carpet place in town that sells leftover carpet for next to nothing. We found Carpet Flooring America in Clarksville, and our eyes nearly pooped out of our least mine were! They had rolls and rolls of carpet to choose from. Lisa got an 11x11 ft piece of carpet for only $60. We were seriously finding all of the good deals this week!
 They even gave me some carpet cleaner when I had mentioned that Scout had managed to drag all of the dirt outside, inside. I run the sweeper almost everyday, but there is only so much that will do. I highly recommend going there!
 Would it be weird to want to do a photo-shoot inside this carpet place? Because that's the first thing I thought of when I walked into it. It would be strange wouldn't it? I promise it would be awesome! Maybe someday if the owners don't think I'm completely crazy.

This is where I sit in the lunchroom to receive/send emails. It cell phone service in the teacher's lounge is like going back to dial up...if it even decides to work at all. I can't believe there are only 2 weeks of school left. Needless to say, I'm just a little bit excited. I can't wait to be off for summer. I'm so lucky to have a job that this happens!

Monday, May 7, 2012

New Rule

I'm making it a new rule in my life to take my SLR camera everywhere. I'm gluing it to my side, even if I'm going to get gas. Here's the deal. I hate being that person with a camera glued to their face. Or, that artsy person that is taking pictures of nasty cigarette butts while pumping gas. But it has to happen. I bought a book: Understanding Exposure to help me learn more about my camera. I understand ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, but I have a hard time grasping the concept of how they all work together. 

I can't tell you how many times I've I said "I wish I had my camera." Considering how much I love my camera, and how nice it is, even though its a little old, this should not be a problem in my life. I know I could be a lot better than I am currently, I just need to force myself to practice. So here I am announcing it here to make myself hold myself to it.

*Side note: Evan has made it to his new "home" and will start some kind of training before they start their actual missions soon. I'm hoping we both can get into a new routine quickly. It really does make the time go by so much faster!

Friday, May 4, 2012

I am the wife of an American Solider

OK, so I usually hate stupid, sappy, my life is harder than yours, excuses for military spouses that some (not all) use. I know that the majority of people aren't like this, but the few that are drive me up a wall. My friends can readily attest that my blood pressure goes through the roof over overly zealous, bumper sticker ridden cars with Army wives carrying camo purses, wearing dog tags, and always bellyaching about how hard life is. I feel like a jerk admitting this, but its true! Evan keeps pulling my leg about how hes going to sneak one of these examples (below) on to my car...I. would. die.
Bumper sticks like these set me off:

I think planning strategic ways to kill people, while trying to stay alive yourself, while living in a 3rd world country is a little tougher. 
Who loves a man in dirty ACUS? Um...nobody, especially not this girl! They are stinky and disgusting! My clothes are never washed together with any of Evans Army stuff. I'm tempted to wash a load with nothing in  it between washes to wash the washer for goodness sake! Even Evan won't wash his own regular clothes with his Army clothes...that's saying something! 

 No it's not, because you're still alive to drive your ridiculous car around. 
Lastly, my favorite. I wish you could have seen my face when I originally laid eyes on it. Not only is it inappropriate but who says that, let alone plasters it on the back of a car?!?!

 The "you're so much stronger than me" or "I could never be away from my husband that long like you" comments make me cringe. I know people are just trying to be supportive and thankful, I just have a hard time accepting it without feeling like people are feeling sorry for me. I need to change my attitude on this, because it probably just me making up crazy stuff in my mind. So here I go with a foot in the right direction. I stumbled across this the other day, and I have to admit it is a kinda cool poem. Look, I promise I'm not going to hang it in my house or anything. 

I am the wife of an American Soldier. 

I am a supporter of the United States Army - an encouragement for the protectors of the greatest nation on earth. 
Because I am proud of my husband and the  uniform that he wears, I will always act in ways creditable to him, the military service and the nation he is sworn to gaurd.
I am proud of my husband. I will do all that I can to protect and provide for my family in his absence. I will be loyal to myhusband and to the vows that we made as we entered the covenant of marriage.
I will do my full part to carry on the valuesand goals we have set apart for our family and I will continue to instruct our children in the same manner.
As a soldier's wife, I realize that I play a vital role in my husband's decision to become a member of a time-honored profession - that I am doing my share to keep alive the principles of freedom for which my country stands. No matter what situation I am in, I will never do anything, for pleasure, profit, or personal safety, which will disgrace my husband, his uniform or our country.
I will use every means I have to encourage my husband to be the best soldier that he can be.
I am proud of my husband, my country and its flag.
I will fly the flag and will always remember the sacrafices made by my husband and by generations of men and women that have served our beloved country. I will try to make my husband proud of the manner in which I accept his decision to defend my freedom andthe freedom of all American citizens -for I am the wife of an American soldier.

What I wore today - April 3

Photo a Day May // What I wore today
A smile on my face

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Every goodbye makes the next hello closer

The morning Evan had to leave was kind of surreal. The anticipation of him leaving was the real part that was bugging me. I hate him being away, but at the same time I knew the sooner we said "goodbye", the sooner we could just start this deployment thing and start counting down the days to "hello" again. We got all his packed bags in the car, and he gave Scout some loving to say bye.

We got to his unit meeting spot and did the usual standing around waiting, while the guys did the last minute packing up of things. I talked to a few other Army wives, who were about to embark on their very first deployment. We chatted about the usual things, but underneath I could see the worry, sadness, and dread of saying goodbye in their eyes. I absolutely hate that. I wish I could somehow know the exact thing to say or do to make it easier...but really is there anything you can say to comfort someone when their husband is deploying? They are all so brave and strong. I wanted to grab them all in a bear hug, let him bawl their eyes out, and scream about how horrible and stupid this all is. But we couldn't. We had to be strong for our guys. They don't want to leave either, so why make it harder on them? That's just what Army Wives do. They push smiles through tears, act steadily confident through shaking uncertainty, and do anything that their duty requires them to do. I've never been prouder to know these amazing women who stand behind their husbands through anything; its such a stirring feeling of honor to see.

This time I didn't have that hysterical feeling tightening around my chest like I did the last time I had to ship him off. Its a feeling of overwhelming sadness, worry, and panic crushing you all at the same time; add a dash of wanting to hurl your guts up and that's about the exact feeling of you'll have. Fun, right? I'll admit it was probably one of the worst feelings I've ever experienced in my life. The first deployment when I told him goodbye, I immediately ran to my car and cried until I was completely broken. I am happy to say that this time around, those feelings didn't happen. I think Evan and I both felt unnaturally peaceful and a little detached about it all. We knew what to expect, and how to deal with it. The time came where they had to board the bus to the plane. I gave Evan one last hug and kiss goodbye. I made sure to tell him to "Be safe" like I always do. He responded how to normally does, by telling me that "Be safe" doesn't control the situation, if something is going to happen, it's going to happen. Typical Evan, always blatantly honest. I told him to shut-up and that I just needed to say it. That made us laugh. He heaved his pack on and made his way towards the bus. Halfway to the bus and he turned and told me "I love you; see you soon buddy." With a wave and a step on to the bus he was gone. I slowly walked to my car, wishing I felt more. I felt guilty not feeling more perturbed about it all. I guess maybe its a good thing; this time I have a clearer mind to help the girls out.

The guys are in Afghanistan taking care of each other, while we do the same thing on the home front here. In situations like this, you quickly become like close family to people, who just a few months before, were complete strangers. The military really is a world of its own. In its own strange way, maybe that's why some of us stick around so long, even when there are so many things that undoubtedly suck about it. If you're in the military the moment you meet another Army wife, you can already relate to them on some level, because we already know exactly how each other feels without saying a word. "There is a special bond between soldiers created by the harsh realities of their service; a bond which is incomprehensible to the civilian world.  Like their men—Army wives have a bond all their own. (via)" 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Photo a Day May // Skyline
From my evening walk with Scout tonight.

Meredith Currently...

Obsessing over...getting into a new routine. With Evan gone, I don't have my usual being married and in love schedule, so I'm coming up with a new one. Currently it includes a major revamping of my evening time and trying new things. I hate finding myself just sitting in front of the TV, especially when I know there are better things to do. I let my house get messy, especially without Evan there to help me. I have a big goal of acquiring organized habits to keep my house spiffy. I need to figure out a daily and weekly chore chart for myself. For now I'm starting small, I've been trying to put things away as I use them. I'm horribly notorious for using things and just leaving them where I last used them, instead of just putting them away. I'll let the peanut butter jar sit on the counter instead of reaching 6 inches and setting it back in the cupboard...stupid I know, but its so hard to do for me! I'm trying here, OK? I've also become mildly obsessed of trying to figure out a new work out routine. I kind of want to start running. When I say kind of I mean everything in my body is screaming NO, but I know I could enjoy it if I could get past the part of wanting to die. My butt, abs, arms, and legs could use some toning too...I'm so weak its embarrassing. 

Wishing for...some new music for my ipod...I haven't updated my iphone in months...maybe even a year. Strangely enough, I've recently discovered how much I love Opera. I always loved listening to symphonies and classical music, but thought Opera was just plain outrageous sounding. I've changed my ways. I've been an Opera listening fool and I'm already planning a visit to the Nashville Opera! 

Thinking I still need to blog about Evan leaving. 

Anticipating...the next 8 months or so. I'm wondering how this deployment will be different than the last one. I have a feeling it will be easier and harder all at the same time. Easier because we've been-there, done-that. Harder because we're a real, married team now. Its hard to feel like part of a team when one of the members are MIA. I guess we can only hold on, enjoy the ride, and see where it takes us.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Photo a Day//May 1st
Peace//is driving in the beautiful, and free country of America listening to a good country song on the radio

Wrong is Right

Sometimes I become so focused on what's going wrong, that I'm failing to see all of the wonderful things right in front of me that are going exactly right. This happens more often then I like to admit. Friday I was off work since Evan was leaving. We didn't have big plans, but we wanted to do something fun before he left. I woke up that morning from the lack of oxygen to my brain. My head felt like I had sunk a mile underwater, as I helplessly bobbed along through the fog. I could only manage a caveman-like gasp of air through my mouth, which usually resulted in a equally disgusting man cough. I was so upset. Here Evan and I were trying to spend some quality time together before he left, and I just had to get sick this one weekend. I whined, I huffed, I stomped my feet demanding my body to heal itself at warp speed. It didn't help, I only felt more miserable as the weekend passed. 

Last night I was at the end of my rope. I looked wearily at the clock, realizing it was already past my usual bedtime. Methodically I locked the door and turned to the lamp. I noticed a small baggie of sea salt leaning on the base of the lamp, that I had acquired by a sales spa lady at school as a free sample. I had taken it more out of apathy than enthusiasm. I plucked it with my left hand as my right clicked the light  off, swallowing the room into a quiet blanket of darkness. 

I filled up the tub with hot water and thoughtlessly dumped the contents of the bag without looking. My clothes were flung into a pile on the floor. The water was a slightly too warm, which made my skin tingle on the edge of burning. Normally I would vacate water this hot, but felt too irritated to haul myself out. I held the bridge of my nose with my thumb and pointer finger, as the steam from the hot water flushed my cheeks red. My face was tense and drawn together in my hands. I started messaging my swollen nose, then moved slowly along the top of my cheek bones. My fingers moved in small rhythmic circles up my temples, across my forehead, back down my nose, and then tumbled off the tip to trace around the perimeter my lips.  

Next, I stretched my legs and felt the tautness of my stringent muscles. It felt nice to lean back into the pressure, releasing all my uncertainty, like wringing water from a towel. I stood up in the tub, touched my toes, and gradually stood up straight. I took a deep breath. I took another deep breath. I believe I invented some kind of bathtub yoga, but it worked. After all my muscles had been stretched and messaged I felt a lot better. Even my cold didn't seem as bad. As the water gargled down the drain, I wrapped myself in my pale pink robe. I climb into my bed (which was a little too empty I might add) and fell asleep in about thirty seconds.   

I guess the good Lord knew I would need to relax, especially after Evan leaving. Seeing as He knows me way better than I know myself, this might have just been the way to do it. If I hadn't been sick I would have never taken a bath. If I didn't take a bath, I would have never taken the time to be still, have a mini spa, and invent bathtub yoga. Maybe I would have been running around like a mad woman trying to fill my time, so I wouldn't be thinking about how far away Evan gets each day from me. Before Evan left we spent most of our last moments together just hanging out. Since I was sick we didn't eat fancy dinners or run downtown, we just snuggled up on the couch and soaked up every moment together. So maybe my cold wasn't such a bad thing after all.