Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wedding Weather Update

This is the new forecast as of 11:00... let's keep this one :)

A Positive and a Negative- Part 2

Positive- The wedding is finally close enough that our date appears on the 10 day forecast!

Negative- This is what the forecast is showing~

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

So sad....

Here are some excerpts from an article about premarital sex in America~

"NEW YORK - More than nine out of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have had premarital sex, according to a new study. The high rates extend even to women born in the 1940s, challenging perceptions that people were more chaste in the past.
“This is reality-check research,” said the study’s author, Lawrence Finer. “Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, and has been for decades.”

"According to Finer’s analysis, 99 percent of the respondents had had sex by age 44, and 95 percent had done so before marriage.
Even among a subgroup of those who abstained from sex until at least age 20, four-fifths had had premarital sex by age 44, the study found."

The part that gets me is when Finer says that premarital sex is "normal behavior" for Americans. I disagree, it may be common, it may be typical, but it is not normal and it is not ok. Later in the article he argues about how pointless abstinence education is. I was overcome with an intense sadness as I read this article and saw the way that men have distorted something given to us by God as a way to worship him. I know it sounds weird to say that sex is a form of worship, but it is. As God intended it, between a married couple, it is most definitely a form of worship.

American society is teaching us that it is ok to seek pleasure in whatever way suits you and in doing so it has distorted God's gift to married couples. I won't continue to ramble, I'll just say that this is just another area of my life where I see God's goodness in keeping me pure and spotless for my future husband, (who I now have a name for :) Nate.

The Rediscovery of Mat Kearney

From "Girl America"

"Faith like a child from your first birth
You left it in the dirt on your worst hurt
And I see each tear and every scar
The hands that have held you where you are
And I can see we've strayed so far
A king born under that morning star
As a crown of thorns was placed to erase
Each tear that's touched your face
And his palms and sides were pierced with spears
He hung in love just to draw you near
My girl, out of this whole world
Can't you see this is where we started?"

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Here we go again

I am tapped out of original topics right now... just out completely. Yet I feel as though I need to post, like it is something I owe to my friends who are also in the bored, pre-Holiday phase of work and are searching blogs desperately looking for some entertainment, however inane :) So here are some insights into my life.

~Yesterday a guy drove up beside me and just waved at me for no reason, but he did it like I should know him, which I don't. I waved back, locked my doors and drove away :)

~I am officially to the point in packing where I have run out of obvious stuff to pack and am now down to weird shaped things, random assortments of items, and hanging clothes (which are a pain in the booty to move. It is going to be interesting to have it done by Friday night.

~Last night I ate the world's biggest fruit salad for was fabulous :)

~There are no words to describe how thankful I am that I finished my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving.... If I had to do it now, everyone would be getting something from Kroger :)

Friday, December 15, 2006

A Positive and a Negative

Positive~ I won for Most Creative and Public Favorite in our office decorating contest yesterday! I got $100 in AMEX gift cards for my efforts and it was a lot of fun! My brother's response was as follows:

You are the deco queen, young and sweet, only twenty-three
Deco queen, feel the creative juices flow (oh,ohhh)
You can build, you can wrap, even make a fake window
OOH, See that girl, watch that scene, dig it the deco queen

haha, ladies and gentlemen...behold my family!

Negative- I am exhausted. I don't want to be at work today. I'd have given my right arm to sleep in and spend the rest of the day getting ahead on the twenty billion things I have to do that aren't work related...aka, moving, cleaning, making programs, calling vendors, running errands (including that weird grocery store place where you go to buy's been so long), and hunting down all the people that think that an RSVP is an optional thing and just assume I know they're coming. ARG!! I can't wait til next friday when I will finish work and head into 3 weeks off. Every time I pause at work, I realize how much I COULD be getting done at home. I need sleep...soon. I think I will actually get it maybe next Friday. If not we're looking at Christmas Eve... oh joy.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A cornucopia...

Things I ate at the Holiday Graze (see post below)

~ Creme Brulee
~ Biscuits with sausage and gravy
~ Pigs in a blanket
~ Ginger cookies
~ Homemade oreo cookies
~ baklava
~ Chips and homemade salsa
~ Meatballs in sauce
~ Homemade Pad Thai
~ Queso, queso and more queso
~ Tortilla roll-ups
~ Ritz crackers with peanut butter coated in white chocolate
~ Chocolate covered pretzels
~ Crackers with sausage and cheese
~ "Cinnamon Roll-ups"

Ok, so maybe I deserve the "you're not going to fit into your dress" comments :)

Out to Pasture

Today is what is fondly known at my office as the holiday graze. It is a fantastic day filled with food, food and well, food :) Everybody brings something and leaves it on their desk and you walk around throughout the day and just eat continually. So far this morning I have had creme brulee fresh torched by our HR lady in the kitchen right in front of me... so good! I am waiting for Rob's gravy to heat up and then I'll have sausage, gravy and biscuits. After that I plan to hit up Noel's desk for pigs in a blanket and just see where the wind takes me from there. What a fabulous day!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Random Corner

Ok, I just have some little snippits into my life to share today... nothing profound or anything, just me :)

~ I find it REALLY annoying that every time I eat anything at work, someone feels a need to joke with me that I better be careful or I won't fit into my dress. How is that funny? These people are very lucky of two things, I have no tendency whatsoever towards an eating disorder whereas some people might think these comments indicate they are fat and they'd stop eating and number two, I am a Christian and God is currently teaching me the power of my words and the importance of watching them. :P

~ Nate and I bought a stove last weekend and it's being delivered on Saturday! On one hand I felt like a grown up and it was kinda cool. On the other I realized that money I used to be able to spend on fun stuff as a teenager is now being spent on doctor's appointments and appliances.

~ I begin the process of slowly moving my stuff over to Nate's place tonight and tomorrow. I'm somewhat afraid to plumb the depths of what I own now. I was always amazed when I moved in college by how much I could acquire in a year. I don't feel like I've gotten that much, but this could be scary.

~ Laney can now stand up on her own without holding on to something. On one hand we are hoping she'll be walking by Christmas, on the other this will require us to be a lot more quick on our feet.

~ Nate has really cool friends. Well, they would be cool if they stopped moving to Pearland :P

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Going Down?

Yesterday I got stuck in the elevator at work as I was leaving to come home. Frankly with the way the ride down was going, I'm just glad it didn't plummet :P Anyhoo, I got to use the energency phone and wait for the guard to come rescue me from my suspended cage... it was just like being in a sitcom! Well, except that if it was a sitcom then I'd have been pregnant, going into labor, and in there with someone who is just about to learn how much they can accomplish when stuck in a difficult situation. It was heartwarming really :)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Budding Maturity

So I would consider myself a grown up in many ways.... financially independent, steady job, have started referring to 10pm as "staying up late", but up until recently I had the taste buds of an approximate 8 yr old. About a year ago I started branching out and trying things I wasn't sure about, but it was still in moderation.... we're talking going from plain and dry sandwiches to ones with lettuce, oooooooo :)

In the last month or two, however, I have been making a real effort to be a grown up. I've been ordering things off of menus that contain things like "corn relish" and "red peppers", things that would have been an automatic no in the past are more like a challenge now. November was the first month I had EVER eaten broccoli, green beans, snap peas, the assorted Japanese food at Nate's family Thanksgiving, all sorts of stuff. It isn't a struggle anymore, I just stick it in my mouth and I usually find that I at least like it enough to swallow, usually enough to go back for more. There is some stuff I still don't like, but I have an open mind and I'm looking forward to trying the world of food all over again :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Special Christmas Moment

Some background first.... We just got a new office leader for Houston and she's been cracking down on cleaning up the office. Her latest thing was requiring us to organize the bookshelves by the layout tables. She wants them as empty as possible, but all of PMs already have crowded desks and they don't want to take their plan sets back and clutter things further. Ok, fast forward to 5 minutes ago.

So my old supervisor just spent who knows how long clearing off one of the shelves and then he took a picture of it. He printed up a lifesize plot on our huge roll plotter (these are 8 ft bookshelves) and he taped it to the front of the shelves so that they look empty. He is currently in the process of printing 3 more to cover the rest of the shelves.... they are surprisingly realistic and a nice bit of humor for a boring day :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Gingerbread, gingerbread, gingerbread rocks :)

Pics of my cube after Nate and I turned it into a gingerbread house for an office decorating contest :)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Evite- The Wave of the Present

Soooo, people don't RSVP. I have always been an RSVP person but apparently a lot of people aren't. I was getting frustrated with the low numbers of people RSVPing (1-2 a day) for the wedding because I knew that we have to get a final number to the caterer in two weeks and we have to pay more per person if we go over the number we give them.

I know alot of people mean to RSVP and would have eventually, but we are working on a schedule and I would hate to get down to the day before and realize I had to contact 50 people to find out if they are coming. I put my mom in charge of family friends who haven't emailed, Nate's mom is in charge of his home town and relatives, we each took our work friends and I took on HFBC and friends from college. I decided to send out an evite to the last group to try to make it easier on both parties involved. Well, I heard back from 20 out of 39 people in the first day alone! Evite is now this girl's best friend. :)

To give ya'll (Jen Cates) a little update on wedding plans, we meet with the caterer today to choose the final menu (I had no idea that this happened so late in the game) and if we get done early enough then we are going to go to the County Clerk's office and get our marriage license on the way back in town. We chose our vows and message and order or service last night with Don and got to hear stories of things I'd rather not have happen at our wedding, but I wouldn't freak out if they did :) We are about halfway done making the programs and halfway done making the little bundles to throw as we exit. The favors have been done for awhile (praise the Lord!) and I feel like after we finish the programs and bundles we should be somewhat home free on wedding stuff. Although I am taking on a craft project for the rehearsal dinner too... Somebody stop me!

** Side note- you know that just-turned-on-the-heater-for-the-first-time-this-year smell? Well I turned it on last night (28 degrees outside, don't cha know) and the smell set off the smoke detector almost instantaneously..... a nice, heart stopping moment for me :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas Decorations

My office is having a cubicle decorating contest over the next few weeks. Now, I am pretty sure this is an attempt to prove that our office is just as fun of a work environment as other offices.... I'm not sure it has another purpose. My suspicions come from the fact that our Austin office had a Halloween decorating contest that was much talked about and our office decided to do this (for the first time) about 2 days after hearing about the Austin experiment.

Well, at first I kept telling people that I wasn't going to have time to go out and buy decorations and then put them up, blah blah blah. The truth? I'm too competitive. I know that I will go overboard and end up spending a ton of money and then if I don't win, I'll get bitter. It's not all fun and games to me.... I may pretend like it, but for things like this I want to win. I want mine to be so much prettier than anyone else's that they will have no choice but to crown me queen of decorating and hail my creative abilities.... not in front of me of course, I'm not comfortable with that kind of attention :) But it would be a topic in the breakroom. People will remember it next year and look at the other entries and say, "Yes, but it could never compare to Abby's last year." Interesting that I want to go down in history but not have anyone compliment me to my face :P

So long internal debate short, I'm gonna do it. I have a plan and it's not too intricate. It does involve a dowel rod hanging from the ceiling, yards upon yards of tinsel, paper snowflakes, white lights and possibly fake snow and a likeness of Santa's backside..... I'll post a picture when I'm done :)

Monday, November 27, 2006


This is a tad late, but I have been internet-less since Wednesday so I couldn't post.....

Ags 12
t.u. 7


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Work for the Holidays

There is something so fundamentally wrong about going to work when over half of your friends aren't going. Then you get there and way over half of your coworkers also are not going and your boss sends out in an email to another office that you aren't working on Wednesday either.... wait, so.... nobody else is here, nobody knows I'm here, there isn't much for me to do.....why am I here? Well I really have nothing to blog about, so this will be a Seinfeldian sort of blog.

-I had ice on my windshield yesterday morning.... ICE

-I am the queen of weird medical problems. Yesterday was the second time (for two different things) in a couple months that I heard this from a doctor..." Well, you aren't imagining it, it's definitely there. I have no idea what it is, what is causing it or how to get rid of it. The x-ray/bloodwork didn't show anything bad so I just wouldn't worry about it. Hopefully it will go away on it's own. Anyway, there is definitely something wrong but I wouldn't worry about it... we just don't know what it is (insert big fake doctor smile)"

-I think I have more pet peeves than the entire country of Bolivia. I am working on a peeve-tastic blog entry wherein I record everything that bothers me that shouldn't.

-Confession- I love to make lists. The only thing better than making a list is crossing stuff off of one.

-Confession #2- sometimes when I'm bored at work I get on our payroll system to look at how much PTO I have and calculate how much I will have by the honeymoon (or whatever trip was coming up before that came about). It's always the same result, but it keeps my somewhat sane.

-I treat my TI 89 calculator like a member of the family. The smartest member of the family.

- I think if I could only shop at one store for the rest of my life, that I could survive quite well with a Super Target. The only hitch is that I can never find cute clothes there although everyone else does.

- Pet Peeve #895, When I ask people where they got the cute skirt and they say "Target, just this week" and I KNOW I went to Target this week and I KNOW I looked through every rack because everyone else seems to find fun stuff, and I KNOW I found nothing.

- A can of Raid a fearless bug killer doth make. It's so much easier when you don't have to squish them... or get within 4 feet :)

- A hand that cramps easily is a bad thing to have when you are writing massive amounts of thank you notes.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Beatnik Bride

I'll confess, I like the title of this entry more than the content I actually have to fill it. I had a moment yesterday where I realized I had joined the ranks of beatnik brides. Few escape it, few realize they've become it. Beatnik bride is my term for describing women who, as soon as they become engaged, stop cutting their hair. Suddenly the girl smiling back at you from all of your shower pictures has the same hair cut... long and straight. At the next shower it is straighter and longer, and longer, and longer..... For girls with curly hair, they become afro brides or perhaps lion brides. Their hair grows out instead of down. They suddenly find themselves with a head of hair that can be tamed by no invention mankind has yet stumbled upon. And all this so that a hairdresser can look at you on your wedding day and see the potential to do pretty much anything you want.

Anyhoo, my hair has gotten long.... not such a weird thing for me as this is how I spent my childhood and my sophomore year of college, but it is certainly longer than I have been used to it in recent years. I am looking forward to being married and being able to cut my hair and maybe, just maybe learning how to fix it two different ways.... oooooooo, variety :)

On a side note, I think i'm getting sick (just in time to spend the holidays with Nate's family, don't ya know) and I think I got sick from my insane boss who came in sick as a dog all last week and coughed all over us (she sits next to me.. happy times) even though she has plenty of sick time to take off. I am now plotting my revenge upon her. I'm not sure what type of evil plan will prevail, but I think cough drops might be involved :P

Friday, November 17, 2006


I have to admit it.. I'm a sucker for a sunrise, or a sunset, or just a sunny day really. It seems to be the way that God reminds me of how faithful, powerful and beautiful he is. Today I got up here and was booting up my computer and a guy I work with came in and told me that the interior light in my car was on in the parking garage. Drat! I very much dislike having to go back down there once I'm settled. Not desiring to have a dead battery when I make my Friday escape this afternoon, I thanked him and went downstairs. As I walked through the garage, I saw the beginnings of a sunrise through the opening in the second level of the garage and I instantly smiled. It was in that pre-sunrise stage where it isn't bright or anything, but the whole sky begins to change color from the horizon up. Today it was a deep orange. Suddenly my mind was flooding with thoughts.... "This is the day that the Lord has made", "His mercies are new every morning" and "great is thy faithfulness". I love that God uses the sun as a reminder to me of his person.

On a separate note, I've had this song in my head all week....

" I don't know how the stars hang
Or how there's night and then there's day
I don't know how you spoke into the black
And made it all obey

All I know is the bleeding in my heart
And the healing in your touch
All I know is that you gave everything
So let that be enough
'Cause it's all I know

I don't know how your love works
How you cover me in grace
I don't know how you swallow all I am
When I can't stand my taste

All I know is the bleeding in my heart
And the healing in your touch
All I know is that you gave everything
So let that be enough
'Cause it's all I know

I can't explain your mystery
But I know the answer

All I know is the bleeding in my heart
And the healing in your touch
All I know is that you gave everything
So let that be enough
'Cause it's all I know"

'All I know' by Matt Wertz

Thursday, November 16, 2006

So sad....

I was watching the news yesterday and they were talking about Renee Zellweger's divorce from Kenny Chesney after a 4 month marriage. (I will spare you my list of reasons why this isn't news and shouldn't be playing alongside Fort Bend murder stories at 9pm) I was getting ready for bed and heard in passing a quote from Renee explaining that the marriage came about because she "needed a break from acting". In an article this morning I read her as saying~

"I was looking for something else. I just needed to put acting aside. I needed to sit still and not to worry about the dresses and the hair and the travel and the interviews.
"I was going through huge life changes at the time. I wanted to stop and be a girl for a while."

It saddens me that she used marriage as a way to break up the monotony and 'be a girl for awhile'. What ever happened to a good old fashioned vacation? When I need to feel like a girl I watch sappy movies, eat more than I should, go shopping, play MASH or have massive unexplained mood swings. Perhaps I should send her a list of suggestions.....

Monday, November 13, 2006

AP- Acronym Patrol

It seems that not a day goes by when I don't get at least one email utilizing acronyms that I don't understand.

Some examples from last week include:

"OK, I have 10 minutes and IS wants to take computer down. I have the IOA ready except to refine the Houston Scope of Work."

"I need to get this to SSO Billing today."

Um ok, I think that problem is that I haven't been here long enough to be able to read through these without stopping for a while to try to remember what the acronyms mean. Do you suffer from the same problem? Have no fear! I found a website that has common acronyms... you just type in the one that is stumping you and it will give you all of the possibilities it knows of that your acronym is used for. Besides a helpful tool for deciphering emails, this is also a form of entertainment. I was thinking about my initials.... what do they say to people? If I signed them in an email, what would people think? According to the website, my initials (AJE) are portraying the following-

African Joint Effort (ILO/WHO Joint Effort on Occupational Health and Safety in Africa)
Alliance for Jewish Education
American Journal of Epidemiology
Anti-Jam Equipment

Exciting... right? ;-)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I'm not copying Laurie... ok, just this once I am

Things I have heard this week and were just too good to not pass on.

"It's too early to be selling Christmas stuff! What about Thanksgiving? Has everyone forgotten about it? What about the Pilgrims, Abby? WHAT ABOUT THE PILGRIMS?!"

"Yeah, it's fun to be naked in Fairfield!"

"It was sprinkling and Little York was flooded."
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure Little York floods when it's foggy."

"Is that pot? It is, isn't it?! I think I'm high off of that guy's pot!"

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Smiley Afternoon

My apartment complex smells like Bubbalicious today... what an excellent afternoon :)

Oh mom, Allison Bush is engaged!

Wedding Weirdness - Part 8

I walk into work this Monday and notice a voicemail on my machine. I sit down and call in to check my messages. This is what I hear....

"Hi Abby, this is ___ from Bed Bath and Beyond in Meyerland Plaza. A man just bought something off of your registry and he would like you to come pick it up today. Once again, that is the Meyerland Plaza location.. thank you!"

Ok, a couple things here..... You can make someone go pick up the gift you buy them?? I had NO IDEA!! That is so weird to me, but ok. Second thing, the lady calls at 5:23 on a Sunday and asks that I come today to pick it up.... that gives me a grand total of 37 minutes to get there. Third thing, she called and left a message at my work number.. how likely is it that I will be there to answer on a Sunday? (For the mildly curious reader, you couldn't get from my office to Meyerland in 37 minutes.... even on a Sunday)

Anyhoo, just another oddity of weddings that I had no idea about. I think I'll do this for Christmas... buy things and make my family and friends go pick them up. Should make for some interesting thank you notes at the very least :P It's a weird world my friends, and I'm just getting married in it.

Friday, November 03, 2006

If Houston was a person....

If Houston was a person, would it be mentally unstable? No, think about it... Houston often boldly displays the characteristics of a manic depressive personality. It can be bright and sunny and you think everything is good and then in a matter of 5 minutes it can go pitch black and the waterworks start. In the case of this week, it can be warm and inviting and in a matter of 24 hours you can find yourself driving to work past a bank sign that boldly proclaims a temperature of 38 degrees! Talk about the cold shoulder!

Ok, let's step out of this for a second..... 38? 38!!!?? WHY must it be 38?!! Would it be too much to ask for to have some sort of transition between 85 and 38? Ok, back to the blog...

Houston lures you into a false sense of comfort.. you think you understand it's patterns and then you find yourself inching along the ramp from 610 to I10 only to find that it will take you an hour to get to Silber (for those non-Houstonians, Silber is the first exit and less than a mile from the start of the ramp... sorry that happened to ya Kim) So why would anybody want to live here? I thought I would throw together a quick list of why it's worth it....

-People are more real here. No shiny mask of wealth or effort to constantly be keeping up with the Joneses (go to the Dallas Galleria and you will truly understand the meaning of living outside your means)
-You can go to almost any restaurant in town in jeans and at least half the people there will be dressed the same
-Memorial Park, nuf said
-GREAT TexMex, great food in general
-Houston's First Baptist Church
-Hermann Park
-Miller outdoor theater
-the Stros

There are many more that i'm not going to go into, but check this out if you are more interested....

p.s.- this whole post started as a way for me to say that I'm cold.... i'm cold :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006


My sister in law sent me this picture, it definately put a bright spot in my Thursday. I don't think I need to explain why I felt the need to share it :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wedding Weirdness - Part 7

Orbitz has the funniest interactive ads on Check this one out, so fun!

My favorite is Stir the Pot :)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Wedding Weirdness - Part 6

As Erin discovered earlier, a 4 month dress delivery can be turned into a 2 week redelivery when there is a mistake in sizes. Interesting that it took 4 months the first time but the replacement dress is a mere 2 week delay. Such is the world of alterations. Weddings are all about people telling you that it takes 10 times longer than it actually takes to complete a task. I got pinned for alterations on my gown on September 21st and it would take (of course) over a month and a half to do the alterations. My appointment for my second fitting is tomorrow, November 1st. I called a couple of times over the past few weeks to make sure it was ok for my mom and I to come to the store and for me to try on the dress this Sunday. (My mom was headed to San Antonio for the week and needed to make the veil... it helps to see the dress first :)

So we show up last Sunday (3 days before the fitting) and they hand me my dress to try on for my mom. I was hoping to do the second fitting then and save myself the hassle of coming back on Wednesday. No such luck. I unzipped the bag and there was my dress.... full of pins. They had not even started the alterations and my fitting was in 3 DAYS!!! We asked them about it and they said "Your appointment is on Wednesday so we will sew it between now and then." Wow, ok. Then why exactly did I have to come in in mid September? This is the story of weddings, every timeline is expanded to fit your timeline. Had my wedding been in March, the alterations surely would have taken more like 2 months or maybe 2 and a half. Had it been in November I'm sure the alterations would have been a 2-3 week affair. I am looking forward to getting back to normal life where it takes 2 weeks because it actually takes 2 weeks.... crazy, I know but it's just the way I think it should be :)

I have been wanting to write a Bridal Shower blog entry, but i'm holding off til I'm at home and can add pictures :)

Friday, October 27, 2006

To blog or not to blog....

Well, I'm bored so I chose "to blog"...... sorry :) I've been thinking about what makes a great blog and I want to apologize for my lackluster blogs of late. There has been an occasional one I like but I'm boring myself at this point. I have been reading some good blogs of people I barely know for inspiration. (When in doubt, I always post pictures of Laney... I am doubting hard today, hence 2 pics :)

Good blog #1- Beth. Ok, the girl is hilarious and random and 100% real... that's what makes her blog so great. Plus she posts all the time so it's worth checking daily :)

Good blog #2- Laurie. Ok, unlike Beth (who I have hung out with a few times here and there) I only know of Laurie by way of legend. I admit, I am a blog stalker when it comes to her. Her blog is fresh, funny and I can relate to a lot of what she says. Bored? Give Laurie's blog a try

Now, instead of being inspired by the stylings of Laurie and Beth, I realized that I just don't have it in me to try to aspire to that right now..... planning a wedding seems to have drained me of all original or creative thoughts :) I'll just top off this entry with a list of things I am super pumped about this weekend...

1) My mom is in the air RIGHT NOW winging her way from Paris to Houston. I am the most excited about her coming... I haven't seen her since before the engagement and it's about time :)

2) Nate and I are going to STOMP tonight (we got the tics before my mom had her flight). I adore STOMP and am looking forward to seeing it for the 4th time.

3) Nate and I pick up our wedding bands tomorrow (kinda freaky.... really expensive)

4) I have my first bridal shower tomorrow thrown by my beautiful friends Amy and Leslie. I am sooooo excited about hanging out with some LH girls that I haven't seen in awhile as well as seeing some old friends from college.

5) Did I mention my mom was coming? (the only thing to make this better would be if my dad was coming too :)

***For Jen Cates

***Wedding update- I am getting closer to finishing the 11 step favors I am handmaking (240 of them). I only have 4 steps left and they are faster ones... I'm ready to be done :) I have all the stuff to start making the programs after I finish the favors (oh, and after we set the order of ceremony....maybe should do that first :P ). I am putting the invites in the mail this weekend and I'm looking forward to sifting through RSVP's (sad but true). I am currently doing exercises to strengthen my hand for when I start writing thank you notes this weekend. I think that's it for now..... if you read all the way to here then I am really proud of you :)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Fall Back

Daylight Saving time is upon us again (at least it's the season that we get an extra hour of sleep instead of losing it :) This Sunday remember to set your clocks back an hour.

Ok, now that my public service announcement is over, I googled daylight saving time because I thought it was this weekend but I wasn't sure. I found out something interesting... President Bush signed the go ahead on an energy study that moves spring forward to the second sunday in March (instead of the first in April) and moves fall back to the first sunday in November (instead of the last in October) starting in 2007. This study is seeking to prove that this will conserve energy, the website said "The Secretary of Energy will report the impact of this change to Congress. Congress retains the right to resume the 2005 Daylight Saving Time schedule once the Department of Energy study is complete."

I had no idea that Bush had the ability to change daylight saving time. Man, it'd be cool to be president... I think I'd go after leap year first :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Shadow Proves the Sunshine...

I flew to San Antonio yesterday for a day trip for business. It was really productive actually and I am very glad I went even if I am a bit tired now :P I had one of those random moments on the flight when God just reaches out and shows you something really cool about himself and I wanted to try to share it with you.

The weather in SA all day was gross, It was mucho cloudy and the sun never came out the entire day... just kind of dreary. As we took off the come back home we ascended through a layer of thick clouds... nope, still gray. We went through another layer, still gray. After we busted through the third layer, the sun was on us in all it's glory. It was beautiful with the tops of the clouds (that now looked white and fluffy as opposed to gray and blah) reflecting the light of the sun. I instantly felt better just being able to see the sun and I couldn't tear my eyes away from the window until we went back down underneath the top layer of clouds.

Ok, so here is where I try to not get all philosophical on you. I was thinking about it and the whole day when I was in SA I felt like there was no sun and I was depressed to not have it shining outside. When it's cloudy, we feel like the sun goes away.. but it doesn't. It's there above the clouds shining as brightly as always. Why, when we go through trials, do we begin to feel like God has abandoned us? We may not be able to see him, but he is still there... . not only that, but his glory is in no way compromised by the trials in our life. He shines just as brightly through our trials as he does in the "good times" of our lives. Not only that, but when we come out of trials and are able to see his glory again, it means so much more to us.... not because it is better, but because in that brief moment we are able to see a more true picture of his glory. Our suffering allows us to better understand and appreciate God's glory in our lives. I will stop here, because I don't think I can come up with adequate words to describe what God revealed to me yesterday and I know many of you have probably have similar revelations in the past. With that said, never doubt God's presence in your life and know that whatever you may be going through, his glory is still shining. However distant you may feel from him, he has not abandoned you and he will use this to bring you into a better understanding of him.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Fact : It must be 51 degrees or lower outside for my office to switch off the full blast AC and for me to be warm in here.... it's a happy day :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My day, oh excuse me, dayS in El Paso

I went to El Paso for a business meeting on Monday to discuss a toll study that I am working on for my company. Darrin and I left Houston around 8 in the morning and flew out there for our day trip. It was BEAUTIFUL!! The weather was awesome (sunny and 65), the mountains were clear and beautiful and it is a neat little place to drive around actually. So we go back to the airport to catch our 6:55 flight home and..... it's delayed. As anyone in Houston knows, it rained cats and dogs on monday. Now, the rain was over by the time we were scheduled to fly back, but the planes had experienced so many delays throughout the day that they were now running really late.

Our departure time was pushed back to 10:15 (ew.... this is El Paso time which means 11:15 CST with a 1 am landing time in Houston... yuck). We decide to wait it out and around 8:20 we hear this announcement, "Attention Houston passengers, the flight out of Houston that is coming to pick you up has been cancelled. They will be re-routing a plane from Dallas and your new departure time is estimated to be 11:00 pm. I am sorry to tell you this, but that gives you a landing time in Houston of around 1:45 am. " We talk to the ticket guy who tells us that it will likely be delayed further and maybe even cancelled if they can't find a pilot to relieve the current one. So at this point Darrin and I give up. We book rooms at the Radisson (freakin nice suite all to myself... not a bad way to spend an evening) and get tickets for the first flight in the morning leaving around 10 El Paso time.

Well, you guessed it.. our flight in the morning was cancelled (still don't know why) and we got put on an 11:05 with a stop in Dallas. I got home yesterday at 3:45 pm and I have to tell you, fresh clothes never felt so good :) As it turns out, the flight did take off Monday night, but not until 11:30. This put the 18 passengers who stuck it out (out of an almost full plane) back in Houston well after 2 am. No thanks, I preferred our method even if it did get delayed again, and again, and again.....

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Good Game

Nate went to his first home Aggie football game this weekend. The Ags played hard and took down #19 Missouri..... Gig 'em Ags!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

OCD, it works for me :)

Ok, so to give you a little background into this post, I ordered a mother of the bride outfit for my mom from Ann Taylor a little bit ago and we ended up getting the last skirt they had in her size... The reason we ordered when we did was that I checked it online and noticed the sizes starting to disappear, so I called my mom and we went for it.

So I get on today to check on the outfit (yes, I AM weird and no, this is NOT the first time I have done this) and I notice two things.... now all of her sizes are gone and Ann Taylor has cut each of the three peices in her outfit to under half their original price (because they were running out of sizes and most mother of the brides are not size 0). Anyway, long and VERY boring story short... we made the price adjustment deadline (by 5 days) and so the outfit is costing my rents half of what they thought. This made me feel excused in my OCD of checking the site... a dangerous thing as now I will use this to justify my OCD in how I eat my gummy bears and every other aspect of my life :P

Today has been productive... We made our car reservations for the honeymoon (we'll be cruising around St. Croix in a Jeep, thank you very much :) and we managed to find wedding transport for less than an arm and a leg so we reserved that too. Oh yeah, and I worked and was actually productive professionally as well as personally :)

Oh dad, I forgot to mention... I found a dime in the elevator this morning, you better watch your lead there :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wedding Weirdness - Part 5

I was talking to a coworker of mine about wedding stuff and I was explaining the unfortunate timing of having to pay for the rings and the second part of the honeymoon (and many other things) all within the same credit card bill..... It's gonna be a big one :P

The conversation proceeded a little like this,

Her- "Well, aren't his parents paying for the honeymoon?"
Me- "Ha, no... why would they do that?"
Her- "Well, it's the groom's parents' responsibility to pay for the honeymoon."
Me- "Um, we're adults so we are paying for our own trip.... I've never even heard that was their 'responsibility'... you sure?"

and on it went. It's amazing the expectations that people put on their parents financially even after they've been financially independent for years. I understand that my parents owe me nothing, and I treat the fact they are giving me money for the wedding as a blessing and a generous gift, not something they are supposed to do. When she said that the groom's parents are supposed to pay for the honeymoon, I could almost hear my dad laughing all the way over in France.... He's always said that the honeymoon (like the rings) is your responsibility. If you can't afford a blow out vacation then DON'T TAKE ONE!!!

For those interested in wedding plan progression, it is going well. We have most things in place including all of the invites addressed, stuffed and stamped. The favors are coming along well and I hope to be done with them in the next couple of weeks (crafts tend the drag on when you are doing 240 of them :). We have all of the paper for the programs and some of the ribbon (we are hunting down more and have so far been met with success... a strange and unfamiliar outcome with us and ribbon) as soon as we get the order of the ceremony down, we can start designing and printing those. We have already used half of a color ink cartridge for the printer we bought last weekend and seeing as how the print on the programs isn't black... we'll be needing to replace that at least once in the near future.

I broke down and decided I didn't want the stress of buying bulk flowers of unknown quality, so we ordered all of the bouquets and will just tackle the other flowers. We have ceremony music as well as first dance music picked out (not gonna tell because I like the surprise :) and now I am on to picking out hostess gifts. The bridesmaid gifts are done, the gown is being altered, the shoes/accessories are bought, the guest book is in my room and I think my days of getting a package a day are going to begin to go away.

I think this is long enough :)

Monday, October 09, 2006

People that have made me smile this weekend....

1) So, a few weeks ago I sent out an evite to come help me address all my invitations and then put them together. I have to admit, I was relieved and shocked that so many of my friends were willing and happy to help. As it turns out, Nate and I bought a printer and printed the envelopes (they look fabulous :) and so that party yesterday was just an assembly party. It was SO GREAT to have some time with those girls, especially the ones that I haven't had the opportunity to spend time with recently. And, we were able to do something in half an hour that would have taken me hours to do on my own... thanks girls!!

2) A special smile goes out to Jana and Katie who wore almost the exact same outfit as me yesterday..... That must mean I was in style, right? Well, if not at least ya'll are going down with me :)

3) Amy and Leslie made me smile this weekend as I got to hear about their plans for my Houston shower and saw their willingness to use their time (which neither has a lot of right now) to pull it together... thanks girls!!

4) Nate gets a smile for lots of things, but specifically for a) not thinking I'm insane for stocking up and buying 10 packets of chicken taco seasoning after we finally found it, b) devising a plan by which we can outwit the fabric stores and save ourselves a trip to Sugarland, c) thinking of getting Chuy's creamy jalepeno sauce to go (yum!), d) Liking (alot) the same custom blinds that I did at Home Depot... now we just have to afford them along with new lighting, bathroom countertops and flooring, kitchen flooring and hardware, and about 1000 new door knobs to put on the mass amount of doors that his condo has... should be fun :)

A gross oversight to this original post was me neglecting to include some moments from item number 1. Please allow me to amend that now :)

Moment 1- Liz Hodges... "Haha, oh dear. I got excited because I thought I was assembling Nate's parents' invite, then I realized that I was just reading their name on the invitation."

Moment 2- Bonnie, with a distressed look on her face... "Hey Abby, this one doesn't have the liner in the envelope..." Me, looking at it carefully... "That's because it's an outer envelope." Bonnie, looks at her other hand and realizes the lined envelope is in it..."so it is"

Moment 3- Liz Osborne... "Man, I'm only on my third envelope and I'm already running out of slobber."

Moment 4- Me, looking at the last envelope that needed to be sealed..."Ok, who wants to lick Nick?"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Snakes on a Plane

Bonnie sent me this in an email and I thought it was too good to not pass on to my reading public. I certainly have not seen the movie Snakes on a Plane, nor will I ever due to my extreme dislike of both snakes and stupid movies. However, I appreciated this picture as I hope you will too. My favorite is the last picture that shows that buckling your seatbelt does result in making you fearless around (or at least oblivious to) snakes.

For some reason, this is as large as it will make the pictures... so squint and enjoy!

Monday, October 02, 2006

You can take the girl out of college, but you can't take the college out of the girl...

Whenever our office reaches a certain percentage of "time on job" (time billable to clients), we get breakfast the following monday. I love that.... free food is perhaps one of my favorite things EVER.... I suppose I'm not as far away from the college will-show-up-to-any-random-meeting-for-some-free-food mentality as I thought I was :)

Random plug, if you haven't seen the movie "My date with Drew" it is hilarious!! Thanks to Leslie Follmar to opening my eyes to this priceless documentary. Also, if you know Michael Hanna, this guy will remind you of him for quite a few reasons... it made it even funnier to me (kind of like the way my enjoyment of Napoleon Dynamite increased when Erin likened Napoleon to Ben Cooper :)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Me versus the spiders..... round 4

So for the fourth time in the last two weeks, I have been greeted in the morning by a gigantic spider chilling in my room. I get up this morning, start to walk to the bathroom and squint towards the door and notice yet another one. Helpful hint... If you notice a spider (with no movement involved) out of the corner of your eye in the dark when you just woke up and it's 5:30 in the morning... the spider is way too stinkin big!!! But that's how all of these ones are.... I've been describing them to people as silver dollar sized and I'm sorry to say that it isn't an exaggeration. Anyhoo, so I proceeded to tiptoe past him without turning on the lights (don't want him to catch on) and got the Raid and sprayed the living daylights out of him (I hope). He did manage to make it under the bed (dude was FAST and made it across the room under a constant stream of household poison) but I am going to assume that the Raid has to have killed him... it's either that or not sleep :P

A benefit though is that I have gotten less and less girly about it..... Spider 1 was an easy kill, spider 2 was blocking me into the bathroom but I hopped over him, got the raid and sprayed him to death, spider 3 approached me just as I stepped out of the tub so I calmly put a towel on and, you guessed it, got the Raid and sprayed that sucker down. I used to freak out and not want to hop over/ walk near/ get dressed infront of a bug... It seems I have evolved :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

And now for your engineering moment of the day...

I was using the TxDOT standard spec book to figure out the price/sq yard to remove existing asphalt pavement for a job I'm on (glamorous, right?). This is item 105- Removing Stabilized Base and Asphalt Pavement.... as I'm reading this, I look down at item 106- Obliterating Abandoned Road. For those of you who are as curious as I was about what exactly it takes to obliterate a road, the following picture has been brought to you from the TxDOT manual by the magic of screen capture... enjoy :)

And now for the quote of the week (from a few weeks ago :)-

"Now that I'm on drugs, everything's fine again." ~ Mike Santino... haha, not going to give a context on this cause it's funnier this way :)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Double Digits baby!

I love (a site that takes obsessive behavior to a new level yet makes it socially acceptable), and on our site today I looked at the number of days left and....

Now for a great wedding movie quote....

Her Mom- "Look at the picture of that girl... you're much prettier than that girl and she's getting married."

Julia- "What does pretty have to do with getting married?"

Her mom- "Everything.... You have to get married before your hips start to spread and you get facial hair which, by the way, comes from your father's side of the family..."

Julia- "I'm exiting the car now."

-The Wedding Singer

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Got Gas?

So I am sitting at my desk when the guy across from me asks, "Can you hear that?" I answered. "Yeah, what is that?!" Two minutes later there is an announcement over the building PA....

"Attention, we have ruptured a major gas line right outside the building. The winds are in our favor right now, but if they shift something could ignite. We will leave it up to you whether or not you leave. If you do leave, do not drive infront of the building."

ummmmmm, and then another announcement...

"Attention, we have ruptured a major gas line right outside the building. The winds are in our favor right now, but if they shift something could ignite. We will leave it up to you whether or not you leave... but there is a lot of gas out there."

Uh yeah, so I left. On my way home I caught a strong smell of gas as I passed the building on the other side of the highway. Kind of a scary thing.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Great Weekend

Things I learned this weekend in San Antonio-

1) Putting on a wedding dress does not a beauty make.... I got my dress this weekend ( yay!) and I put it on and I was disappointed. I suppose the dress did not adequately make up for the lack of concealer on my face, the lack of attention to my hair, and the fact that I didn't sleep as much as I should have. I put it on again last night and was much happier with the results :)

2) Pottery Barn Outlet is quite possibly the best place ever to buy furniture.... I'll have to go back there when Nate and I get a house :)

3) If you drop your car off for service and tell them to call you when it's done, an hour and a half brake job and a 20 minute oil change will take a total of 10 hours (not even kidding). Side note, calling to ask about the progress of the car will do little to speed up this process.

4) Every dress made by White HouseBlack Market is cute and fits me perfectly. AND they have an outlet in San Marcos... I bought my dress for leaving the reception there this weekend :)

5) Pottery Barn now markets paint colors. Through Benjamin Moore, you can find all of the colors used by Pottery Barn in their catalogs. This is GREAT because you get to see that color wall in a real sized room in the catalog and have a better feel for what it will look like in your home. This was info I got from my sister-in-law Amy and I fully intend to use it when Nate and I start painting his place :)

6) My niece has way more of my brother in her than is probably good... sorry Amy :)

7) My niece has two new loves.... shiny things and yanking at your hair and putting it into her mouth.

It was a great weekend including wedding dress fun, outlet shopping, going to the Aggie game and just hanging out with my family. I am so blessed to have them :)

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I have grown accustomed to having at least one evite at almost all times.... this reflects more on the popularity of Evite than my own popularity :) Last week I hit zero... what?.. no events? But I like checking them at work, I enjoy opening the page and feeling the anticipation of things to come. I was pretty sad actually. I opened Evite this week and thanks to some well timed birthdays, I saw this instead-

Woo Hoo!! Evite has returned to me with a vengeance!! Happy Two-post Thursday ya'll :)

Wedding Weirdness - Part 4

Fact- You will spent more time on random little details of the wedding than you will on the big stuff (location, cake, etc). So far the two things that Nate and I have spent the most time on are trying to find ties for the groomsmen, and trying to find the correct color and width and style of ribbon for the cake. We still don't have the ties settled (we can't find more than 2 of anything that works for us and yes, we did once drive to 6 different area JC Penney's..multiple times each... trying to track down multiples of three different ones that worked without finding any more at any location.. go figure)

On the ribbon, we finally bought some that wasn't as dark as we wanted, but it'll do because we are tired of hunting and it is darker than anything else we've found so far. Our search encompassed Michael's, Hobby Lobby, at least 2 Wal Marts, and multiple JoAnn fabric stores. Our 'acceptable' ribbon was courtesy of Harwin when I went to buy bridesmaid jewelry.

On a happy note, my dress is in!!! I am going to pick it up this weekend when we go to visit my brother and sister-in-law in SA!! Now let's just hope that it fits :P Working is such a bummer when you are about to take a trip.. we're leaving around 4:30 this afternoon for SA and I can't wait!!! Just 9 hours and I can leave work behind for three days :)

***Funny side note- the spell check on "Harwin" suggested I may have meant to type "harem"

Monday, September 11, 2006

Summit Annoyances

Soooooo, I was all geared up for Summit Hoe Down this year... ready to jitterbug with Stan and two-step with all my buddies. I scheduled my wedding showers around it... seriously. I ran into Stan at church and he was like " Are you coming to hoe down??" and I said "Yeah, Oct 28th, right?" and he said..." No, they changed it to Nov 4th this week"

Ummmm, ok... that would be the date of my ONLY out of town shower. I hate how they do this. I planned around the retreat last year and two weeks before, they changed the date and I couldn't go. (they also changed the how down date last year among others) Practically the only event they didn't try to change the date on last year was the New Year's Eve party.... that one they just kept going back and forth btwn cancelled and not cancelled until we ended up planning the whole thing with two weeks or so of notice. ARG!! I will not be sorry to leave the disorganization behind.... Now where will I wear my new cowboy hat?

Friday, September 08, 2006

The winner for the week......

Ok, it's official.. I'm petty :) I came to work at 6:01 to beat her in. And.... I won!! She got here at 6:08 (don't tell me she's not trying to beat me, getting here earlier every day) Maybe I should have left the lights off anyways and jumped out and scared the living daylights out of her. I bet if I did that enough that she would start coming in at her old time again :) Are you proud, dad?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Me versus the new girl....

I get to work before anyone else at my office does... around 6:15 give or take 5 min. So, we have a recent grad that started work about a month and a half ago in my office and I think she decided this week to challenge my early riser status. On tuesday she was here way earlier than usual... 6:30 and I could tell she was surprised/disappointed I had beaten her in. Wednesday she came in at 6:18 and I was already on my computer doing my thang. Today she comes in at 6:14. She almost got me... about a minute and a half behind. At first I was laughing it off, but now I'm considering getting here at 6 tomorrow to make sure I beat her. Either that or not come in til 7.... the light switches are super difficult to find so she would have to work in the dark until someone else showed up. Hmmmm, decisions decisions :)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Engagement Pics

Timmy P was kind enough to go out with Nate and I yesterday and take some engagement pictures for us. He did such a great job and was a lot of fun to work with... thanks Tim!! Here are a few-

The Rant 'O The Day

Ok, so I get a call from my alarm company that my alarm is going off and do I want them to send the police. At first I'm all confused... I have an alarm but I never actually expect it to go off. Then I have an idea... about a year ago the same thing happened. A call at work, "your alarm is going off"... turns out the apartment complex didn't tell me the exterminator was coming so when he went in my apt, the alarm was set. I remember this and tell ADT to not send the police til I call them back.

I call my apt complex.....

Me-"I just got a call that my alarm is going off... did someone enter my apartment that I was unaware of?"
Bad management- "Oh, the exterminator is scheduled to be in your apartment. You got a notice telling you that."
Me- "No, I didn't. I got one a month ago about the cable guy and two months ago about the fire alarm guy... no exterminator."
Bad management- "Oh"

ARG!! Tell me they are coming and I will turn off the stinkin alarm!!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

All that shimmers...

For anyone who gets engaged any time soon (or if you own any bling :), I have decided to make a handy list of the best places in Houston to look at your ring. Sure, it's pretty anytime... but certain types of lighting will make it explode into crazy sparkles.... the first time you see it is this type of lighting, it'll be hard to turn away :)

Top 5 Sparkle Spots - Houston, TX
1) First Baptist Lobby ~ 610 and I-10...whoa baby
2) Crate and Barrel ~ Highland Village (second floor is better than first :)
3) Elevator in my office building ~ 2 Northpoint Dr... go to the second elevator on the left, it's the only one with sparkle power (I have no idea why, but the others don't... I've checked)
4) Church Sanctuary ~ This one has worked for 100% of sanctuaries I've tried it in... it even works in Dallas
5) Most Bathrooms ~ don't knock it til you've tried it... the type of lighting + mirrors tends to make a big difference.

This has nothing to do with the above, but my niece has discovered mirrors

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

And the word of the day is.....

You guessed it, ibfhiptp! So, I've always found it strange and annoying that word verifications are never actually words. This one was extra bad and was therefore the inspiration for the entry you are now reading.

I first encountered the non-word word verification on Ticketmaster... Theirs are almost worse because they are closer to real words so you start to wonder if maybe your eyes are just really messed up. My favorite feature though is that they are often times so distorted or have so many criss-crosses on top of them that even if they are real words you may not be able to read them.

Well, just so ya know.. I added word verification because my comment wall was getting spammed (no idea how or why someone would set up that program). So I apologize if ever you are forced to type in ibfhiptp in order to voice your opinion on this site. Just know that I understand the struggle it is and appreciate the words so much more :)

** Side note~ Blogger spell check went crazy on "ibfhiptp"

Monday, August 28, 2006

Wedding Weirdness - Part 3

When I sat down to write this, I wanted to use this title--> "Registries.. the art of asking for things you don't want." But I decided to continue the wedding weirdness series instead. Now, registries aren't weird in the sense that I didn't know what they were or how they worked, but I have discovered the very weird underbelly of said registries.

Nate and I did our first registry at Crate and Barrel and it was SO MUCH FUN! We had a great time and picked out things we really liked and felt good about. Then yesterday we went to Bed Bath and Beyond to register. Within 3 minutes of entering the incredibly frantic and disorganized kitchen gadget section, I was stressed out. By 30 minutes in, we both wanted to shoot ourselves. I really REALLY dislike that store! So you may be asking yourself, "Self, why did she register there if she doesn't like it?" Well, they have a good return policy. We had heard from someone that Target (where I really wanted to register because I love love love it there) wouldn't let you return anything without a gift receipt. After leaving BB&B in a fog, we had to go by Target to buy toiletries anyway and decided to ask for ourselves. Well, turns out that anything you don't have a receipt for can be returned for store credit as long as it is on your registry. ARG!!! Independent research is always the way to go on these things.

Nate is awesome... here is why. He agrees about preferring Target so we are going to go register there soon. I sprang this on him as we walked out of BB&B after spending 1-2 hours registering there. And he doesn't mind this at all.. you rock babe :) We will leave a few things on the BB&B registry that we like better than what we find at Target.

Ok, here is where the surrealness set in for me. You are supposed to register for at least 1 item per invite you send out (actually a lot more since some items are 5 dollars and people like selection anyhow). Well, for us that means a MINIMUM of 225 items. So far we have approximately 150 items... not bad actually. But that is counting all of the multiples separately... I seriously doubt people will be buying us only one napkin ring :) If you take out all the multiples (for the less expensive items) we only have about 100 items... yikes! We haven't hit the ceiling yet (we need to add some more stuff to Target seeing as how all that is on there now is stuff I added last night on the internet...can't wait to go in :) but we have a lot of things we are already happy with. The question is... when do you start asking for things you don't want just to bulk up a registry? Also, why isn't there a way to mark what you really REALLY want on your registry? That way people would buy it first :)

I'll stop for now, but I will leave you with this.... Whenever our registries are done and a shower approaches, please follow these easy guidelines-
*Off the registry is fine, but please no BB&B gift cards.... I've been scarred and feel that being made to go back in there might have undesirable results :)
*Go to Crate and Barrel first... me likey.... a lot
*This has nothing to do with shopping, but Target is so better than BB&B.....we walked in and I smiled. Cute stuff, actually organization.. I'm home :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Trans Texas Mess

This is an article about a project that I worked on for several months. I find it disturbing. I had no idea when I started that my chosen profession had so much opposition from the general public (This is the case on many projects, not just this one) and I certainly never thought I would face the types of open hostility from the public that I have seen since my arrival here. I won't tell you my thoughts on this article (I signed a legal document that prevents me from speaking about this project) but you should read it if you have the time. It brings up the question, What do we truly need? and How much are we willing to sacrafice to get it? or even maybe Whose needs are more important.. city or country people?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Your personal message manager and you: A guide to not losing it

Ok, so my company has something called a personal message manager that captures messages it thinks might be spam but it's not sure so it wants you to check for yourself. Not a bad idea really, but here are my issues with it...

1) I will be sending emails back and forth to someone and it will just randomly decide that in email three they are trying to help me refinance something or sell me low cost prescription drugs so it will block the email.
2) When it captures said email it does not notify you until the next morning so you are left to wonder what is taking that person so long to respond.
3) It sends you an email EVERY DAY until you go in and look at the email and see if you want it or not. This is not a huge deal except that it is annoying to come back after the weekend and have three emails that want you to check this one email that it wouldn't send through because it didn't want to clog up your inbox.... is the irony apparent?
4) It has never captured a spam email for me... EVER. It is always emails from people I know and have written to / received emails from in the past. It held a client's email this weekend... that can be bad.

In short, the personal message manager must die.. thank you :)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Ode to the anonymous poster

I was going to write you a poem, but stank :) I read your comments, they make me laugh. I wonder, "Who is this person? Do I know them? Have they just happened upon my blog? Is this the same secretive person? Are there more than one?" So many questions, so few answers. Who are you, my little anonymous friend? Will I ever know? I suppose that when all is said and done that a comment without a name is still better than no comment at all :)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Where is the love?

I'm really feeling the lack of comments ya'll :( For this reason, I have posted pictures of my ridiculously cute niece to cheer me up :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Work related delusions

Ok, maybe I'm crazy.... ok, I AM crazy, but maybe this is crazy.... I was working on a project along I-45 and I was using some background aerials to help me create a diagram of the highway between 59 and Beltway 8.

As I was faithfully plodding along, something caught my attention from the right side of the screen... there was a section of aerials that reminded me of a sock monkey face (picture attached for those less familiar with the sock monkey). I looked at it and I just kept thinking..."yup, sock monkey face". If I squinted just right and let me eyes go out of focus then it looked EXACTLY like said sock monkey.

After a moment of contemplation on this fact, I decided it was definitely time to go home..... Whenever sock monkeys start to appear to you in aerial photographs, it's time to go home and sleep.. or something :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Wedding Weirdness - Part 2

Ok, so I have been looking at flowers over the past couple of weeks and frankly, I've been appalled. I cannot BELIEVE how much money these people charge for flowers!! How do they sleep at night?! Perhaps one of the most annoying things is that I went to the same place that my sister in law got her flowers 2 years ago and instead of $40 for a bridal bouquet, it's now $95-$150. She spent $23 on each bridesmaid bouquet which now range from $50-$75. The boutenniere and corsage prices have doubled and tripled respectively. The saddest part? Some of that price differencial can be attributed to price rising over time, but most of it is that they charge that much more at the Houston store than at the San Antonio one.

For those of you who didn't know, Houston is one of the most expensive cities in the US in which to have your wedding. Surprised? ME TOO!! Logically I don't get it. The only guess I have is that they see the huge market and as long as everybody overcharges, we have no option but to pay it. Well... I am taking an option. My mom, Nate's mom and I are making the bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages ourselves. I will still get my bouquet made cause... well... I'm not that talented :) So :P to the floral industry... I refuse to pay $15 for a boutonniere or $25 for a corsage. I refuse to pay $50 each for 7 bridesmaid bouquets that I can make for $120 total.

Oh, another weirdness.... so Nate and I have had floral appointments, cake tastings, etc this week and tell me if you think this is awkward. We will be sitting there with the consultant and they will say, oh I want to show you something and they will get up and leave. Nate and I look at each other with the clear question, "Are we supposed to follow?". They didn't say, "I want to show you something, come look at this." or "I want to show you something, I'll be right back." Over the course of the weekend, we didn't follow the cake lady... awkward, maybe we should have..... We followed the Florist...awkward again, we end up standing uncomfortably behind her and we still don't think this is the right decision. Oh what to do... what to do?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Side note to- "The other side of me"

I will still post about said wedding... I will still talk about it (happily :).

The other side of me.....

Ok, so I have been avoiding posting so as not to go off about something in particular that I've been struggling with recently. My small group last night helped me realize that it's ok to let it out.... you can therefore blame them if any of the following bothers you :)

Ever since Nate and I got engaged, almost every single conversation I have had with somebody starts with either "Ok, tell me the WHOLE story!!" or "How are the wedding plans??". I am sooooo the wrong personality to deal with that! I am more than an engaged person... I'm still me. I still have struggles, I have other things going on in my life. I love that people are excited for me, i'm excited too... but I can't let this wedding be my whole life. It is a HUGE part of it right now, that is unavoidable and I am enjoying it in a lot of ways. Here is where the problems lie~

-I love that you care, but PLEASE ask me anything else before you ask me about the plans. I don't mind talking about them, but not all the time and not as the very first thing I am approached about every single time someone talks to me.... When it is all that is talked about, it begins to give you the feeling that the only thing that makes you worthwhile is the wedding.

-I know this may disappoint some people, but I cannot be the bouncing off the wall giddy bride. It wasn't my personality before I got engaged and it still isn't. Please know that I am excited... very excited :)... but I may not be able to show it in the way a bride "should". If you want to see a giddy bride, look here... She is adorable about it :)

I feel like I am failing to live up to some societal standard of behavior for engaged girls, it's frustrating :P If you have looked at the link above, I agree with Erin.... It is hard to be engaged. Your single friends begin to put distance (even if only slightly) and you don't belong with the marrieds yet. It inspires a sort of identity crisis.... Who am I? I'm not truly a single, nor am I a married... it's tough. God has been showing me through this that I can't put my identity in my marital status (or lack thereof :) I can only put my identity in Him. I am a child of God, an adopted daughter. Ok, breathing now :)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I'm sick

I am on my third day of sick leave..... this is getting old :(

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Wedding Weirdness - Part 1

Did you know that there is something known as a "Cake Cutting Fee"?? That's right, they charge you per slice that they dole out at your reception. I figured this was something random at this one location, but when I brought it up with my brother and sister-in-law they were like "yup, they charge you for every slice they cut of your cake." I mentioned it to another married friend and she had also paid such a fee. This is one of those weird things you just don't know about until you get married.... every non-married person I have told has given me a "WHAT?!"

I would like to say proudly that I am getting married at a place where there is no cake cutting fee.... they actually advertise that. So take that, weird wedding fee maker-upper... ha!

So anyway, Nate and I officially have a place for the wedding.... it is in North Houston near I-45 and FM 1960. That means that we can say the date with authority now... December 30, 2006. Get excited kids, it's gonna be a wild ride :)

Weird Wedding Word - Sepia Tone. Now, this is technically a photography term and it's pretty common, but the first time I saw it written out it just looked weird... so there you go :)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Will You Marry Me.....

Last Friday I took a half day and I rushed home to get ready to go to San Antonio with Nate to visit Ben and Amy. The things is, when I got home Nate was already inside my apartment..... with a ring :) Long story short, Nate and I are engaged!!

I was getting some grief for not posting something about this earlier, so here it is :) We are looking to get married on December 30 (Nate's 28th birthday) somewhere in the general Houston area.

Now, some thoughts from this weekend~

-God is so amazing! His timing is perfect and his knowledge of what we need is beyond our comprehension. I never dreamed that he would bring such a godly, caring, and perfect (for me :) guy into my life.

-Friends are such a blessing! The excitement I got as I made phone calls was so encouraging! Then when we got back, there was a large LH group waiting in Nate's apartment to surprise us and celebrate this time in our lives. That meant so much to me to have them there. God has truly blessed me by bringing so many amazing people into my life over the past year. I believe that young singles have the capacity to have such an amazing impact for the kingdom, and the caliber of people in LH convice me of this constantly.

-Glory, it's what it's all about. Glory, God's... NOT mine.

Well, I'm sure planning a wedding will provide some amazing material for future blogs..... get excited :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

For Liz.. and the other Liz :)

I found this tied in with our conversation yesterday, and Liz H..... you started it back up :P

Monday, July 17, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen.. Life after Summit

So I just witnessed my first Summit wedding yesterday when Karrie and Dan got married. So it isn't a myth...people DO make it out of Lighthouse :) This is always an encouraging thing to see. Anyways, I have included some pictures.... shamelessly ripped off from Leslie's facebook profile (cause I'm at work and can't access my own pics :).

If you know Dan and Karrie, be praying for them as God shows them how to be a married couple. Pray for them to grow closer to Him and closer to each other with every passing day and pray that their love and devotion to God would increase thier love and devotion to each other. Finally, pray that in all things they seek after God's will for thier life together. Congrats guys!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I, Abby, being of sound mind.....

So, I'm at work reading a design manual section on metal beam guard fences (my life IS that exciting, I know you can't believe it :) and the first paragraph is as follows~

"The objectives of this appendix are to make available data and guidelines for the use of roadside traffic barriers (typically metal beam guard fence) in a consolidated and understandable form. These guidelines should be supplemented by sound engineering judgment."

I don't know how sound my engineering judgement is, but I'll give it a shot :P

Monday, July 03, 2006

Adventures in Canada... Eh?

I went to Calgary over the Fourth of July Weekend to visit with Erin and to see some of my family up there. It was so great! The weather was absolutely beautiful and it is always encouraging to be around Erin. You can see God moving in her life and her desire to know him better and serve him completely infiltrates every aspect of her life. I feel so lucky to know her and be able to spend time with her this weekend.

My first day there was Canada Day, July 1st. It was so much fun to be there on their nation's birthday. We got to see parades (or at least get trapped in a town that was setting up for a parade because they had blocked off the street we came in on :), everybody and I mean EVERYBODY was wearing something with Canada written on it and we got free Canadian flags everywhere we went. We went to Lake Louise, Lake Moraine and stopped in Canmore and Banff. The flowers below were outside the Banff Springs Hotel.

My second day there we drove to Jasper (about a 5 hour drive each way, through the mountains :) It was absolutely gorgeous. We saw three rainbows while I was in Canada, below is one at a waterfall. (The other two were in the sky over the mountains... and I live in Texas why?)

We went by the Columbian Ice Fields and Erin and I took the opportunity to get this little photo op~

Erin and I had a great time and came away with quite a few interesting quotes. You might not get all of them, but Erin knows they're funny ;-)

1 -"Do you think the mountains look just like they did when God created them"
2 -"No, erosion."
3 - "Just like us."
2 - "We erode? Is that what happened to my boobs?"
- Names have been changed to numbers to protect the identity of the parties involved :)

"I wish every day was Canada Day. " - If you have witnessed Canada Day, there is no explanation needed. If not, I don't think you will ever understand :)

"Why is that checkmark on that car?" - Erin's car was just shipped from Houston and arrived the day before I got there. Whoever shipped it managed to lose the title and put a white check mark on the car that, as far as we can tell, cannot be removed.

"Crazy Texas drivers!" - Erin's shipped car still has Texas plates... this was our response to any time we did something stupid while driving

"Shagganappi" - the name of a car dealership in Calgary.. Shagganappi Chevrolet

"If we were in a Tahoe I bet our butts wouldn't hurt right now." - I guess we'll never know....

"Mmmm, it smells like......Canada" - Well, it did :)

"I'm seriously thinking about getting the Prince of Darkness, but I'm not too fond of the name. I mean, I'm just not sure I want an evil cup of coffee..."

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I make a great second impression.. most people don't know that about me

First impressions.... I think too much emphasis is placed on first impressions. I am a bit of a spaz, so I hope that the first feelings that people get about me are not the ones that they hold forever. I can think of quite a few of my friends that wouldn't be my friends had they taken their first impression of me and ran with it.. Examples: Preston and everybody else in the room that day :) , Renee.. and a countless number of other people who saw the weird or soapbox me before they got to the creamy nougat center that is me.

I realized though that I often meet someone and make a decision about them within the first couple of minutes. This happened recently with someone in LH (who shall remain nameless :). They drove me nuts and I couldn't stand to be around them. This lasted for something like 9 or 10 months. Just recently I have had the opportunity to get to know them.... I REALLY like them! They are so much fun and have a genuine heart for the Lord. I thought I had learned my lesson about "judging a book by it's cover", but God has taught me so much about what it means to love someone through this person. Now I am excited when they are coming to things and disappointed when they are not. And it isn't me practicing loving the unlovable.... it's me giving a person a chance so that I can truly understand who they are and who God is making them and then I understand how they are lovable.

All this to say, get to know someone you don't think you could get along with... you never know what God will do :)

Weird Abby revelation o' the day- I love the smell of the black and white copier at my office. I don't know why, but it makes me happy :)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Great Love Songs (by genre)- parts.... i dunno

I'm going to dispense with the full on lyrics attack and just list a few more (although if you haven't read the Plankeye lyrics, I highly recommend them :)


Pat Green "Wave on Wave and "Crazy"- I choose Pat because of his freakin awesome voice and the fact that I find him curiously attractive (isn't that right, Jana? ;-) The chorus from "Crazy" goes like this~

If I am truly crazy,
don't you know I like my life that way
and if I'm really going on out of my mind
won't you hop on board and make your getaway

Alternative/Rock/a little Ska-ey

Haha, so I don't know what genre Yellowcard is, but here is where I praise them for the song "Only One". If you mean it, sing it loud

I just want to tell you so you know
Here I go, scream my lungs out and try to get to you
You are my only one
I let go, there's just no one that gets me like you do
You are my only, my only one
And that's the end of that. Sorry :) , I was in the car listening to Wave on Wave and an idea was born. Plus, the other topic option was littering so I figured I'd spare you. I will say this... Don't Mess with Texas... and don't throw a beer can out of a truck at a speed limit sign on my street, seriously the guy was right infront of me and I'm thinking, "Wow, he managed to break at least three laws at once." Ok, soapbox over :)

Great Love Songs (by genre)- part 2


I am going to make an unusual choice here and go with "On my Own" from Les Mis. This is not your typical "great love song" as Eponine's love is unrequited, but it is there none the less and it makes this song one of the most powerful and incredibly depressing love songs ever. With that said.. enjoy :)

On my Own
from Les Miserables

On my own
Pretending he's beside me
All alone, I walk with him till morning
Without himI feel his arms around me
And when I lose my way I close my eyes
And he has found me

In the rain the pavement shines like silver
All the lights are misty in the river
In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight
And all I see is him and me for ever and forever
And I know it's only in my mind
That I'm talking to myself and not to him
And although I know that he is blind
Still I say, there's a way for us

I love him
But when the night is over
He is gone, the river's just a river
Without him the world around me changes
The trees are bare and everywhere
The streets are full of strangers

I love him
But every day I'm learning
All my life I've only been pretending
Without me his world will go on turning
A world that's full of happiness
That I have never known!

I love him
I love him
I love him
But only on my own

Ok, i'm going to go find a happy love song for the next one... otherwise I will depress all my readers :P

Monday, June 26, 2006

Great love songs (by genre)- Part one

Christian Rock-

For me this is hands down "Beautiful" by Plankeye. I prefer love songs by rock bands. I think love is something to be excited about, to get loud about, not just hum quietly about... anyhoo, as far as my particular choice, I think every girl wants a guy to think about her this way. Check it out :)

by : Plankeye

You shared her with me yesterday.
So close yet so far away.
It's the little things she does
That magnify your grace.
And your grace,
Resonates in my soul
Every time I see her face

At your feet I lay her down,
Humbly before you I bow.
She's the blessing,
You've given to me,
Father of light.

The lines have fallen in pleasant places,
Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.
Protect her and mold her with your hands.
You've been good to me my sweet.
And your grace resonates in my soul
Every time I see her face.
You have been a shelter Lord,
She has been my dream.

At your feet I lay her down,
Humbly before you I bow.
She's a blessing,
You've given to me,
Father of light.

Beautiful, Beautiful,
I feel your grace abound on me.
In the light, In the light.
At your feet I lay her down,
Humbly before you I bow.
She's a blessing,
You've given to me,
Father of light.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

You know you get up too early when....

So, I woke up this morning and I was tired but I forced myself out of bed, did my hair, got dressed, went through my whole wake up routine... I went to go unplug my phone to take it with me when I noticed the alarm was still on. Interesting, because that is how I wake up and I could have sworn it was how I woke up today. So I look at the time on my phone and see that it says 12:55. Uhhhhhhh, what? I check my watch which is already on my perfumed arm and I look at my nightstand and yeah, it is definitely 12:55.

So, I got back into my pajamas and went back to sleep. When I got up at 5:40 I decided once a day is definitely my limit on how many times I fix my hair, so here I sit at work... my hair slightly off.. wondering how I looked at the clock a couple of times before getting up without noticing that it was 12:40 and not 5:40. Now to address the title of this out-of-body post.... You know you get up too early when you accidentally wake up 5 hours early and the only thing that tells you you're up early is the clock (If you look closely, that is :) Yes folks, 5:40 am is just as dark as 12:40 am.... disturbing, isn't it?

Monday, June 19, 2006

She Thinks my Tractor's sexy.. and other random thoughts.

So I drove to Dallas this weekend to hang out with some old friends (Some from preschool, some from college :) I had a GREAT time! It is very weird to go somewhere and feel almost more at home than you do where you live. When you combine the city I grew up in with people I grew up with and then throw in a few people who were my closest friends in college then it is hard not to be comfortable. (Having said that, I love Houston and have no intention of going back to Dallas... although it is very shiny :)

As I drove into town, I realized something.... do you know that song "She thinks my tractor's sexy"? I have always liked this song and thought it was funny and frankly weird if you stopped to think about it. Then as I drove into Dallas I had a thought, Central Expressway is one sexy highway. No seriously, the segment from downtown to the High 5 is seriously attractive.... to me :) I guess I have a little more understanding for the girl who has a tractor thing as I have a highway/ interchange/ bridge thing.. in fact if you throw in my fascination with concrete, mine is probably more weird.

Anyways.... thoughts from today~

1) It takes some seriously scary rain for Houstonians to voluntarily drive 20 mph up I-45.... even at 20, you could still see almost nothing... pretty fun way to start the morning.

2) I think I realized why professional women would want to wear panty hose...... It is perfectly acceptable now to not wear panty hose even in the office, but as I walked in today in a skirt I realized that panty hose would have been a nice little barrier between my legs and the over-active air conditioning system in my building. Why are offices ALWAYS so cold?!!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Oklahoma sucks.... apparently :)

When he found out that I was going to Oklahoma City over the weekend, my supervisor's response was "You know what keeps Texas from sliding into the ocean? Oklahoma sucks". Well, Oklahoma may suck, but the weekend was great. I went with Nate to go to his cousin's wedding and I got to meet almost his entire family. We had such a good time and he has a really great family :) The first picture is of Nate's cousin Nicholas.. sooo cute!

We stayed in Norman and drove into OK City for the wedding so we got to go to the OU campus while we were there. It is so pretty! The second picture is of a building on campus.

We had a great time but we also came up with a few reasons why Oklahoma sucks.

1) If you follow the signs to the OU campus, you never actually see the OU campus.

2) They have these evil biting gnats that I still have marks from all over my feet & neck.

3) They park trains on the tracks for 30-45 minutes blocking 3 intersections in the process.

When it comes down to it though, I wouldn't trade this weekend for the world :)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Tale of Two Roaches.

Ok, so we are in the car on the way back from Metro Live and Bonnie tells me a story about a roach that was in her shower this morning. Apparently it came out of nowhere and caused her to whimper and try a few disposal tactics before finally sucking it up and grabbing the Raid. My favorite part of the conversation...

Me- "Ew, there is nothing worse than a roach in the shower!"

Bon- "I know! I mean... you're naked, you're vulnerable to their every whim!!"

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"And this is my other child.... so and so"

My mom went to help her mom move out of her house and into a retirement community this last week. It was interesting to say the least. My aunt was also there and every time they would be introduced my grandmother would say~

"This is my daughter Cathy, and this is my daughter from Paris"

I suppose where Cathy is from (New York) and my mom's name (Susan) are secondary concerns :)