Five Things Friday On A Tuesday Because Of How Hurricanes Discombobulate Everything

Sorry for not posting in a while Blogstalkers!  If you read my last post you know that Ryan and I were in New York this weekend for our friends' wedding (which was insanely gorgeous by the way, the tableclothes were made of like this silvery purple velvet material and while everyone else was dancing I was contemplating ways to swipe said tableclothes to make myself an evening gown a la Scarlett O'Hara and her curtains.)

So yes anyway we were supposed to leave NYC at just after six on Sunday, sort of right at the cutoff of when most flights started getting canceled.  We were lucky to make it out of New York and so were home and settled by yesterday.  Lots of people didn't make it out and there are obviously millions more that live in the areas that are being affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Please be safe everyone!  I'm sending many optimistic thoughts your way.

Ryan is off of work today again as both the treasury and fixed income markets are shut down.  So I'm off to spend the day with him shortly but I wanted to get something up here first This post idea is totally stolen from This old post by Kayla Aimee by the way.  I'm totally not above stealing obviously.  Our newly-married friends should be super relieved that their tablecloths are not currently stashed in my suitcase.  Unrelated note: I need a bigger suitcase.

Five Things Friday - Childhood Edition

My favorite childhood toy was: books.  This is a true story.  The only thing I ever did when I was little was read.  I learned to read really early because when I was two (and then every couple of years after that) my mom up and had another baby and I got good at entertaining myself and doing it quietly so as not to wake all of the babies.
Those babies turned out to be ok I suppose.
I'm actually fairly certain that my parents bribed the neighborhood children to be friends with me because I never wanted to play Ghosts in the Graveyard because it interrupted my reading time.  Like I think my dad literally got a go-kart one summer so that he could give my "friends" rides around the block while I sat on the porch and waved as they went past.  I did not personally ride in that go-kart because it looked dangerous, just like jump ropes and hopscotch.  One time I read a book about a boy who had a go-kart though.   
My favorite song from when I was little was: "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight" by Cutting Crew.  Except I took the song way too literally.  Like I really thought the dude in the song died.  And then when I learned more of the lyrics and heard "I just died in your arms tonight, it must've been some kind of kiss," I was all like "What the fart?  Is this some sort of vampire mumbo jumbo?"  
Sidenote: I did not say that out loud of course as 'fart' was a word that earned one a time out if one's mother heard one utter it.  Other words that earned timeouts included 'stupidiot' (A genius combination of 'stupid' and 'idiot'),  'screwnut' (A word young Lauren once heard her father use while driving and then repeated), and 'vomitous' (A word young Lauren learned from the dictionary after her mother had outlawed all of the other insults Lauren had used on her sister Jordan.)  I should mention that at one point in my life my mom actually took the dictionary away from me when she caught me looking up the word 'whore'.  I blame that incident entirely on Green Day.  I got the dictionary back though after I called my dad at work and he had me on speakerphone in his office and everyone heard eight year old me say "Daaaad! Mom's banning books again!"
Another Sidenote: I'm also very knowledgeable on the subject of how to get one's self a timeout on Christmas Eve.  It's very simple.  You simply spend weeks organizing photos and making your mother a special photo album with sections for each of her five children.  And you put your sister Jordan's section last so that your mom is all like "Ohhhhh this is the sweetest thing you've ever given me...WHAT THE!? LAUREN!!!!! TIMEOUT!!!!" when she finally notices that Jordan's pages are a combination of bad pictures of Jordan and pictures of monkeys that you have cut out of your father's National Geographic magazines.  The best part of this story is that later that night my mom called her own mother to wish her a Merry Christmas and mentioned my atrocities which then made my grandmother ask to speak with me and instead of being all inflamed she was like "Well Lauren honey, I can't say I'm surprised at this turn of events seeing as how your mother got herself in trouble on Christmas Eve when she was about your age because she baked and wrapped a whole package of dinner rolls and put her little brother's name on all of them and put them under the tree."  And then I got off the phone and shouted "Grandmother says this is all your fault because of the dinner rolls! She says you should be the one in timeout! Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Night!"
This reminds me that I also quite liked the song "Waterfalls" by TLC, which was introduced to me by my older cousins one summer when we were spending time with our grandparents in Tennessee.  In retrospect it was probably inappropriate for  all of us to learn every word to that song and then perform it for my sweet grandmother.  Hopefully she did not know what lyrics like "Tootin' caine in your own vein" meant.   
My favorite childhood memory is: NOT camping.  I will write an entire post on the horrors of camping at some point but right now I just want to say that the song "Ticks" by Brad Paisley seriously over-romances the concept of checking someone for ticks.
My childhood crush was: Yep.  Probably the same as most girls my age.  Jonathan Taylor Thomas.  Although I totally hid this fact from everyone. (Probably not well)  My sister was also in love with JTT and thought that the fact that they had the same birthday meant that they were probably going to get married.  And then I would be like "Please JORDAN,"  and then go to my room and write Jonathan Taylor Thomas another letter that was all like "Dear JTT, (Do you mind if I call you that?) I still have not received a response to my last letter, which I understand.  I'm sure you're busy filming episodes of Home Improvement and avoiding meat, but I just want to make sure that you would never marry someone that has the same birthday as you and eats chicken nuggets like it's her job.  I'm still single! - LRM"
The thing I was most afraid of as a kid was: Everything?  I've mentioned this before but I was an anxious little bug of a kid.  I was scared of the dark.  I was scared of aliens.  I was scared of being the last one awake at a slumber party.  I was scared that my sister Jordan was going to drown after my cousin told a ghost story about a girl that drowned.  And I didn't even like my sister Jordan.  (In case you couldn't tell that from the rest of this post.)  I was scared of my basement because there were clearly murderers hiding in the crawl space.  I was scared that someone might put my hand down the garbage disposal and I was sure that if I was the last one into the house from the car that I would both get kidnapped and be called a 'rotten egg'. I was also scared to be the first one to enter the house from the car.  This made situations where I was one of only two people in the car very hard for me.  I was scared of geese and bees and, after reading The Guinness Book Of World Records, that I would get hiccups that would last the rest of my life.  Also, inexplicably, lemons and limes made me nervous because they didn't make sense as a fruit.  They never got sweet?  This was obviously pre-gin-and-tonic-days.
My poor parents.
How would you answer these questions Blogstalkers?
(Also, I'm going to start putting my favorite comment from the previous post at the bottom of each new post, because you all crack me up.  If you have a blog, I'll link to it there as well!)

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane, Going To Drink So Much Champagne

Today marks the end of my blogging week Blogstalkers (*I might try to blog from the plane*).  Ryan and I are jetting off to New York tomorrow morning for our last wedding of the year.  I'm actually super excited because tomorrow night we are seeing a show and going to dinner at DB Bistro where Ryan is getting all amped up to order the truffle-stuffed short rib burger.  And I shall have a salad because I am sensible.

Haha what?  No.  That doesn't sound like me.  I shall have desserts for dinner and then Ryan and I shall go to Serendipity for desserts.  And then on Friday we shall drive to the rehearsal dinner location.  Guess who is staying with us Friday night?

This Guy.
It's actually sort of my fault that he didn't get his own room for that night.

So I'm sure I'll come away from New York with all sorts of stories for you.

But anyway, since I have quatrillion things to do today to get ready for this trip, this post is going to be a mini one.  A brief conversation with my husband, in which we make up a new slang phrase.

Lauren: Aargh this is so annoying.

Ryan: Huh? Sorry what did you say?  Something about an oink?

Lauren: No I did not say something about an oink you dummy.  I said this is so annoying because someone finished the peanut butter and put it back in the cabinet so that when I made my grocery list yesterday I did not think we needed more peanut butter.

Ryan: Was that person you?

Lauren: I don't know Ryan, I don't remember everything I do.

Ryan: You might want to see a doctor about that.

Lauren: Seeing a doctor at this point is pretty much inevitable anyway because without peanut butter I can not eat an apple today and you know what they say..."No apples today and then the doctor comes."

Ryan: That is not the saying at all.

Lauren: Ugh why do you have to be so an oink all the time?

Ryan: Great.

Lauren: It's your fault you know, if you were a better listener this never would have happened.

That's all for today Blogstalkers, and now I must go.  Because you know what's really an oink?  When one day before you leave for New York your husband wakes you up from a delightful dream in which you are sitting on a stool eating a lollipop and singing "Lollipop Lollipop Oh Lolly Lolly Lolly," and tells you that the pocket of his suit is torn and needs to be sewn and then you get into a small fight because apparently it is rude to shout "Why are you so bedraggled!?" out the window at your leaving-for-work-spouse when you go to find his suit to fix the pocket and notice that there is also a button missing from the jacket.

Anything an oink in your live right now?

Also I know I still owe all of you the 'Bird Rap' I wrote and mentioned in this post, but honestly I only wrote the first couple of stanzas for the bird funeral and I'm having a difficult time finishing it, so I need a couple of more days and a couple of more fits of inspiration before my rap is 100% complete.

Another Way I Know My Brain Is Just Fine: I Sang Opera Songs In The Shower Today.

Good Afternoon Blogstalkers!

First things first, I need to announce the winner of the giveaway I did a couple of posts back.  I can't believe I got almost 500 comments (plus lots of retweets and shares)!  You people rock my socks.  Which, in case you're wondering, are presently orange with little black bats all over them.

But without further ado, the winner of all of Ryan's least favorite things is: Delania!  Congrats Delania, email me at for details on how to claim your prize.

Sidenote: I absolutely love doing giveaways because giving gifts is one of my favorite things ever.  It's a lot of the reason why I can't get enough Christmas.  But sometimes I need reminders that not all gifts have to be something physical and store-bought.  Sometimes a random act of kindness is the best gift.  In that spirit, my friend Heather (who writes Like A Cup Of Tea) is asking, for her 29th birthday, that people consider performing a random act of kindness this week.  If you do, please tell her and I about with #29actsofkindness on Twitter or if you don't have Twitter, by commenting on my FB page (which you can find the link to on my sidebar.)  I'm definitely going to participate myself!

Moving on.  Ryan and I had another wedding this weekend (our third of four weddings in five weeks.) This one (which was absolutely lovely Kelly!) was in the suburbs so we had to drive.  Because of anxiety reasons, driving in the car for long periods of time makes me really thirsty, so I make sure to always bring water.  My current driving cup is a green plastic one with a straw that was given to me on Earth Day by my old company.

So Ryan was driving on the highway and I was happily slurping water in the passenger seat when we were cut off by another car.  Ryan hit the brakes pretty hard to avoid rear-ending the other car and I was pitched forward.

Lauren: Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! I've been stabbed!!

Ryan: What? No you haven't, stop being melodramatic.

Lauren:  I've just been in a horrible car accident RYAN.  The straw, it went up my nose.  I felt it touch my brain.  

Ryan: If that is even possible I can only hope right now that the brain cells injured are the ones in charge of your propensity to actually use the word 'ampersand' instead of 'and' while speaking.

Lauren: I really hope not.  That's one of the most delightful things about me.  OHMYGOD, what if I hit the part of my brain that controls my sweet dance moves?  Ampersand us, on our way to a wedding.

Ryan: Yeah that'd be a real tragedy.

And then we got to the wedding and everything went swimmingly for the rest of the night.  And luckily my dancing was not impaired and was in fact called "electrifying" and "show-stopping" at intervals throughout the night.  And then I realized, while taking a break at our table with Ryan, that all of my dancing had wreaked havoc on my bangs, which were stuck to my forehead in sweaty clumps, in desperate need of a good combing.  And then my eyes landed on an item on the table and I slowly picked it up and reverently whispered one word.  "Dinglehopper."

"And with that I think we can rest assured that your brain remains unaltered," remarked Ryan.

A quick trip to the bathroom later and I was ready to hit the dance floor once again.

The End.

Anyone have any good car stories?  Or ideas for Random Acts Of Kindness?  Has any of you read The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao in preparation for Katie's review tomorrow? 

Hip Hip Hop Hip Hop Anonymous

Happy Friday Blogstalkers!

I hope you all have wonderful things planned for your weekend.  Ryan and I have a very busy Saturday so tonight we made plans to stay in, work on our Halloween jigsaw puzzle, make homemade sausage pizza and watch Friday Night Lights.  And then we realized that we are getting old.  So we decided we will do all of that but we will also drink mojitos because mojitos make everyone hip.  And if that doesn't work then we will just give in and admit that we are a little bit square.  And then we will be hip because of how it is hip to be square.

So here is something you did not know about me before today: I read the dictionary.  I read it a lot.  I like finding new words.  I like improving my vocabulary.  Also I'm on a bit of a mission to be more awesome than Shakespeare who supposedly had a vocabulary of over 29,000 words whereas the average English-speaker uses only about 4,000 regularly.  Although honestly Shakespeare, you're not fooling me.  I know you made up 1700 of those words.  And while I thank you for such words as 'madcap' and 'hobnob' and 'lackluster' and 'puking' I really don't think words one has invented themselves should be counted.  Especially when most of them are just two words that already existed smushed together.  Oh you disagree?  Fine.  Here is a small sampling of words I have just made up.


And with that, I raise my vocabulary to 4,005.  

But anyway, I thought I would use today to make a list of words that I believe are underutilized.  

1. Absquatulate - To run away, usually involves taking something or somebody along.  As in "I begged Justin Timberlake to absquatulate with me and he definitely considered it but then instead married whats-her-face probably only because he is honorable and no other reason."

2. Footle - Act foolishly, as by talking nonsense.  As in "Shakespeare was a nothing but a footling, vocabulary-exaggerating buttdangle."

3. Ort - A scrap or morsel of food left at a meal.  As in my personal cheese motto "No ort left behind."

4. Skirr - Move or fly rapidly.  As in "Ryan you are not a gangsta and that is not the correct use of the word skirred."  

5. Babag - Argument or fight.  As in "The first rule of Babag Club is you do not talk about Babag club."  or "Ryan and I often have baby babags."

6. Pronk - A weak or foolish person.  As in "Before I do anything, I ask myself 'would a pronk do that?' and if the answer is yes, then I do not do that thing."

7. Deosculate - To kiss affectionately.  As in "For some reason Ryan always runs from me when I tell him I am going to deosculate him.  He clearly does not know what the word means."

8. Mangold - Mangel-wurzel, obviously.

9. Fard - To put on makeup.  As in "I'll be ready in a minute, I'm in the bathroom farding my face."

10. Calypgian - Having a shapely buttocks.  As in "Ryan does this dress make me look calypgian?  Well? Does it? No this is not a trick question."

So that's all for today blogstalkers.  I'll post the giveaway winner (and the rap from the last post) on Monday since I have about a thousand comments and tweets and things to weed through to figure out exactly how many entries there were. 

What other words should have made this list? 

Oh and also, can someone please tell Ryan that it is totally normal to put a slice of cheddar cheese on top of a slice of apple pie and then microwave it until the cheese melts.  He says this is something only a pronk would do, but I can't believe that's true.

This Is A Story All About How I Named A Dead Bird And Then Wore A Crown

Hey Blogstalkers, I had a different post planned for today (that I will post tomorrow) but then, as per usual in my life, something cockamamie and ridiculous occurred.  And yes this all actually happened.  I think I have too much time on my hands.  I'm looking into volunteering somewhere.

I mentioned earlier this month that there was an incident with a dead bird on my front porch that left me sort of traumatized.  Well today all of the horribleness of that day was revisited when I left my house this morning to run to the dry-cleaners and saw another dead bird laying on our driveway.  I couldn't ignore it because it was lying directly behind one of the wheels of our car and I knew waiting until Ryan got home would be worthless anyway seeing as he's terrified of birds (even dead ones) and I would have to be the one to remove the bird from our property.

So I went and got a plastic bag and bent to scoop up the poor tiny little bird so I could carry it to the dumpster and dispose of it.  But then I felt sad that this would be the second bird in two weeks that I was callously tossing in the garbage and also got a little nervous that God was visiting dead birds on me for some sin I had committed in order to punish me and that if I didn't redeem myself soon a plague of dead birds would descend upon me, wings not-a-flapping and beaks not-a-cawing.

So I went back inside and collected the things I would need to give Jack The Sparrow a proper burial and headed back outside.

Fifteen minutes later Ryan came home from work early.

Ryan: What on earth are you doing?

Lauren: Ahhh! Go back to work! Nothing!

Ryan: Are you digging a hole? Are you using the sterling silver spoon from our wedding china? What are you wearing? WHY ARE THOSE OUT HERE!?

Lauren: One question at a time quizmaster.

Ryan: Lauren, why are my shorts laying on the ground next to you? Are you burying my shorts?  Are you burying my favorite shorts?

Lauren: I hate these stupid shorts! You've had them since high school and they have holes in them and they say "Lady Vikings" on them.

Ryan: They have holes in them because they are made out of mesh. **Goes to grab shorts**

Lauren: You might not want to touch those shorts, the pockets are full of dead birds.

Ryan: What?! You know I hate birds Lauren.  Now I can never wear those shorts again!

Lauren: Oh good, so I can bury them then?

Ryan: Fine whatever, I'm going inside, I need a nap or some Tequila or something.  I'm not even going to ask again about the spoon or the crown or the fact that you have notecards in your back pocket.

Lauren: It's a tiara Ryan.  Because today is National Wear Something Gaudy Day.

Ryan: I'm never coming home early again.  I might even start coming home late if it means I can avoid some of these "Lauren Moments."

Lauren: GOOD.  More time for puzzles.  And also, you think you have it bad Ryan? EVERY MOMENT OF MY LIFE IS A LAUREN MOMENT!  Do you know how hard that is?

Ryan: Tequila it is.  **Goes inside**

So then I went back to burying Jack in the corner of the flower bed in front of our house.  And then our next door neighbor walked by with her two dogs and I waved and she looked at me all weird.  And then I realized that what she was seeing was an almost 30-year-old woman digging in the dirt with a silver spoon while wearing a tiny crown.  Lovely.  Lauren Moment indeed.

Whatever though, at least she didn't walk by when I was reciting the rap I wrote the bird to the tune of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song. (And yes I will totally post the rap, I'm saving it for its own post later this week!)

Oh and don't feel bad for Ryan about his mesh lady shorts.  They seriously have been around since he was in high school (our mascot was the Vikings) and they were falling apart at the seams.  If I didn't bury the bird in them, I definitely would have just thrown them out.  I'm sure in time actually that Ryan will find the final resting place of shorts fitting.  Afterall, he does always tell me that the only good bird is a dead bird.

Also, in my defense I was only using that spoon because we do not have a shovel and it is huge and has sharp edges.

Anything interesting happening in your lives Blogstalkers?  Does anyone else google what National Day it is everyday?

Ryan Should Write A Book On The Delicate Art Of Insulting One's Own Wife With Well-Timed Rap Lyrics

Hey Blogstalkers!

As I mentioned in the last post, yesterday was Ryan's birthday.  Unfortunately what we were doing for his birthday was driving five hours home from St. Louis where we spent the weekend celebrating my cousin's wedding.  (Congrats Lacy and Chris! We had an amazing time!)

So we didn't really do anything special yesterday to celebrate Ryan's big day.  Today he took the day off of work and we are going to go eat crabs for lunch (his suggestion) and maybe hold hands (mine).  Tonight I'm making him a big dinner and this morning I made him chocolate chip cookies and chicken salad to bring to work the rest of the week.  As the way to Ryan's heart is through his stomach, he is quite pleased with this plan.

So anyway, as I am going to spend the rest of today hanging out with my husband, I'm going to keep this post short and sweet.  Maybe.  I don't know.  Because sometimes I say that and then the post ends up all long and sour instead.

Sidenote: Ryan is reading this over my shoulder because he is eager to get on with the crab-eating and also probably the hand-holding and he just suggested I "add the word handsome before the word husband."  For the reason of "making your blog more accurate."  And I was like "Honestly, if I was in the business of making my blog more accurate, I would add the words 'found-a-grey-hair-in-his-eyebrow-yesterday' before husband."  And then Ryan was like "Fine, don't add anything."

Moving on.  Yesterday morning Ryan and I and my sister Jordan and her boyfriend Jake all clambered into our car to begin the sort-of-long drive back to Chicago.  As a birthday gift to Ryan, Jake offered to drive, which ended up being a really nice thing to do since it like poured the entire time home.  Ryan sat in the back with me but hooked up his iPod and announced he would DJ as he had made a "Special Birthday Playlist" for himself while I was in the shower.  Which obviously I found suspicious.  Sure enough the first song started playing and these are the words I hear:

"All I Want For My Birthday Is A Big Booty Ho.  All I Want For My Birthday Is A Big Booty Ho."
(Birthday Song - 2 Chainz featuring Kanye)

And I was like "Oh HAHA, very funny, you're hilarious and I can not stop laughing, now skip this song."  Which Ryan did begrudgingly (or so I thought.)  So the second song starts playing and these are the words I hear:

"All I Want For My Birthday Is A Big Booty Ho.  All I Want For My Birthday Is A Big Booty Ho."

So I was all "SERIOUSLY? Is this entire playlist just that song over and over again?  Because that is rude."  And Ryan swore up and down that this was not the case.  So we quickly listened to the rest of the playlist and it turns out he wasn't lying.  Only eight of the ten songs clued me in to the fact that all Ryan wants for his birthday is a big booty ho.

The other two were "Birthday" by Flo Rida "because the chorus says I don't want no cake on my birthday, which is true because of how I do not like cake," and "Birthday Sex" by Jeremiah "because it is a genuinely great song."  Lovely Ryan.  I'm glad you amuse yourself at least.  

That's all for today Blogstalkers!  I'm off to do Birthday things with Ryan (not any of the things mentioned in those three songs.)  Mainly I'm going to explain to him the concept of double negatives and how if he says "I don't want no cake on my birthday" then he really does want some cake.  And then I am going to make a cake, you know, for RYAN.

A Letter To My Husband On The Eve Of The Eve Of The Eve Of His 29th Birthday

Hey Blogstalkers!

Early tomorrow morning Ryan and I are leaving to drive to St. Louis for my cousin Lacy's wedding so unfortunately there will be no post tomorrow. I would write an entry in the car and then post it when we get to our hotel but I promised Ryan I will be like a DJ Extraordinaire while he drives.

Actually, because I am gangster, I said "Do not be fretting son, I am not fitting to let my shorty make this trip without mad beats, yo."  And then Ryan was like "Never do that again."

So since I won't be posting tomorrow and since I never post on the weekends, mainly because I am usually drinking and/or drunk*, I will be using today to write an open letter to Ryan, whose birthday is Sunday.

*Kidding! I swear!

Moving on....

To My Ryan,

There are so many things I adore about you, so many reasons I chose you as my partner through this sometimes treacherous journey that is life.  For one, you are three months older than me and turn all the scary ages first.  Also, you were the only one that would have me.  Thanks for that.  I am sorry for being the reason your life is so treacherous.

There are so many other things for which I want to thank you.  For only yelling at me a little when I stole the cheese triangles out of your Subway Club and added them to my own sandwich when you were in the bathroom for example.  Although honestly that was your own fault for not letting me order triple-double cheese and for child-locking the car and refusing to let me out to enter Subway unless I promised that this time I wouldn't ask for a lettuce wrap except with cheese instead of lettuce.  Just because they've always said they couldn't do that in the past does not mean that they will say no this time RYAN.  I know it's possible.  I've done it myself at home once or more than twice.  For which you should thank me; I save you so much money on bread.

Well I sort of went off on a tangent there.  But I know you understand that fights about dairy get me pretty fired up.  You understand me so well.  Like last week when Vanessa was over and used the word "cheated" like four times until I couldn't take it anymore and had to run to the kitchen.  Vanessa was puzzled but I heard you explain "the word 'cheated' makes her think about cheese heated and then she wants a grilled cheese sandwich."  Also thanks for sticking up for me and saying that you didn't believe I had cheated at that game of cards. (I did a little though and for that I apologize.)

You've always been really quite excellent at sticking up for me.  Remember that one time when we were at Summer Fest in Milwaukee and I was waiting for you outside the men's washroom and I was kind of sick so I was wearing sweat pants and a hoodie and no makeup and my hair was on top of my head and that guy came up to me and said "I like a girl who doesn't feel like she needs to dress up for me," and then like stuck his hand up the back of my shirt?  And then you came out of the bathroom and saw what was going on and knew I was blameless and shoved the guy really hard and then we literally ran away together?  Thanks, that was awesome.

I would run away with you to anywhere.  Except to the moon because you know how outer space scares me.  You know everything that scares me.  Which is why you always help when I'm checking the bed for spiders at night and you don't complain about having to help me take off fucking turtlenecks and boots and get off of elevators and wait for the next one if too many other people get on.  You never question my math when I add up the estimated weights of everyone on said elevators and decide it's above the limit, even though you're well aware I exaggerate wildly.  And the one time my sister complained about vacating the elevator saying "We are nowhere near the weight limit!" And I said "What if all of those women had bricks in their purses?" and my sister looked at you incredulously and you just said "That would have put it over the limit."  That is like the moment I decided I wanted to marry you.  We were already married at that time, but you know what I mean.  You know how arachnophobic and claustrophobic and globophobic I am.  (The last one means "fearful of balloons.")

And not only do you know all of the things that I'm fearful of but you also know all of the things I just don't like.  If I'm served anything with sun-dried tomatoes or coconut at a restaurant (after specifically requesting it be left out of the dish) you send it back for me and let me share your food while we wait.  And then when I like your food better than my food when it eventually comes, you trade with me and though you say you might as well "because you've already just about licked this plate clean" I have my suspicions that LOVE is the real reason.  You also do your best to distract my eyes from the road when you're driving and spot roadkill.  You know how sad roadkill makes me.  You're always trying to make my life more lovely, but I'll tell you something, it's pretty lovely already.

Why do I say that you ask?  Because more than anything else, you know all of the things I love.  You know I love the fall so you took the scenic route to the lake the other day so I could stare at the leaves.  And you're taking me to New York later this month so I can see Central Park in all its autumn glory.  And while we're there, because you know I love musicals and have seen the movie Bring It On starring Jesse Bradford one thousand times, you've consented to go see the musical version with me.  You even listen to the soundtrack with me at night so that we'll know the words to all the songs.  And right now there is a package that came today sitting downstairs that you will not let me open and you will not tell me what is inside.  You did tell me that you would call the police on me if I opened the package before you got home like I threatened, but still.  You watch Project Runway with me even though you hate it and you let me paint our bedroom purple.  You are the only person who does not make fun of me for how often I call the vet even though we both know it was ridiculous when I called last week because I thought Daisy was getting too tan and wondered if we should keep her out of the sun entirely.

There are about a million other things I could say to you right now.  But this letter is getting long and though it started out kind of funny, is turning into a mushy mess.  And I know how much you hate messes.  I just want to say, I'm glad you're here.  And that I will never let you unmarry me.  Not for all the cheese in the world and only maybe for a swimming pool full of rubies.  Because if I ever have a swimming pool full of rubies, I have an awesome plan.

That is all.

A Giveaway: Something For Your Top, Something For Your Toes and Something For Your Bottom

Good Morning Blogstalkers.

So Sunday was October 7th which means Quarterly Giveaway time!  Ryan loves to remind me that it also means I am officially 28 and 3/4 years old.  Ryan is a butthead.

Ryan's 29th birthday is this Sunday so I was going to make this giveaway all about his favorite things but I couldn't think of anything that he likes that you all would actually want.  I mean, who wants a boxed DVD set of Shark Week 2012, a bottle of Sriracha and no jaunty hats?

Sidenote: When I told Ryan my original idea for this giveaway he suggested that I box myself up and send myself off.  Which I didn't even take offense to and instead was like 'Ohhhhh you just admitted I am one of your favorite things." And then then Ryan was like "Shit. I take it back. You stay here with me."  And then I was like "Ohhhhh you want me to stay here with you."  And then Ryan realized he can never win.

So anyway, I decided to make this giveaway All Of Ryan's Least Favorite Things.

So comment below for your chance to win ALL of the following things:

1.) A membership to the Tee Shirt Of The Month Club at Busted Tees.  Each month you will get sent a code that is redeemable for the shirt of your choice.  There are new shirts like weekly and you can save the codes for whenever a shirt strikes your fancy.  Here are some of my favorites.  Even if you don't want to wear these shirts out of the house, they are excellent for lounging/sleeping.

2.) Slippers.  From Zappos.  They come in about a thousand different colors (you choose) and have rubber soles - you know- for wearing to the grocery store and out to dinner and stuff.  They are available for boys too.

3.) Cake.  It's still hard for me to accept the idea that Ryan does not like cake.  It is not hard for me to accept his piece of cake as well as my own at weddings.  From Bake Me A Wish.  You choose the cake.  I suggest the S'more Brownie Cake.  I did not once eat this entire cake in one day.  It took me two.

4.) Surprises.  Because I like a little mystery and also because I can't think of anything else right now.

So comment comment comment comment to win.  This giveaway will end one week from today on Wednesday October 17th at noon CST when a winner will be chosen randomly.  Comment comment comment.

FYI: Only the first 200 comments will display below, you can see the rest by clicking "Load More" at the bottom of the comment section.

How Ryan Met Lauren Part IV - The Honeymoon

Happy Friday Blogstalkers!

I've got a bit of a sore throat today (Ryan says it's karma for how much I talked at him about babies last night) so I'm going to keep this entry short and sweet so I can go drink some chamomile tea* and watch The History Channel**.


**The History Channel.  It's oddly soothing to me, probably because my dad is a crazy history nut.  I have been to all of the Civil War battle sites.

Anyway.  Today I am going to recount for you Ryan's and my honeymoon.  If you're new here you can catch up on our entire story here:

The High School Years
The College Years
The Wedding - Part I
The Wedding - Part II

So after Ryan and I got hitched, tied the knot, took the plunge or whatever you want to call it (Ryan prefers "bought the cow" because of how he is a jerk) we went back to our hotel suite, had a bottle of champagne and opened all of our cards and gifts.

I did not let Ryan carry me over the threshold of the hotel room because he was tipsy and I figured as much as the whole "threshold" idea was good luck, the whole "bride with a broken face" was probably bad.

The next morning we awoke bright and early because we had a car service coming to take us to the airport at 530.  It turns out though that our flight is cancelled because of icy runways so we decide to just stay an extra night in the hotel and book another flight leaving the next day.

We went to brunch with some friends, including OJ, who seemed just a bit too delighted that everyone's flights had been cancelled.  I could tell because of how he kept making this face.

Yes we get it OJ.  The sign says Gallagher's.
The next day, thank the lord, our flight was not cancelled and we left the snow and ice of Chicago behind for the first leg of our honeymoon - sunny Orlando.

We stepped off the plane, eager to feel the sun on our pale faces.  Instead we were greeted with sleet.  It was seriously frigid.  Like in the 20s frigid.  People everywhere kept telling us how uncharacteristic this weather was and how just the day before (you know, the day we were supposed to arrive) it had been 70 and beautiful.  I could only now assume that bad weather was following me around.

Instead of going directly to our hotel we headed to an outlet mall and purchased all of the winter gear that we had not thought to bring.  Then we jetted off to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Platform 9 3/4

We spent the afternoon drinking butter beer (which contains no actual beer) and getting fitted for our wands at Ollivander's.  Or at least I got fitted for a wand while Ryan muttered something about "finding some Firewhiskey" and wandered off.

The next day was even colder than the day before but we braved the cold and headed to Epcot.

This is the picture of us that I used to have framed on my desk at work.  Because this is the face that Ryan is most often making at me, which makes it the face I am most used to seeing.  If I had a picture of him smiling looking at me every day I would be weirded out.
On Ryan's computer, his caption for this picture is "This is my wife."  I never know quite how to take that.
Ryan would not take a picture of him wearing the Mickey Ears with top hat while I wore the veil.  Well that's not entirely true.  He said he would do it if in exchange I was silent on the three hour flight to Costa Rica the next day.  I demurred.  He also would not let me buy the veil and wear it around the park because he didn't want anyone to "know I'm married to you when you start chasing the characters and shouting."

I put this picture up on Facebook and tagged me as Beauty and Ryan as Beast.  He didn't notice for like ten days.
 I got this picture by seeing Beast from like five hundred feet away and then shouting "Beast! Beast! Wait!" and running after him.  When Ryan finally caught up I told them "This is my husband.  He is married to me."

Later that night we headed to The Magic Kingdom for just a little bit, to see the castle all lit up.  It was gorgeous.  It takes more than 200,000 lights to make it look like this.  I know this because I looked it up after we got back to our hotel that night.  Ryan knows this because I told him all about it on the plane ride to Costa Rica the next day.

As we walked away from the castle, I took one last picture and whispered "Someday this will be my home."  And Ryan was like "What did you say?" And I was like "Nothing."

I will throw a ball and you will all be invited.

 The next morning bright and early we made our way back to the airport and boarded a plan for Costa Rica, where we would spend the next ten days.  I fully expected that when we disembarked from the plane we would be met with hail or at least vicious lightening but it seemed our bad luck streak was over.  It was 90 and sunny.

We checked into our resort and were introduced to our personal butler, Jonathan.  His first words to me were literally "Mrs. Gallagher, your every wish is my command."  And then we got to our room to find he had left us this.  And I was like "Ryan, you could learn a lot from this Jonathan fellow."

You can see all five of the books I brought on the nightstand.  I finished them all and had to buy two more.  That's what you're supposed to do on your honeymoon right?
 This is what Jonathan made us on the last night we were in Costa Rica.  He also drew me a bath littered with lavender oils and flower petals.  I miss him.  Plus he was a wealth of knowledge.  There were these weird bats in the trees at night and he told me "Here those are called Murcielagos, In the US you call them Tacarcunas."  And Ryan was like "I don't think so..."  And I was like "Ryan shush."

Most days in Costa Rica were spent like this.  In a bungalow that Ryan rented for me daily because of how I am allergic to the sun.  There are two beers on the table next to me because Jonathan was great at making sure I never ran out of beer, not because one is mine and one is Ryan's.

This is more Ryan's style.

I will have something fruity.  In a coconut.  Extra flowers.  No tiny swords.
When Ryan was not getting in the way, this was my view.  Before we left on the last day I whispered "Someday this will be my second home."  And Ryan was like "What did you just say?" And I was like "Nothing."

I will have a luau and you will all be invited.
He got in the way a lot.

On one day, Ryan took surfing lessons.

That's not it at all.  Do less.
I sat on the beach and made sure I got all of the important pictures.

I can see your belly button.
Does it confound anyone else that Ryan thought surfing was the correct time to don a shirt?

On another day, Ryan and I booked an excursion.  First up was zip-lining.  If you look closely at this picture and the next one you can see evidence of my sun allergy on my legs.

If this is how bad it is when I stay out of the sun, imagine if I actually tried to tan.

Right after they took this picture, the guide told us that just the day before a monkey had jumped onto the zip line and collided with a guest.  Ryan almost backed out when he heard that.  I was just like "If he backs out can I do the course twice?"  Ryan looked at me like I was insane until I explained "double the chances to catch a monkey RYAN."  Then he told me I was insane.  And I was like "Whatever Ryan," and turned to the guide and asked if he had any bananas handy that I could use as monkey bait.

That tiny little speck is me.  I am probably shouting "Here monkey monkey monkey!"
After zip-lining (which was amazing, I highly recommend it) came horseback riding.  I LOVE horseback riding.  

I didn't so much love the activity that came after horseback riding.  Which was a waterslide through the jungle.  Sure in theory that sounds like a good time but imagine this, a twenty minute trek uphill through the jungle, then noticing that the slide is actually just a cement shute with one dude standing at the top stopping and releasing the dam that holds the rushing river water that propels you down the slide.  And then you see a sign that says "Women must wear dipers."  And then you are handed a leather "diper" and sit down in the ice cold water and get shot like a cannonball down the slide.  And you get super banged up all the way down.  And you don't catch any monkeys.  Yeah, not good right?

Moving on though.  To recover from the ordeal that was the waterslide of doom, we were taken to giant stone vats of hot mud that we smeared all over our bodies.  The guide told us that the mud was said to have healing powers which turned out to be not true as I still woke up the next day with giant bruises all over my back and legs from the slide.

Two things you should know about this picture.  One, I gained a total of 11 pounds on my honeymoon.   Two, Ryan stuck those leaves on his face and said "Look, I'm a faun."  

And I was like THIS.  This is why I married him.
To wash the mud from our bodies we were led to a series of pools.  The first one was like regular pool temperature and then each one after that got five degrees progressively hotter.  Ryan couldn't go in the last two because they were too hot for his delicate lady skin.  Although to be fair to him no one else in our group got into the very last one either except me.  The guide was impressed because I guess 90% of people can't make it into that pool.  Ryan told him I could do it "probably because of all of the ice water running through my veins."

And with that our excursion was over and it was back to the resort to lounge around for the remaining couple of days of our honeymoon.  Nothing much interesting happened except for Ryan got attacked by a wild jungle cat.  Oh you want to hear that story?

So there were these two feral cats that sort of wandered around the resort at will.  There were signs telling you not to feed the cats but I am a bleeding heart and those cats were SO SKINNY.  So I disobeyed and occasionally wrapped pieces of my meals in napkins and put them in my pockets and fed them to the cats.  Thus one of the cats became very very attached to me and would not leave my side.  It even took to laying in the pool bungalow with me.  (I was careful not to touch the cat because I didn't know what jungle diseases it was carrying.)  One night Ryan and I were out on a patio having a drink and some appetizers.  The cat was sitting nearby, hoping I would toss it a piece of shrimp or something.  Ryan went to kiss me (because he does like me after all) and the cat got jealous or something and pounced.  And Ryan screamed like a woman and I was like "Katniss! No! You stop that right now!"  And that is the story of how Ryan got attacked by a jungle cat.

I'll leave you to your weekends now Blogstalkers! Talk to you on Monday!

Dad, Maybe Don't Read This Post - I Mention My Bra.

Hey Blogstalkers.  Sorry for not posting yesterday or Monday, things have been a little hectic around here the last couple of days with doctor's appointments and veterinary appointments and an incident involving a dead bird on my front porch that took like hours to recover from.

Today I would like to recount for you a conversation my husband and I had the other day while walking the dogs.  We were discussing why a couple of our acquaintances won't just like, start dating already.

Lauren: Oh she's just playing hard to get.

Ryan: I don't understand that tactic at all.  That would never work with me.

Lauren: What are you even talking about right now, how do you think we started dating?

Ryan: I took you for ice cream once and then I couldn't get rid of you.

Lauren: Ok RUDE.  And no, I totally played hard to get.  I booby trapped you into falling in love with me.

Ryan: First of all, 18 year old you was like flat.  So more like no-boobies-trapped.

Lauren: Oh how clever RYAN.  I wish I had said that.

Ryan: You know it's true.

Lauren: I was a late bloomer you jerk.  I just used to tell myself that having an A+ cup size was fine as it was in keeping with my pristine GPA.

Ryan: Haha yeah and then sophomore year of college and boom, C cup, still in keeping with your GPA. (sidenote: this is not true.)

Lauren: You are just full of nice things to say about me today aren't you?  I don't even know why we are talking about what size bra I wore in high school anyway, it's not like you ever got to see it.

Ryan: Did you just say that so when you put this conversation on your blog everyone will think that you were a very sweet little innocent senior in high school?

Lauren: Maybe. (I was mostly)  But anyway, back to the point of this conversation.  You fell in love with me because I played hard to get, unintentionally, I'll grant you that, but I did do it.

Ryan: Give me one example.

Lauren: Ok, how about that one Friday night, before we were officially dating, when you wanted me to come over and watch How Harry Met Sally with you and instead, probably because I was weirded out by your unnatural obsession with Meg Ryan, I chose to go disco roller-skating with my friends.  And you couldn't come with because you had just rolled your ankle playing volleyball.

Ryan: Let's get one thing straight, I would not ever have gone disco roller-skating with you, no matter what the condition of my ankle.

Lauren: Marissa and I wore bell-bottoms to get in character.

Ryan: Of course you did.

Lauren: Don't you remember though?  You called my house the next morning and were all sad and like "You could have at least called to say hi last night." OH and what about the day like a week after that when you asked me if I wanted to eat lunch at your table?  I totally said no.  Which I will tell you now was because my lunch table used to have potluck lunches on Fridays and someone had brought a huge bag of Cheetos.  Otherwise I would have eaten with you.  But you definitely just thought I didn't want to.

Lauren: You should concede.  I have a lot more examples.

Ryan: Fine you won this one.  You also won...

Lauren: If you say acceptance into the itty-bitty-tittie-committee I will find a stick and hit you with it.

Ryan: OH MY GOD Lauren.  I was going to be sweet and say you also won my heart.

Lauren: Ok Puke Ryan.  Let's go home.

So that was our, granted pretty inappropriate, Sunday-afternoon-while-walking-the-dogs conversation.

He is not naked in this picture.  He is wearing his bathing suit and no shirt, obviously.

Sadly, the "flat" thing is totally true.  When my sister and I were in fights she used to tell me I was "jealous of a wall."  So yeah.  I grew boobs and four inches as a 19 year old.

How has your week been so far Blogstalker?  Anything interesting happen?  Encounter any dead birds?

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