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Giving Thanks

Song Lyric of the Day:

You didn’t have to love me like you did / But you did, but you did / And I thank you / You didn’t have to squeeze me like you did / But you did, but you did / And I thank you

Sam & Dave / “I Thank You

I talked to my friend, Caren, tonight, who reminded me to update my blog as my last published post was “kind of sad.” (She also inadvertently reminded me about a couple of short posts I’d started and abandoned.) But it’s true about that last post — I was really, really scared and upset. Three days into my hospital stay, I cracked. I think it was inevitable that I’d finally give in to the fears I had, not to mention the solitary discomfort of being confined and tethered to a hospital bed.

Besides the fabulous baby shower our friends and sister hosted (which I’ll recap later on), we wouldn’t have made it through these last several days without the help and support of our family and friends. From family and friends stopping by the hospital, to my sister-in-law, K, staying overnight at our house to help keep her brother calm, to phone calls from far-away friends, to K and her hubby C driving to Chattanooga to pick up Caren, to our parents popping by with groceries and to walk and feed the dogs, we’ve definitely benefited from the support of our “village.” Add to that the fact that Caren was already scheduled to stay at our house this past weekend for the baby shower, giving me the peace of mind that Rich wasn’t left alone long enough to fall apart. And for those reasons, I offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who’s pitched in — both physically and emotionally — the last few days. We wouldn’t have made it without you.

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July 4th Weekend Postmortem

Song Lyric of the Day:

Counting on the night for a beautiful day / I shake it your way, I shake it your way

Kings of Leon / “Use Somebody

Our July 4th weekend was busy. Busy as in our first day back at work today was the coming-down-from-the-weekend-busy. You know — busy.

Hooray for Dollywood
Friday we hit Dollywood with our friends Elaine and Dale. We start
ed the day out by taking the train ride around the park, rode the swings, then hit our first water ride for the day, River Rampage. Since we were all pretty soaked at that point, Dale, Elaine, and I rode our next water ride, Slidewinder; Rich took a pass on it to keep an eye on our backpack. Walking around in our soaking-wet clothes after, we hit a couple of roller coasters next, Mystery Mine and Thunderhead. Being the evil people that we are, Rich and I got Elaine on Mystery Mine without letting on how steep the inclines and drops are; she enjoyed it and she and I even rode it again before we left the park for the day. (We made a point to sit on either side of Rich to give him the full effect of the Surround Scream.) Dale had to sit out some rides due to motion sickness, but he enjoyed all the water rides with us (River Battle left us all dripping wet) and the Blazing Fury roller coaster, which now seems like a kiddie ride after Mystery Mine. Rich, Elaine, and I also rode the Tennessee Tornado, which did indeed leave us all a bit dizzy. We had a blast running around the park and riding almost everything, which left us exhausted for the drive home. You can check out some of the Dollywood pics I took here. (Rich — season passes for our Valentine’s Day gift this year? Awesome.)
Taking a Swim and a Soak
After a crazy family lunch (more below) Saturday afternoon, that evening Rich and I made our way over to Fran and Don’s house (Elaine’s parents) to enjoy a swim and a soak in their hot tub. Added bonus of soaking in the hot tub? We ended up with a great vantage point for watching 4th of July fireworks. A special bonus for me? Being in the ho
t tub was also the perfect opportunity for me to bring up this Eddie Murphy SNL skit.

It’s Raining Babies

Last week my brother and his family moved to Knoxville
from Puerto Rico. And just like that, Insta-Nephew and Insta-Niece were added to the family (along with Insta-Sis). Ricky Jr. is three-and-a-half years old, while Gabriella is five months old. We met the kids and Maria, our sister-in-law, for the first time at lunch on Saturday afternoon and enjoyed another get-together during Mom and Dad’s Sunday cookout.

Like Elliott and Stepen, Ricky Jr. and Gabriella are also ridiculously cute. I’ll need to grab some of Rich’s photos of Ricky Jr. since the little guy moves at the speed of light. But I got some cute photos of the others, as you can see for yourself.

Placeholder for Ricky Jr.

Stephen, 3 m.o. Occupation: Baby. Hobby: Cowboy. Alias: The Really Lil’ Kid.

Gabriella, 5 m.o. Likes: Sucking on fingers. Dislikes: None.

Elliott, 10 m.o. Personal quote: “I’d rather be standing.”

Told you they were cute, didn’t I? 🙂


Filed under dollywood, family, july 4, july 4th

My Life’s in Turnaround

Song Lyric of the Day:

Whenever I look back / On the best days of my life / I think I saw them all on T.V. / I am so homesick now for / Someone that I never knew / I am so homesick for / Someplace I will never be

The Bravery / “Time Won’t Let Me Go”

In addition to losing Yum Yum and Snoops this summer, my first boss recently passed away, too. He was a really great man, the kind of person you’re fortunate to have as your first boss at your first job. I’m glad I got to see him not too long ago; I only wish I’d talked to him a bit longer.
Still, not everything of late has been doom and gloom. To wit:

  • I celebrated yet another birthday recently (September 17)
  • Our two new sofas were finally delivered (Frankencouch© was happily accepted by our dog nephew, Moose). And it only took nine weeks (two to five weeks my ass)
  • Several home improvement projects are coming to completion
  • My dream closet is 75% (if you ask Rich, 80% if you ask me) complete — I could sleep in there, there’s so much room!
  • Satan has not yet reclaimed Troubadour as his puppy
  • I’m reconnecting with old friends
  • We now have two dual-tuner HD DVRs, so I’m on TV overload

One of the best things to happen of late was that my husband reminded me why I married him: he’s an awesome, kickass guy. Sneaky, too. He organized a surprise birthday party for me the Sunday before my birthday. The kicker? He got everyone to chip in and buy me my Pottery Barn desk as my present. (I kept putting off buying it since I’m making headway with my last remaining credit card. Being practical can be a real drag.) My new desk is awesome — and huge! I can invite a few friends over, and we can play Fort under it, it’s so big. So thanks again to Rich for being the best husband in the world, and thanks also to my family and friends who chipped in and made my birthday far better than I expected, or deserved, for it to be this year.

Hands-down, though, the best thing to happen lately is that my nephew, Elliott, was born healthy and happy on September 2. He inadvertently stole my sister, Samantha’s, birthday thunder, but she’s OK about that — she gets to be the “cool” aunt with whom he’ll always share the big day. I, however, will always have gum. Here’s the first picture I took of him; I had to use my camera phone since Vanessa ended up having an emergency C-section and it’s all I had with me.

He’s now 27 days old and the newest love of my life. He’s happy and healthy, and Vanessa and Ken have taken very naturally, and admirably, to parenthood. I can’t wait to see the personality the little guy develops.

El Burrito Elliott


Filed under baby, family, home improvement, life, nephew

What to Do, What to Do and MyWaste of MySpace

Song Lyric of the Day:

And of the years that rolled by / Yeah some were so good / But now I know that / You were the coward / The holes in your soul / In tatters for all these years


My 33 Days of Pattie item for today? Emailing some friends I haven’t kept in touch with lately and reconnecting with ones who’ve found me via MySpace. Because, as you know, I’m horrible with email. Better than I am when it comes to phoning people, but still.

After a year of MySpacedom, exactly four people from high school have found me. Four. Besides being a lemming, reconnecting with former classmates was my primary reason for signing up. Templates that make my eyes bleed, creepy people who want to be my “friend” (just say no, kids!), countless bulletins, the ads — oh, the ads — and all because I refuse to pay for Classmates.com. (“Hi, Patricia! 82 people have searched for you lately. Want to find out who? Then pony up the dough, bitch!”) So in lieu of actually reconnecting with people I used to know, I’ve now decided to use my MySpace page primarily for evil: collecting celebrity “friends.” Although a few of them have been nice enough to respond to brief messages (a congrats on an Emmy nomination, asking for the stalking charges to be dropped — you get the idea), which is nice.

I’m one of those people who actually checks out profiles before deciding to add someone as a “friend”; I’m not a collector. And, boy, have I turned down some weirdos. But, hey, to each their own, right? At least I can count lots of local bands and published(!) authors among my “friends.” I figure why not help local bands out with the added exposure? Although I do scrutinize their profiles like anyone else’s and listen to their music; I’ve turned down some bands with songs containing lyrics that cross even my admittedly liberal line.

While MySpace is a harmless enough diversion for me (when I bother to check in), I don’t get why it’s a hardcore addictive habit for some people I know (ahem). Then again, I’ve never been wired exactly the same as everyone else. Which is just fine by me.

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A Weekend Full of Family, Friends, & Gerard Butler

Song Lyric of the Day:

I’ve been watching your world from afar / I’ve been trying to be where you are / And I’ve been secretly falling apart, unseen / To me, you’re strange and you’re beautiful / You’d be so perfect with me but you just can’t see / You turn every head but you don’t see me

Aqualung / “Strange & Beautiful (I’ll Put a Spell on You)

As I mentioned the other day, I’ve got family and friends close by to keep me company while Rich is away, and they did not disappoint this weekend.

Yesterday, I saw my parents, my sister, Tamara, Elizabeth, Brent, and Benjamin when we all got together for lunch. Our lunch ended up being comped because the restaurant was short a cook and our waitress felt bad enough about our long wait for our food (although we never complained) that she talked to the manager about taking care of our meal. I came home long enough to feed and walk the dogs before heading out for dinner with Mark and Susan at Bonefish Grill (the Bang Bang Shrimp is to die for), a meal which they ended up graciously treating me to. Then the three of us met my sister (the one who couldn’t make lunch) at the movie theater to see The Simpsons Movie (and, yes, it lived up to my 18-years-in-gestation-expectations). Since I covered her ticket, my sister treated me to popcorn and a soda. Two meals and movie concessions, and I got lucky in that I didn’t have to spend any money for any of it. In short, a near-perfect day.

Today Nan and Tamara came over for our Gerry-atric Film Festival. We started by watching some of Gerard Butler‘s TiVoed appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. We then watched Dracula 2000, because as Tamara pointed out, he “looks really hot in it”; we followed that up with 300. I’m glad we at least got two whole movies in, since we didn’t get a start until late afternoon. Nan left a few DVDs for me to watch this week, including The Phantom of the Opera, Attila, and Reign of Fire. I’ll be caught up on Gerard’s oeuvre in no time flat.Now I’m just relaxing with the kitties, trying to decide how to spend the rest of my evening. (The dogs are both passed out nearby; Caleb in particular turned on the charm for his Auntie Nan and Auntie Tamara today, so he’s exhausted. Showing off takes a lot out of him.) No surprise, I’m leaning toward watching another movie, although I might go with a chick flick; I watched 13 Going on 30 last night before going to sleep, and am in a sappy, romantic, flight of fancy mood. It’s a pretty good mood to be in.


Filed under family