Monday, April 27, 2009

How I Snagged Your Mother

On April 2, we passed the ten year anniversary for our engagement. I would have blogged about it then, but I wanted to scan some pictures from that time to include with my writing. However, our scanner doesn't like Vista at all, and has rejected Chris' laptop as well, so I have nothing. It's a shame too, because we look so freakin' young!

Anyhoo... I thought I'd share the story with you. I won't get into the fact that an ex-boyfriend caught wind that the engagement might be happening and proposed to me the night before we left. It was an act of desperation, for which I should be flattered, but really just made me feel like dog poop. However, I packed my bags and headed to the mountains that beautiful Good Friday... fairly sure this was the weekend, but not really knowing.

Chris found a small cabin for us for the weekend (Friday and Saturday night) at Grandfather Mountain, which is near Boone, NC. We arrived around 5pm and got settled in. Chris then suggested we head to a Hibachi restaurant he knew of nearby. I had not eaten at a Hibachi restaurant since I was a young child and had been frightened of the fire, so I said "Sure!" and off we went.

For some reason, I was absolutely positive that if a proposal was coming, I would get it over dinner. Imagine my dismay when I found we were to sit with ten other people (strangers). I put on my best, "No, I'm totally comfortable meeting strangers" face and ended up enjoying the meal very much. But... no proposal. So, I figured that it wouldn't happen until the next day on our planned hike, and I put it to the back of my mind.

We made a stop at the grocery store for tomorrow night's dinner (my plan was to cook in the cabin) and also the ABC store for me (Chris doesn't drink).

We got back, put groceries away, and Chris started a fire in the little fireplace. It wasn't cold, but it was cool enough for us to enjoy the fire. I sipped at my cocktail (a screwdriver) and Chris started rummaging through his bag. He handed me a bottle of cologne and asked, "Do you think your mom will like this?" I was taken aback by the question (Why would he care if my mom liked his cologne?), plus I was baffled he even HAD cologne (he's not really the sort), but I humored him and took a sniff. "It's fine," I reported.

I don't really remember what he said next. Probably something like "Will your mom like THIS?" All I know was I suddenly had a ring under my nose and he was waiting for an answer. He totally distracted me with the cologne so he could get the ring out of his bag. Sneaky.

I had been expecting it, but the logical part of my brain took over and I reviewed my decision one last time before accepting.

We did hike the next day in the Linville gorge, and then we left Sunday to go back to my mom's for Easter Dinner, where we shared the news with my mom and sister. From there, we went back to my house and started making phone calls. I think we even set the date while we were still in the mountains, but I may be wrong about that.

In preparation for writing this, I asked Chris what his memories were. He barely even remembers buying the ring, which seems very odd to me. But this is Chris we're talking about.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Dreaded Question; or Mommyfail

Athena asked the dreaded question Thursday morning as we were getting ready. The conversation started simply enough. Athena informed me that it would be very helpful if she had an older sister to help her get ready in the morning so I wouldn't have to. (Mind you, she really doesn't need help in the morning... she was just being clingy that particular morning).

I tried to explain how it would be impossible to provide her with an older sister, as she is the oldest and that cannot be changed. Before you knew it... there is was...

"Well do you GET a baby in your tummy, Mommy?"

I am so ashamed to say that no matter how many times I had thought about this moment, I still stumbled, stammered, and even started with the dreaded... "Well, honey... when a man and a woman love each other..."

Fortunately, I stopped there and restarted. But with all my good intentions and even my desire to be as honest as possible, it's pretty apparent that an almost-five year old girl is not prepared to hear these things. When I got to the part about how a boy and girl fit together, she had clearly heard a little too much. So I backed up and simplified.

"Together, a man and a woman can make a baby. They each have part of what is needed."


We're looking into getting a book for her.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just Thought You Should Know...

The set of facts below was printed in one of our branch newsletters, compiled by one of our Regional Supervisors. I didn't ask her permission to reprint, but since she sent it out to our library patrons at large, I'm assuming it's okay. It's all public information anyway, but the nuances are hers.

I wanted to post it here, because with all the talk of budget cuts in Wake County, I have been surprised and hurt to see comments from citizens indicating that we were wasting tons of their money anyway. I don't think people realize exactly what they are talking about, so here you go...

Wake County residents borrowed 10,390,295 books from the public library in 2008-that's 11.88 books per person! No other North Carolina county had residents reading so many books.

Wake County Public Library is a bargain. Not only do you save money by borrowing books, you pay less per use in Wake County than in any other North Carolina county. The statewide average cost is $3.99 per circulation, while Wake County's cost is only $1.62 each.

The statewide average circulation per staff member is 16,500, but Wake County circulates over 47,000 books per staff member. Whew!

While we circulate more books than the largest system in the state, our operating budget is just 53% of that system's budget.

Other interesting facts:
-Wake County has the largest public library book collection in the state--over 1.7 million books.
-Our 19 branches are open 65,000 hours a year.
-47% of Wake County residents actively use their library cards.
-Our libraries were visited 3 million times during the year or about 4 visits per Wake County resident.
-Over 250,000 people attended over 4,000 programs.
-Our 600 public computers were used over 1 million times.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Dinner

The finished feast. Note the bread shaped like a bunny at the center of the table. Grandma brought that from Great Harvest Bread Company. Everything else was made at home. Mac and Cheese is front and center.


Strawberry cheesecake torte.

Dying Eggs

Easter Breakfast

Chocolate-Chip Pancakes!