Friday, April 27, 2012

What a Beautiful Mess!

Yes, I got myself in a beautiful mess...First of all, some people think I'm going to have a baby (sorry!), because I announced a {very special arrival}. Well, I probably will someday (have a baby, that is, although we're still waiting on that, we may still adopt, who knows yet?). But anyway, I got myself into a beautiful mess about seven years ago when I let two of my friends/former college roommates Rachel and Karen brainwash me into liking country music. I guess these things can happen when you have to depend on your beloved roommates for rides to the grocery store and nearest mall, and the only stations they listen to are country music stations.

For years, I denied any interest in country music, rolling my eyes at lyrics about crying cowboys and vengeful broads. After a while, I started to catch myself humming country tunes to myself and feeling a thrill when I heard the opening riff of a certain country song on the radio. Still, I kept any desire to listen to country music locked away inside, as if it were a weakness that would destroy the person I'd worked so hard to become (don't ask me what
that was). Sometimes, I would "accidentally" let my radio tuner stop on a country station, but only when I was alone. I began to justify my love for certain country songs, and country music became my secret guilty pleasure. I envied friends who went to country music concerts, thinking that if I ever bought tickets to see Tim McGraw, my secret would surely be out.  

Slowly, I began to resent hiding behind Journey albums and Top 40 stations, pretending I had cool, sophisticated musical tastes (Note, I still love Journey, and Top 40 stations lost all sophistication about five years ago, around the time Justin Beiber hit the scene...No wonder country music's been gaining so much wide-spread popularity since then...Seriously). I also realized that I know plenty of really cool people who like country music, like my best friends Rachel and Karen, my super-cool-and-always-so-popular cousins Emily and Sarah, one of my "cool mom" role models and friend Leslie, and even my coolest-of-all-cool husband Ben.

So, I decided to come out of the country music closet. I started listening to country music openly in front of my family (luckily, they haven't disowned me yet). And now I listen to it in the car, at work, and at home where the neighbors may spot me dancing bare foot in kitchen like a country fool, but I don't care. I even {quoted a favorite country song} on one of my posts. 

And I just bought tickets to my very first country music concert...Diamond Rio! They're performing at a local venue, so it was the perfect opportunity, and Ben was very enthusiastic about going...So, we're going, with my super-cool-and-always-so-popular cousin Emily! You might know Diamond Rio from one of their big hits, "Beautiful Mess." Have a listen below. If you think you don't like country music, give these songs a chance...You might like being brainwashed!
P.S. I'd give these songs an "A" on lyrics, but a "C" on music videos (just be warned)...If you don't watch the videos, at least listen through the first chorus...And sorry for annoying YouTube commercials.

"Beautiful Mess" by Diamond Rio

"When the Stars Go Blue" by Tim McGraw 

"Lost in This Moment" by Big & Rich

"My Baby Loves Me" by Martina McBride

"She's My Kind of Rain" by Tim McGraw

"My Maria" by Brooks & Dunn

"Should've Been a Cowboy" by Toby Keith
(You may wanna be a cowboy when you see this mullet...)

"Guy on a Buffalo" by Guy on a Guitar
(Ok, it's not really a country song...You gotta see it anyway!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's a!

That's right, after hundreds of hours of labor, the printing stork made a very special delivery!...Announcing the 2012 Edition of the Benchmarking Study, the largest annual national study in home care (FIVE-hundr'd of 'em...Mr. and Mrs. McMullen). I just had to share the happy news!

Arrived 4/24/2012, 1 lb. 10 oz, 8 1/2 by 11 inches
178 perfectly printed pages in 7 perfectly tabbed sections
Beautiful matte paper and full-color graphs and tables
Absolutely priceless, for only $299 retail

Special Delivery!

I know it's what you've all been waiting to hear... 

I've been expecting a very special delivery! The due date kept getting pushed out, and so for a while I wasn't sure when I'd be able to make this announcement. It's been an exciting month and a half...I've been up late - wide awake - for nights on end, because I just couldn't stop thinking about it. I just kept praying desperately that it would all work out. I'd be exhausted one minute, and elated the next. Over the past several weeks, I've been having intense cravings for Taco Bell at odd hours of the night, and begging for extra back rubs from Ben. 

And I've got to tell you, the labor was VERY long and painful. But it's finally {here}!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Back to life, back to reality...and it's about time!

You know that feeling you had when you read your journal from 7th grade and wanted to rip out a few pages? That's how I feel about the last couple of blog posts. But I won't. 

Thank you for bearing with us through the stress of losing Baby #2 and moving right in the middle of it all. Not to mention, I've been literally spending every waking hour - no exaggeration - on a monster project at work for the past couple months (i.e. our annual national study of the home care industry)...That's right, no days off for miscarriage or moving or month-long hemorrhaging due to said miscarriage. I was stressed and not quite myself, but my blog posts were a weak attempt at normalcy. Actually, I've written several blog posts in the last month on various topics that I never quite had the courage to post, and maybe one day I'll want to share them with the world here. But not now.

The good news is, life is somewhat right-side-up again, because:

  • We are living under the same roof again and mostly settled into our new home.
  • I have a great job and a steady income...a great blessing after several months of searching!
  • We've been blessed with peace and reassurance that have kept us going in spite of the disappointment of losing Baby #2.
  • I'm no longer on medication and feeling mostly back to my old "pre-medication" self again...The last year's treatments were rough on my physical and mental health. 
  • We're getting back to eating healthier (fresh/home-made vs. whatever's easiest at the moment). 
  • We're active again and exercising almost every day.
  • I'm making time to read again...Oh, the joy!!!

In other good news:
  • My family came to visit (well, my parents and one of my brothers, Michael) and Ben even got work off on Saturday for the first time this year so that he could spend it with us. It was a lovely weekend.
  • My brother Michael might come to live with us for the summer next year...fingers crossed!
  • My mom stayed an extra couple days and I finally did get a personal day off work...It was a heavenly day filled with my favorite food and lots of girl time.
  • The monster project at work is DONE! SUCCESS! HAPPY CUSTOMERS! HAPPY BOSS! BACK TO SOMEWHAT NORMAL WORKING HOURS! Hail the conquering hero, me!
  • A couple of my best friends are expecting their firsts, and I'm SO excited! At least somebody's having a baby around here! 
  • Spring has sprung, and I have a deck to sit on and enjoy the sunshine (and a fireplace for those days when Idaho changes its mind about being spring).
  • I have a wonderful husband, in case you didn't know. He gave me a beautiful ring to remember the two little lives we lost and the family we'll have one day. When I put that hand over my heart, I remember to be happy for the miracle of life and family.
  • Speaking of family, Ben's whole family will be coming to Idaho for a family reunion this summer, and I'm ready to enjoy every moment this year!                                                             
 My mom and me at the new I-Center in Rexburg...We got the official tour from my cousin, Emily, who works for the university in Public Relations. It's a religious convention center with beautiful architecture and larger-than-life masterpieces of Christ's life by Carl Bloch and others. If you're ever in Rexburg, make sure you see it!

By the way, this is my favorite painting by Carl Bloch. It reminds me that even Christ was comforted when He suffered the greatest pain ever suffered. We don't have to face life alone. Christ says, "I will be with you on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you to bear you up." 

 Here's the little ring...Sorry, bad picture! 

 The fam' in 2009...I wish I'd taken a picture in 2010...Oh well, Steinmetz Family Reunion 2012 or bust!