Monday, October 23

The iBrain Ain't as Smart as She Used to Be!

Just wanted to update the story of my poor little iBrain. Well, she's back...and she has new insides, but it turns out that she's not quite as smart as she used to be. See, she lost my calendar, address book, and iBank files. My once know-it-all computer has been reduced to little more than an email checker and Internet browser. It's really quite sad to see her in this state. However, I'm working to re-create and update all three of my main info soucres. And I'm happy to say that my real noggin has been performing quite nicely in the absence of my iBrain. Perhaps I have a few more good years left on this one. :-)

And here's my plea, dear readers -- Back up your computers! Consistently, completely, frequently!!! Take it from me, it will save you stress and wasted hours.

Ah-ha -- I just realized why I have a pounding brain has been working overtime!

Night-night, everyone. I'm putting this tired head to sleep.

Sunday, October 22

A Wonderful Surprise

I have to say...I love surprises! I'm normally on the surprising end, that is, the secret keeper side. And I'm not complaining because for some reason, I have always delighted in surprising people with birthday parties, baby showers, impromtu name it. Well, my dad and I cooked up a delicious little surprise and caught my mom quite off guard. I've been holding this secret in since late August, and I've been wanting to divulge it on my blog...but I had to keep it quiet. :-)

Well, the secret's out, so now I can share it! My dad called in August to see if I would consider flying up to PA with the kids provided he paid for the tickets. I took about 2 seconds to decide and said, "Sure!" However, the planning process took much longer than that. Try planning a trip to surprise my mom (and grandparents) around 2 babies due within 2 weeks of each other combined with the fact that my mom was planning a trip to CA to help out my sister who was expecting one of the babies, and you have a complicated process. I won't go into all the details, but there were many deliberations. What if Korben (my soon-to-be-born nephew who is two days late!] is born early? What if Lilly [due 10/30, born 9/29] comes early? (She did and is doing great!) What if Mom waits until Korben is born and then goes to see Lilly? There were many combinations of things that could have happened, but in the end, it has all worked out great.

Josh [begrudgingly, sorrowfully] dropped off his family at the airport on Saturday, and we flew to Baltimore to meet my parents. [Me: May I interject something that will sound a little like bragging? You: Okay, sure. But make it short.] Here goes...I successfully navigated the airport with 3 suitcases (100 pounds total), 1 infant on my back (16.5 pounds), 1 umbrella stroller containing 1 squirmy toddler (37 pounds), 1 carseat for said toddler (2 pounds), 1 bag full of snacks and drinks (10 pounds), and 1 carry-on bag of books, toys, play-doh, laptop, and other air travel distractions for my tiny companions (20 pounds). Phew. I'm tired just looking at that list. Everyone stayed pretty happy, no one next to me seemed overly annoyed, the flight attendants were super helpful (Thanks, Southwest!), and best of all, I did not lose my toddler. :-) Okay, I'm done tooting my own horn.

So how did the surprise take place, you're wondering? Mom and Dad were on their way back from San Diego -- they were visiting Jess, Stefan, and Lilly. Dad worked out the details and got a returning flight that arrived only 1 hour after my flight into Baltimore. Thankfully, Mom agreed and didn't ask any questions about why they HAD to get the 6:30am flight. Dad spotted me sitting in the baggage claim area and kept Mom distracted until they got closer. Then he said, "Hey, look over there. It looks like Jenn!" My mom was SO confused, it was hilarious. She thought it was just a conicidence at first, and then we got to tell her that we were coming home with them! It was great.

So all the secret keeping, small fib telling, luggage carrying, please!-have-another-snack waiting was worth it. Dad and I pulled off a great surprise, and it was fun to bring so much joy to Mom. Aren't surprises grand? :-)

Thursday, October 19

Organizing without My iBrain

I've been reminded again this week just how much I rely on technology for my everyday life. Unfortunately, my reminder came at the temporary loss of my iBook. On Saturday, my cute little laptop started slowing down, hicupping in between clicks, and eventually just died completely.

Thankfully, my always-thinking hubby told me I should store my important files on his iPod in case my puter was dying. He was right! And while I forgot to copy over my calendar, I was able to save my current work files and a bunch of other important things. My calendar is replaceable, although of course it will take precious time to get organized again. Special thanks to Josh for making several trips to the Apple store to coordinate the iBook recovery effort.

So while Apple is replacing my hard drive, I am calendar-less, iBank-less, Address-Book-less, and Mail-less. I have to say, it kind of stinks. But I'm trying to think of the positives...I'm getting new insides for my 1.5-year-old computer! I've been spending a lot of time over the last few days racking my brain for info that used to be on my computer. As you may have guessed, my noggin doesn't have quite the memory, quickness, or functionality that my iBrain has. But fortunately (knock on wood!), I haven't missed any events yet, and I can monitor my checking account balance and email on the web. But still...kind of a pain.

So I've been relatively technology free since my last post. Not much new to report, but if I forget something I'm supposed to be at with you or something I'm supposed to do, please show mercy. I'm trying to stay organized without my iBrain--and sometimes the one I have left is about as reliable as a crashed hard drive!

Monday, October 16

Date Night!

Josh and I had a great night last night. Someone special (you know who you are!) arranged for us to have a free dinner at one of the restaurants at Opryland. The food was fantastic...a marinated portabella salad, salmon stuffed with ricotta and crabmeat served over asparagus, and cappucino creme brulee. (Are you hungry yet?) And that was just MY meal! Yummy, Yummy!

We had a free babysitter (thanks, Grandma!), and the kids were great for her! It was nice to get away for a whole 6 hours -- Laney took a bottle!!! She has refused it the last 2-3 times we tried, so this was a major victory.

Through Opryland, Josh can get $5 movie tickets, so we went to a movie after dinner. We decided to see "Man of the Year" for the comedic relief. It was funny in spots and ever-so-slightly thought provoking, so I'd give it a B+. Josh wasn't crazy about it...more of just "okay." But...a movie?! What a fun treat. ;-)

We even stopped for coffee on the way home and treated our babysitter to a decaf, sugar-free, hazlenut latte. Tasty!

Although I know weekly date nights are ideal, we just don't have that luxury at the moment. The lack of family close by and the lack of funds to pay someone combine for a date night ratio of about 4x/year. Kind of sad, eh? But I know it will improve in a few...well, ummm...years. Like maybe 20 when our kids are up and out?! :-)

But for now, that great date with my sweet hubby will last me for a while.

It's rainy and cold here in Nashville today, so if your weather is like ours, try to find some time to cozy up with a good book and some hot chocolate. Gotta love fall. :-)

Saturday, October 14

Kaden's First Pumpkin

We love fall!!! We're having a great time enjoying Nashville's idyllic fall weather -- cool, crisp, and sunny! Grandma Hesse is visiting us for two weeks, so we're trying to show her a good time here in the south. :-) Josh was off from work last night, so we decided to take a little trip to a local Farmer's Market-type place to look for the perfect pumpkin. This was the first time we've gotten a pumpkin with Kaden. Long overdue, right?! It was great fun!!

Kaden loved perusing the pumpkins and seeing which ones he could pick up on his own. He especially loved the "Laney-sized" pumpkins b/c he could pick those up in no time...and stack several of them on top of Laney while we were distracted. She was quite interested in them, too, so she was perfectly happy to have someone bring them to her since she was stuck in her seat.

We picked out a fantastic jack-o-lantern, and daddy did some expert carving at home. We have it on the back deck with a candle inside, and Kaden loves it that it lights up. It's always fun to see something ordinary anew through his investigative, inquisitive eyes.

I love family nights, I love fall...I love life!

P.S. Jess's baby, Lilli, continues to improve and grow each day! Thank you, God!!!

Thursday, October 12

RSS Feed

I made it simpler to subscribe to my RSS feed. Simply click on the button to the right that says "subscribe" and bookmark the page that comes up. Then (if your browser has a feedreader) when I post a new blog, you should see a 1 in parentheses next to the bookmark, indicating that there's a blog to read. Of course if this is all techno-mumbo-jumbo and you'd like to just check back whenever you want to, that's cool, too. :-)

Isn't technology neat-o?

Wednesday, October 11

Making the Switch

Well, I've decided to switch to Blogger. The main reason is that I wasn't fond of people having to create a new account with Xanga just to leave a comment on my blog. Maybe I still won't get that many comments (nothing against my current commenters!), but hey -- I thought I'd give it a try. There are a few other considerations, but the main takeaway here is that I'm switching!

So subscribe, bookmark my RSS feed, or just check back at your leisure. You can expect more of the same -- a sometimes humorous, always honest view of life from a Christian wife and mom's perspective. Enjoy peeking into my journey!