Monday, April 28, 2008

394.10973 -- Hometown proud

Click here to read the story of one woman's quest for the best burger in Ohio... and how it led her to the Kewpee!

YUM! Road trip to Lima anyone?

Friday, April 25, 2008

016.394 -- Birthdays and Anniversaries

Today is a special day around here! I was born exactly 27 years ago up in Lima, and my husband was born exactly 27 years ago in Cincinnati. How cool right? Although we haven't always been able to celebrate together, we've had some pretty unique birthdays.

Because 27 is no magical milestone birthday, I won't be waxing nostalgic or getting sloshed this evening. But in thinking back on the past year, it's been jam-packed full of craziness!

One year ago in April, I was completing my grad school internship, and was preparing to graduate in May. Of course, the most exciting part came in June with Matt's safe return from his 16-month deployment to "Crapghanistan." We were fortunate enough to score tickets to the Army Birthday Ball, so we drove down to D.C. for that (and lots of site-seeing) after he got home. July brought even more traveling! We had a huge party in Ohio where Matt got to see all the family and friends he'd missed over the last 16 months. A few days later we followed that up with a 2-week trip to Germany! We got back to the States just in time to see my brother graduate from Basic Training in South Carolina. August passed pretty uneventfully, except for saying goodbye to good friends, lots of packing, and tons of "leaving the Army" classes for Matt. September was the big move. The two of us managed to pack up our entire house and haul it into a ginormous Penske trailer. We moved into temporary quarters with family and started the job hunt. October brought some interviews, but little else. November I got a job in retail, just in time for the holiday season discounts! We had lots of fun spending holidays with family last fall. We moved into another temporary living arrangement in December, which required a lot of work, but was completely worth it. Luckily, we were moved in by Christmas, so we could host family and friends for a couple of parties in January! In February, I got my current position! I couldn't be happier with the job, and the people I work with are great. We started house hunting shortly after the job news came, and by March we had decided on a house and gotten the ball rolling on all the requisite paperwork. We closed on the house in early April, and just moved in this week!

Phew! What craziness! Hopefully this year will be just as exciting, but lots less hectic!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

152.4 -- Anger

Some facts: *
  • 6,000,000 pregnancies occur in the US each year
  • 468,988 babies are born to teenage mothers (8%)
  • 820,000 mothers-to-be smoke during their pregnancy (14%)
  • 221,000 mothers-to-be use illegal drugs during their pregnancy (4%)
  • 757,000 mothers-to-be drink alcohol during their pregnancy (13%)
  • 240,000 fathers-to-be abuse their pregnant partners (4%)
  • 458,952 babies are born to mothers without adequate prenatal care (8%)
  • 1,200,000 pregnancies are voluntarily terminated each year (20%)
  • An estimated 906,000 children are abused and neglected each year in the U.S. An estimated 1,500 children die as a result. **
And the kicker:

In the United States, 6 million women deal with infertility. SIX MILLION women who want pregnancies have to jump through hoops, possibly never getting the chance to be parents.

Bullsh*t? I think so.

* (All statistics taken from American Pregnancy Association unless otherwise noted.).
** (from

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

028.162 -- It's raining books! recently published an article on the new trend in baby showers for "modern moms." Book showers, wildly popular with those who have experienced them, are popping up all over the country. Pros include a more emotional shower experience as family and friends share special memories of books they loved as a child (or books they loved to read to their child). Cons include a low net number of diapers, bibs and other baby sundries.

So what do you think? Would you throw a book shower? Would you want one?

While you ruminate on the above, here's something to bias your opinion. (If you don't want opinions on books, don't ask a librarian! Hah! :)

From a recent Buffalo News article by columnist Margaret Sullivan,

"Two of the best possible gifts for children, I’m convinced, are the love of reading and the presence of books in the home. This is true now, in the Internet Age, every bit as much as it was in the 1970s when I got to know Hamlet and Macbeth. In fact, it may be more valuable now than ever, since reading develops a child’s attention span, balancing the effects of the fast-flickering digital world that 21st century children increasingly live in. Seeing my own children — both teenagers now — reading for pleasure has been one of the great satisfactions of motherhood for me. That’s because I know it has helped them, making them better students, more informed citizens and more interesting people."

So... books as the it shower gift of the season... yea or nay? I think they sound like a fab idea! Bring on the free books!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

643.12 -- First time home owners!

We closed on the house about a week ago. We've been there a couple of times since then, stripping wall paper, painting, and cluttering up the garage (already?!). There's no doubt in my mind that it's going to be great. We'll be going back there most nights after work, trying to cram in as much painting as our schedules will allow. By the end of the week we should be ready to start moving!

Monday, April 7, 2008

155.937 -- Grief

"Talk to me about the truth of religion and I'll listen gladly.
Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively.
But don't come talking to me about the consolations of religion
or I shall suspect that you don't understand."
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

People respond to grief in so many different ways. It is impossible to know how to console someone the way they want to be consoled. Books on handling grief will counsel the griever to tell loved ones exactly what they need to hear and how they need to be treated. Unfortunately, the grieving person doesn't always know what they need or even how they feel.

I'm lucky to have had a relatively grief-free existence, but I have had some interludes. Enough that I know how I deal with grief, and what I need to hear. I'm still learning how to help others. I'm still learning that people don't exhibit the same signs of any emotion. Don't always expect the excited person to be as animated as you would think. Don't expect the bereaved person to go through the same five stages (in order no less).

C.S. Lewis wrote the book A Grief Observed following the death of his wife, never intending to publish it. The quote above is from this work. It is emotive in a way that other of Lewis' books are not. He wrote in another work, for example, that God knows what's best for us, and we should trust him implicitly. He goes on to say that, "if our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it." This advice is exactly what would have sent me over the edge if someone had said it to me during a time of grief. I suspect Lewis came to the same realization during his bereavement.

But like I said, everyone is different. Some might take solace in knowing that God is watching out for them and ultimately knows what's best. I, on the other hand, can't think about God during a loss... not without a million unanswerable questions.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

643.12 -- Homeowners-to-be

About a month ago, a small progressive library system offered me just the position I had been waiting for since setting my sights on the library profession. Within days of that job offer, Matt and I started looking at houses and auditioning mortgage companies. After 15 or so houses, three mortgage brokers, two house inspectors, three each of radon and HVAC quotes, and the appraisal, we are finally ready to close on our new house.

I'm happy to report that the payoff has been worth it. We close on the house this Tuesday, after which we'll start the cosmetic changes that are so much easier to do before moving furniture in. Luckily, there's not a whole lot we'll have to do.

Among the joys of having a new place to call home, I'm looking forward to having a real address. Before, we had a "physical address" and an "address of record" for tax, vehicle, and voting purposes. This is the first time as a married couple that we'll be able to call a place our one and only home. It's a source of unexpected joy for both Matt and me.

Plus, no more moving for about ten years! :)