Birthday! - Jan. 31/Feb. 1
11:54 PM | Author: Misty
My birthday was earlier this week, and Bobby really outdid himself, I think. It ended up being a great day.

I was grumpy to start the day because I had to get up early to go to the gym, then our gym buddies, the Hewetts, didn't show up! Which is totally OK, but I was wishing I could have taken the day off on my birthday! Then the art director for our magazine decided to take the day off work -- and again, I was wishing I could take the day off! But thankfully Randy, my boss, who was out of town, called around mid-morning and told me to go ahead and leave at 2! Hooray!

Bobby came and picked me up for lunch, which Chris treated us to at Fig. Had some yummy chicken tortilla soup and a free piece of peanut butter cake in honor of my birthday. Oh, my goodness, that cake was awesome! It was yellow cake topped with creamy peanut butter fudge and drizzled with chocolate. Wow, so good.

Apparently me getting off at two sort of messed up Bobby's plans a bit, but he went with it! He showed up at my office around 2 with FOUR DOZEN roses! I was so surprised! Seriously, I was completely weighted down with flowers. I'm a HUGE sucker for pretty flowers, and Bobby knows this, so he did great in getting me a lot of them for my birthday. He also brought with him a chocolate cake from Publix that was even better than Fig's PB cake! It was chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, strawberry filling, chocolate-covered strawberries and almond slivers. Between the two of us, we ate almost that whole cake this week; I think we gave away 2-3 slices. When we got home I put the flowers in every container I could find and ended up with roses in every room of the house! Bobby also got me some new pillows, which I'd asked for since I desperately needed them. I've been majorly enjoying them the rest of this week!

The night of my birthday we went out to Depalma's, a local Italian place, for dinner. It was yummy! We ate a three-cheese tort and carnivore lasagne, which had sausage, pepperoni and chicken served with tomato lasagne and red sauce. YUM!! It was seriously delicious, and I still have some left in my fridge that I need to finish off.

Those were pretty much all the birthday festivities on the big day. My coworkers took me out to lunch at Lupe's, a local Mexican place, on Thursday, which was fun, and I think I'm getting together with some folks from church tomorrow for a sort of belated birthday lunch.

I got a great start to my 26th year, and I'm looking forward to it being a great one!
Week in Review - Jan. 31 (but barely!)
11:33 PM | Author: Misty
It's been a week. Seriously.

To start on a happy note, Ranger and Rosie have been getting along grandly! After the first couple days, Ranger really started to warm up to her, and they've had a blast playing with each other when we take them outside! Ranger's really gentle with her since she's so much smaller than him, and she definitely holds her own. They tumble around, and she punches him in the face! Leads us to think she may have a little Boxer in her ...

Bobby and I also took Rosie for her first vet visit on Monday, and it turns out she's probably about 10 months old, as opposed to 4 months like the shelter thought. That means she's probably not going to grow a whole lot more. So we have a perpetually cute, little dog! Everything looked pretty good at the vet. Rosie had to get some hookworm medicine because her test showed a single hookworm egg, and we figured better safe than sorry. She also got some antibiotics to take care of her kennel cough, and she got her rabies shot. She was very well-behaved and took the shot like a champ! She also got spayed on Thursday ... she's recovering well.

I finally got most of my wedding invitations sent today. I'd been needing to get some directions printed off, finally did that earlier tonight and stuck the bulk of the invites into the mailbox. They should ship out Monday, which means folks will get them sometime next week. Next weekend my oldest sister, my mom and one of my aunts is hosting a party for us back home, and I'm looking forward to that. My co-workers also apparently are planning something for us, which I'm excited about, and Ashley, my M(atron)OH is planning a girly pajama party for my bachelorette shindig! Hooray for parties in the upcoming weeks. It's really hard to believe the wedding's only a little more than a month and a half away.

Another thing we've been up to this week has been looking at more houses. We had a really promising prospect in Northport that I liked a lot and Bobby loved, and we went and looked at it twice. We were sort of stuck on making an offer, though, because I haven't subleased my apartment yet. There's a girl coming tomorrow to look at it, but she hasn't given a definite answer, so we have to wait. Well, apparently sometime late yesterday or today someone else made an offer on the Northport house, and Tricia, our realtor, says the seller is most likely going to take it. Bye bye, 30th Street house. We hardly knew you. But I liked Tricia's perspective: It stinks, but it also means that there's something better out there for us. We still like one house in Circlewood, and we're going to keep our eyes open for other stuff we like, too.

There's been a lot of good stuff this week, but there's been some trying stuff, too. I'm not going to go into any detail, but God is really working on me about living forgiveness to people who do things that hurt me. I've mentioned before that I had to learn to show forgiveness to Bobby after some things that happened a while back; this was tough, but I have managed, through God's grace. But there are other people I struggle much more to forgive. God's showing me that this forgiveness has much more to do with me and him than it does with whoever else is involved, because people who wrong me or hurt me aren't always going to say they're sorry, and sometimes I just have to let go and move on anyway. This is very hard for me to do, but I hope I'm learning. I've been very angry and hurt over things in recent months, and I'm ready to move past that and be happy, content and at peace, and that's something that only me and God can work on together.

The thing I'll end on is another happy thing, and hopefully Bobby will read this. I just wanted to say thanks to him for being so sweet and wonderful to me this week and especially today. He showed a lot of patience through some really moody times this week, planned a great birthday for me (which I'll likely be posting about next) and cleaned up my kitchen for me so it won't be dirty when the girl comes and looks at my apartment tomorrow. I love you, Bobby, and thank you for being so kind and loving. I can't wait to be married to you!
Rosie - January 25, 2009
4:36 PM | Author: Misty
So one of our local animal shelters had a free adoption day, and I talked Bobby into going to take a look at the animals they had up for adoption. Of course, this was a mistake, and I think we both knew it. We're both big softies for animals; I seriously cried for about half the time we were in the shelter. It just makes me really sad to see animals with labels on their cages such as "unwanted" or "stray, picked up on (date)". For that matter, it makes me sad to see all these little creatures caged up, rolling around in their own pee and poop and just waiting for someone to come and take them away -- either to a better life or to be killed because of shelter overpopulation.

We had discussed it beforehand, and we primarily wanted to look at dogs. Since we're planning to get a house sometime in the coming months, we thought it might be nice to find a friend for Ranger. So we walked around the three long rows of dogs. We came up to this one little dog, and I couldn't help but stop and look at her. She was probably one of the least friendly and really just seemed pretty sad. I rubbed her nose through the cage before moving on, but I came back to her cage to pet her again. One of the shelter workers commented that I "couldn't seem to get away from that dog." A bulldog puppy had caught Bobby's eye, so we took the puppy I liked (a lab/terrier mix according to the shelter) and one of the bulldog puppies out to play with for a few minutes. The bulldog puppy was cute, but the sad mutt really just stole my heart.

So we got her. Her name's Rosie:

She's really been a sweetheart, but Ranger's having a hard time adjusting to her. Hopefully they'll start getting along soon! We think she probably was abused by her previous owners, but it's also possible she got hit by a car (she has a couple of pretty bad scars). She's very scared and skittish and undernourished, but we're going to do everything we can to change that!
House - January 13, 2009
11:19 PM | Author: Misty
Just thought I'd post an ode to my favorite TV character, Dr. Gregory House. He's pretty great.

OK, this isn't really an ode to him. Actually, I wanted to tell the world that Bobby and I have been pre-approved for a mortgage loan and are in the process of looking for our first house together!

We actually were approved a couple of weeks ago now and have had a chance to do some looking, but we both finally told our parents, and I didn't want to post it on the Internet before they knew. We started talking about it I guess about a month ago now (give or take), and we figured that with the interest rates so low and a lot of good deals on the market, it would make a lot of sense for us to buy rather than rent. Especially since our mortgage payment likely would be comparable to what I'm paying now for rent. And we wanted a house regardless, and rent for a house is generally pretty outrageous in this area thanks to the university and all the students who want to rent.

So we looked at some houses online, and we called my friend Tricia, who's a Realtor. Within just a few days we were able to start looking at houses. We've seen quite a few of the ones we picked out online. Some of them have been incredibly awesome. Others -- not quite so great. We've seen several foreclosures that were just scary, and even some where the previous owners had gone to great lengths to make sure the house didn't sell. The worst was the one where they had spread manure over all the carpet. Yep. It was disgusting.

We have a definite frontrunner as far as favorites. It's a 2 or 3 bedroom (Bobby and I have been back and forth about this) and 2 bath house with a big, fenced-in backyard and a nice workshop out back that Bobby could turn into an office. It's in a nice neighborhood in Tuscaloosa that's really convenient to pretty much any place we'd want to go. The asking price is around $102,000. Ideally, we'd like to get the seller down to $95,000. The house has been on the market for a little while, so they might be willing to drop the price some ... we hope!

Another of the ones we really liked was a garden home in east Tuscaloosa. It was really perfect, but in some ways, maybe too perfect for us. We would be able to move in and leave everything just as is, and it looked really awesome with a great color scheme and some cool light fixtures and fans and other things the previous owners had done. But if we did that, it wouldn't really be our house so much as the house we moved into that someone else had decorated and put effort into. It's also a bit above our price range.

Coming in a distant third place so far is a foreclosure home that's listed at $89,000. I seriously doubt we get this one, because it would need a lot of work. It also had a big backyard, and it had a really cool half story where there was an upstairs room with hardwood floors that was really open and nice. I don't think we could commit to making that house what it could be, though.

We also still have about seven more homes on our list to visit. We are going to four of those on Thursday and hopefully will see the final three in the next week. Then we are going to revisit our favorites, make a final decision and talk with Tricia about making an offer. Since my lease runs out in June, we're going to try to close near the beginning of May in order to have a month to move in. That would also mean our first mortgage payment wouldn't be due until July.

I'm extremely excited about this. I'm looking forward to having a place of our own that we can make exactly what we want. There are scary parts of this, too, especially knowing that if anything goes wrong it's up to us to fix it. But mostly it's exciting. I'm looking forward to finding a house that's perfect for us.

I'll likely post some pictures of some of these house once we've narrowed down our options.
Wizz-dumb - January 13, 2009
11:06 PM | Author: Misty
After years and years of putting it off, I've finally done it.

Last Wednesday I had my remaining wisdom teeth taken out. For those of you who don't know, I had seven (yes, seven) to start off. I had four on the bottom and three on the top. Two of my top ones got pulled in April last year, and I was informed that I desperately needed to have the others removed.

I had my first dentist appointment back in Tuscaloosa with my new dentist in October, and he wrote me a referral for an oral surgeon in town. And the putting it off resumed. I did NOT want to call for my consult appointment, but I finally did and ended up visiting in early December and scheduling the surgery for Jan. 7.

Bobby stayed over the night before the surgery so he could drive me to and from the oral surgeon's office. That morning we couldn't find my keys, then my car wouldn't start with the spare key (and his passenger door is broken, so we couldn't take his). We finally found my regular set of keys and ended up being about 20 minutes late for the surgery. They still took me back. I think there was a part of me that was hoping they wouldn't.

The hygienist/dental assistant who took me back made small talk, and I told him I was extremely nervous. He checked my blood pressure and heart rate, chuckled and said that, yes, I really must be anxious about the impending surgery. He hooked me up to the IV, my doctor came in and said hi, and I was pretty much out from there. I do remember waking up very briefly during the surgery, hearing some of what was going on and feeling a tiny bit of pain, but I was quickly back under.

Once the surgery was over, I was surprisingly alert. I sat in a chair in the recovery area for a few minutes, my mouth packed with gauze, and Bobby picked me up at a side door. He was clearly surprised at how not-groggy I was. When we got home, he actually had to talk me into going to bed, because I wasn't sleepy and had enough pain meds in me that I felt OK otherwise.

He stayed with me over the next few days and took great care of me, putting up with my whining and my trying to do too much. He made me lots of soup and bought me flowers.

Altogether the surgery wasn't nearly as bad as I feared. I did have a lot of swelling, and I had to make an unexpected trip back to the surgeon's office yesterday because of some bad pain. But they got that taken care of, and I'll be going back tomorrow for them to check on everything again. I still have stitches in, but in a couple of weeks, everything will be normal.

I'm really glad I finally had it done. It was a big fear for me to face, and I think a huge part of that was my worry that I would be incapacitated and dependent on someone else. But thankfully none of it was that bad, and Bobby did a wonderful job looking after me.
New Year in New Orleans - Jan. 13, 2009
4:49 PM | Author: Misty
One of my Christmas presents from Bobby was a trip to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, so that was how we spent our New Year’s holiday.

We left Tuscaloosa once he got off work on New Year’s Eve and drove straight to Slidell, only to arrive at our hotel and be told there was no reservation for Bobby Mathews. The clerk told us that our reservation must be at the OTHER La Quinta Inn in Slidell. So after already having driven four hours there, we loaded back up in the car and drove about 20 minutes up I-12 toward Hampton.

Only to find out that our reservation was really at the first hotel. The one we thought it was at to begin with.

The clerk at the second La Quinta was much nicer and more helpful, and she gave us milk and cookies because looked sad about having to deal with the hotel mess-ups. We went back to the original hotel and got checked in.

We decided to just stay in Slidell to ring in the New Year rather than trekking into New Orleans, so we ate at a Thai restaurant near our hotel. And when I say near … well, I mean near. The hotel was literally attached to a Japanese steakhouse, which was attached to the Thai restaurant. It was odd. And our hotel room smelled like curry (no joke, it smelled pretty bad).

The Thai restaurant, called Thai House, was actually pretty good. Better than I expected given the odd connection with our hotel. I ordered Pad Thai and had a couple of really weak Mai Thai drinks, and Bobby ordered some type of chicken and potato yellow curry that was pretty good. The Pad Thai was good; nothing extraordinary, but probably a little better than average. We were both so tired that we ended up going to bed before midnight and were roused by fireworks enough to mumble a “Happy New Year” to each other before settling into steady sleep for the night.

Since the Sugar Bowl game was not until the night of Jan. 2, that meant we had two whole days to explore New Orleans. Bobby really wanted to visit Harrah’s, so we went there on New Year’s morning. It was my first visit to a casino, and I mostly thought it was loud and flashy. I was impressed with the security, and I’d actually like to go back to visit John Besh’s restaurant, which I didn’t know was in the casino. (John Besh is a fairly well-known New Orleans chef who has appeared on Food Network shows “Iron Chef: America” and “The Next Iron Chef.” He actually bested one of the Iron Chefs in his guest appearance on that show, so I’d LOVE to try his food.) I had an OK time playing quarter slot machines with a little bit of money Bobby gave me, and I came out better than I started. Bobby lost a little money playing roulette, but he said he had a good time.

We left the casino early afternoon in search of food and stumbled across this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Jazz Tacos. Bobby was skeptical, but they were Zagat rated for the past two years, so I was able to convince him to try it. It ended up being a great choice.

The staff there didn’t really speak much English; they were Honduran, and the food reflected that heritage. I ordered the Jazz Tacos (soft-shell tacos with ground pork and cheese); Bobby asked for “the same,” but ended up with plantains. We were pretty amused. It worked out well, though, because the Jazz Tacos, plantains, chips and salsa were all fantastic. I’d definitely like to visit that restaurant again next time I’m in New Orleans.

At some point on New Year’s Day, we also revisited the Crescent City Brewhouse, where we enjoyed a crab cake and some bread pudding. The crab cake was OK, I thought, but the bread pudding was absolutely delicious! Afterwards, we caught part of the Alabama pep rally at the AllState game center and got a couple of free T-shirts.

We pretty much wore ourselves out in the city that day and ended up eating dinner at the Cracker Barrel in Slidell. I know, not exactly fine New Orleans dining, but we were tired, and it was comfort food!

The next day we slept in later to make up for some of the exhaustion, and we went into the city around lunchtime. It took us forever to find a parking space, but we eventually did and again set out in search of food. This time we ended up on the other side of the Quarter at a restaurant called Dominique’s, attached to La Maison Dupuy at the corner of Tolouse and Burgundy streets. The atmosphere was pretty cool, and the food wasn’t bad. We ordered chicken fingers for our appetizer, and they were really good – coated in Panko, which I’d never heard of. I had a burger for my main course, and Bobby had jambalaya that he really enjoyed.

We returned to the Sugar Bowl game center that afternoon and both pretty much made fools of ourselves by trying to kick a field goal to win a prize. I kicked my shoe off, and it went higher than the ball. Yeah, it’s good that I’m able to laugh at myself, because that would have been exceedingly embarrassing otherwise!

After stopping in at Cigar Factory so Bobby could get another cigar (actually, we went by there the previous day, too), we went in the Lush store. Lush carries these really nice, natural, handmade cosmetics and soaps, and I've heard great things about them but have never gotten to try. So I bought two bath bombs while I was there ... one is a scent called Vanilla Fountain and the other is Honey Bee. I haven't used them yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to it.

So for the game, having learned our lesson about the craziness of driving to and parking at the Super Dome, we followed directions from the saleswomen at Lush to go and Park on St. Charles and then catch a trolley to the Super Dome. We ate dinner at some pub I can't remember the name of -- I had a chicken and andouille hash that was pretty good, but Bobby didn't care for the roast beef Po'boy -- and ended up taking a cab to the stadium.

Our seats at the game were good and gave us a great view of everything that was happening on the field (which was a little frustrating at times). We actually sat beside someone I know -- a girl named Jennifer I had several education classes with.

While the game itself wasn't so great (there's always next year?), the trip was really great, and I had a nice time with my future hubby. I enjoy going on trips like that with him, and I'm looking forward to lots more in the future!
Christmas 2008 - Jan. 13, 2009
4:12 PM | Author: Misty
So, since it’s been a while since I’ve updated (and I have several different things I want to blog about), I’m just going to do several entries to get caught up! I’m starting about where I left off and hopefully will be current by the time it’s said and done.

Christmas home with the fam was nice. Bobby and I drove down together on Dec. 23, and he and Ranger dropped me at my parents’ house late that evening. We spent Christmas Eve with his family – his parents; his sister Darlene and her husband Mike; their grandson, Seth; and his brother John and his wife Wanda.

I actually like Bobby’s family a lot. In some ways they remind me of my own, and in others they are refreshingly different. I always have a good time with them. We swapped all our gifts and ate lots of food, then Bobby and I went and looked at some Christmas lights around town, which is always a favorite activity of mine. I think this probably will be an annual tradition for us – this is the second year we’ve done that after his family’s Christmas.

Christmas day was spent with my family. Once Amy, Stanley and the kids had opened all the presents from Santa, they headed on over to my parents’ house, where we ate a massive lunch and then opened presents. It was a bit different this year, because my parents mostly gave us all gift cards (which I didn’t mind at all – I racked up with a $50 gift card to Longhorn/Olive Garden, a $50 card to Gap/Old Navy and a $100 Dillard’s gift card), and rather than everyone buying for everyone else, we drew names for the first time.

The whole drawing names things was somewhat a point of contention in the family. It certainly made it easier for me and Bobby, since it vastly lowered the amount of presents we had to haul down. We decided to push forward with drawing names again for next year in similar fashion. I’m happy with it.

It really was nice having the whole family together for a day. Kristy and I also took our niece and nephews to see a movie the day after Christmas as our Christmas present to them (and, really, to Amy, too). Found out beforehand that my mom actually thought I would be able to handle them fine, but that she was a little worried about Kristy. I will admit, it was pretty funny at first watching Kristy (and I know you’re reading this, but it was funny!) being a little freaked out by them. But after a while, I think she got the hang of it, realized they weren’t going to break or throw up or run out into traffic and it was all smooth sailing from there. We did McDonald’s (complete with playground), watched The Tale of Despereaux (which was a reasonably cute movie … appropriate for the kids, anyway) and stopped for ice cream on the way home.

Kristy also informed me that I have good mommy instincts. That freaks me out a little, but I also think it’s a good thing – I do want to have kids one day. Just not any time soon!

Friday night I drove to Enterprise to help Bobby load up the rest of his belongings (which had been in storage for about a year, I guess) into a U-Haul to bring to Tuscaloosa. Two of his old school buddies, Bobby and Chris, came and helped out, and we went to Logan’s afterwards. We had a good time. I love seeing him with them, because he’s obviously so comfortable, and they have so much history together. And I like hearing stories about all the goofy stuff he did when he was younger.

So that was that. It was a nice trip home, if a little on the short side. I’m looking forward to Christmas again!