Archives for category: life: friends

On Friday, one of my friends celebrated her 21st birthday with an evening campfire at her home.  It was wonderful to see some of my very close friends from high school – some of whom I hadn’t seen since we graduated in 2008.  Plus, Alan fit right in, which some of my friends commented on and which made me very happy.  It was odd, however, to see how we’ve all changed in such a short time period.  Although we reminisced and talked about our favorite moments from high school and earlier (some of us have known each other since elementary school) – it was crazy to discuss grad school plans, honors theses and wedding plans (for two of us!) between those memories like that-one-time-when-that-one-kid-pretended-his-button-down-shirt-was-a-cape-and-he-pretended-to-fly-around-the-chem-classroom.  No, seriously.  He did.  Just ask anyone who was in the same chem class.  We’re pretty sure that, after the first week of class, our teacher actually scheduled Class Clown Time into his agenda, because he always managed to cover the day’s material.

And, as much as I enjoy and appreciate the friendship of those at college, there’s nothing like the friendship of those whom you’ve known since first grade (or preschool).  Your college friends come on the scene when you’re already an adult (technically).  But those elementary school friends swapped food with you at lunch, traded notes about crushes and drama in middle school and will never let you live down the fact that once, at Busch Gardens on a high school choir trip to Annapolis, you saw some cute Asian kids and said, “I want to have cute Asian babies!,” only to be told that you, in fact, could.

Of course, some times college friends are the only ones who may truly appreciate the fact that you, as a history major, had a major crush on Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.  Who was a Union officer.  During the American Civil War.

Regardless, it was a blessing to be able to reconnect with and celebrate the birthday of a friend.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

+ care packages. I turned 21 on Saturday — Alan and I started the day by going for coffee at the local coffee shop.  The guys (a quirky and wonderful group of men I’ll have to write about some time) sang “Happy Birthday” to me, and then Alan and I met Mom, the pastor and his family and another family at church.  We spent the next two and a half hours organizing, packing and preparing care packages for shipment.  The boys signed their names on letters and box flaps, wrote “thank you” on plastic bags and even helped secure the boxes with tape.
After that, we spent half an hour in the post office.  Most of it was spent filling in the customs forms more completely.  There are currently 16 care packages en route to Afghanistan — six for Frank, Sarah‘s husband and my former neighbor; six for Alex, a friend and the boyfriend of a friend; and four for four airmen, whose contact information was given to me by Lori Stewart, president of Toys for Troops.

Pastor and Alan assemble shipping boxes

 

Writing notes on plastic bags before adding peanut brittle

Shooter guards some finished packages

16 boxes -- ready for the postmaster

+ korean. Alan made a Korean birthday cake (similar to sponge cake) and bibimbap, my absolute favorite Korean dish.  There would be photos, except for the fact that I cannot find my USB cable to connect my camera to my computer.

+ gym. Alan and I went to the gym this morning.  I walked for a mile, realized I was still cold and my hands were freezing, jogged for 3/4 of a mile to warm up and then resumed walking.  I have slightly over two months before our engagement photo session, so I’d like to tone up a bit before then.  Last spring, I went jogging on a regular basis with a guy from college (he was training for a marathon).  It was such a motivator because I didn’t want to be bested by a guy, especially because he was bigger than me.  But he transferred, so I have no running buddy.  I’ll have to start taking Shooter once the temperature warms a bit.

+ engagement photos. Our session has been scheduled for May 19, a few days before we fly out to visit Alan’s family in California.

+ catch-up. Tonight, Alan and I made plans to meet up with Frank and Sarah.  He’s home on R&R, and I haven’t seen him since he graduated high school in 2006-ish (or somewhere around there).  We lived in the same neighborhood for years, but it wasn’t until we both graduated that we started talking on a more regular basis.  Funny how that works.  I met Sarah in December, while Alan and I were in Lancaster for his ATC.  Her best piece of advice: “Don’t repeat ‘To the Fallen.’  Whatever you do.”

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

+ srsly? Dear Army, I am frustrated with you.

+ quotables. My professor, who is Mormon, explained why he loves going to his wife’s (Lutheran) church.  “We read this thing and think about our sins for a little while — not too long, because that would be uncomfortable — and the preacher says, ‘As a called and ordained minister, I pronounce your sins forgiven.’ Ahhhhh.”  At that point, my professor started doing the whole spirit fingers thing.
“I’m being flippant, but I’m flippant about everyone — including those weird Mormons.” – Mormon professor
“Someone wrote on this with the wrong kind of chalk!” – medieval history professor, referring to permanent marker on a white board

+ lifetouch. My church (which will henceforth be referred to as “AG,” as opposed to the Baptist church Alan attends) hired Lifetouch photographers to take photos for the church directory.  Not only did the photographer try too hard (asking us to say such phrases as “The photographer’s a genius” — I never understood why photographers tell their subjects to talk while taking a photo), but he was completely unorganized and seemed to have no sense of direction.  He was also about 15 minutes late in setting up our session, even though everyone was required to schedule sessions (and I would imagine that scheduling is supposed to eliminate or reduce such inconveniences). He also pushed the photos a bit hard — I understand that he’s trying to sell his product, but no one is going to buy if the quality is poor. He took a few photos of Alan and me, and I wasn’t particularly fond of them (granted, I dislike having my photo taken by anyone, at any time), but we decided to purchase a few (and even after that he kept asking Alan if that was all he wanted). I was incredibly tempted to say, “No, thank you. We’ll just take the eight by ten because we’ve already hired a professional photographer to take our engagement photos.”

+ friends. On Friday evening, I met some friends at a local restaurant/bar.  I’ve never been to a bar before (minus the pubs in England, which were far classier and cooler than anything here … since I obviously have several years of experience backing that statement), but it was the lamest bar scene I’ve ever seen.  I was pretty sure some of those guys have been hanging out there since high school graduation. …  There’s also nothing like spending time with people who know you incredibly well because you spent at least 180 days a year together for 12 years.
There was the time I saw an Asian woman with her adorable little son and told my friends, “I want a cute little Asian baby!” to which they responded, “Bets, you can make one.”  That was at least four or five years ago.  And they still, to this day, remember that.
One of my friends offered me a sip of her drink, but I told her I couldn’t because I still had “twelve, four, minus eight days” until my twenty-first (the clock said March 4, my birthday is March 12 and in my head, I was saying “twelve minus four, eight days”).  Obviously, doing math in my head while looking at a clock and simultaneously speaking does not work well.
When more friends arrived, we moved to a larger table.  One of my friends sat a mostly empty glass on the larger table, and I asked what it was.  She replied, “Ben’s beer,” after which I asked what kind of beer that was … not realizing she meant that the beer had been purchased by Ben.  I earned a, “Bets, I don’t understand how you’re not blond” comment after that.

+ california. Alan and I are flying out to California to visit his family in May.  I’ve never been west of Detroit, so I’m excited to travel farther, to meet his family and to visit the beach (not in that order, because I was really worried I wouldn’t have an opportunity to meet the rest of his family before the wedding).
Remember when Real California Milk launched the campaign about cows auditioning to become the next happy cow?  I watched all of the videos and have to admit that I picked up a habit of saying, “California, California, hey!” when I’m in the dairy aisle of the grocery store.  I would also like to mention that I only say that when no one is around or when I don’t know anyone.

+ scary. I added this at 9:35 p.m. on Sunday evening.  It was sleeting when Alan and I left the house this afternoon, heading in opposite directions of the state.  It eventually knocked out the power at home, but turned to unrelenting rain the further south I drove.  My sister called around 9:20 to ask if I had heard from Alan, because he had not returned from dropping off the boys and my parents wanted to know if he went to church.  I think my heart stopped.  I didn’t think he had gone to church because of the weather, and I assumed he had simply gone home.  I sent text messages to Alan’s phone (hoping he was just at church, because I didn’t want to call), hoping that he was all right and but ready to sprint to the Jeep if I had to drive home.  He called me a few minutes later to let me know that he was all right, in spite of swerving off the road to avoid a car in his lane, having to be towed to church and then being stuck there because the church is on a hill and people couldn’t control their vehicles well enough to leave.
He’s now slowly on his way home, stuck behind the slow-moving plows, and my blood pressure is slowly returning to normal.  I’m ecstatic that he’s safe and angry that he scared me, even though it obviously wasn’t his fault.  Let’s never do this again.  Major props to the wives of deployed service members.