Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This WILL be purchased this weekend

I'm going shopping with my mama this weekend to pick up some things for the little man and nursery (since I've withheld until we knew the gender), but while I'm out...

... a stop by Anthropologie will be made where this milk bottle measure cups resides. They will be coming home with me, no doubt.


J's Nursery: Inspirations

So when I was thinking of a little baby girl, I had more ideas of what I could do decoration-wise.

But let me tell you, it didn't take me but 5 minutes to switch into boy-mode. And I couldn't be more excited.

Project Nursery has some great inspirations.

I think blue, white and green nursery is going to be happening for us. I know I said grey and yellow, but these have changed me otherwise...

Can you get over the cuteness of this room? Love the pattern with the accent wall:

And this Serena & Lily "Blake" bedding is to-die-for. And die is probably the right word because I think Chad would seriously do me bodily harm if I spent $400 on crib bedding without his permission (and trust me, I would NEVER get his permission):

Land of Nod has some cute bedding too:

And this PB Kids bedding is sweet and simple:

How cute are these pictures from Spot on Square!?!

They have a little pig one too that might need to make an appearance... Chad has a soft-spot for swine. ;)

I'm so ready!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A letter to my son

{Written after our March 28th Doctor's Appointment}

My sweet little boy,

Your daddy and I got to see you again today. Like most of our ultrasounds so far, you were quite the wiggle worm... bouncing all around in my tummy. I can already tell you will be one high-energy little guy! Daddy and I were super patient and watched with the ultrasound tech as she slowly and carefully pointed out all your perfect little organs... the two chambers of your gorgeous heart, all four hemispheres of your brain, the kidneys, ribs, your beautiful spinal cord... and more.

And then, she got the perfect view. "You're having a boy!" Like your mama tends to do, I burst out crying. But not before I got to see the look in your daddy's eyes. And hear the excitement in his voice. We have a son! Wow. We are simply amazed and thankful.

Your daddy was the last of the Barnhill boys in his lineage... so you will have the honor of carrying on your father's name. How blessed we are to get to continue another generation of our family through you, my son. You are so lucky to have such strong men to look up to. Daddy is going to teach you all sorts of things. Silly ones like how to swing your first golf club and learning your multiplication tables and long-division (please don't ask your mama for this.) But also, important things like how to respect a woman and what it means to live life with honesty, integrity and compassion. Mostly, he'll show you through example the importance of being a godly man in every area of your life.

Your mama... well, son, I hope to teach you a thing or two along the way as well. But more than the teacher, I am going to be the one that will love you with every teeny ounce of my being every minute I'm alive on this earth. I vow to never let you go a single second without knowing that you are so beloved and cherished to me.

I don't how I'm going to wait another few months before I get to hold you in my arms. To look deep into your eyes. To touch your skin, and count your toes, and inhale your smell and kiss your head.

I can't wait to snuggle you up at night and read you bedtime stories.

I can't wait to watch you smile at me for the very first time.

I can't wait to hear your giggle.

I could go on forever, sweet boy, because it's a lifetime of things I can't wait for. So for now, I'll savor the time that is just yours and mine. The time where I get to carry you with me constantly, and know that our heartbeats are in rhythm together making the most gorgeous sound we've ever heard.

I love you, my darling boy,
your mama

The results are in!

The family's guesses...

.... and the result...




And we celebrated with this:

Ready to meet you, sweet boy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

My best buddy

Since I had a weak blog post this morning, I felt that you at least deserved a little somethin' somethin' of my favoritest little boy in the world. still my heart... (in his hooded towel from Aunt Care)

... are you dying yet? (this was on the way home from the hospital... holding on for dear life)

... heart officially melted. (wondering about what his in-utero cousin is up to)

It is apparent baby Jamesy likes his blue binkie.

Chad and I are crossing our fingers for a baby girl at this point because I don't know how there can be another baby boy in the family as impossibly gorgeous as this one.

Pregnancy Week by Week: 17

I don't have time to do a full survey this week - but yes, we're through week 17!I can tell the baby is growing a LOT this past week. I feel like my stomach has definitely grown, I've felt lots of growing pains and cramps, and my nausea and headaches have come back... even though they are mild.

We are SO excited for Monday morning when we get to find out the sex of our little precious baby. More than anything, I'm just happy to be able to see our baby again. It's been 6 weeks since our last ultrasound, so I can't wait to see how much he/she has grown.

We're having a little party for family on Monday night to announce the gender, so you guys will have to wait until Tuesday for the big news. ;)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Firestorm Behind "Love Wins"

Maybe it's because I live in the Bible belt of the south, but the news of megachurch pastor Rob Bell's new book "Love Wins" is making headlines locally and causing quite a stir in the evangelical world. Check out the big AP article going around here.

The book isn't available yet, so I can't speculate on the full text, but the premise that Bell is promoting (smart move... marketing it early with the controversial) questions whether or not there is a hell, and how is it fair that only Christians go to heaven --- when they are such a small portion of the world's population.

Many Christians are up in arms over Bell's claim. But I have to honestly ask them, "Have you not questioned it too?"

Before we get into it, let me start by saying that I am always worried about putting too much "Jesus talk" into my blog... because I don't want to ostracize those with different beliefs than mine. (And I hope my readers of different faiths/backgrounds know that I not only respect your ability to disagree, but I warmly welcome it. I wish there was more open, honest and respectful dialogue between people of different faiths.) So while it might make me uncomfortable at times, I don't believe in hiding my beliefs either. And I don't think there are enough of us that are willing to stand up and speak on our faith (respectfully) for exactly that reason. We don't like to ruffle feathers. The REAL reason those "coexist" bumper stickers are so popular: because it's easier to pretend that we all believe the same thing than it is to respectfully argue our differences. You will not meet one Muslim who would argue that Allah is the same entity as our God. Why should Christians feel like we need to? I could do a whole other blog post on that, but I'll refrain for now... since this post will likely be long enough, as is.

So back to the book and topic at hand... I think Christians do ourselves a disservice by pretending that we never question what the Bible stays. Let me make it clear - that does NOT mean I don't believe what the Bible says. I don't believe you can pick and choose what parts of the Bible you choose to believe and shy away from the ones that make you uncomfortable. I take the warning in the end of Revelation very, very seriously - we do not add anything to the Bible and we do not take anything away from it. I believe the Bible is divinely inspired and there is no "reworking" what it says to make us more comfortable with its words.

But I'll be the first to tell you, there are things in the Bible that are hard for me to comprehend. I struggle with the same thoughts most of us believers, if they are honest enough to admit it, do (or should). I think we'd be hardpressed to find a honest Christian who can say without reservation that they have no questions about the Bible. That they don't have any things they want cleared up for them when they enter heaven one day. And God doesn't expect us to!!!!! Why we put on this "gameface" for God that we - without reservation - accept what He says is silly to me. He knows our heats. He knows we struggle. He WANTS us to struggle. We're not pushing ourselves spiritually if Christianity comes "easy" to us. There is nothing easy about it. Unfortunately, here in America, Christianity has worked its way into our secular culture. Most people identify themselves as Christian because they have embraced the cultural and moral norms associated with the faith. Again... tangent --- that could be a whole other post again.

The point is, the whole idea that nonbelievers who are wonderful people might not go to heaven BOTHERS me. It should bother all Christians. It's a hard statement.

But here's the great part:


Neverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr in the Bible does God give any inkling that He wants us to do His job for him. No sir, He is more than capable to decide on the fate of His beloved children allllll by himself. He does not need, nor want, my two cents in the matter. I don't get to judge the fate of others. THANK GOODNESS for that or those people at the Dunkin Donuts in Apex who would ALWAYS be out of decaf coffee when I'd stop in on the way to work would be in troubbbbleeeeee.

The fact is, I'm no biblical scholar - but I have been exposed to God's Word from a young age and have been actively studying it for the past 5+ years. What I've gained from it, is more confidence that in God is the absolute perfect balance of grace and truth. The times I struggle with the truth part of it, I remember God's grace. The times I get too wrapped up in grace (and there is such a thing), I have to remind myself of God's truth. You don't get one without the other. They are gloriously weaved together.

So from what I've experienced through God's word and in my own life - I am okay with admitting that "I don't know" some things. I know what God's word says about them.... and I will never deny His words. But that doesn't give me the right to judge someone else. Only God knows someone's heart. And he rules with grace and truth. And honestly, that is good enough for me.

I just wish more people in the church would feel comfortable enough to do the same. The judgmental attitude we see in the majority of today's churches is NOT biblical. We have every right (and the responsibility) to tell people what the Bible says about things, but we should NEVER be judge and jury on someone's life. And on the other end of the spectrum, I see a scary number of churches that are playing quite liberally with the Word of God. Churches who are afraid to speak the truth, and only want to show God's love and grace ... which is where I see this book going.

With God, you just aren't going to get one without the other.

I know this one is a doozy, so anyone who wants to delve more deeply into this than simply leaving a comment are more than welcome to email me at myprettylittlethoughts at

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


For this child, I have prayed. - I Samuel 1:27

I've said it so many times. And tried to express it so many ways. The fact simply is that I'm simply humbled by the love and grace so many people gave us during a very difficult season of our lives.

I don't think anyone - myself including - can truly understand how many people prayed for Chad and I to have a baby for so very long. I bet I could list out without thinking at least a hundred people that I know have been committed to praying for us. My friends told their friends who told their friends to be praying for us. People told their mamas, sisters, cousins and church families. Entire small groups were praying for us. People who don't even know us, have been praying for us. People who don't even normally PRAY have been praying for us.

And prayers in every which way. Some - like my Bible study girls and my dear friend Dru from church - wanted to literally place their hands on me and call for a miracle under the name of a mighty God. Some who would send me text messages and emails before and after every major appointment (so thankful for you M.J.B., J.P.A. and A.H.B.) Some - like our couples Bible study group - who would listen every week to our struggles and lift them in prayer for us. Some who prayed for me without speaking a word to me about it - I've had so many after I announced our pregnancy who have said that they have been praying for us since the beginning.

Like I said - humbling.

This child, before it was even conceived, has been absolutely bathed in prayer.

It absolutely moves me to tears every time I think about it.

Because when we finally got the news we were wanting so desperately to hear - WE ARE PREGNANT - the aftermath was incredible. This wasn't just our answered prayer.... this was THEIR answered prayer too. So many people were able to be a part of the blessing. And it was evident.

The look in my mother and mother-in-law's eyes when we told them the news. They had battled this nasty thing called infertility right alongside us since the beginning with the love and ferocity only a mama could have.

How my brothers and sisters felt a weight that they had carried for so long had been taken off their shoulders too. No one shares joys and burdens like your family.

The way one of my very best friends (and the fighter-when-I-didn't-have-strength-to-fight by my side for the past two years) burst into heartfelt tears.

The shrieks of joy from friend after friend after friend when they heard the news.

The number of people who had tears stream down their face once they learned of our answered prayer.

Incredible. We got to watch it all. We've heard all your stories.

I'm so grateful for you. I'm so thankful you were able to be a part of our miracle. Let no one ever try to convince you that God does not hear our prayers. Let me assure you from personal experience, He most certainly does. It might not be in the manner we thought... or the timing we intended... or the way we saw it happening. It might not even be the answer we want. But dear friends, He does hear you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

First Freakout

I've been surprisingly (considering I'm quite the control freak) calm for most of my pregnancy. Other than a few hiccups at the beginning, things have been pretty smooth sailing for us and the baby.

But for whatever reason, today I've just felt completely overwhelmed.

Work has been busy, I've had a couple of "sick days" --- nausea and migraines which I am attributing to the fact this baby is g-r-o-w-i-n-g, so I know that's not helping.

But I gave myself through my first trimester to really not think about anything in terms of baby. No picking nursery paint, looking at strollers/carseats/bottles, nothing. I wanted to enjoy being pregnant before allowing myself to be consumed with decision-making.

I've actually felt guilty when people have asked me "oh, have you thought about so and so..." because I HAVEN'T.

But now, at almost 18 weeks along (and a couple weeks away from being halfway there), I just feel like I'm so behind. I feel like I have 8934573948573 decisions to make and I just know the next couple months are going to fly by.

I guess what I'm more scared about is I'll be in such a rush to make a decision to have it "done" that I'll choose wrong. I know it's silly. I know it's probably 90% hormones 10% me talking. But I'm just such a decisive person. Even with wedding planning, I look back and think of things I would have done differently had I just taken more time to THINK. But I'm a do-er... always have been. I like to get things checked off the list so I can move along to the next thing. In a lot of ways, this is a great attribute to have. But it can also cause problems.

The thing is, there is no "trial run" for having a baby. With marriage, you have the whole few-years-of-dating thing to proceed it. You kinda know what you're going to expect.

But for a baby? You're just kinda flying by the seat of your pants.

Next week this becomes more real for us. In six days, we'll know if this sweet little being growing in me is our son or daughter. I'm trying to just take some deep breaths and focus on one day at a time.

We'll get there.

(PS: In the middle of writing this post, Chad called to let me know he just got off the phone with the landscaper about some things we wanted to have done in the yard. Once he told me the cost, I burst out into hysterical tears and told him I can't handle it. I'm prettttttyyyyy sure he regrets making that call. Thank goodness I have an office, not a cubicle, because my coworkers would have looked at me like I was nuts.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pregnancy Week by Week: 16

Week 16

Baby Size:
avocado --- yum!
How I feel about being pregnant: I've had another great week of feeling well. I have so much anticipation for the coming weeks as the baby gets bigger and we'll have more milestones - finding out the sex, feeling the baby's movements, etc. It's a really exciting time that has made the 14+ weeks of nausea completely worth it!
Symptoms: Still feeling great! Lots of little cramps which reminds me that the baby is growing super fast!
Food Cravings: No real cravings this week... eating like normal.
What I'm most excited about: Finding out the sex in a little over a week - Hard to believe!
Something I've done to prepare for baby: Daddy and I spent Saturday afternoon organizing the room we selected as your nursery. We had a bunch of random stuff in boxes in that room from the move (it was sort of our catch-all room), but we made a LOT of progress in there! Just a few little things left to move. Then, hopefully in two weeks we can start decorating!
Special moment: Getting to hear the baby's heartbeat on Monday, definitely. I love this little one so much already and cannot wait for August to be here!

...and here's my 6 week, 6 day bump picture from yesterday! Sorry for the squinting --- it was a bit bright out!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Week 16 Check-up

Things have been super busy around work as of late, but wanted to give a quick update on our little baby bean.

I had a routine check-up with my OB yesterday, and everything looked great. These appointments are pretty quick - come in, pee in a cup (to test for protein in your urine), get weighed (I'm down one pound since I got pregnant, so in the coming weeks I should start gaining steadily), get your blood pressure checked and listen to the baby's heartbeat.

Chad didn't come this time - since there was really no reason for him to be there - but I'm sure he was a little jealous he didn't get to hear the baby. It's been four weeks since our last appointment, and it is always so reassuring to hear the baby and know everything is a-okay!

Our bean is still quite the wiggle worm - the moment our OB would find the heartbeat, we'd hear a woosh, and then the doc would have to find it again. He said we have quite the active baby and it just didn't feel like sitting still. I have no doubt about this after seeing the last ultrasound!

Just two more weeks til our next "big" appointment where we'd do an ultrasound that will scan the baby's anatomy... and obviously find out if we have a little son or daughter! We are BEYOND excited, and I can honestly say I don't care one way or another what we're going to have. (Though I will say, my nursery plans are a lot more far along in the event it is a little baby girl.) I'm just ready to know for sure!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pregnancy Week by Week: 15

Week 15
Baby Size: navel orange
How I feel about being pregnant: This was an interesting week - since obviously I got to experience Molly's whole delivery ordeal. It just made the whole thing very real to me. So I'm a little bit more nervous now, but also much more excited. I hope the next five months just fly by!
Symptoms: Hoorah - I had a reallllllly good week. Every night when I lay down I have heartburn, but it's not too bad. But all in all, I have been good in terms of nausea and headaches. I have been having lots of round ligament pain - which is like short, sharp cramps which just mean my uterus is continuing to grow and expand.
Food Cravings: There is NOTHING better on this planet than a ruby red grapefruit. Not the cheap variety, but the the $2/grapefruit variety that makes Chad give me the raised-eyebrow when I put more than three in a bag. I've always loved grapefruit, but they are definitely my favorite thing to eat now. I'd eat one every hour if I could! I've also been a big fan of cereal (which is the perfect way for my to get in my milk+DHA) - so this week I've been on a Crispix kick.
What I'm most excited about: Having baby James here just got me really excited thinking about our own little baby and how hopefully they will grow up being the bestest of friends. I'm so thankful Mike and Molly live so close (and hopefully will remain so), so that our kids will be able to grow up together.
Something I've done to prepare for baby: Learning vicariously through Molly right now. Baby, me and you have got a lot to learn still!
Funny moment: Nothing that was particularly funny per-say, but it was a bunch of FUN having both sides of our family and Molly's family at the hospital last Friday waiting for James. Our families get along so well - so we had a grand old time waiting for James to get here!
Special moment: Obviously, seeing James and holding him for the first time was just beyond special for me. But another special moment came is last Friday night while Chad and I were driving home from the hospital, after the baby arrived. It was an emotional night for everyone, so I think we were both really drained. But Chad said how he realized for the first time tonight that he'd been really stuck thinking about all the things that would change in our lives with a baby - lack of sleep, no more spur-of-the-moment plans, etc. But after watching Mike look at James for the first time, he realized that none of those things would matter any more. All he would care about is our little baby. Nothing else would even come close to that. So that was a special conversation. We're so ready for our little baby to be here and to change our lives forever!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What is it about moms?

I'm not necessarily sure if this is something about ALL mothers, or just my mother(s) - my mom and mom-in-law:

If you ask them to do something for you... not matter how inconvenient, time-intensive, out-of-the-way it is... they will do it. It is wired in them.

If you ask, you shall receive.

I think it even gets worse as the children get older - into their own adulthood - because since you ask things of them LESS, they feel even MORE like they have no choice but to say yes to whatever it is you ask of them.

So here's the thing...

my mother-in-law makes DELICIOUS chicken and rice. I don't even know what's so dang good about it. I don't know why I love it so much... especially when I'm feeling under the weather. Chicken and rice isn't something my mom made growing up... my mom is chef extraordinaire, but she's not a traditional "southern cook."

But anyway, it hit me today that I really, reallly, reallllyyyyyyyyyyy want some chicken and rice. Like pronto.

My instinct is to pick up the phone and ask if my m-i-l can make me a pot of it so I can pick it up on the way home from work and have it for dinner.

My dilemma?

She'll say yes. No matter if she has a day packed full of things she HAS to do. No matter if she is completely out of rice and all her chicken is frozen. No matter if she's not even AT the house and has no plans of being home until she's at church this evening.

If I call and ask if she'd mind, she'll say "Of COURSE not... what time will you be by to pick it up!" Because that's what she does... and that's who she is.

I wish I could ask Chad to do it but, 1) he's out of town and 2) she would more likely do it for me since I'm carrying her grandbaby.

And I can't ask her for the recipe because I've done it before and she refuses to give it to me because she wants to be the only one who can make it for me. This is what mothers do to you.

And my mom is even worse. If SHE really knew I was dying for chicken and rice that she didn't know how to make... ohhhhhhh lord. I don't even want to know. Well, she'd likely break into my mother-in-law's house, search through her recipe books and files and find the recipe, and THEN go home and have it made for me by suppertime.

So in the end, all I really want is some chicken and rice.

But if I ask for it, I know there is a 50/50 chance it could be majorly inconveniencing my m-i-l... but she'd do it anyway.

What to do, what to do.

... to be continued...

Monday, March 7, 2011

And then came James...

Without a doubt, this was one of the most emotional/happy/terrified/excited weekends I've ever had in my life.

I won't share any details, since it is not my story to tell, but I WILL say that I'm so thankful for a God that loves and protects my darling and beautiful Molly, my strong and resilient Mikey and the most precious little baby I have ever seen... my brand new nephew James Henry.

As Mike's big sister, I've experienced such pride in the man that he is over the past few days... I can't even imagine how my parents feel. He emerged as this strong, powerful and protective husband and father. There is this fiercely loyal love he has for his wife and son, and it was just breathtaking to see. I still can't even find the words for all the emotions.

One of the sweetest things I noticed was how right away, the baby was drawn to Mike's voice. Even when he was back with the nurses getting his first bath, the moment Mike would talk, James would look around for him and lock eyes. That boy is going to love his daddy so much.

And to my little Molly - sister, I am SO proud of you. You always amaze me in a million ways, and this just added to it. I know the end of this pregnancy was NOT easy for you, but what a champ you have been. I'm so glad you have this gorgeous, perfect little being on the other end of it as a reward.

Here I am, proud first-time aunt with James Henry. Child, you are so very loved.

(((And yes, it is taking every ounce of strength for me not to run to the hospital and hold him again this minute.)))

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pregnancy Week by Week: 14

Week 14Baby Size: a large lemon
How I feel about being pregnant: Not so sure about this whole pregnancy thing, but MAN am I ready to meet our little baby! I think about him or her allllll day long.
Symptoms: Eek - I've had a couple bad days of headaches: one day, a migraine so bad that my OB prescribed me vicodin with codeine. Since, even with doctor's approval, I refused to take vicodin, they gave me permission to take excedrine migraine just this once... and it made a world of difference.
Food Cravings: Nothing in particular that really comes to mind, but my appetite is definitely more back to normal. I'm still not eating a whole bunch, but at least I'm starting to eat more meat and up my protein intake.
What I'm most excited about: Not related to MY baby, but today Molly is being induced... so any hour now (for her sake, I hope), we will get to meet our nephew! I'm BEYOND excited. Chad and I love baby James so much already... I can't wait to kiss all over his little face. So keep Molly, Mike and baby James in your prayers that there is a safe, fast and healthy delivery.
Something I've done to prepare for baby: Started my prenatal yoga video. I hope baby liked all the movement, stretching and breathing!
Funny moment: Chad has finally agreed with me that he thinks Baby Barnhill is a girl. My nausea/headaches and other general aches and pains just seem like something another female would put me through. ;) But the other night I told Chad I think the baby was kung-foo fighting in my tummy. Chad said no, he bet she's doing little ballerina twirls like her mama. I then decided she more likely doing the Cupid Shuffle... and we got a good laugh thinking of her doing the "now walk it by yourself" part. ;)
Special moment: It hasn't happened yet, but see answer to what I'm most excited about. That will likely be my special moment of the week.

Week 14 done - on to 15!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Design Project

Many months back, I saw a project on a blog I that I knew I wanted to repeat.

Take this $30 Ikea frame...
... and with a $5 can of chalkboard paint, $4 can of ivory spray paint, and a free piece of plywood cut-to-size thanks to my father-in-law... we made this:

Cute chalkboard that hangs near my kitchen that I can write our weekly menu on, love notes to my Chaddy, grocery-list items... whatever my heart desires.

Now - I just need to get some chalk. ;)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Rude: Veggie Tales

Bringing back rude - from here, here, here, here and here.

Sooo, I'm just going to put it out there. Sometimes men say ridiculous things. Things so ridiculous you just stare, opened mouthed for a few minutes until you can find the right words.

This weekend, as we were driving to church, Chad says to me:

"We really need to do a better job about eating vegetables."

WHAT?!?!?!?! I wanted to be like, "Oh hi Chad, I'm not sure if you remember me but I'm your wife Caroline. You know, we've been together for about 6 years. Share a bedroom. That kinda stuff."

Does he not even know who I am?!

IIIIIIII need to eat more veggies? With pregnancy hormones pumping through me, it took all the restraint I had not to punch him in the nose.

Because, first of all, by making a comment that "we" need to eat more vegetables --- which, let's be honest, really means ME... because if he was talking about himself he would have just said "I." So if he's saying I need to eat more vegetables, that means he thinks I'm eating crap.

And, for the life of me, I don't know where he gets this from. Coming from the guy who could... and often does... eat potato chips and ice cream every day of his daggum life! I mean - the man still looks really good so I can't hate on him. But not me.

Ask anyone who really knows me what I need to eat more of.

Meat, they might say. Or protein, more specifically. Fiber... because, well, everyone could use more fiber.

But NO ONE would EVER say that I need to eat more vegetables. Because I LOVE vegetables. I might not finish all my pasta... or all my chicken... but you will NEVER see leftover veggies on my plate. And often, they are the one thing I'll get refills of.

Ask my Bible study girls who laugh at me because during any given meal, half of my plate is a mountain of salad.

Ask my mother... who has fed me for the past 27+ years.

I would normally say ask my husband - but he has somewhere along the line decided that I don't eat enough vegetables. And this coming from the man who really does NEVER eat vegetables.

Okay this rant is getting wayyyyy to long. The point is - if the man wants to see vegetables... I'm gonna give him some vegetables. I would be perfectly content to cut meat out of our meals completely. So last night began "Caroline's Reign of Veggies."

Our dinner: veggie sandwiches. Rye-pumpernickle swirl bread with spinach, cucumber, tomato, red onion, avocado and sprouts.

Let's see how long it takes before he starts begging for meat back.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I don't like to think of myself as person who tries to get in strangers' business... I'd prefer the term "curious people watcher."

Back in my days of working at a bar, I'd love (when it was slow, of course) to make up these far-fetched stories in my mind --- and to share with coworkers of course --- about the backgrounds of these people.

Like when a middle-aged woman and younger male would come in, instead of making the normal inference that the woman was probably his mother, I'd tell myself that they were on a date and it was ACTUALLY her son's best friend who had, of course, no idea they were seeing each other.

I think it's part of having a creative mind... ;)

So last night Chad and I were at Chipotle to grab dinner and as we're sitting there I notice a 20-something girl walks in... looks around and then checks her phone. A couple minutes later another guy walks in by himself and looks around. The girl walks up to the guy, exchanges a few words, he shakes his head and then goes and stands at the other end of the restaurant.

I immediately assume this girl HAS to be waiting for a blind/ type date. Then, five minutes later - ding ding ding - guess who is right?! In walks another single guy, who looks around... walks up to this girl, she nods and it appears they say hello and make introductions.

I thought it was weird they didn't shake hands, but whatever. But I was so excited, because, helloooooo I was right! I squealed to Chad "Eeeeee!!" He agreed but then told me to mind my own business.

But of course I couldn't do that. I watched them as they waited in line to order their burritos. Kinda awkward. But he was wearing his best polo shirt with graphics on them. Ugh - who thinks these things look good?! They made small talk but you could tell there were awkward pauses. I think any date where you have to stand in line to order is kinda awkward... note to my blind-date readers.

I was hopeful they would sit near Chad and I so I could spy on their bound-to-be-awkward first date convo, but alas, the line was taking too long and Chad made me leave.

But it made for an interesting dinner! Anyone who has been with the same person for any long period of time know that you get to a point in your relationship where you realize sometimes at dinner you might not say but 10 words to each other. When you see someone day in and day out, the conversation doesn't always pour out of you. Especially after a long day at work. So Chad and I have many comfortable-silence dinners.

And while our dinners might not have those first-date excitement/jitters... we also never feel pressured to make awkward conversation with each other. Especially when I can imagine it for others. ;)