July 30, 2015

part 1: when aaron came home last summer and i was like whoa

I first met Aaron about ten years ago when his parents went out for dinner with Tim and Karen, leaving the two of us together to watch the girls. It was love at first sight, and the past ten years have just been about us growing together in our super romantic relationship.
I'm kidding.
I mean, that is how we met, but I wasn't interested until nine years later. Aaron says that the night we met, I was awkward and gave him a book to read. I told him it was the most hilarious book ever (hey, it was to ME), but he thought it was really lame and stupid. But he read it anyway, and faked laughed, because he thought I was cute.
Cue heart eyes emoji. Seriously, how cute can he be?

Anyway, fast forward a few years. Aaron was living in FL, and I moved in with his parents for about five months. I didn't know them very well, but I was going through one of the darkest times of my life, and they helped pull me through it. I was a total basket case, but they just loved me anyway and taught me the true meaning of God's love and forgiveness. They taught me how to have a relationship with God that has, in turn, helped me in my relationship with Aaron. In the years since then, Aaron's parents have become my dearest friends, and his family became like my own. I LOVE looking back now, and seeing God's hand orchestrating all of that. Words fail to describe what it means to me to know that God knew exactly what would happen down the road every time I crashed the Hoover's family outings, dinners, and movie nights, and drew closer to them over time.

They are total dorks and couldn't take a normal family picture
 together if their lives depended on it.

Meanwhile, Aaron's mom and I had a lot of conversations together about Aaron's life, and exactly the type of girl he should marry. Which is pretty ironic now.

Fast forward again to last August. Aaron was coming home for a visit from ND where he works, and I was in the kitchen with his mom and sisters in law, discussing Aaron's girlfriend situation. (Seriously if Aaron ever needed to know what to do with his life, we were totally there to give him all the direction he ever needed. All he had to do was ask. Which he never did.) We decided that we should probably just set him up with someone for his own safety's sake.
About 30 minutes later, Aaron drove up and got out of his car.

Whereupon, I promptly decided that if Aaron ever went out with any girl but myself, I would punch him in the face. Fortunately, Aaron didn't want any other girl.
Cue heart eyes emoji again.

Aaron and everyone else asked me what changed that day. I don't know really. I believe it was just God's timing. I had total peace about it by the next morning.

She Who Shall Continue This Story Tomorrow

February 20, 2015

my pulled pork gave the dog diarrhea

I'm not much of a cook. I associate cooking with stress, sweat, and crying. Because that's usually what cooking inspires in me.
However. I have determined to make myself cook twice a week. Very much like my mom forced me to do when I was a teenager. You're cooking whether you like it or not, Sunny Jane. Trust me, you'll be glad one day. 
She was right, I am glad now. Although I'm not a great cook, I can get by. I'll never starve. But thank God for microwaves because I would definitely be hungry without mine.

Anyway, I'm just a little over one week into my new self enforced cooking skills. Pulled pork was first up on the menu. I chose this for two reasons. One, I like pulled pork. And two, how easy can you get? Throw two ingredients into the crock pot for 8 hours and you've just made yourself dinner.

Yes. This would be easy.

I asked Mom to pick up a small to medium sized boneless, pork roast while she was out grocery shopping.
So she brought back a pork roast the size of my torso with a bone in it the size of my femur.

I wondered how long we would be eating pulled pork. The rest of our lives apparently. Maybe we could feed the homeless too.

I also wondered how to fit it in the crock pot. And would the bone make a difference? Karen said boneless. What if the bone ruined it? Why was there so much fat all over the roast? Is it possible to suffer dehydration from sweating so much?

After much consideration, I cut the roast in half. This was brilliant on so many levels. It enabled me to fit the roast into the crock pot. It turned one roast into two. And by cutting it in half, I eliminated the whole bone issue since the bone was only in one side of the roast. Like I said, brilliant. I also cut off all the fat from the outside because I ain't eating no pig chub.

And then I made pulled pork. And when it came time to pull the pork apart, I saw LOADS of fat still clinging to the inside of the roast. Any kind of animal fat makes me very unhappy. I can't eat it. But that's okay. I would carefully remove it. And since a lot of meat came off with the fat, I fed it to the dog.

Then the dog went delicately into the bathroom and had diarrhea all over the place.

I'm happy to report, though, that when I made baked Parmesan chicken a few days later, it was both delicious and uneventful. Except for the part where I put an oven mitt on the stove burner and it caught fire. But at least there wasn't any diarrhea involved. I consider that a success.

I don't have a picture of my pulled pork, the Parmesan chicken, or even the dog. But here's a picture of some sugar. Sugar is often used in cooking.

And here is a cake that I made for the girls on Valentine's Day.

My current Hulu Plus obsession is Master Chef. I've watched two and a half seasons this week, and I get tears in my eyes any time Gordon Ramsey says something nice to the participants. I'm so inspired by the show, that I'm going out to the Hoover's next week for a few days to learn how to make egg rolls (who knew you could make those at home and not just buy them from the freezer section at the grocery store?). We're also going to make French macarons. Macarons are a delicious rainbow in a box. I bought some for Mrs. Hoover one time when I was in Greece. Then I ate them all in one day. Sorry, Mrs. Hoover. I was ashamed of myself afterward.

I hope no one gets diarrhea next week.

She Who Inspires Diarrhea In Dogs

July 01, 2014

vacuum cleaners. me and rachel.

I broke the vacuum cleaner at the Hippo car wash the other day. One second it was vacuuming, and the next second the hose just broke in half. I don't even know what happened. But the girl there said it was okay, and that I didn't have to pay for breaking their stuff.
Those vacuums at the Hippo have amazing suction. You know how in the movies when people are sitting happily in an airplane, and suddenly a zombie or something rips the airplane in half and everybody gets sucked out of the plane in, like, 3 seconds? That's how the Hippo vacuums are. I'm pretty lazy and typically don't clean my car out. And even when I do, I just aimlessly wack the vacuum around, and hope it gets some of the dirt out before I quit.
But you can't be aimless with the Hippo vacuums. They will suck you right out of that airplane, man. I speak from experience. I accidentally vacuumed my face the first time I went there, and I will never forget it. My face has never been so clean. I mean, that sucker exfoliated me (see what I did there?).
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that one time my mom made me watch a Twilight Zone episode with her, and there was a canister vacuum cleaner in it that ran around killing people. Like, it just sucked the life right out of people. Fortunately, some lady had a really big butcher knife and she stabbed it to death. I will never own a canister vacuum cleaner. Ever.
So the moral of this story is twofold: Never buy a canister vacuum. Also, if you want to clean your face really well, I know a place.

One time Rachel and I went to Pompeii. That's right. The real Pompeii. We had just spent two weeks in Greece and another in Rome. This was going to be the highlight of the trip. But when we got off the train in Pompeii, it was approximately 5,000 degrees below zero, raining, and the wind was tearing around like a tornado.
I was like, Let's leave.
Rachel was like, Sunny. No. We only have two hours until we have to catch the train back. You'll be fine.
But she was wrong. I wasn't fine. I was dying.
So I was like, Maybe Mount Vesuvius will erupt again. You'll be sorry then. Because sometimes you just have to be three years old.

Here's a picture of Rachel having a grand time.

 Here's another picture of her having fun.

Here is a picture of me crying. (Updated: Rachel pointed out that I am actually holding hand warmers on my face in these pictures. I totally forgot about those hand warmers. I don't see how I did though. They saved my life.)

Here is another picture of me still crying.

 In my defense, I wasn't the only sad person at Pompeii that day. These people were also sad.

Rachel pointed out that they were also dead. I pointed out that at least they died warm.

Speaking of Rachel.
One time, Rachel's brother decided to sneak up behind her, and catch her by surprise.
In .8 seconds, he found himself on the floor with Rachel's hands around his throat.
One time, my brother-in-law decided to sneak up behind me, and catch me by surprise.
In .8 seconds, I peed.
That story pretty much sums up all of mine and Rachel's difference in one little nutshell. She will kill you, I will pee on you.

In case you're wondering who Rachel is, she's one of my BFFs, and we're pretty much joined at the hip. We went to Tubbs Hill, and summoned our eagle powers the other night, during Ironman. Because if one ever needs eagle powers, it's while watching Ironman. I was ready to die just standing on the sidelines. I don't understand why people would want to experience that much physical exercise. What's wrong with staying home and watching Netflix? Although I must admit, watching those guys cross the finish line was fantastic.

Those eggs were a lie, Esqueleto. A LIE! They give me no eagle powers! They give me no nutrients! (Name that movie)

In other news, I recently discovered I am a cow. Or at least related to one.

I too, get stressed out when I am separated from my friends.  I'd like to publicly say to all of my friends: There's no escape. Sorry.

She Who Suddenly Feels A Close Kinship With All The Cows Out There

June 22, 2014

wherein the girls boost my self esteem and other stuff

My niece, Mik, posted this sign on her bedroom door:

At age nine, Mik has sorted out the important things in life.
I thought it was a great idea.
I made one for my front door.

You might have a wreath or a welcome sign on your door. Or maybe one of those As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord plaques.
I don't.
So Kirby Dude and Jehovah's Witness Person, don't come knocking at my door again unless you're bringing me a pizza.

Molly will be five next month. I felt sad about this last night, and asked her how she felt about growing up so quickly. I held up four fingers, holding my thumb down, Molly, I wish you could be four forever.
She was like, I don't do dat. Looking at me disdainfully.
I was like, What?
I don't hold my fingers like dat. The disdain deepened. I felt like a loser.

I go like dis.

So. It has come to this. Our four year old baby is making up her own gang signs.
And in case you noticed the "chocolate" on her upper lip, it isn't chocolate. She took a pan of cookies out of the oven, and tried to get a closer look at those babies. She kissed the pan. She didn't even cry. I would've cried. I sat on my flat iron one time. I cried.

Anyway, Molly is really into being a maiden these days. I have no idea where she came up with this idea. She does her own thing.
So this morning she's all, Sun, can you do my hair low like dis? Dat's how maidens do it.

Gangsta maiden.

And then she saw this old picture of me:

Let me bring that in a little closer for you. I don't want you to miss anything. Not pictured are the lace gloves.

That's from Old Fashioned Day at our church in AL, when I was about 19. Yes. We had Old Fashioned Day, and we would all dress up like Little House on the Prairie, and we mostly all hated it. I have no idea what the point was. Sometimes when you're a Baptist, you just do random stuff like that. Anyway, I wasn't doing Little House on the Prairie, I was a Jane Austen fan. That's way cooler. Some kids might go through an Emo phase, or maybe Goth, or Punk. I went through a Jane Austen phase, and I wore those clothes out in public.
I went to Walmart like, Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don't cha?
To my surprise, none of the guys there asked for my phone number. Uncultured swine. (Name that movie)

Back to Molly. She found that picture of me.
So this morning, as I was fixing her maiden hair, she asked me about that picture.
Sun... were you a maiden back then?
Yes. Yes, I was. In fact, I was the fairest maiden of them all.
I wish I could describe the look of love and admiration in her eyes as she stared up at me. She literally caught her breath. And then she sighed the happiest sigh ever.
I knew it. I knew you were a maiden.

And that, my friends, is why I'll always be one of the coolest people on this planet in Molly's eyes. Once upon a time, I was a maiden. That's all that matters.

Molly also drew this picture of me:

She perfectly captured my are-you-kidding-i'm-going-to-punch-you-in-the-eye face.
And then she told me, Can you write Brave and Sunny on it? Because it's for you. That's you being a brave princess. Like the movie.
A brave princess and a maiden. You see why I like it when this girl comes over?

My sister, Shelly, sent me a jean dress awhile back. I really love it. Hello, it's Anthropology. What's not to love?
I wore it to church this morning, and Lily came into my room and stared at me with the same adoration Molly had looked at me with earlier.
Oh Sun, oh Sun, oh Sun. I love your dress. You're so BEAUTIFUL.
I was like, Thank you, and mentally congratulated myself on being so beautiful.
It's so beautiful, Sun. You look just like a farmer!
I stopped congratulating myself.

And then I went to church, and one of my friends told me I looked like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.

Here's a picture of me in my Farmer/Dorothy dress. And Lily adoring it:

You might be a hot mama. Or a sexy beast. Or America's Next Top Model. Whatever. I'm a Fair Maiden Farmer. Eat your heart out. There can only be one.

And last of all, I leave you with this:

Because sometimes, when your name is Molly and you can't hold it, you just gotta drop your pants in the hallway and make a crazy run for it.

The Fair Maiden Brave Princess Farmer Dorothy. Amen.