Saturday, April 12, 2014

retail therapy

My super-cool//teacher//mama//blogger//artsy//young-looking friend, Jen, and I recently tested out the 'retail therapy' theory.

Good news ladies {sorry husbands}! It works.

There were many winning moments of the day that reminded me just how often I need to make trips to the outlet mall in my life.

We enjoyed many hours of kid-less bliss filled with chatter, shopping bags, food, and chocolate. Seriously, the only way this day could have gone better is if Channing Tatum had been one of the models in the Under Armour store.

Winning!

After I got home, I convinced hubster that my shopping spend-a-thon was completely justified as I did not pay full price for one single item. Winning! I also, despite my objections, needed clothing to wear on my still-carrying-the-baby-weight body. Semi-winning!

Jen scored the biggest perk of the day... a handy-dandy-backpack//shopping bag.

Look at that thing! Makes the whole day worth it. Also, note how it makes my super-cute trendy-fashionista friend look even younger than she already does. You wouldn't guess that a few weeks ago, she had to endure this lovely nightmarish surprise at work from some of us {her closest 'friends'} for her 40th birthday.
isn't she lovely?
Winning!

So how does one judge the success of 'retail therapy'? By the amount of purchases, of course. I'd say we passed our therapy session with flying colors.

Winning!!

In our defense, this is the culmination of both of our shopping bags. You'll see that we clearly did not spend all the money on ourselves {OshKosh}.

Side note: Buying items for my family also exposed a new shopping problem I have... little girl clothes. Their cuteness is truly overwhelming and irresistible. So my darling daughter, when you're reading this in 18 years, I'm sorry that you can't afford to go to college, but you can thank me for how well-dressed you've always been.

Priorities, people.

It was also the first gorgeous, sunny, spring-like day of the year after a winter from you-know-where, so I blame Mother Nature for my emotional purchases due to my joyful mood {consequently, I also blame her for my excessive fat and lack of motivation from this winter}.

Spring break. Check.

Retail therapy. Check.

Winning. Check.

Bring on the rest of the school year.
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Monday, April 7, 2014

you're welcome world #4

It's that time again...



I'm going to begin this evening with one of the many celebrities I often disagree with. Strongly.

Dearest Queen Gwyneth,

       I could go on and on, with heavy sarcasm, about just how difficult your life is compared to mine. But since you already pointed that out to me, a working mom who has it so easy, allow me to enlighten you as to just how easy my life really is. I have two young children, Your Highness. I leave them every day, except for weekends and summers, with the care of a baby-sitter so that I can go to work. My 'work', as a teacher, affects the well-being of our country, society, and planet. I realize this is not as important as the impact of your movies, which is why you make the big bucks and earn the prestigious awards. I have had to struggle with the choice to work or stay at home while considering my children's well-being, my own well-being, our family's financial situation, and what I feel called to do. You however, could quit that too-strenuous career of yours any day and have more money for the rest of your life than I could ever dream of earning. Along with that cake job of mine, I am responsible for transporting children every day, grocery shopping, housework, church responsibilities, birthday parties, holidays, and trying to keep my family healthy {just to name a few things}, all while being mindful of a budget. I take 2-3 weekends a year for scrap booking {selfish me} and try {often unsuccessfully} to find time to exercise and keep myself healthy. My guess is many of your lowly servants do most of these tasks for you. So you'll excuse me if I don't feel like my job is much easier than yours, just because I 'get to come home at night' while you are suffering on a movie set. I'll leave you with just three words...

Suck.
It.
Up.

Sincerely,

amanda kate

You're welcome world.
***********************************************************************************
Dear Designers,

      According to my Facebook news feed {which is pure fact}, rompers are a trend for summer fashion this year. Please, if any of you are reading this {I'm sure all of you are}, please, oh please, for the love of humanity, do not let this happen. Rompers are adorable in one instance only: baby-wear. I will gladly sport them on my five month old baby girl. I don't care if you're tall, short, thin, fat, or Cindy Crawford, rompers are not flattering or appropriate for a grown woman. So please, do not make this trend happen. Let it die.

Sincerely,

amanda kate

You're welcome world.
***********************************************************************************
Dear 'Boomer',

       FYI... Your name is in italics, because I just can't honestly believe that's your actual name. If you have a different first name, I suggest using it because any name is better than 'Boomer' and you may want to distance yourself from this name due to your recent comments. I have never enjoyed you as a broadcaster. However, you solidified my distaste for CBS's NFL commentators and pre-game crew this week after your criticism of a baseball player for missing two games to be with his wife for the birth of their child. Let me tell you something, sir. I don't care if you make 53 trillion dollars an hour. If I am carrying your child for a miserable nine months, only to endure labor {c-section or natural}, you darn well are going to be there at my beck and call, no questions asked. I would like to thank you for one thing. Thanks to your idiotic, insensitive, unrealistic comments, Daniel Murphy is now my favorite MLB player. Thank you for highlighting a man who has the right priorities, unlike yourself. Heaven forbid we put family, or anything else for that matter, in front of sports. The way we view sports in this country is clearly an issue, and you are living proof. Your wife is one lucky woman.

Sincerely,

amanda kate

P.S. I am hoping that CBS thinks twice about keeping you around, even after your apology. I won't be watching, however.

You're welcome world.
***********************************************************************************

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

signs of spring

Spring Break.

Those words bring sweet music to my exhausted brain and silence-seeking ears.

Every year, it amazes me how badly students and teachers need a break. We love each other, but there's only so many inside recesses one can tolerate.

In the last week, my signs of Spring Break began appearing in all their glory.

  1. I walked into a fake tree at work. This needs no explanation.
  2. I backed my van completely out of the driveway without once realizing that my mother's cute little Honda Civic was also parked there.
  3. My students have 'folders' that apparently have been chewed by a mysterious elephant in their messy, bio-hazardous desks.
    I'm so proud
  4. I was caught completely spaced out {eyes fixed, mouth hanging wide open, no movement}, sitting at my desk before school one morning by non other than my principal. I immediately sought my morning cup of joe.
  5. I started teaching a math lesson at the wrong time of day, for a solid 6-7 minutes before I realized that several of my students were in a different room for math and therefore I could not teach math at this time. Duh.
  6. Grandparents Day happened. 
  7. I have the sudden urge to lose 30 pounds.
  8. I would pay an incredible, absurd amount of money to take a vacation right now. Particularly, to Disney World.
  9. I mispronounced about 45 words per day in class. It was like pregnancy brain all over again, except without the pregnancy excuse.
  10. I forgot to eat breakfast on Friday. 
I can't wait to not set my alarm this week. Let's hope my children don't turn into human alarms.
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Friday, March 14, 2014

the down side of social media

I realize I have not posted my last Bachelor recap this week, but it is coming, I promise.

Tonight I am doing my best to avoid the rant. The I-want-to-scream-while-kicking-my-computer reaction that I have way too many times after viewing social media.

I will be the first to admit that I love social media... all of it: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course, Blogger. I'm a sucker for it all. I most likely spend way too much time on it. And I have been guilty of doing the very thing I am complaining//non-ranting about tonight.

Social media is a great way to share your thoughts, feelings, daily happenings {however boring}, and opinions with others. I get that. Today I shared with my lovely friends my son's potty training achievements. You're welcome.

However, I think sometimes we forget that our posts have effects on other people. You see, it's easy to support a cause or make a controversial statement when you don't have to do it face to face. You don't have to talk to the people who disagree with you. You don't have to consider others' feelings on the topic.

My personal example... Medicine.

I take medicine for anxiety. It is something I have struggled with all my life, but had never had to take medicine for until after post-partum set in. It got progressively worse and progressively out of control for the first year after my son was born.

It certainly is not something I am proud of. It certainly is not something I like to talk about. It certainly is something that has caused me to question every single aspect of my life: faith, diet, stress, work, motherhood, exercise, and most of all, what the crap I am doing wrong. 

I have tried eating healthier. I have tried exercising {I even did the entire Insanity program}. I have tried natural supplements. I have tried thinking more positively. I have tried Bible study.

I have prayed and prayed and prayed.

And I believe God has answered my prayer. I am not ashamed of taking medicine. It has helped me tremendously through the last two years. I have been able to enjoy my job more. I have grown tremendously as a mother. I do not feel a weight, literally, on my shoulders 24/7. I experience joy more often. I can let things go.

Most importantly, I do not experience the panic attacks. Anyone who has had them, knows how debilitating they are.

Do I wish I could go without medicine? Absolutely.

Do I intend to use this my whole life? I have no idea. 

There is a trend right now of a more 'natural' lifestyle in which the medical world is an evil empire over-medicating society. I am going to tell you right now that I don't know any statistics. None. I have no idea how many people are over-medicated and how many are not.

I.
Don't.
Know.

But guess what?? Neither do you.

So you will have to excuse me if I don't generally appreciate all the posts about how everyone who uses medicine is simply eating wrong, exercising too little, or needs to go get a massage.

Slap.
Me.
In.
The.
Face.

It is so easy to make generalizations about people on social media without considering those actual people who will be reading those posts. I am guilty of this myself. 

Do I think there are people who are over-medicated? You bet. Just like I think there are people who abuse the welfare programs. However, that does not affect my viewpoint of impoverished people.

To sum up this non-rant...

Please consider the other side. Please consider people's feelings. Please understand that not everything is so black and white for everyone.

Until you have experienced the sheer horror of a panic attack, do not judge me. Until you have felt like you do not know if you will live or not, do not judge me. Until you have experienced the horrific shame//disappointment//self-loathing that comes with wondering if you will be able to continue on as a wife and mother, do not judge me. Until you have not been able to eat because you can keep nothing down, do not judge me. Until you have battled just to get yourself out the door in the morning, do not judge me. Until you have been terrified to be left alone, do not judge me.

I am thrilled that many have found relief with natural remedies and lifestyle choices. Praise God!

However, I have not.

And that is okay. I am still a child of God. I know He loves me. And I know the incredible feeling of realizing joy, contentment, and freedom from coming out of a pit. A deep, dark pit.

Thanks to a pill... that I take every day... which does not make me less of a person, less of a Christian, or someone looking for an easy fix. It does not eliminate the struggle completely or make me perfect. But it has helped me in so many ways.

Mental illness is real.

Non-rant over.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

honesty couch: bachelor edition

It's that time of week again. Time for pitiful excuses, fake tears, and the 3 cliches that JP knows.

If you prefer correct grammar and a vocabulary above a three year old's, I suggest you put in your ear plugs while watching.



 
 
Tonight, it's the Women Tell All... a.k.a some angry women ready to shred JP to pieces. I'd say they have a little more ammo than normal tonight. JP has been sure to show his true, jerky colors in the last several episodes and these ladies {a.k.a Angry Andi} ain't buyin' it. I can't wait to hear him respond in unintelligible syllables and say the same 5 sentences over and over.
Sidebar: Over/under 5 times that JP uses the English-as-my-second-language-so-I'm-not-that-big-of-a-jerk card tonight?? I'm going over 5. Go big or go home.

To make sure there is something positive said tonight about this show, Chris brings out Sean and Catherine first to talk about their honeymoon. I listened for 30 seconds and fast forwarded after Sean started talking about a sting ray assaulting his man parts.

Apparently this season is so bad, that they have brought Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog on to help save the show. I don't know what's happening. Chris is 'acting' along with these beloved Muppets and I am literally LOL-ing. A lot. 

Oh wait... Now JP is acting along as well. Oh help me. This is fantastic television. 

And the Muppets officially just sank their movie promotion.

Let's get to the hungry bears ready to rip their prey to shreds. Great analogy, I know. 

The girls talk about the first night. Dog Lover Kelly shares that her dog, Molly didn't like JP. Smart dog. ABC plays some 'highlights' to try and give JP some positive publicity before the beating he's about to endure.

The ladies begin some light JP-bashing by pointing out his lack of conversation skills. They claim JP had no deep conversations whatsoever. No way!

Some of the ladies, such as Lauren {the girl who JP refused to kiss}, seemed to jump on the JP-hatin' bandwagon even though they were especially distraught when they left. Kelly calls her out on it and reminds her of the gallons of tears she shed at JP's expense. Whoops.

Kelly makes an excellent point about JP's confusing morality changes throughout the season and cracks an ocean joke. Chris tries desperately to defend JP. Just give up dude. He's sunk.
Apparently JP's attempts to be 'fair' did not go well. His honesty is taking a serious hit, as is his judgment. 
Let's talk about the frolic with Clare. Please do. Sharleen called it 'buyer's remorse'. Amen. I think it's safe to say that neither Clare nor JP are being discussed in a positive light tonight.
Sharleen's turn to talk to Chris. Someone get me a pill. Chris calls their relationship a roller coaster. I call it a crazy train. Chris brings up the 'cerebral connection'. Oh my. Hold on. Sharleen shares that she thinks too much, so much so that she loses sleep. Might I recommend some adult ADD medicine or anti-anxiety pills? Sharleen claims JP did in fact try to learn more about her. What's more awkward than JP and Sharleen? Chris and Sharleen.
Renee is up next. The show is conveniently pulling all the extra nice//polite people to avoid the heavy JP-bashing. Not fooling me ABC. Renee talked about their 'special conenction'. I think she had a stronger connection with the girls than with JP. She says they had a lot to talk about. By a lot she means two things: Ben and Camilla. 
So it's now been an hour and JP has yet to come out on stage. Apparently ABC is trying to keep him from getting beat up too badly. 
Andi's turn. Can't wait for this. Andi claims JP is slightly ego-centric and negative. Interesting. She brings up JP's 'barely' making it comment. This, combined with him talking about Clare's overnight date, did not please Angry Andi. She pretended to fall asleep to escape JP. To sum up: JP was rude and inappropriate, but did not try to be mean. In other words, he's a moron.
JP finally graces us with his presence. Asked about regrets: JP wouldn't change a thing. He says you must be 'honest', 'mature', and 'realistic'. I call foul on all three. JP tells the ladies: Don't feel bad... the truth hurts sometimes. 
Let's address the Camilla situation... JP says Camilla is not going to watch the show, first of all. This pretty much makes him a liar in about 123 clips from the show. His reason for not kissing all the women or playing the morality card at certain times? He didn't come on the show to kiss 27 women. Oh, okay. Gotcha. 
Loud and clear my friend.
Chris brings up that he seemed to send mixed completely opposite messages by refusing to kiss some women and then immediately making out with Miss Veneers. He babbles some story about respecting the children of 'the moms'. Cassandra points out that had he truly had so much respect for Renee's son, he wouldn't have chosen her for a hometown date knowing that it wouldn't work out. He responds, defensively of course, with sharing that he introduces Camilla to all his dates. Really? Let me sign you up for dad of the year.
JP's focused//listening//deep thought face is as annoying as his vocabulary. Alli brings up JP's overuse of the word 'fair'. JP throws in an "it's okay" just for good measure. Oh you clever little devil.
Andi brings up his lack of deep conversation. JP explains that instead of asking a bajillion questions, he just wanted to interact with people. Free Spirit chimes in... oh goody. She reminds him that this is a relationship and not a game. She makes as little sense as he does.
Kelly brings up the gay comment that JP said a few months ago in an interview. Apparently he called gay people perverted and she has a gay parent. Whoops. 
I-no-speak-English-well card tally: 1
Victoria tells him that she spoke Spanish as her first language and that his use of this as an excuse is making other people look stupid. She was not impressed.

Chris interrupts everyone to save JP before the final kill. JP attempts to explain himself, which of course means he does not. Sharleen defends JP by saying they did actually talk about equality on their date and he is quite open-minded. When was that date? And when did they cover that topic? In between lip-biting sessions.

Well that was very less dramatic than I was hoping. On the bright side, only one more week of JP. 

My prediction for the finale? He dumps both of them, and they throw him into a pit of crocodiles.
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

honesty couch: bachelor edition

Beware. This one's in the running for longest, most unproductive blog post ever. This week, ABC decided to grace us with 2 episodes and not just one. My theory? Even the big-wigs at ABC can't bear to watch JP's fickle, lip-biting, vocabulary-lacking petting fests any more.




 
 
If you make it through this post, you are officially unable to be bored. If I don't finish this post, I have officially succumbed to the boredom of listening to JP.
 
Hometown dates are up first. Let's see how long it takes these folks to figure out JP's a total jerk wad.
 
Nikki is up first. Like typical Bachelor fashion, she runs to greet him. Anyone notice Nikki's hair makeover? All of a sudden it's longer and less frizzy.
 
Nikki takes him to enjoy 'gas station barbecue'. Fantastic choice my dear. She follows that up with mechanical bull-riding. Normally I would chastise her decision-making ability, but this may have been my favorite JP moment of the season. I was hoping for more of a beat down.
 
She wants to tell him she loves him but she can't find the words.
I.
Love.
You.
 
You're welcome Nikki.
 
Nikki's family is very welcoming. Then they ask about the flight from Korea. Nikki says she traveled in the lowly coach section while JP got to ride first-class. Immediately after, mom wants to have a talk. I imagine her telling Nikki to leave Mr. Fancy Pants and book him a bus ticket home.

Nikki tells Mom that she's in love with him. Mom responds a bit differently than I would. She would be 'supportive'. I would tie her to the chair and tell her she is not allowed to exit time-out until JP is in another country.

JP has a heart to heart with Dad. He talks and I'm bored. Again. Dad mentions several times that he trusts Nikki. I think that's code for "I don't trust you, but don't want to be the mean dad that ruins a TV show for my daughter."

Dad and Nikki talk with 'awesome' and 'magical' cliches. She sounds like she's on a job interview. This family is so calm and normal I think they belong in the 1950's. 

Newsflash: Nikki fails yet again to tell JP she loves him. That may be the smartest decision she's made on this show.

Clearly the girls all had time for a hometown makeover, because Andi shows up with a fresh ombre. JP says there is something going on between them. Well I certainly hope so, since you are meeting her family today.

Boy I hope Andi's date is better planned than Nikki's. She takes him to a gun range. Well Andi, when this doesn't work out, half the men in this country now want to date you. 

She hit the bulls-eye. Many times. Look out JP. You break up with her and you may face some serious consequences. 

Andi tells him he has to shoot a bulls-eye to come home with her. He hits like one out of fifty-seven... while using a gun that is about a tenth the size of Andi's.

Okay.. the sign on the door says, "Welcome home Pookie!" Do these people know they are on national TV? And how is this gun range obsessed, assistant district attorney's nickname 'Pookie'? Can't wait to meet Pookie's family.

Andi says she is 'waiting to fall in love' and that her family will definitely affect her opinion. Well dear... keep waiting. JP isn't getting any more charming or intelligent.

Dad looks like he is ready to pounce. I am loving this. JP is panicking. After all, JP could be outwitted by a sheep. Okay, that's mean. Maybe a dog.

Dad is calling it like it is. He describes them as 'infatuated' with each other. And I'm going to listen to his opinion since he's been married for thirty years. 

Mom talks to JP. I must say, I see where Andi gets her sense of humor. Mom makes JP and Andi dance while she makes fun of her daughter. A woman after my own heart. Rock on Patti.

Dad's turn. Buckle your seat belts. He gives JP a piece of advice. It sounds a lot like, "Get the heck out." Dad is not ready to give JP his blessing. He kindly explains that no man dating three other women is good enough for his daughter. JP responds with, "That's great."  
 
Well said my friend.

Andi's sister is quite insightful. She tells her that she is unsure of the relationship, because she's not sure what Andi is feeling. Considering what Andi told us ten minutes ago, I'd say she knows her sister pretty well. While talking to Dad, Andi has an epiphany of feelings and suddenly 'knows where she's at'. However, she fails to clarify where that would be. I'm so confused.

She clarifies her feelings when he leaves by telling us, "I could be falling in love." FYI.

Next we travel to Retirement Center USA {Sarasota, FL} to see Mama Renee. No wonder she's so wise... she lives in a community of elderly folks. She takes him to her son's Little League game. She sees her son for the first time since being home. And he is so cute and adorable and sweet. I mean seriously. These two are wayyyyy too good for JP. 

Renee's family is as sweet, mature, calm, and natural as she is. Soooo... no drama on this visit. If JP has any sense at all, he will pick this woman. But... if this season is any indication of his decision making ability {think ocean frolic with Clare}, he won't.

Renee, like Nikki, fails to tell him she loves him. These women are getting smarter and smarter.
 
Time for Miss Veneers. I think she tweaked her nose yet again, because her nostrils are permanently flared. JP says Clare is smart. This solidifies my opinion that he is not.
 
The hand gestures are a-flying. The hair is a-flipping. The nostrils are a-flaring. The teeth are a-blinding. The gum is a-chewing. 

JP is thrilled that she's finally opening up to him. Apparently the rendezvous in the ocean was not open enough for him.

Clare has five sisters. No wonder she's so attention-starved. The family wants to hear their 'adventure'. Clare's 50 year old sister {or that's my estimate} loves the attention he is constantly giving her. Clearly, she knows little sis well.

Clare shares how they went to the ocean twice in one day. One sister notes, "That's a lot of swimming."  
Wrong. It's a lot of something, but it sure ain't swimming. 
 
One of Clare's sisters seems to enjoy the role of Debbie Downer. She reminds her sister that she may not win. Boo yah. Then she backs that up with telling her they're not ready to give him their blessing. 
Oh no she didn't.

Clare is immediately frustrated and ready to pounce. Clare and sis argue about 'Mama' while she is literally sitting in the middle of the two of them. Awkward. Clare asks them to trust her, and... oh wait, she was interrupted by sis again. Sis stands up in attack mode and they continue to discuss Mama's thoughts {which she has yet to verbalize} as dear Mama becomes an innocent bystander. Crazy sis then moves to the side of the yard to observe. 
 
Wow. Clearly the crazy apple doesn't fall far from the tree. 

Clare cries for the 48th time. She finds comfort by bad-mouthing crazy sis to old-lady sis. I think they're auditioning for a soap opera.

Crazy sis continues to look like she wants to beat the tar out of younger sis while she sits and plots and holds the family dog. Creepy much?

JP suddenly reappears. I forgot he was even on this date. Mama is ready to chat with JP. Guess who comes along? Crazy sis. Clare tells crazy sis to leave. JP tells her it's okay and waves her off. This date is my new favorite thing.
 
Mama and JP converse in Spanish. I tune out and admire Mama's beautiful white hair. I hope I have that hair color when I'm old. And I hope that Mama's daughter gets sent packing

Rose ceremony time. We finally see Chris this season as he walks the ladies out and tells them where to stand. You are really earning your paycheck Chris.

During Chris's explanation, Clare looks like she's gaining a wealth of knowledge. Priceless.

Roses: Nikki, Clare, Andi.

Bye-bye Renee, the most mature, low-maintenance person every to set foot on the Bachelor. She handles the break-up like a champ. I would definitely say make her the next Bachelorette, except she is clearly to good for this show. She pours her heart out, and he responds with, "You're so great." I can't wait until he dumps Clare {fingers crossed} and she slaps him in the face.

Well... it's time for two more hours of this. Bonus episode! 

Is there a character limit to blog posts? I'm about to find out...

Off to St. Lucia. I hope this island is prepared for some Fantasy Suite drama. JP think it's "so pretty". Did anyone suggest a thesaurus as a necessary travel companion for this guy? Or an English class? Have mercy.

Clare's date is first. Thrilling. Clare is unsure if she will stay overnight with him. I guess she forgot her frolic in the ocean. {By the way, thanks ABC for the close-up shot of Clare's cheeks hanging out of her bikini bottom.}

Clare decides to tell JP about her convo with crazy sis and Mama. Apparently her conversation with them was completely different than the one I witnessed on TV. Liar liar pants on fire. This girl is freakishly good at being shady. Master Manipulator. 

Oh great. These two are back in the ocean. Thankfully the cameras leave soon after.

Time for dinner and the Fantasy Suite card. She is still 'undecided'. Clare is talking with some scarily pursed lips and giving him the 'seductive' eye. Then she waves her hand in front his face. How much alcohol has this girl consumed?

Oh the agony. Such a tough decision. JP has his focused, 'deep thought' look on his face. Clare is already holding the key to the suite, so I'm going to take a leap and say she is going to the Fantasy Suite.

Yep.

JP is not okay with frolicking with a lady in the ocean in front of his daughter, but entering a hotel room is just fine. Camilla, you can now use dad's raging hormones as a way to get anything you want in the future. 

JP prophesies that tomorrow, when they wake up, they will know a lot more about each other. He then does more petting. He says she is 'thinking a lot'. But really, there is just not a whole lot to say between these two. 

She finally spits out that she loves him while pursing her lips in only a way that plastic surgery can provide. She blinks dramatically and tears up. Clare has officially been booked for daytime television.

"You melted me." Thank you Clare for the line of the season. 

Hot-tub session. Check. Baby talk. Check. Candles. Check

Moving on...

Andi's turn. JP starts the day with, and I quote, "My sleepover with Clare was great." Really? 
I have no words.
None.

They go for a walk, play some steel drums, and eat with some cute kids. JP feeds the little ones and charms Andi. The kids mention they play 'soccer' {I'm sure producers had nothing to do with this} so they play a pick-up game. Then they ride around in some sort of dune buggy. Yawn.

JP takes her to a waterfall. The water is the beautiful color of puke-green-brown.

They talk about Andi's family. JP does the worst impression of Andi's dad. It was astonishingly bad and high-pitched. After this, they go in the water. I pray they have had their tetanus shots. And Hepatitis vaccines.

Evening time. JP wants to know how she feels and be sure that she's not forcing anything {like we are forcing ourselves to keep watching JP's train wreck of a season}. I'm starting to cut back on JP quotes because there are so many bad ones, that I simply am exhausted from typing them all.

Just one more.. "I'm pretty easy." Yep.

Andi wonders what he thinks. Ditto.

She asks him if he thinks she would be a good mother. His reply... "I don't know." Also in this convo he says he thinks about her daily and what would happen if he chooses to like her. 
Slap.
Him.
Now.

He wants to talk about all these things, like mothering, during the overnight date. Andi says yes to the suite. Everything is calm.. sweet.. and as JP would say, great.

Cheers to a "long-talking night". Oh JP. Please learn me English.

Cloud nine.

Cue beautiful music the next morning. It was a great night. He loves her rounded cheeks. 

Oh wait.

What's that?

Andi is less than pleased. She uses the word 'nightmare'. She also says that JP was a completely different person and hopes that he does not think that went well.

Whoops.

She mentions that he's not the greatest listener and didn't care about what she had to say. I love where this is going. The assistant district attorney is ready to go.

Andi shares that it's not a good idea to mention you had an overnight date with another woman on a date. Agreed.

Andi wants to smack him. Finally, someone is on the same page is me. According to Andi, JP has no filter and expects everyone to just laugh and fall in love with him. I can't wait to see Mr. Wonderful's reaction.

JP starts Nikki's date by purring at how hot Clare was in a bikini. 
 
Andi: 1 JP: 0.

Then, I am forced to pause the TV, because I simply cannot believe what Nikki is wearing. I would describe the lower half as silky, foreign pajama pants. The top half, however, is a bit more difficult to describe. Partly, because I did not know this item of clothing existed before watching this show. Picture this: nude colored tassels hanging from Nikki's nearly bare chest region. I think this is her bikini top, but I'm pretty sure it's actually part of a mop. JP will not be thinking about Clare's bikini anymore. 

She has to have tape on. Has to. 

She thinks JP is stunning in his tank top, cargo shorts, and sneakers. I now see why she thinks her outfit is attractive. Nikki = no fashion sense.

JP makes more innuendos and talks about her walking around in a thong instead of pants.

Andi: 2 JP: 0

Nikki thinks their relationship is based on honesty. I thinks it's based on her lack of clothing.

Right now I can't focus on her date, because JP is incredibly dull... and mostly because I can't wait to watch Andi rip him to shreds.

Nikki puts on more clothing for dinner. JP pets her and wonders what she is thinking, because he cannot think himself. He mumbles some poorly worded 'sentences' and looks severely intoxicated. To the Fantasy Suite...

Nikki throws out a bunch of cliches and finally tells him she loves him. Cue music and the word 'awesome'.

JP thinks he has a tough decision the next day. Newsflash: your ego is about to be punctured.

JP and Chris have a heart to heart. Meanwhile, I am salivating at how impressed he is with himself and how 'good' everything is, according to him. Oh just wait. Not everyone thinks you're Mr. Fab.

JP also pulls the English card and says some of his words are misunderstood. While that may be true, they are not misunderstood enough to take away the title of 'jerk'.

Here comes Andi. Remember the shooting range? This could be deadly.

She was not fooled by his use of the Spanish word for 'little kisses'. Nor was she impressed by his dull conversations. Boy, whichever girl wins is going to feel great after watching this.
 
She sits down and in two seconds he has on his focused face and starts petting
 
She tells him she's leaving and his response is, "That's okay." 
Hmmm. 
You could at least act upset JP. 
 
His reaction does not please Angry Andi. He uses the phrase, "I like you" again. I am seriously doubting his IQ. JP plays off his unintelligent response using the English card. Again. Is there a limit to how many times he can use this? 
 
Don't worry. He's sad. He likes Andi. But, he's not going to die. 
 
Holy shmoly.
 
Andi speaks my mind and says she will die if he says 'it's okay' one more time. Thank you. If you think you've had it bad Andi, just think of what the rest of us have had to listen to.
 
After pointing out his lack of genuine, emotional responses, Andi asks him what he thought of their conversations on the overnight date. He responds with, "I like talking to Andi." JP, did you hear what she just said?
 
He says it was not offensive to mention his overnight stay with Clare on their date. In JP-land, he was just being honest. And says, "it's fine". 
 
Heavens to Betsy.
 
Andi says he also told her she was here by 'default'. He defends himself by saying there is no possible way he could have possibly pronounced that word. So he is now calling himself an idiot.
 
I can't make this stuff up folks.
 
This can't get any worse.
 
Wait for it...
 
He claims he said 'barely' instead. She calls him a donkey. Somewhere, Andi's dad is cheering loudly and starting a manhunt for JP.

They continue to argue about the word 'default'. Andi continues to humiliate JP by asking if he knows anything about her religion, political views, how she wants to raise her kids, etc... His defense is that she should have told him that. Really she should have, because he clearly is either too unintelligent or too hormone-filled to ask himself.

He claims she should have brought up more serious topics in the Fantasy Suite. Lesson learned: If you're honest, you're blameless.

She continues by calling him annoying. Golly I love this girl.

He throws out some more typical JP garb and they part. 

He tells the camera that he's just a little bit disappointed. 
Tool.
Of.
The.
Year.

Previously I tied Ben and Brad as worst Bachelors ever... but this guy takes the cake. 
I no like Juan Pablo.

He would have been more sad had she not argued with him. This guy is a winner. Question... if Nikki and Clare see this argument, will they want to stay? 

Andi just made an excellent case for herself as the next Bachelorette. 

JP was shocked at Andi's departure. But he's over it. 

Andi has him figured out so well, that she can even predict what he's saying when she's in a car leaving the island. Impressive.

Andi: 4,621 JP: 0

JP explains Andi's absence to the other two ladies. Nikki looks confused, and Clare looks like she's ready to take a bite out of JP.

Looking forward to the Women Tell All next week. I'm wondering if JP will survive...

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

my anti-valentine's post

Last week was Valentine's Day and I purposely didn't post anything on the topic. To be honest, I got a little tired of the incessant posts of flowers, jewelry, and sappy sentimentality on social media. Perhaps, it's the cynic in me. Perhaps, it's the fact that those posts and photos can hurt many people who are not so lucky in love. Perhaps, it's that I feel Valentine's Day was completely created//promoted by business folks looking to make some money.

Let me explain why I seem so frustrated with the holiday this year. Up until this year, I have been the woman who kindly {and not so subtly} reminds hubster that flowers had better be showing up on a certain day in February. Valentine's Day usually involved going out to dinner, a weekend away, or some special event with my significant other.

This year, I told hubster not to get me anything. 

Don't waste your money on flowers.

He looked at me, as if to say, "Is this a test?"

When I was thinking about my need for hubster to buy me flowers, I asked myself why. Why do I need this public gift? Does this mean he loves me even more? What validation is it bringing me?

The answers to all these questions led me to realize that my need for a gift on February 14th was completely silly and superficial. I am in no way saying couples should not celebrate Valentine's Day or have fun giving each other gifts. Celebrating love is never a bad thing. But I realized that I had fallen victim to the 'my guy better get me something special' club. I was as bad as all those jewelry commercials {that are incredibly obnoxious} telling men to buy their lady jewelry to show her how much he loves her.

Really?

Hubster has shown me love every day for the past 4 and a half years of marriage, and I don't need a gift on February 14th to remind me of that.
Love should not show up one day a year.
A gift does not equate love.
Hubster has given me more than I could ever receive from a heart-shaped necklace or a dozen roses.

He loves me every day by being loyal. 
By living in such a way that I trust him completely. 
By being faithful to our marriage and to God. 
By telling me I'm beautiful when I'm having a personal, post-baby battle with the scale. 
By supporting me when I have been at my lowest lows. 
By treating me as a partner, not as a maid. 
By getting me medicine when I am sick. 
By being there for each day of both pregnancies. 
By loving our children and being an active father. 
By taking care of our finances and treating every cent as our money, not his. 
By giving to the church. 
By letting me win sometimes. 
By being completely honest with me. 
By being incredibly patient with me.
 By earning a living. 
By holding my hand. 
By showing kindness, and not judgment, when I have bad habits. 
By forgiving me when I mess up.

This year, when I thought about the way hubster treated me every day of every year, Valentine's Day suddenly did not seem so significant.



Hubster chooses to love me every morning, afternoon, and evening... even when it's terribly difficult.

Take that Valentine's Day.

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