The Adventures of Stinky Sweet:

Sometimes stinky. Sometimes sweet. But it's our life - and it is always good.

Monday, May 30, 2011

SCUBA lesson #1.

I had my first SCUBA lesson last night with Chad's dad B. It was more of a "get to know the equipment and see if Paula freaks out" sorta lesson but helpful none-the-less. I was super, duper nervous...the idea of being under the water with all that stuff on and the weight of the water on top of me was causing me some serious anxiety. (I've been promised that I can still gon on our fancy diving trip even if I decide snorkelling is more my style.) I actually felt a lot better and calmer than I thought I would.After a few adjustments to the gear,  I felt like I could breath a lot better and much less panicky.  There were a few times when I sort of felt like I was talking myself off a ledge, thinking "don't cry in public" and I think I managed to not make a fool of myself. There were a TON of kids in the pool so they were good distractions - curious, asking dad B a lot of questions, and then telling me that when I went underwater that they would swim around and "be fish" for me to look at. The most difficult part was getting my ears to clear at the bottom of the deep end. Not really knowing what I was doing or how to fix it was frustrating and painful; it is different for everyone and the techniques are varied so I just had to try things until I fixed it and it was sweet relief!  This is apparently the most difficult part for most beginners so it makes me feel a bit better.

My true SCUBA class is this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so I will be learning a lot at a rather quick pace. I wish that dad B was going to be my instructor because I know he is understanding and patient but it will be a friend of his instead. He is going to come and he knows how nervous I am about it so hopefully it will go really well. I think that I am most nervous about getting in the open water to do my checkout dive once we get to the Turks and Caicos. I am totally OK in the pool - love the pool because I know I can only go 10 feet down. The ocean feels so limitless and to be certified you have to stay 20 feet down for 20+ minutes...yikes. Hopefully there will be a sweet someone there to distract me....which there will. Chad is going to be my diving partner for this trip and I can't think of anyone who I would rather have the experience with!

Headed to buy tires for my car today (major ugh!  It is still for sale though!! Any takers now that it will have a new AC and new tires?!? Perfect for your summer travels!!) and then we are having lunch with Chad's family - cookout style for Memorial Day.

P.S. a HUGE Thank you to all the men and women who have selflessly served in our military through the years and still today. To those in my family who have served and those I will never meet, I am so thankful and appreciative of your dedication and willingless to do what it takes so that I can have my freedom. I recognize the sacrifices that are made every day by those brave folks and I know that I live in an amazing, free country because of you.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

big reveal.

These are a teenie part of the Turks and Caicos islands, located west of Cuba and southeast of the Bahamas.
 I'll say hello for you when we are there for a week in late July. 
No seriously!
Chad's parents invited us to go on a scuba diving trip with them the last week of July and we thought long and hard about it and finally said yes. It will require us to take a week off work, use most of our available vacation time, and I will have to renew my passport (to the stinky tune of $200 because I will have to expedite it) but we think that it is something that we can't pass up!  Chad is already scuba certified from taking it as a P.E. in college (why did I think of that?!?  walking for fitness just isn't the same!!) so I will need to bust my behind to get finished with that by then but it should be totally worth it.

I'm trying to not think about it too much or the next two months will be close to unbearable. I don't have any reason to think that it won't happen so I am not worried about getting my hopes up but I also don't want to not be able to focus on anything else for the next 8 weeks! 

Anyone interested in babysitting one insane dog and a cracked-out cat for a week in July? :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

small victories.

I have spent the morning cleaning up in our spare room. Since Chad finished the attic stairs and storage area, I have been going through things to put up there and store away. Mostly things from my childhood that I am not ready to part with quite yet but it is just so much stuff! I have cleared out, thrown away, and made another Goodwill box even after taking a huge load of stuff not too long ago.

And lo-and behold- I found my passport. It has been lost since we moved a year ago - just boxed up with a bunch of other junk.  It is still no good since my name has been changed edging in on 3 years now *whoa* but it saves me a bit of paperwork to declare it "lost or stolen" and to use it as my proof that I say I am who I say I am. I was also a bit attached to it because it has all my stamps and visa from my last trip to India and my trip to Europe with my bff Jess. Thankfully they send it back, since they know we are all pretty emotional about saving this type of thing, right??

Chad is teaching a lifeguarding class through tomorrow night so I have the rest of the day today to clean and organize and all afternoon tomorrow as well. I am actually enjoying make some space and organizing things that have just been sitting around since we bought this house a year ago. Time sure does fly...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

help me out ladies!

I need some help from all the ladies out there...

I need to buy one or two new bathing suits. I have a coule of pretty specific requirements...

1. They need to be one piece.
I know - lame. I am just not comfortable with the get the rest. I am not the skinniest kid on the block and I don't like to be tugging up or down on the thing while I am trying to have fun in the water (tankini MIGHT  be an option but I would have to try it on and dance around in the dressing room - not so cute!) so one-piece it is.

2. I would like to NOT spend a fortune.
Lands End has a special place in my heart and I have absolutely loved the other 2 bathing suits I have from then but they are so gosh, darn expensive. I can almost justify spending $80 on a bathing suit because I know I will get a couple of years of wear out of them but not quite.

3. The more functional the better.
I don't mind patterns and designs and color but beads, metal embellishments, etc. are totally not my style. Straps that stay put, leg holes that stay where you put them (i.e. no wedgies!) and so on... I know. I'm super lame.

My very favorite suits of all time are my Tyr Brand lifeguarding bathing suits (double layered, cross back amazingness)...but they are also a little pricey and I will probably need to get 2.

So, help me out. Where are your favorite bathing suits from?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

still quiet.

I'm not doing so great at posting recently, mostly because life just goes on as normal sometimes. Work is normal, house is normal, animals are normal - of course, normal has many definitions.

Chad was out on a fire till around 11 last night and is back at it again tonight. We had plans to eat with Emily and David from our small group tonight because we were going to be the only 2 couples there tonight. It was foiled a little bit by Chad still being at work but I went anyway and I am glad I did. I got to experience Jet's Pizza for the first time (um...hello yummy!) and got to have great, uninterrupted conversation. Sometimes it is actually really fun to be the third wheel and to give and get undivided attention from such a great, sweet couple.

Chad and I have been offered a really cool opportunity to travel (for pleasure) this summer and we are pondering it really hard. It is sort of a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing and we are having a little trouble making a decision - not because it wouldn't be amazing and fabulous and cool but there are just a lot of other sort of stinky "we are trying to be adults" parts of the decision too. I will share more details as we make our choice...obviously, if we decide to go, you are going to hear a LOT about it!  As a teaser, I will have to get a new passport if we decide it is something we can do...

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Prepare for the sap-mobile to roll into it comes.

I have this picture on my desk at work and I love it. It is next to the phone that I answer 100 times a day so I see it all the time and think of him 100's of times a day...
I am so blessed to have a husband that I not only love but I actually LIKE to hang out with. I look forward to coming home to him at night, talking to him, laughing with him, making memories with him.
Gosh, crazy about that guy...


It has been an uneventful, though slightly busy, week so far. Monday and Tuesday were pretty painless - no evening meetings or nights away from my sweetie (woohoo!). I even managed to fit in a little grocery shopping and dinner cooking - go me!  Wednesday I spend the entire day in Knoxville - left at 7:30 in the morning and go home around 9 last night - for a strategy meeting for next year's cookie sale. It was interesting, informative, and I am glad to sort of see the "backside" of the cookie sale from the pre-planning point of view. Worked a full day today and I will work about a half day tomorrow. I am actually going whitewater rafting at the Nantahala with a group of girls on our adventure team. I skipped out on the caving (no thank you!!)  and the llama trekking (totally would have!) but this I couldn't pass up!  (Note: I still can't find the beloved Chacos - did I leave them at your house??)

Hanging out with my sweetie tomorrow afternoon.
My awesome momma is coming Sunday afternoon when I get back from rafting. Rocks my world, it does.  We are trying to find a place to go horseback riding, preferrably in the battlefield. Any suggestions?  If not, we will just stay home and fold clothes. Sounds like a good time huh?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

for my sister.

I really enjoy cooking. Anything really - baking is fun and always smells great, dinner always feels like an accomplishment after a day's work, and spur-of-the moment, trying new things is always fun stuff as well. However - and I have always been really clear about this - I hate doing the dishes. I mean really, really, really dislike it. Maybe I should have gone to culinary school so someone else would do my dishes now. :)

We have a wee-tiny birds nest in one of our boston ferms on the front porch. Today Chad discovered that it has 4 even teenier (is that a word?) eggs in it now. They are probably the size of a dime - maybe slightly larger - somewhere between a nickel and a dime - white with brown/black speckles on them. Can't wait to see when they hatch.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

my bad.

I get all cranky and annoyed when other people don't blog for a week because they have nothing to say. And then I do the exact same thing. Literally, nothing to say. I give you permission to be cranky and annoyed.

Job changes at work this week. Nothing too exciting. Pretty much doing what I have always been doing except different somehow. More work in some areas, less work in some. Still don't know how it will look as far as my many nights and weekends working will go. I will let you know when it becomes more clear.

Still haven't sold the car. Must sell it before we can buy another. Really wish that would happen soon. Don't really know where else to post it. Any suggestions?

We have not turned the air conditioner on in our house yet this spring. Haven't had the heat on since probably the end of Feb. so we are trying to make it 3 months with a nice low electric bill and hold out till the end of May. Not sure that is going to happen since I am sitting here sweating and can't sleep at night. It did reach a blasted 92 degrees outside today so this can't last that much longer before I'm ready to put up a fight.

Small group tonight. I have worked Monday night, Tuesday night, have to work tomorrow night, and then leaving Friday afternoon to spend the weekend at camp (through Sunday). Work much?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

want to buy my car?

Still trying to sell my car!

Posted it on Facebook here.

Posted it on Craigslist here

Will send pictures of you want to see them...

Monday, May 2, 2011


The news media is so interesting and spurs such fascinating commentary on the world around us. We float from one news story to another – storms, royal weddings, and now dead terrorists. We flit from one emotion to another, never landing long enough to wonder where those deep feelings come from.

I am not sure about how I feel about all of this excitement and joy over the death of another human being. Before you jump all over me and tell me what a horrible person he was and how many Americans he helped kill and how he was the September 11th mastermind, let me assure you – I get that. He deserved to be punished – I believe that there should be a consequence for your negative actions, just like there can be rewards for positive ones. Yes, Osama bin Laden was a bad man who encouraged his followers to do harm instead of good. But do I get to judge him? Do I get to say that his sins were worse than my daily sins of unforgiveness, or jealousy, or anger? Does God see sin like that – different levels of heaven or hell, depending on how heinous your crimes might have been? I don’t really think so. Do I have the right to dance in the streets because one man was brought down by some brave men in our military? Do you honestly think that killing one man will bring down an entire terrorist organization or solve all our problems? And do you truly think that those radical members didn’t dance in the street when thousands of our citizens died?

I am a peace loving person. I deeply wish we could finally get to the place where we beat all of our swords into plowshares and where nations will no longer train for war (Isaiah and Micah got it right!). But, I also know we aren’t there yet. I understand the concept of “an eye for an eye”. And I do believe that a punishment was in store. But I can’t bring myself to be excited about it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

an offer.

Chad spent the better part of last week, including most of the day Wednesday, helping the city and county clear trees from roadways to ensure that emergency vehicles could get where they need to be. He has some great chainsaw skills - careful, trained, and hardworking - but of course, I am not a bit biased.

Here is Chad's offer: he will come help you clear trees/debris out of your yard/off of your house if you need him to. I can't - no skillz, you see. He will have Friday off work completely so it would be a great day if you need some help. He says he can also possibly take some other days off work, especially if they won't be called in to work with the city this week. I know that most people that read my blog don't live in the Chattanooga/Ringgold area but either way, this is an offer. If you need help or are interested, just let us know. You can leave a comment or contact us on our cell phones if you have that number...

short update.

I just cleaned 3 bags of trash from my fridge and freezer - food that was purchased that we can no longer eat and probably the most sad of all - veggies that Chad so painstakingly froze from last summer. However, much was saved from the freezer and taken to the townhouse so we really only just lost what was in the fridge. All that to say - I'm not complaining or even really all that sad about it, now that I think of it. My house is fine and all of my family is safe, uninjured, and accounted for. There are others in our church family, work family, and community that are not so fortunate. Chad's high school is completely destroyed along with most of the rest of Ringgold, GA - - either damaged or just gone.  I have distinct memories of being in India a few short years ago and hearing about a tornado that damaged my own high school - that feeling of helpless fear, anger, and sadness - and that building wasn't even completely destroyed. Even those individuals who have found their families unharmed or just have minor damage, there is this uncomfortable, pervading feeling that everything you have always known is gone - all things familiar are different now. I can not fathom the emotions, worries, and fears that are happening in Alabama, North GA, and Tennessee right now. Please, please keep all those effected by these storms in your prayers.