The One-Upper

The One-Upper

Have you ever been in a conversation where you say something so innocent, so non-confrontational that you are thinking of high-fiving yourself for your awesome conversation skills, only to be brought down moments later by the one person who just had to “go there”? 

I have.

And so have you.

We have all come into contact with this person. We have all rolled our eyes, held our tongues, and utilized stress balls as a direct result of this person.

So who is this person?

It’s the One-Upper. 

Sound familiar? Sure it does. This is the person who, upon hearing that you think it’s hot outside, immediately says, “You think THIS is hot?? I used to live inside a volcano. You don’t know hot until you’ve lived inside a volcano.”

Oh. Em. Gee. That makes me want to pull my hair out.

Or how about this one: Do you ever complain about something to a friend, only to have him or her say, “That’s terrible! That’s almost as bad as the time I was attacked by a rabid mutant squirrel and lost all of my limbs.” Dude. I am just looking for a little support, here. Sorry about your limbs, though.

Here’s the thing: When I say it’s hot outside, or rainy, or silly, or rainbow-y, I am not throwing down the one-up gauntlet. Really. It is not a challenge. It is not a judgment. It is not a hat. I like hats. I wish it was a hat. It isn’t me accusing you of being a moron because you clearly don’t understand your surroundings.

I am just making a freaking observation. 

Now, there are times when the One-Upper’s attitude can be useful. For instance, if a smarmy butt-face that you know says something like, “I beat all the levels of Mario Kart in two hours” and then smirks at you, it’s perfectly acceptable to say, “Oh, really? Took you that long? I did it in ONE HOUR” and then walk away in slo-mo to the rock song of your choosing.

But in general, regular, everyday conversation, no. Just no. And this includes all your basic social media, texting, smoke signals, etc. It’s hard to resist, I know. When you see someone on Facebook complain about how hard math class is when you’ve just had a baby, or run a marathon with one leg, or fought off a manic zebra with only your wits and your trusty jackknife on you while simultaneously reciting the pledge to the flag because you are that dedicated to being an American AND you save a Girl Scout Troop from certain zebra death, it is hard not to write something, anything, to talk about your day and subsequent awesomeness.

That’s why you have your own Facebook/MySpace/Xanga/Word Document. Highlight your glories there. Don’t go deflate some college kid who has no idea what life is really about.

You don’t want to be the One-Upper, anyway. In person it’s annoying, but over texting or Facebook you just sound sad. And then people shake their heads and say things like, “Poor Susie. Still obsessed with her volcano. We’ll pray for her. Bless her heart.”

Listen to Kristen. She knows more than you things.

The Wife of Noble Character

The Wife of Noble Character

One of my best skills is debating – I can win an argument and make you cry in ten minutes flat. Useful for debating in college. Not so useful in arguments with people that I would prefer not to make cry if at all possible.

Today I was arguing with Daniel about something silly: French fries. Yes, French fries. It started out silly and escalated. I don’t do well in “losing” arguments. Anyway, to skip to the good stuff, I was angry and saying angry things. I am really not proud of myself for how I acted.

However, during our argument, it was Daniel who said the most shocking thing of all (prepare yourself): He said that when he finds something annoying, he makes a choice to let it go. He said that if I hurt his feelings, whether I know it or not, he stops and thinks of all the reasons he loves me instead of hurting me back. He said that if he feels unappreciated or disrespected, he runs through all of the times he and I have laughed over something that no one else in the world would find funny.

Some people, huh?

So, as you can see, he is a husband of noble character. And when he said that to me, it stopped me in my tracks. I had no response. No argument. Nothing. And I as reflected on myself and the things I had said, these verses from Proverbs 31 popped into my head – they describe “The Wife of Noble Character.” It’s long but worth the read.

An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Q)”>jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,

all the days of her life.
13 She <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(R)”>seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15 She <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(S)”>rises while it is yet night
    and <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(T)”>provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(U)”>dresses herself with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(V)”>opens her hand to <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(W)”>the poor
    and reaches out her hands to <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(X)”>the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Y)”>scarlet.
22 She makes <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Z)”>bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AA)”>fine linen and <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AB)”>purple.
23 Her husband is known in <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AC)”>the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AD)”>linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AE)”>Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AF)”>women have done <sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AG)”>excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 <sup class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(AH)”>Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

Wow. If I could be half of what this woman is, I would feel pretty successful. I mean, what a standard. This woman is taking care of business, giving wise advice to the neighbors – even her kids think she’s awesome. I want to be this kind of wife so badly. 

Read carefully – nowhere does it say that this woman is perfect, that she never makes mistakes, that she doesn’t occasionally freak out when her husband puts a red sock in with her load of whites. But she makes a concentrated, sincere effort to be patient, loving, and joyful. She fears the Lord and that directs all that she does. 

So I am taking a vow. And I hope you consider taking it, too, whether you’re a wife, mother, or will one day be both. 

I vow to give my husband more grace and to remember that a vacuumed floor is not as important as telling my husband hello when I get home from work. 

I vow to listen when my husband speaks to me, regardless of whether it’s my favorite topic. 

I vow to remember that for every long work day I have, my husband has one, too. 

I vow to let the little things go. A light left on, garbage not taken out, laundry not finished – these are not the things that make a marriage. 

I vow to respect my husband as the leader of our house and for the hard work he does. 

I vow to remember my husband’s insecurities; not for me to use against him, but to build him up instead. 

I vow to remember that my husband does everything for me and nothing for himself, and I vow to be more grateful for this. 

I vow to remember my love for my husband, day in and day out, and to show him how very much I care about him. 

I vow to treat my husband like my best friend, because he really is the best friend I’ve ever had. 

I encourage you, wives, to reflect on these verses. Not to compare yourself, but to see how a godly woman lives. And I encourage you to find your husband and tell him you love him. I am blessed, so blessed, to have found a husband of noble character, and I love him with all of my heart. 

March 19, 2011

Movie. Reviews. Are Back.

Movie. Reviews. Are Back.

Okay, to be totally fair, I always say the movie reviews are back and then I just write one because I saw a terrible movie and want everyone to suffer as I have suffered, and then I forget about them again. But it’s my blog and I am in charge so that is how I’m doing it. Muahahaaaaa.

ANYway, back to the movie. I am the best wife ever. As are my friends Kassie and Amy. We sat and watched an absolutely terrible, ridiculous movie with our husbands. That movie was The Expendables. Fools, all of us. But we watched it and for the most part kept silent. Thank goodness for Pinterest and Facebook.

I managed to block it out and move on. And then, the unthinkable happened: They made a sequel. 

A. Sequel. 

And I even volunteered to see it. I know. Daniel was sad and I was trying to cheer him up.

This time, the cast of characters was widely varied: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li, That British Guy Who Is Always In Action Films, Chuck Norris, Jean Claude van Damme, and Bruce Willis, who is Daniel’s man-crush.

“Please. I’m every guy’s man-crush.”

So we find our heroes in the midst of an over-the-top and totally realistic, I’m sure gravity and the laws of physics just take a break once in a while action scene. They were in Nepal. Or Naples. Or the Netherlands. At any rate, they make it out of there juuuuust in the nick of time. And they have added a New Guy! He shoots things from far away. Nice. The former Governor of California also graces us with his presence, throwing in a few “I’ll be back” one-liners to kick the giggles off. At first I thought it was only for laughs, but after he said a few other lines I realized that the famous ones are his best bet, since listening to Arnold Schwarzenegger speak is like listening to a kitten sing with marbles in its mouth.

They finish the mission and Jet Li suddenly realizes how far his career has dropped and decides to bail from the movie. Good for you, buddy. The rest of the team makes it back just in time for happy hour at the local Brew N’ Stew, where The New Guy announces that after this month is over, he is also going to drop out of the club. He’s a nice kid with a girlfriend and potential, so he clearly will not make it for the rest of the movie.

Sylvester leaves for home and finds none other than Daniel’s man-crush waiting for him. Man-Crush says that Sylvester owes him because of something from the first movie. To pay him back, Sylvester must retrieve an item – and add a woman to his team. NOOOOOOOOOO. But he has no choice… apparently… and off they go.

On the way, The New Kid tells them a haunting tale of his time in the Army. I take that back – he tells them an extremely dull and uninspiring tale of his time in the Army, that, after several minutes of meditation on the subject, was found to have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the flipping story.

They land and, after some for serious we are not kidding around danger, find what Man-Crush has sent them for. But, alas – The New Kid has been caught in the mean time by Jean Claude Van Damme. Nice work.

After JCVD gets the item from the team, he lets them go and oh-so-casually knifes The New Kid on the way out. I like a man who can leave in style. The New Kid dies (told you), telling the team to get a letter to his French girlfriend. Which is written in English. Which we know because Sylvester reads the whole long thing out loud. Boundaries, Sylvester. You need boundaries. Also perhaps a face lift.

Now they not only have a mission – they have REVENGE to take care of. What is this new plan, you might wonder? “Track ’em, find ’em, and kill ’em.” Ah. Very nice. I do enjoy a well-thought-out plan.

In the mean time, JCVD and his homies now hold the plans to a plutonium mine. Is there really such a thing? And if there was, would you keep every single detail about it on one computer? They are forcing the local villagers to dig for the plutonium for the purpose of… something, I’m sure. These kinds of plans make no sense to me. You A-bomb someone, someone else A-bombs you, and before you know it children everywhere are being told that all they have to do is hide under their desk and cry for a little while as they watch a cartoon turtle demonstrate proper safety procedures.

But I digress. 

The good guys set up camp but are soon attacked by what I can only guess is another country. I truly have no idea what country they’re a) in, b) fighting for, or c) fighting against. I also don’t care, which works out. At any rate, things aren’t looking too good for the men (and lone woman) until suddenly all the bad guys are wiped out by an unknown source.

It’s Chuck. Flipping. Norris.

Okay. I do enjoy me some Walker, Texas Ranger, so I can get on board with this. As long as he doesn’t make any Chuck Norris jokes about himself… fail. It was a funny joke. But there is a FOURTH WALL and you are vomiting all over it, Chuck.

Chuck gives them some helpful information and then hits the road. The rest of the guys make their way to a town that is filled with only women, since all of the men have been taken to work the mines. When the evil guys come to the town to get more villagers (namely the children, nice), Sylvester and his team start throwing knives and shooting guns and back-flipping and pole-dancing and soon enough, they have won the day! (It may seem like I am flying by, here, but believe me when I tell you this movie is nowhere close to over.)

The good team goes after the men trapped in the mine to set them free, only to get trapped themselves. Good. Maybe they’ll starve to death in there and I can go home. But Man-Crush and Arnold arrive to set them free, and, no, we never find out how they found each other, if this is the first time they’ve met, if they’re secretly married, etc. This is not a movie you watch for the plot. Apparently.

“Nargghh dfjp dhdhq gttoook.”

But now, the team must (still) find JCVD and get the plutonium from him and avenge The New Kid! Ooh, I bet this will be the most exciting scene of all.

They find JCVD at the airport, ready to load his planes. All of the bad guys are either zombies or in a video game because I know a saw a few of them die earlier. They open fire on the good guys and the good guys fire back, in spite of the fact that there are civilians all over the place. 

I can just read the headline now: “Team of Middle-Aged Men (and one incongruously young woman) Take Down Evil World Domination Plot; Also Kill 1400 Civilians.”


Chuck Norris rejoins the party, and he and Arnold continue to make jokes about being back and fists hiding under beards and Rambo and please. Just. Stop. Sylvester leaves it to them to take care of the rest and follows JCVD, who is trying to sneak away on a plane.

Wonder of wonders, Sylvester catches up with him. They shoot for a few minutes before JCVD announces he is out of ammo and surrenders. Then Sylvester murders him and they all go home.

Just kidding. If only it were that simple.

No, instead JCVD challenges Sylvester to a real fight. A fight without weapons or gimmicks or scary background music. Gentlemen, and ladies, if you ever find yourself in this situation, shoot the bad guy. There is not a better plan. But Sylvester accepts the challenge and puts his guns away. Are you kidding me? You had a gun. You had TWO guns. But no, what are guns and a surefire victory compared to a possible chance of simultaneous victory and manliness? I started out rooting for you, Sylvester, because you are the good guy and heaven only knows you could use a few friends who aren’t serial killers. But I wash my hands of you now. May the many unknown children you likely have be smarter than you.

As predicted, Sylvester and JCVD tumble for a few rounds before Sylvester finally finds some kind of chain (does your local airport not keep death chains in its hangars? Odd.) and uses it to beat the stuffing out of JCVD. Why are chains okay but guns are unfair? WHO WROTE THIS.

Sylvester finally delivers some poetic line about revenge and The New Kid and swords before killing JCVD and walking away like a boss in slo-mo.

Then they all go home. True story.

Can’t make it to the movies? No worries. This little gem will be in the Redbox faster than you can say “Chuck Norris doesn’t sleep. He waits.”



Last year I decided to post while on Lortab – I am nothing if not a good decision-maker.

I’m sorry to say I fell off the wagon again. On Saturday night my back muscles began to spasm, leaving me in tears and everlasting sorrow. Also a lot of whining. I went to the doctor and he gave me a happy muscle relaxer. You’d think I’d be familiar with every narcotic out there considering my family’s recent history. Alas, no.

Hey, I just used the word alas while on a muscle relaxer. Look at me go.

ANYway, I thought I would bring you another drug-induced post so you can show it to your children to warn them away from doing drugs and/or spasming their muscles. No idea if spasming is a word. If it is, you have to bring me a cookie. If it isn’t, you have to bring me a cookie. I don’t care about the word as long as I get a cookie out of it.

Recently I was going through old pictures on my phone and found some fun things, including documentation of my dad’s burgeoning stripper career.  I have continued my quest of clearing out my phone and stumbled across a few other great items. For instance…


That is my cat, Batman. In the words of Ferris Bueller, he is a righteous dude. Except for every picture I have of him makes him look like he is possessed by Satan and/or Michael Jackson. This is one of many attempts to take a nice picture so I can complete my status as crazy cat lady and put a picture of my pets on my wall. Maybe if I put it next to a picture of Nick Nolte this photo won’t look so shocking. 
Don’t worry – this one wasn’t in my phone.

Another great picture I found in my phone was this one:
A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from the future. It was sent to me on August 31st at 12:03 pm, but said September 1st instead. It was weird. And for a few minutes my mind ran through all of the possibilities that some time-traveling terrorist was sending me scary messages that contained things like, “At this time tomorrow someone will jump out and scare you. Also they will spill syrup on you and you will not be able to get it off for days. Muahahaaaaa.” I was ready to send this picture to the police and request protection.
But this message was blank and Daniel pointed out it was either from a different time zone or their computer was just messed up. He is such a killjoy. But he so cute I don’t even care. 
And the very favorite picture I found so far was one that not only sums up mine and Daniel’s personalities, but our friendships and marriage as well. Enjoy. 
“Join us.”

That’s my dad

That’s my dad

I was going through old pictures the other day to make some room on my phone so I could take more pictures of my cutie wutie schmoopie face nephew, Peyton.


Aaaaanyway, while going through my old photos I found a screen shot of a conversation I had with my dad over text messaging after I called him, not knowing he was at a work lunch. It was too good not to share:

So, in a nutshell, that’s my dad. Was he really a stripper? I’ll leave it to you to decide.

Sorry, Dad :)