Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My best friend...

A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down. ~Arnold Glasow

I'm sitting here at my kitchen island writing this post as I wait until the clock hits 7. I'm leaving here at 7 PM and going to the airport to pick up my best friend, Erica. I'm pretty sure she gets emails on her iPhone informing her that I've posted a new blog, so I won't reveal our destination just yet. I started plotting this in March, and with the help of her husband was able to keep it hush-hush until last week. She doesn't know where we are going yet. We're heading away for a much needed girl's weekend. The last time we were able to take a trip together was when we had a very spur of the moment trip to NYC to be with our friends Irene and Phillip. Before we were married, we used to go on trips together, and then Erica married her husband Doug...but the trips didn't stop. We still went to the beach together. In fact, on one of our beach trips was the trip that I met MY husband on.

We have been through so much together in the time that we've known each other (since age 6). We've survived nasty fights with each other (when we were younger), broken hearts, complicated relationships, etc. Erica has been, and will always be, there for me - no matter what. I can call her at 3 AM. I can trust her to tell me what she really thinks. She is also one of the strongest Christians I know, but she is amazing in that she does not judge others. I'm very black and white and sometimes jump to judgement. I have done things in my life that were stupid and completely against how Jesus wants us to live. Erica loved me anyway. She always told me she disapproved and pointed me in the right direction at every opportunity she had, but with a gentle and loving spirit: not one of nagging and condemnation. Even to this day, she is the first one to suggest praying over situations, or sharing Scripture with me that relates to whatever I am going through at the moment. This girl hits her knees the second anyone she loves begins to struggle. She has been an incredible example to me (and I'm sure to the many others she comes into contact with) through her own walk with Christ and constantly challenges me in that area. I'm a better person because of her in my life.

I can go weeks without talking to her, and we just pick up right where we left off. We're better about not letting weeks go by thanks to all the modern technology of iChat and text messaging. I have no doubt that when I am ninety years old I will look over to the rocking chair next to me and she'll be sitting right there next to me. That's just the kind of friendship we have. She knows that the same goes for me. We really love each other, and I am so thankful that the Lord gave me such a wonderful friend in Erica. I can't wait to spend the next four days with her just catching up and being girls.

And I'll end this post with a song by Amy Grant that we adopted as "our" song back when we were teenagers. The lyrics pretty much sum up how we feel about each other. And's not "Friends".

I Will Be Your Friend

When every moment gets too hard
The end of the road can feel so far
No matter how much time we're apart
I'm always near you
I'll be the shelter in your rain
Help you to find your smile again
I'll make you laugh at a broken heart
Wherever you are

'Cause I'm never gonna walk away
If the walls come down someday
All alone and you feel afraid
I'll be there when you call my name
You can always depend on me
I believe until forever ends
I will be your friend

So many people come and go
But nothing can change and you I know
You'll never be just a face in the crowd
And time will show
Through the seasons and the years
I will always hold you dear
Never you fear


I'll be around when every candle burns down low
And I want you and I want you to know

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Seriously, I could not make this stuff up.....

So, we all know that my job is definitely not the typical governess/household management position. It seems my job description has now been expanded include posting bail when necessary.

Last night my employers went out for dinner and when I heard the door open, only the mom came in. She explained that she had left her wallet by accident and that dad was heading back to the place to retrieve it because it had a lot of cash in it (my paycheck). We talked for a little bit and then I headed out to go home... I was tired, it was 11:45 PM and I needed to get to bed because I had to be back the next morning at 10 to work until 5.

I literally pull into my parking spot when my phone starts buzzing with text messages. Frantic text messages. The first one: "OMG OMG, B has been arrested, OMG, help me Lauren!"

I sighed and thought to myself, "Seriously?" All I wanted was my bed at this point and to snuggle with my husband. I went into the house and roused Ethan and we drove to the location where B was. We were hoping to get the Range Rover before it was impounded, but no dice. The officer informed Ethan that B had rolled through a stop sign, and when he checked his license (as is routine) it came up as suspended. Apparently someone forgot to pay a traffic ticket. In all fairness, B should not have been arrested for this and the officer was probably being a bit overzealous. However, the law is the law, and each officer is free to interpret it however he/she sees fit as long as they can give a credible explanation for their actions in the incident report. We got there as the Rover was being jacked up onto the tow truck and were informed we could have the car...if we ponied up $125 in cash right there on the spot. Unfortunately, B was pulled over on his way to get the wallet so nobody had cash. We watched the tow truck tow away the Rover and the squad car pull away with my boss in the back.

Okay. Plan B. Mom obviously isn't in any state to go and post bail, and Ethan and I were worried she would be overly emotional and get herself locked up at the jail. (He's seen it happen!) Since I am a calm and rational person no matter what, I found myself making the arrangements to spring the jailbird free. A neighbor went to get the wallet and I met him at his house and headed for the jail with hundreds of dollars in cash, praying that this wasn't an FTA (failure to appear) charge. If it had been, my boss would have been taken to a different jail and we wouldn't have been able to get him out until Monday sometime. When I arrived at the jail it was almost 1 AM, and they hadn't even processed him yet. The kind lady there did inform me how much his bail would be though, which is an interesting (and somewhat ridiculous) tale. There were two fees. One for the actual bond, which was $1097, and then a $13 administrative fee. Each fee had to be paid separately.

With exact change.

Alrighty then. I had stacks of twenties, a ten, a five, and a couple of one dollar bills.

"Can you just keep the change?" "Absolutely not, ma'am."

Where am I going to find a place to get change at 1:30 in the morning?

::deep breath::

Fortunately, I was able to dig around and find enough quarters and pennies and a person willing to make some change right there in the room and scraped together the exact amounts for each of the two fees. They still didn't have his folder ready since he was still in the middle of being processed. So I went into the waiting room to sit and wait. I am informed that it can take as long as three hours.

2:30 AM.

Finally get called back in to fill out the release paperwork and post the bond and then get sent back out to the waiting area which is...shall we just say... filled with very interesting looking people from all walks of life. All of us were there for the same reason.

3:15 AM.

I get bored and go out to my car to text Ethan (who was working an extra job) and my boss to let him know that I had finished all of the paperwork and it was just a matter of time before he was let go. Would you believe that people that are arrested are allowed to keep their cell phones with them and actually use them? However, people going inside to post bond aren't allowed to take cell phones in and must leave them in their vehicles? Yeah, I thought that was quite strange too...but whatever. I'm a rule follower.

3:30 AM

I go back inside and sit and wait, and am starting to feel seriously fatigued at this point. I am also starting to feel quite disgusting because the place is hot and not exactly the picture of cleanliness. I also decide that if B is not released by the time the clock hits 4 AM I am going home because I cannot possibly stay awake much longer and am starting to feel sick.

3:45 AM

A sheepish looking B comes out, we get in the car, I take him home, after informing him I would not be coming to work at all that day, and then drive home myself. After a super long and hot shower with lots of scrubbing, I fall asleep at 5 AM. In the morning. Yeah. The last time I stayed awake that long had to have been in my New York City boyfriend days. I finally awakened around 2:30 PM. Whew. Always an adventure in this job!

Friday, June 11, 2010

40 years....

Ethan and I are headed to Charlotte this afternoon for the weekend. The main reason for the visit is because we're hosting a small party for his parents, Mike & Toni. (I don't refer to them as mom and dad... just Mike & Toni). Anyway, several months ago they called and said they wanted to have the whole family together for dinner to commemorate their 40th anniversary. I was aghast and immediately hijacked the conversation and asked if they would please let us plan and host the event. They agreed, so everything was planned and is now being set into motion this weekend. I won't post a lot here about this because I don't want to ruin any of the surprises we have for them... but you can bet I will be posting after this weekend with a recap!

Ethan finished his Maymester class with an A+....highest grade in the class. The class? "Negotiation". He's tackling Federal Income Tax this summer... and then in the fall, just two classes until he graduates in December! It's been a long ride, but it will all be worth it in the end.

Work continues to go well.... here are a couple of pictures of my sweet babies. I did not take the first photo, my part-time nanny, Emily, did. She is a student at The Portfolio Studio here in Atlanta and used the kids as models for one of her projects. Super talented and so sweet.