Tuesday, May 31, 2005


My Fabulous Friend AJ mentioned cooking on her blog, and I thought I would chime in with my own thoughts on cooking. I’ve been on my own now for 13 years. In that time, I think I’ve managed to cook about 8 times, give or take 5 or 6. My reason for the scarcity isn’t lack of want, it’s the lack of mouths to feed. It’s impossible to cook for one. Yes, I know there are many cookbooks touting the joy of cooking for one, but I don’t buy it. So, for thirteen years, I’ve been poking-holes-in-the-wrapper-heating-up or eating out. But now I have a husband (or will in 34 days) and a kitchen. My kitchen. An entire kitchen that’s ALL MINE (insert arched eyebrows and villainous laugh). Since the kitchen became officially mine, I’ve thought of little else than stocking it to the brim with every pot and gadget and wooden spoon known to Bed Bath and Beyond. I think about things I could cook. I think about a whole pantry that’s ALL MINE. I think about baking and creating and sautĂ©ing. It’s almost overwhelming. I don’t want to eat out anymore (me, the girl who loves French fries like a shark loves innocent flesh), I want to COOK! And while I’m not a chef yet, even heating up soup in a pan brings a quiver to my lip. Because I’m heating up soup in my pan on my stove in my kitchen. And while this might make me sound like a 2 year old taking possession of all the toys in the toy box, I don’t care. Because I love to cook Kraft macaroni and cheese for my hot fiancĂ© on a Monday night! (Can I get a witness??)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Reason #101

Reason #101 Why I Love Ryan Illingworth:
Sometimes when I say something crazy or confusing or just plain weird, he stares at me with a blank look that makes him looks exactly like a Berenstain Bear.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Call Me Dixie

Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English
25% Dixie
15% Upper Midwestern
5% Yankee
0% Midwestern

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Top 8

I've been out of town and I have much news....but for now I only have time to make a list. Here are the highlights from this past week.

1. Seeing my little brother get married
2. Riding on a TARP out into the middle of the ocean, halfway to Africa
3. Tim catching a shark while standing on the beach
4. Driving on the beach to our rental house with wild Mustangs on my left and the Atlantic Ocean on my right
5. Hiding my brother's tattoos
6. My bridal shower
7. Moving into the house
8. Not being at work for ONE WHOLE WEEK

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Faith Like That

Ryan and I went to Louisville this past weekend to see his sister for her birthday. Sunday morning we went to church with the family, a church I enjoy attending. It’s quite a large church, so the service is usually well planned out. Most Sundays they have a baptism and this Sunday was no different. Several children were baptized by their parents, and one older gentleman by one of the pastors of the church. The last person to be baptized was a younger guy, probably 21 or so, most likely a college student. He looked like the cool guy – attractive, probably athletic, popular - the guy all the girls would like. Someone who appeared to have it all together. Someone with a life, a good one. An enviable one. Someone others would follow and mimic. A friend of his father’s baptized the young man. This friend spoke about how he knew this young man, how he had gone to college with his father, how this moment was special for him. For them both. Cool Guy looked down into the water, emotional, like he was concentrating on keeping it together. After coming up out of the water, he clung to his father’s friend well after the attention of the service was focused on other things. The spotlight went out and the music began to play and the multitude was directed to the center stage to sing and move on. But I watched this scene in the baptismal. This young man, clinging to his friend, moved by this experience. Stirred up. Changed. Cool Guy showed his emotion in front of thousands. His new found faith, shaking him to the core.

I want a faith like that.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Illingworth Manor

It's ours. We have keys and garage door openers. We are HOMEOWNERS.

Friday, May 06, 2005


Ryan and I had our first session with Annoying Tom, pre-marital counselor at large (he’s counseled over 400 engaged couples you know). It went better than it could have, I suppose. He talked a lot about himself and was visibly shocked when learning our age difference - I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pastor raise an eyebrow that high. I mentioned that we had just bought a house and he shook his head muttering that buying a house is the LAST thing we should be doing right now. He showed us a picture of his wife when she was 15 and he took her to prom. I should also mention, this all occurred while we were all three sitting on a bench in the Bellevue Center Mall. It was odd and sometimes awkward, but overall an ok experience. The surprise of the night didn’t come until the end. We went back to Tom’s office, because he said he had a book for us to read. He handed me the book, and told us that our assignment for the next session was to read the entire book to each other OUT LOUD. And he shouted those words – OUT LOUD. He said it’s very important that we read the entire book OUT LOUD. And yes, he said, there are pictures.
The book is called “A Celebration of Sex”.
Don’t get me wrong, I plan to celebrate. But I was stunned. Every Christian book I’ve seen or heard about and every pastor I’ve talked to or heard preach have all said the same thing (and with emphasis). Woe to you who even utter the word s-e-x before your wedding vows are spoken lest you fall into evil temptation and defile yourselves beyond repair. WOE TO YOU! And here we are, Ryan and I, with a book about sex (celebrating sex, even) that includes pictures and how to’s and all kinds of….stuff. Our wedding is in two months. How am I supposed to read this OUT LOUD without ripping off Ryan’s clothes and practicing Postion 3.B?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Please Forgive

Sometimes my mouth gets in front of me. Sometimes I speak without thinking. Sometimes I forget everyone I love and railroad my own agenda. Sometimes I think that everyone else has a safety net around their hearts, and that I'm the only fragile one. And sometimes I'm wrong. And right now, I'm sorry.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Reason #16

Reason #16 Why I Love Ryan Illingworth:
When I lost all sense of reality about my ring and cried and wailed and showed my crazy...Ryan's response was, "When I'm not with you, I'm lonely". Now that's a man I could love forever.

(P.S. - I told Nivah about the ring incident and her response was "JO! DON'T SHOW ALL YOUR CRAZY BEFORE THE WEDDING! HE MIGHT BUY A BUS TICKET TO NEW MEXICO!")

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Haunting

I don’t truly believe in ghosts, that is, ghost stories. Sure, I’ve felt some crazy things going on in my house. Shadows and noises and one night I was woken up by a hand shaking my leg only to find no one there. But that’s another scary story for another day. And even though I can’t explain the hand in the night, I can’t say that I believe in ghosts. But I do believe in memories that haunt. Experiences that linger. Pain that shows up at the worst possible moment. Like, for instance, last night.
Ryan and I currently have about 485 things to accomplish in the next 61 days. I made a list that details each item in a daily task list, each day having its own set of tasks. On the list for yesterday was getting my engagement ring sized. I’ve been needing to do this since Ryan gave it to me, but I’ve been putting it off. I had an inkling something might go haywire. But, I also don’t want my ring to fly off my hand and into traffic where it would be promptly flattened. So, yesterday at lunch Ryan and I went to the jeweler to get it sized down one whole size. I spent all afternoon at my desk having tiny panic attacks when I would see that my ring wasn’t there. Then I would immediately reason with myself, “It’s getting sized. Everything is ok. Ryan still loves you. Your ring will be ready at 6:30.” Then five minutes later it would happen all over again. Obviously, I was anxious to get it back. At exactly 6:35pm, Ryan and I went by the jewelers to pick up my ring, only to learn that IT WASN’T READY. The cheery guy behind the counter suggested we “come back later…..” I felt my knees buckle and my heart stop. This couldn’t possibly be happening. I wanted to grab Cheery Guy by the throat and demand that he give me back my ring. Find a weapon, jump over the glass case and get it myself. I wanted Ryan to cause a scene until The Ring was back with us. Safe. Instead, Ryan said “thanks man” and proceeded to leave the store, happy as you please. Things just went downhill from there.
You see, I’ve worn an engagement ring before. And when that ring came up missing on my finger, it also meant that the relationship was over. The wedding was cancelled. My heart was broken. So for me, no ring equals no relationship. And yes I know - it’s just a ring. Just jewelry. It’s not Ryan’s actual commitment or love for me. If I’m not wearing it, it doesn’t mean that he’s leaving me, it just means it’s getting sized. I know all of this in my head. I know that’s it’s true. But my armpits are sweaty and I feel all jittery and I can’t concentrate until I get it back. Because to be without it feels like breaking up.
I cried and cried and cried when we got out to the car, which freaked Ryan out (of course). And I couldn’t explain to him why. I’m sure he must have thought I was insane for freaking out over such a trivial thing. But all of my heart alarms were going off at once, telling me to run. Protect myself. Flee. DO NOT GET HURT AGAIN.
And I know it’s just the ghosts from my past, coming back to haunt me. To unsettle me. Make me feel afraid.