the Pastor emailed this to me

I think it means I'm not getting a present


excerpt from: God in the Dock/C.S. Lewis

Three things go by the name of Christmas. One is a religious festival. This is important and obligatory for Christians; but as it can be of no interest to anyone else, I shall naturally say no more about it here. The second (it has complex historical connectons with the first, but we needn't go into them) is a popular holiday, an occasion for merrymaking and hospitality. If it were my business to have a "view" on this, I should say that I much approve of merrymaking. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own frineds. It is highly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs. But the third thing called Christmas is unfortunately everyone's business.

I mean of course the commercial racket. The interchange of presents was a very small ingredient in the older English festivity. Mr. Pickwick took a cod with him to Dingley Dell; the reformed Scrooge ordered a turkey for his clerk; lovers sent love gifts; toys and fruit were given to children. But the idea that not only all friends but even all acquaintances should give one another presents, or at least send one another cards, is quite modern and has been forced upon us by the shopkeepers. Neither of these circumstances is in itself a reason for condemning it. I condemn it on the following grounds.

1. It gives on the whole much more pain than pleasure. You have only to stay over Christmas with a family who seriously try to "keep" it (in its third, or commercial, aspect) in order to see that the thing is a nightmare. Long before December 25th everyone is worn out - physically worn out by weeks of daily struggle in overcrowded shops, mentally worn out by the effort to remember all the right recipients and to think out suitable gifts for them. They are in no trim for merrymaking; much less (if they should want to) to take part in a religious act. They look far more as if there had been a long illness in the house.

2. Most of it is involuntary. The modern rule is that anyone can force you to give him a present by sending you a quite unprovoked present of his own. It is almost a blackmail. Who has not heard the wail of despair, and indeed of resentment, when, at the last movement, just as everyone hoped that the nuisance was over for one more year, the unwanted gift from Mrs. Busy (whom we hardly remember) flops unwelcomed through the letter-box, and back to the dreadful shops one has to go to?

3. Things are given as presents which no mortal ever bought for himself - gaudy and useless gadgets, "novelties" because no one was ever fool enough to make their like before. Have we really no better use for materials and for human skill and time than to spend them on all this rubbish?

4. The nuisance. For after all, during the racket we still have all our ordinary and necessary shopping to do, and the racket trebles the labor of it.

We are told that the whole dreary business must go on because it is good for trade. It is in fact merely one annual symptom of that lunatic condition of our country, and indeed of the world, in which everyone lives by persuading everyone else to buy things. I don't know the way out. But can it really be my duty to buy and receive masses of junk every winter just to help the shopkeepers? If the worst comes to the worst I'd sooner give them money for nothing and write it off as a charity. For nothing? Why, better for nothing than for a nuisance.

me & the tree

when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist . . .


I don't think you're ready for this jelly

thankful for the Beach

No trip is complete without a trip to one of these

because the Pastor can't ever pass up another cheap, used, old man shirt!

Don't worry, we made it to a Coach store too, but the Pastor didn't take any pictures. He may have been too upset.

another benefit of skipping Thanksgiving

less food = less shame in bikini

Can you believe I didn't want to make an imprint of my backside?

not a bad Thanksgiving indeed

a dream is a wish your heart makes

I was so happy to get to go to the Disney Film Exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Since we are "members" of the art museum back home, we got to use our membership cards to get in for free! What a deal!

I have nice memories of going to see Snow White wearing a Snow White printed dress on Christmas Eve with my Dad. The exhibit contains original art work used to make different Disney Princess movies. Most interesting, I thought, were the various incarnations Princesses went through before they settled on the final look.

Lobster buffet

after a two hour wait!

A two hour wait!


Cafe du Monde

before I became covered in powdered sugar

Bourbon Street

the Pastor celebrating a speaking engagement

with a Shirley Temple


long winded Bible Scholars

Me, looking at book at Pastor's Bible Conference: "Paul wasn't a Christian?"

Pastor: "No, he was a Jew."

It takes a whole book to explain that?


all I want for Christmas

Dear Santa,

In my defense, I have now gotten up three mornings in a row when the alarm clock went off.

And since June? I've been trying really hard to live on a budget.

I even stopped buying magazines. I've been going to the library and reading them for free.

The most impressive thing? I didn't go to On the Border for two whole months, and I went five weeks without going to Ted's Cafe' Escondido.

Here is my Christmas list.

See my post below.



p.s. Even though I've been on a diet for 7 weeks now, I promise I'll get you the good cookies. From the German place.

lack of Focus

RIP blue Honda, 2005 - 2009

Four and a half years ago when I married the Pastor, I had a less than a year old Ford Focus and a car payment. We kept the car for a few months, then determined it would be more fun for me to stay at home than to drive a new car. Instead, I began driving a 1996 Honda Civic LX. Don't let the LX fool you.

This blue Honda had damage just about everyplace you could think of.

It was one thing to pull up to Starbucks for my $5.00 coffee, I can imagine what people thought here in the land of brand-new shiny SUV's. What is she doing buying expensive coffee when she drives a car like that? However, the blue Honda wasn't without it's advantages.

You could park it anywhere. Spill something? No problem.

Someone hit me once. The driver was completely worked up about it. I looked at the "damage" and said "let's not worry about it." All accidents should be that easy and forgivable.

It was the perfect car to drive to The Church of the Homeless.

The engine light stayed on the entire time we owned the car, with one exception. That exception was when we loaned the car to a family in need we didn't even know. Yes, another advantage. We could share the blue Honda freely. We didn't worry about our car for months and when it finally showed back up, the engine light was off. I guess the family who had borrowed it was worried about returning it with the engine light on. It didn't last.

Through no fault of our own or it's own, several weeks ago, the blue Honda drove it's last mile for us.

Had I kept my Focus with the car payment, we would have spent $13,750 on car payments alone.

We paid $1,200 for the blue Honda. We put two new front tires on it, and virtually spent no other money on it for the rest of the time we owned it.

Today, someone from Craigslist paid $800 for the blue Honda. So we enjoyed the blue Honda for years for just a few hundred dollars.

Bye blue Honda. You and your great gas mileage will be sadly missed.


Once again, proof that God is a woman, and she has a sense of humor. And maybe a little PMS.

The Pastor is not having a good day.

He wanted to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, and went to take the Mustang convertible for a drive, possibly the last drive of the year before it hibernates. #FAIL. The Mustang ended up in the shop.

As the Pastor was walking home from dropping the Mustang off, I drove by him. He hopped in my red Honda.

We turned the corner, and I don't know the technical, mechanical terms for this, but my transmission fell out.

Off to vehicle #3. (Did I mention our blue Honda died last week and we are still mourning the loss?) The Pastor and I ran an errand, got back in the van and it took two tries to start it. I'm convinced it started on the second try because of the fervent prayers I started praying after the the false start.

What a relief. We'll go eat bar-b-q to cheer the Pastor up! Nope, the bar-b-q coupon expired two days ago.

God was clearly telling the Pastor to not go anywhere. Let's just get a Red Box and go home. We went to Red Box machine #1, ordered up our movies, dispense #FAIL. On to Red Box machine, #2, also not working.

This series of events started after the Pastor thought it would be hilarious to not hang up my dish towel correctly on the oven handle.

That will teach him. And God? You've punished him enough. I'm sure he'll be more respectful of the dish towel from now on, and he won't leave jelly to permanently affix itself to the sink.



Last Sunday when the Pastor preached I was horrified to learn I may have been an inspiration for his sermon. And it wasn't for my service at the Soup Kitchen.

He asked how many people were buying pumpkins, picking out costumes, getting candy, etc. for Halloween. Then he asked who was getting ready for All Saint's Day.

Uh oh. How was I supposed to know there would be a quiz?

Now I feel convicted about dressing up in a costume. I'd like to tell you I have some deep-seated need to dress up, because my parents were super-psycho fundamentalist Christians who wouldn't let us dress in costumes and Trick-or-Treat, but that's not the case. The truth is my earliest Halloween memory is my brother dressed as the Devil. My parents have huge Halloween inflatables in their yard and kids from all around come over to have their picture made in their Halloween Land.

I could tell you I want to dress up because Halloween is the only night of the year I dress inappropriately. That might inspire the Pastor to do a sermon on lying.

I could act like it's a relief. I'd been waffling on my costume anyway. The only thing I really wanted to dress up as was a Flapper. I got to the point where I'd waited too long and now all the good costumes are gone. I'm not being a Witch again. There's always a ton of Snow Queens left in the store because it's an ugly costume. I am not going as an Ice Queen. Why would I want that image out there in the universe?

So this year I'm going as a 38 year-old woman who is choosing to not dress up in a costume, live on a budget and save her money. Besides, in a couple of weeks donating a Flapper costume to the clothing room at the Church of the Homeless doesn't make a lot of sense.

I guess that means I'm going as a grown-up this Halloween.

Yep, it's pretty scary.

I hope the Pastor likes it.


Robyn's happy day haiku

grabbed my skinny jeans
wonder if they will fit now
yes it is good day

See what no Mexican food for a month does for you? : ) Time to celebrate. Just not with chips & salsa!


note to self

Dear Future Robyn,

As you prepare to go on your next trip with the Pastor, remember this:

No matter how far in advance you start packing, no matter how organized you are, no matter what you lay out, no matter what you buy, get ready or make checklists for you will not be prepared for the "Pastor Factor."

The "Pastor Factor" is the Pastor, coming home while you are finalizing everything minutes before your departure and deciding that he needs to, say, sit down in the middle of your kitchen floor and shine his shoes with Mink Oil even though he has - I promise you - not used his mink oil/shoe shine kit in 20 years.

I have no suggestions for you on how to actually deal with the unpredictability of the Pastor Factor, just know that it's coming.

Have a great trip!


Present Robyn


not live from New York


Important to the Pastor on our trip to NYC:
-Human Rights Watch.
-The United Nations something or other.
-Genocide blah blah blah.
-The New York Public Library, because there are books there.

Important to me on our trip to NYC:
-Tiffany & Co - like that scene in Sweet Home Alabama??? when Patrick Dempsey's character said "Pick one!"
-A cupcake from Magnolia Bakery, the same place where Carrie Bradshaw (yes, another make-believe person) had a cupcake.
-A carriage ride through Central Park, just like when Big took Carrie on one in Sex and the City.
-Carlo's Bakery (Cake Boss) in Hoboken, New Jersey. OK, another tv show, but this one does involve real people.
-A slice of authentic New York pizza.
-The MoMA.
-The Met.
-The New York Public Library, where Carrie nearly married Big.
-Another cupcake from Magnolia Bakery.
-And another cupcake from Magnolia Bakery.
-OK, maybe two more cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery.

I now have a necklace and a bracelet from Tiffany's. And I'm sure I gained at least 5 lbs. And the Pastor? What does he have to show for his trip? Absolutely nothing. He should be ashamed of himself!


I know him better than he knows himself. Well, at least his food order.

Scene: Me, and the Pastor at Wendy's fast food.

I tell him "Go grab us a seat. I'll order you a Single, an order of fries and a frosty."

No, says the Pastor. He'll have something else. He tells me his order.

I get in line and wait.

Other people line up behind me.

The Pastor shouts out at me, "I've changed my mind. I'll have a Single, an order of fries and a frosty."

I shout back: "You mean the thing I told you you wanted before you told me you wanted it?"


The other people in line laugh.

I'm sure he'll say it was my strong subliminal message.

As for me, don't worry. I had a baked potato and garden salad.


just your average Saturday night

I won't say whether or not this is the Pastor.

Yep, I rocked that look!

This lovely Minnie purchased the suit of her Minnie costume at Goodwill. I had the Pastor take a picture because I had this very same suit when I was a Working Girl (in an office : ) !) back in about 1989.


it's a Sunday miracle

I'm blogging.

The more time that passes, I don't enjoy being around the 20 year old college girls with their 20 inch waists and 20 inches of hair.

I do enjoy it in the moment, until I get home and look at the pictures. Pictures which I won't be posting here.

Me, in all my thirty-something glory. Not so bad, if I do say so myself. I exercise. I eat right, I exercise. That's right, I said it twice. I hate to exercise so I should get that much more credit for it. But when you look at me next to them, it's not a pretty picture.

But someday time will catch up with them as well, and they will no longer be able to eat the Hostess Donettes either. You know, the really good chocolate or powdered sugar donuts that have got to be little circles of trans-fat, and wash them down with a real Dr. Pepper or a glass of real, full-fat chocolate milk.

Of course when time catches up with them, I'll be dead.

I hope there are Donettes in heaven. And no treadmills. And no 20 year olds.



I married the keynote speaker

Then he took me out for dessert.


Date night??? Not quite.

No date tonight with the hot Pastor. : (

But he did invite me to go along as he rode to a retreat, in a car with three other religious professors.

I took a pass.

Next best thing to a date with the Pastor: sitting on the couch watching old Grey's Anatomy and giving myself a mani.

focus on the important things

The Pastor's got a big speaking event this weekend.

I have no idea what he's going to talk about, but I know he's working on it. While he's doing that, I've been figuring out what to wear.

I found a bronze dress that looks and feels like hammered silk, without the need to dry clean, and lovely bronze Calvin Klein flats with beaded details. Do you think it's ok to wear flats to an evening event? I wouldn't normally think so, but these are lovely:

Now I just need to figure out what to dress the Pastor in - guess all that practice with my Ken doll will be put to use.


recent pics

-French Pastries - ooh la la!
-the wrong (Pastor) way to hang a dishtowel, the right way to hang a dishtowel
-Nate preventing suicide!
-Food, Inc. date
-Which Wich
-Pink Swirl
-my two Oregonian sons
-090909 Party
-Lemon Tart!!!
-Mom's b-day
-Southeastern Oklahoma


the Devil (almost) made me do it

I went through the Starbucks drive-thru this morning.

I ordered my usual, and hey! It's Friday! I went for it and asked for a slice of lemon pound cake.

The magical voice on the speaker told me "I just sold the last one to the car in front of you. Why don't you just ram that car with your car, and then you can have it."



Voice on the intercom, do you really think I should do that? I already do whatever you tell me to do. You say pull up to the window, and I pull up to the window. You say that'll be $X.XX and I give you whatever you want. In exchange you give me a hot cup of addiction.

I sat there in my car and wondered if this defense would hold up in court. I had to do it. The Goddess on the Starbucks loudspeaker commanded me. I guess I wondered too long because the other car drove off. Not wanting to anger the Goddess, I pulled forward.

How am I supposed to help the poor and the homeless without $2 lemon pound cake in my belly?

At least my coffee is good.


too much time on my hands

at Sephora

leads to too much makeup on my eyes

sweet and sour

The Pastor was sweet today.

He swooped through the house with a bouquet of flowers. My Friday flowers! I was typing away on the computer, and he walked in the back door, dropped of the flowers and continued out of the house through the front door.

Wise man.

Because after he left, I thought "I need to check my e-mail."

I'm sure the Pastor had a good reason for sending me that e-mail about the causes of belly flab.

I'm afraid I'm going to require a bigger bouquet.


(insert title here)

"Do you think I look fat?"

(insert incredibly long pause here)

(insert an even longer pause here)

"Oh, no! Sorry! I was thinking about (insert some incredibly boring theology thing here)."


Like some Bible thing is going to get you out of trouble.


how to get a prescription filled in 33 easy steps

1. Marry a man who works full time and pays for his family to have health insurance.

2. Take a child to the doctor for a persistent medical condition.

3. Have several doctor visits over a nine-month period, and pay your co-pay each time. Yep, your insurance company should be fully aware your child is being treated for something.

4. Get several prescriptions filled for the condition along the way. Each time those Rx's are filled, go through a rigorous process by which the insurance company requires a magical special authorization completed by the prescribing doctor in addition to the prescription.

5. Schedule a follow up visit a month before school starts, so that if the child's meds need to be changed they can be changed during the summer.

6. Go to doctor visit, get bloodwork done and get new Rx.

7. Drop Rx off at pharmacy. Go to CVS, because you've given up on Walgreens.

8. Make sure pharmacy has your new phone number.

9. Have bout of wishful thinking where you go back to pharmacy to pick up Rx. Oh, the insurance company is requiring something else. We tried to call you, but your phone number doesn't work. That's right, that's why my new, correct phone number is written on the prescription. Right next to the magical special secret code number the insurance company requires.

10. Call doctor's office.

11. Call pharmacy.

12. Repeat #10 and #11 numerous times.

13. Insurance company is requiring the child to be evaluated to make sure the child is not suicidal or depressed, because this is a potential side affect of the meds.

14. The very nice doctor calls to check on you. You tell the doctor that this whole thing is starting to make you feel suicidal and depressed.

15. Work for two days to try to find out who can evaluate the child for suicidal tendencies/depression.

16. Lament about how the homeless people you know at church, when they get sick, they go to the emergency room, get care and meds and don't have to go through any of this.

17. Take child to another doctor. Doctor refuses to evaluate potential of suicidal tendencies and depression. On to the next one!

18. Find someone who will evaluate child. By the way, it'll cost $200.

19. Finally find a medical professional who will help.

20. Wait two days for piece of paper. Hooray! Child doesn't want to be a cutter or listen to Marilyn Manson! You, on the other hand, are dangerously close to the edge.

21. Fax piece of paper.

22. Wait.

23. Wait.

24. Start making phone calls. Make 11 phone calls in the matter of a few hours.

25. After way too many phone calls, add the pharmacy, the doctor's office and the insurance company to my T-Mobile My-Faves because you are going to run out of cell phone minutes.

26. Have the realization it would be easier to acquire crack cocaine.

27. Threaten to file complaint with the Insurance Commissioner.

28. Have a splitting headache and take two Tylenol.

29. Hear back from the depths of hell, a.k.a. the insurance company. Easy peasy!!!! The prescription can be filled if they have just one more thing. Another special magical something from the doctor saying the specialist in fact prescribed the prescription that they prescribed on their prescription pad for the condition your child has been treated for, for the past 9 months.

30. Contemplate forming a support group.

31. A few more phone calls, and voila! The prescription can be filled!

32. Go to pick up prescription. In the end the $500+ prescription was filled with a generic. It cost me $12.00. Two weeks of my life, and $12.00.

33. Leave the pharmacy. The heavens open, and angels sing the hallelujah chorus.


As if this hasn't been enough to deal with in a week, don't even get me started on the fun I've had with AT&T and the $500 charge on my phone bill that no AT&T employee can explain.

I've had better weeks.


Fish Story

The Pastor preached on Jonah again this past Sunday. Isn't Jonah an incredibly short book in the Bible? Seriously, how many sermons can you get out of it?

Specifically, he preached on Jonah and arguments. He had a heart-warming story about a married couple arguing to go with his sermon. Did he illustrate his sermon with one of our arguments? No.

Like the time he introduced me as April?

Like Valentine's Day 2009?

Like Valentine's Day 2008?

Like Valentine's Day 2007?

Like Valentine's Day 2006?

Like Valentine's Day 2005?

I could go on and on and on.

So many choices, yet he used a story about another couple.

I'm so disappointed.


pray for his sins, now and at the hour of his death

What not to say when your wife gets a new haircut:

"I like it if you like it."

"If it makes you happy, then I'm happy."

At least he didn't ask how much it cost. I would have killed him for sure.


If there was ever a blog post that was going to have curse words in it, this would be it.

There is not a person who lives in this house I think deserves to eat on my dining room table.

If God herself came over, I'd probably be ok with her using it. The Holy Spirit? That would be fine, because spirits do not eat, drink or do things that would scratch a table. I will handle these events on a case-by-case basis.

Jesus? If Jesus came over, I would probably be ok til his boisterous self started to get a little sloppy with the bread crumbs and the wine. Then I'd be like "ok Jesus, let's take this out to the patio table."

The Pastor and I fundamentally disagree on the functionality of the table. The Pastor thinks people should - get this - actually sit around and eat and do things at the table. I think the table should exist solely as an item of beauty. Everyone in this house, they should keep a minimum of a three foot radius of space around the dining room table (and my painting, another story) and they should eat like normal people with their food on a paper towel standing over the kitchen sink.

And have you ever been over to our house? You know, one of those times when we have people over and we eat and talk and watch Cake Boss and play games and have fun? There's something you should know. The fun for me doesn't start until everyone has left and no one is touching or sliding anything across my table.

Why am I writing all this? In the past six months, we had what I like to refer to as "The Great Dining Room Table Debate of 2009." It's a long story but here's the short version: someone used the table, something happened, I cried and people nearly died.

Since then the debate continues. Team Dining Room Table seems to think the answer lies in purchasing an ugly dining room table cover and using the table. Meanwhile, Team Don't Touch My Table has even gone so far as to purchase a table for the kitchen. A used, vintage metal table that people can do whatever they want to it and there's no way they could possibly hurt it.

This morning the Pastor was insisting on me ordering the table pad. I would compare this to an executioner asking the soon-to-be executed which method of death they would prefer. The important parts of the conversation went something like this:

"I hate the table pad."

"I don't care what color is ordered. It does not matter because I will hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate it."

"Every day I see someone sitting at the dining room table doing something on top of that hideous pad, I will be angry."

"I am only doing this because you are making me."

"As soon as the last kid moves out of this house, I am going to go purchase a brand-new dining room set that no one is ever going to use and I will be so happy. Start saving your money now."

I realize this post may make me sound insane, petty, petulant and selfish. I don't care. If that's how you feel, you can gather with the others. They're hovered around the kitchen sink.


OK, I'll take the bait.

Why the Pastor and I getting kidnapped by the Mafia would not be the worst thing in the world:

1. I bet when you are kidnapped no one makes you walk on the treadmill.

2. Mafia = Italian. I'm thinking I'd finally get to eat pasta, cheese, cannolis, etc. This goes against most kidnapping fantasies I've had of me and the Pastor getting kidnapped in the mission field and becoming emaciated.

3. I have seen enough episodes of Sex and the City enough times I could play them in my head and keep myself entertained for a while.

4. The Pastor could take naps. That would make him happy.

5. Me + the Pastor + nothing else to do = enough said. Maybe I'd get one of those post-kidnap babies out of the deal.

6. I'd finally kick my coffee addiction, and the Pastor would have to get over his whole Mountain Dew thing.

7. Since there's no Mafia anywhere around us (The Bible Belt Mafia???), we must have gotten kidnapped far from home. The Pastor hates where we live - this would only extend our vacation and elate him.

8. Kidnapped! Would make it so easy to live on the Pastor's budget. Think of the money I'd save!

9. When I finally got home, I'd have tons of stuff to watch on the dvr and stacks of magazines to read.

10. Maybe the Italian women could teach me how they get their hair that big.

11. I'd finally have an excuse to get some of those really long, really inappropriate fake fingernails.

12. I've seen every episode of the Sopranos. I'd be fine.

13. The Pastor wouldn't have to grade any of his student's papers.

14. Our relationship would prosper because I'm sure we wouldn't be locked up in some room where the Pastor keeps bugging me by opening the mini blinds, and I wouldn't be irritating him by constantly closing them.

15. Everyone knows once the kidnappers release you, you get a total makeover, a publicity tour and a book deal. Not too shabby.

16. A new accent would be nice.

17. Italians drink wine. Nazarenes don't.

18. No kids. No cooking. No laundry. No cleaning. No working. No Wal Mart. No one would make me make them BLTs.

and one more

19. The Pastor would finally have the time and emotional space to teach me, and I'd finally learn, all ten commandments.



date night

Valentino the Last Emperor at the Art Museum and
Dessert at Cheever's


Babybel cheese, part two

Tori Spelling speaks the truth.

Recently, when I was watching Tori and Dean, Tori said when she was a kid and used to eat these delicious wax-covered medallions of cheese, she would use the wax to make fake fingernails.

There's not enough wax there to make a set of fingernails, I thought.

With my last cheese wax, I conducted an experiment. As you can see, there is in fact plenty of wax to make fake fingernails, and I even had a bit left over.


the laughing cow

what the Pastor had for dinner:
potato salad
baked beans
bar-b-q animal flesh
gallons of bar-b-q sauce
texas toast
real soda

what the Pastor had for dessert:
ice cream
hot fudge

I also saw him eat part of a brownie, and exclaim he couldn't eat it because it was "too sweet" only to take another bite of it. A brownie from the batch of brownies I made last night and haven't even tasted.

And did I mention nothing was sugar-free, fat-free, low calorie and he didn't measure a single thing with a a measuring spoon, cup or scale?

what I had for dinner:
ice water with lemon

what I had for dessert:
ice water with lemon

what I did after my delicious dinner and dessert:
walked on the treadmill for 45 minutes

what the Pastor did:
read a book

After my workout, I joined the Pastor on the couch with a single Babybel light round of cheese - 50 calories of happiness for the evening, wrapped in red wax.

I sat down on the couch.

The Pastor said, "Can I have a bite?"


So I recite to the Pastor every morsel of food he has put into his mouth today. It's not difficult for me to do, as I am the one who so lovingly prepared it for him.

He still takes a bite of my cheese.

Then he says "I'll take one of those."


It was the last one.

The worst part . . . I still probably won't make my Weight Watchers weigh-in this week.

p.s. After reading my blog the Pastor confessed a secret donut. I would not make a good priest. I do not feel forgiving, though I do want to require his penance.


just in case you're worried I've been slacking off

Calvin Klein and colorful beads. Cute shoes too, but you can't see.

Pastor, prints & partying

We should really coordinate our prints if we are going to take pictures.

The Pastor and I on our art museum movie date.

view from the top

of the art museum

peachy keen

Once upon a time
I made a pie
It was peach
It was pretty
I didn't get a piece
I was ticked


I got nothing

Sitting here thinking about what to blog.

I've got nothing.

I guess that means the Pastor has been very well behaved.

I need to get dressed and do something other than stare at this blank computer screen.


it wasn't worth it

Upon arriving home from va-ca, I was shocked to learn all the fried cheese curds, madeleines and soft-serve ice cream with extra cookie dough I ate were in fact not fat-free.

After all this time I can't seem to make the correlation between eating ice cream and then being destined to weeks of shredded wheat and celery sticks and the absolute worst: exercise.

I loathe myself. And the cheese curds.


survival of the fittest

Pastor - the mini-sermon you gave this morning to me - the matter-of-fact one about how women are genetically pre-disposed after millions of years to have fat arses, perhaps not your best. I'm just saying! Your audience, me, (the one of the two of us who works out for at least an hour every day and writes down every morsel of food she eats) may have missed your point.

Is that the true curse of Eve? Not that women will feel pain in childbirth (because I've been there/done that and there wasn't any pain, just really good drugs followed by an instant weight loss) but that she will toil for hours on the treadmill to no avail?

I may be genetically predisposed, but I am wildly optimistic and dedicated, perhaps even a bit psychotic. Even with millions of years working against me, all my hard work may pay off. And after millions of years, men still say the absolute dumbest things. This is why God invented flowers. And jewelry. You know where to find me, I'll be on the treadmill.

I'm looking forward to your next pearls of wisdom. I'm such an optimistic person, I'm hoping for something from Proverbs 31:10-12. Or even better, Song of Solomon 1:2. No one ever preaches on that.

Peace be with you.


Michigan, part 2

Me + Pastor - Stephen - Nate = more kissing = less pictures


and me, without my ball gown

I'm here in Grand Rapids and we have a banquet to go to tonight at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

I brought a dress with me. But - I've worn it before and I don't do well not having choices. I was looking through pictures last night thinking "why didn't I bring that dress, or that one?" But now I'm stuck. I know he wasn't a very important President, but I still want to look nice at his museum.

The "old" Robyn - and by "old" I am not referring to age - would have simply gone and bought something new.

But the "new and improved" Robyn who is trying very hard to be a different person, is going to wear something she already has.

That's right. I am going to wear something I already have.

But that doesn't mean I'll be happy about it.


I don't know why I am even worried about it, why I even care. If this thing is anything like the theologian filled bar-b-q we went to the other day, it certainly won't matter. Here's one of the jokes that was said at my picnic table at that laugh-fest: "What on earth will we do to celebrate John Calvin's birthday - whitewash the walls of a Catholic church???" Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

The Pastor assures me this was funny.


goodbye, lover

I was flipping through our va-ca pictures, and there he was in so many photos. We looked great together - such a cute couple.

He was slick.


Hip and stylish.

It was tough to end the relationship.

Sure, he was always coming up with new things to try. Sure, he was always keeping me busy. Sure, he knew how to make a girl feel needed and important.

But it was time for me to let go. It wasn't him, it was me.

Bye, iPhone.

I've decided I don't need to check e-mail accounts every three minutes. I've decided I don't need to check the news (especially the news I read) every millisecond to see what's happening now.

I've decided I've got more important things to do. Now I've just got to figure out what those things are.

Maybe ice cream will help.


love, or drugs

Me, after being reunited with the Pastor after four very lonely days: "You got out of bed last night? I have no recollection of that. I just sleep so good when I'm around you."

The Pastor: "It might have had something to do with those two Benadryl you took."

it's a boy!!!

The Pastor and I have been trying very hard to add to our family, and now our wildest dreams have come true. And, Nate has always wanted a brother!

I think we'll call him Stephen, because that's his name. He came into our world at 6'3" and 145 lbs.

Here's some of the fun we had in Missouri, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. So much fun that I've hopped on a plane and I'm back for more.



Me, getting ready to jet off and meet the Pastor: "You probably have the place all decorated with candles and rose petals, huh? A playlist of romantic songs ready?

The Pastor: uncontrollable laughter.

The Pastor: "Nope, mainly, I've been walking around realizing that there are uneaten cookies all over the place. I take a bite out of a cookie, set it down, forget about it, and apparently go get another one."


At least I'll have plenty of cookies.

Robyn's got her grove back. Well, not really.

Robyn, why don't you write anymore? Gee, if only I could pry one of my two computers and/or my magical internet thingy away from the Pastor or the Nate. I'm going to try to get out of my non-writing funk.

So here is just a bunch of random stuff about me.

As soon as I get home from the grocery store, I remove everything from the package. I can't stand to have packaging in my fridge or cabinets.

I will giggle like crazy at any talking dog movie. Makes me giggle just thinking about it.

The house I live in is the 9th house I've lived in in my life. And since it's not our house, I know it won't be the last : ) Takes the pressure off decorating!

I've been vegetarian for the better part of the past 19 years, but lately I've been thinking my body needs meat.

Things I don't like to share: my bathroom, my peanut butter, ok, basically my stuff. What can I say, my mom pegged me when I was little and I said I wanted a sister and she said nuh uh you'd have to share. She was right.

I stopped drinking soda March 12. I have the occasional diet coke with lime, and if the pepsi icee is frozen, I'm a sucker.

I stopped putting salt on my food, except tortilla chips. Too bad I pretty much eat those every day.

I gave up my dog for the Pastor. The dog now lives with my parents and gained a doggie sister. That dog, well he couldn't be happier.

I collect Starbucks City Mugs and those sit-by-the-sink-frogs that hold sponges that millions of women created in ceramic classes in the 1970s. My first sit-by-the-sink-frog was given to me by my grandma two days before she died.

I tan like a California Girl. Thanks Dad!

Guilty pleasure: Nancy Grace.

I wish I could sing.

I think wrist corsages are about the greatest thing ever.

My worst fears: twisty stairs, stairs with space between them, heights, revolving doors, snakes, lizards, getting old, getting fat, going gray. I used to also fear being the hairy old lady in the nursing home, but then I discovered laser hair removal.

OK, stupid, but at least I wrote something.


too tired to title

Make a to-do list. Check!

Clean house. Check!

Pack. Check!

Give away all the produce that's left in the fridge. Check!

Unplug the microwave. Check!

Train as though you will be competing in the Ironman Triathalon and completing Army basic training in the same week.


I'm glad it's "vacation."

After a couple of weeks of "vacation" with the Pastor, I'm exhausted. My calves are sore. I work out a lot lot lot lot lot. Do you have any idea what it takes to make my calves sore? Eighty-two kazillion steps in 90 degree heat (while wearing a J. Crew dress).

He just said we'll go to the beach tomorrow. We'll sit there and do nothing. Then he clicked out of the page he was on (the one with the beach) and the page that was left open on his screen showed the trail he was thinking of hiking.

Correction. It showed the trail he was thinking of making me hike. And yes, I'm planning on wearing a dress tomorrow.

I'm too tired to think of a clever ending here.


cracking up

The Pastor preached today and we took Communion at the end of the service with Matzah bread (crackers) and grape Crystal Light.

After church the Pastor and I helped a woman who, let's say, was high on life. We were tipped off to this by her demeanor on the front pew and her walking in and out of the service approximately 82 times. One of the times she came back in her hair was soaking wet. She had put her head in the sink (let's hope). Was she hot? Did she baptize herself? I don't know.

When we were helping this lady out, she explained she had just gotten out of rehab and was feeling sick. The Pastor expressed his concern for her nausea. She said, "It's okay now, those crackers helped."

Later the Pastor told me now we have proof of the "saving efficacy" of Communion. I believe the Pastor is that much closer to becoming a televangelist.


no animals, Pastor, Camper Barbie or voodoo dolls were harmed in the making of this film

OK, the Pastor may have hurt just a little at the Coach store.

After we survived the camping, the Pastor and I got re-married at Voodoo Doughnuts. I was much more prepared this time with the vows.


I've never been a big fan of the natural look.

Nothing like a few hundred camping pictures to make a girl feel like she needs plastic surgery.


Ritz Carlton

Even though I spend hours a day in my bathroom at home, the Pastor doesn't seem to understand why I don't wake up beautiful at the campsite.

Can't you even try for this picture? ??? was one of the comments. Uhhhhh, no I can't. I realize you are a man and you look the same when you wake up as you do when you go to bed and all the moments in between, but I haven't showered. I haven't washed my hair in three days, and while Jesus was able to rise from the dead after three days, I am unable to make myself look any better.

On this trip I have received further proof that God is a woman.

After days of being a good little camper and sleeping in a sleeping bag in a tent, we went to the next campground. We were hoping for a YURT but the Ranger (God's Angel) rewarded me with a deluxe cabin he'd just had a last minute cancellation on - the Ritz Carlton of all camping. Come to find out, the cabin has such amenities as running water, a toilet, a hot shower and most importantly - it's completely adorable.

campfire girl

Robyn's animal sightings:
-sea lions
-sea monster

Thankfully I have not seen any bears.

And the Pastor, who is by far the most impatient person I know, turns out he will spend all the time it takes to toast a marshmallow. I didn't know people did this. I was raised differently - I only knew one way to toast a marshmallow - set it on fire.


it's always something


Yes, camping.

In the German forest, there were black lizards.

In Costa Rica, more lizards and snakes.

The Oregon Coast?


Not teeny tiny slugs. Slugs the size of human appendages, with giant human-seeking tentacles. I'm sure they are coming after me.

And the Pastor? He can't be happy that I'm sleeping in a tent on the ground in a sleeping bag and why not jog up this giant sand dune while you are at it!!!

Nope, he wants me to hike up slug lane too.

I have on my Tom's. They are thin-soled, and I wonder how it's going to feel when I squish one. I don't have on socks and I envision slug juice will soil my ankles.

You do not have to worry about such things on the treadmill.

Luckily, he just preached on forgivesness.


once upon a summer

I'm cleaning out my iPhoto cache. You might find this hard to believe, but I've got a stash of too many pics in my cache.

So here, from the "best of Robyn & the Pastor" is the summer we went to Kosovo and backpacked across Europe. Also known as "that time I got to see a cow get slaughtered right in front of my eyes."

In other words, dozens of pictures of me with curly un-flat-ironed hair and a lack of wardrobe choices and makeup. Except for the pics (red shirt) when I got to dress up like a Kosovo bride. The bridal look in Kosovo is much, much different than it is here.

And this was the debut of my favorite travel accessory, the blue Victoria's Secret sweatshirt.

here I am to worship

Church has quickly fallen apart this morning.

The mentally handicapped woman has demanded we pray for all the awful cartoons on tv.

And another lady stepped out of the service for a smoke break and broke her flip flop.

As for me? I'm clearly blogging during the service.


cheap & common

Wedding tonight.

The officiant said "Wedding rings are made out of precious metals. They are neither cheap or common."

Uh oh.

The Pastor's wedding ring? He bought it off ebay from a guy who made it in his garage.

Cheap and common.


grocery list squared

the myth of scarcity vs. the Pastor at the grocery store

Pink Lady apples
Special K cereal
fat free milk

6 frozen pizzas
Special K cereal
another box of Special K cereal
a super-sized bag of some generic Cap'n Crunch cereal (perfect for the downwardly mobile, smaller house with no room for storage of bulk-sized items) (btw, I don't have room for one box of cereal much less two plus a giant bag) (btw, did I mention it's hard to find room for anything when you are storing 24 jars of peanut butter???)
banana smoothie mix
more bread (I still haven't recovered from the bread he bought during the infamous Peanut Butter episode)
tomato cages
2 bean burritos with no onions from Taco Bell but he ate them before he came home and didn't call me and ask me if I wanted one


I'm a doctor, not a movie watcher!

Yep, I'm still going to movies.

I've pretty much given up on the Pastor though. He's about the worst person in the world to go to the movies with. First and foremost, if he can't fast forward through the thing at 4x speed, he's not interested.

In the eight months before I started dating the Pastor, I saw more than 30 movies. In the four months after I started dating the Pastor, I saw two. Besides, we have much different tastes in movies. Various movie dates with him have included Hotel Rwanda and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

I went to see Star Trek this weekend.

I've never been a big fan of the whole it's-the-future-so-let's-all-wear-the-same-thing, but this movie may have converted me. Red minidress! Yes please! Knee high boots! Dangling earrings! And the Starfleet brooch! You've got to love a future existence where you can be beamed from planet to planet and you still get to wear accessories.

I really liked the movie, although I must admit I had to think pretty hard about some things. Me trying to figure out sci-fi? That's up there on the same level as me trying to interpret the Old Testament. There are some things best left to the experts.

And the rest of us can go to the movies.


chemical reaction

I remember very little about any science education I may have had.

In Junior High, I remember one boy I had a crush on in Science. And I remember a never-ending fear that when called upon to read out loud from a chapter, I would accidentally say "orgasm" instead of "organism."

High School? Did I take a Science class in High School?

In College, I remember one boy I had a crush on in a Science class.

I'm wishing I would have paid more attention. To class. Not boys.

I'm no longer worried about saying orgasm out loud, but I am scared to color my own hair. Really scared. Like more scared than I was to give birth scared. It's hair, and a bunch of chemicals. What's the big deal, right?

As I type I have two band-aids on my arm (skin tests) and two strand tests going.

I have hung clothes on a line. I've tolerated a garden the size of my house. I've downsized my house and my car. I've gotten rid of tons of stuff. I've just said no to buying things I don't need. I've reduced the number of paper towels I've used. I've washed dishes by hand.

But my hair? I don't know if doing my own hair is the next step I'm willing to take.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll find that reading out loud in Junior High Science wasn't the worst thing in the world.


here's to you, Mrs. Robinson, Jesus loves you more than you will know

-Nacho Mama!!!
-my b-day
-my first and only pinata (what a disappointment you pull strings and don't get to beat anything!)
-the garden
-the parental units
-Cake, cake and more cake. And cookies.
-Hello Kitty!
-the o.j. I squezzed and didn't get one drop to drink
-my cute purse I had the good sense to pay $5 for 8 years ago in Mexico
-my cute shoes
-the college graduate I would trade at least three kids for
-what the back of the Pastor's head will look like in 35 years
-The Last Graduation???
-Mother's Day brunch


the myth of scarcity, Peter Pan Whipped Peanut Butter edition

Sorry it's been a few days since I posted. I had to find places for 24 jars of peanut butter.

If there is any truth I hold to be self evident, it is that I do not like peanut butter. I never have. I blame my mother. She used to mix it in a bowl with the jelly and it just grossed me out.

If you have read this blog for more than 5 minutes, you probably know that too. Everyone knows this, right? I someday hope that my blog is the #1 hit when you google the phrase "I hate all kinds of peanut butter except Peter Pan Whipped Peanut Butter."

A brief history. The geniuses at Peter Pan figured out a way to whip regular nasty peanut butter with air and magically change it into whipped goodness and charge you more money for less peanut butter. Blah blah blah, there was salmonella, blah blah blah, people died, Satan's minions took peanut butter off the shelf.

So now I hide the Whipped Peanut Butter. I've seen the way people in this house eat. If you are willing to say, pick up strange people's food trash off the ground and eat it, or lick a pole in the subway, then you don't deserve the "good" peanut butter in your mouth.

The Pastor realized last week I hide and hoard the Whipped Peanut Butter. My selfishness offended him greatly. His solution? He went to the store and bought 12 jars of peanut butter. It went something like this: "Here (you selfish person) - now you can have a couple of jars, I can have a couple and the kids can each have a couple. There's plenty for everyone." OK, that still doesn't add up to 12 jars but I don't have a Ph.D. like him so I'm not sure how the math of scarcity works.

Only, he bought the wrong kind of peanut butter. He just bought regular Peter Pan.

Why oh why???!!!!! Why oh why did I not just keep my pie hole shut? Why did I not tell him thanks?! Or you guys can just eat all this peanut butter because I love you so much!

Nope, I told him. Ever since I've known the Pastor he has been the king of taking things back. Did he return the peanut butter? Nope. He went to the store, found the Whipped Peanut Butter and bought 12 jars of it.

This brings us to the grand total of 24 NEW jars of peanut butter for this house. Not to mention the peanut butter (and hidden jars of Whipped Peanut Butter and Nutella) we already had.

Did I mention we have been trying to become a downwardly mobile family and moved into a house half the size of our old house? When you minimize the size of your house, you also - get this - minimize the amount of storage space you have for 24 jars of peanut butter. I know! Crazy, huh? Who doesn't have room to store 24 jars of peanut butter?!?

That's ok. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. With peanut butter, you make cookies. Only when I told the Pastor I was going to make peanut butter cookies, his response was "I don't like peanut butter cookies."


The Pastor did eventually offer to return some of the peanut butter. On the same day I finally found places to stash it all. When I die, poor Nate won't find hidden money. He'll find hidden Whipped Peanut Butter. Sorry, kid.

And what's peanut butter without bread? Yep, the Pastor bought bread too.

Have I mentioned I don't eat bread?


Arts Festival dessert

You knew there would have to be dessert involved, didn't you?

Strawberries Newport. Hold on tight! It was very windy.

Look! Two sporks! I shared. It's a Sabbath miracle!

Arts Festival - Sunday after church!

Yummy Indian food. It was very good.


I'm so happy he doesn't think my underwear is giant.

The Pastor, who doesn't do laundry, who isn't allowed to touch the laundry, has installed a clothesline for me.

This gadget, he said, is to hang tiny things, small things - like your underwear.

I love him.

I used my clothesline for the first time today. Dr. J. Matthew Sleeth - I listened to you (and the Pastor). I'm serving God and saving the planet. And as an added bonus, when I was hanging wash on the line, I told the Pastor we could pretend like I was the sweet and innocent farm girl hanging laundry, and he was the sexy stranger who happened across our land. The Pastor chastised me for talking like this, but hey - I'm only trying to make this stuff fun.

What am I supposed to to with the dryer sheets? Hang them on the line too?

I now know that every time I use the dryer, 5 pounds of coal is used.

Sigh. I just hope I haven't put some poor coal miner out of work now.

it's a mad, mad world

My Mad Farmer in his overly-ambitious garden. Yes, he did get a bit carried away.

On a side note, if you happen to have any recipes for dishes that feature onions and potatoes, send them my way.


recent pics

Costa Rica, Tulsa, Chicago and home again, home again (jiggity jig) just in time for our anniversary.