Sunday, September 28, 2008

Growin' Up Right

Kevin has decided that our baby's first major sporting event should be a Red Wings' hockey game at the Joe Lewis arena. Why?

In Kevin's words...
"I wasn't Red Wings fan for the first six years of my life. I don't want that to happen to our child."

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Timeless in Our Hearts

In these uncertain ecomomic and political times, I think today's first mass reading is comforting and appropriate. If, like me, finances, politics and the like have seemed bleak to you, remember the One who "has put the timeless into their hearts." We can never know the fullness of the magnificence, peace and blessing that God has for us while we're on this side of heaven. That is why I am thankful for Christ in His Eucharistic presence. In receiving him at mass during communion, the timeless passes over our lips into our very selves. Let us rejoice in that, no matter what uncertainty and trials we face.

There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every thing under the heavens.
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

What advantage has the worker from his toil?
I have considered the task that God has appointed
for the sons of men to be busied about.
He has made everything appropriate to its time,
and has put the timeless into their hearts,
without man’s ever discovering,
from beginning to end, the work which God has done.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

Sour Grapes

I found these words from Hank Steinbrenner, owner of the Yankees, rather amusing. This is the first year since 1995 that the Yankees haven't been in the MLB playoffs. It's also the first year since 1996 without celebrated ex-manager, Joe Torre, at the helm. He currently manages the LA Dodgers, who have clinched a spot.

As Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner whined in The Sporting News: "It isn't fair. You see it this season, with plenty of people in the media pointing out that Joe Torre and the Dodgers are going to the playoffs while we're not. This is by no means a knock on Torre — let me make that clear — but look at the division they're in ...

"I'm happy for Joe, but you have to compare the divisions and the competition. What if the Yankees finish the season with more wins than the Dodgers but the Dodgers make the playoffs? Does that make the Dodgers a better team? No."

Excuses, excuses, Hank. Better luck next year.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

For Michigan Voters...

In the upcoming November election, Proposal 2, a proposed ammendment to Michigan's state constitution allowing unrestricted experimentation on live human embryos, will be on the ballot. The ballot language is vague and deceptive. Please check out this website for further information. Voter approval of this ammendment could lead to wholesale destruction of human embryos at the expense of tax payers. Please pass this site and information on to friends and family. It is imperative that Michigan voters go to the polls informed of the far reaches of Proposal 2.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Civic-gate: Part III (Affirming Truths and Personal Conclusions)

Civic-gate: Part I

Civic-gate: Part II

Even though the attorney's quip seemed encouraging, it was still a total mystery as to what was said at the bench between the two attorneys and the judge. It was apparent that the judge was annoyed by my attorney's insistence that the trial dates be congruent with my schedule. He was a man who would waste no time.

My mom, sister and I filed out of the courtroom and sat down on molded plastic chairs. I watched my attorney as he spoke ardently with the prosecutor and officer for several minutes. As time went on, the conversation became more relaxed and at the end, he even clasped hands with my two "foes." But still, he gave no answers.

"Alright. We're going back in. When our case is called, go up to the podium and wait. Say nothing."

Once again, I followed him into the courtroom, my mom and sister trailing behind. After a petty theft case and traffic violation, my case was called again. We made our way up to the podium and the judge addressed the city attorney,

"Have you come to a decision?"

"We move to dismiss, Your Honor."

"Agreed, Your Honor. We also move to dismiss."

"Alright then. Case dismissed," the judge announced with a slam of the gavel. "Good luck with your wedding."

I think it would be an understatement to say that I was in complete shock. The happenings of the last half hour were nearly a complete mystery to me. However, once we had filed out of the courthouse and into the bright sunlight, my attorney finally explained the situation. The judge got very impatient when it became apparent there would be a potential delay in the trial proceedings. He invited the attorneys to the bench to explain the situation. My attorney explained that there was a great likelihood of my success at a trial because there was evidence that the officer had not uncovered or reported the case thoroughly or accurately (i.e. the fact that I had driven to work in the dark the day of the call and could have missed the scrape before that afternoon.) In this explanation, it also became apparent that the city attorney was very ignorant of some of the evidence and facts. Here is an excerpt of written correspondence from my lawyer that arrived after the hearing:

"The judge indicated to both parties that...if this was an unlawful and/or improper charge, he was going to be tremendously angry at the city. Also, he indicated that if you were not being truthful, he was going to be tremendously angry at you. With that, the judge suggested that we speak with Officer X, who happened to be in the courtroom for other matters.

I spoke with Officer X in a manner perhaps only I can speak to him. I don't mean to sound conceited. As I told you from the beginning, I have a long-standing history with him. The city attorney also spoke with him. In the end, the city attorney moved to dismiss this case."

Bottom line: The city attorney had walked into the situation with minimal information and only went on Officer X's word. Officer X, according to my attorney, had quite a history of trying to put cases like mine through the system. Among many locals, he was known to be a bully. He walked into my situation, saw all the pieces weren't put together, and immediately decided I had lied. He then tried to intimidate me into admitting his conclusion. And intimidated I was...enough to flee the parking lot in search of help so he would not drag me away!

As the case progressed over two months, it became clear that he knew he did not have all his ducks in a row. He initimidated my mother over the phone and tried to get me to take a polygraph to "prove" my innocence. Fortunately, he did not get his way. Unfortunately, it cost me $1500.

As with all trials and tribulations, this one affirmed truth and led to personal conclusions.

Affirmed Truths

1. Romans 8:28, Proverbs 3:5-6
No matter what happens, God's hand is in the situation. I truly believe there are no coincidences in life. It was uncanny that out of all the lawyers I could have called, I ended up only making only one call to one lawyer who was the self-proclaimed archnemesis of Officer X. He vowed to see this through and see that Officer X would not bully another person into an unjust conviction. Many little things in that hearing came together to bring about my case's wedding date, an impatient judge etc. God is the very definition of justice and the supreme advocate. I don't think any human could have brought all those circumstances together in such a way.

2. Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints. -The Divine Praises
The day after the incident (October 1st) is St. Therese of Lisieux's feast day. She is my patron saint and I am confident she advocated for me in prayer from heaven. I also learned a lot about and grew close through prayer to St. Thomas More, a man who was also unjustly accused and executed. Last, but not least, friends and family were there for me with listening ears and prayerful hearts. Without all of the support from loved ones, it would have been very difficult for me to make wise decisions and stay sane.

Personal Conclusions

1. If at all possible, do not make a police report alone!
2. Not all officers can be trusted. Before this incident, I had always had a blind trust of police officers...protectors of those who cannot protect themselves, right? This situation showed me that there is corruption everywhere and one must be on their guard.
3. As a rule, do not run away from police officers.
4. Our justice system has flaws i.e. the "good ol' boys network" is still alive and well in many small towns. (I firmly believe the city attorney put that bogus warrant through as a favor to Officer X.)
5. MOST IMPORTANT: Stick to the truth, no matter what. Our conduct has far-reaching and eternal significance.
6. Forgiveness is necessary for peace. I needed to work through the forgiveness process with Officer X. Some may say that forgiveness means saying what the person did was OK. Not at all. Forgiveness acknowledging the wrongful act and releasing this person from anger, bitterness, resentment and contempt, and thereby releasing yourself from those chains as well. Reconciliation was never my intent, but forgiveness and letting go of the anger was essential.

And now, four years later, I am thankful and happy to say I can look back and smile because God worked everything out for my good and the good of the community...Officer X is retired and off the street!

Friday, September 19, 2008

36 Weeks and Lovin' Every Minute of It

"Lovin'" might be a bit strong, but here's the latest belly shot.

Beat this, Jim Halpert.

If you're a fan of "The Office" , you'll recall at least some of the pranks character Jim Halpert has pulled on Dwight. This, however, trumps anything on that show. Wow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Civic-gate: Part II

The thing that really perplexed me about this whole situation was Officer X's "You're a liar" accusation. What was it that led him to believe that I was lying?

The day after the incident, I called the Chief of Police and was able to get more information. Apparently, the scrape on my car's body was not parallel with the scrape on my wheel and hub cap, leading the officer to believe that the tire had rotated and the car had been moved. Therefore, my story about the car not moving at all since being hit made no sense. Very well. However, I had driven to work in the dark that morning and my car was parked on the street, scrape side out, the night before. It is totally feasible that I would have missed the scrape. However, Officer X's investigation did not get that far.

Fast forward one week. Through a family friend, I got a list of three lawyers who may be able to help me. The first one I called was my guy. When I told him my story and the name of the officer involved he told me that he was this man's archnemesis. In his words, "If Officer X is Lex Luther, I'm Superman."

Once the officer got word that I had a lawyer, he communicated that he would be willing to drop the charges if I passed a polygraph. The proposition was tempting. I was three months away from our wedding and a move to New York. The sooner and cheaper I could get out of this mess, the better. However, my lawyer advised against this. The polygraph was sort of a sham because its results did not pertain to the actual charge (Resisting a Police Officer), and they are not even admissable in court. It was really to serve the officer's interests. If I passed, I would be out of his hair. If I failed, he would feel justified in his charge and the way he treated me. In the end, I decided against the polygraph. My lawyer and I went forward with pursuing a trial by jury.

The day of the pretrial hearing dawned sunny and bright. My mom came to town for support and my sister came to the courthouse, since it was close to the campus where she attended college. We all sat in the back of the courtroom, waiting for the gavel to come down, so to speak. When my case came up, the judge got right down to business in setting jury selection...for the day of our wedding. The next day he suggested was in the middle of our honeymoon. My lawyer was insistent that this was not acceptable. The judge became impatient and called both my lawyer and the prosecuting attorney to the bench. After some heated conversation, both lawyers left the bench. As the prosecutor left the courtroom, my lawyer told me to go out to the lobby and wait. His parting words were, "I think we've got 'em."

To Be Continued...

Chipmunk Chomper

Warning! Sad picture of little rodent!

Generally speaking, Buck is a gentle beast, but, we were reminded today that he is still a beast. Here is what he caught in the yard this evening

May it rest in peace.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Civic-gate: Part 1

The house is mostly set up now, so we're getting to those last few boxes...picture frames, wall art, candles, etc. Each box is like a project in and of itself. While rooting through one of these Project Boxes I found a manila envelope labeled "Legal Case 2004." It contained many handwritten notes, legal correspondence and even a warrant for my arrest. It's the four year anniversary of what I like to call "Civic-gate."

I've told the story of my criminal charge numerous times over the past four years, but just yesterday, I found that my story has been inaccurate. For some reason, I thought that the charge was falsifying a police report. But no. The warrant was issued for my attempt to resist a police officer. Here's the real story.

In September of 2004, I was living and working at a local recreation center as a lifeguard. One particular day, I left for work during the dark hours of the early morning. I parked my car in the rec center lot and went into the building. I did not leave the building until the late afternoon. As I approached my car in the lot, I saw a long scrape, parallel to the ground on the driver's side. I immediately surmised that my car had been hit in the lot and no one reported it. I followed my instincts and went inside to tell my supervisor. She suggested calling the police to file a report. Once the police had been called, I went back out to my car to wait for the officer. Once he arrived, I told him that when I went to work, my car was fine. When I came out, this large scrape was on it. He looked at the car and asked for my license and registration. He then began to question me. Here's a basic idea of how the conversation went:

Police Officer: Did you leave work at all during the day?
Me: No.
PO: Did anyone else have keys to the car?
Me: No.
PO: Did anyone borrow the car?
Me: No.
PO: Was I sure that the car had not been moved at all?
Me: Yes.
PO: You're a liar.

That was when things started to go awry. I told him that I was not a liar. I did not know what else to say. I had told him all that I knew and I had no other story. He continued to insist that I was a liar and that he was going to put a warrant out for my arrest.

I panicked.

The only contact I had to that point with an on-duty police officer was the D.A.R.E. program in fifth grade and being pulled over for running a red light three years prior. Being told that I was going to be arrested was a whole new experience. I knew I needed help so I ran into the building to get my boss to back me up. I thought, "She's a city employee. Maybe he'll listen to her."

By the time I tracked her down and we went out there, he had snapped photos of the car and left with my license and registration. I ended up having to drive down to the precinct to pick up my paper work. I asked to speak to the officer, but he refused. The only advice/help my boss would give me was, "If I were you, I'd get a lawyer."

I laid awake for a long time that night, waiting for Officer X to bang on my door and haul me away in the Paddy Wagon.

To Be Continued...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Where's the justice??

Check out this article highlighting the 10 Most Obnoxious Fan Bases in college football. I knew that Michigan would be close to the top (#2), but Ohio State is only #7. Honestly. Any team with fans who burn couches in the streets, spell the name of the worst state ever with their arms as a battle cry, and parade around in jewelry made of of dried and shellacked buckeye nuts needs to be in the top three.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Here it is! A functional kitchen sink. *Sigh of Relief*

Monday, September 8, 2008

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

Last week, I had a little mishap in the kitchen. While rinsing dishes, the sprayer nozzle on the sink catapulted into the air and a fountain of water ensued, drenching me and anything else within a two foot radius. It probably wouldn't have been that bad if my reflexes were a little more cat-like, or at least less like that of a Tired Pregnant Lady (TPL). I mopped up the mess and battled underneath the sink to feed the sprayer hose back through the impossibly small hole so that it would not gush water all over the floor everytime I turned on the faucet. Did I mention that while this was going on, I should have left the house for mass 10 minutes prior?

Kevin's parents came to town a couple days later, and Mr. Fix It/Dad in Law made an attemtp to find the part we needed to replace, which is apparently unavailable at most home improvement stores because it's an obscure German make of faucet. So, the hose remained jammed into the drain and liable to pop up and spray any innocent person who so dared to turn on the water...until today.

Kevin and I decided it was time to replace the kitchen sink and all its various entities. We went to Lowe's, picked up everything we needed and scheduled one of their folk to install the sink. The plumber came today, ripped out our old sink and its accoutrements only to find out that the sink we bought will not fit in the hole cut into the Corian counter. We have three options: find a sink that will fit, get someone to cut the Corian hole bigger, or just live with a kitchen in which everything is functional but the kitchen sink. After the recent oven/range installation fiasco (read: delivery guy cutting himself and bleeding on our kitchen floor, new range sitting in the middle of my kitchen for two days, cutting Corian, grinding Corian, knotching wood floors and wiping every spice jar I own because it's covered in Corian and saw dust), the TPL in me was ready to just leave the room like this:

Sane Andrea overode the TPL and I made the trek to two different Lowe's locations to purchase the sink we are pretty sure will fit into the gaping hole. Say a prayer folks. If you see a picture of another gaping hole tomorrow, you'll know the TPL won out...big time.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Palin Rocks the Convention

Did you miss Governor Palin's speech?? Check it out here. It really was fresh and dynamic and I am excited about her! She has real, grassroots experience in fighting corruption and the political status quo, not to mention she is a champion for family life! Love it.

One of my favorite parts of the speech was when the camera showed Palin's youngest daughter, Piper, licking the length of her palm and using it to smooth his hair into a modified "comb-over" style. Too cute.

When Fun Leads to Fraying

The Tired Pregnant Lady is back.

This weekend was a fun one, but oh-so-busy.
Friday: a little bit of birthday picnicking at a friends house with a lot of this.

Saturday: tail-gating and Michigan opening home game viewing at a friend's place close to campus. Here's hoping we'll see some wins this season, even if RichRod doesn't have the arsenal he needs for the spread and appears in this picture to resemble a snake oil salesman.

Sunday: Holy Canning! My mother and grandmothers are expert canners, but this was my first experience with it. 6+ hours of work with great friends yielded a heck of a lot of these:

Monday: Kevin's parents drove down and went to the Detroit Tigers Yankees game with us. It was sweltering, not so easy for the Tired Pregnant Lady, but I'm glad we were able to make it Comerica this summer. We heart the Tigers!

This weekend left me a bit ragged. I realized that it can be hard work having friends and family close by. For 3+ years, Kevin and I were rather isolated and we had abundant time to ourselves. I don't think I'm used to cultivating a balance between time by myself, time with God, time with Kevin, time with family and time with friends. Whereas I used to pray we'd have something fun to do over the weekend, I'm now thinking we need to be jealous with our time, being sure to earmark time for just the two of us and time for solitude.

Activity, whether its getting settled at the house or meeting with friends or running off to a family event are not bad, but I am reminded (by my exhaustion and fraying nerves) of the need to evaluate and say "NO" when necessary. Here's to the need for rest, especially for Tired Pregnant Ladies.