Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Perhaps the constant rattling coming from the dryer at 1 am is soothing to you? Or maybe you enjoy the exercise of fishing those suckers out of the bottom of the washing machine? Or maybe you were trying to expand your collection of collar-stay piles to yet another room in the house?
But I BET your wife HATES it.
Just a heads up.
Monday, June 28, 2010
(Or two or three…)
We’re getting there slowly but surely… My goal was to be 90% packed by Sunday because I knew I wouldn’t have any time this week to pack and we pretty much only have the post-work hours of Thursday and Friday to split this joint.
I’ve already purchased the sangria with which to thank our friends who are braving the 100 degree, 100% humidity weather we’re suffering through this week to help us move.
So drink up! We’re almost there…
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I knew this had to be true when I had emails from my mom AND my sister waiting on my blackberry when I left work yesterday.
I guess they thought I’d be pretty excited about this.
(For the record, I AM. But who didn’t see this coming? C’mon.)
And while we’re talking about the Bachelor, if these are not Ali’s Top Five (which I’ve been calling for weeks), she is a whack job.
Frank “Fifty Bucks If You Can Pronounce my Last Name” Neuschaefer
Ty “Everyone Loves a Southern Boy” Brown
Chris “ABC Needs A New Photographer Because I’m Way Cuter Than This” Lambton
Roberto “I Can’t Think of a Nickname for You but I Like That You’re From Charleston” Martinez
Kirk “Fifty Bucks If You Can Find My Eyebrows” Dewindt
So, those are the guys I like, but puh-lease tell me who the heck this guy was, how he lasted so long, and whether or not he spoke a single word until this week’s episode.
(Seriously, who IS this guy?)
So, who do you predict as the winner? Who do you think will be the next Bachelor? (If you have real information, I do NOT want to know!)
Monday, June 21, 2010
In case you haven’t caught on, road trips are kind of our MO around here. So, T and I headed down to Savannah this weekend for a quick trip. (And by quick, I mean 36 hours.) I have so many brothers and sisters that when one goes home, another one says they’ll come too, so then three more chime in so they don’t miss out and... Voila! Thirty-six hour mini-reunion.
I left work at 4:30 on Friday and T and I were on 95-south by 5 o’clock, braving the infamous DC traffic. Two hours later, we’d arrived! In Fredricksburg. 50 miles away. Awesome.
We had Tyler’s fancy dancy, gotta-have-it-right-this minute iPad. And of the 1,348,673 apps available on the iPad, what does it not do? Let me type on my blog. Super awesome. So… it’s Monday and the road trip is done, but I thought I’d still fill you in on the rules and regularities of a Grassmeyer road trip.
Rule #1: Whoever is driving controls the radio. Tyler does the majority of the driving, which is great. What is not great is that his stay awake motivation is sports radio. Dan Patrick. Mike and Mike. Baseball. Basketball. Football. Even golf...on the radio. Nothing says stimulating like three hours of hushed whispering.
Rule #2: Chick-Fil-A. We don’t eat fast food that much, but we L.O.V.E. Chick-Fil-A, so it’s our dinner must on the road. No lie, I have the exits with CFAs memorized for Virginia and North Carolina. If you miss the two exits with a CFA in Virginia, you don’t get another one until Roanoke Rapids, NC and after that Rocky Mount (which only has Coke Zero or Caffeine-free Diet Coke—hello sinful). I’m serious about my #1 with a diet coke, ketchup and light mayo, no pickles. And have you tried the new Chick-Fil-A sauce??? SO. GOOD. It’s like a smoked honey mustard dollop of heaven.
Regularity #3: I take the night shift. I’m the night owl of the family, so I take the wheel somewhere between 11 and midnight and finish the drive across the South Carolina/Georgia border.
Regularity #4: Gas station coffee and candy. Judge away, but I look forward to the overly sweetened, push-a- button-to-dispense, stop-when-the-cup-is-3/4-full gas station cappuccino to carry me through my shift. This weekend, I paired it with a bag of gummy worms, which were accidently left in the car overnight. Upon discovery on Sunday, the worms had melted and re-solidified in a corner of the bag, which did not stop me from consuming pulled off chunks. Apparently eating solidified high fructose corn syrup is socially unacceptable because my husband told me I was disgusting and made me throw them away. (For the record, melted and re-solidified gummy worms taste just like fresh from the package gummy worms.)
Rule #5: Brooooooadway. Between my over-active brain that keeps me awake late at night, the coffee, and the gummy worms, I still need a little something to keep me up through the final stretches of South Carolina. This little something happens to be “Wicked,” “Rent,” and “Newsies,” in that exact order. I was born to play Elpheba, I tell ya, and T and I sing a mean “Would You Light My Candle?” duet. But only the interstate can attest…
So, if you’re ever jealous of ten hour road trips, sitting in traffic for hours on end, and arriving at your destination at 3 am…you should be! We have a blast. :)
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Dang it, I missed it. Again.
My blog-iversary was yesterday and it completely passed me by… Last year I was driving across the country on a 24 hour trek from Savannah to Colorado Springs, but this year… I have no excuse. Can you believe I’ve been blogging for 2 years? It may not sounds like much, but it seems like last week that I was sitting here thinking, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”
I’d like to do another “best of,” if for no other reason than reviewing the 2009-2010 blog season for my own reflection. It might take me a few days, though… I’m wondering if these year was as exciting as the last? I guess we’ll see…
But in other exciting news…
GUESS WHO’S HERE?
This is my sister Angie (I have two sisters—Angie and Becky), and the little jelly bean is Abigail Grace—Angie’s FIRST daughter (after four boys) and my second niece. Abby was born last Wednesday, June 10th at 3:21 am, weighing 7lbs 2 ounces! She looks a lot like Daniel (her big brother), who was also born with all of that dark hair and olive skin. She and Halley will be favorite cousins, I’m sure, and I can’t wait to watch them grow up together. (But not too fast…)
Until then…I just want to meet her!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
As you know, I’m working my way through a summer reading list. I started with The Great Gatsby, an easy 180 page read and a great way to get a quick start to scratching off the first title of my “To Read” list. But after I finished it, I was left at an intersection scratching my head on where to go next, carefully trying to space out the books I was over-eager to read with the ones I knew would be more difficult.
Until last Sunday when I was checking my blog and noticed a new comment on my summer reading post. I assumed it would be my mom or my sister, or latent comment from a regular reader.
I stopped mid-sentence on the phone with my mom as I read the final comment, realizing that Jeni Stepanek, Mattie’s mom and author of Messenger had taken the time to leave a comment.
I was shocked and flattered and humbled and excited all at the same time. (If you read this Jeni, thank you.) And I no longer needed to debate my next book: I didn’t pass Go, I didn’t pay $200, I immediately ordered the book from Amazon. All week I received shipment updates and yesterday it finally arrived!
I was a bit apprehensive to start the book, as I stated in my previous post that his life (as witnessed via Oprah) and his passing in 2004 had a profound impact on me. But I started reading this morning and have made it through the first 70 pages, albeit a few necessary breaks for the sake of my emotional stability and tear supply (Did I mention I started reading this in public, while reading at the pool? Not a good idea—don’t do that.)
Jeni was right when she hoped that I would laugh and smile just as much as I would cry (Okay, so maybe I cried a bit more than laughed… But I definitely still laughed). While the book starts off with his death and funeral, the ensuing chapters delve into the sweet relationship between a mother and son, the hard conversations they share as they each face a progressive disease, and the sweet, deep, introspective thoughts and desires of a boy wise beyond his years.
It’s been a tough read, I won’t lie. But the life of this little boy, his amazing ability to tackle hard subjects, to choose to make good out of every given situation, to get the last laugh, and to never let his disability hold him back, told from the perspective of his mom deserves every minute of my time, my tears, and my laughter.
I’ll give a full review once I’m finished, but if any of you are looking for a great book with meaning and purpose and inspiration, go grab it. And if it’s maybe too much for you, still take the time to check out Mattie’s website and learn about his life and his cause. It’s worth it.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
So, last weekend Tyler and I attended our first “Taste of the South” (TOTS) gala. TOTS is an event put on between all of the southern state societies in DC (Around here, every state has a “society,” which functions like an alumni group. They host social functions, networking events, philanthropic projects, etc…). So anyway, all of the southern state societies, from Virginia down to Florida, and west all the way to Texas and Missouri host this event. They bring in food and drinks signature to their state and the whole night is a big eat fest.
I couldn’t wait. I bought a dress. I ate salads all day on Saturday in preparation for the schmorgesborg of food. I went to the gym all week to erase any guilt. What I didn’t prepare for?
This place had NO AIR CONDITIONING. I knew this in advance, but thought “Surely they’ll have fans… Surely they wouldn’t hold an event for 2,000 people in June in a place that isn’t well ventilated.”
Well, they did.
It felt exactly what you think a poorly ventilated, air condition-less, packed with thousands of people eating, drinking, and dancing would feel like. We had a great time, it was just so. stinking. hot. Luckily, almost every state gave out fans, but that didn’t really cut it. Anytime I saw someone I knew, I thought “Please don’t hug me and touch my back and realize how disgusting I am…”
So I had this great post planned out in my head and I was going to share tons of pictures of all the food I ate, but after our initial shots taken upon entry, the camera barely came out. Between the heat, food and drinks, fans, purses and goodie bags (In addition to food, each state’s area is stocked with free goodies… Barbeque sauce, cookbooks, Moon Pies (Tennessee?)), the picture had to be really worth it to pull out.
So here’s all I got…
This was Georgia’s booth, which I thought was the prettiest. (Each state had a theme) Their food wasn’t all that exciting though—Chick-Fil-A, lots of Coca Cola products, hash browns from Waffle House (Really, Georgia… That’s the best you could do? Waffle House?). They DID have cookbooks from the DC Junior League though, which was my favorite piece of swag. And red velvet cake. Just a faraway shot of Tennessee & South Carolina’s booths. (FYI, every state seems to think they invited barbeque.)
Other fun food stuffs… Little Debbie Cakes, shrimp & grits, Krispy Kreme donuts, s’mores!, mashed potatoes, boiled shrimp. Not necessarily fancy, but definitely fun comfort food!
The parts of the night I will omit? The cheesy 70s cover band decked out in afro wigs and sequins, our miserable treck home, and my husband’s hiccups that lasted for 2 straight hours.
All in all, we had a great time. It’s always fun to have an excuse to get dressed up with friends, eat good food, and celebrate being southern! And in the end, an incredibly hot and humid room seemed fitting for a “Taste of the South.”
Friday, June 4, 2010
No surprise, I’ve been stalking Craigslist for fixer upper furniture like a…well, stalker. I found this gorgeous table for $25! Yes, $25… Just sand that puppy down, re-stain/re-paint it, and hello “Did you get that at Pottery Barn?” compliments.
But when I emailed the guy, I never heard back and the listing has since been removed… (Resounding “Booooo.”)
But I won’t let that stop me. There are plenty of pedestal tables with removable leaves out there to be found and refurbished by yours truly, so for now I’ll do what I do best. Plan.
(And ask for your opinions.)
Option #1: Re-stain said table. (FYI, staining intimidates the bejeezus out of me.)
Option #2: Re-paint said table white. (Ignore the chairs—more on that later). I like the airiness of it, but question how much I’ll like the “beach house look” of it in the dead of winter?
Option #3: Re-paint theoretical table black. I like this idea. But I wonder if I like black furniture too much and will one day wish I had some “regular” wooden furniture. Once you paint wood, it’s pretty hard to go back…
Now, for chairs. I looooooooooooove seagrass chairs. Love, love, love them. I feel like I could buy 4 and keep 2 of our current chairs for when we use the leaf. Pottery Barn’s are my favorite (shocking), but I’ve also looked into World Market, Ballard Designs, Home Decorators Collection, etc… None of them are any cheaper or prettier. FYI: wicker CANNOT be called seagrass.
Chairs option #1: Dark seagrass (Likely to be used with a stained table, don’t you think?)
Chairs option #2: Light seagrass (Can I pair these with a stained table or do I need to go white? If I go white, we’re back to the “beach house look in December” argument. To which I ask, can I slipcover seagrass chairs? Buy those pretty slipcovers for a more “Happy Thanksgiving” look?)
Option #3: Use our current chairs. Since seagrass chairs aren’t too cheap, I likely won’t be buying any right away. Our current chairs look like these, with the X back, but they’re stained a deep brown/mahogany. So, we’re back to square one. Stained, black, or white?
Let the people speak.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
[I’ll be real, I totally stole this list from Christie…]
This is my world lately. I've been...
Reading: The Great Gatsby (Yes—finally started my summer reading.)
Journaling: Via Blogger. Technology stole my bound journals a long time ago, sadly.
Eating: Fish tacos. I could eat fish tacos every day. (Don’t forget the margarita…)
Listening to: Joshua Radin. (Have you heard of him? He is excellent.)
Watching: That new Jillian Michael’s show. I like it! Great to watch on the treadmill…
Anticipating: MOVING. Moving. And moving.
Praying: For discipline. Being more intentional in my prayer life. (Ironic, yes.)
Studying: Joy… According to John Piper, with my small group.
Counting down til: ITALY. (And moving.)
Laughing: At Sue Sylvester. Every word out of her mouth…
Wishing: I had unlimited airline miles to fly all over the country and visit our friends and family. No more of this, “We really want to come visit…” business.
Planning: Our trip to Italy!!
Wearing: Lots o’ dresses. It’s all I wear in the summer… Short dresses, long dresses, spaghetti strap dresses, strapless dresses, sun dresses…
Looking for: That Pottery Barn serafina floral shower curtain. Yes, I am avoiding having to sew my own…
Thinking: “Only 8 more weeks of clinic!” But then it’s me on my own. Ru-roh.
Missing: This munchkin. And her momma, who just celebrated the big 3-0 on Monday! Wish I could’ve been there sis.
Thankful for: God’s provision—He always provides exactly what we need. Not a big ticket lottery win, but exactly what we need…
Loving: My husband! Sometimes relationships become strained during times of transition and heavy decision making, but our communication has only gotten awesome-er over the last few months. He’s the best.