Saturday, August 28, 2010

In Celebration Of...My Birthday!

It's my birthday! I'm planning to celebrate ALL DAY LONG! Wahoo! I'm especially excited to see: 

My sisters: Lydia and Marianna. Photo Taken by Tupelo Photography

I hoping to enjoy some of these:

And, finally, I will be dining at one new restaurant: The Treehouse. You can read about it at Southern Flourish's blog.

It is going to be a good day!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Part 2: Answering your questions.

(continuing the follow up from when I said you could ask me..ANYTHING!)

Heather asked about my MOST embarrassing moment.

Is it lame to say I don't have just one? That's because I get embarrassed ALL THE TIME! Ugh. It is horrible. So, lately, I've been wallowing in the embarrassment of:
1. Answering the phone at work...IN A WHISPER. Who does that?
2. Saying the wrong thing. Pronouncing the wrong word. Oh.My.Word. It happens more than I'd like to admit.

Heather also asked: "What would be your favorite vacation spot?

I love vacations. Really, I do. So, hands down, I adore any moment I can be in Washington D.C. There is no spot that melts my heart like that beautiful place. I L-O-V-E it. Really, I do.
My dream vacation spots include:
Europe (Especially, Italy, Greece, England, France and Spain, but not intentionally leaving any place out, either)
California ( screams beauty. And, I want to be there. Plus, it will help their economy, too, right?)
Prince Edward Island, Canada (gimme some of that Anne of Green Gables heritage, PLEASE and THANK YOU)
A beach.  (Any where. Leave off the oil, please.)
India. (It won my heart a long time ago)

I'm saving Lydia's mentionables for last. Which means, I'll get to that tomorrow!

But I do want to discuss, Mario's comment. (aka, Dad!) My previous marriages.

Let me preface this by saying, I never realized how my past would catch up with me until I married Ben. All before the age of 13, I was a very busy woman. I ran through these marriages so quickly, there have been a lot of jokes made regarding Ben. So, let me introduce you to the "men" (cough, cough) who won my heart.

At age 6, it was a tall, thin, and bent man. He loomed over me. I had to help him stand. He didn't do much for me. He was a stick. A mere limb from a tree. And, I thought I loved him. But, we didn't last long. He broke it off. Really, he did.
From the age 6 through 8, I was devoted to a burly-beast of a man. Who only wore the same purple shirt. All.THE.Time. But, I didn't mind. Purple was my favorite color. He had a huge kiss mark on his face. I always pretended it was from me. And, his name was Joe. Joe the Monkey. He was an oversized stuffed animal that I could barely tote around, but adored. Our break up was traumatic. It was classic Romeo and Juliet. Torn apart by our parents, he left silently. That was the only time I remember my mother lying to me. The day she told me the movers - who I thought were my FRIENDS - took Joe away. I've been suspicious of moving companies ever since.
At age 12, it was a final attempt for a secure marriage. I married Red. He had a long-golden mane of hair. He was older, wiser and very kind. He liked to hunt. But, had this thing for crawling around on all fours. They say, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." I'm here to say, that I left him to stay in Tennessee. He promised that if I went away, he'd never breathe a word of our rushed marriage. He kept his word. But I kept going back - he lived at my friend's house. Mostly, because it was her family's golden retriever dog. I married a dog and I've never been allowed to forget it.
Age 25 - I wised up. I married a human. He is great. Far better than my "Ex's", that is for sure. Our marriage hold far more potential, far more foundation to last. ;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Part 1: Answering your questions.

(In kicking off my birthday week (my birthday is in 3 days!), I thought it would be fun to find out...what you what to know about me. Ask me anything, and I will answer. This is the beginning of me answering those questions.)

Heather asked:
I think you should post your most embarrassing moment as well as a few favorite memories from childhood that shaped who you are today! :)
Today, I will skip the most embarrassing moment, but I will be back to that. Today, I want to talk about memories from my childhood that helped shape me into who I am today. 

He doesn't even remember saying it. But, I was 15 years old, and I definitely remember hearing it. It was my 15th birthday, and my dad said: "Well, congratulations. You are 15. You now have the next 10 years to figure out who you will be, what you will become. Good luck."
Dad had no idea how that singular comment would send me into a spiral of frenzy. WHAT?!?! Only 10 years? I calculated the milestone events in my life - high school graduation, college, graduate from college, start my career. DEFINITELY NOT a lot of time. 
He had no idea how that one comment would be instrumental in shaping my life. How I would repeat that one statement over and over again as I counted down the years (only 9 years left, only 5 years left, only 6 months left)...But, my sister and best friend, Lydia remembers. She remembers how I spent a lot of time agonizing over that deadline. How when she turned 15, Dad said nothing. And then, for the 6 more kids following her, He didn't say a word. Only to me. And, he didn't even remember saying it to me. 
Last year, I turned 25. The milestone year. The year I had been planning towards for 10 years. And, I was satisfied. Sure, I'm still becoming who I am, but the core essence of my being is established. All thanks to a dad who made a random comment that changed my life.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Attention! Decorating Overload RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. 

Oh. My. Word. My creative juices are flowing....(now only if my available money flowed as quickly)

Start off and feast on this - Habitually Chic

Then, mosey on over to - The House of Wood (Jen also is an indie music artist!)

After you have listened to Jen's music and enjoyed her various blog posts, skip over to - Coco + Kelley 
Need a new magazine to enjoy and don't have the funds? NO PROBLEM! Enjoy Lonny.

Now. Go enjoy a cupcake because your brain is on creative overload...all thanks to me!

(ps - in case you are curious, I will begin to address all the questions from this morning's blog beginning tomorrow. there is a TON to discuss!)

Kick Off to My Birthday Week....

Its my birthday week. Yes, I'm one of THOSE annoying people who count down to their birthday.

(If you must know, my birthday is 4 days away!!!)

So, let's start off by talking Here are a couple of things you may or may not know about me.

1. I love L-O-V-E.
Not just because I'm married to an incredible man, but because I love hearing others' stories of how they found love. Is there any better story to be told? It is really incredible to me that the Creator of Love would put a longing, a hole, a desire, in our hearts to be loved. And, I'm thankful to be surrounded by many people who love me.

2. I have a growing and increasingly strong attachment to - fashion.
I cannot help that I catch my breath when I see a picture of the latest style coming down the run way.  BE.STILL.MY.HEART.

3. I am paranoid.
Which is why I get up an hour and 15 minutes before work to make sure I'm NOT late.

4. I care deeply.
Ben's step-mom has GOT to stop posting pictures of abandoned animals on Facebook. It is absolute torture. Um, HELLO, we have a $500 pet deposit which is a great hindrance to my rescue cause.

5. I talk in storybook form.
Believe me, the way I talk on the blog - like we are two friends yapping away at a coffee shop - is EXACTLY how I talk in person.

6. I NEVER exaggerate.

7. My name.
I love my name. A lot. I think this comes mostly because my parents did NOT name me until THREE DAYS after my birth.

In honor of my birthday celebration, what else do you want to know about me? Leave a question(s) in the comments, and I will answer them.

Friday, August 20, 2010


This morning, I woke up refreshed.

Which, is quite the statement. Lately, I've been working long hours, many hours...for the last couple weeks. It's gotten tough. I've gotten stressed out. So, when I clock out and go home, I let the stress go. Well, sorta. It comes out messy. I make everything bigger and worse than they actually are. I cry. A lot. And, to be honest - sometimes, I think that the world is falling apart.

This week, my stress has brought out some strange things in me. Like, waking up in the middle of the night to convince Ben that I needed a puppy. Specifically, THIS puppy. And, that this puppy (who I would name Mopsie) needs me. And, then I was rude to a friend of mine. Who, in return, promptly bossed me around. I was shocked, but it was exactly what I needed!

Then there is Ben. Who listens as I make a situation seem bigger and more ridiculous than it actually is and nods his head as I ramble on. Who holds me while I cry. Who helps me keep the perspective that maybe, just maybe the world isn't falling apart. Ben knows what I need when I can't see past my stress. It is so comforting to know that the man I married is INCREDIBLY thoughtful.

Several nights ago, Ben planned a girls night for me with my closest girlfriends. It was a complete surprise. He reserved pedicures for me, for my friends, because my birthday is coming. Because I had never had a pedicure before. It was blissful. It was relaxing. It was fun. And, I'm not sure if my jaw hurt from laughing so much or talking so much! It was perfect. I let my stress go. But, more than that...I felt loved. By my friends who traveled and sacrificed their evenings for me. By Ben. Especially. Sometimes, I wonder how I lassoed this man who knows how to plan and make moments perfect while leaving me speechless and feeling oh-so-loved.  But, I'm not complaining. My toes look good. My heart is lighter. And, I'm keepin' Ben for the rest of my life!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Dear Ben, 
Today, I found this note from you. Guess what? These months with you, as your wife, have been nothing short of AWESOME! I'm excited that we have the rest of our lives with each other. For celebration, I thought we would enjoy the best ice cream ever - birthday cake ice cream! Thanks for being the best husband. Ever. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Thoughts On Ice Cream Trucks


Please. PLEASE. PLEASE tell me I'm not the only one in the entire universe who finds ice cream trucks creepy?

(This is were you nod your head in agreement like a bobble head).

In the last couple of months, I have come to observe ice cream trucks. A lot. Ice cream trucks come in and out of our neighborhood. And, my conclusion? THEY ARE FREAKY! In fact, I find  them so unsettling, I have made a list of WHY they are just so horrible.

1. Don't take candy from strangers.
Remember when we were kids and our parents would say - "If a car pulls up and the person offers you candy (or ice cream) RUN AWAY..."???

2. Stay away from Kidnap Vehicles.
Haven't you ALWAYS thought that those creepy vehicles ARE WEIRD?

Health rating. How long have those ice cream treats been in THAT truck? Did that ice cream truck driver WASH HIS HANDS?

Of course, I have a very logical response to ice cream trucks. I do the most natural thing ever.

I run and hide. I stay in my car. I stay in the closet.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ben's...I mean, MY...Love Affair...With Football.

Football Season is here. What's that? You didn't know? It's okay. I only know because Ben has been talking about it nonstop. And dreaming about it. Speaking of dreaming, let's discuss Ben's dreams. Mainly because they involve me. And two Falcon football players.

Kerry Meier

Brian Finneran
Now, that you've visually met these two guys, let me privy you to what happened the other day.
(Early in the morning)
Me: Good Morning, Baby. (All lovey-like)
Ben: OH.MY.GOSH. I just had the WORST DREAM EVER.
Me: Oh, I'm sorry. (I attempted to snuggle with him)
Ben: I dreamt you were cheating on me with Kerry Meier and Brian Finneran.
Me: WHAT?!? (thinking: who in the world are those guys? then: HE THINKS I'M CHEATING!) BEN! I'm very happily married...TO YOU.
Ben: I know, but MAN! That was a weird dream.

Two days later: (while watching the Falcon's Pre-season football game)
Ben: Can you believe I had a dream that you cheated on me?
Me: I wish you would stop talking about that. It's SO weird.
Ben: I mean, have you seen those guys?
Me: Pause while I google.
[Silence as I google]

Clearly, Ben does not get my type. Clearly.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Reflecting Seasons

"Wow. Can you believe we've been married for 7 months?" Ben paused. "I mean, its like we are real-married people!"

I laughed at his comment that seemed so silly, but realized quickly how much truth it held, as well. Sometimes, being married to Ben is similar to a dream. I don't simply enjoy marriage, I enjoy being married to Ben. Sometimes, it doesn't seem real. I mean, we have SO much fun. Together, especially. I mean who else could I giggle and flirt my way through small group with? Or who else would race me up the stairs of our apartment - just to see who wins? And who else would suggest getting ice cream at 9:45pm - 15 minutes before the ice cream shop closes?

They say its best to go through each of the four seasons before you marry someone. But they also say when you know, you KNOW. Which is how it was for us. And, which is why we couldn't wait for fall to freeze into winter, then winter bloom into spring, then spring glisten into summer. The time was right away, the time was now.

Experiencing each season with Ben has been incredible.

We've overcome the coldness of winter. Literally. We've laughed and cried our way through freezing temperatures that froze our Taco the light of a movie that illuminated the warmth of our breath.

We've clung together during the spring which challenged us financially.

We've enjoyed the summer of adjustments. A summer of fun; such as playing in the neighborhood pool and having more fun than all the kids there. Yes, they all stared in confusion at the two "adults" who laughed and played.

Now, fall will be here soon. And, for me, its bittersweet (I adore summer), but I'm excited. This fall, Ben and I will make s'more, watch football, carve pumpkins...together. The fall holds a new season for us to experience and love and grow deeper together. And, hopefully, that feeling of just realizing we are "real married people" won't truly hit us...yet. We are having too much fun living life!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Keepin' Our Love...Fresh.


He is my favorite subject on the blog. (WHAT? You DIDN'T catch that?!?!)

Our marriage is young (HUGE high-fives for 7 months of marriage!!)...but we are have learned that marriage is hard work. We have to work hard to keep our connection alive, our love new and our friendship fresh. Sounds, easy...RIGHT?

Ben does a lot of things to show me how much he loves me. And, daily, I find myself overwhelmed how lucky I am to be married to SUCH a great man. Really. I'm SOO lucky.

That said, here are some fun inspirational ideas of how to keep your marriage/relationships fresh.

Capture Moments...IN a Photobooth.

Start A Love Letter Journal! 

We don't have marriage all figured out, but we try really hard to have a lot of fun, to keep our friendship strong and our love smokin'! Use these suggestions as a way to keep love alive. 

Friday, August 6, 2010


Confession: I have an obsession.

I am obsessed with this blog. Seriously, I am. And, today, I realized just how freakin' bad this obsession is. Today, I kept count of the number of times I thought of my blog, my readers, and what I was going to write next.
I lost count. HELP! I might need therapy. 

I do know that I have, in fact, thought of all of you and my blog and the next subject of my blog at two make that THREE distinct times.

1. The shower. Approximate time: between 6:15-6:45 AM! While I was scrub-a-dubbing it up and in the midst of having of decide: Do I want to smell like Lavender and Chamomile or Coconut and Lime? And, should I have REALLY bought 'messy-tousled look' shampoo for this already crazy hair of mine? I thought of my blog. AND my readers. (Are you wondering WHY IN THE WORLD you read my blog? If not, don't worry - I'm wondering for you. Thank you for flattering me with your attention.)

2. Lunch by myself. Yes, I am have SUCH confidence in myself as a woman that I go to lunch at nice places by myself. I enjoy every second immensely. Oh, wait? What is that? Okay, you caught me. I had lunch with my Blackberry. Either way. It was BLISSFUL.

3. The-moment-I-stood-on-a-kitchen-chair-announcing-to-the-world-I-HAVE-NOTHING-TO-WEAR-and-then-Ben-laughed-at-me. Otherwise known as: More Days than I'd like to admit. Either way, it makes good blog material.

Oh, yes. I have a serious issue. Thanks for putting up with me. It gives me food-for-thought. (Ha!)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Jam and Jelly Aisle

Several days ago, Ben and I went grocery shopping. I l-o-v-e grocery shopping with Ben. We have a system. We contemplate the same things: What cereal should we buy? Which coffee flavor? I teach Ben how pick out the best watermelon. And, he teaches me how to buy the most meat for the best price. We hold each other accountable - "Noooooo, we do NOT need ice cream. Even if it IS buy one get one free."

But the other day, Ben went to get butter. When he came back he found me standing in front of the jam and jelly aisle. He said nothing. I guess he could see this was a serious moment in my life.
I take finding the perfect jam very seriously. It goes back to my childhood. My mom would only EVER buy grape jam. No matter how I presented an impressive presentation of WHY raspberry, blackberry, APRICOT was better than grape, we STILL left the grocery store with grape.
I know, I know, I lived QUITE the troubled childhood.
So, NOW. NOW that I'm grown. I take my time in the jam and jelly aisle. I contemplate all the flavors. I consider what would taste the best on toast, in a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich (my favorite!). Then, I slowly make my choice.
My most recent choice - Blueberry. Wow. Its awesome.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Forgiveness and Marriage

Today, I snapped. It wasn't pretty. Today, I came home and scorned Ben. With a face that was  FAR worse than cute pout. Today, I didn't give Ben a kind word. Not even when he held me. Not even when he said everything would be okay. Not even when he brought lunch to the table.

Today, I was mean.

I'm embarrassed to admit that today I had a bad day. I'm not embarrassed to admit I had a bad day. I'm embarrassed to admit I took my bad day on Ben.

But. I asked for forgiveness. And, Ben forgave. It was one of the highlights of my day.

Why? Because...Forgiveness is a beautiful part of marriage.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Bachelorette

Some girls watch the Bachelorette to watch a love they imagine. A love they want. A love they are missing.

I watch it because I love the drama. Really, I do. I LOVE laughing at these men who become ridiculous wimpy men - who cry, who get all mushy. I love watching the tears. The heartache. I love analyzing who is going to say what, who is going to do what. I know, I know. Its sad. I can't help I love the DRAMA!

But, you know, I'm the lucky one. Really. I am. Because I have a man who curls up on the couch and rubs my feet. Watches my shows with me.

I'm married to the man who pulls me into his arms and holds me as I fall asleep. I'm in love with a man that doesn't need to prove his love to me on an island. But, instead shows me love every day - in the small ways, in the big ways.

All, that said. I'm lucky. I know.

But Ali made the wrong choice. But, then again, I ALWAYS think they make the wrong choice.