the road goes on forever

Wednesday, September 25: Write about a time you screwed up - a mistake you made. 

 One fall semester, I had a technical writing course.  It was sooooo easy that I seriously did not lift a finger that whole class.  I knew that as long as I showed up for the final exam and basically wrote my name I would get an A.

Robert Earl Keen was playing at "Roadhouse Rubys" (I think?) If you went to a Texas university and had any friends in any sort of fraternity or sorority, you loved Robert Earl Keen.  And Pat Green, Cory Morrow, Jack Ingram, Cross-Canadian Ragweed, the Great Divide, etc.  To this day, if I am in a bad mood, I will put some Pat Green on and sing along to the top of my lungs.  Anyway - I went to the REK concert and had waaaaay too much fun.  I was over-served. ;)

I'm sure I set my alarm, but I did NOT wake up in time for my final exam.  I may have been doing well in the class, but a zero would have fixed that....

Fortunately, I had chatted with a girl all semester and made a friend.  She finished her exam pretty quickly and as soon as she left the room, she called me.  (on my home phone - ha!) I guess I had gotten enough sleep at that point and managed to hear it ring.  She was all, "Um - are you going to come take your test?"  I probably mumbled "Oh my gosh, thank you!" and hung up on her.  I don't know if I even brushed my teeth, but I made it to my exam - over an hour late.  The professor let me take it (thank you!) and all ended well.

Moral of the story - don't be a fool and go out partying the night before finals.  But if you do, make sure you have some friends in the class.



Friday, September 20: React to this term: comfort. 

When I think of "reacting," I imagine that I need to say the first thing that comes to mind. So if I'm reacting to the word comfort, here are the first 2 things I thought of:

1. My mom's "hobo casserole." I don't think that is what we called it - I'm pretty sure my sister-in-law named it that out of pure disgust. It was potatoes, hot dogs and celery in a white roux. I'm guessing it evolved out of desperation one night when my mom realized she had to feed a family of 7 and only had a few potatoes, one hot dog and a stalk of celery. She made it work - and to this day, I bet my siblings and I would fight over who gets the most pieces of hot dogs on our plates. Memories of that one meal (always served in a 5 qt silver Dutch oven) remind me of home, of family, of warmth, of comfort.

2. Ill apologize in advance to my dad or brothers reading, but the other thing that came to mind is the beautiful action of unhooking my bra each night. Ahhhhhhhh - comfort.


a tale of roasted figs

Thursday, September 19: Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: "To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century."

To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.  Why on earth had I decided to plan this event?  It started innocently enough, I swear.  As I started getting things ready, I was certain it was destined to be a train wreck.  With carnage. 

I tugged on the thickest socks I could find and put my heels on.  I started clunking around the house, standing on my tippy-toes and basically trying to turn my feet every which way.  What was I thinking when I bought these?  Yes, they were amazing shoes.  But yes, they were also way too tight.  This wasn't going to be the sort of party where I could kick my shoes off once people got comfortable, so I knew I had to break them in if I wanted to wear them.  Sure - I had other shoes I could wear, but let's face it... appearances counted tonight and everyone knows that shoes can make all the difference. 
I hobbled my way into the kitchen, stopping to turn up the music along the way.  "Alight, already we'll all float on...." It doesn't matter how many times I hear that song, I always sing along to the top of my lungs.  
I  poured myself a glass of wine and propped my iPad against the tile back-splash.  I ignored my crumpled toes and scrolled to the roasted fig and goat cheese appetizer recipe I had "pinned" to my recipe board.  Her voice echoed at the back of my mind.... "Don't do anything fancy for us!  We are veggie and dip type of people!"   Yeah, right.  I'm sure she would have loved to see some Cool Ranch Doritos and crackers with a tub of spinach dip.  If I was being honest, that is what I wanted to do.... unwrap some Slim Jims, have one of those giant tubs of cheese balls and maybe something else that she would find unappealing - something chock full of GMOs, high fructose corn syrup and preservatives, just so I could hear her go on and on about how she would never put that sort of crap in her body.  But I'd gone to three different grocery stores to get the EXACT variety of figs (plus they looked delicious in the picture) so we were going to have roasted figs with goat cheese.  I had to admit that the menu I'd planned was pretty impressive, - especially on such short notice.  I only wished I would be enjoying with anyone other than this group of people.  

As I finished prepping the figs and got ready to stick them in the oven, my phone rang.  I tried to rinse the goat cheese off of my hands so I could grab the phone, but I don't move very fast when I'm wearing wool socks with 4 inch heels so I didn't get there quick enough.  I wiped my hands on the dishtowel and touched the screen to see whose call I missed.  When I saw his name, I couldn't believe it.  Why on earth would HE be calling?  "Maybe he'll leave a voicemail," I said out loud.  The 10 seconds it took for my phone to indicate that I had a message seemed like an eternity.  I had that weird feeling in the pit of my stomach and almost tossed the phone aside - why deal with it now if I could deal with it later?  But I knew I had to listen to it.  I dialed into my voicemail and prepared myself for the worst...


cameron indoor

Tuesday, September 17: A memory you would love to relive.

Man.  I just reviewied all the albums in my facebook and I don't think I can choose just one memory!  I've had some really amazing experiences, fun times, and cute kids to hang out with.

But for the purpose of this blog, I will say I'd like to relive Larry's most recent milestone birthday... primarily the gift-giving part!  I love to find the "perfect" gift, and I have to admit that I knocked this one out of the park.

Attending a basketball at Duke's Cameron Indoor Arena was something he'd always dreamed of.  So I bought him tickets and planned a trip.

Here he is opening the card I made him:

He was so confused at first, then speechless!  He was so excited, and it was contagious,

We went to North Carolina and got an extra treat when we realized the leaves were every color under the sun.  It was beautiful and every part of it was memorable.  It really was one of my favorite trips ever.


dadlee and patmom

Monday, September 16: Write a public love letter to someone in your life.

Dear Mom and Dad -

Just a quick (public) note of thanks.  I know now that I hit the jackpot when God decided I got to be YOUR daughter.  It's like I was in line to be assigned to a family and happened to be in the right place at the right time...... "As a special treat for being the 1 billionth baby this year, you get to be born to Lee and Patti!"  (insert confetti falling and angels blowing on noise-makers.)

Thank you for hiding our Easter baskets and making every holiday magical.

Thank you for pretending not to see my light on at night and letting me get lost in books.

Thank you, dad, for making me look every. single. thing. up in the encyclopedia.

Thank you, mom, for singing me to sleep when I was sick.  (and crushing my aspirin in milk or OJ when I couldn't swallow it.)

Thank you for making us eat together as a family every night, not allowing phone calls during dinner, and making us say "May I please be excused?" when we were done.

Thank you for making me wear that stupid back brace for my scoliosis and thank you for looking the other way when I just COULDN'T wear it to an event for fear that I'd be a social pariah. 

Thank you for finding money to bail me out when my bank account was $800 overdrawn.

Thank you for racking up credit card bills that you knew would take forever to pay off just so that we could travel and see our relatives. (Who knew I would get sentimental every time I pass a KOA kampground?)

Thank you for not looking at me with complete shock when I said I was going to try out for cheerleading.

Thank you for letting me wear my ridiculously short skirts but registering your displeasure nonetheless. ("The boys will definitely respect you for your mind when you're wearing THAT.....)

Thank you for giving me the freedom I "needed" and encouraging me to go ahead and live in the dorm even though college was only 15 miles from your house.

Thank you for being proud of my career path and reminding me to never say I am JUST a teacher.

Thank you for understanding when I decided I was going to try to make my way in the "big city," miles away from family.  

Let's be real - I could (and should) go on and on.  But instead, I will just thank you for being parents that I could never thank enough.  For being parents I am so proud to call my own. 

As you so poetically stated in my senior yearbook, " I thank my God every time I think of you." (Phil 1:3) It is my turn to say "ditto."  I hope you know how much you are loved and what a great job you've done from our perspective.   

All my love,
Your little lamb


say cheese

Friday, September 13: A self portrait

I'm barely sneaking this post in on time...

Works out well that I actually blow-dried my hair since it is my birthday.  I should have done something clever and actually drawn a self-portrait, but hey.  No rules on this blog challenge, remember?



Wednesday, September 11: Share links to your favorite online shops, preferably with a few photos of your favorite items in each shop.


I'm taking a little different direction with this prompt because I have way too many favorite online shops.  We could be here all day.  Instead, here are three things I WANT SO MUCH but will never get:

Spectrum Rug
Y'all.  This rug costs more than a car.  The size I would want is 5 figures.  Who has that much money?
I spotted this rug on some new TV game show and googled it. This is what it looks like in real life:

Gorgeous, right? 

The Florence clutch (Billy Reid for Coach)

 I saw this purse in my recent issue of Southern Living.  I kept looking it up online but it wasn't released - - - until this week. Here is the photo from the magazine that made me fall in love:

It is so simple and beautiful.  I love the pebbled blue texture and the fact that it isn't huge.  Maybe one of these days.

And finally, the kate spade new york Wickford Dinnerware collection:

Obviously I would never get these dishes because they're ridiculous.  But they are so fun and whimsical! I love the colors and think they are so classy (aside from the fact they are covered in weenie dogs.) I would also never get these dishes because the accent plates (the ones I really want) are $50 a piece.

So there you have it - a glimpse into they frivolous things I would buy if I ever got rich.


lollipop moments

Tuesday, September 10: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.

I don't know why, but I'm drawing a blank on this one.  I was having a conversation with Sarah and her husband about "lollipop moments" (watch the TED talk for more info - it basically means a moment where someone said something or did something that you feel fundamentally made your life better) and I drew the same blank.  I couldn't think of a lollipop moment.  In fact, I've been thinking a lot about this whole idea of SPECIFIC MOMENTS in my life and it bothers me that it is so hard for me to pinpoint them.

So today will be the day when my life will take a turn - I am going to be more deliberate to document and honor the people, places, ideas and moments that affect my life.

I might be ordinary, but even ordinary has a history worth remembering.



Monday, September 9: Take this short personality test and respond to your results. (at the end, find the detailed profile of your personality account - click "click to view" under "You" and "self awareness and personal growth." You can even google your type and find more info on it!)  

According to this quiz, I am an  ESFJ 

I'm almost positive I used to be an ENFJ.  I wonder if I took a more exhaustive test if I still would be.  Either way.... the ENFJ is the "Giver" and the ESFJ is the "Caregiver."  Both are pretty accurate. I find it humerous that some of suggested career paths on the ESFJ page are:

Home Economics
Child Care
Family Practice Physicians

Looks like being a Home Ec teacher was my destiny, as these photos from my facebook album seem to illustrate:

Does anyone else have pictures of themselves holding fruit platters, cleaning up a mess or making plates for people?  If not, I guess I am definitely an ESFJ/ENFJ.  (want to take a longer quiz one of these days to be sure which one.)

UPDATE- I took the full Kiersey Temperment sorter and it also says I'm an ESFJ, or "Guardian/Provider."   "ESFJs are social butterflies that value relationships, supporting and nurturing others. Never one to shy away from social events, they are often the host. They are great encouragers of teamwork. ESFJs are responsible, dutiful, observe traditions and follow rules. ESFJs have a deep concern for others and often end up as caretakers." (via)
So there you go.