Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Holding On

No one can possibly understand how much I'm loving this beautiful, wonderful weather. The last several days have been absolutely perfect. I've been rushing home so that I can run outside before it gets too dark. Sadly, my time doing that is about up since I'm coming in at dark as it is. But I'm holding on to daylight and fall air as long as I can. I do love that it's light in the morning which gives me a chance to get up and out for my workout before the day even starts. Soon, however, I suppose it will be back to the corporate gym. I'd rather be outside, but at least I have a place I can go for free. We all know I'm not the pay-for-a-gym-membership kinda girl.

I hope this wonderful weather holds out for my and J's weekend plans.

Quote de Jour a la J

Upon seeing a wedding chapel with a sign that said:

WEDDINGS! Just $450!
Gown and Tux Rental Available

My husband says:

"What? Only four hundred and fifty dollars? I don't know how much we paid but I know it was a whole lot more than four hundred and fifty dollars!"

Monday, October 30, 2006

Getting Picked Up

Today I got hit on while getting gas. I'm not trying to brag about my trophy wife status or anything (wink, wink), but the story is just too strange not to share. I suppose it's flattering to be hit on, but I'm very happily married so it doesn't mean much to me. (However, I have noticed that I've been hit on more since being engaged (which will be a year next Saturday, Nov. 4) and married in the past year than it seems I ever was before.)

Anyway, here is the story:

First of all, it's not the typical "Hey Baby! Heaven must be missing an angel...." type thing.

I pull into Pilot on my way back from lunch. I start the gas pump and go inside (I just had to have a diet cherry vanilla coke that you can make yourself!). I make my soda and go to pay. I, of course, have no cash and break out my card for the 97 cents. I stand there holding my keys while the lady processes my card and the guy behind me strikes up conversation. Not a big deal, since I talk to everyone (literally!), but it was an odd conversation:

Guy behind me: You drive a mustang?
Me: ?? (looks at him blankly) Um, no.
Guy behind me: Oh I have the same thing (nods to my key remote) and I drive a mustang.
Me: Oh, well, it must be a Ford thing.
Guy behind me: See here (shows me his key remote).
Me: Yes, that looks like mine.

Meanwhile the cashier can't make her register work so I'm still standing there. She pipes up she has the same thing and she drives a Ford. She finally hands me my receipt to sign and as I'm signing:

Guy behind me: You must have a wealthy man
Me: ??
Guy behind me: (Nods to my rings)
Me: Oh, well he used to have a healthy savings account
Guy behind me: He must be well off.
Me: (thinking to myself we just discussed I drive a Ford)
Guy behind me: That's the problem. All the pretty women have fancy rings already.
Me: (awkward laugh, thanks cashier)

Now there are several things wrong with this exchange. First of all, I'm obviously freaking wearing rings so why (Why!?) would you think it's OK to hit on me, or any married woman. Again, not a cheesy pick up thing, and it could be argued as just being friendly, but it wasn't. It was hitting. Second, this guy was not a funky old redneck that you'd expect this behavior from. He was young, attractive, dressed well, seemed to practice good hygiene, etc. So I'm left wondering why he even makes this weird conversation. I think we can conclude that the poor chap is low on the social skills. But perhaps if he'd attempt to flirt with someone who isn't wearing rings, he may get somewhere. Odd I tell you, it was just odd.

Maybe sometime soon I'll get the "your daddy must be a thief because he stole the stars from Heaven and put them in your eyes...."

A Beautiful Fall Day

Sunday was a very beautiful fall afternoon with perfect weather. I love that God gives me those wonderful days on the weekend to enjoy.

J and I made lunch for friends and then A. took some pictures of us at our house and in a nearby park. I'll post a few good ones when we get them back. She is a wonderful photographer. We are lucky to have two friends that are wonderful photographers (well, three, but considering one is in Ireland...) to take fun pictures for us. They both took extra pictures of our wedding for us, which included some of my faves, and Sec did our entire engagement session. Hopefully they'll remember the little people when they strike it big!

J and I carved a pumpkin we got from the Pumpkin Patch on Saturday. I did a fabulous little monogram on one side (with a jigsaw, none of that sissy knife stuff!) and did a cute design of different sized polka dots on the other side using a drill. J decided not to carve his but to just let it be a pretty pumpkin for the next month.

I enjoyed the time change, but instead of sleeping an extra hour, I was up early because it was bright outside. J was up too so we decided to go to the YMC (Young Married Connection) at church that we'd been meaning to try. During the summer they only met every other week and it seems that we were out of town during most of the meetings, as well as being out for town for about 5 weeks this fall. But we finally made it, and we loved it. I'm glad it worked out for us. We plan on making being part of the class every Sunday and joining a small group. We saw several couples we knew, which was nice, and so many we didn't that were super friendly to us. I also saw four (4!!) little pregnant women. I sat on the other side of the room!

I love wonderful Sundays with my husband.

Friday, October 27, 2006

HEY, Who took this video??

Would the guilty party who took this video, please confess?!

You were that little girl, weren't you?

Have you seen the new Volvo TV Ad Campaign (yes, I'm in advertising, auto at that, but this is going somewhere completely different, stay with me!) with the little girl? She's a doll. She has fussy, messy brown hair and a variety of colorful, mismatched clothing. She's also quite a talker.

The first time J and I saw it, he looked at me and said, "You were that little girl, weren't you?"

If you know me, judge for yourself. (And if my grandmother looks at this, your opinion doesn't count since I'm sure I know what that is!)

Yes, yes, my hubby knows me better than I ever thought. Of course, anyone reading this who knows me are all nodding in unison. You all look like a bunch of bobbleheads!

The Weekend Ahead

Look out world, Mrs. M is having a whirlwind weekend ahead. Coming up are Race for the Cure, Tinsel and Treasure, a date at the Pumpkin Patch with friends, a Birthday Party, and UT Kickoff at 7:45, and all of that is just on Saturday. Yes, I'll be up with the chickens and coming home with the cows. (Now those are some good ol' East TN metaphors for you!) Good thing Sunday is low key, I'll need it to recuperate. I'm sure it will be filled with J and playing in the garage and finishing a few outdoor projects since the weather is supposed to be nice

I think tonight may bring about a bit of shopping, and perhaps a movie. Then again, I might just need my Z's to get ready for Saturday's marathon of events.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


My husband was a busy bee last night. First, he put up all of the shutters before I even made it home from the grocery, and then he hung a new light fixture in our upstairs guest bath. It really updates the room. It's a nice black wrought iron type and looks much better than the chrome with big bulbs that we did have in there. I was so proud of him--that handy little thing!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Plum Pants

I'm so loving my new plum colored velvet pants. And if you know me, you know purples are not my favorite colors. However, these pants are rather fabulous!

They're a hand-me-ups from Mrs. O. She has the best clothes. Everything from her is Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, etc. And even better, she has a bubbly bottom and short legs so all of her stuff fits me perfect.

I've got to lose some weight now so I can have her next round of hand-me-ups. She had some dresses this summer that were way too cute!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Yesterday was my dad's birthday. Not that that is the only time I think of him, but it certainly reminds me more. I ate brownies, lots of brownies, I decided he would have wanted it that way. On the bright side, I made them with applesauce instead of oil. (He probably would not have wanted it that way!)

I'm certain I'll never get over losing my dad, and especially at such a young age. But, I think I'm finally to a point that I can accept it a little more. God had truly brought me full circle and has taught me to fully rely on him and to trust and have faith even when I don't want to and even when it sucks. I just hope I can keep his memory, zest, and vibrance alive to continually share with my little brother.

I know that he died when he did for a reason and that it's all part of God's perfect plan. I've still not seen that reason and it's hard to accept that I may never see it and may never know. It's also hard to look at my little brother and all that he lost during the first 10 years of his life and to not be so angry. But what is the point of that? Being harbored full of anger and bitterness won't give me any answers. I know that my dad wouldn't want any of us to feel that way.

Instead, I try to remember the happier times and rejoice in his life rather than be angry at his death. It's not easy, oh it's so not easy. It downright sucks. I pray that my brother will be able to do this as well. He's so young and full of life, and I don't want him to be jaded his loss. The sadness and pain never goes away, but the sweet memories don't either. I know he wants me and little brother to celebrate life, his and ours, and not mourn and grieve it away.

Plus I see my dad in so many places, in my husband, in my brother, and in the voices in my head! Seriously, I'll catch myself saying something look around thinking, "Hey Dad, quit throwing your voice!"

Tuesday Top Ten

Top Ten Things I Love To Read

  1. Jane Green, she's a favorite author
  2. Sophie Kinsella, another favorite author
  3. Meg Cabot, her stuff is rather fabulous
  4. The Nanny Diaries, story of my life for five years
  5. Better Homes & Gardens
  6. Real Simple
  7. Glamour
  8. Friends Blogs
  9. Rachel Ray Magazine
  10. In Her Shoes

and the Bonus today:

11. Cookbooks--Ok, so I don't read them for pleasure, I read them to cook from but I certainly love to cook and eat, so it counts!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Amazing Weekend

This was quite a fabulous weekend. Saturday was the most perfect football weather in the entire world. The air was crisp but the sun was out. I love those few, glorious, fall weekends with perfect weather in East TN.

And, how 'bout them vols my friends? Was that game fabulous or what? It was so fun to watch since it was anyone's ballgame the whole time. I thought I'd pee my pants near the end. J got extra tix and Ta's boyfriend L. was able to go, talk about exciting. I think that move scored J a role as groomsman.

Other events this weekend inluded painting our shutters. The shutters and door were a burgandy color and it was very faded. Besides that, J and I aren't burgandy color kind of people. So we've painted all of your shutters a great shade of blue, and are working on the doors. I'll post pics when the project is all finished.

I finally made my wedding shadow box this weekend. Let me tell you, I think I outdid myself. Considering I have more creativity in my pinky finger than most people do in their entire body (I'm not being cocky, but it is a gift), I was sure it would go well, but still, I outdid myself. I retied my bouquet to be tighter since it's been dried. I placed it in the center with the other items on the sides, but not in an asymetrical fashion, I think that's boring. I put the big bow from my bouquet seperately. I included a Save-the-Date card, an invitation (two actually, one of the front and one opened up), a rehearsal dinner invitation, a program, and my garter, handkercheif, and headpiece. I also accented with some of the polka dot ribbon I used for different stationaries and decoration. I would have included J's bout, but we aren't sure what happened to that. Oh, and there was of course a picture of the two of us. I would post a pic, but having out names plastered all over it would defeat the purpose of an anonymous blog.

I'm Mrs. M, and I Approve This Message

It's almost here, Election Day! J and I early voted last weekend. Early voting is really the way to go. The little old ladies could probably use the notebook method faster than the computers, but it's still easier than waiting until the actual Election Day. J and I did our part to keep Harry out of DC. What a spoiled brat (in the words of A's Mom from the South!). Did anyone happen to see his attempt to crash Bobby's press conference? How immature and desperate is he? Hopefully that combined with his other pointless ramblings will keep him out of the Senate.

J likes to go off on his ramblings about how certain companies like P. Corp do not use biodiesel and P. Corp heavily supports and endorses Bobby. However, just because P. Corp doesn't report what they do to the unofficial, tree-hugging, hippie biodiesel people, doesn't mean they don't use it. Besides, why does that really matter? Just because they support Bobby? Geesh!

Lastly, I support those people who say they vote on the candidate and what they stand for rather than the party. However, do you know realize that whomever is elected will follow their party's platform? That's the way these things work you know. Voting for the candidate is merely voting for personality. Frankly, I could care less about your personality as long as you get the job done right. I find that those who say this classify themselves as Independents, which basically means "I'm a Democrat and I'm ashamed of it."

No matter what your party or opinions, Go Vote!

Hey, That's my name!

Yesterday in the newspaper I saw a girl who HAD MY NAME! Not my name Mrs. M, but the name I have picked out for my future daughter. How did she get that? I made it up to name my kid after my dad, who would have been 50 years old today. And, how lucky is this, J's dad has the same name so we were totally going to kill the two proverbial birds with one stone on the fabulous name I made up. I couldn't believe it, there she was, in print, WITH MY NAME!

Of course I'm not going to post it, you'll just have to wonder. I'm not giving anyone else any big ideas to my fabulous girl name.

Quote de Jour

"I think I am just going to start telling people I can't have babies because I eat my young." --Mrs. S.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


J and I were able to go to our church this morning for the second week in a row, which is fabulous. It looks so pretty all decorated in fotter, hay bales, pumpkins and gords. I love my church.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14

Friday, October 20, 2006

Explicit Lyrics

I saw a television commercial advertising that Best Buy now has JoJo's new CD (on sale for $9.99 by the way). Being that I am in advertising I noticed the asterisk disclaimer at the bottom on the last frame of the commercial noting that the Best Buy copy includes explicit lyrics and a bonus track.

Explicit lyrics? The child is fifteen (15!!) years old! Where are her parents? She should not be singing explicit lyrics and should not be wearing clothes amplifying cleavage with sexy v-necks down to her belly button.

Seriously, where are parents these days?

The Beauty Cabinet

I used to be one of those girls with mountains of beauty paraphernalia. I wasn't/am not high maintenance. I just felt the need to have a plethora of products. Plus, it's all of those little lotions/perfumes/body sprays/etc. that you always acquire as gifts. Once during a move in college, I packed two 30 gallon rubbermaid totes and a liquor box full of beauty loot. Ridiculous, huh?

I had about 30 bottles of perfume, two extra bags of make-up, about 5 face washes and 15 other face routine products. I also had about 30 bottles/containers/tubes of hair products, about 3 extra sets of shampoo and conditioner, and 5 sticks of deodorant. I was deathly afraid of running out of deodorant in college. I often walked a couple miles a day with a thirty pound backpack in a) the sweltering southern heat and humidity, or b) the sub zero temperature wearing a large parka that caused the mid section to, um, sparkle profusely. Yes, a girl had to have a stock pile of deo. I also guesstimate about 20 miscellaneous items.

On top of this I had about 10 curling irons/straighteners, and 4 sets of hot rollers/curlers. This in addition to my 2 blowdryers (and I hate blowdryers!), set of velcro curlers, and about a dozen brushes/combs/picks. I also had a container of hair thingys (rubberbands, headbands, clips, bobby pins, etc) that I had already dwindled.

All of the above doesn't include the necessities such as toothpaste, mouthwash, contact lens solutions, and about 5 toothbrushes (hey, I have a thing for clean teeth!), and several extra q-tips, cotton balls, sponges, etc.

Again, not high maintenance, just (apparently) always prepared. I always wanted to try new stuff and often switched out my shampoo and conditioner because I'd get bored. Besides, I just didn't go buy all of this stuff one day. Most of it were those gifty items that emerge around Christmas, and consequently, my birthday. And, I'd been collecting since I was about13.

However, a couple of years ago, I changed my "keep-ten-of-everything-on-hand" ways. I finally put all of my beauty booty together and further organized (because we are talking about ME here, so it was already organized!) it to be, better than the shelves at Target. I had more than I could need or use. I pulled out the everyday products and put them easily accessible in my bathroom and on my vanity. The others I stored categorically in the cabinets. And, (gasp!) I quit buying! I bought only necessities as the old ones ran out, but otherwise shopped from my personal store beneath the bathroom sink.

Talk about saving money. I didn't buy products for a year!

When J and I moved into our house, I again took inventory. This time I decided it was time to dismiss many of the extras that I hadn't used [since I was thirteen] in awhile. I narrowed down to one blowdryer (since I've gotten better at not dropping them in the toilet), two curling irons, and only a few varieties of brushes, etc.

I also tossed makeup that mostly likely should have been tossed when I got a driver's license. I also organized the leftovers and kept extras separate, and I'm still using them, thanks to all the freebies from Clinique. I still have a back-up box that I can mostly likely dispose of since I'm not longer in college and don't need all possibilities on hand for the next themed mixer/date party/event.

I put all the travel sized items in categories in an extra drawer to be used as needed (which I've been going through at rapid speed, refer to my last few weekends of postings!). I also made a basket of goodies and necessities to keep in our guest bath for guests' use. Furthermore, I packed up all the goodies that had plenty of use left in them, just not for me (hair products that didn't work, perfume that I was over or never liked, etc) and passed them along to friends who could.

I'm proud to say that I'm down to just one bathroom with well organized and everyday goodies in little baskets and it's all stuff that I use. I still have a container of extra items that I pull from, and a drawer of travel sized goodies, but that are being used.

Now, you might be wondering why I spent a whole post talking about my beauty products. It actually hasn't nothing to do with my actually caring about the products. It's all about the neatness and organization! Everyone knows I get a high off of cleaning and organizing. This was such a fun project. [Proceed to laugh, point, and make fun now!]

Although I've always been orderly, neat, and organized, I've decided that I no longer need a stockpile of beauty items. Now, I also completely use items before moving onto new stuff. I'm proud to say I've still not had to buy many products!

Now that I'm did a beauty product makeover on myself, I suppose it's time to move to Ta's bathroom and do the same!

A Weekend At Home

Finally, for the first time in a month, J and I will be spending a weekend at home. However we will have a house full of guests using every spare bed and sofa, so perhaps it will feel much like travelling. However, we will not be driving, packing, living out of a bag, and unpacking. And I'm very excited to spend some quality time with friends while enjoying the UT vs. BAMA game. GO VOLS!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fall Break

What is the week long "Fall Break" in the middle of October all about? When I was in school (yes, back when we rode dinosaurs) we got two days for Thanksgiving and were very happy with that. But now there is a week long fall break in October, two days at Thanksgiving, two weeks at Christmas, the Monday of every President's birthday, handfuls of half day and full day inservices, another week for spring break, and then there are still 10 weeks of summer.

Why (WHY!?!) wasn't I a teacher?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tuesday Top Ten

Now that the cold weather is upon us, I seem to have much more time to do indoor things. Spring and Summer keep me busy with outdoor activities.

Top Ten Things I Enjoy During My Spare Time

  1. Reading a good book
  2. Sewing & monogramming things for our home
  3. Beading and making jewelry
  4. Scrapbooking and archiving pictures
  5. Working on my home based business
  6. Writing letters and sending cards via snail mail to friends and family
  7. Making things, anything at all
  8. Being in the workshop with J
  9. Building a fire with my husband
  10. Shopping! Gift buying and getting ready for the holidays, especially Christmas!


The United States of America population reached (drum roll please!) 3,000,000 today! It was at 2,000,000 less than fourty years ago.

I think it's time to send back some illegal aliens.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Shooting Watermelons

Saturday J and I spent with his parents since we were already in the Tri-Cities area. I spent the bulk of my day finishing up the cushions for the sofas in the den. I'd taken them so his mom could help me close up the end. Once she showed me, I felt ridiculously silly because the answer was obvious. She helped me finish them up and tuck the cording neatly together. It was very nice of her to spend so much time doing that. The cushions look great! I'm so happy the room is finished.

However, I did make it out of the sweatshop to take an official tour of the M farm. I know his parents own about a million acres "up to the ridge", but had never been there. I went 4-wheeling up with J and his dad to shoot watermelons. Yes, that's right, shoot watermelons. His family has a huge farm and grows everything you can imagine. They even have an orchard and berry bushes. There were some nasty watermelon that were rotting and were ready to shoot. (Apparently the wife won't let him pick any to shoot for fun, so he just might start poking holes in them so that they rot and he can use them for shooting purposes.)

So here we drive up to the M shooting range and I get ready. This is only the second time I've ever shot a gun. I'm a pretty pink princess, there hasn't been a lot of fun shooting going on for me. The first time was a team building project with Ambassadors when the ROTC took us to a driving range to shoot M16s. J has guns and I know they're in our house, but I didn't grow up around guns and am not really fond of them. Apparently the gun I shot over the weekend is a civilian take on an M16. Lucky for me, huh?

Having the horrible eye sight that I do and not having much shooting experience, I wasn't expecting much. Much to my surprise (and J's and his dad's) I blew up the watermelon on the first try! Yes, blew it up on the first shot! Impressive, huh? J and his dad were impressed to. J's comment was, "I'm going to start being a lot nicer at home."

My second shot didn't blow up the other watermelon, but the third shot did. I have to admit, I quite enjoyed my experience at the M shooting range and look forward to future artillery events. Don't worry, I'm still a pretty pink princess.


Finally, I can talk about all of the excitement that was for TA TA TWIN'S Birthday Friday night. I didn't want to leak any info about my even being excited so it could be a great surprise for her.

Friday was one of my very best friend's birthday. We planned a surprise party for her that was a bit out of the norm. When she showed up for the surprise, everyone was in costume, except for her of course! She was indeed surprised. So once the initial party surprised her they took her out to dinner where she awaited four "mystery guests." The mystery guests consisted of J and I, because we have such a long drive, as well as Mr. and Mrs. C who also had a long drive. We all arrived before they were seated though.
I'd convinced Ta that I had plans on Friday night but had made (fictitious) plans with her for later in the weekend so that J and I could celebrate her birthday with her and Luke. So she was really surprised when we skipped in. It was fabulous!

The costumes were great. I was a french maid. I wore my costume with jeans under since I could have been jailed if not. But I even put my garter over my jeans. It was quite a sight. J was a fireman. Ashley was a bling bling redneck, that I like to be known as Buckwild because, Justin was my favorite costume, as FLAVA FLAV!! Heidi was strawberry shortcake, and her boyfriend Aaron was a monk. Luke was Joe Dirt, and Ta, well was a pretty, pretty birthday princess forced to dine with the freaks and geeks in costume.

After dinner we all sang (long, loud, and horrible) Happy Birthday to her and had cake that I'd made for her. (I have to say, it was tasty! It's my famous Funfetti Birthday cake with pudding filling.) After that, we returned to Justin and Ashley's house (Mr. and Mrs. M to be!) and celebrated more with Ta Ta Tini's and some great 80's and 90's music. I was up well past my bedtime.

This poses the question, how can I remember all of the words to "Here Comes the Hotstepper" and "Achy Breaky Heart", but couldn't tell you a thing about college accounting?

Buckwild and Flava Flav

The stripper costumes

Joe Dirt and Pretty Princess

Friday, October 13, 2006

On the Road Again....

For the third straight weekend, I'm going to be on the move. J and I will once again be out of town, though this time it's just a couple hours drive. We are busy, busy people!

I love having so many wonderful friends and family to graciously invite us to visit, and I love a good roadtrip, but this girl is about to need a break!

Brrrrr, It's Cold Outside!

It's not even the middle of October and I had to scrape a solid sheet of ice off of my car this morning! Not the kind of ice where you can wash your windshield and get rid of it either, but a solid sheet of ice! How is it already that cold?

I enjoy the fall and winter seasons, but I never feel that transition is long enough. The couple of perfect days you get sporadically in September and October should last a good solid six weeks.

My other plight in this type of weather, is what to wear. I am not one for rushing the seasons, so I always find myself in a predicament. That being said, I couldn't put on the turtleneck sweater I felt like wearing, but I couldn't hold onto the sheer, three-quarters length shirt with a camisole either. I finally decided on a button down with a jacket.

I have more fall and winter clothes than I do spring and summer anyway. (Well, since I work in an office environment where it's inappropriate to wear mini skirts and halter tops on a daily basis in the summer, my spring and summer wardrobe largely resembles a fall and winter wardrobe but with lighter tops.) However I think it's just too early to rush the season into turtleneck sweaters. I have the same issues in the spring. At the first sight of sun, dozens of people are pulling out flip-flops, in February and March! I simply can't wear sandals until April. It's my own silly rule. Likewise, I also don't wear sandals past September. I break out the "October shoes" which are those that can be worn in warm weather without socks (pumps, ballet flats) and are a nice transition to the seasons.

Well now, there is my tangent on season changing fashion.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Targasm: Tingly sensation shoppers get when they find something really, really good at Target.


So, the 80's are "vintage" now? Are you serious? The 80's? This can't be true. I was born in the 80's. Only decades older than me are supposed to be vintage.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I can't believe that my vacation is over already, but alas, it is. It was only a 5 day long weekend, but it was very, very nice. There is something so glamorous about traveling via airplane and being in airports. I'm not sure what it is, but doesn't it just feel important and special? I'd never been thru Washington IAD until now, but it wasn't as busy as I expected it would be. I suppose I expected it to be like the streets of NYC. I love airport shopping and really enjoyed the America store. There was such great Presidential paraphernalia. I found some great W ideas for my granddad for Christmas. I was shocked to see that there was a duty free store in there as well. It was only available for international passengers. Tell me now, how does that work? It makes no sense to me.

We arrived in Central Florida late Thursday night and received a nice surprise of a rental car upgrade. Instead of driving around a shoebox sized economy car, we were cruising through cities and beaches in a Dodge Charger. Spiffy, huh? I feel like it aged us a good fifteen years. No one our age can afford to drive a Charger, and if they can, it's not the car of choice. It was rather fancy and huge inside. Seriously, J drives a full sized SUV and we felt like we were in a boat. The seat even went back too far for him. Standing at 6'1", this has never happened to him!

The Florida weather was nice, but felt like August in TN. It was in the high 80's and humid! The morning and evenings were very cool and comfortable though. We enjoyed walking on the beach (we found a jellyfish! Luckily not by stepping on it!), spending time at Jettie Park, and visiting Ponce Inlet and the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse. It was a very nice museum and grounds. We also were able to visit our friends Mr. and Mrs. M for dinner. They took us to a great place, Miller's Ale House. It was so delicious. By the way, when they say 35 shrimp, they mean 35 shrimp. I was thinking it meant the size, as in 35/lb. However, it was 35 medium sized shrimp. Needless to say, J and I could have split dinner, and there was plenty left over.

Also topping the trip was plenty of family time. My grandmother, great-grandmother, a couple of aunts and uncles, and a few cousins all live there. J was a real trooper meeting more of my crazy family. It was a very nice trip though. My great-grandmother turns 90 this month, so we were able to celebrate with her. My grandmother who practically raised me was there and I don't get to see her nearly as much as I'd like. She did make some great pumpkin candy! Think fudge with a pumpkin pie meets pumpkin roll taste to it. It was great for autumn. My Aunt and Uncle C who live across the street were very excited to see us. They took us to the Sanford Riverwalk (very nice place!), to the mall, and out to dinner. J and Uncle C have a lot in common, they are both laid back, and go-with-the-flow type guys. That's a good thing with this bunch!

The downfall of the trip? Snakes! Ugh! I've never visited Central Florida without seeing snakes. I! HATE! SNAKES! We saw a handful, but only one living which Uncle C promptly killed. The others had been ran over in the street. My opinion? The best snake is a dead one!

It was a great weekend getaway and very relaxing. We love traveling in the off seasons. It makes vacations seem so much more relaxing and enjoyable. I'm very lucky that I'm able to combine vacation with visiting some of my family. I'm glad they live in an area with so much to see and do.The beach is a few minutes in one direction and the city with handfuls of theme parks is a few minutes in the other. Also in the area are plenty of parks, springs, boats, rivers, shopping destinations, and a large zoo. It's very nice as far as the super-hot-and-humid-with-no-mountains type place goes.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I'm Leaving, On a Jet Plane!

Today marks vacation day! J and I are jet setting south to Florida. We'll spend five days with family and friends enjoying the warm fall weather that Central Florida has to offer. We have a packed itinerary of beaches, parks, lighthouses, etc!

"I'm leaving, on a jet plane. I'll be back next Tuesday!"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Really, I wasn't going to post about yet another entertaining evening of middle school football, but I simply must.

Last night I made the pilgrimage 20 miles past the middle of no where to my high school town (not hometown) to see my little brother play football. It was also Homecoming night, so I expected a crowd. What I didn't expect was for every person in H. County to be present.

There was standing room only. There were more people at this game than there are in city limits. It was absolutely insane. Of course the band also took up a good chunk of space. I think it's neat that they had their band play for Homecoming.

Unfortunately, my brother did not score this time, but on the bright side, neither did anyone else! He was the cutest thing out there on the field though. I think the school desperately needs new coaches. These kids have such potential, but they teach them nothing about strategy or teamwork. (I've never want off on that tangent before!)

There were more than ample rednecks out for the evening and I could go on and on about mullets. I'm not sure why I'm still shocked at how much people in that town like to make idiots of themselves. Oh, and get this. I could do the moves and words right along with the cheerleaders! I didn't, of course. But they had recycled cheers for THIRTEEN years! (That was a huge admission of age on my part, take note!) I totally knew almost every cheer they did. If only I'd worn my RMS CHEERLEADER sweatshirt (which I still own by the way!). A cheer I didn't know would be that of the other team that said, "roll your body and stomp your feet...." WHAT? Roll your body? What happened to "Clap your hands and stomp your feet...." That was the mid 90's PG version of the cheer. These kids have nothing to roll and shouldn't be taught that anyway. I've decided that although I was a loud and proud cheerleader for 13 years, that should I ever have a daughter, I do not want her to be a cheerleader. I'm thinking dance and soccer.

In other events of the night was the presentation of Homecoming Court and crowning of Homecoming Queen. (Prepare for tangent here.) I'm not sure why, but I was in shock over what these young girls were wearing. The dresses (and I use that term loosely) were far too mature for these sixth, seventh, and eighth grade children. Although most of them were flat as pancakes, they managed to push up, out, and together the bit of chest they had. I suspect there were padded enhancements as well. Then there are the girls with quite developed busts that had it all (ALL!) hanging out. And the hips! Oh the hips! It must be the hormones they put in chicken these days because I've never before seen birthing hips like those on middle school kids. The dresses were short, tight, low cut, and well, tacky for the most part. There were two, maybe three, that I would think were acceptable and tasteful for middle school girls.

However, one of my brother's friends won Queen and the sixth grade Princess was his best friend's little sister. She's a cute little girl who has always had a crush on my brother and spent quite an amount of time at our house. I just hope that these kids don't turn into little snots! The way I see them acting makes me think that some already are. C'mon parents, instill a little character and values within your kids! Of course, their parents are probably the same way. At the end of the day, you still live 20 miles past nowhere, so get over yourselves!

Another shock of the night was the fireworks display after the Homecoming Court was presented. All I can say is, Wow! The city park puts on quite a show for July 4th, and I think this little display was trying to compete. I'm not the biggest fan of fireworks because they are noisy and cause pollution, but this was a good little show. It was so smoky afterwards I thought they were going to postpone the game until the players could see. I'm still in awe that there was such a firework display. I never (ever!) had anything like that in middle school. The most comparable event in high school would be the light from the smokers outside the restrooms at Friday night football games.

I guess little town 20 miles past nowhere is attempting to move on up! I still wonder where the money for such a little show came from. Isn't TN 48th in education? Is this really how we should work the budget to spend taxpayers dollars?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tuesday Top Ten

A couple of weeks ago while my husband was out of town, I did a great closet clean out! I love cleaning, organizing, sorting, etc. It just makes me hop around like a bunny at Easter. Fortunately for him I left his side alone since he's rather streamlined although he does have a lot of clothes for a man. My side however...I gave it a makeover.

Top Ten Items I Parted With

  1. My polo dresses. Yes, I love to play tennis in them, but when was the last time I wore a dress for tennis?
  2. Too Long Jeans. Rarely do I wear jeans anyway so there was no need to take up precious closet space with jeans that don't fit correctly.
  3. Ugly Jeans. I had a pair of hand me down jeans that I find unattractive. A little too collegiate for me.
  4. The Ball Dress. Yes, The Ball was in high school and I still owned 3 dresses I'd worn. Time to give it up!
  5. All Sports Queen Dress. Yes, I was on the All-Sports Queen Court my senior year of high school. That was, um, several years ago. (A. will do the math if you tell her which 21st birthday to refer to!)
  6. Formal Dresses, Bridesmaid Dresses, Prom Dresses, OH MY! Do you know how much space these things take up? I managed to take my formal and cocktail dress collection from 15 to 5! Impressive, huh?
  7. Random Shirts. I had a few random pink and black shirts (since most everything I own is in the pink and black variety!) that were looking rough and not really work appropriate and I didn't wear them on the weekends either.
  8. "Going Out" Shirts. Behind every good Sorority Girls was a collection of "going out" shirts. It was time to modify my collection since I can't actually remember when I "went out" like that. "Going Out" for me now sings an entirely new tune than what it did then. Besides, my attire is not a little more Arden B. and Ann Taylor, and a little less Wet Seal and Body Shop (thank goodness!).
  9. Shoes. Those big black satin Mary Jane's that semi-hurt my feet and have a heel that I always feel is about to break....gone! The cute little red "bowling style" shoes that I just don't seem to have a reason to wear, gone! Oh the college days....
  10. Sweaters. Two of my favorite sweaters were washed wrong last season and now resemble a size 2T! I'm not sure how that happened since I've had them for some time and have always washed them the same way. At any rate...there was not squeezing those on me. I'd look like a busted can of biscuits!
  11. AE Sweatshirt. (OK, so this makes 11 on the list, but it's just too good not to post!) Say it with me friends, "Maroon, Gray, and White! Fight! Fight! Fight!". Yes, I had a beloved AE sweatshirt from high school and into college that I finally moved past. It's not as fleecy as it once was, it's too big in the not comfy sort of way, and I've only kept it because it was (obviously) maroon and gray which were my and are my little brother's middle school colors and I could be wear it to his football games without looking like a PTA mom and keeping warm. However I haven't pulled it out this season which is his last in middle school football and I know that I won't since I always leave straight from work to catch his games. Adeiu my maroon and gray AE sweatshirt!

I also managed to move past several other items, these were just the biggest, best and most entertaining. I had more clothes, a number of belts (multi-striped or fringy leather wrap around anyone?), bags, etc. that I cleaned out. The charity shop is going to love me!


Start keeping your words sweet just in caes you ever have to eat them. So start saying things like brownies, cupcakes, and girl scout cookies!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Walking In Memphis

Yes, this past weekend was my long anticipated trip to the west side of the state that should be cut off and called Mississippi. Actually, we did stay in Mississippi since that is the suburb that the S's live in. After gassing up and getting dinner J and I left with the Y's Friday evening.

My bladder barely made it out of the eastern time zone and I was asleep no sooner than we drove through Nashville. That's me, a real road tripper!

We finally arrived at the S house around midnight and as any good Southern Belle would, Mrs. S had soup, sandwiches, and a variety of beverages waiting for us. There is nothing like good Southern friends who know how to treat house guests!

Early Saturday morning, Mrs. S and I were up and out or an early morning jog around her neighborhood. It is so cute. I'd love to have cute little subdivisions like that here. We did make a quick stop for me to hang upside down on the monkey bars at the little park. When we got home it was quick showers and time to prepare our tailgating spread for the gaming festivities. Yum--the food was super tasty! The game was great fun since the Vols won. It was an easy win over Memphis, the stadium was 80% orange, and Tiger fans began clear out during the third quarter.
But the best part of the weekend was just being with our wonderful friends. Besides being with the S's and Y's, we were able to visit with Jessica which was absolutely fabulous. We enjoyed Mrs. S's discount from two of the best stores ever, W-S and PB. J and I totally racked up some goodies. If we weren't in a corolla with another couple we would have so managed to throw in some of the great furniture. Instead, we opted for smaller items that were trunk worthy. That night we went to a fabulous little ribs "hole in the wall" type joint that everyone knows and loves. Mrs. S and I had eaten there before on a trip to Memphis. It is super delicious. We strolled through Peabody (where we saw Paula Deen and her husband...how cools is that??) and then returned back to the S house, which by the way, is gorgeous. The blue paint in the great room looks wonderful. I love the shade and it's such a homey feeling. It looks so nice in the kitchen against the cabinets and counter tops, too. Mrs. S also painted stripes in her dining area like I did. It's darling. She put Mr. S to work and the entire house has been painted less the (large!) master bath. I came up with a great idea for her and we made a purchase at PB for the design. I so missed my calling as an interior designer. I can't wait to go back and check it out. I also gave a great idea for the bonus room, but we'll see if Mr. S goes for it.

Saturday night was absolutely wonderful. I have some of the absolute best friends in the world that I love dearly. Mrs. S, Mrs. Y and I sat out on the patio with our Beringer and Champagne (hey, we're fancy girls!) and had the best conversation ever. There are some things you can only talk about with real friends and I'm so thankful that God has blessed me with several, especially Mrs. S and Mrs. Y. We can share absolutely anything with one another and Saturday night was perfect for relaxing and really getting to chat! It's so fun to be a young, fun, "yuppie" newlywed with some of your best friends.

Finally when the bottles were empty, the glasses were empty, and our husbands were asleep, we decided perhaps we should go to bed as well. Sunday morning came all too quickly putting an end to our wonderful weekend. Mrs. S and I did another tour de neighborhood, we all enjoyed breakfast on the patio, and shortly thereafter it was time to make the long trek back to East Tennessee.

I hate the drive to Memphis, I hate the city of Memphis (less the W-S and PB outlets), but I love my friends and it was so worth the trip! I hope we can plan another long weekend in a few months.

Gas for Memphis Road Trip: $70
Shopping Spree at Outlets: $100
Food and drinks for the weekend: $250
Saturday night chatting with the girls: Priceless!