Thursday, April 30, 2009

Woes of a Working Woman

I consider myself to be one hellva working girl. I answer phones with confidence and type like the wind. I have the Worlds Neatest Handwriting, and I schedule all but what I'm going to have for lunch in my day planner. But today stumped me.

What are you supposed to do when you're on the phone with Steve Prator and your earring falls down your dress? I quickly pushed it out of my mind until my convo wrapped. When you're on the phone with the sheriff you don't want him to hear anything suspicious in your voice. But after I hung up the phone, I had to sit there for a minute and think it through. I came up with two options:

1. Put my hand down my dress and fish around for it. But how awkward would it be if someone walked in and I was up to my elbow in the search. You don't bounce back from that sort of blooper.

2. Stand up and do a little shimmy. This could look equally silly, however I wouldn't be accused of perversion in the workplace.

So, I shimmied. Nothing. I mean, it is a big earring but what do I have to do? Roger Rabbit? The second shimmy proved successful, although I was almost busted by our graphic artist.

My earring has been successfully returned to my left lobe. But you know, these sort of things don't happen when you wear T-shirts. I'm just sayin.

Mind If I Get Mushy?

I came across an old blog post today. Dated 9.26.08, it said:

"It's time to take risks, face failure and rise above fear. It's time to try something new, take trips I've been putting off, make new friends, and open my heart and love as if there won't be an opportunity to do so tomorrow."

At the time those words were written, I was rock bottom and ready to claim responsibility for my life. I easily could have placed blame, but I was ready to let things go, dust off those bad experiences and start over.

There are several folds to this transformation — new job, new exercise routine (what I mean by that is an exercise routine at all), new friends, new house. But there's one part that's better than all of that stuff combined. The new guy. Ty's not really new to my life. We've been friends for about a year and a half now.

But in all that time, he played a big role in my life. When things were rough, he was the person I called. When I needed to move, he was the person I called. When I needed a friend, he was the person I called. And in that time, I was the person he called.

In my life experiences, trusting anyone with your heart is a huge risk. But Ty had always been there before, so I opened my heart again — at the time that was a miracle. But I'm so glad I did, because with Ty there's not much risk at all. He's a good man. I don't have a single worry. I never wonder where he is. He calls when he says he's going to. Some of you may think, "Well, duh. That's how relationships are supposed to be." But in my entire life, that's never been how relationships actually were.

It's good to look back and see I stuck to my word and did what I said I was going to do. I opened my heart and loved like there wouldn't be an opportunity to do so tomorrow. Even better, I look forward to each tomorrow with Ty.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Step Away From the Cell Phone

My friend Melissa brought up a good point on her blog, so I thought I would reiterate the point here. Clearly, I'm all for technology. It does some really great things for us — life is so convenient these days. However, maybe it's too easy. I can hardly remember the days when I had to actually remember people's telephone numbers. I talk to my boyfriend on the phone at least twice a day, but if you asked me to recite his number I couldn't. I simply scroll through my call list and dial "Ty Jordan." I only know a handful of numbers: my grandparents' house, my parents' house, my aunt's house and the golf course.

Even before the days of push-button dialing were rotary phones. Not only did you have to know the number to dial it, but it took a little work, too. I would like to see us spend a week with a rotary phone these days — we'd be completely lost. The closest we'll get to that now is a cute application for our iPhones. But lately I've been getting a little peeved about people's phone manners.

It started Sunday while I was at church. I turned my phone on silent and when I returned to my car, I pulled it out of my purse to see six missed calls from the same person. I saw the first missed call, I got the first voicemail, so why does this person continue to call and call and call? When that didn't work, this person called my parents to question my whereabouts. I stand in strong opposition to this and refused to return the six phone calls.

Today, the second peeve took place. I was having lunch with a friend (she knows who she is), and for the first part of our lunch she was texting non-stop and laughing each time a new text would come in. Why is this so bothersome? Because I might as well have been sitting alone. I went out for lunch to visit with my friend, and she's having lunch with someone else via text. I told her that in the future I was going to take her phone away while we ate lunch.

I love technology (that one was for Kip), but I also believe in old-fashioned courtesy. We're so busy going, and talking, and texting that I think we're missing the good parts when they happen.

Have you seen it?

I want to introduce you guys to my latest obsession. Welcome to Grey Gardens. HBO recently did their own version of this 1975 documentary, and I was hooked. I'd never heard of Grey Gardens before — 1975 pre-dates me by six years — so let me give you a brief synopsis. 

Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (Big Edie) and her daughter, Edith Bouvier Beale (Little Edie), were considered the upper crust of New York society. Not to mention, they were aunt and cousin to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. 

So, I'm curious as to what events transpired to lead these women to living in complete isolation and squalor in East Hampton.  Their house, called Grey Gardens for its cement garden walls and the color of the dunes, was a 28-room mansion in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods. However, by the early 70s, it looked something like this. 

Their living conditions became a problem for their neighbors, especially those living down wind. The Suffolk County Health Department did several inspections, which exposed their filth to the world. The story was of particular interest because they were the relatives of Jackie O. Facing eviction, Jackie and her sister repaired the dilapidated house to meet code. 

The Beales could be tragic and humorous simultaneously. They thought the documentary was "their shot." It was going to make them stars, which I guess it actually did. The documentary is considered one of the greatest of the 20th century. 

The HBO remake goes beyond where the original documentary begins. It tells the story of the Beales — from riches to rags. Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore are perfection, but I still have to see the original documentary. I want to see the real Edies in action. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In the Rotation

As some of you may know, I once had a brief and unaccomplished singing career. Let me take you through it: 

1. Believers' Harmony. Unfortunately, that really was the name of this group. It was an ensemble formed through the Louisiana Tech BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministries) to raise money for missions. We would travel around to churches to sing, give a testimony or two and sell a little merch (mostly cassette tapes). There were three embarrassing thing about BH. 1. We had to wear matching outfits. Usually long black skirts and pastel colored shirts. The guys would sometimes try to wear navy. It's not the same. 2. There was choreography. Or as it is commonly known in the Baptist world: "Interpretive Movement." This does not go well with nine mic cords running across the stage. 3. We sang with a backup track. It was super lame, but we made a lot of money. 

2. The Awakening Band. We played at a city wide Bible study every Thursday night at my home church of Willow Point in Shreveport. The only problem was that I was in school in Ruston, and my dad had forbidden me from making the drive every week since I was coming home most weekends, too. So, what did I do? I didn't tell my dad. Unfortunately, my dad shares many of the same qualities as my heavenly father. He's one omniscient son of a gun. Somehow, he knew. So, that was the end of that. 

3. Youth Choir Teacher. The Baptist Six Flags of Ruston was looking for two college students (a guy and a girl) to help with youth choir. The gig payed $30 a week, which wasn't bad for about an hour worth of work. Not to mention, I loved youth choir in my day. You know what happened? I was fired. Fired! No kidding. I started to question if my career goals were realistic since I'd just been fired from a church. However, to my credit the decision was not based on performance. I was a member of another church, and Six Flags wanted someone who actually went to their church. No problem. 

4. Lilies of the Field. There were five bands who played in chapel throughout the week. One for each day. Our chick worship band, Lilies of the Field, landed a spot in the lineup. Three girls, three part harmony, three guitars (and an occasional egg shaker played by Kate). In addition to chapel, we played open mics around campus. However, our band split by the end of the year. Like I said before, three girls, three part harmony, three guitars. Too many cooks in the kitchen. 

5. Tiki Tavern Karaoke Singer. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Truthfully, this is where many has-been church soloists end up. Singing Bonnie Raitt to a smokey room filled with Boozie McGees. However, these days I don't go out so much. But if we do go out, I can guarantee you'll hear "Poison Ivy" by the Coasters — love it!

So, that brings me to the present. My guy plays guitar in the band for our church's contemporary service. He knows of my mediocre musical past and has often tried to expose it. On one of our first dates, he brought a guitar and asked me to play and sing for him. I could hardly remember the chords, but I told him if he played I'd sing with him. 

But Saturday at the crawfish boil, he really got me. There were several members of the church band at the party when Ty said into the mic, "Stephanie, get up here and sing your song." With a questionable look, I walked toward the stage and whispered to him, "What's my song?"


So, I sang it. "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight." A song that plays regularly on Ty's XM radio. Or at least I tried. No one can really sing quite like Emmylou Harris. However, it led to one of the band members saying, "You can sing? We're working you into the rotation." 

Am I now playing some small part in the church band? I'm not really sure. I guess I'll know when I get there and I'm handed a microphone. Ty set me up and it worked. Since Saturday he's randomly said, "In the rotation," with a smile and a chuckle.

I just tell him, "Well, I gotta do something to get my friends to go to church." 

The service begins at 11. 

Running in the rain, but not singing about it

It was bound to happen sooner or later. You run several days a week and eventually you'll find yourself caught in a storm. I was just hoping it wouldn't happen to me. 

Yesterday afternoon, I suggested to LJ that we run since it would be raining most of the week and that afternoon might be our only chance. She agreed and the run started off great. There were dark clouds in the distance to the north, but they were so far away that I wasn't concerned. 

About three miles later, the clouds had shifted and suddenly we were surrounded. The thunder rolled in around us and before we knew it the sprinkles of rain turned into a full-on downpour. We were on Monrovia — so close to the finish line — just not close enough. 

We laughed as our clothes got heavier, soaked in rainwater. 

"Off the top of my head, I can think of about 100 people who wouldn't believe you if you told them this story," I said to LJ. 

I show great determination when it comes to keeping my hair dry. 

By the time we made it home, our shoes were swampy and our mascara had given us raccoon eyes. Not the best run I've had, but how's that for determination? 

Monday, April 27, 2009


I can live with our without crawfish. I enjoy eating them about once or twice a year, but I always figure they're more work than they're worth. However, I have been to what seems like a zillion crawfish boils in recent weeks. 

There was one for Jonathan Smith's birthday. There was another one for Lane Stevenson's birthday. This weekend we had one at Ty's house (no birthdays included) and there's another one at Walt and Nancy Pipkin's house on my birthday, although it's not for my birthday. 

I can easily say I enjoy the atmosphere more than the crawdads. It's just fun to get together with friends, drink some keg beers and take in the good weather. I'm not very good about taking pictures. Our party lasted from 2 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and I've only got six pictures to show for it. If Ty had his hands on the camera there would be much more to share — our friends hanging out, Adam cooking up the crawfish, Ty and others entertaining with a little live music. My bad. I got nothin'.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Lovely Lady Legs

I've been running regularly again since the weather started warming up. I feel great and I love it, but I need to do something else to diversify my workout. So, that's when my workout pal LJ suggested we get this DVD. It's a quick 20 minute workout that we can tack onto the end of our runs for an added boost. 

It swears results in 6 to 8 weeks, so I said why not. Kim — the lady on the video — even sent me an e-mail about it. 
Hi. Thank you so much for your order. Your DVD is on your way. With consistency, you WILL see results! Please e-mail me with any questions you may have about the program once you begin. 

Have fun with it! 
Just shy of Kim coming over to do the workout with me, I thought this was pretty great. Even if it was an automated response, I was pumped. LJ and I decided to get our yoga mats together last night and see what we thought of the DVD. 

Let me just say, 20 minutes is enough time to kill a person. And it only took 10 minutes for me to develop some animosity toward Kimmy. There will be no tacking this DVD on to the end of our runs. My leg and rear muscles are sore, and my legs haven't fully regained their stability. 

I'm going to keep it up, but in six to eight weeks I better have the legs of a goddess. 

So Good Strawberry Salad

Last night, Ty and I cooked for one of his friends. The pal has fallen on some hard times and heartache, and my best solution for this is a home-cooked meal and some good company (that part may be giving me and Ty too much credit). 

The menu included grilled tilapia filets, homemade mashed potatoes and a strawberry salad. I'd never made the salad before, but I got the recipe from one of the girls in my Bunco group and wanted to give it a whirl. 

I was a little nervous about serving it to two guys. There's plain salad and there's girly salad. This was a girly salad. But when dinner was served, the guys devoured the salad. Loved it. I thought the homemade mashed potatoes would be a smash, but I could have served boxed flakes and they never would have known the difference. The salad was the meal's spotlight. So, in the tradition of a good ol' recipe swap, I'm passing on the goodness. 

Who said you can't have your girly salad and make him eat it, too? 

Strawberry Salad

For the dressing mix: 
1 cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce

mix and chill (shake it up really good before you serve)

For the salad: 
spring mix lettuce
chow mein noodles
toasted walnuts or pecans (I like the walnuts)
sliced strawberries

Easy and so good — enjoy!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wine Night? Why Not?

My friend Bevin drew this picture several months ago. For a little while, this is what we did several evenings of the week. We sat on someone's back patio, drank wine and dished our juiciest dirt. It was a great way to spend a fall evening and exactly what I needed at that time in my life. Lots of wine, good friends and the buzz wasn't bad either. 

Since then, Bevin has moved to south Louisiana. 

Carie endured cancer, chemotherapy and (best of all) recovery. 

Melissa planned her perfect beach wedding and got married about a month ago. 

Kristen and her husband moved to Houston and their now about 12 weeks pregnant. 

Kate changed jobs. 

Amanda moved to California and came back. 

Casey got married and changed job.

The list goes on. However, my point is that the memories stay the same. These were some of the best, funniest, most memorable nights for me. So good, in fact, that we took turns drawing crappy pictures about it. 

While I was running yesterday, I saw an older lady sitting on a bench in her yard with a glass of wine. There was old-timey jazz music blaring through the screen door of her kitchen, and she was tapping her hand on her thigh to the beat of the music. 

It made me smile. She was having such a great time, and I imagine some evenings she sits in the same spot with her own friends and does the same things we do. I can only hope when I'm her age, I'm doing the same thing. And loving it. 

Wedded Diss?

I dated the same boy for pretty much my entire college career. Four full years. When most couples graduate their relationship either moves one way or the other — you marry or you breakup. I ended up breaking up with the guy I thought I was going to marry. He practically had the ring in his pocket. 

I graduated before him. I started my first job and loved all the new responsibilities and the excitement of doing the one thing I felt I was born to do. I would put in a full day's work and drive to Ruston where my boyfriend was focusing on intramural sports more than his undergrad degree. It drove me nuts and eventually drove us apart. 

Now nearly six years later, he's getting married. I have no hard feelings. I have no sense of regret. I think we were young and in all his endeavors, I wish him the very best. We don't stay in touch, but I'm glad he's happy and with a woman he loves. And, I know I'm at the right place and in a relationship with the right person. 

With all of that being said, I recently found out he's getting married on my birthday — of all days. Of the 52 possible Saturdays to get married in the year, there's truly some humor when you think of my birthday being the date of choice. 

In no way do I believe it is intentional. There's no way my ex would remember my birthday all these years later. Plus, the bride somehow pieced it all together and sent me an apologetic e-mail. To which I responded, "Your wedding is one of the biggest days in your life. Birthdays come every year. Enjoy your day and don't think twice about it." 

That's how I really feel. But, I think God must have a sense of humor to arrange things in such a way. 

My question to you: How would you react? Would you find it funny or ironic? Or would you be angry about it? 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Running our mouths

UPDATE: I've lost my good blog looks to sensibility. My layout wasn't allowing comments, and what's the point of a blog if I can't interact with you guys? So, I've gone for a more sensible outfit for my Web home. Let me know if you can or cannot comment. But, I think the problem is fixed — in my non-expert opinion. 

While I'm here, I figure why not write another post. 

(If you're driving through South Highlands, this is exactly what my running partner and I look like. Exactly. To a T. Identical (Wink-wink). Well, except for the pants. Who the hell wants to run in pants?)

At this point every day, I start looking forward to 5 p.m. Not just because it marks the end of my work day, but it means it's almost time for a run. About three times a week, I run with my friend LJ. I let her map and time our run, and my only job is to keep one foot in front of the other. 

I would probably never do it alone. But with LJ's help and encouragement, I've gotten to where I can do about 4 miles. Truthfully, I hate running. I hate it when my heart feels like it's going to pop out of my chest, my knees feel like their going to burst and my legs begin to feel like two wobbly twigs. But I love it when I turn on my street, run up the driveway and know that I've pushed myself. 

It's a well spent hour of exercise, and in the few moments I have to catch my breath, it's a great time to catch up with my friend. My mouth is one of the many things that moves faster than my legs. 

Being Stephanie Spano

ABOUT YOUR COMMENTS: A few people have mentioned their comments aren't posting. I'm not certain what's going on, but I'm working on it. I think it has something to do with the new layout ... but it's so pretty ... I'll work on it. On to today's post. 

Sometimes when my plate is full, my mind just can't settle at the end of the day. At work, I'm wrapping up the magazine's May issue. I'm helping Ty remodel his bathroom and kitchen and redecorate the living room. And we're doing prep work for a weekend crawfish boil at his house — cleaning, yard work, etc.

There's always something to do. I get in bed and replay my to-do list in my head over and over until my eyes are wide open, and I'm in a panic thinking I'll never get it all done. While I'm physically exhausted, my mind tells me I need to keep going. I need to do. I'm feeling like Jesse Spano when she got hooked on caffeine pills because she had to sing ... and dance ... and make perfect grades ... and keep her wrestler boyfriend Slayter happy. 

"I'm so excited ... I'm so excited ... I'm so, so scared." I feel you, girl. 

This is the cost of being a perfectionist, but thank God my body knows better. Last night, I practically collapsed into my bed. I woke up in the same position I fell asleep in. Pure bliss. Just like Jesse, I'm learning — with the help of my own Zac Morris — that sometimes you can't do it all. Not everything can be perfect. Just give it your best and get a good night's sleep.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gone Country

I'm not much on country music, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a country concert like Saturday night's acoustic show with Travis Tritt. If you were to ask me which part I enjoyed most, however, I would be uncertain. 

Here's a list of my possible favorite parts: 

1. T. Tritt was wearing full leather, similar to the picture above (minus the mullet — dang it). Throughout the show I wondered several things about this outfit. Obviously, it had to be hot underneath the stage lights. I got hot just looking at him — and not in a good way. I could only imagine the outfit felt something like being wrapped in a skin-burning leather car seat in the middle of a Louisiana July day. A thought so uncomfortable that my throat closed up a little when I typed it. My secondary thought about those skin-hugging, painted-on pants was did he ever look in the mirror and ask, "Do these pants make my thighs look fat." 

2. The older couple sitting to my right. The seating was snug, and I couldn't avoid hearing bits and pieces of their conversation. My favorite? When the man told his wife to stop giving him so much beer because it was going to make him "tinkle." 

3. Hearing old favorites that I'd forgotten about. I probably told Ty a dozen times, "Oh my god, I love this song." My favorite had to be "Anymore." I'd forgotten all about that one. "I'm Gonna Be Somebody," or as we started calling it at dinner Friday night "Break These Chains," was excellent, too.  

4. Watching KRMD's Hillary Edman give a schmoozy introduction. I've known Hillary since the high school years, and we occasionally grace the same karaoke bar. But, I've never seen Hillary in action. Loved it. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Travis Tritt, Among Others, Rocked My Middle School Years

Two married friends recently told us that they entertain themselves some evenings by sitting around the house and listening to classic country. My first reaction: "Really?" I wonder, how bored I would I have to get before I would succumb to such torture. 

However, when the same friends invited us to go to the Travis Tritt concert Saturday night, we said yes. I'm still not sure why. We're going with two other couples. The previously mentioned country-loving pair and two other novice listeners. So, during our Tuesday night Bunco game, I asked the Novice Wife if she knew any Travis Tritt songs. Off the top of our heads, we came up with one song: "Here's a Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares." 

Swirling in the recesses of our minds could be more Travis Tritt songs, we just can't remember them. For most 25 to 30 year olds, Tritt falls into a genre of music we like to call Middle School Country. 

While I don't necessarily like country music, there are some country songs I picked up in this period of my life. For instance, I was a semi-fan of Tim McGraw's "Don't Take the Girl." How could you not? He was willing to give that guy Jimmy Johnson, Tommy Thompson (BTW, alliteration is the easiest and most obvious word device, Tim), even his best friend, Bo. 

It's sort of romantic. He goes against the theory of bros before hoes (I hate this saying). However, his offer falls short. He tells the bad guy to take "any boy in the world, but please don't take the girl." All the while he's standing right there and never mentions — take me!

Ahh, the good ol' days of Middle School Country. And to think, country music has gotten progressively worse. I'm going to keep track of how many Travis Tritt songs I actually know Saturday night — just to disappoint myself. 

Let's spark a little online interaction: What's your favorite Middle School Country song? 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Cut Above the Rest

I did a little yard work yesterday. Fortunately, I was not wearing the outfit pictured above (see post below). Yikes. There are certain parts of my body that I do not want exposed to flying bits of dirt and grass. 

I wanted to exercise, but I didn't want to run. I was a little frustrated at the end of my day, and I wanted to do something to relieve the tension. So, I was standing in Ty's backyard and I said to him, "I think I want to mow." He was going to church band practice (I know! Ain't he somethin'!), but before he left, I made him show me how the whole mow the lawn thing works. 

I've never mowed before, but I know you try to go in straight lines. After a few rounds, Ty was not only amused, but impressed by my braun. He asked me if I had it down and I said, "Yeah, it's just like vacuuming." 

Today, I'm struggling to see the comparison. I thought my arms would be sore ... nope, just my fanny (this should be the newest promo for Buns of Steel). And I've never gotten a blister from vacuuming, but I've got the World's Rawest Skin on that little crease between my thumb and pointer finger. It's difficult to write, and driving is even worse. 

As they say: No pain,  no gain. What I gained — besides a great butt workout — was the realization that I'm pretty awesome at mowing. I didn't miss a spot. An ace on my first try. 

For the rest of the summer, I plan to mow, mow like the wind. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's Either Sink or Swim

I tried on swimsuits this week. Not because I really need one, but simply to motivate/torture myself. It worked. 

I think there are very few women who actually enjoy swimsuit shopping. Or even swimsuit wearing. If you are a woman who enjoys either of these things, the rest of us normal women hate you. 

However, swimsuit wearing is inescapable since some of our favorite summer activities require swimwear. As the rules of society apply, I've got to wear a swimsuit — unless I start vacationing at nude beaches, which isn't a bad idea. It seems to me all of the people you'd least like to see naked congregate at these places. There, I would be a centerfold. 

My discomfort with the whole swimsuit situation is deeply rooted in my younger years. I didn't wear a two-piece until I was a sophomore in college. Heck, it was a challenge to enter the pool without a T-shirt covering my one-piece swimsuit. This is what too many church camps can do to a person (Yes, I know. I'm fearfully and wonderfully made). Since then, I've disguised my discomfort with really cute cover-ups. One "oh, that's a cute cover-up" and people don't even realize you aren't showing your swimsuit. Yes, I really do think about these things. It's as strategic as changing into your gym uniform without any of the girls seeing your bra or panties (I can do this too). 

My friend recently e-mailed me a link to a funny Web site that dives into this topic with a smug sense of humor. This was a welcome relief. If you're like me and tried on a swimsuit already and hated every minute of it, this site is for you. 

Here's to daily three-mile runs and 1,000 calorie days.

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Honey Bunny

I'm proud to say that I'm dating a very good man. He's generous and giving. He's funny and silly. He's a great friend and my listening ear. He's hard working and dedicated. 

I've never met anyone who didn't like Ty. I'm not saying they don't exist, but they are few and far between. 

Considering all that, this weekend I watched him do one of the sweetest things. He put on an Easter Bunny costume, hopped around the yard, threw out eggs, held children as they screamed. I'd like to say he did it all without even breaking a sweat, but from what I hear it was hot in the bunny suit. 

I enjoyed it all so much, I think I took about 50 pictures in the 20 minutes he was at work. Here are some of my favorites: 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Do you know the Easter Bunny?

What happens when all your friends have babies except you? You get stuck being the Easter Bunny.

Most of the young couples at our church have babies — all boys. So, when people start thinking about Easter festivities and need a bunny to pose with the kids, your name sounds like a good idea. 

Tomorrow, Ty and I will attend an Easter party for the kids at church. I will go as myself, and Ty will arrive as the Easter Bunny. I'm really excited about seeing this. I can't wait to see Ty hop around and let the kids sit on his lap. But I'm relishing in his nervousness over this task. 

There's one little girl who is regularly suspicious of costumed characters. Whether it be Santa or the Easter Bunny, when she's forced to sit with them, she hits them between the legs. And when you're in an Easter Bunny costume, you're completely defenseless. One "ouch" will give away the entire costume. 

In all honesty, I hope Ty walks away from this experience safe and sound. But I imagine there will be good stories to come. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

'Yes' Woman

I think I'm one of those people who just can't say "no." I used to think this wasn't such a bad thing. It makes me a good friend, a likable person, someone who is up for just about anything. But, I'm learning that it kind of makes me a pushover more than anything else. While I think I'm being polite, I'm actually coming across as passive. Which isn't really the case — I can be quite sassy.

I started seeing symptoms of this in some of my friendships several months ago. I was always the one cooking dinner, planning parties, giving rides, etc. I would pat myself on the back for my generosity and giving spirit, but deep inside my good feelings started to fester. Why wasn't anyone ever cooking dinner for me? Planning my parties? Offering to chauffeur me around town? 

I know you don't give to receive, but at some point you start to question your friendships. Do they like me for me or am I liked simply for stuff I do? So, I stopped doing the stuff and hoped my phone would still ring. It didn't. It was a difficult lesson to learn, but seeing people's true intentions helped me have greater appreciation for the friends I have and sift some of the others out of my life. While I cherish those friends, I've learned to cut my investment into those relationship. 

In recent weeks, I've felt like I've been going through the same thing in a different area of my life (relationships aside). I'm a passionate person — all or nothing — and when I care about something, I give it my all. But I'm learning not everyone takes this approach. It reminds me of those group assignment in science class where you're the only one who cares therefore you're the one putting in the work. You sit and you grumble, but you still do it. 

It's another tough lesson to learn. But to preserve yourself, sometimes you have to limit your investment, lower your expectations and set up personal boundaries. I can't look at things with an all-or-nothing approach. Sometimes you have to do your best with what you've got. And sometimes, you have to show a little backbone and just say "no." 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cooking Up Laughs

This makes me wish for red-headed children. 

And for anyone who knows Eric Martin, doesn't this video remind you of his dance moves? It's like watching a little Eric break it down. 

Ty, Catherine and I watched this in the kitchen last night while dinner was cooking and loved it. Hope you like, too!

(Let me know if the link doesn't work. I got word it wasn't working yesterday, so I've refreshed it.)

Monday, April 6, 2009

There's No Such Thing as a Love Seat

Saturday was Ty's birthday, so I thought why not spend the day furniture shopping. He recently decided to redo his bachelor pad to make it more gal (that's me) friendly. After gutting most of the bathroom Friday night, we spent Saturday perusing local stores in search of living room furniture. 

Like most men, Ty hates shopping. I once wrangled him into a Gap and with his limited patience for retail, the experience looked something like the 90s cable game show "Shop Til You Drop." Grab what you can, while you can. Frantic, I tell you. So after three stores, we end up at our final stop where we also found some great stuff that we really liked. We looked at fabric samples, weighed the color combinations, and after a little more than an hour we'd pieced together the room. 

My thinking: Ooh, let's get it (This is always my thinking).

Ty's thinking: I need to check the wall color, measure the room, measure the sofa, etc. 

My thinking: Who cares about the wall color. I love this furniture. We can make the walls match. Buy. Buy. Buy. Spend. Spend. Spend. 

Ty's thinking: Have you ever painted — not fun. Think. Think. Think. Save. Save. Save. 

Needless to say, we've yet to purchase the furniture we both loved. 

The experience took me back to what our friend Kenny told us a few months ago. When Kenny and his wife, Julia, were preparing to get married they also decided to fix up the home they would be living in. Kenny said it was the best marriage counseling they had — after working eight hours and painting until midnight your true colors come forth. 

I can attest. I've known Ty for nearly two years but take him shopping and you'll quickly see a new side. As Ty and I walked out of the last furniture store, he turned to me and said, "You're going to kill me aren't you?" 

I smiled at him and said, "I haven't decided. After all, it is your birthday." 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mishap with a Moldy Muffin

I'm going to keep today's post short and sweet because it's just one of those kinds of days. Not a bad day, but not necessarily a good day. More or less a day I will be pleased to see end, and it all started with an English muffin. 

For breakfast most mornings, I bring either an English muffin or yogurt to work with me. This morning I sliced, toasted and buttered my muffin before wrapping it in foil and tossing it in my purse and leaving the house. 

Somehow through this process, I missed one very key element. It wasn't until I'd plowed through half of my muffin that I realized it was covered in mold.   

Gross, huh?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No Foolin'

I'm not kidding, this stuff is strange: 

Did you know Mary Tyler Moore smokes three packs of cigarettes a day? Each day, she puts down 60 cigarettes. My questions: Where does she find the time? How much does that cost? How does she breathe? How badly do you imagine she smells?

I saw a news promo on channel 12 (actually channel 13) the other night that made me say, "huh?" It was about this Web site, It works like so: You think your boyfriend/girlfriend is a jerkface. You go on a Web site to discuss your boyfriend/girlfriend's jerkface behavior. Complete strangers comment on your relationship. 

My theory: If you have exhausted the actual people in your life with stories about what a jerkface your significant other can be, then you should probably just break-up. Once again, that's just more advice from a complete stranger. 

You can watch the segment here.