Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fat Loading

I've been on a diet since the last week of August 2009. I started the diet with LJ in anticipation of her wedding and with the mindset that I would be a bride at some point in the near future. It took me a while, but I lost 12 pounds.

But now that I'm approaching the one month mark on our wedding date, I thought it was time to get serious and pump up my diet plan. I'm not going to tell you about the diet because I'm pretty sure you all will think I'm insane. But I definitely want to share the absolute bliss I experienced this past weekend.

To kick off my new extreme bridal diet, you have to go through two days of fat loading. Doctor's orders. That means you're supposed to eat fattening stuff for those days, and I started planning ahead. What hadn't I eaten in months that I was craving?

Friday morning, I pulled into McDonalds for a sausage biscuit, hashbrown and Coke. So greasy ... I loved it. I doubled my grease intake for lunch when I picked up a Steak Finger Basket from Dairy Queen. It sounded gross even to me, but I couldn't get the white gravy out of my head. This is what happens when you go too long without gravy ... you want it on everything.

For dinner Friday night, I had this:

Fried crawfish ravioli from Cheesecake Bistro ... plus that slice of chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake that I split with LJ ... plus that crawfish and crab bake that I split with Ty. I was so full, I almost fell asleep on the way home.

But, I was back in action the next morning when I woke Ty up to go eat breakfast with me at Another Broken Egg. I'd been craving this waffle and I knew it was my one chance to eat it ... with a side of bacon, of course.

It's the banana's foster waffle, and I hope they serve these in heaven.

The rest of the day was pretty busy. I had a bridal shower, where I put down generous portions of cake and chicken salad sandwiches. After that we went to Ty's parents' house to hang out with our niece, Ruby Belle. We ate steaks and corn with Butch and Margaret, and then made our way back to the house. 

About two hours later, I told Ty we would have to eat again because I hadn't gotten enough fat that day. So, we drove to McDonalds where I got the spicy chicken sandwich, fries, coke and a chocolate sundae. 

I don't know if I've ever eaten like this, but it was nice to have a few guilt-free days. How often does your diet plan tell you to eat all the fat you want? The craziest part of it all, I ate all that and managed to lose three pounds. This is the diet we've all been waiting for!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sean O'Connery

This past Saturday, Ty and I had a couples shower at the home of my parents' friends, Leon and Gayle Miletello. Gayle throws fabulous parties, and I was honored that she wanted to throw us one. Would you believe that in Gayle's dining room there is a closet devoted to all of her serving and entertaining pieces? I'm adding that to my list of home renovation dreams. I have a closet just off the kitchen, but it locks from the inside so it's my panic room. We also keep the liquor in this closet because if I'm in my panic room, I'm certain that I would rather be surrounded by booze than silver, pewter and crystal.

Anyway, the shower was fun. We got lots of really nice things. Ty got a gun from his parents and a blower from my parents ... this was a very miscellaneous shower. We also received an engraved silver marriage certificate holder from Ty's parents, which one of my friends referred to as a vibrator. Like I said, the shower was a lot of fun ... and at this specific moment, mildly inappropriate. 

Following the shower, we ended up meeting my brother and sister-in-law at Vintage for a nightcap, and ran into this guy:

I don't know his real name, but for years our group of friends have called him Sean O'Connery for obvious reasons. Maybe not so obvious in this picture, but when he's not smiling he looks like a tiny version of Sean Connery. The thing about Sean O'Connery is this ... he's everywhere. Last week, we saw him three times. How is that possible? How is he everywhere we go?

Turns out, people tell him all the time that he looks like Sean Connery. And it turns out that he's a twin, which explains to some degree why we see him everywhere.

SIDENOTE: In this picture I'm wearing, for the first time, one of those onesie romper things and I loved it. It felt strange at first, but embrace the adult onesie! So cute! Definitely wearing this to dinner one night on our honeymoon.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Catching up with Sarah

(This picture was taken this past winter. Sara, from Baton Rouge, and Sarah, from Savannah, were in town for Conor's "viewing.")

It only happens once or maybe twice a year, but I love it when my friend Sarah comes in town. Sarah was one of my best friends in high school, my first roommate in college, and she remains one of those people that I pick right back up with when we're together.

Sarah and her baby, Conor, were in town this week. Sarah's husband, Devin, had to stay in Savannah because he's teaching summer courses at SCAD where he's a professor. I consider Devin to be somewhat of a design genius, so it's good that he's passing on his gift even though it means no visit to Shreveport.

Sarah and Conor came over to the house Wednesday night to visit. We gave them the house tour, cooked dinner and sat around the table visiting until 10 that evening. Sarah's dad, Alan (I love him dearly), came to pick up Conor so Sarah could stay longer.

It's great to be around an old friend who knows you through and through. Sarah and I pretty much grew up together, and I don't have that sort of history with many people. We told old stories that Ty had never heard. Surprisingly, the wedding is still on!

I'm glad Sarah's going to be in our wedding. I'm glad to have a friend that doesn't hesitate to say "yes" to being a bridesmaid despite all the travel and difficult logistics involved. I'm glad to have a friend who's literally "going the distance" to be here for our wedding. This is how I know without a doubt that Sarah and I will be great friends for years and years to come despite whatever obstacles.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

An Indication That We are Not Ready for Children

Our guest room has been blocked off from Ty for several weeks now because my wedding dress is hanging on the closet door inside the room. Ty doesn't want to know what even my shoes look like, so I must shield his eyes from my dress until the big day.

I don't really go into the guest room very often either, but Sunday night I was on the hunt for a heating pad for Ty's back (wake surfing injury), and I was pretty sure it was in the guest room. As I swung open the door, I was greeted by the most unfriendly fragrance my nostrils have ever encountered.

So, what's the first thing you do when you smell something really bad? ... You ask someone else to come smell it, too.

Ty poked his nose in the room and said, "I think something has died in the walls or under the house." 

"What do we have to do to get rid of that smell? It smells like our house is rotting from the inside out."

"Check and see if you see anything."

At this moment, I absolutely hated the fact that Ty could not enter our guest room. Under normal circumstances I would never be the one assigned to seek out something so gross. But after a quick investigation, I stumbled upon the culprit. Not a rat in the wall. Or a decaying horse underneath the house (It definitely smelled bad enough to be a decaying horse, although I'm not certain how it would have gotten under the house).

Weeks before we'd had a pool party at our house with lots of children and lots of diapers, and one diaper found its way into our guest bathroom wastebasket and sat there, ripening, for several weeks.

Now that I know what diapers are capable of, I'm not sure I'm ready for babies of my own.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lessons in Cat Herding, Volume One

Things have been tough lately. Tough by my standards is pretty darn tough. I can handle stress relatively well. I used to work in a newsroom for goodness sakes. Stress was in my job description.

But wedding stress is on an entirely different level. To get all your vendors on the phone and squared away is like herding cats. Customer service is not a dying art form ... I'm afraid it's already dead and turning blue.

Allow me provide you with an example:

The bridesmaids dresses were scheduled to be at the bridal shop this week. The bridal shop is in New Orleans, so I thought I would phone and check in. The conversation went something like this:

"Pearls Place, how may I help you."

"Yes, my name is Stephanie Netherton, and I'm calling about my bridesmaids dresses. They were scheduled to be in this week and I wanted to see if we were on track."

"OK, let me go check."

(on hold for four minutes)


"No, this is Stephanie."

"Ok, how may I help you."

"I'm calling about my bridesmaids dresses. They were supposed to be in this week."

"Ok, let me go check."

(four more minutes pass)

"Pearls Place, how may I help you?"

"Are you serious? This is Stephanie Netherton, and I'm calling to check on my bridesmaids dresses."

"Do you know what brand?"

"Priscilla of Boston."

"Let me check."

(two minutes pass)

"They're not here, so I'm going to have to call them but they're usually on time so I wouldn't worry about."

"Ok, thanks."

... Meanwhile, back at the ranch. My sister-in-law has called and left me a message, so I return her call.

She says:

"Pearls Place called and the dresses are in and they're shipping to you today."

"What? I literally just hung up the phone with them."

"Really? Well, I told them they needed to call you firsthand and let you know. The lady told me "no, you can call her."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Stateside Again

My family is finally breathing a collective sigh of relief this week. After many years of going back and forth, my cousin Michael is home from Iraq.

It's difficult to have someone you love serving in war. Every time you hear of a bombing and soldiers being killed or injured, you wonder if your phone will soon ring with the news that your person was one of them. It's a horrible thing to have to wonder.

And communication is still not as instant as you would like it to be. A few years ago, Michael was injured and taken to Germany to recover, but we didn't know the injury had even taken place until he returned to Iraq.

Michael enlisted in the military when he was just a kid, fresh out of high school. He looked like such a boy then. I remember him coming home for the first time several years later and thinking how quickly he'd grown into a man. He's now married and has two children.

Mike is stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington, so we haven't gotten to see him yet. But I'm overjoyed to know he's home, sleeping in his own bed and getting to make his children breakfast for the first time in years.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Funny Things That Happen at Work

My office may be 30 miles from home, but it's a really fun place to work. I can see myself working here for a long time ... unless I get a book deal and can sit in my lounger next to the pool and write books all day. Ty is hoping for the book deal so that I'll be home and his laundry might get done more promptly. I'm hoping for a maid.

Novels aside, I enjoy working for this company that manufactures concrete buildings. I mostly enjoy the people I work with. Very laid back and naturally kind people. And with that said, it's tradition around here to throw showers and parties for people celebrating birthdays, babies, weddings, etc. This week, the office received an e-mail about one of these surprise parties. It read:

Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2010 2:58 PM

Subject: CONFIDENTIAL -- Drew

As you are probably aware, Drew is getting married this Saturday, July 10, 2010. In honor of this occasion, we will be presenting Drew with a gift card to Bass Pro Shop this Thursday at 1:00 pm in the front lobby (sorry about the short notice). If you would like to contribute, please see either Kim, Cardell or myself by the end of the day tomorrow. We will also be serving cake and punch.

Shhhhh!!!! Don't tell Drew!! We would like for this to be a surprise, if possible! Thanks!

Sounds like a nice surprise for the groom, huh? Two minutes later this e-mail followed:

Sent: Tuesday, July 6, 2010 3:00 PM


I must say, that was a great surprise, I’ll keep my mouth shut.


I think you could hear the entire office laugh simultaneously.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Steak and Sod

I love long weekends. It's like a free mini vacation where I don't actually go anywhere ... and I am forced to work around the house all weekend.

Nevermind on the loving long weekends part. I take it back.

Ty and I did work very hard this weekend, but we've since been enjoying the fruits of our labor. Remember the dirt patch in our backyard? It is no longer there because we spent a few hours Saturday laying sod. My dad called our relative Buster, who has a sod farm, and he sent the delivery truck to our house with all this:

Thank goodness all of this sod wasn't for us. I would probably be immobilized with pain. So, with my dad's help, we put down a pallet and a half in our yard.

At this point, I thought it was going to be very easy.

By this point, I was pleading to the gods for a freaking break. But the good news is that we have grass, and the dogs are thrilled.

With all our hard work, we did have some fun this weekend, too. Friday night, we went out to Superior's Steakhouse with the whole family to celebrate my Dad's birthday.

Dad, Amy, Chris, Ashley, Taylor, Katye, Ty and I had a really good time together, followed by some mind-blowingly good karaoke.

The rest of the weekend was great, too. We ate at The Cub with Marcus and LJ on Saturday night. It will probably be a month or so before I'm ready to even see another steak. We went to church Sunday morning and then spent the rest of the day on the Red River.

Seriously, what's more American than eating two steaks, doing some yard work and sitting on the Red River for most of your Fourth of July weekend?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Keep Nathan in Your Prayers

Nathan Tuckfield, or Tuck as many of us call him, was in a terrible accident last week while working around his house. Tuck and his wife, Megan, live in Guy, Ark., and each spring the area sees its fair share of tornadic activity. So, Tuck was taking the time to clear out the storm cellar, which had become overgrown with brush, trash and weeds, when the accident happened. 

Tuck was burning the brush out of the cellar when the fire suddenly exploded, giving him second-degree burns on his face and arms. His decision to wear sunglasses probably saved his eyes. The image is pretty gruesome, but it also shows the severity of his burns.

Please keep Tuck in your prayers. He's a great friend of Ty's and one of the groomsmen in our wedding. He should make a full recovery, but the healing process will be painful. To prevent infection and to help the wounds heal, Megan has to scrub the wounds multiple times each day. 

I can't imagine the pain he's enduring. But Tuck is a strong guy, full of cowboy wisdom, and definitely determined to get back on his feet as soon as possible.