Thursday, March 31, 2011

In which I brag about how cool I was in 7th grade -

Today is opening day of the 2011 baseball season.

In the fall, (college) football becomes somewhat of an obsession for me, intensified by the fact that a Saturday of games can fuel an entire week's worth of debates, conversations, and ragging on one another. My love for college football has grown in the past four or five years; so much so that I think I surprise some of my friends who remember me before football. (Ha.) The SEC is my conference, and the South Carolina Gamecocks are my team. (I know. I know. But, I was born into it, and it's charmingly inescapable.)

In the winter, basketball is on. Pro basketball means nothing to me. My parents - especially my mother - have college basketball games on almost constantly, even if they aren't watching. I know my mother enjoys the pace of the games and how the tide can turn from one team to another so quickly.

But in the spring and summer, there is baseball, my first true love, thanks in almost all part to TBS. The summer after seventh grade I was not cool. I had friends, but they didn't live within bicycling distance, so I had alot of free time. So, I watched the Atlanta Braves. Almost every day. I scheduled my life, as much as I could, around those games. I remember getting mad at my parents when I realized we wouldn't be home in time for the start of a game.

(image via)

I also distinctly remember once reading and watching a Braves games at the same time. I would often set my glasses down right beside me on the couch, even though my dad told me not to because "I'd sit on them and break them." Bah, I wanted new frames anyway and had been asking for them for a while. Soon after, Dad was outside mowing the grass, Mom was not at home, and I sat on my glasses and broke them. The best worst part was that I slunk outside, showed my dad my glasses, and lied. I told him that they just tragically broke in two in my hands. Somehow, I think my dad knew the truth, but I was a kid who truly needed glasses, so we trekked over to the eye doctor immediately. My punishment came quietly. As I prepared to peruse the options, Dad walked over to the counter and ordered the exact same frames as I currently owned. Since the lens didn't break, I had my old new glasses before the end of the game.

I still love baseball. Today marks a new season for the Braves, and I'm so excited. Young talent, old talent, a fresh manager (though Bobby Cox is missed). I want it to be a good season.
Please tell me that I'm not the only child of the Braves' reign on TBS in the 90s.

(Also, the USC Gamecocks' win in the College World Series last year was stress inducing and amazing. We watched every game we could.)

One more thing: Remember the dress exchange I mentioned in this post? Well, the lovely lady who currently has my dress did a post about it on her personal fashion blog last week. How cool is that? My dress is famous.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rainy Monday Miscellany

Happy rainy Monday! Joining up with Carissa's Miscellany Monday.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. Extraordinary Women
Thanks to an invite from my friend, Jorji, I attended the Extraordinary Women's Conference in Greenville, SC, this past weekend. It was some lovely girl time. Our scripture for the weekend was Isaiah 40: 28 - 31. I'm so thankful that we have everlasting hope.

2. Compassion
Speaking of the conference, hands down, my favorite part was when a young adult woman named Lois spoke about how being sponsored by Pam in Alaska as a child saved her. She's now attending Moody Bible Institute. It reminded me of this video (that always makes me cry):

3. Murphy Beds
The motel we stayed all for the conference had a murphy bed. I was perhaps a little too excited to get to sleep on one. But honestly, I think they are so cool.

4. Digging Holes
I'm pretty sure our dog is regressing. He's almost four, and until about 6 months ago, he'd not dug a hole in a couple of years. Lately, if we leave him out in the backyard on his own, it's not too long before his paws start moving. We paid to have sod laid after we got married (before that, the hubs had his very own dirt pit in the backyard), so I'm pretty anal about our grass. Any suggestions?

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I love cake.

Today, this package arrived on our doorstep.

My sweet friend, who also happens to be a coworker living in Atlanta, sent me a cake from one of her favorite bakeries in Florida. We very much share a love of cake, and she sent me one of her favorite varieties - Key Lime bundt cake - as an early birthday gift.

It came with a handwritten note and a menu full of tempting options.

 A cake baked in Florida, ordered in Georgia, and eaten in South Carolina. Isn't that the coolest thing?

Also, it was really, really good.

Best pre-birthday gift ever.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wedding Weekend Miscellany

Joining up with Carissa's Miscellany Monday.
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. Long Distance Diets
What is it about a solo 2+ hour car trip that results in the consumption of foods you wouldn't normally eat? On my drive to the wedding festivities, I devoured a bag of CornNuts and a Diet Coke.

(image via)

2. Wedding Dress(es)
Of course, the bride clearly stole the "fashion show" portion of the wedding! (Pictures to come.) But as for the attendees, one of my friends wore this dress, and we couldn't get over how awesome and versatile it was.

(image via)

3. Dress Exchange
Speaking of dresses, one of my other closest friends lives out in San Francisco (her husband just may have determined the fabric of your husband's Old Navy shirt). We aren't exactly the same size (She's taller.), but we can share dresses. We actually traded dresses for the rehearsal dinner, and since that was both fun and an inexpensive way to have a new dress to wear, we decided to trade dresses for a while. Eventually, we'll trade back; mailing should be pretty cheap since these dresses are both simple and light. I plan to take pictures of myself when I wear her dress, so we can see where her dress got to travel; I expect her to do the same. (My little dress has never been to the big city before!) You should do the same with one of your long distance pals - maybe even one of your blogger friends.

4. Wedding gifts
The bride is a teacher, and her fellow teachers banded together and purchased multiple gift certificates for restaurants in the area that they honeymooned. I wish I'd thought of this idea! It might be tough if the bride and groom are headed to another part of the world, but for US destinations, this would be an easy way to pull together an extremely useful group gift.

5. Celebrating Dad
On Sunday, the hubs and I drove through my hometown, in order to celebrate my dad's 65th birthday. My dad chose the restaurant, so we headed over to one of our local Mexican restaurants and chowed down while laughing a lot. My mom made my nephew pull up this video on his Droid, and we watched it while waiting for the check.

Also, my nephew is 16, and he drove from one of our destinations to another yesterday. He's learning fast, but I'm still processing that my nephew is old enough to drive.

Also, spring is knocking my socks off this year. I'm never been so excited to walk outside each morning and look at the new growth on our trees and plants. I told my husband that I want to convince my friends that they also like buying plants, weeding flowerbeds, and watering trees and flowers. It's so fascinating to see everything go from dormancy back to life, and I want friends to talk about planting adventures with. Maybe my mother's green thumb is finally rubbing off on me. Happy Monday, everyone.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wedding weekend

This weekend, we will be celebrating the wedding and marriage of one of my best friends, Cheryl. Call her Chrl (vowels unnecessary). We've been hanging out since middle school.

In middle school we were (maybe not so) cool. Yes, part of that night's slumber party involved hair and make-up.

We called our group of six (which is now nine members strong) the "Mag Six." And maybe once we handmade matching t-shirts and had pictures taken. (One of the perks of working for a professional photographer in high school.)

It's been a few years since high school. But, these are still my "call anytime of day, no matter what" friends. We've been through a lot, and I'm so thankful for them!

Chrl is marrying a wonderful guy, and their relationship is one amazing story of God's love.

I can't wait to celebrate.

And I'd like to think we all turned out okay. (The adorably pregnant one in this picture left her husband home that night watching their other two kiddos. They are now a family of five.)

Happy weekend! (Maybe this post was a slight excuse to pull out ridiculous old pictures.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

He bought; she bought.

Last Wednesday, when I went shopping with the girls, I picked up these new flats.

I found them at Ross. They were still a bit of a splurge, as I technically don't need any shoes, but they are real leather, and I know I will wear them out.

Last Thursday, the hubs came home from work carrying this:

That's right - a real ship's steering wheel. It's still leaning against our dining room table until we figure out just what to do with it. (Maybe a ship's wheel will become the newest decorating craze.) It's very heavy, so if we hang it on the wall, heavy duty hardware will be required. Now, in full disclosure, the hubs mentioned he'd found it on Craigslist, but when he walked through the door, it still took me off-guard.

I'm just amused at the difference between what happens when he and I do a little shopping. Any ideas on what to do with ship's wheel (painting is a no-go on this one)?

I'll admit that it does bring a sense of adventure to our dining room.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Miscellaneous Thoughts for Monday

This morning, I'm drinking my tea, and joining up with Carissa's Miscellany Monday.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1) Rango

We saw it on Friday. My husband is a big fan of cartoon movies (and they are definitely growing on me). I found this one pretty disappointing. Apparently, it got some decent reviews, but I seemed to be straddling the line between movie for grown-ups and movie for kids. It definitely seemed more appropriate for the adults in the theater, with the use of language and the naunces of some of the jokes, but, as with most cartoon movies, we were surrounded by lots of children. We're definitely going to have to do more homework before we go see a movie once we have kiddos.

2) Lamb's ear

We just planted some in one of the small beds in our backyard. I know some people don't like it because it spreads fast (and some varieties have strange flowers), but I think it's charming. Its leaves are soft and almost furry. If you ever come over, please let me introduce you to it.

(image via)

(Please note that this is not my backyard. Sigh.)

My husband says I like soft plants. I guess I do. I'm a weirdo.

3) The Furminator!!

We took our dog to PetSmart last week to get a treatment called the "Furminator". It's basically a headcore bath and brushing with a specific shed-reducing line of products, and they claim it reduces shedding by as much as 90 percent. So far, we're impressed. His shedding really does seem lessened (as evidenced by the almost non-existent number of fur tumbleweeds in the corners), and if you sniff the fur on his back (which I do) it still smells good (and it's been five days!). We think we might put this treatment on regular rotation. Fair warning, it cost a few dollars (We're going to have to specifically plan and budget for it.)

4) Baby names
If you want to kill some time, check out this blog. It's quite unassuming, but I can get caught up reading about what names people are considering for their children. I especially love the "update" posts.

5) HomeGoods

(image via)

I went for the first time. I wasn't as impressed as I expected to be, but everyone raves about it, so I will give it another go, I know. Any recommendations about shopping there? What kinds of things to buy or what day to go?

I know one thing for sure, I will not take my husband with me the next time I go. At one point, I was perusing the aisle of pillows, and I hear him say, "One."

"What are you counting?" I asked him.

"The number of guys in this store that don't work here. I just counted myself."

My husband - ever the comedian.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Life-Life Balance

(image via)

(Isn't this sign lovely? I would like it hanging over the entrance from the dining room to the great room.)

My apologies for being M.I.A. the past week.

I've been enjoying evenings without my laptop. The hubs and I had gotten a bit too attached to our respective screens. Sometimes we still end up staring at another screen, but at least we do it while cuddling on the couch.

Honestly, I've had a lot on my mind lately. I remember being younger, and I could often only focus on the "next big thing," whether that thing was a trip to the amusement park, a big exam, or the potential of a phone call from a boy.

Well, right now, it feels like there are a lot of things going on in our life. Things pertaining to work, to big life decisions, etc, and it would be so easy for me to spend all my free time dwelling on those things.

But, I'm learning (especially, as a relative newlywed who is learning that it really and truely isn't all about me!) that life goes on despite the many thoughts in my head and stresses that seem to be surrounding by me. Dinner still needs to be fixed, small group still meets, the dog still needs to be fed.

I am so amazed by the women who blog who are dealing with (much) larger stresses than I, yet they move forward with shoulders high, trusting God. I am so encouraged by those stories.

I choose joy.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1: 2-4

In more exciting news, I met with my lovely friend Sarah, from Bon Blog Designs, last week, so hopefully, sooner than later my blog will look a bit more presentable.

Also, last night, I went shopping with two wonderful friends, including my lovely friend Elizabeth (who is this close to starting a blog - here's hoping she does). Since we live in suburbia, our shopping consisted of trips to TJMaxx and Ross after a quick dinner at McAlister's Deli. While at McAlister's, Elizabeth introduced us to their Chocolate Lovin Spoon Cake.

It's not diet food, but it was definitely delicious. You can split it with your boy or your friends to make it more calorie-friendly. =)

(image via)

Oh, and one more thing. Elizabeth is also pretty sure she's come up with a way for us to replicate the lovely wall hanging I mentioned in my previous post. I will definitely keep you updated; maybe a how-to post will be an order.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I would like this -

Hanging over our bed. Sadly, it's not in our budget.

(Image via)

It did make the wheels in my head start turning. We have some scrap wood in the garage. And -

This would be a lot better if I had an awesome "after" project. Which I don't. At least not today.

Some people do a spring cleaning. I apparently do a pre-spring redecorating.