Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Haul out the Holly

For lack of better content, I am posting some festive photos of our casa all decorated up for the Christmas season. My dear Bowtie gave me free reign when it came to holiday decor selection, so you'll notice a distinctly Sarah influence (aka, blinged out pink poinsettias, sparkly reindeer, tartan bows and giant shiny ornaments). We are feeling very merry around here!! Enjoy les pix.

And yes, I have been listening to Christmas music for months, ala this post.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Small victories

Gang, this is exciting. I - somehow, and finally - figured out how to change the email address associated with my blog!! I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to do this... honestly, "several dozen times" is my guess.

This means a couple of things:

1. I will now be able to see comments in my gmail the instant they are published, instead of having to go to my old hotmail account which I only check maybe once a month.

2. I will be able to/be more inclined to post new entries because I won't be required to log out of my always-logged-in gmail just to do it! Big. Big. Big. Win (for me, and you).

3. I guess that's really it. But I like a point 3.

So... now I really have NO excuse for not updating more often. Three cheers for this day of inspiration!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Livin' room, bedroom, dinette

It's official - as of this past weekend, Braden and I have moved into our new digs!! We've been boxing up and moving belongings since the middle of June, and we finally have all of our "stuff" under one roof. Although Braden did choose to leave behind (read: trash) everything that was in the apartment refrigerator while I was away at a bridal shower... Items left behind: an entire box of unsalted butter sticks, brand new ketchup and mustard, an unopened box of popsicles, a container of organic mint, chicken stock, spaghetti sauce, etc. etc. etc. I managed to bite my tongue, but I could have killed him. Unmarried ladies - this is what you might have to look forward to someday.


We have a zillion boxes to unpack and lots of decorating to do, but we are here. And we are happy.

I've heard from my many illustrious readers (Amanda) that I have not made good on my promise to blog more. So this is my check in to just get something on the board for summer. More bloggin' and pictures to follow.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Home, with an asterisk

I moved to Dallas in July of 2007, but for three years it felt like I moved to Limbo. My body was in Texas, but my heart was 14 hours away and across the Mississippi River. I can't count how many times over three years I said, "Dallas is growing on me, but it will never be home..." And I meant that - Dallas would NEVER be my home or where I was from. Nothing personal, Big D; I wasn't ready to commmit.

Somehow, despite that fact, I'm going to co-own a home in Texas. I'm actually a lot more excited than that sounds, so let's try again - I'm going to own my first house with my awesome husband!! Better.

About a month ago, Braden and I had a literal come to Jesus meeting about our future plans - would we give up our life in Texas and move home or would we commit to living in Texas for an as-yet-undetermined length of time? This would not be an easy decision, as neither choice was a compromise; choosing either option left one of us sacrificing our heart's desire. We spent lots and lots of time in prayer, and I shed more tears than I care to admit. But at the end of a week that saw me break into hysterics at the drop of a hat, God gave me peace. Peace about pursuing a life in Dallas. Peace that, because I had asked for His blessings, He would be faithful to bring them. Peace that Braden and I were growing together in Christ and that He has a purpose for us in Texas. Peace that we are in the right place at the right time.

And so, we began to look for a house. It was full steam ahead, and it felt great! I have rarely felt that secure in a decision - and I know that feeling can only come from relying on one's faith. We looked at houses for not even a full two weeks and made an offer. The offer was accepted, and we're moving forward towards closing day.

We are blessed!

Without further ado, here is the beauty:

Barring any unforeseen issues, that will be our house and our home*. (*even though it's in Dallas)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Designer Imposters

So this is yet another shallow post and contains little of substance. But - look at me, posting three times in three days!! I am really making an effort here, people. So take the shallow and know that the days of serious can't be far around the corner.

I have expensive taste. And I have fallen hard for two pairs of designer shoes for summer. There is no no NO way I will ever buy them; they are just "TOOOO ESPEEEENSIVE" (shout out to Lana). But, still I think they are beautiful and would look so perfect on my feet all summer long. Luckily, I have found two more moderately priced look-alike options that I could more easily afford.

Before you chastise me, I am NOT saying that these are what I'd call "cheap" shoes by any stretch, but they are at least considerably more affordable than the designer ones I daydream about. And, I think they have a very similar look. So, now, I covet these cheap-ER versions.

What I want:

(YSL Tribute Platform Sandal)

The more affordable alternative:

(Linea Paolo Jarren Sandal)

What I want:

(Christian Louboutin Crisscross Espadrille)

The more affordable option:

(Vince Camuto Edon Wedge Sandal)

Like I said, I'm not saving lives here. I just want to get in the habit of blogging again, even if it means that my posts are about shoes (or nail polish). I love shoes. This is my blog, and I wanted to look at these beauties.

Actually...I'm feeling guilty about writing only about shoes and nails and a fluffy survey so far. So let's use this shoe post to talk about something more meaningful. I can easily make the comparison between my self image and this designer/"imposter" shoe issue. I have this image of what I want to be like, look like, act like - but in real life I don't live up to that standard of perfection (well, my idea of perfection anyway). And I get very frustrated and very "down" when I don't feel or act or look perfect. I have been hearing great things - RAVE reviews, really - about Beth Moore's book, "So long, Insecurity." I plan on reading Beth's book soon. I don't want to be a slave to my insecurities, and I am sick of living life paralyzed by fear of what other people think of me. More to come on that...

See? We ended on a serious note. I told you it would happen!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I was re-reading my blog posts (there are just SO many of them to go through...) and I laughed out loud at the survey I filled out way back when I started writing in 2006 (coincidentally, that is also about the time I stopped writing...) Anyway. I thought it'd be fun to fill out another one today. Some of my answers didn't change much at all! So, here ye go.

What I was doing ten years ago:
May, 2000. Wow. I was about to graduate from high school, a time that could not come quickly enough to 18 year-old me. Though I loved academics, I did not embrace the typical high school experiences of dating, having fun with friends, going to prom, etc. I didn’t have much of a life outside of schoolwork and dance rehearsals, but I was happy because I excelled at those things. Still, I believed I needed a fresh start, and the end of high school seemed promising. I had accomplished all of the oh-so important goals I had set for myself: I won my county Junior Miss pageant, achieved success in my dance and academic pursuits, and received scholarships to my top two college choices. I had also very recently lost my maternal grandfather to cancer. His funeral marked the first time I realized that I can be kind of emotionless in the face of tragedy. Months later, I finally cried for him and for my mom and her sisters. Honestly, that whole month of May is a huge blur. What I really remember is that about a month later I would discover that my hair did, in fact, prefer to be worn curly (and not in the strangled, flattened, flipped at the ends way I had been wearing it for years) – just in time for a summer of fun and a college send-off.

Five years ago:
May, 2005. Another wow! I was finishing up my time interning in D.C. and beginning preparations for my BiG Fourth of July move to Nashville. I was really, really ready to find a way to balance work life with personal life. I had no idea how awesome or life-changing my decision to move to Tennessee would be! God was working to prepare the way even then.

One year ago:
May, 2009. I can’t believe it’s been a year, but I was newly married and settling into life as the Bowtie’s wife. We had returned from our Mexican honeymoon and managed to avoid the swine flu in the process. Score one for us! I was also winding down my time in my original position at the University and gearing up for my exciting (and current) position. I was nervous but excited about all the changes going on in my life. I was getting lots of migraines and grinding my teeth down to nubs after several months of wedding stress finally caught up with me. I visited Austin to see my BFF and the newest Kentucky-to-Texas transplant, Sarah M. I wanted to get a puppy but thought better of it.

May 3, 2010. Let’s see… it was a Monday. I woke up with just barely enough time to get ready, eat some delicious Honey Nut Cheerios, and give the Bowtie a kiss. I went to work and checked email and Google Reader, as is my morning custom (especially on Mondays). I got a frantic phone call from the Bowtie saying that my mother was trying to get in touch with me and that something was wrong with my grandmother. I spoke with mom and got the rest of the story (not to be shared here currently). I prayed a lot. I went to the dentist and was given a grade “B+“ for my general good dental health but continued lack of interest in flossing. I worked some more – emails, meetings, reports. I left an hour after quitting time despite promising myself that I would leave on time. I got caught in a rainstorm. I talked with my mom on the phone for a long time. I saw the biggest rainbow I’ve ever seen. I half-heartedly watched Dancing with the Stars and had a Lean Cuisine for dinner (the Bowtie is on business in Alamo country). I watched Forensic Files in bed. It’s an exciting life – don’t be jealous.

Five songs I know all the words to:
Party in the USA, Miley Cyrus
Shameless, Garth Brooks
My Old Kentucky Home, Stephen Foster
Fantasy, Ludacris
Man With A Plan, Assembly of Dust

Five snacks I enjoy regularly:
clementine oranges
Baked Cheetos
Viactiv vitamins

Five things I'd do if I won $100 million:
buy a house or a few
quit my job… even though I like my current one
visit my family in Kentucky and my friends that are strewn about the nation
travel through Europe
save, save, save

Five places I would run away to:
Bedford, Kentucky
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Five things I would never wear:
a romper or jumpsuit – I don’t care how trendy they are!
socks with sandals
Duke paraphernalia
blue eyeshadow
white patent leather pumps

Five Favorite TV Shows:
Forensic Files
Modern Family
The Wonder Years
Murder, She Wrote

Five Favorite Toys:
Fashion Plates and Fashion Faces
plastic food

Monday, May 03, 2010

Guess who's back? (Back again!)

Ahem... Testing, testing. Hi! This is me, coming out of of retirement.

What's that, you say? You've missed me?! Well, MAB, I have missed you too. ;)

What could make a blogger who hasn't posted in over two years come out of retirement? What could be SO big that it would be worth her dusting off her keyboard and committing to a night of recovering her blog password and reading through her previous, pitiful posts?

No, it's not a baby. It's not even a dog. It's something much less significant but almost as exciting (to me). I have discovered a wonder product, and I must share the news of it with those who haven't yet shared in its greatness.

I have always steered clear of getting regular manicures because they just don't last on my fingers. I could get a manicure on Tuesday and by Thursday it would be in complete shambles. Spending $20 on a mani only to have it dissolve after a day and a half frustrated me to NO end. So I preferred naked nails. But I've now discovered a way to get a manicure that lasts...are you ready for this?...TWO WEEKS. I never thought such a thing would be possible. But it is.

I give to you...OPI Axxium gel laquer.

Here is my left paw, after multiple days of wear, picking, and dish washing. This is day 13.

I am not even kidding when I say that this product is the best nail product EVER. It's come to my attention that some ladies do not suffer from the same mani issues as me; they are able to keep a $20 manicure for a reasonable amount of time. But if you're like me and need a stronger option, check out Axxium.

Now. That is a bit of a shallow post for my first one back. But I wanted to get something on the board so that I can (hopefully) start blogging again. There are a million things on my mind lately, 99% of them much more serious than manicures, but this was a start. I'm feeling good about the prospect of rejoining your blogging ranks.