Sweetness in a box

Back in January, I was supposed to go to Austin to hang out with some wonderful women. It happened that MzEll was going to be in Austin the same damn weekend, AND! AND! AND! she was going to have her sweet baby Arlo with her, and I was over the moon! I was going to get to meet her and snuggle up to sweet Arlo!...
And then the trip had to be cancelled. I'm really hoping to get it rescheduled sometime in the spring, because I'm not sure I can wait much longer. Unfortunately, MzEll doesn't live in Austin, so I won't get to see her. WAH! No snorgling that sweet baby smell.
So I go to the post office last week, and there's a package for me!

I was patient, and waited till I got home to tear into it, but it was HARD.
When I got home, I nearly sliced my hand with the sissors, I was so excited.

Do you see the cuteness that is that purse!? Omg, if I didn't have to carry a purse that closes for both of my jobs, I would be shoving all my stuff into it right now! So, I am resigned to the fact that I will be using it as a cute lunch bag for my internship. SO.CUTE.

I honestly don't know how she did it, but MzEll gave me two books that have been on my REALLY-WANT-TO-READ list. I want to tear into Loving Frank right now, but omg, I have so much reading to do for my classes. Sigh. All three books are now sitting on my bookshelf, patiently waiting to be opened.

These cards are so adorable! Actually, it was a little kit to decorate the cards, and I opened them right away and got to creating. Now I just have to figure out who I want to send them to. :)

New to-do-list pads!! Super cute!

I have always wanted to try this stuff. And seriously, the packaging is so funny. Look!:

"Size matters"!
I *may* be a 12 year old boy. Sorry.
Back to the lip plumper. It works! And it smells like chocolate. What more could you want?? I put some on my sister's lips, and she flipped out when it started tingling. My upper lip needs all the help it can get, by the way.

Not only were these things in the box, but MzEll also included stickers, magnets, a way cute flower purse, and Hello Kitty jewelry for my girl! I have no photographic proof because the stickers are all over the house, the magnets are a clusterfuck on the bottom of the fridge, and I would be lying if I said I even knew where the jewelry was. That girl has so many hiding places in this house.

How sweet is MzEll?
Thank you sweets! You are lovely and sweet and kind and omg, why must we live on opposite ends of this large-ass state???


Music Lover Monday

I'm really loving this band right now. Enough to want to buy a ton of iTunes' worth. This song makes me happy, but the video makes me even happier. Enjoy.

Hey Soul Sister by Train



Today is Violence Unsilenced 1 year anniversary. Please go check out the fantastic video @Maggiedammit put together. She is pretty damn fantastic herself, let me tell ya.

Go support the website, the survivors, Maggie, and those that have yet to speak, who are too scared to speak.
I spoke out, and so can you.
Every voice counts.


Music Lover Monday-A playlist from the best playlist-er ever

I love music. You know this. And so does Alan! He's just so kick-ass with music. Oh, and movies too! I can randomly send him a Tweet asking about a movie, and BOOM!-He sends me a link to a review he wrote on the movie. Love that. I do have to say though, I watched Couples Retreat this weekend, and I was so incredibly disappointed, although Alan claims it's not "that bad". Well, it wasn't that GOOD either. Sigh.
Moving on.
Alan posted a playlist for me! How cool is that? So, since he shared, I'm sharing too!
Here's the link: http://alntvmusic.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/a-little-left-of-lost-mix/.
My favorite in this list? The Ataris. That song...sigh. Full of the melancholy.
Thanks, Alan- You sure know how to pick out music that matches a person's personality!Here's the list:

  •  Even Though by Norah Jones (Love this woman.)
  • Photographs by Rihanna
  •  When Love TAkes over by David Guetta

  • Ana Ng by They might be Giants (Haven't thought of them in forever!)
  • Throwback by Timbaland & Magoo (That voice-Le sigh)
  • Everybody's Got something to hide except me & My Monkey by The Beatles (Love the Beatles. LOVE.)
  • Storm of Worry by Sonny Landreth
  • Petrified by Fort Minor
  • Boys of Summer by the Ataris (Seriously get the goosebumps every time I hear this song)
  • Coalinga by The Riders
  • Fences by Phoenix
  • The Day Brings by Brad
  • Rollacoasta by Robin Thicke & Estelle
  • Mexican Moon by Concrete Blonde


Girl Talk Thursday-Valentine's Day is a RACKET

So. Valentine's Day. Do I love it? Hate it?
When I was a kid, I loved Valentine's day. And it wasn't so much all the candy, the cards from friends and crushes, the teddy bears, the balloons. I mean, those things were great; don't get me wrong. But what I loved the most were the cards and poems from my parents.
My mother always wrote me little poems. She put them in my lunchbox, in my sock drawer, on the counter paper-clipped to my lunch money, slid under the windshield wiper of my car. They were mostly silly little things:
Roses are Red,
Violets are blue,
Here's some ice cream money,
Because I love you.

They made me smile.
I saved a ton of them.

My father bought me my then-favorite candy at least once a month: a Caramello. I still love them, but rarely eat them. He would open my bedroom door and toss it to me, saying "I love you, bud".

On Valentine's day, there would be a Caramello at my place on the kitchen table, and a red envelope containing my father's straight-backed cursive: "To my Bud-Will you be mine?" Next to it would be silly candy from my mother, and a new "Roses are Red" poem.

None of the other stuff mattered, the bears, the cards, the love notes from a crush, as long as those sincere and true love things were there on the table.

Now? Now I feel that Valentine's day is a RACKET. Yes, I said it. It's full of cards that mean something to only the person buying them, flowers that will wilt in a day or so, candy and little knick knacks that will end up under my kid's bed, or in the dog's mouth. I guess I feel like the sentiment left when all the foo-foo stuff set in? Or maybe I don't like it because I can never find things that really convey my love for my hard-to-buy-for hubby? And me, the one who has a way with words, finds herself staring at a blank journal page when she tries to write a well thought-out, sincere love note to him. I am the only one that saves these cards, stuffing them in the top drawer of my night stand, where I occasionally pull them out and read them. It all sounds so cheesy and canned and insincere, even though it isn't. Yet, every year I strive to do, say, or write something that is heartfelt and sincere.

This year, I will focus on my little girl. I am making her easy chocolate-covered strawberries. I will find a silly card that will make her smile. I will buy her a little cupcake, give her lots of kisses, and write her a simple poem. I will do this every year, so that she will have pleasant memories of this day, no matter how old she is.
And in doing so, I hope to re-discover the real pleasure and sentiment behind this holiday.


Music Lover Monday on a rainy day

[She's my Kind of Rain by Tim McGraw]

[Raining on Sunday by Keith Urban]

I don't write a lot about my husband because he's much more private than I. He has his doubts about the beauty of friendship that grows out of blogging. While he seemingly respects my writing, he doesn't say much about it either way. I respect his opinion, and don't share too much about him. However.
These things come from my heart, my soul, and this is my blog. So. I will share safe things from my heart.

These two songs never fail to make me think of him. Tim McGraw's song came out not long after my girl was born, and there were some other things going on in our life together, besides a new baby and his growing business. The first time I heard the song, I grew still in my skin, and soaked up the words. It's sweet, kind, and endearing.
Keith Urban's song came out just prior to a busy time in our lives. I was always working, he was thinking of starting up his own company, and by the time his company was in full swing, that song was playing on the radio several times a day. I remember us both constantly going, striving for good things, and I felt very much like we were missing out on something desperately important: us.
If you happen to be reading this, love, these songs speak to me, and I hope they speak to you.


GTT-Call me a chicket shit ONE.MORE.TIME

The things I will probably never do, although I'm pretty sure they would all be awesome if I had the balls:
  • Skydive-My heart would probably be in my stomach the entire time, I would make weird animal sounds, and I'd pee my pants, shit my pants, puke, or all of the above. I'll pass.
  • Bungee jump-See above.
  • Go scuba diving-I have this odd issue with being in the water with fish. I want to be able to swim with the fishies, appreciate the beauty underwater, but I get all nervous and batshit. Pass. 
  • Go real-life mountain climbing. I'm not a wuss, but I'm also not that badass.
  • Go hunting w/ my hubby. Now, this is a tricky one. See, I really don't want to shoot and kill an animal, especially a deer, but I guess I sorta see the appeal for my hubby. I just wish I could share in that with him, I guess? I don't know. This one's just meh. Pass.
  • Run some sort of marathon, 5K, etc. I walk several each year, but I would love to be able to just run the entire time. 
  • Tell my mother-in-law what I think of her shitty attitude towards her son (my hubby), myself, and everyone related to me. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. This one is a death sentence. Not gonna happen. 
What about you? What are you too afraid to do?


Bah (Or rather: MOO, if we are being politically correct)

My hubby bought me a gorgeous sweater/coat/jacket thingy from Anthropologie that I was drooling over. He bought it right when we moved into this house. It's made of wool.
Do you need an outline to see where this is going?
I wore the hell out of it over the holidays. I wore it last week to my internship, where I may or may not have spilled salad dressing on it during one of my intense hunger pangs, where I may or may not have been sneezed on by a resident, with gusto.
Into the wash it went.
Except I didn't read the damn tag. COLD WATER. HAND WASH. *shakes fist at sky*
I washed it in warm water, and luckily I did the whole gentle cycle thing.
Except I fell asleep before the washing machine was done doing it's thing.
I woke up to a damn sweater/coat/jacket that would probably fit my 4 year old snuggly.
Of course, I panicked. And at 6:30 in the morning I was googling HOW TO STRETCH WOOL. And yes, like the 12 year old boy I am, I giggled at that. (Pull wool? Bwahahahaha! No? Okay, fine.) But still, panic.
So I did what the damn internet said to do. I soaked it in cool water with some hair conditioner. And then I soaked it some more. And then I began pulling wool (Bwahahaha. Oh. Sorry).
The motherfucker still looks snug. I don't have an ounce of bravery to sneak into my laundry room right now and see if it fits me.
Any suggestions? Will it start to stretch again as I wear it, like my stupid jeans? Please say yes. PLEASE.
And if that being tight isn't bad enough, I might as well talk about how tight my clothes are. Or rather, how they feel the same, despite working out 4 days a week for the last 3 weeks. Should I mention that I lost half a damn pound last week? Do you have any flippin' idea how damn hard it is to avoid sweets? Pastries? Chocolate cake? Yummy ice cream?? I avoid all.of.that. and all I lose is half a damn pound????  *shakes fist at sky*
And closely related, can I tell you that I made the best pork ribs in the slow cooker yesterday? Omg, I was drooling all day thinking about them, and then I walked in after class, and o.m.g. They smelled heavenly. And! Tasted just as good!
I was a good girl and ate a small portion, although what I really wanted to do was eat the entire amount of leftover heaven-sent ribs, and lick the inside of the slow cooker. I didn't; I swear.
However, back to the whole losing weight/getting in shape/eating healthy bullshit:
I am in a calorie deficit every damn day. I am eating about 1200 calories a day. And I am hungry. I wake up with my mouth watering and my stomach threatening to eat my liver. I go to bed hungry. It is a damn battle not to walk into my kitchen and stuff every sweet thing in my mouth right now. How the hell do I get past this? Why am I more hungry, even though I'm eating high-protein stuff that I like? Also? Could I miss pasta a little bit more?
And since I'm still on the subject of food, can I tell you how much I love my Biggest Loser & Hungry Girl cookbooks? I made a yummy enchilada soup from Hungry Girl earlier this week, (and I plan on making the wanton soup this weekend that she features at that same link), and I'm going to make orange chicken (healthy! I swear!) in the slow cooker too. But! I could always use some recommendations on yummy slow cooker meals. Anyone wanna share?
Now off to the kitchen to eat something halfway healthy.

(And before I forget! Thank you to all of you who sent me messages of support & utter kindness in reference to my Violence Unsilenced post. I appreciate it. As I said to several of you, it is so damn long ago that I don't even get angry about it anymore, other than to mourn the fact that I wasted about a year of my life. Also? Thank you for your support and encouragement in reference to my For the Taking series. I'm almost done with it. It's been hard, thinking about someone who is GONE, and realizing how quickly anyone's path can change, for better or worse. But it's been good to get it out, out of my head. Thanks everyone.)


For the taking (Part 3)

Part 1
Part 2

Twelve years.
For me: Heartache. Love. Commitment. Marriage. Graduation. Houses. Childbirth. Grad School.
For him: Heartache. Drugs. A child. Sobriety.

While pregnant, I walked the trail by the creek. Kevin came to mind at that 3rd curve, but I shoved him out of my mind, back to his little cave in the center of my heart. I would hear certain songs and my chest would clench.
I did a search for him on Myspace a couple of times, wondering if he was still alive. I know that sounds morbid, but I had an idea that things had not gone well back then.

In 2009, twelve years after that letter, after my life took another path, I received a message from him via Myspace.
He was alive.
And sober.
And healthy.

He apologized; I barely acknowledged it. We emailed back and forth a bit, about life:
He had a son, but rarely saw him, against his will. He was sober. He went to  church, played for the band there, was involved in the youth program.
I told him about my path, my marriage, my child, my job.
I expressed relief at knowing he was okay after all these years.
He expressed relief at the fact that I even responded to his email.

A month later, I had a series of dreams about him, struggling, fighting, crying out. I sent him a message, asking if he is okay: Is he struggling with his sobriety? Is he taking care of his diabetes?
He responds that he is doing well, that his diabetes is fine, but we could all use a bit more strength and prayer. He reassures me that he will never go to that place again.

That was 10 months ago.

The night I wrote this post, I heard one of the two songs in the post. That's what prompted the post in the first place. I sat right where I'm sitting now, and felt a hollow pain in my gut. After hitting publish, I went to Myspace to send him a message.
I'm not sure what I would have said in the email. How I was sorry our paths had diverged? How I missed him? How I felt guilty even thinking about the 'us' of 12 years prior, since I adore my hubby? What??
I clicked on his profile, only to see several people's comments saying they would miss him and they loved him. Like an idiot, I left a comment: "Where are you Kevin? Are you okay??"
I then did a google search, feeling the bile rise into my mouth.
He died.

He died a few weeks after our last brief email conversation. I sat in this chair, where I sit now, and sobbed. I emailed his cousin via Myspace, asking her what had happened. I searched my county's medical examiner website, hoping there was an autopsy with his name on it, and dreading it at the same time. There was none.

I found his obit online. It mentions his son's name. I sobbed even more.
I spent a fair amount of time online, searching all over, trying to find out what happened.
I barely slept that night.
I waited for almost 3 weeks for his cousin's response.


Music Lover Monday-New song I ganked from the playlist of a cool person

In the world of music, I'm in a weird place. I'm trying to avoid falling into the black hole of the old melancholy stuff I love. I don't want to be melancholy right now, even though I LOVE some of that music. Also? The damn radio has really been hammering it to me lately-I can't go a day without several songs twist my heart up.
So....I know I can always go to Alan, who gives me wonderful recs (and even makes me CDs & sends them to me! How kickass is that?!), but I decided I would go search some new stuff out as well. (Don't worry Alan-the email is coming!)
I usually don't go trolling through iTunes (I know, I know-"Why not?" meh), but I'm so glad I did!
1. Nevertheless by The Brian Jonestown Massacre
I got this one from Aziz Ansari's playlist. I love Parks & Recreation, and he cracks me the hell up, so I figured I'd check out his picks. Pretty good, huh?
(And hush your mouth about the fact that this song is indeed melancholy too. I know, I know....)