Archives for January 2010

(More) Random Things That Make Me Happy

1. the “30 Rock” theme song
2. hummus
3. Gain detergent
4. “the most dramatic rose ceremony ever”
5. singing in the car with the six year-old
6. “The Amazing Race”
7. the TJ Maxx near Sister’s house
8. funny texts
9. iTunes
10. Hummingbird Farms lavender lotion
11. lemons
12. epiphanies
13. great conversations
14. the smell of an Aveda store
15. the color turquoise
16. yoga pants
17. friends that feel like family
18. when the underdog wins
19. Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Oil shampoo
20. wisdom
21. a good scarf
22. the sound of my people laughing together
23. homemade pizza
24. comfortable silence
25. The Proposal

What about you?

It’s What’s For Dinner

This past Saturday we celebrated David’s 40th birthday. We ate lunch at our favorite Mexican place, browsed at a bookstore, stopped by our favorite bakery for some treats, lazed around the house and then enjoyed D’s favorite meal for supper (country fried steak, rice and gravy, lima beans, rolls, tres leches cake). We were all about the favorites. There were even a few presents. It was a good day.

I thought the birthday festivities were over, but today I got an email from D with a subject line that said, “WOW.” His birthday gift from Sister and her hubby had arrived, and he was so surprised and delighted by it that he actually sent me pictures.

Perhaps I should explain.

A few of y’all may remember that D has a theory about what he calls identifiable meat. His theory is this: guys don’t want meat hidden in some casserole. They don’t want to look at a serving dish and wonder what’s underneath all those noodles. They want the chicken, pork, beef, bacon, etc. and so on and so forth to be front and center. Easy to identify. No guesswork required.

So today, when he received this:

And opened it to find this:

Well, you can imagine his joy. It was an abundance of identifiable meat riches. In fact, the styrofoam cooler contained three things that never fail to make D’s heart skip a beat:

1) hamburger patties
2) steaks
3) dry ice (apparently dry ice enjoys a certain level of awesome among the people who have a Y chromosome…it’s not as awesome as, you know, FIRE, but it’s awesome nonetheless)

Also included? A package of the biggest hot dogs I’ve ever seen (for Alex, who saw the hot dogs, pumped his fist in the air and said “YES!”) and a whole bunch of stuffed potatoes. So basically Sister and Barry marked the milestone of D’s 40th by sending meat and carbs. Or as I like to call them: his love language.

And in case you’re wondering, here’s our revised supper line-up for the rest of the week.

Thursday night – identifiable meat
Friday night – identifiable meat
Saturday night – identifiable meat
Sunday night – identifiable meat

Plus taters, of course.


What’s not to love?

Edited to add a completely unrelated P.S. – I have a new post up (about beauty and our culture) over at AllAccess. I’m telling you this because about every four days I think about how I need to do a better job of linking to my AllAccess posts. But then I forget to link to them. Because, well, there is TV to watch and chicken to fry and BEJEWELED BLITZ ISN’T GOING TO PLAY ITSELF, NOW IS IT? Anyway. As you were.

It Was Like Coming Home

My hair has been an endless source of frustration for me lately. It’s not really a cut issue or a color issue – though I could certainly use help in both of those areas, but we’ll save that discussion for another day when I have access to a licensed counseling professional who can help me Express My Hair-Related Feelings and Evaluate My Unreasonable Hair Expectations – it’s mostly a texture issue. I feel like my hair has gotten very fine and very flyaway and very no-I-will-not-behave-for-longer-than-ten-minutes-no-matter-how-much-hairspray-you-use.

Unfortunately, I cannot put my hair in time out.


Anyway, I’ve been frustrated by my hair’s general lack of purpose. It’s a weird length right now – longer than normal but not as long as I want it to be – and I don’t really know what to do with it while I’m waiting for it to (hopefully) reach its style destination. Drying it with the round brush just makes it super flat, and using Velcro rollers gives me spectacular results for a full 30 to 45 seconds.


Yesterday I was in Walmart, and as I made my way to the hair spray aisle, an old friend caught my eye. And in a moment of inspiration or desperation – I’m not sure which – I picked up that old friend and threw it in my cart and $15 later, we’re BFFs again.



This morning I used every single one of those hot rollers. Everysingleone. And after I took out the rollers and fixed my hair, it took me RIGHT BACK to 1988. Quite frankly the volume was unprecedented. All that was missing was an oversized (detachable) lace collar and some pastel Connie flats. And shoulder pads. And acid-washed jeans.

And Paul Mitchell Freeze-n-Shine.

This morning’s volume was so uncharacteristic that I felt a little bit like I needed to tame the curls before I went out in public. After all, I didn’t want people to feel like they’d been transported back in time to the set of “Designing Women.” But after I worked with it a little bit, I felt like the hot rollers really helped. My hair had way more body than it has the last few months, and it’s actually still a little bit curly right now. I don’t know what to make of this phenomenon.

And you know what else? I always think of the 80s as being a fairly tragic time for hair, but now I’m thinking that the 80s actually taught us some valuable hair lessons. I mean, obviously we’re supposed to discard the part of our 80s hair history where we wore banana clips that matched our outfits and teased our bangs into nests and tied large pieces of tulle into gigantor hairbows. But maybe – just maybe – it’s time for us to embrace our Hot Roller Heritage.

Maybe – just maybe – it’s time for us to admit that hot rollers can take us to places that round brushes cannot.

That’s a hard word, I know. But I speak the truth in love.

And regardless of your hair styling preferences, I hope with all my heart that today brings you big hair and big dreams.

Big hair and big dreams.


Linky Interwebby Awesomeness 01.26.09

Lots-o-musical goodness today. And some writer-y goodness, too.

Tuesday, you delight me.

– My all-time favorite singer/songwriter, the talented Mr. Dave Barnes, released a new single today. It’s called “God Gave Me You” – and oh, come on now. So good.

– Speaking of Mr. Barnes, he’s doing a live online concert tonight with Matt Wertz and Brandon Heath. It’ll cost you a whole $1.50 to watch. All the proceeds will go to providing clean water for our brothers and sisters in Africa. And I imagine there will be all manner of laughs during the musical proceedings. I’m totally watching. 8 pm central. You can register now and login later. Big fun in store.

– My friend and Uganda trip buddy Carlos Whittaker released an EP today, and I am so excited for him. You can download it on iTunes (only $1.98). I’m such a fan of the song “Rain It Down” – I can’t even tell you. You can also listen to full versions of the songs on lala (fancy!).

– Sweet Lisa McKay, another bloggy friend, has a book coming out next week. It’s called You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes…And Other Great Advice From An Unlikely Preacher’s Wife. Isn’t that a great title? Anyway, there’s a fun contest going on in conjunction with the book release – and I just thought you might like to know that.

– Loved this post from Susanna. LOVED. IT. And the song at the end of the post? Come on, now. That’s a good word.

On The Wings Of Love,


I have never been a candy / mint / gum person. It’s just never been my thing. I mean, I love me some chocolate and all, but I’ve never really made a habit of surrounding myself with all manner of Starburst and Altoids and Extra and whathaveyou.

Brownies? Yes.

Oatmeal cookies? Sure.

Sweet Tarts? Not so much.


A couple of years ago I discovered the best gum with the worst name: Stride. And while I’m never going to be somebody who chews gum all day long, I developed a fondness for the dark blue Stride. It’s not anything I carry in my purse at all times, but it’s definitely my gum of choice.

Even still, I really didn’t understand why some people would leave the grocery store with 12 packs of gum or 4 bags of gummy worms or 14 tins of Altoids. The appeal of the candy aisle was sort of lost on me.

For the record, the appeal of the potato chips aisle was never, ever lost on me. Oh no ma’am. Not for one second.

Just rest in the peace of knowing that.

But one day this past fall – when I was in an airport, I think – an impulse purchase at a newspaper stand changed my life forever.




I don’t know what it is. I don’t know why the Icebreakers have a hold on me in a way that Altoids never did. I don’t know why I start to feel anxious when my stash runs low and WHAT IF I RUN OUT? I don’t know why their minty freshness delights me. I don’t know what “flavor crystals” are.

But one thing I know for sure: the Icebreakers and I are in this thing for the long haul. Apparently there was a mint-sized hole in my heart that only they could fill. And now – AND NOW – my life is complete. At least as far as candy is concerned. Which, granted, is probably the least important area of personal fulfillment. But still.

So, people of the interweb – what’s your “long haul” candy? Do you have a favorite?


Back when we were young and rested and wrinkle-free and living in Baton Rouge, we bought our first little house on a tree-lined street in the middle of town. The kitchen floor sloped, the hallway was about four inches wide and the living room walls were a deep, Pepto Bismol-ish mauve. But we loved it. That little house was mighty good to us.

We’d been living in our house for about nine months when David went home for lunch one day and found a very skinny, very pregnant dog lying in our neighbors’ flower bed. They said they didn’t know where she came from, but they did know that they had no interest in keeping her. D felt sorry for the puppy dog and fixed her some water and some food, and when I got home a few hours later, she had moved to the flower bed in front of our house. She was covered in fleas, so I took her inside and gave her a bath. She never made a sound.

We decided that night that we’d take care of her until her puppies arrived, and then we’d find her a good home. When the puppies arrived, we found people for all of them, but the dog – who we’d since christened Ally McBeal because, well, she looked like she could use a good steak dinner – showed no signs of wanting to leave. We talked about it and made a decision to keep her, but she was going to have to be an outside dog. Plain and simple. The end.

But then one night D was out of town, and it was raining, and I felt a little sorry for Ally the Skinny Dog who was in our backyard. So I put a towel on the floor of our bedroom, called her inside, and she curled up on that towel like it was the world’s finest dog bed. She never made a sound – but her sweet little eyes told me that she was grateful.

I think it took her about six months to bark in our presence, by the way.

So now it’s almost ten years later, and while we have no idea how old Ally was when she came to us, we tell ourselves that she was one. Because if she was, say, five or six, then that would make her a Really Old Dog at this point. And we don’t want for her to be a Really Old Dog. We want for her to stay with us forever. It’s where she belongs.

When our human child was born, Ally didn’t really know what to make of him. But now that he’s old enough to play with her and walk her and feed her and tell her 48 times a day that she’s “such a sweet girl,” she’s a devoted fan of the six year-old. And her favorite thing in the whole wide world – MORE THAN BACON, EVEN – is to go along for the ride when D takes Alex to school in the mornings. Even though Ally is 11 or 14 or 17 these days and spends a great deal of her time relaxing and also sleeping, nothing makes her shake a tailfeather like an invitation to ride in the truck.

She sits right next to A in the backseat and never makes a sound. She just wags her tail.

We’re so glad she found us.

And we love her a whole bunch.

But you’ve probably figured that out by now.