Archives for November 2010

The Texting Made The Not Winning Easier

I was by myself for part of this past weekend because D and Alex went on a little father/son camping trip. I could pretend to be sad that I didn’t get to camp, too, but I think we all know that that would be a lie. I prefer to sleep indoors, thankyouverymuch, but I was just as tickled as I could be to see my fellas load all their gear into D’s truck and head off for an adventure in All The Nature. Personally I most enjoy the nature when there is some sort of glass partition separating me from the bugs and also the heat, but I knew Alex would have a blast. And he did. TOTAL FAN of the camping, he is.

Sister and I had talked about driving over to Starkville for the game against Arkansas since I was going to be footloose and fancy-free, but Friday morning I knew as soon as I got out of bed that I was way too tired for a road trip. It was a crazy, busy, sleep-deficient week, and a Saturday with nowhere to go sounded like heaven on earth to me. Turned out that Sister was feeling the same way. So she stayed in Nashville, I stayed in Birmingham, and I made sure my phone was fully charged so that we could text away during the game.

The game started with State jumping out to a 7-0 lead, and since I was all alone, I felt free to HOLLER LIKE A MADWOMAN. I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, so about mid-way through the first quarter I started cleaning our den. There was a point in the second quarter where we hit a little lull and Arkansas was winning 14-7, so I sent Sister a text that said, “Can we fake a punt or something?”


It was like I called it into being.


After that I was ON FI-IRE with the cleaning. Pulled out the vacuum, dusted the furniture, Windexed the glass tabletops, used the Swiffer Wet stuff on the floors. OUT OF CONTROL. By the half the ‘Dogs were up 21-17, and I moved to the kitchen in search of new surfaces to scour.


The Razorbacks went up 31-21 in the second half, but we scored with about four minutes left in the game to cut their lead to three. We kicked off to them, and I sent Sister a VERY DRAMATIC text: “WE NEED A FUMBLE.”

Two plays later Arkansas fumbled and we recovered.

I can’t explain it. It’s a gift, much like being able to recognize the subtle differences in Popeye’s and Bojangle’s fried chicken. And for the record, I have never in my life screamed like I did when we recovered that football. I kept alternating between wishing my people were home so that we could celebrate together and being so, so grateful that they were camping and therefore spared the spectacle of my crazy.

The next minute and a half was insane. State had no time-outs left, but we kept moving down the field. Finally, with 14 seconds on the clock, our field goal kicker nailed a 25-yarder that sent the game into overtime. And my phone went cuckoo in the best possible way.

The recurring theme in all of these texts, of course (besides the fact that my friends are awesome), is my certainty of imminent death. I really wondered if my heart could take it. I thought about turning off the TV, waiting 30 or so minutes and then checking the internet for the final score. It was too much. It was all too much.

In the end I decided that not even the threat of some sort of cardiac malfunction could keep me away from the television. In the first overtime we fumbled and Arkansas missed a field goal. Which led to a second overtime. And in the end, Arkansas prevailed and won 38-31. If I hadn’t been such a wreck during our last possession, I would have sent Sister a text that said, “WE’RE GOING TO SCORE A TOUCHDOWN AND MAKE THE TWO-POINT CONVERSION.”

Clearly that would have solved everything.

But the ending being what it was, Sister and I wrapped up our texting for the night.

A few minutes later, I heard my phone beep or ding or chime or whatever it does when I have a new message. Here’s what was waiting on me from our friend Dave:

It summed up my feelings PERFECTLY. And it made me laugh a whole bunch, too.

Even though I would’ve loved to have seen our boys get the win, I couldn’t feel too disappointed. They played their hearts out, and it really was a whale of a game.

But I learned some valuable lessons, oh yes I did. In fact, I just sent Sister a text about this week’s Egg Bowl, when the Bulldogs will head to The School Up North and take on the Rebel Black Bears.

Oh, I know it won’t make a lick of difference in the outcome.

But I figure it can’t hurt to go ahead and put it out there. Worked for the fake punt and the fumble, after all.


Go ‘Dogs.

The Battle Of The Badges

I knew that motherhood would bring its share of challenges.

Sleepless nights.

Potty training.

Terrible threes (I don’t care what anybody says; the twos have NOTHING on the threes).

First day of kindergarten.

Etc. and so on and so forth amen.

But I have to say: nothing – NOTHING – could have prepared me for a challenge I’ve faced over the last couple of months. It blindsided me – hit me out of the blue – and even now the mere thought of it makes my heart race and fills me with a lingering sense of dread.

I’m talking, of course, about Cub Scout badges.


Now granted, I don’t really know how to sew. Even still, I felt certain that I could attach the little guy’s badges to his uniform before his first den meeting. But just in case I couldn’t – JUST IN CASE – I made sure that I had a back-up plan. And my back up plan was an industrial-size pack of safety pins.

After ONE HOUR of trying to sew on badges that are apparently made of an impenetrable material that can only be attached to fabric with a hammer and nails, I managed to tack on the smaller badges and run a single three-inch long stitch across the biggest badge. I knew that the badges wouldn’t hold for long, but since I didn’t have a drill and/or a set of grommets nearby, I decided that I’d try to use the safety pins.

The safety pins, however, were completely uncooperative. I tried to push them through, only to watch them bend into unrecognizable shapes. I’m sure that a more experienced seamstress could have made those safety pins submit, but all I could seem to get them to do was to jab my thumb and and consequently make me VERY ANGRY.

Despite my frustration, I was bound and determined that THE BADGES, THEY WOULD NOT BEAT ME, and that is why I sent my child to his first scouting event with badges that were attached to his sleeves with a tiny bit of thread and an obnoxious amount of Scotch tape. We like to keep things klassy, you understand.


The badges survived the first few meetings (I KNOW!), but tonight I knew that I had to step it up a notch. The biggest badge was just about to fall off, so I took a deep breath, grabbed my box of safety pins and summoned all of my courage. It was time for action.

And do you know what happened? DO YOU KNOW?


I don’t want to overstate it, but I’m pretty sure that it’s the crowning achievement of my life as a mama.

I don’t know when I’ve ever been more proud.

Giveaway Round-Up

Just wanted to pop in with some reminders of giveaways that are going on right now:

Similasan – $100 Visa Gift Card (ends today!)
Welch’s – $100 Visa Gift Card (new giveaway)
The Laughing Cow #5 – $150 Visa Gift Card (new giveaway)
Lands’ End – kids’ coat of your choice (up to $100 value)

I’ll draw for the Ragu giveaway winner tomorrow; all other winners of closed giveaways (Kellogg’s, The Laughing Cow #4, Pop-Tarts, etc.) have been notified and have claimed their prizes.

All righty. More later. I’m a wee bit behind on a deadline, so I need to run. Because when I say “wee,” what I really mean is “waaaaay.”

Procrastinators of the world, unite!


Welch’s Share Your Story

This is a sponsored post from BlogHer and Welch’s.

When my husband and I got married, I was the queen of stressing out over Christmas parties. Our first Christmas together I decided that I was going to throw a party for his co-workers, and I promise you that I cooked for about six days. I found all sorts of elaborate recipes in different cookbooks that we’d received as wedding gifts, and it took me a sweet forever to get all of the food prepared. And then, the night of the party, I spent almost all of my time in the kitchen – trying to remember when to put in this dish and take out that dish and find serving spoons for everything else – and as a result of that I barely spent any time with our guests.

So basically I wore myself out and missed all the fun. Merry Christmas, y’all.

These days I know better. These days I understand that the secret to a great holiday gathering is to KEEP IT SIMPLE. I make basic foods that I know people will love, and I try to think of people’s favorites when I’m planning a menu. I keep things relatively inexpensive, something that’s admittedly easier when you don’t harbor the foggiest notion of serving beef tenderloin and expensive wine. We tend to go with a low-key, no-alcohol plan – nothing too fussy, and nothing that will interfere with our guests’ ability to drive home at the end of the night.

(Right now I’m picturing my 27 year-old self looking at my 41 year-old self and saying, “So. At what point did you become PRACTICAL?”)

(The answer? Somewhere around my 35th birthday, apparently.)

One of my favorite things that I’ve done the last couple of years is to fix a special, non-alcoholic drink for the holidays. I always try to use cranberry juice in the drink because, well, it’s my mama’s favorite thing on earth, and last year I really hit it out of the park. But this year I’m going to try something new – something that you make with Welch’s sparkling grape juice – and I think Mama is going to LOVE IT.

Mainly because I love it. And because I might be a tiny wee bit just-a-smidge addicted. It’s the The Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer.


There’s also a Sparkling Cranberry Punch that we’ll use as a back-up. We like options. And if a cranberry drink isn’t your thing, you can rest in the peace of knowing that Welch’s has lots of other great drink ideas:

The Holiday Toasting Cup
Sparkling Holiday Punch
Spiced Grape Punch

So that’s pretty much my lesson-learned-the-hard-way philosophy about entertaining during the holidays. Keep it simple. Make a special drink. And above and beyond everything else, ENJOY YOUR GUESTS. Life’s too short to stay in the kitchen while everybody else is having fun.

If you’d like to win a $100 Visa gift card courtesy of BlogHer, leave a comment on this post that answers the following question: which one of the Welch’s drink recipes would you like to try this year?

No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post…Don’t forget to check out my review post next week for 2 more chances to win!
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c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) Follow this link ( and provide your email address and your response to the sweepstakes prompt.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
For Official Rules click here:
Sweepstakes ends 5 PM PST on December 31, 2010.

Be sure to check out exclusive offers page and visit the other 11 participating bloggers (you can enter to win a gift card on each of their blogs, too).

The To-Do List And The Crazy

Early this morning I sat down and made a couple of to-do lists. I like to write out my to-do lists, preferably with some form of Sharpie product, and lately, as a result of sort of an obnoxious lack of sleep, a to-do list is not an option. It’s a necessity. Otherwise I just sort of wander around aimlessly and think about all the naps I’d like to take.

Today I made a list of the afternoon’s errands, and then I made a list of a few things I need to pick up from the grocery store, and then I made a list of some links I wanted to share. You might think that it would be far more efficient to actually open up a post, type the links and then save them, but that makes way too much sense and assumes that I typically like to do things in a way that would be considered “efficient” or “streamlined.”

So I made my linky to-do list, but after tackling a couple of items I put it aside to talk to a friend about the latest round of developments in Alabama politics and college football. By the time we finished our conversation, I’d sort of forgotten about my to-do list (SHOCKING!) and moved on to other, more important matters. You know, things like reading about Prince William’s engagement and wondering if I’m completely satisfied with my cornbread recipe.

An hour or so later I picked up the to-do list since I was ready to GET CRACKIN’, and as I glanced over it I realized that I had no idea what the fifth item was. It was an abbreviation, and I could read the letters, but I couldn’t remember what they meant. Had absolutely no idea why they were significant or how I was planning to use them in a post. NO IDEA.

The letters were “M-B” – and I am not kidding when I tell you that I tried to come up with any possible configuration.

Mary Beth?

Message board?

Milton Bradley?


Eventually I took my frustrations to Twitter – mainly to see if someone might say something that would jog my memory – and the responses were hilarious:

Melted butter?

Magnificent bananas?

More bell? (WELL PLAYED, I might add.)

Marsha Brady?

Marlon Brando?

Since I had real-live work to do, I had to postpone trying to solve the M-B mystery, and finally – ALMOST THREE HOURS LATER – the answer popped in my head: MYERS-BRIGGS.


Sweet mercy I exhaust myself.

The reason I wanted to link to the short version of the M-B is because I LOVED reading about your different personality types in the comments of the last post. I don’t take stuff like the M-B too seriously, but I do think it’s fascinating. And I have to say that knowing D’s personality type (he’s ISTJ, so we’re opposites except for the fact that we’re both borderline on the I/E scale) has helped me to understand why we react to stuff differently. He is cut and dried, black and white, right and wrong.

I, on the other hand, am basically a wet noodle who moonlights as a peacemaker.

So you can see why we’re married.


(If I’d married another INFP, we’d just sit around the house all day and try to avoid conflict.)

(I believe that’s called enabling.)

Anyway, if you’re at all interested in an abbreviated (but, in my experience, fairly accurate) version of the Myers-Briggs, you can find it right here. Won’t take you more than ten minutes. You can find a general analysis of your personality type right here.

And if you feel so led, come back here and share your results. Won’t that be kicky?

After all, seeing as how I nearly went crazy during the process of trying to decipher my to-do list item about the Myers-Briggs, I don’t think it’s too much for me to ask you to post your personality type in the comments. If you’re into that sort of thing, of course.

But then again, I’m an INFP, so I definitely wouldn’t want to be too pushy.

You just do whatever makes you the most comfortable.

I’d be positively mortified if I felt like you were mad at me.

It’s COMPLETELY your decision.

The end.

The Laughing Cow – Post 5

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and The Laughing Cow.

I love the holiday season for a whole host of reasons: the weather, the family time, the football, the Thanksgiving dinner, the roaring fires, the Christmas trees, the Harry Connick, Jr. Christmas CD, the twinkling lights that make everything look beautiful.

And there’s one other thing that I really, REALLY love about the holiday season, though it probably isn’t an entirely positive object of my affection:


Oh, y’all. I adore appetizers. And it seems like the holiday season is the perfect opportunity to make lots of them. After all, you never know when someone might stop by. Plus, since November and December are pretty much the only months of the year when I really BAKE (as opposed to cook), we like to scatter lots of sweet treats among our selection of appetizers. After all, how in the world could I possibly offer our guests something savory without also offering them something sweet? It only stands to reason that I would HAVE TO HAVE both.

It’s a purely selfless act, you understand.

But the problem, of course, is that if I give into all my cravings – with the appetizers and sweets at the top of the list – over the holidays, then I’m going to find myself in need of a new wardrobe when January rolls around. And while I would never claim to emerge from the holiday season in better shape than when I started it, I do keep a few tips in the back of my mind that help me make it through all of our holiday festivities without wreaking too much weight-related havoc.

Ready? Here we go.

1) Keep healthier snack options on hand at all times.

I have a terrible habit of snacking and tasting while I’m cooking and baking. And obviously if I choose to snack on cake batter and cheesecake batter and cookie dough and all manner of butter-laden confections, I’m going to be in a world of hurt by the end of the holidays. So I make a point to buy whole wheat crackers, small packets of cheese (The Laughing Cow Original is a long-time favorite), peanut butter and almonds so that I always have filling, healthier snacks in the kitchen.

2) Eat a healthy snack at home before heading out to a holiday party.

Now I don’t mean to sound like Scarlett O’Hara before she went to the barbecue, but it’s so much easier to resist the temptations of fattening party foods if you’re not ravenous when you arrive. It’s pretty remarkable how much a healthy snack helps. So about 15 minutes before we walk out the door, I’ll fix myself a little plate with almonds, cheese and whole-grain crackers. That little plate goes a long way in terms of keeping me from falling face-down into a pile of 7-layer Mexican dip, and for that we’re all quite thankful.

3) Use smaller plates at holiday meals.

Please don’t misunderstand. I don’t have any intention of serving my guests a meal on a saucer. But modern dinner plates are HUGE – the size of charger plates, practically – so I make a point to use my very old-fashioned holiday china when we entertain. The plates are considerably smaller than what passes for normal these days, and you can fill it to the brim with food without feeling guilty. The smaller plate keeps portions much more manageable, and even better is the fact that you don’t feel completely stuffed when the meal is over. That’s a win-win.

Now it’s your turn – Share tip on how you keep holiday food from getting the best of you and you could win a $150 Visa card! Please keep your comments G-rated as any profanity or offensive content will automatically disqualify you from sweepstakes entry. You should also visit The Daily Dose of Well-Being hub to read helpful content each day and for weekly chances to win $100 at the “Play For Laughs” game. If you share a really great tip, we may even use it in The Daily Dose!

And don’t miss the other bloggers’ posts – you have 11 other chances to win each month!

Questions about the sweepstakes? Check out the official rules. This sweepstakes will run from 11/15-12/5

Happy Laughing Cow, everybody!

This giveaway is now closed.