Wednesday, December 16, 2009

left, left, left, right, left.

Sometimes I feel like things in life are regimented.  You know the silly directions on shampoo that say "Lather. Rinse. Repeat."?  That's what I feel like from time to time.  Wake up early, go to work, run errands, come home, do things around the house, go to bed, repeat.  Don't get me wrong, I know this is the typical day for most adults, but sometimes I suffer from such a "blah" feeling from it.  I stare mindlessly at files at work and think I'd rather be doing laundry, but then I get home and start to tackle that laundry only to find that it sets off a chain reaction to more loads...and then I notice those spots on the mirror....which turns into looking at the sink....and before I know it I've got a to do list that I can't accomplish before I crawl in bed.  I hope being off work for Christmas and the week after will allow me to manage my to do lists.  

And it always seems as though that the days that I feel so blah and overwhelmed undoubtedly turn into the days where I look in the mirror and don't seem to like what I see.  But that's a completely different can of worms...and something I need so badly to work on, but don't know where to reach within myself to accomplish it.  

I have always been a fan of the movie "The Bucket List"& sometimes when I am feeling low, it makes me daydream about my list....which includes, but is not limited to, *have my picture taken under the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, *see Michael Bublé in concert, *cook an entire meal for my family without worrying through everyone's bites and chewing if it's good or not, *visit a winery, *adopt a dog from an animal shelter,  and I won't bore you with the rest ;)   Is there anything you just know without a doubt you want to do someday??

Friday, December 11, 2009

the side we are blind to...

Last night my husband and I went to see "The Blind Side" with several friends after a birthday dinner.  I told everyone moments before walking in that I was sure I would end up crying at one point during the movie.  Never did I imagine that I would be wiping tears periodically throughout the entire movie.

I won't go into details and spoil anything for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, but I was in awe of how much I take for granted and how fortunate I am.  I was in disbelief that there are those who don't always have friends to sit with at school, who don't have clothes that smell just like dryer sheets when you put them on, and those who don't even a bed to crawl into each night.  I was heartbroken...heartbroken that there are situations in which children are torn from their parents because their parents endanger them and those endangerments continue without the blink of an eye.

I cannot really explain how this movie moved me.  My heart would ache, but would turn around and almost burst with happiness.  I haven't stopped talking about it since the credits rolled.  It has made me want to make a difference somehow....I don't exactly know how, but there has been a strong tug at a heartstring and it cannot be ignored.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Love is....

Don't go through the holidays without it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ornaments = Overjoyed!

I love to get a text saying, "there's a package that came for you today".  I got this text yesterday and knew immediately that it was my ornament from the ornament swap with Tale of a GRITS!  Unfortunately, I had several stops to make after work and knew it would be awhile before I was able to open my surprise.  When I finally got home, I was so eager to see what this fellow blogging gal had in store for me.  She exceeded my expectations for sure!

With not one....

Not two....

But THREE ornaments!

And she also added these goodies in too!

Magic reindeer food!  How cute is that?!

Needless to say I am very appreciative and excited about the new additions!  Tale of a GRITS...thank you so much and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy your ornaments too!  They should be there tomorrow :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bonjour December!

I have to admit that I am thrilled that December has crept up on me!  I adore going home and turning the Christmas tree lights on, turning the overhead lights off, curling up with my Snuggie (yes, I said Snuggie), sipping on coffee with Baileys or a cup of hot cider, and just taking in all the Christmas vibe that surrounds me and letting go of all of the stress of the day.  My tree has been up for 2 weeks and I think I have decided I will never wait until the day after Thanksgiving again!  I signed up for an ornament exchange and this fabulous blogger and I were paired as partners to exchange!  She shipped mine yesterday and hers is going out today....I can't wait to see mine and hear her reaction to hers!  Just reason 39305789 why I love Christmas time!

Thanksgiving was truly wonderful.  I thoroughly enjoyed my first Thanksgiving as a wife!  We had a wonderful dinner at my Uncle's house, went shopping on Black Friday, went to Tunica for a little slot machine time, ate amazing ribs at the famous Rendezvous, saw The Rockettes and their Christmas Spectacular, and went out to Beale Street!  We had a blast.  My cousin Megan and I are so close so I always enjoy time I get to spend with her, especially since we are about 5 hours away from each other.

Megan and I in downtown Memphis.

Our Black Friday purchase at home in our bedroom.

Me with my Mom and Grandmother @ Rendezvous.

Right before stuffing ourselves at Thanksgiving dinner.

Well, I am going back to looking at my overwhelming Christmas list of gifts for others.  I am SO behind.  My calendar continually fills up and I wonder when I will ever get this shopping done?!  Have a great first day of December!

Monday, November 16, 2009

tisk, tisk

I have been a horrible excuse of a blogger lately!  It's as though right at the moment when I sit down to make a post, the phone rings, or I see something I should have tended to, or just about anything can distract me at times.  Yesterday I helped host a baby shower for Happily Ever After and it was a fabulous afternoon.  Her post depicts the day perfectly....from gifts, to girls, to us not being able to stay away from the food!  Be sure and check it out!  I am so happy for her and ready for her little boy to introduce himself into this world.

I am more than ready for Thanksgiving....there's always those times when you just know the warmth and happenings that come with your own Thanksgiving.  We all know it includes overeating, reminiscing and someone just "having" to eat that last piece of pie.  Aunt Wanda will tell me and my cousins that she "just can't get over how grown up we are"...and I'm sure someone will pull out an embarrassing story of mine for Male Hale to hear.  Sure, there will be an eye-roll or two, but with that there will also come hugs and i-love-yous.  Mom and I will go straight for the day-after Thanksgiving ads and find some reason why a certain deal is just too good to pass up.  Family members will plant themselves on the couch and swear they're not moving, but a board game will make its way out and everyone will mosey to a chair around the table.  But that's MY Thanksgiving...and I wouldn't have it any other way!  Is there any certain tradition or event that you just always know will be in store for you and yours?

I glanced at the month of December on my calendar and noticed it's booking up just as fast as November has.  Mom's retirement party, various Christmas parties, dinners for gift exchanges, and boom, Christmas will be here!  I need to work on shopping, that's for sure, because if there's one thing I hate it's the awful, overwhelming traffic and crowds in the mall area.  And then New Year's Eve will creep up on me.  I want to do something different and out of the ordinary this year!  I want to get dressed up with the hubby and ring in 2010 like we never have before.  These are my intentions....but we'll see if I carry through with them ;)

I ordered the invitations today for our 3rd annual Tacky Christmas party!  Here's a few shots from the past two years...

Always, always, a good time!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bubbly for Bublé

Well it's official.  I have become obsessed with Michael Bublé.  His voice just melts me like butter!  I have always liked this song, but when I saw that he covered it, I could hardly stand it!  Be sure and check it out!

Listening to him makes me want to be in a little dimly lit jazz club sipping on a martini while I tap my high heels and watch my little cocktail dress sparkle.  I think I just might have to see him in concert now...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rantin' & Ravin'!

I see criminals on a daily basis.  I see felons, I see thieves, I see abusers, and I see murders.  But when it hits home, I take on an entirely different perspective.  Everyone loves their grandparents and thinks they're diamonds in the rough.  I always hear about door-to-door salesmen taking advantage of people or even telemarketers....but when these criminals are supposed to be HELPFUL and be someone's AT HOME NURSE, that's even worse. And when I come to find out they've cleaned out my Granny's entire jewelry box, that's when anger and fury run through my veins.  This evil, vile person is my Granny's nurse for TWO days when something just doesn't feel right.  She calls the nursing agency and says she just doesn't feel comfortable with this particular nurse and she doesn't seem to be meeting the criteria.  This evil, heinous person comes back to my Granny's house AFTER she has been fired and wants to come in (with her child at her side) and sit with her and tell her how sorry she is that everything didn't work out and she wanted to check on her.  Well in her 45 minute visit, this monster goes to the restroom four times.  Turns out during these four instances, she's swiping as much as she can out of my Granny's bedroom.  Took her wedding rings, all her bracelets, all her necklaces, and even silver dollars that her husband collected before he passed away.  When I sit back and this that my Granny honestly thought this woman wanted to come visit her and apologize and spend a few minutes with her, it breaks my heart. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE??  Do they not have a conscience??  Much less a heart??  Taking advantage of the elderly is one of the most cowardly, low-down, & appalling wrong-doings on the face of this earth.  The only thing I could ever take from this sweet little face is the love that she so freely gives me....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's time to talk Thursday....

Well Jodi Picoult has done it again....

I finished this book just this morning and found myself gasping, my eyes widening, and asking "whhhaatttt?" out loud.  This author takes so many twists and turns in her books during the exact moment that you think you have it all figured out and I absolutely love that.  Her books are always around 350-400 pages, but you would never realize they were once you crack them open.  You are drawn in from the very first paragraph!

Today is my friend's birthday and I am wishing her the very happiest of days and hoping she gets to celebrate every single minute of the day!  I am so glad her co-workers took the time to decorate her cube and make a cake for her :)   We celebrated this past weekend and I was able to eat dinner with her and give her gifts to her, but "the day of" always feels more real than an early celebration.  You know I'd be there if I could!

Happy Birthday to you!  Love you girl!

I am anxiously awaiting this friend's bundle of joy!  Little Parker can't get here fast enough....and after her last ultrasound, she saw a closeup of his little face, which really resembles her and that made my anticipation jump even higher!  We were talking just the other night about how next summer we will need to take a beach vacation.  I envision us kicking back with our toes in the sand, complaining about how ridiculously hot it is outside (but we will continue to lay there as the sweat pours!!), and we'll have an ice cold beverage chilling in our hand without a care in the world.  Here's a picture from July of '08 when we were at the beach together. Ahh, those were the days!  For some reason that summer felt like there weren't bills to pay or countless errands to run...and I think when this picture was taken, she was told earlier that day by male Hale that he was gonna pop the question while we were at the beach...she kept a tight lid on that secret!

Stay classy Florida!  We'll be back....

I never get tired of looking at the clock on Thursday evenings and noticing it's 8:59.  I hurry to the couch, grab the remote, change the channel, pile up with a blanket, and hear that theme music that lets me know I'm about to laugh for the next half hour with these characters....

I never become bored with Stanley's obsession with pretzels, Dwight's analogies of life and beets, Michael's horrible jokes, Angela's bitterness towards everything, or that same look Jim always gives the camera.  I would have never become a fan of The Office if it hadn't been for this friend!  She let me borrow all of her seasons on DVD and when I caught up, I was hooked!  I throughly enjoy having a friend and someone in my actual office who loves The Office just as much as I do!

I will close with a picture taken of me and my goddaughter just this past weekend.

I worship the ground this little girl walks on!  She has the ability of making me smile when I'm sad, feel on top of the world when I feel 2 inches tall, and hugging me with little arms that feel like they love me oh so much!  She is 6 now and growing by the minute.  I was going through a rough time in my life with a horrible roommate that pushed me to the point of moving out, breaking my lease and putting all of my possessions in storage.  My goddaughter's mom (my friend & lifesaver Katie) welcomed me into her home with open arms until I could figure out what I was going to do or finally find a house that I was ready to buy and call home.  Nothing could ever top this little angel coming in the room I was staying in on a Saturday morning with sleepy eyes and a mess of hair, crawling up on the bed and saying, "morning!!"  She melts my heart and the time I lived with Katie was so special because I saw so much of this little lady and grew even closer to her.  People often mistake her for my daughter which, in my eyes, is the biggest compliment in the world!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pandora Princess & Tuning In....

And that is just what I am.  I am HUGE fan of  I just plug my headphones in my computer and work away while listening to whatever I want to!  You type in an artist's name and it will play songs by that artist and anything similar.  It's almost like I slip into my own little toe-tapping world and tackle files like nobody's business!  Everything is blocked out except you and your jams....

Also, I found this site today.  Tasty Kitchen Recipes.  Looks like I will have to try several of the soups because the Hales are all about some good soups during chilly fall weather!

Today is TV Tuesday!  I am, without question, a HUGE fan of The Biggest Loser!

I tune in to see these faces and witness them sweat, struggle, prevail, cry, yell, and of course, have the occasional drama sessions!  Danny, Shay, & Rudy are my predictions for a winner right now.

The male Hale loves that wild gang on...

I've read lots of reviews on this show in which people said they would have never tuned in from reading the synopsis of the show, but once they started watching, they were hooked!  It's most definitely an action packed drama.  Jax, one of the main characters, is pretty easy on the eyes too!!  Who can resist a bunch of guys who don't take crap from anyone while cruising around on bikes and going through all the trials and tribulations of life?!

Hope everyone has a great day!!
(Found this quote today and it's just how I feel sometimes)
"My life has a superb cast, but I can't figure out the plot."  ~Ashleigh Brilliant

Monday, October 26, 2009

I did the doo-doo....

Doo-doo cookies that is!  Not an appealing recipe title...but man are they scrumptious!

I'm sure you have had these before, but if not, here's the recipe.  You won't regret making them!!

2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of milk
3 or 4 tsp. of cocoa (based upon how much you love chocolate!)
1/2 cup of margarine

Bring these ingredients to a rapid boil and boil for about a minute.

In a separate bowl, have these ingredients waiting:

3 cups of oatmeal
2/3 cup of peanut butter
1 tsp. of vanilla extract

Stir until it's all blended and drop them as small or as big as you'd like on wax paper and let them cool!  I can't resist them with a big, cold glass of milk!  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


It's crazy to think when you were little, you always made sure you were up early on Saturdays to watch those cartoons you had waited all week for.  I remember my mom would always make muffins or pancakes and we would pile up on the couch and tune in.  Then you go through that stage where you don't make a peep until noon.  You always hear everyone say, "you're wasting so much of the day!", but you could care less, and you wouldn't give up the opportunity to sleep in for anything!  Now I am somewhere in between.  I love thinking I can get up at 9 instead of 6:45.  I don't ever see noon, but that's fine, because now as I have gotten older, I see what I can accomplish...even if they are just little things.  For example, this morning I got up and put taco soup in the crock-pot for us to enjoy while watching football....I folded some laundry and had some breakfast while watching a little TV while the hubby still snoozed, and it was nice.  (nice to not have to watch Sportscenter first thing in the morning, hehe)

This weekend my friend Skye will celebrate her 23rd birthday!  We'll go out downtown tonight and then enjoy good food and great company tomorrow at Big River while celebrating & watching some football.  I finally was able to finish her birthday present...she had simple requests, but I was struggling to put it all together!

My mom has been soaking up the rays in Destin since Wednesday.  I have been running back and forth from my house to hers taking care of this little angel that my mom would NOT know what to do without.

This is Blossom.  She and my mom and inseparable and we have had her for FIFTEEN years! Bless her heart, she can barely hear now and her vision is going, but with it being just her and my mom, this little rascal keeps a smile on Mom's face!

Well I will close with a big ROLL TIDE!!  Today is the Tennessee vs. Alabama game and this is a game that my husband looks so forward to every year.  We went last year and had a blast even though we froze to death!  We look warm here, but I know he's glad his beard is back for chilly days like today.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Can't get enough...

If there's one type of food I never grow tired of, it is hands down, MEXICAN!

I can have Mexican for dinner on Tuesday night and wake up on Wednesday morning already craving it for lunch!  Crazy, I know, but that's how my qwerky little brain functions!  I want to know what the one type of food or even one food item is that YOU never get sick of!  Leave me a comment with your answer.  Hey you never know, I could send some your way, post a recipe, or try my hand at making something new!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I would highly recommend....

I am on page 220 of this 447 page book and have not been able to put it down. If you haven't heard of it, here's what it's about:

-- Freelance carpenter Shay Bourne was sentenced to death for killing a little girl, Elizabeth Nealon, and her cop stepfather. Eleven years after the murders, Elizabeth's sister, Claire, needs a heart transplant, and Shay volunteers, which complicates the state's execution plans. Meanwhile, death row has been the scene of some odd events since Shay's arrival—an AIDS victim goes into remission, an inmate's pet bird dies and is brought back to life, wine flows from the water faucets. The author brings other compelling elements to an already complex plot line: the priest who serves as Shay's spiritual adviser was on the jury that sentenced him; Shay's ACLU representative, Maggie Bloom, balances her professional moxie with her negative self-image and difficult relationship with her mother. Picoult moves the story along with lively debates about prisoner rights and religion, while plumbing the depths of mother-daughter relationships and examining the literal and metaphorical meanings of having heart. --

If anyone is looking for a good book right now, I would definitely pick this one up. I ordered it off of for around $4. I have become quite the bookworm and LOVE it! My friend and I constantly have our noses in books and are always telling one another "don't even waste your time...." or "you have GOT to read this, no seriously....". Set aside some time every now and then for yourself to curl up on the couch with your favorite blanket in those pair of PJ pants you refuse to throw away and get lost in some pages!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Who you calling a jack-o-lantern??

I spent my Sunday with two great friends carefully selecting, cleaning, & carving these lovely fellows!  I don't know what it is about cleaning out a pumpkin, but I always laugh and have the best time while I'm doing it!   I never get tired of rolling up my sleeves and pulling out all that goo & seeds...kinda therapeutic if you think about it.  I never stray from the traditional pumpkin face.  Probably because I could never do anything close to what my friend Jacqueline accomplished on the middle pumpkin.  (mine is on the left).'s one from 2 years ago.  Classic face, haha!

Our carving activities were accompanied with pizza and football...who could ask for a better Sunday??  So disappointed in the Tennessee Titans this year, but we won't go there...

Maybe I should stick to things like this like I made with friends last year...

I love going to festivals and fairs in the fall and eating kettle corn and chicken on a stick.  I love deliberating over which color mums to buy for the porch.  I love, love, love, decorating and yes, I still dress up for Halloween and love trying to figure out a couple to last year, we were Mario and Princess.....

I'll spare you of any more pictures and just say Happy Fall Ya'll!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...

A week or so after our wedding, one of the attorneys I work with took me aside and said he wanted to tell me something.  He motioned for me to come outside of my office and I became a little nervous.  I thought, "oh no, what have I done?!?"  He sat me down and explained to me that several years ago he was at his brother-in-law’s funeral. It was a dreary day with lots of heavy rain and inside the church you could hear the rain beating down on the roof and the continuous rumble of thunder. He said as they closed the casket, a beam of sunlight appeared and came through the back window of the church. That beam of sunlight seemed to shine on the casket and he and his wife couldn’t help but to think it was a way of knowing he was there with everyone. This attorney proceeded to tell me that after my Mom lit her part of our unity candle and was escorted out to meet me before she and I walked down the aisle, a ray of sunshine came through the chapel and briefly seemed to follow behind her. He paused and told me he wasn’t sure how I felt about things like this, but he and his wife both saw it and felt confident that ray of light was my Dad. By this point I felt like I needed to pick my chin up off the floor and I was in tears, but they were tears of joy. Joy in knowing that even if just two people noticed, my Dad was there and was watching over me on my special day. That story meant more to me than that attorney will ever know.

Today would be my Dad’s 54th birthday. I hope to be his ray of light, shining in whatever I do and making him proud. I hope he continues to show himself in small signs throughout the remainder of my life. My mom used to always sing, “You Are My Sunshine” to me for as long as I can remember….you know the one that goes, “…you’ll never know dear, how much I love you, so please don’t take my sunshine away.” It’s nice to know that even though my sunshine went away, he still finds a way to shine.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rain, Rain...No, seriously, GO AWAY!

This is what our surrounding area has had to witness the past couple of days....

Yep, that's definitely a newspaper machine.

The rain has been nonstop for around a week now.  Schools and homes have flooded and some apartment buildings have been forced to evacuate.  I was extremely worried about my backyard yesterday, but fortunately by the time I got home from work, the standing water had gone down quite a bit.  I wouldn't have to worry about the water getting into my house, but I do have a storage shed that is attached to our carport that water would be able to get into and ruin lawn equipment, furniture, and I would lose my mind if it reached my Christmas decorations!

This is right by the exit to get to my house.  I took this on my way to work this morning.  I wish I could have snapped a picture of the nearby golf is truly unbelievable how much water is standing on that course.  

So c'mon sunshine!  Bring back everyone's cheery moods and allow us to be outside and enjoy what is now officially Fall!!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Just how much are we missing out on?

I got an email today with this story in really made me stop and think.

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

  4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

 6 minutes:

 A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

 45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace.  The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

 This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:  If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.... How many other things are we missing?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The verdict is in...

There is no doubt that I have the utmost respect for any attorney that involves him or herself in a criminal case.  There are pages of heartbreaking testimonies to review, disturbing DNA samples to evaluate, and autopsy photos that can cause even the strongest of the strong to have sleepless nights.  These attorneys know what comes with the territory and yet they do it day after endless day. 

With my job with these attorneys, there are days that I want to throw in the towel after pulling out each and every strand of my hair.   Those days are sometimes accompanied by the ones that I’m convinced every ounce of my listening capability has been drained from me and I silently promise to break my office phone if it rings one more time.  And let’s not forget about the days that with every swing of the door comes a big attitude and an even bigger complaint as opposed to a smile and some appreciation.   

But then there are days when I am pleased…I am gratified.  Days in which I witness families hold one another together, figuratively and literally, during a trial.  Days where I have never seen a district attorney so passionate about getting a point across to the ladies and gentlemen of a jury.  And most importantly, days where a victim or victim’s family looks at me in the eyes and says, thank you.  Whether it’s a thank you for calling them back due to countless voicemails, or for offering them a cup of coffee after a long day in a cold, cold courtroom, everything stops for a moment and I put myself in their position.  I put myself in the shoes of a daughter who has lost her mother to the hands of a vicious man.  I put myself in the shoes of a person who gets the news that her best friend has been raped and beaten to death.  I put myself in shoes that I hope to never be in….

Then I look right back into that person’s eyes who has thanked me, I smile, push away my “problems” and complaints and I simply say, “you’re welcome”.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Roll Gators?! Go Tide?!

We have been ready for some football and feel like these first few games have just been a tease! Well, Alabama had a significant game against Virginia Tech, but my Gators haven't had the same kind of opportunity....yet! This Saturday is a big rivalry game...Florida vs. Tennessee! We plan to have the grill fired up, be in good company, play some cornhole, and let the good times roll!

I have always been a true Gators girl, but lately I have found myself becoming very, very fond of the crimson and houndstooth...hence the title of this blog! I always want to combine my love for both! I will say Tuscaloosa is an unforgettable atmosphere for games and I have had a memorable experience each time I have been there. My friend Jacqueline sent me this for my birthday and how could I not want to be a Roll Tide fan and sport this?!?

Touchdowns, chili, sweaters, & tailgating...I'm ready & waiting!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Honeymoon defines it as "hon*ey*moon (noun) : any period of blissful harmony". That is exactly how I would describe the fabulous cruise we went on for our honeymoon. We had never been on a cruise before, so the fact that it was a new experience for the both of us that we were able to share together made it even more special!

If you have never been on a cruise, it is absolutely unreal and I'm convinced there will never be another one like my first one. I had no idea what to expect. Even the lobby of the ship is mind-blowing.

We were amazed at how much activity went on during the cruise. The staff slid an itinerary under our door every day of what would be taking place on the ship. There were drink creation competitions, line dancing classes, vegas style shows, fire throwing magicians, and much, much more. I think our favorite night was when we got selected to play on The Newlywed Game. We were up agains 2 other couples. One couple had been married 15 years and the last couple had been married 65 years!! It was amazing and gratifying to see how well not only Howard and I knew each other, but to see that after 65 years that a married couple still knew things about each other from much earlier on in their relationship! This is us with the cruise director, Jenn, who came on the ship's intercom every day and highly entertained everyone! (sorry for the blur in the picture!) We won a nice bottle of champagne and a trophy that got broken in our luggage, but I succesfully glued back together, ha!

Our favorite stop was Isla Roatan, Honduras. It was beautiful. Sandy white beaches, clear yet bright blue waters, and Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley songs everywhere you went! We had a great cab driver who took us atop mountains with amazing views and he was so proud of what this island off of the mainland had to offer tourists like us.

I loved the formal cruise dinners...but then again I love getting dressed up for anything! The dinner selections on the "Cruise Elegant" nights were more exotic and unusual that the "Cruise Casual" nights. Howard surprised me on our last night with a reservation to the Golden Fleece restaurant that was on the top floor of the ship. Reservations at this restaurant were not included in the cruise fare, but we both agreed it was well worth it because the food was some of the best we have EVER had! We toted our bottle of champagne from The Newlywed Game to this dinner and had a wonderful, memorable last night.

A great deal of time was spent in the casino as well! Howard always seems to gravitate towards the blackjack tables. For some reason card tables make me a nervous wreck...and I always play the slot machines, but become bored and broke! But my friends, I found a new machine that a 20 dollar bill could last a good hour in, but never reaped much of any benefit. I would never waste my time on them in arcades, but when were in the casino, I swear I would just be drawn to it like bugs are to a light!

I will close with this picture with today being my 25th birthday! This was in Cozumel, Mexico with several other photo props that I can never pass up. I am a sucker for pictures, well, and for cake! Can't wait to celebrate with mouth-watering Provino's and loved ones tonight!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

These vs. Those...but why?

Everyone is always cheering for our their own separate team.

Today, in my eyes, is Fall's way of announcing that is it most definitely on it's way because it is now September. Fall always means one main thing, football season. Two opposing teams playing the most tactical offense and a strong protective defense as they yearn for the same goal, victory. It's all about the win.

Sometimes we encounter different situations in life with our main concern being, "how can I win this one?" and "how can I make my team look the best?" or "how can I come out on top?". These questions are best answered on the football field and not effective in all areas of life. We don't always have to hide behind our team's colors or be sure to not show any signs of weakness to our opponents. Half the time our opponents don't even want to be on the other side of the field. It may seem that way, but they really just want to win with you, rather than beat you. Sometimes we're too wrapped up in attacking their weak points and doing all those little things that they cannot stand.

A team can only defend themselves for so long. They can become worn down and begin to let things slip through the cracks. They wonder, "why am I even playing anymore? I know I can't win." This team loses hope and wonders if their score will always be on the losing end. And it's always the same plays that knock them to the ground. No matter how much they prepare themselves, it seems as though they are always blind sided and left with scrapes and bruises and those little birds flying around their heads.

So ask it really worth it to put on all that gear each and every day? Life's supposed to be a dance, and doesn't always require a winner. Leave the tackling to the guys on the field.

"We can't move ahead if we're trying to get even." - Frank Tyger