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 course...it 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 it...it 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


Dictionary.com 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 yourself...is 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