Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday Style

Nothing like running late on a Wednesday morning to get you to up your style game!

I crown-braided my hair on the way to work, and opted for liquid-eyeliner cat eyes to match the feel of my gray and black ensemble!


Monday, December 11, 2017

December's Snow

By Thursday, the meteorologists were predicting a light dusting and some were even braizen enough to say that we see a few inches accumulation.
Gary and I were already planning on taking off Friday, so we didn't have to worry about work, but we were secretly hoping the kids' school was going to still be open so that we could have a day off to ourselves!

On Friday morning, everything looked normal. And school was in session! So we dropped the babes off and then went out on our day.

By 10, it was starting to rain/snow.
By 12, it was getting dicey. And I was getting anxious.
By 2, we were heading to pick up the kids early. We didn't want to get caught in the craziness and I wanted us all to be home and safe!

Around 2 PM-ish.

So, the weather reports were obviously wrong.

It was a beautiful winter wonderland!
And our Saturday morning church volunteer plans were canceled due to ice.
So we found ourselves with some time to just be a family.
And for me, that allowed me the chance to deep-clean the kitchen. #adulting

Friday Afternoon - FishEye lens
Saturday morning - 5:30AM-ish

We did get out though - we don't do "snowed-in" well - and found the roads were very passable.
And we even trekked out to Johns Creek for my dad's church's annual Christmas musical.

Sunday, church was canceled due to the ice again.
And again, we found ourselves itching to get out into the world.
So we went to Mickey Donald's to let the kids play, and then to the grocery store.

It was a long weekend, but a good one.
I love the beauty of the snow!

In other news, Courter started WALKING!
At 17.5 months, this has been a long time coming. We are so proud of him!
And he knows it!
On Saturday, all of the sudden, he just sauntered from the tv to the recliner and just kept going. So we spent a lot of our snowed-in time practicing walking back and forth between me and daddy while Penny watched the movie of the moment (Santa Paws). She describes it as "the teacher took the crystal away from the doggie". Ha! And this morning she was talking about Quinn (a little girl from the movie).
I must admit, the first time we watched it, it was cute. I even teared up.
By yesterday, we were ready to forget it and remove it from Netflix. Lol.


Over the weekend, I told my husband that I was about to block someone on Instagram because their life was too picture-perfect.
Her images are beautiful.
Her son is adorable, and presents as the perfect baby.
Her whole account is all smiles and all good things.

It feels unreal and perfect.

And it bothers me.
Maybe I am jealous of the perfection?
Or maybe I want to see real-life.

In my own Instagram account, I try to have a good mix of good things, cute babes, and also stressers, hopes, fails, and all things.
I don't want to appear to have it all together, because that's not real life.

So here's to posting everything.
And not appearing too put-together!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Tainted Roses

Chapter 3
After deciding that enough of her closet was thoroughly went through, Amber realized that she had 15 minutes before she had to leave and meet Patrick.  Amber frantically hurried around her apartment as she attempted to get ready to meet him by seven at the restaurant.  She decided to dress in one of her favorite outfits.  A pair of gray corduroy pants that sat perfectly on her hips and a matching orange-toned sheer top covering a stark white camisole.  Her hair was put into a large clip and fell ever-so-slightly across her tan face, accentuated solely by some eye-shadow and shimmering lip gloss.  She slipped on her sporty clogs, the rave of the season, grabbed her purse and set off to the Marta station.  Marta was easier to take considering that her apartment was a three-minute walk from the station, and the train dropped her off right next to Perimeter mall.  She had also always loved the people that relied on the transportation; full of intrigue and mystery, each person held their own story.  She had often wondered some of the situational happenings that brought them into her life.  The reason may have been unknown, but the fact that there was a reason and purpose behind everything always made her smile and remember God’s unique work in everything around her.  She loved discovering it bit-by-bit each day.  As the Marta station came to a stop, she quickly exited and walked towards the Cheesecake Factory, where she would meet Patrick.
        She wasn’t surprised to see him standing there, looking all professional and punctual.  As she walked up, she could see the smile curving on his face and the slightly revealed bouquet hidden behind his back.
        “Hello darling, happy birthday.” he cheerfully greeted as he handed her the bouquet.  She brought the flowers close to her nose so she could take in the wondrous fragrance.  Composed of daisies, lilies, baby roses, and green foliage, the bouquet was exquisite.  She tried to ignore the feeling that had wretched her stomach earlier when she had found the undesirable memento.
        “Oh, by the way, did you get the flower I sent you earlier?”
        “I sent you a single yellow rose with a note saying “I Miss You.”  Did you not get it?  I gave the florist very explicit instructions.”
        She couldn’t move.  It was Patrick that had sent her that?  So many questions raced through her mind.  Why did he pick a yellow rose?  Why did he send her something this morning and say he missed her when she saw him yesterday and he knew she was meeting him today?  Where was Jeremy’s flower?  Had he stopped reminding her? Why?
        “Honey? Are you okay?”
        “Yeah, I just remembered something.  Don’t worry about it.”  She had to figure out what had just happened, and she didn’t want to bring up Jeremy yet.  He didn’t need to worry about her; he had enough cases of his own to worry about.
        The meal went smoothly enough. Amber tried her best to forget about what had happened and instead tried to focus on the future.  They talked about the weather, her organizing intrigues, his work schedule, and any other comments that slipped into their thoughts.  When the meal was over, Patrick walked Amber to the Marta entrance and gave her a long kiss and a soothing hug.  The sky was turning a dark purple-blue as their departing words were said.  She felt as if she had a thousand pounds of baggage on her head, and she wasn’t sure yet how she would manage it.  She paid the fare and walked the stairs to the loading dock.  The station was practically empty.  While she was waiting, she took notice of the ads that surrounded the platform.  One such ad caught her attention.  It was a picture of a bountiful bouquet of roses and a stunning diamond ring underneath.  The caption read, “Surprise her with a gift that she won’t want to hide in a drawer any longer.”  The ad for the jewelry restorer seemed to be speaking about her, as if it were a message to someone who would be on the train.  She considered the ad for a moment and then sent it to the back of her mind along with all of the other dealings that had happened that evening.  The trip took about ten minutes to get back to her station, and even though she had no idea about what to think about tonight, she got off and made the trek back to her apartment.  Her mind drifted in and out of reality as each step brought her closer to her home.  City streets are different at night.  The shadows are larger, the sounds are more accentuated, and the people are sparser.  It reminded Amber of one of those horror-slasher films where rounding the next corner would reveal an outrageously masked man carrying a huge dagger, but no, as she rounded the corner, she only found silent cars and a slight fog rising off the sleepy winter avenue.
        As the elevator doors opened and revealed her floor, she couldn’t help but notice the vase of a dozen yellow roses parked in front of her door.  She rushed over to them, her fear motivating her to discover what it was quickly, and immediately grabbed the card from the bunch.  Reading the card, she fell back against the neighboring wall.  This message hurt the most, out of all of the others sent so far.  “Hopefully, I’ve surprised you with a gift that you won’t want to hide in your drawer any more.  Aren’t ads amazing?  You can say one sentence and tell the whole world what you’re thinking, when, in actuality, you are only talking to one person.  I’m glad it finally found you.  You looked lovely tonight, by the way.  See you soon. Love.”

        Tears rolled down her face and she gasped for air as she turned her head up and down the hall to confirm her aloneness.  She could feel him.  It was as if, he knew what she was going to do even before she did it.  An overwhelmingly uneasy sense of discomfort came over her and she opened her door and clamored inside just as the elevator binged onto her floor.  She quickly closed the door and left enough room for her eyes to see who was coming into her territory.  Seeing that it was a man, she closed the door, locked the deadbolts and fell against the corner wall as whimpers of fear broke into the hysterical sobs already upon her.  The steps came closer and closer until finally they passed her door and continued down the hall.  She heard a knock, a murmured cheerful greeting, and then the returning silence as the stranger was welcomed in out of the hall.  It wasn’t for her.  She took a deep breath and wiped her eyes with the sleeve of her shirt.  She then picked up the card and the vase of flowers and set them on her kitchen counter.  She couldn’t deal with it right now. She was so exhausted that she went to her room and fell onto her bed and cried herself to sleep as her thoughts began to haunt her dreams.


True story. I've been "writing a book" for over a decade now.
The last edit was from Nov. 5th, 2006.
I've got a long way to go and even more editing and re-writing to do.

Sixth Avenue Heartache

Way back when, a friend told me that he always associated "Sixth Avenue Heartache" by the Wallflowers with me, but he couldn't tell me why. This was probably 12 years ago?
Ever since then, I would listen to the song, but my mind would mentally block me from hearing the lyrics. I'm not even kidding. It has been years upon years and I have had yet to really listen to the lyrics and figure out why there would be an association. The song would bring up memories and thougths of him, and instead of dissecting the words, I'd get to the end of the song and realize that I hadn't heard a thing.

Well today, on the way in to work, I finally made it to the "numbers" section of songs on my Ipod (thanks to my top 50 project) and this song started playing.
Sixth Avenue Heartache.
And low and behold, I was able to hear it.
The lyric that I can finally pull from it. 

I got my fingers crossed
on a shooting star
Just like me
Just moved on on on

And the same black line that was drawn on you
Was drawn on me
And now it's drawn me in
6th Avenue Heartache

I feel like I've had an epiphany.
And a semblance of closure that I had given up searching for a long time ago. 

Watch the video here.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Haunting of Playlists

I'm in the midst of a project.
I am compiling my Top 50 songs of all time.
And as a result, I've been collecting songs and writing them down at the back of my planner.
I've been feverishly going through all of the songs on my Ipod, haunting my Pandora playlists, and criticizing my Spotify songs list.
It's been fun, and so horribly nostalgic!

I can pinpoint the emotions, the persons, the environments that surround each of the songs that are starting to populate my top 50, and I am loving my compilation!

I think it would be interesting to look at the list holistically and kind of analyze it.
Or maybe it wouldn't. 
Don't get me wrong, it would be interesting.
But the analysis?? Do I want to know?
Or should I just enjoy the mix?

Some of the contenders...
Undone - Matchbox 20
Paradise - Coldplay
The Reason - Hoobastank
Some Nights - Fun
Float On - Modest Mouse

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

McD's Field Trip

By the time we got to Hogansville, we had been in the car (in awful traffic) for over 2 hours. Courter was fussy for the majority of it but was full-blown crying for at least the last 30 minutes of the journey. A product of Gary's energy and my stubborn, his refusal to self-soothe and sporatic distaste of car rides makes for rather cumbersome car trips. But he's a baby, so we don't hold it against him. Penny had been fairly content up until the end, but she was starting to complain about the night sky and that her ankle was hurting. So Gary and I, both equally annoyed and anxious at this point, decided to cut our losses, get a bite to eat and then head home.

Golden Arches FTW.

When we pulled into the parking lot, I asked him out of frustration "Where was the good in this?" There is a purpose for everything, but in that moment, it had only been stress and bickering.

We were making a last minute trip to Columbus to celebrate Jeremy's birthdate. I (naively) thought that traffic wouldn't be bad and road trips were so fun, always. But by the time we got to Hogansville and saw that we still had another hour in the car, we knew it wasn't going to be a smooth sail.
It was a smart decision to turn back.

The ride home was so much smoother!
Gary and I got to talk Black Friday plans and Christmas gifts. And we both relaxed.
Gary said that the "good" that I was looking for earlier was that we got to turn around. And I added that we got to converse.

And we made it home. And the kids are in bed and sleeping.

And tomorrow is Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Autumn Leaves

"It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon."
- Sarah Addison Allen

The autumn colors that have graced the trees around here have been absolutely spectacular this year and so vibrant over the past few weeks.
There were a few moments where I'd just sit and wonder over their hues and presence.

I missed the opportunity to document them when they were still on the trees, but I'm finding beauty in their falling.

"The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go."
- Anonymous

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Missed Connections

I have always had a special sort of love for Missed Connections and the urgency that comes with the what-could-have-beens of life, especially in relation to love.

So when I was creating our most recent email for Can You Imagine?, I decided to work up some imaginary Missed Connections and Personals Ads all centered around coffee - our theme of that week's email.

I had too much fun with these and feel like I might have missed my calling. Ha!
And that calling would be writing Personals Ads... for fun, for strangers.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

B&W Challenge

I love a good Instagram challenge.
A few years back (2011), I did a 365 challange where I took a picture-a-day and posted it to my blog.
This was before my time on Instagram, and somedays, was way more laborous than it should of been. But I persisted.
A lot happened that year.
My husband and I went to NoLA. My mom had a heart attack (she survived).
I flexed my creative writing muscles with stories left untold. 
And I documented a lot of random things from almost every single day of that year.
It was pretty awesome, and I love being able to go back through it all.

So, every now and then when a challenge comes up, I am delighted to take part.
And this one. One B&W picture a day for 7 days.
No people. No explanation.
I couldn't NOT do it. ;)
Here's what I posted. But I'm adding some explanation... because Blogger.

I've started drinking my coffee with cinnamon. The cinnamon doesn't dissolve, so by the time I get to the bottom, it's a huge mess of cinnamon debris littered all over my cup.
My husband said he was surprised I didn't make a Harry Potter reference here.
I told him that I am not in to Harry Potter enough to know what reference that would be.

Light streaks left by a pasing car at dawn, on the way to work.
This is what happens when I sit in traffic.

Stalagmites in the ice cube tray. How does this even happen?
I still haven't researched this phenomenon.

Hair trimmings.
I took scissors to my hair and chopped off significant portions all in the name of layers and volume.
And I'm pleased with the results.

The lighting set-up at my church.
It's basically like attending a worship concert every Sunday.

A lone scooter-er at our local skate park.

Cornbread (left) and Pickles (right). Our fur-baby sibling kitties.

Monday, September 18, 2017

A weekend in Greenville, SC

For our 9th Anniversary weekend, Gary and I headed north to Greenville, SC. At just over 2 hours from Kennesaw, it made for an easy weekend trip get-away! And with the kids at the Grandparents, it meant a weekend of relaxing was in store!

Check out some of my pictures from the weekend!
Greenville was absolutely amazing, and I am already looking forward to going back!

Hubs and I. <3 td="">

Our bedroom in the AirBnb we rented. It was in an updated Victorian a mile from downtown.
Super nice hosts and an amazing atmosphere!
Plus, the TV had Netflix and Hulu, so we were able to stay up late binge-watching Younger. :)

An amazingly-detailed gate made out of welded-together bolts and things. A cool little piece.

View of Falls Park, from just above the falls, looking out to Liberty Bridge.

Mandatory selfie in the Peace Center Wyche Pavilion. So glad we walked down to the park and found this spot!

Fried Green Tomatoes from Tupelo Honey Cafe, Good restaurant in a neat area!

Jelly and butter bar at Biscuit Head. Again, a neat little spot. Good coffee and food!

Gary squeezing through the Devil's Kitchen Trail at Caesar's Head State Park.

The overlook at Caesar's Head State Park. See me in the distance?

This was an amazing find! It's Bald Rock, and it is easily accessable on the way back from Caesar's Head. It has been covered with graffiti, but I think that it makes it super interesting and beautiful. Worth the stop!

Another view of some of the art on Bald Rock.

The bottom (and most impressive) falls at Wildcat Branch Falls. A good, easy hike to the other two.
Candle remnants at the chimney site at Wildcat Branch Falls.
It felt like the perfect spot for seances. I assume that is what the candles are from. ;)

A flea market on the way back to Greenville from Caesar's Head. Full of the usual junk and lots of interesting things.
The owner had just captured a brown recluse spider in an old pill bottle and was showing it off to us. Eeep.

Saturday Lunch Part 1 - Boiled Peanuts

Saturday Lunch Part 2 - "Monkey Meets the Moose" ice cream sundae from Pink Mama's in Travelers Rest. So amazing!

Gary's new panda shirt from one of the artists at the Makers Co. I spotted this storefront across the way from Pink Mama's and had to stop in and see if it was the same Makers Co that was putting on the Indie Craft Parade in Greenville. Turns out that the ones putting on the Indie Craft Parade is the Makers Collective. The Makers Co was a shop full of different art pieces from artists from the region. Gary's shirt features a panda face that was hand-stamped from a hand-crafted rubber stamp from the "Growing Up Happy" brand. He small-talked, so it was only appropriate to support the local artist!

Photobooth print from the Indie Craft Parade! It was awesome!
My goodies from the Indie Craft Parade! :)

Everyone was walking around holding these felt flower stems in tiny bouquets from Leaph Boutique.
When we finally came upon the booth, I had to make a tiny bouquet also. This came to $11 and was money well spent.
It makes me so happy! I just need to find the perfect little vase for it.

Most of our bread and cheese board from The Anchorage.
I was most impressed by this restaurant. Everything about our experience was amazing!

Beets and sweet potatoes (left), and korean-bbq octopus (right).

A nice couple offered to take our picture outside of The Anchorage. :)

Sunday morning. Falls Park - looking out at the Falls from Liberty Bridge. I was super impressed by this park!

<3 td="">

Liberty Bridge, the falls, and us. <3 td="">

I had fun with my fish-eye lens this weekend!

Another with the fish-eye lens.

Oh, and there was a hammock on the front porch of our AirBnb. We couldn't leave town without hanging out in it for a minute!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Dad's 60th!

My step-mom surprised my dad with a party for his 60th birthday!
She got lots of family, and even more friends together at a restaurant in Cumming and we all had a great time gallivanting and celebrating my dad!
It was a great time!

Huge, fun mirrors for selfie-taking!

Me and my padre. Happy 60th dad!

This was our best attempt at a family portrait. lol.
We'll keep trying.

Courter in his cuteness!

Penny, her "see-food", and me.