And So We Differ.

I feel like I could be a men's clothing expert.

Granted, my brave assumption is based entirely on my opinion that I have great taste in fashion, which is CLEARLY just an opinion, because when have I ever had to wear a fashionable men's outfit?

That would be NEVER.

In all honesty, I don't have that much experience in it. But I have the gift. I know what looks good. And it's usually directly opposite of what my husband wants, which is the point in our shopping trips where the CALM and RATIONAL bargaining comes in.

Because I am nothing if not resourceful.

I guess I can understand my husband's reluctance to let me pick out clothes for him. After all, I've never been six and a half feet tall, so I'm used to living in a bubble where everything coordinates and also FITS. 

But this one sartorial discussion gets us every time.


In particular, trilby hats. My husband can rock a trilby, and don't believe anything otherwise that he may tell you. And it's so musician-y and arts-y and dashing and unique, right? I mean, only several million other guys are doing it, so it's bound to stand out.

I'm on a personal mission, folks. Project trilby, if you will. I'm deeply invested in this [which is far more than I should be invested in an attempt to make my husband accessorize, I realize] and I WILL SEE IT THROUGH.

And then I'll take pictures, because miracles don't often strike in the same place twice.



TV Is Bad For You.

'Hoarders' changed my life.

I know what you're thinking. It's filled with psychobabble and the people depicted in the episodes are probably encouraged to be dramatic and plus they get paid for their segment and it's a TELEVISION SHOW, for the love of all things gullible.

But believe me when I say that it is profoundly moving.

I've officially unofficially diagnosed everyone, too, thanks to my newfound expertise in hoarding. I mean, I had a lot to overcome, myself. I rented a storage unit for years to hold my junk, which is a pretty common theme among the hoarders. You can understand how relieved I was that my stuff is no longer in a holding pattern when I discovered the show.

I feel like an overcomer already.

But now, I see the signs everywhere. There's my mom, who is emotionally attached to her things [never ask her to throw away a recipe or a quilting pattern, because from personal experience, it WILL NOT GO WELL], and my dad, who thinks there is a second, or third, or seventeenth use for EVERYTHING. And by everything, I mean stacks of empty egg cartons and milk jugs that are absolutely essential to his survival and will be rescued from the trash bin. Then my sister, who is a shopper extraordinaire. The kind with disposable clothes, worn once and forgotten, and tags hanging from clothes purchased a year ago. And my husband, who has more clothes than me AND my sale-lovin' sister. Combined.

I mean, I'm not judging, but I feel like there's this wall of irritation every time we talk about de-cluttering and cleansing one's environment. I'm pretty sure I've overcome my own packrat tendencies and have made positive steps toward a clutter-free life, but getting my wonderful family to join me on The Path is much harder than I thought.

Apparently, the show didn't have the same effect on them. Me? I've never been so happy to get rid of things in my life. There were SO MANY THINGS laying around I never even use, you know?

Maybe they're just bitter, but it's ok. I think it's probably just because they want their stuff back.



Hey, You!

My beautiful, poetic little sister's blog just got a facelift, so check her out and be sure you leave her some love to let her know what you think [which also benefits yours truly, since I'm kind of, you know, artistically invested in the blog and all].

Plus, she has officially promised to post more often in keeping with this family's new trend of oversharing. =)



The Love Fern!

There was a time when Matthew McConoughay was reason enough to watch pretty much any movie.

Remember that period, right after the movie with Jennifer Lopez and the glasses and aw, shucks act? He was rom-com gold. And then came the love fern, or more specifically, 'How to lose a guy in 10 days'. You know the one - Kate Hudson is trying to get rid of him, he's trying to hold onto her. Betting on love, it's a real joy EVERY TIME.

She did CRAZY things, I tell you. CRAZY. Like matching sweaters and a giant potted plant for him to nurture as their love grew.

CRAZY with a side of nutso.

Weeelll... About that crazy. The love plant might have resurfaced as one of D's valentine's gifts this year, because I am nothing if not cheeky and saucy. Or, you know, crazy. But let's go with the first two.

To be fair [or to justify my purchase, whichever] I didn't make the love fern connection until much later. I was browsing Red Envelope, which is what all normal people do when Valentine's Day comes around and they have this compulsive need to buy presents to celebrate that fat kid who shoots everyone with pink-and-red arrows every February 14th. NOT THAT I AM COMPULSIVE.

And what had happened was [see, you KNOW it's going to be good now, right?] that I thought it would be cute to send him Valentine's flowers. So I ordered this cute heart-shaped bamboo and had it delivered to him.

To make a long story short, he loved it [first girl to send him flowers, manly or otherwise. Holla!], he nurtured it, we fought, I took it back [or 'ungifted it', which sounds so much better], we apologized and made up, he nurtured it some more, we got married, and now we have this bamboo plant [much larger than the picture, because like all living things that are nurtured, it has grown non-stop] and a very limited space allotted to us, which means there's no safe place to put it. It's on the computer desk now, but really, when I start cleaning, SWEET HEAVEN, there is NO SAFE PLACE for things. Let's just say that I am addicted to organization and leave it there, shall we?

The bamboo is under a protective order, though, because along with his pet tarantula [which I have affectionately named Buttercup] it is a member of our little family. I mean, after all, it is a symbol of our undying love. Yellow leaves and all.

On second thought, I should probably be getting some [distilled, bottled] water for this thing. We can't have a dead love plant.

It just wouldn't be NORMAL.



Fashion Friday.


[I do love a dramatic entrance.]

My interview outfit. Except for that I'm terrible at taking actual pictures. Mostly because the thought of being in front of a camera makes me cringe, but also because the days that really WORK for me, fashion-wise, never happen when I'm prepared. Heaven knows why I can't reasonably expect to find batteries, USB cord, and/or memory cards in the SAME PLACE AS THE CAMERA, but it's true.

So this, my friends, is a polyvore rendition of the interview outfit I wore the other day. I can't BEGIN to afford these actual items, but they're the best representation of the knockoffs I have in my closet.

Because I'm smooth like that.

- Black denim pencil skirt [mine is from Marshall's, $16.99]
- Camel cropped jacket [mine is from Maurice's, $39.99]
- Grey striped tank [mine is from JCPenney, $3.77 on clearance]
- Booties [mine are from Ross', $19.99]
- Gold hobo [mine is from Steinmart YEARS ago, and I think it was about $30]
- Gold hoops and bangles [mine are from a little hippie shop in town - total cost $7]
- Wedding set [mine is from Gordon's and not yet paid off. ;)]

Happy friday, y'all! =)




[Yummy photo from Sugarcrafter.]

I might have mentioned it a time or two, but I'm pretty much crazy about fall foods. Or, you know, if you must be literal, I'm SOMEWHAT OBSESSED.

I'm nothing if not honest.

That's why I am SOSOSOSO ready to try this recipe from Sugarcrafter for pumpkin cheesecake. [I'm choosing to ignore the fact that I just sent out an unintentional sos signal, since I'm not willing to be rescued from sugar and pumpkin awesomeness.]

It looks lovely, sounds lovely, and I'm pretty sure it will taste absolutely lovely as well.

I should probably just move an elliptical machine into the kitchen now.



Alien Shoes!

I'm not quite in the market for new workout shoes - which is to say that my hubs would KILL me if I suggested purchasing a 3rd pair of trainers within a 6 month period, especially since I'm not the greatest at actually using them for their intended purpose - but I'm loving these Vibram FiveFingers.

Why? Well, I'm a sucker for marketing and their website makes SO MUCH SENSE, of course. Plus they look hilarious, and if I could get over the whole toe sock feel of them, I'd probably adore them.

If only they came with a bottle of motivation to actually use them. ;)



Cheatin' In The Kitchen.

By my rough estimates, in our 6-week marriage, my husband and I have consumed about 87 ham and swiss croissants. Each.

Exaggeration, you say?

Maybe a little, but the embellishment doesn't change the fact that when we're 1) not hungry at the same time, 2) too far past reasonable mealtime hours to cook a real meal, or 3) feeling lazy, I present D with a plateful of these babies. I know I need to come up with something quick and easy and also nutritious, but so far, it's the canned croissants, every time.

Is this a known phenomenon among housewives? Does anyone else have a go-to food?


I've Got Flair.

I was 14 when I designed my first webpage.

By 'designed', I totally mean a combination of Geocities' drag-and-drop feature and painstakingly copied HTML coding provided by my computer savvy buddies, because I may be clever, but I am NOT a pro.

Aside from the usual 'A/S/L' personal page and a random assortment of additional pages I apparently felt that a 14-year-old should have [excepting for my future children, who will NEVER MEET THE INTERNETS due to the untold danger], I had a page called 'Flair' - my own internet fashion magazine for modest fashionistas. I had sections for hair-to's [with step by step pictures of my oh-so-patient sister's head in various states of 'do, no less], outfit suggestions, color wheels for finding one's 'season', and wardrobe staples.

I'm not gonna lie, I had a lot of time on my hands right about then.

I got nostalgic the other day and hunted down endless folders of my old files, bits and pieces of the past that made me laugh and shake my head. Then I saw some photo folders and might have cried a few tears in my heart when I saw this skinny chicken-head gal I used to be:

I know. It's totally WHO ATE THE SKINNY CHICK?!?

[And now, you're gonna look up your old photos too, aren't you? =)]

Happy Monday!


That's What She Said.

It's a big, sensitive, emotionally charged deal.

You know it can't be good already, right?

I'm talking about the recent story about Ines Sainz, a female sports reporter, being catcalled and belittled in the Jets' locker room after a game. When the story came out, Ms. Sainz was victimized and lauded for her bravery. Even though she has publicly said that she hold no grudges against the parties involved [which is, you know, mighty BIG of her] and has subsequently crafted quite an image for herself as a benevolent soul, the debaters came out the woodwork on this one, for real, yo.

Y'all, I don't set out to be political. The Lord knows that I have enough to talk about just living my own crazy life. But the good Lord also distributed common sense to some of us [why yes, I DO like to think I'm one of that 'us' category] and according to common sense, this situation is OUT OF HAND.

And because, when things are OUT OF HAND, I like to organize things list-style, here are my thoughts on this situation.

1. It is never, EVER okay to disrespect a lady. It means that you lack good character. A man should know to treat women like he'd want his own mother, sister, or daughter to be treated - with integrity and respect.

It's called MORALITY, dearies, and it would be so nice of you to use some.

2. It is likely that you will not be treated as a lady if you choose to portray yourself as something else. That is to say, if you insist on booty-tootin' in a testosterone-charged atmosphere and then also acting offended at the fact that you were 'disrespected', YOU ARE NOT FOOLING ANYONE, MA'AM.

3. It is perfectly reasonable to be expected to conform to a dress code. Ms. Sainz was working at the event in question. [Although some wonder why she should be in the men's locker room to do her job, 'cause NO, honey, just NO] But The above photo is of her on the job - more photos of her work attire are here.

I, for one, have never worked in an environment where a dress code was not enforced, aside from my own home, and if we're being honest, I'm kind of into matching pajamas, so that TOTALLY COUNTS. I mean, if you're a nurse, you wear scrubs. If you work at an Italian restaurant, you're probably going to wear black slacks and a white shirt. Maybe even a tie.

I'm just sayin'.

So why is it such a hardship for Ms. Sainz to wear professional attire? Is it really so much to ask the self-proclaimed 'hottest sports reporter in Mexico' that she cover her lady parts a little better for the workplace? No one's asking the girl to wear an NFL burka, but she really can't seem to resist the urge to shimmy around the ballpark in sky-high heels and revealing clothes, and there's an awful lot of happy medium between those two. I'm not gonna lie, it makes me a little less comfortable with my hubs being a sports fan if I have to worry about what he's going to see when the games are being covered by an attention seeker like this.

This is my point.

If, in the opinion of Ms. Sainz and all of the forward thinking, broad minded people who support her, she was disrespected, I say that she herself was disrespectful to the sport, to the players, and to the viewers. And she victimized them by purposefully causing a tidal wave and then blaming the tidal wave for all of the trouble it caused.

Don't tell me she didn't know that her revealing attire wouldn't be noticed by all of the males in the vicinity. It burns me that this woman is getting exactly what she so clearly craves - attention. And also a positive portrayal in the media due to her noble forgiveness of the men involved.

Way to turn it into a gold mine, darlin'.

But I can agree that it's an important issue, particularly because women who tend to inject themselves into the sports world for the purpose of personal gain are as common as mosquitoes.

And I live in Texas, which qualifies me to say this with confidence: there are a LOT OF SKEETERS, folks.

I say that you can't have it both ways - purposefully dressing in a way to attract attention and then complaining about the attention you receive is silly, and it takes a person NOWHERE. No, really, NOWHERE. In terms of inane circular actions, Ms. Sainz should know that she is doing some serious doughnuts.

And we all know what those suckers do to the hips. ;)




I come from a world of fashion and celebrities.

That statement probably seems a little far-fetched if you know me well. After all, a girl from a little town in south Texas [and when I say 'little', I am referring to a grand metropolis composed of exactly one gas station, one blinking light, and lots of pasture land] doesn't exactly run across movie stars at the 7-11. Apparently, cow pies and cactus are not desirable mood setters in a celebrity environment.

But it's true. There is a select group of people in the church organization I grew up in that can only be considered bonafide celebrities. Even though the majority of Christians - and non-Christians - wouldn't recognize them, in this church culture, they ARE the VIP list, darlin'. They're the trendsetters, too - their conference outfits will be copied by every fashion-forward churchgoer in the group, however tragic those fashion choices may be.

Trust me when I say tragic, y'all. The 'poof' was never, EVER a good idea.

And yet, that's how we rolled.

For a really fancy church event? You have to get someone, as one pastor told me, that 'will draw a crowd'. Lucky members of the aforementioned crowd will be subjected to enjoy warbling renditions of contemporary Christian songs, overblown, memorized prayers to The God Of Abraham, Isaac, And Jacob, and fill-in-the-blank exhortations from celebrity visitors.

It's an HONOR AND JOY, I tell you.

But it's also wrong, not only in the sense that it is often truly a travesty to witness, but also because God doesn't have grandchildren.

In fact, His Word is pretty clear on the whole celebrity thing. He says things like this:

"You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight." Luke 16:15

And this:

"They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. " Romans 1:25

I'm not a fan of the church celebrity culture, and thankfully, my current church is far removed from that lifestyle. But the subject popped up in my radar again recently. Due to an upcoming church event, there has been a 500% increase in the posting of youtube videos of worship songs on Facebook. [500% may be a 400% exaggeration, but who keeps track of those things, anyway?] In these videos, church veeps, many whom I have known [and by 'have known', I mean 'also wouldn't speak to me on the street today'] sing and worship and exhort. Church veeps who will, no doubt, be center stage at all important junctures during the event.

Will [name] sing the most solos because her dad is [name], even though her voice is shrill and pitchy, her manner is affected and showy, and her attitude elitist and arrogant? Will [name] have the best clothes because they're a [name] and therefore, will be lifted high as the embodiment of all things fashion? Will [names] be there, crowded into an impenetrable human fortress of a clique, refusing to acknowledge anyone with less than a 3-generation pedigree?

As much as I am excited about the things God is doing for His children, and as deeply thankful as I am for pioneers in the church, it saddens me that I already know the answers. See, I've been in the room when event planners crossed out the names of truly talented singers and musicians with no glory among men [and women] in favor of church veeps with a fraction of their musical blessings. I've seen people with God-given talents for the arts ridiculed, to the point of emotional pain and severe self-esteem issues, for a fashion statement or creation that would be applauded as Just The Thing on a church veep. And I've heard the callous, arrogant jokes of church veeps, taking lightly the precious things of God that they so devoutly proclaim on platforms all around America.

See, skill and merit have no bearing in the world of celebrity. A veep's poularity is based entirely upon who that person is, rather than what that person does. But here's the deal - Jesus is more interested in integrity than celebrity.

It breaks my heart that so many well-meaning church members have allowed celebrity to replace integrity in their leaders. It saddens me that this year alone there will be hundreds, even thousands of people who will go through the pain of being overlooked, forgotten, or misused because of a hero worship mentality that leaves no room for those that God has blessed with gifts that could very well revolutionize the church.

The church was never designed to be an exclusive club. Jesus never called His servants to crown themselves. He never gave permission to church leaders to set themselves up as royalty. In fact, we are commanded to nurture the gifts of those who come in to the kingdom after us. And He tells us to work out our own salvation, on a personal level [Phil. 2:12b-13]. On His terms. As equals in the kingdom.

And most importantly, He calls each of us, regardless of pedigree [1 Peter 2:9-10]. His grace is not exclusive to a certain family or social circle. You are His. You are every bit as loved and cherished by God as any Christian on the planet.

And that?

That's just how He rolls.



I'm Getting A Fake ID.

Apparently, when you marry someone, there's a little bit of paperwork involved. I don't know, something about taxes and citizenship and legality and everything.

That's not the tragedy, though.

My new driver's license photo? IT IS A TRAGEDY, folks. I was one of the rare people in the world to have a decent photo. My last one was 20 pounds ago, every hair in place, tan on point, and wearing my favorite purple shirt. And I wasn't the least bit concerned about whipping it out for anyone that questioned my identity. I mean, this may sound conceited, but I assure you, it is not. It's the exception to see me with everything on point and in place, as it were, so my pride was inclined toward the fact that I had proof that I am not always lookin' a hot mess less-than-perfect.

That's why I was even cool with writing 'SEE ID' on the back of my debit cards. Yes, cards plural. It's a complicated thing, Dave Ramsey, please don't judge me by the plastic in my purse.


Now that I've got a new driver's license photo, complete with chipmunk cheeks and helmet hair, I have one burning question in my mind.

How can I write over that Sharpied 'SEE ID' on my cards to make it look like my signature?




Future Funk.

Oh. My. Word.

Being busy with very important things like I am, what with all the internet surfing and facebook updating and box-ticking on careerfinder.com, I absolutely do NOT have time to be hooked on the youtubes.

But I am anyway, and I'm pretty sure my head almost exploded from the cuteness overload that is Future Funk.

Go ahead, you know you want to watch it - and if it doesn't make you smile, you must be made of stone. ;)



A Bill And A Half..

...Or, since I'm broke and the thought of even that much money not strictly accounted for gives me heart palpitations, let's just call a spade a spade.


I wouldn't have gotten here without the support of dear friends and family members who so graciously read my blog and email me encouraging words, even when I say something completely oddball and probably not at all relevant to anyone but me.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty much NEVER going to refuse a chance to ramble, but the fact that I have people like you reading what I'm saying makes it SO much more fun. =)

Thank you. Yep, you. You, the one behind the computer screen.

Let's keep going, ok? =)


Is This YOU?!

Do you KNOW who I am? Why, just ask googles about me, darling.

No, I'm just kidding. You don't have to do that. Really. You do NOT want to see those pictures from 1994.

I did it, though, because 1) I am highly suggestible and some of my facebook friends were doing it and 2) that was really the only reason.


It's not all in vain, though. I mean, I just got this new last name so there's not much in the way of photo evidence lurking around the internets... Yet. But also, because I found this cool site, is this you?, and discovered things about myself that BLEW MY MIND.

Like the fact that my personal animal power is a spotted skunk. I. Had. No. IDEA! Think of the things I can do with my life now that I know this about myself! Also I am of average envowelment, which is a slight disappointment. I also learned how to spell my name in ASCII, which is handy, if, you know, I ever need to spell my name in a conversation with a computer.

Also, since people with my first name are possibly female, according to the site, I am likely to spend too much on beauty products.

It's downright SCARY how much the internets know these days.




So.. How's your day going? Mine? Oh, mine's just skippy, thanks so much for asking. Everything is wonderful, except for the part where I just told my friend a recent photo of her bouncing baby boy is "sooooo previous!" and I am now forced to hang my head in shame and cower behind large objects at the grocery store in fear that she will off me for suggesting that her son is socially lagging.

Why would I insult a chubby-cheeked baby like that? I mean, it's not like I'm on to the next [on on to the next] while this poor cherub is stuck being two-thousand-and-late. [Apparently, my musical references are OUT OF CONTROL today. I'm b-b-b-b-b-bad.]

I blame it entirely on Steve Jobs. I believe he made a pact with satan to destroy the respectability of all clumsy persons with an unfortunate affinity for Apple products, because CLEARLY the devil is in charge of the iPhone's autocorrect feature.Or at least, that's MY story, and I'm sticking to it. Why else would my phone forget things like that crucial 'l' in 'public' or that 'whitehouse blackmarket' [love that store!] isn't, in fact, 'whorehouse blackhawk'?

And DON'T GET ME STARTED on the fact that 'me' always autocorrects to "me'" - I am unaware of ANY grammatical situation that would require an apostrophe after the word 'me'. Me's? Me're? Me'll? Even I'm not that bad. At least I know that I'm not the only one in this predicament.

Anyone else have butterfingers around here? =)


Jibri Jabber.

Y'all know how much I love fashion, right?

I mean, not that I've mentioned it a time or ten too many, but I have deep love for all things sartorial. And, as a yo-yo dieter since the days of my teens where eating everything I wanted and also losing weight was actually a THING I DID, I have a staunch appreciation for beautiful clothes designed for plus size women. I'm not quite there at the moment, but for these clothes, it's a thought. ;)

It's things like this:

and this:

and this:

that make me feel faint with excitement. Oh, yeah. It's like an overload of awesome.

Jibri's etsy shop is full of gorgeous clothes for the big-boned/statuesque ladies. Most of them are great classic pieces and they're flattering and modest.

Plus, they're pretty to look at, so there's that. I'm not being paid by Jibri and I don't know the designers from Adam.. Or Eve. But it's worth a look just for the fun of it. Right? ;)



This Piggy Went To The Butcher's Block.

I'm sad to report that I have become a victim of a great travesty against all womenkind. The kind of travesty that only time will heal.

My right big toenail met an overzealous pedicurist. Thanks to him [I know, awkward that I have a 'him' pedicurist, right? My husband is the only man who has the right to know how often - or not - I shave my legs, I'm just sayin'.] I now have a sideways crack/split in the middle of my piggy and I'm terrified I'm going to hit something or snag something and cause myself some serious agony.

Is there a statute of limitations for pursuing my legal rights in regards to this? I feel like with Beautiful Nail as my go-to mani/pedi dive, I'm probably forfeiting my rights to any guarantees of quality, you know?

It's a good thing fall, aka boot season, is [almost] here, that's all I know. =)



In His Arms.

Dr. MaLinda Sapp, gospel singer extraordinaire Marvin Sapp's wife, passed away earlier today after an extended battle with colon cancer. She was co-pastor of their church in Michigan and highly respected in her home community and in the Christian community.

The Sapps have three young [school aged] children who had to let their momma go a little too soon. Marvin Sapp is involved with Verizon's How Sweet The Sound in addition to his pastoring and performing.

Marvin wrote one of the most amazing songs about strength in trials, giving glory to Jesus for His faithfulness. Don't believe me? Listen for yourself.

Told ya. =)

Thoughts and prayers going out to this hurting family for God's comfort, peace, and healing.



I'm an official bum again. I say that with all the deep sighs my heart and lungs can muster. Being in between consulting jobs wouldn't evoke sighs from the depths of my heart if I made heaps of cash every time, because I am nothing if not a fan of all things cheap.

I am GOOD with a dollar, y'all.

But a few things stand in the way of my ever being consistently successful as a freelancer, like the fact that I LOVE doing church/non-profit design work and also that jobless seasons sometime last longer than working seasons. So I'm hitting the pavement again, looking for something closer to home while we wait for God's hand in our future.

I've been brushing up my resumé, handing out smiles and phone numbers and email addresses like candy, and even interviewing around town. But nothing has been a good fit yet. In the process of updating the flood of information about my employment availability, I just updated my CareerFinder profile, and oh my word, did I ever need to update! My job matches were all in Florida, where I haven't lived since 2007. As was my home address and telephone number.

Seeing my old address and all of my job searches made me remember how hard I fought to stay in FL - and prompted my memory to drop a whole load of emotions, squashing my poor heart into a painful pancake. I visited my old stomping grounds with my sister, her boyfriend, and my hubs [then boyfriend] in April, and even with all of this loveliness:

and all of this fun:

And the admittedly wonderful company:

I was an emotional basket case. Poor D - he should have run as soon as he saw the signs. ;) Being in the place that I fiercely loved, that I poured my heart and soul into, and that I left with a heart wounded by the jagged, searing pain of betrayal, lies, and rejection - it was enough to make a grown woman cry.

I was SO unprepared for the emotions brought on by a beach vacation. As was D, if his terrified look as he grabbed me for a hug told the story correctly. Three years after I left the beach and the people and the city I loved, having moved on and changed and grown, and I was a mess. No one can predict that memories will bring back all of the emotions so clearly until it happens, trust me - if THAT were possible, I would have packed some Kleenex.

Y'all. It physically hurt, even to remember.

This time around, though, the sudden emotional onslaught was a little less brutal. The smile was sad as I thought of the little apartment always filled with people and laughter and of the trying season where my life was, in the words of Will Smith, flip-turned-upside-down. When I struggled to find a job - any job - that would allow me to stay in the place where I knew, without a doubt, that God had brought me.

And, I'm not gonna lie, I still miss my surfboard. =)

But I know that God is still in control. Of our lives, of my job situation, of the pain in my past. I have learned how NOT to treat someone, how NOT to live my life, and most importantly, how NOT to let go of God's hand.

And that, my friends, is the most important thing to know.



Coupled Up.

There's something you should know about my husband and I.

We STINK at morning devotions. I mean, keeping up with it is WAY harder than I was prepared for. When D and I made the decision to encourage each other in our walks with God and be committed to diving into the Word together, we clearly didn't think our plan through.

See, I'm not a morning type of person, myself. My mornings begin like this: me, in our bed, groggy and probably sporting bedhead only slightly less shocking than the lead singer of an 80s hair band, feebly shoving D's shoulder to alert him to the fact that my alarm is going off - on an odd number [like 8:27, for instance] because it makes me feel like I've gotten the UTMOST SLEEP POSSIBLE.

It MUST be an odd number because that's how I know I'm cheating Time itself.

Not that I'm OCD or anything, you understand.

As you may have gathered, we are NOT GOOD at doing mornings, people. This fact makes it all the more puzzling that we decided to have morning devotions together, but we did, and we're struggling, I'm not gonna lie. Not only with keeping our eyes open, but with keeping dialogue going, and even worse, with which portions of the Bible to study every day.

I'm ashamed to admit that, but it's true. Inspiration is pretty hard to scare up every morning. We love Jesus, we are absolutely committed to seeking Him, and we most certainly want Him to be the heavenly third cord that binds our marriage together for all eternity. But we're pretty quick to move on to prayer time because talking to Jesus is a lot easier than organized, communal reading.

So, aside from the obvious solution, which would be to have nightly devotions [we're still trying to get our timing together for that] and preparing something during the day [which is easier said than done around these parts] I'm looking for answers, yo. Or suggestions. Whichever.

What studies and/or devotions work for you?

I'd love to find something relationship-building, 'cause we're newlyweds and that's where we live, but D and I come from different spiritual backgrounds so practical life application materials have value for us, too.

AND I would adore an iPhone app for keeping track of our Bible reading, maybe even with notes on our thoughts and a graph to show how far along we are... All for a winning bid of $0.

Not that I'm overreaching in my holy aspirations or anything. We're on a MISSION.

Ok, talk to me, peeps! =)



Dear P&G....

The following [absolutely hilarious] missive was penned by one Ms. Aarons, of Austin, TX. It's formatted as an open letter, and although it was never actually sent to the director of feminine care products at P&G, it's right out there on the internets waiting for their review, so I do hope they've had a look at it.

After all, it is a stirring reminder of WHAT WOMEN WANT, dangit. Power to the [female] people!



Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your Always maxi pads for over 20 years, and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core™ or Dri-Weave™ absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from "the curse"? I'm guessing you haven't. Well, my "time of the month" is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call "an inbred hillbilly with knife skills." Isn't the human body amazing?

As brand manager in the feminine-hygiene division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers' monthly visits from Aunt Flo. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend's testicles into a George Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey's Anatomy was written by drunken chimps. Crazy! The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in capri pants. Which brings me to the reason for my letter.

Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: "Have a Happy Period."

Are you f***ing kidding me?

What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness—actual smiling, laughing happiness—is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak girl, there will never be anything "happy" about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and KahlĂșa and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreens armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory. For the love of God, pull your head out, man. If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like "Put Down the Hammer" or "Vehicular Manslaughter Is Wrong"? Or are you just picking on us?

Sir, please inform your accounting department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flexi-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bulls**t. And that's a promise I will keep. Always.


Wendi Aarons
Austin, TX



Smooth Criminal.

I just broke the law and risked being fined and held in contempt of court.

How, you ask?

Well. Since you asked.

I got a summons from the courts, requesting my presence for jury duty. And I promptly forgot to add the date to my calendar [which, by way of the annoying but SO handy alarm, keeps me in check] because D and I had a getaway trip planned, and really, when you're going on an almost-free mini-vacation with your husband you probably aren't going to be thinking of jury duty while you're packing your sarong and sunscreen.

I'm just sayin'.

So when I returned home to the letter on my desk at approximately 4:55 the day of my court-determined jury duty appointment, I might have suffered from a minor heart attack. The letter states that one can be fined, serve hard time in the brig, or be required to perform jury duties at the request of the court. Plus the whole contempt-of-court thing.

It's serious business, this citizenship thing.

So, in a haze of cold sweats and self-recrimination, I dialed the county clerk's office and discovered that the jury had been dismissed that morning. Meaning that I escaped jury duty [for the second time in my life] and therefore am not only free from penalties associated with MISSING A COURT DATE, I got off scot free.

I'm such a deviant.



Arts And Crafts.

Ok, so maybe not the crafts part.

I am seriously out of touch with the gal in me who worked the counter at JoAnn's Fabrics and crafted her precious little heart out.

But I AM still designing, although my recent work is floating around on hard drives not accessible to me at the moment.

And here's a recent portfolio to prove it. =) I'm still working on adding newer work to the sets, but in light of my recent search for [steady] gainful employment, I'm putting my work out into the great, wide internets.

Like it? Know someone who needs it? Don't hesitate to hook a sista up. =)



One Month Strong. =)


Granted, it's only our one month mark, and we've been together a lot longer than that, of course, but given the fact that I will jump on ANYTHING that might possibly be the makings of a party because it's fun, and excitement is the spice of life, and also we have this amazing cake recipe hanging on the fridge, it's cause for celebration.

I can't believe it's been a month already, babe, but I'm pretty sure I've fallen in love with you a little more every day. You're the best thing I never knew I needed. I love you, punk. =)



Counting Blessings.

A quick preface to this story - it's going to sound strange to some of you, but I hope that you can understand my line of thinking enough to hang on 'til the end of the ride. I want to be SO careful when I count my blessings publicly, because too often, people forget where the blessings came from and begin to take ownership of their achievements. I don't want to be like that. I don't count my blessings to brag about things I have. I count my blessings to give honor to the Source and Finish of all my needs.

I recently re-tagged and organized all of my posts [a labor of love, I assure you] and in the process, found this post from 2008 where I randomly listed some of the things I wanted at the time.

Nothing too big or anything - I was very reasonable with my wishful thinking. I only went for things under $30,000, because apparently I was determined to stick with a [completely imaginary] budget.

Always the thrifty one.

I read this particular post with tears of gratitude welling up in my eyes. I saw things I'd put into the list that had absolutely nothing to do with necessity. I didn't actually need a single item in that post [hence the 'wishing' part of the title] and two years later, I'd forgotten that I even blogged it. But Someone was paying attention to my fancies. Since that list, God's been sneaking blessings into my life, big and small.

The beautiful, dream-worthy 17"MacBook Pro? Have it. With optional upgrades that I didn't even THINK to ask for.

The Nike+ series running shoes? Got 'em. And I don't even need an iPod, since they work just fine with my new iPhone.

The rugged SUV, perfect for surfboards and beaches? Drive it.

Even as I type this, I am humbled by a God who blesses me far more than I deserve. I have never lacked for the things I need. That list was a little [or maybe a lot, but who measures at a time like this?] bit of selfish window shopping, full of things not even remotely essential to my survival [although that's a tough call, because you never know how handy a pair of bionic shoes can be, I'm just sayin'.] But my Father, in His great love, went beyond my needs.

He did one better for me when I wasn't looking.

My wish list looks a lot different now. I'm holding on to prayers for things less tangible and much farther-reaching. I'm believing for things not only for myself, but for my husband and our families and our own future family. I'm giving thanks for the works He has done and will do.

I'm confident that He will answer. I have proof that He notices, even when I don't think He's paying attention. My answers probably won't come when I'm looking for them with bated breath and worried heart, but I promise you - they will come.

And I'm definitely going to notice.


Love Is Like A Color TV.

I saw this on YouTube and, being the hardcore that I am, I was positive that I could make it through the whole thing without a single tug on my heartstrings. Everyone said it was a tear-jerker, but I figured since I'm not much for cartoons and also I'm TOTALLY STRONG and in control of my emotions, I'd be just fine.

For the record, my calculations were incorrect. My heart was rolling around in a veritable flowerbed of colorful, clingy emotions by the time this clip ended - if I hadn't sucked in a quavering sob-sigh at just the right moment, I'm pretty sure there would have been no stopping the tears.

Marriage makes me sappy.

I dare you to watch this and not be emotional, though. Go on - just try. =)

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