Archives for August 2010

Rabbit Trail

Every single night I’m dead-dog tired by 8:30 but push through until I get a second wind. The second wind usually lasts until 11:30 or 12, and then I sleep for five or six hours and wake up and start the whole process over again. I would never presume to claim that this behavior is “wise” or “healthy” or “recommended by experts,” but the start of a new school year combined with a new work schedule combined with a whole bunch of deadlines combined with a complete inability to resist new episodes of “House Hunters” and “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” means that I’ve spent the last couple of weeks teetering on the edge of annoyingly overtired.

Honestly, the only thing that’s been keeping me going has been Chuy’s.

Well, Chuy’s and the Lord.

But last night? Do you know what I did?

I will tell you.

I went to sleep at 9 o’clock. Not to bed. To sleep. And when I woke up of my own volition at 5:11 this morning, I felt like a new woman. A new, very rested woman. WHAT A NOVELTY.

All of last night’s sleeping meant that I was feeling very productive this morning, and at some point I clicked over to Pandora so that I could listen to worship music while I was getting some work done. After a few minutes I noticed that a lot of the songs were old school – “Open The Eyes of My Heart,” “Awesome in This Place,” “Above All,” “The Heart of Worship,” etc. – and before long I decided that I had to hear Sandi Patty and Wayne Watson’s “Another Time, Another Place” RIGHT THAT SECOND. Now granted, it’s not really a congregational worship song, but oh my goodness – it was my absolute favorite Christian song in the early 90s.

And do you know why it was my favorite?

Because I wanted to sing it in a pageant.

Deeply spiritual. I was deeply spiritual.

But no kidding: I really did love the whole “Another Time, Another Place” album. I was at the front end of what would be five pretty rocky years in terms of my faith, so the fact that the songs on that album resonated with me so deeply is sort of a wonder to me. I remember thinking when I first heard the album that it was like Sandi Patty got tangled up with the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, and do you know what? THAT SUITED ME JUST FINE. It was the early 90s, after all.

I especially loved the video for “Another Time, Another Place” because Sandi stood on a cliff overlooking the ocean while she was wearing this billowy jacket thing that was part-Stevie Nicks and part-Suzanne Sugarbaker. Her hair was at an all-time high in terms of volume, and her voice was perfection. The only thing that would have made it any better is if there had been some choreographed dance moves scattered throughout, but that would have probably been too scandalous for the early 90s. Plus, Sandi’s hand gestures are in a league of their own, and why mess with perfection?

So this morning I decided that I desperately wanted to find the “Another Time, Another Place” video on YouTube, but it was nowhere to be found during the .34 seconds that I searched diligently for it. However, I believe that I found something that may have delighted me even more. For so many reasons.

For so many, many reasons.

Now there’s no question that the song is beautiful. BEAUTIFUL.

But I’ll tell you what: I was mentally and emotionally unprepared for the sight of all that early 90s hair. SWEET MERCY. And I’m not throwing hairstyle and/or fashion stones, mind you. After all, I once wore a formal dress with such ginormous shoulder pads that my date spent a good portion of the night introducing me to people by saying, “This is my date, Sophie. And these are her sleeves.”

WE ALL HAVE OUR FASHION BAGGAGE.

After I watched the video I made a comment on Twitter that I didn’t know whose hair delighted me more, and I spent a chunk of time this afternoon laughing my head off at people’s responses. I didn’t know how to get all of them in one screen shot, and I have even less of an idea how to link to them, so here’s a sampling.

For the sake of clarity, you should know that Jennifer is referring to the fact that her ex-boyfriend ended up owning the very jacket that Wayne Watson is wearing in the video. THE WORLD IS A PEANUT, Y’ALL.

And then, to top it all off, there was this response from Dori:

So I clicked through Dori’s link, and here is what I found.

Do you know what that is? THAT IS A BLESSING.

And thus concludes the story of how I woke up rested and then the internet made my day.

You’d better believe that I’m going to have an early bedtime again tonight.

There’s no telling what bits of 1990s treasure will be waiting on me in the morning.

Kellogg’s Love Your Cereal – Post 4

This is sponsored content by BlogHer and Kellogg’s.

About a year and a half ago I decided – I made a resolution, even – that I was going to serve a hot breakfast in the mornings. It’s something that my mama always did for us when I was growing up, and there’s something about sitting down to a table where there’s bacon and toast and cheese grits (we’re in Alabama, remember) that just feels like home. It’s comforting. I even think that it forces you to slow down and really enjoy what you’re eating, because eating that particular line-up of breakfast food in the car really isn’t an option.

Perhaps this is why you don’t usually see “cheese grits” on the drive-thru menus of your various and sundry fast food chains.

For the most part I’ve been successful with fixing a hot breakfast. It means that I wake up about 15 or 20 minutes earlier in the mornings than I would otherwise, but it also means that we make time to sit around the table before we start our day. That alone makes the earlier wake-up time worth it.

But some days – and I’m betting you’ve had these kind of “some days,” too – we just can’t get our act together. Maybe we oversleep. Maybe a certain mama forgot to transfer the previous night’s laundry to the dryer and finds herself running all over the house trying to round up some clean clothes. Maybe the sight of the full dishwasher discourages that same certain mama from pulling out even more pots and pans from the cabinet. Or maybe we’re just craving something easy.

Regardless, when I need a simple, no-hassle breakfast, there’s no question that cereal is our go-to choice. Sometimes, especially when I’ve been on a hot breakfast streak for a couple of weeks, I put cereal in our bowls, stare at it, and think, “Well, that took four seconds.” And because it’s not something that we eat every single day, the unexpected cereal option is always greeted with great enthusiasm in our house. Especially if these two cereals happen to be in the rotation:

Seriously. What is it with the Froot Loops and the Frosted Flakes? I don’t think I’ve ever known a child who didn’t love both of these cereals deeply and completely and who wasn’t completely enthralled by the toys on the back of the boxes. Whatever the reason, I am all about it. Because if we’re in a hurry, those big boxes of cereal make feeding my people a whole lot easier, especially when I’m trying to find a missing shoe and fill out a form for PTO and pack something for snack time and get everybody out the door.

So what about you? What are your favorite quick and easy breakfast options? Leave a comment with your answer, and you’ll be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card (and come back next week to enter again – because these giveaways will continue for the next 8 weeks).

And be sure to visit the BlogHer.com Kellogg exclusive offers page – you have 24 other chances to win $100 every single week that this program is running!

Mom’s Breakfast Club was started to help educate moms and families about kids’ cereal and share the scoop on their nutritional benefits and ingredients. To learn more about the program, visit www.loveyourcereal.com.

This giveaway is now closed.

A Few Friendly Reminders

– You can still share a funny cooking story and enter to win The Laughing Cow $150 Visa gift card giveaway.

– The current Kellogg’s $100 gift card giveaway ends tonight; there will be a new giveaway in the morning.

– Don’t forget about the Nations Outfitters $100 gift certificate giveaway that’s open for a few more days – and thank y’all so much for your great response.

Okay. That’s all for now. I need to finish cooking supper.

We’re having pork chops.

I do hope you can contain your excitement over this absolutely riveting piece of information.

The Weekend Was A Good ‘Un

– Remember these shoes? The ones I wanted earlier in this summer but felt some strange hesitation about buying?

Well, I bought them on sale Saturday.

FOR TWELVE DOLLARS.

Afterwards I told Melanie that I believed that the reason I experienced such unwavering patience for these shoes is because the Lord knew that I was going to have a wedge-prohibitive foot injury in mid-July and wouldn’t be back in wedge-wearing shape until late-August.

He’s the God of second shoe chances.

– We went to our first high school football game of the season this past Friday night. Fall is coming, and summer can’t stop it.

– Yesterday after church we decided to go to Chuy’s for lunch. We knew that TIME WAS OF THE ESSENCE because there’s a big Presbyterian church that’s closer to Chuy’s than our big Baptist church, and everybody knows that the whole point of Sunday lunch is to squeal into a restaurant parking lot on two wheels so that you can beat the crowd from a neighboring congregation.

No kidding: at the Methodist church where D and I grew up, people would look at their watches and clear their throats if the sermon ran past 11:55, especially if they started hearing car doors slam at the Baptist church across the street.

Anyway, we went to Chuy’s – even made it there before a few of the Presbyterians – and while it seemed to take awhile for someone to get our drink orders, we figured maybe the sudden onslaught of hungry churchgoers had thrown the waiters and waitresses off of their serving game.

Finally a waitress took our order – and we waited. And waited. And waited. Our waitress couldn’t seem to explain what was taking so long. FORTY MINUTES LATER we still didn’t have food. So I found a manager and told him what was going on. He was very kind and accommodating, solved the problem for us, and when we got our check at the end of the meal, it looked like this.

They charged us a penny so that we’d have an open ticket if we wanted to leave a tip. Which we did because I felt badly for our waitress even though it was her fault that we hadn’t gotten our food. But she was young. And it was really crowded. And I’m deeply co-dependent when it comes to these sorts of things.

By the way, I got the chile rellenos with chicken and cheese. They were spectacular. Our child got chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese AGAIN, but he vows and declares that the mac and cheese is delicious. And D and I split the tres leches cake and died.

– After lunch we ran over to Old Navy because there’s a certain seven year-old in this house who needs some pants that don’t put his ankles on display (GROWING LIKE A WEED, HE IS). I found what I was looking for in about two minutes, and as I was walking toward the cash register, something very, very special caught my eye.

An MSU t-shirt. Youth medium. Right here in the land of the Tigers and the Tide. It’s an SEC pre-season miracle.

– I adored the “Born To Run” opening number at the Emmys. And then I fast-forwarded through the rest of the show and felt a deep and lasting gratitude to the inventor of the DVR.

– SEC football starts in five days. College football starts in three.

MY JOY KNOWS NO BOUNDS.

And I believe it’s time to consult the DipTacular so that I can solidify my gameday dip options.

Go ‘Dogs.

Nations Outfitters Giveaway

I’m still completely carried away with the adorable, feminine and modest clothes from a company called Nations Outfitters. I did a giveaway for Nations this past spring, and your response was so incredible that they asked if we could do another giveaway with their new fall line.

Um, that would be a YES. I should also mention that I’m deeply in love with the shirt in the first picture. Not that you asked, of course.

Anyway, if you’d like to win a $100 gift certificate from Nations, just click on over. I think you’ll be glad you did!

New Plateaus Of Mediocrity

I mentioned yesterday that I’m an English nerd. And it’s true. My favorite class in graduate school was called Transformational English Grammar, and every single day – for the entire class – we would put sentences on the board and diagram every single word. Sometimes we would put paragraphs on the board and diagram every single word. And for about two years after that class, I couldn’t read a single page in a book without silently labeling the parts of speech in my head (“article adjective noun adverb verb infinitive…” – you get the idea), and it didn’t even bother me. Because I love words. Words are my friends. Except when I’m playing Words With Friends. But that’s another story entirely.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that yesterday’s post was no doubt a disappointment to English nerds everywhere (or at least the six to eight English nerds who read here). I don’t know when I’ve ever been more off my game. I misspelled words. I attached the wrong links. I got my information wrong. I made corrections – and then the corrections weren’t correct. So basically what I did was to provide the internet with a blog post that any social media expert could use as an example of WHAT NOT TO DO.

See? It’s like it was a public service.

Anyway, to make up for my carelessness (not to mention my complete failure to proofread), I thought that the least I could do was to share a deeply moving video with you. And fortunately, sharing this video doesn’t require any sort of typing on my part. So there’s no way I can ruin it.

It really was a golden era, my friends. The choreography makes my heart sing, and OH MY WORD LOOK AT THEIR HAIR.

Please know that while you were watching, I was sitting here practicing my spelling.

Fare thee well.