Archives for October 2010

It Wasn’t Pretty, But It Was Fun

I’ll go ahead and warn you that I’ve started this post about six times and have either dozed off or lost interest every single time.

This probably doesn’t bode well.

But for whatever reason, I’ve spent most of the day wondering how in the world I didn’t notice that someone was flogging me with wet towels last night while I slept. I woke up with a right eye that was almost completely swollen shut (silly allergies) and have been achy and sore and sinus-y and drowsy all day long. So basically I’ve been a joy and a delight. A ray of sunshine, if you will.

So. On to happy things!

Saturday we drove over to Starkville to see the Bulldogs play, and a fine time was had by all. Mississippi State has really thrown down the game day gauntlet over the last two or three years, and it is SUCH a fun environment – laid-back and festive all at the same time. It’s a little bit like being at a huge family picnic with 50,000 people, but because of the way the tailgating is laid out, it never feels overwhelming or overly crowded. We love it so much. At one point Saturday I looked to my left and saw big inflatables for the kids, looked to my right and saw a blues duo singing and playing guitars underneath a big oak tree, looked straight ahead and saw tailgating tents that trailed way off into the distance – and I thought, “Well, this is just home.”

And it is. It’s our home away from home.

We walked over to the front of the stadium about an hour before Dawg Walk (when the players walk through the crowd on their way into the stadium), and while we were waiting for the festivities to start I got a little tickled looking at some of the day’s ambitious Homecoming fashion choices. I for one cannot throw stones because when I was a sophomore at State I wore an all-wool ensemble to a game where the temperatures hovered in the 70s, so more than anything I just sat there and felt great empathy for the girls who had decided that the football game was the perfect place to break in their boots with four-inch heels and their sweater coats. Several of the girls had opted for shorter dresses since it was warm outside, but the wind was unkind, and I watched more than one girl walk across The Junction while holding onto her hemline for dear life. Sometimes the weather just doesn’t cooperate with our fashion goals.

We had a big time at Dawg Walk, and the highlight was right at the end when I saw a familiar face coming toward us. A family friend of ours walked on to the football team at the beginning of the semester, and it had never occurred to me that he’d be participating in Dawg Walk and all the pre-game revelry. But there he was, walking toward the stadium with the rest of the team, and when Alex saw him he started to wave and jump up and down. Our friend spotted him and made a point to stop and give him a big hug – and it was about the sweetest part of our day. Alex thought he was the luckiest seven year-old alive. Such a great moment.

The little guy also got to hang out with a very big Bulldog.

Afterwards we headed over to the spot where my friend Daphne and her family tailgate, and it was fun – as always – just to sit around and visit and solve the world’s problems. Alex adores Daphne – ADORES HER – and as a result of that the tailgate tent is one of his favorite places on earth. This may be in part because Daph fixes him plates of pigs in a blanket and sausage balls and Little Debbie Fudge Rounds, but I think it’s mostly because he knows that Daphne loves him and he just loves her right back. Makes me smile.

At the game we sat with our sweet friends The Hales, and I will confess that by the end of the first quarter I was ill as a hornet. We weren’t playing well, the game was boring, and I was afraid that we were in for a big ole letdown. Right before halftime Emma Kate walked down to our seats, and we tried really, really hard to be optimistic about our chances. Plus, every time I would say something about our defense giving up big plays or our offense not being very productive, the seven year-old sitting next to me would say something like, “Mama! They’re doing the best they can!” or “Mama! Be glad that they got a first down!” I wanted to tell him that his mama has a looooong history of watching Mississippi State football games that End Badly, but his enthusiasm got the better of me.

So we cheered and clapped and rang our cowbell, and what do you know – the Bulldogs won the game. They’re bowl eligible for the first time in three years, and we’re just as proud as we can be.

[insert ringing cowbell sound here]

[you’ll just have to pretend]

[I don’t have a recording of a cowbell handy]

More than anything, it was a great day with family and friends (I got to see Wendi, Elise and Tracey, too!). We had a blast (thanks, Barb!). And even though I’m a wee bit worse for the wear (thanks, sinuses!), my heart is full and happy.

So if you’ll excuse me, my full, happy heart and I are going to bed. After all, it’s been three whole hours since we’ve had a nap.

Go ‘Dogs.

Oh, Internet. What Would I Do Without You?

You told me in the comments that I should try the clips.

So I bought the clips. They were on sale. And I had a coupon. So the clips ended up costing me cheap dollars and discounted cents.

Then I re-hung the curtains. I still need to add one more little clip thing to each panel, but that’s a minor detail.

And I am here to tell you: the clips have made all the difference.

I am forever grateful.

And maybe just a little bit obsessed with opening and closing the curtains VERY rapidly.

The end.

Linky Delights

– Click on over if you’d like to enter the new Kellogg’s $100 Visa gift card giveaway.

– If you sponsor a child through Compassion, don’t forget that you have the opportunity to give him/her/them a Christmas gift. The suggested amount is only $20, but you need to make your donation by October 31st to ensure delivery by Christmas.

– I’ve read a bunch of great Mississippi State articles this week; the win against Florida seemed to make some folks sit up a little bit and pay attention to what’s going on in Starkville (TIPPY-TOE! CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM!). My favorite was written by Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi, who said some not-so-kind things about State and Ole Miss over the summer – but has since revised his opinion. So funny.

– My friend Jan owns a bakery called dreamcakes here in Birmingham, and it is divine. DIVINE. I don’t really have a reason for telling you that – except that I’m currently in the middle of a deep and powerful craving for one of her Caramel Sea Salt Mocha cupcakes, and I thought maybe blogging about it would break the craving stronghold.

So far it’s not working.

Nope. Didn’t help a bit.

– Melanie wrote a great post for AllAccess earlier this week. It’s so touching. And so true.

Happy Thursday, everybody!

It’s Curtains For Me

I’ve been meaning to hang curtains in my dining room for a sweet forever. I didn’t want anything elaborate or fancy or complicated – just simple panels – but I knew that they were probably going to have to be made by somebody else because, well, I don’t sew. Unless you count those six cloth napkins with gapped seams that I managed to put together back in 2001, of course. They were a real treasure.

This past spring I actually saw some curtains that I loved at World Market, but I didn’t buy them because, well, I just didn’t. I also looked at fabric a couple of times over the summer – even thought about the possibility of doing some mistreatments – but I couldn’t commit.

The draperies, they overwhelmed me.

A couple of weeks ago I was in World Market with Sister in Nashville, and I remembered the curtains I’d seen several months before. I walked over to the window treatments section, looked around for a second and then I saw them – just as cute as I remembered – ONLY NOW ON SALE. I was intrigued.

When I got home I kept thinking about those World Market curtains and how they might be just the thing to add some warmth to my dining room. After all, I’d discovered them a while ago, but the magic was still there. The thrill wasn’t gone. And since I’d set aside some money for house stuff and still had a little left over, I knew I could swing the curtains purchase without breaking the bank. Plus, curtain rods were also on sale, SO CLEARLY THE LORD WAS IN ALL OF IT.

Now normally my spiritual gift is to overthink things to the point of complete inaction, but since I’ve been shielding my eyes from the morning glare in the dining room for about four years, I figured that it was time to commit to either the curtains or some blinds or maybe even a big ole sheet. And that is why, after seven whole months of thinking about the various and sundry window treatment-related possibilities, I marched (okay. drove.) right over to the World Market and bought me some curtains.

I KNOW.

And guess what?

I love them.

(However, I should probably make the Martha-esque disclaimer that I don’t LOVE them LOVE them! I just really like them! Because you love God! You love people! But you don’t love things! Unless it’s a jacket from Steinmarts! I mean, it just stands to reason! Their jackets are perfectly beautiful! And so handy if you need a light sleeve!)

The curtains really do add so much color to the room, and they make me smile. So I’d call that a win.

The only drawback? The length on them isn’t exactly right because the molding around our windows interfered a little bit with the ideal height for the brackets, but I’m not nearly as interested in perfection as I am in the fact that I FINALLY GOT SOME CURTAINS. Eventually I may add a little piece of coordinating fabric or trim to the bottom, or I may not. There’s just not a bit of telling.

So there you have it. I can now check one more item off of my to-do list – which means that the DVR and I are about to have a marathon catch-up session. It’s time.

(I’ve missed you terribly, 30 Rock and Survivor.)

(The curtains and I will be there soon!)

Kellogg’s Love Your Cereal – Post 11

This is sponsored content by BlogHer and Kellogg’s.

Now this may sound strange, but most of my favorite foods involve a bowl.

Well, all of my favorite foods except for bacon and fried chicken. Thought you could certainly eat them from a bowl if it struck your fancy.

In fact, all of the foods I associate with comfort – stuff like cheese grits and chili and black bean soup and late-night cereal and this incredibly delicious stew that I learned how to make last winter – all of those things are best in a bowl. I even have favorite bowls for each one of those dishes, but I probably shouldn’t frighten you by oversharing. Suffice it to say that I have a small collection of bowls that serves our little family very well.

And listen: if there were some sort of contest for my favorite food in a bowl (because let’s face it – that’s TOTALLY a possibility), I’d be hard-pressed to come up with one hands-down winner. But in the end – after a good measure of counseling and no small degree of prayer – I think that the all-time favorite would have to be a really good French Onion soup. That rich broth and those carmelized onions and that thick French bread and that toasty piece of cheese on top? HEAVEN ON EARTH TO ME.

This could all change tomorrow, however. Because I might make a batch of my grandmother’s homemade chocolate pudding. And if it’s especially good, it could quite possibly knock the French Onion soup right off of its throne.

The kitchen can be a very competitive place, y’all.

So what about you? What’s your favorite one bowl meal? Cereal? Soup? Cheese grits with bacon sprinkled on top? 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 -it will be the last week!).

For a second entry, you can:
· Tweet about this post with a link to it (and put your tweet URL in a separate comment below)
· Blog about this post with a link to it (and put your blog post URL in a separate comment below)
· Sweepstakes ends 5 PM EST on October 18, 2010.

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! Here are the official rules.

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.

The Links, I Share Them

Kellogg’s Giveaway #10 ($100 Visa gift card) ends tonight. Giveaway #11 will be up around 11 central tomorrow morning.

Laughing Cow Giveaway #4 ($150 Visa gift card) is still going strong.

Similasan Share Your Story will be running for several more weeks ($100 Visa gift card, courtesy of BlogHer).

– I posted a new Pop-Tarts giveaway this morning ($100 Visa gift card, courtesy of BlogHer).

– Then there’s the Ragu Giveaway ($100 Visa gift card) – and that’s the last of the giveaway goodness that I can offer you today.

– In non-giveaway-related news, I made this black bean soup for supper tonight, and OH MY LANDS at the tasty. I’m ready for tomorrow night to get here so that I can eat the leftovers.

All righty. I need to watch “Dancing With The Stars” now. I had no intention of watching this season, but Jennifer Grey? And Kurt Warner? I mean, how could I not watch Jennifer Grey and Kurt Warner? IT WOULD BE WRONG. Plus, it’s TV Theme Week, and you just know that Carol Brady is gonna be breaking it down to the theme song from “The Brady Bunch.”

At least I hope so. Because if she doesn’t, it will shake my entire reality television foundation to its core. IT JUST MAKES GOOD SENSE.

See y’all tomorrow!