Archives for March 2015

The Dog & Me & All This Time

My people have been out of town all week. I was leery of saying that earlier this week because, well, BANDS OF THIEVES WHO SCOUR THE INTERNET (not really), but by the time I post this my fellas, who have been in Washington, DC and Williamsburg, VA on Alex’s 5th grade trip, will be on the way home. Needless to say, I cannot wait to see them because 1) I have missed them, and 2) I have a feeling that they will have some stories. I also have a feeling that they will want some sleep, especially considering that they didn’t have the luxury of recovering from the switch to daylight savings time (plus a time zone change from central to eastern) after a SIXTEEN HOUR BUS RIDE.

Say it with me: SIXTEEN HOUR BUS RIDE.

Before they left I figured that I would do all sorts of wonderful things during this six-day stretch of being home by myself. I imagined that I would organize some closets, catch up on all the laundry, clean out the refrigerator, and maybe even tackle a few projects. And while I have done some laundry and I’ve definitely taken care of Hazel (normally Alex is Hazel’s go-to caretaker), I’ve mostly read and watched a little TV and then gone to bed early. I had plans to go to dinner a couple of nights, but I felt so guilty about leaving Hazel (after she’d already spent the day at home while I was at work) that I re-scheduled.

I can’t even speak to the level of co-dependence this reveals between Hazel and me.

Suffice it to say that the level of co-dependence is significant.

In my defense, though, I just couldn’t bring myself to leave her when she has already missed Alex like crazy this week. Every single afternoon she has walked down to his room and looked for him. It’s been like watching a combination of a Hallmark commercial and a sad dog movie play out before my very eyes.

And then there’s this.

I lived by myself for six years before David and I got married, and I loved it. I really did. I liked the quiet, I liked having that space to myself, I liked cleaning and decorating my little apartment and knowing that no one was going to mess it up. In so many ways I liked the solitude.

But after this last week, I think I have realized that I AM NO LONGER THAT INDEPENDENT 20-SOMETHING.

Because my word. My biggest takeaway from this week of holding down the fort with Hazel is that the quiet has been sort of deafening. And night before last I may or may not have turned on Madagascar 2 in the den so that I could sit in the kitchen and maybe it would at least sound like there were other people here.

It was a little bit of an alone time low.

Even still, I’m really not complaining. I’m so happy that the fellas have had a great trip and made all sorts of fun memories and etc. In lots of ways the timing of this week-o-alone has been perfect because I have been craving some time to just be still and think, and sweet fancy Moses I sure did get it. For days.

Literally.

So now? I’m all margined up. I’m watching State play in what will probably be their only game in the SEC basketball tournament, and I have American Idol on the DVR, and I may be able to squeeze in tonight’s episode of Survivor if I can stay awake. Hazel is resting comfortably – at least until the next time a pinecone rolls 1/4 centimeter closer to the house – and I’m beside myself that my people will be home soon.

I’m also tickled that I found this little meme on Pinterest.

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I may make it my official wall hanging for Alone in My House 2015.

And if this pattern repeats itself in 2016, some of y’all are totally coming over for a slumber party.

We can even have a special encore presentation of Madagascar 2.

Nice To Make Your Reacquaintance

I was driving through the parking lot in front of Nordstrom Rack Saturday morning when I saw my friend Anne Murray (her first name is a double name, just in case you’re thinking that I’m referring to the Canadian songstress from the 70s). I haven’t seen her since last spring, probably, so I was thrilled to have a chance to catch up. Anyway, I parked the car and we started talking and she said something like, “Is life always as happy as it seems on your blog? Because it seems like everything is going so well!”

My response?

“Oh, sister. Pay attention to the lulls.”

Because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been in a bit of a lull where the blog is concerned.

And it’s not any one thing. But last week, I felt like six months of crazy caught up with me. It all started when I broke my ankle, and then we had the holidays, and then Mama was sick, and then the book came out, and then I started traveling for the book stuff, and then there were a few weeks when real life just got really, well, real. And then last weekend I drove to Monroe, Louisiana for a speaking thing (it was one of my favorite events ever, by the way – such a great group of women), and by the time I got home I had to turn right around and go to work. Then I realized that somewhere along the way I’d caught a cold. And maybe that is why, by late Tuesday afternoon, every little thing was making me cry.

Puppies? Tears.

Stories about babies? Sobs.

Working through my Bible study homework? Profuse weeping.

And then Wednesday was like 42 days in one.

But here’s what happened Thursday. We were under a winter storm warning, which means there was no school. I stayed home all day in my pajamas. I took cold medicine in broad daylight and didn’t have to worry about whether it would make me sleepy or not. I had a couple of conversations with friends that were just flat-out good for my soul. I made my fellas a big ole Southern lunch – complete with gravy. I sat on the couch with Hazel and tried to make Alex’s head fit underneath my chin when he’d stand next to me in the kitchen and I’d hug him (he is now up to my eyes – which means I only have a few more months of being taller than he is). I washed about nine loads of clothes and even folded them. I watched Bravo.

And by Friday, I felt human again. I felt rested even if I sounded like a frog. We had late start (thanks to ice), so the few hours at work flew by. Friday night was fun and easy, and then Saturday morning the boys set off on a little father-son adventure. I drove to Mississippi for a wedding, laughed my head off while I was there, and when I got home late Saturday afternoon, I was by myself in my house for the first time in forever.

It was delightful. Granted, I missed my people, but I caught up on TV and got sushi take-out and fell asleep at 9:30 oh praise the Lord.

The next couple of weeks are no joke in terms of some work-related deadlines, but I’m so grateful that I don’t feel like I’m running on fumes any more. At least once a year I do this – just run myself straight into the ground – so I don’t know why I’m surprised when I find myself in a spot where I’m just WORN SLAP OUT on every level. There’s something prideful in me that likes to think that I can do it all, but I can’t and I never could. I just throw a bunch of balls up in the air and try to tend to whichever one I catch first – and then I catch another one and another one and pretty soon I’m juggling.

And listen. Juggling can be fun. Entertaining, even. But after awhile it can get a little exhausting. I have a feeling that some of y’all can relate to that.

So. Thanks for being patient and gracious and etc.

And I didn’t really mean to over-explain like that. Because I actually had a few things I wanted to mention before I wrapped up this post.

– Kelly Minter’s What Love Is: The Letters of 1, 2, 3 John is the Bible study I’m working through right now, and IT. IS. WONDERFUL. I’ve been moving through it slowly – taking 2 or 3 days for every day of homework – and there is so much depth, even in smaller doses, that I still walk away with lots to think about. (BONUS: There are some incredible recipes tucked in between each week’s assignments. So delightful.)

– I have decided that this is my favorite of all the drugstore mascaras. I’m not saying that it’s the best of ALL the mascaras, but this one has become my go-to when I run in CVS or wherever. I am well aware that this whole mascara thing has become a bit of a mythical unicorn for me, but the Telescopic works great if you are blessed with fine, sparse lashes like I am (that was sarcasm) (my eyelashes are so very sad).

– My guess is that a whole bunch of you watched Jen and Brandon Hatmaker’s new HGTV show called Your Big Family Renovation. The new season premiered last week, and it was such a treat. I laughed, I cried, I wished someone would come over and gut my entire kitchen.

– I have honest-to-goodness had a bob since 1995. TWENTY YEARS. There was one time about seven years ago when I let my hair grow out almost to my shoulders, but ultimately I decided that was a bunch of craziness and I went back to my chin-level hair. I don’t have any plans to change my actual haircut, but I do want to learn to style my hair in more of a wavy bob. The mere thought of this fills me with fear and trepidation because it will require me to use a curling iron. Quite frankly I felt like I’d left my curling iron days far behind me when I stopped using one to style my bangs in the late 90s.

Anyway, my growing obsession with the wavy bob is why I find myself staring at the following more often than I’d care to admit.

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Google Images will convince you to set some hair goals, y’all. And I welcome all wavy bob tips and suggestions.

I’ll be standing in the curling irons aisle at Ulta if you need me.

Hope y’all have a great Monday!

Because Spring Is About To, Well, Spring

Now I know full well that winter weather is not all the way behind us – there is even talk of ice and whatnot later this week in Alabama – but seeing as how it is March 1 and that means NO MORE FEBRUARY (hallelujah), I think it makes perfect sense to turn our attention to one of spring / summer’s most wondrous creations.

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The Linen Blend Pull-on Pant from Old Navy.

Oh, y’all. I love these pants. I had four colors until I snagged my gray pair on a nail. So I now I only have three except I just ordered two more which means I’ll be up to 5 for spring ’15. And lest you think I’m crazy for having 5 different colors of the same style pants, let me just stress to you that THESE PANTS ARE A DELIGHT AND A JOY. I actually put mine in the dryer, and since they’re not 100% linen, they don’t need to be ironed (unless you’re a little obsessive about ironing, in which case you can iron to your heart’s content). I wear mine to work, to church, to coffee, to the grocery store, to baseball games, to hang out at home – you name it.

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So. I don’t know if you like a wide-legged pant or not, but if you do, I can’t recommend these enough. I had a 30% off coupon from Old Navy when I ordered mine, so even if you don’t have a coupon right this second, you know that Old Navy will email you one within about the next five minutes. Or maybe it’ll take a couple of days. But still. Old Navy loves a coupon.

I ordered the chambray (which I’ve wanted forever but they were out of stock) and the black, by the way. I’m beside myself with kicky wide-legged excitement.

Who knew that the return of the Linen-Blend Pull-on Pants would make March 1st so much fun?

(I might be slightly overexcited about this wide-legged development.)

(However, I make no apologies considering that skinny jeans / pants make my legs look like tree trunks.)

(It’s good to be clear about skinny jean limitations.)

Happy Pants, everybody!