Archive for July, 2010

  • Love in Indy

    Date: 2010.07.28 | Category: Friends, Photography, Style | Response: 14

    Things have been crazy and life has been topsy-turvy this week. More to come on that. So in lieu of  a well written post, I thought I’d share some bridal/wedding photos I did for my friends Tammy and Dylan in August of last year.

    Tammy’s dress was handmade by her now mother-in-law! All photos were taken in and around Indianapolis, IN.



    There was an art gallery there with amazing structures!




    And my two favorites:


  • Easy Breezy

    Date: 2010.07.25 | Category: Dogs, Leela Fish | Response: 8

    Leela Fish lives up to her name.

    Leela fish

    I hope your weekend has been as nice and relaxing as her’s!

  • Going Hippie

    Date: 2010.07.23 | Category: Health, Life, Life List | Response: 22

    One of the items on my Life List is to:
    “Change over to organic/natural products wherever possible.”

    Now before you think I’m going all crazy hippie on you, let me tell you why.

    My friend Lori started researching the ingredients that go into our everyday products. What started as an attempt to get her kids on a healthier diet and away from food dyes ended up being a complete overhaul of everything she uses in her life.

    Intrigued by what would cause her budget-conscience self to willingly toss all her expensive beauty products and get rid of perfectly good food, I started asking her questions every single day. And after learning that they put petroleum and formaldehyde in our body care products, I started to think that this going natural thing might be a good idea after all.

    I also have theories about the chemicals and hormones  in food and products being a catalyst to the increased infertility and miscarriage rates, but I’ll spare you the lecture.

    When I broached the subject of going organic with Mark, I expected a lecture on spending more money. What I got instead was a thoughtful agreeance.

    And so, we are slowly but surely converting some of our body care, cleaning and food products to those made without chemicals and hormones.

    Because, believe me, I may be going hippie, but I refuse to be a stinky hippie.

    Exhibit A:

    Now I haven’t tried the toothpaste yet, but I’m already in love with the shampoo, conditioner and soap. The deodorant is going to take some getting used to, but still, worth it.

    Exhibit B:

    I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m going to give it a whirl this weekend.

    I’ve also purchased organic yogurt and plan on switching all of our meat and dairy over next time I go shopping.

    AND I have given up Diet Coke.  This has been my biggest sacrifice thus far. Artificial sweeteners are my crutch and will probably be the last unhealthy thing I still cling to.

    And, as Lori puts it, there has to be room for margin of error. I’m not going to piously turn my nose up at eating out or at indulging in the occasional diet drink (you know, after I get over the withdrawals), or lecture my stylist or dentist about their products. Neither do I plan on telling other people what they should or shouldn’t do. Your life, your choice.

    I know there are varying opinions on this, and, hey, maybe I’m paranoid. But, in the end, I’d rather risk being a slightly paranoid, long-living hippie than a cancerous naysayer clutching my Herbal Essence and Diet Coke. Plus, it’s on my life list!

    Do any of you “live organically”? What are some of the things you’ve done to keep chemicals out of your (and your kids) lives?

  • A Woman’s Fury

    Date: 2010.07.21 | Category: Dogs, Mark, Pets, Weirdness | Response: 7

    It has been one of those mornings. The kind where, as Liz Lemon so elegantly put it, I needed a “do over.”

    I woke up to my husband asking if I had left the backdoor open and unlocked all night. My sleepy, caffeine- deprived self (3 days without diet coke) immediately went on the defensive. “Why does it always have to be me who leaves the door open, you were the last one out last night?!” I snapped and then got out of bed to get ready to go running.

    Already mad, I noticed that the cat had peed by the front door for the upteenth time. Honestly, I wanted to just leave it and go, but I hate that cat pee smell and it was just nasty.

    I went in the kitchen to get paper towels. That side of the kitchen has no light switch, so I walked through the kitchen in the dark and into the laundry room to get paper towels. As I was walking back through the kitchen, I noticed a smell. I looked down, one of the dogs apparently had a rough night and had said rough night all over the kitchen floor.

    Which I had stepped in… and tracked all over the kitchen and the laundry room.

    “Gosh dangit!” I yelled and set to cleaning up another mess. About that time Mark wanders in, surveys the situation, turns around and goes back to bed. I mean, I can’t say that I blame him, I was in an angry state and anything he would have said at that point would have probably meant dog poo flung in his face.

    (Note to boyfriends and husbands everywhere: the only thing you can do in this situation that will end well for you is to either a) offer to help stressed spouse or b) just help).

    So after cleaning up the dog mess and the cat mess, I finally went for my run. The run was good. One of the best I’ve had so far. Amazing what the power of fury will do for a run. And besides the crazed, buzzing cicadas that randomly popped up, we made it back relatively quickly and feeling much better for it.

    Feeling better, I walked into the bedroom where Mark asks, “Are you sure you didn’t leave that back door open?”

    *blink * blink * blink *

    I exploded. I don’t think Mark really expected it. What ensued was a battle of wills that lasted a good 30 minutes.  I don’t want to air our dirty laundry on the Internet, but at one point he actually said, “Well, what about me? I was trying to sleep and you were yelling in the kitchen.” That comment sparked another bout of fury.

    But when it is all said and done, we hashed it out and resolved my feelings of anger and frustration and talked about how sometimes the only way to diffuse the situation is to ask for/offer help.

    It’s only 10:20 a.m. and I could use a drink.

  • Happy 19th MC!

    Date: 2010.07.17 | Category: Birthday, Family | Response: 8

    Today my youngest sister turns NINETEEN! And is about to start her Sophomore year of college. That makes me feel so old! Today she’s spending the day recovering from a camp she just spent the past week or so leading, so we’ll officially celebrate on Monday.

    Until then, 19 reasons why I love Miss MC.

    19. Because she went with me for the release party for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows... and brought her wizard’s hat.

    18.  When I was in the hospital a few years ago, she made me a t-shirt quilt and brought it to the hospital.

    17.  Because girl has some mad Christmas Cookie decorating skills!

    16. Because she can maintain a 4.0 in college while running every social event on campus.

    15. Because she trusted me to take her Senior Photos.

    14. Because she is always the life of the party.

    13. Because she somehow manages to go to Orlando once a year.

    12. Because she is crafty.

    11.  Because she’s always up for the next great adventure. Need someone to go with you? She’s your girl!

    10. Because Shannon and I used to put her in baskets and tie her to chairs and she still loves us.

    9. Because she will campaign to get what she wants.

    8. Because she somehow manages to work 5 different jobs simultaneously.

    7. Because she was a beautiful, helpful bridesmaid.

    6. Because she gives the best presents.

    5. Because she bursts out in impromtu song and dance numbers at any give time.

    4. Because she ate an insane amount of Twinkies to play Jan in Grease.

    3. Because she loves my dogs as much as I do.

    2. Because she always volunteers to do my hair and makeup for big events (and she’s quite talented at it too!)

    1. Because she is a beautiful, loving woman and a fantastic little sister.


    Happy Birthday MC!

  • No matter how much we vaccuum…

    Date: 2010.07.15 | Category: Bonnie Barrell, Dogs | Response: 7

    There will always be a layer of dog hair firmly embedded into the carpet.

    Here’s why:

    Thanks for the laughs Bonnie Lass.

  • Check and Check!

    Date: 2010.07.13 | Category: Life, Life List, Mark, Travel, Work | Response: 10

    If there is one thing I love more than making a list, it’s crossing things off said list. And what good is a Life List if I can’t immediately start crossing things off?

    First Item Accomplished: Get paid to write a freelance article.
    I do graphic design for a local magazine called The Best of Times. I got inspired to write when I was down and out a few weeks ago and put together a piece on my experience in Hiroshima. I submitted it, not expecting much, but the editor wrote back that she loved the piece and would give me honest-to-goodness money for it. I squeaked! It was published this week.

    I made my mamma proud.

    You can view it online by clicking here.

    Second item accomplished: Eat a Round Rock Donut.
    Following our visit to Austin, I asked Mark to take a detour to Round Rock on our way out of town. The store closed at 2:00 p.m. At 1:55 p.m. we were running on fumes and I begged him not to stop at a gas station. And, wonder of wonders, we made it!

    Mark is a donut snob, outwardly rejecting Krispy Kreme filth and swearing that Southern Maid are the only acceptable form of donuts. So I was expecting a barrage of complaints when he tasted this little orange Texas donut.


    But, he claimed they tasted just like Southern Maid! Orange donuts FTW.

    Also, it doesn’t count unless you get a t-shirt. Which I did.

    Round Rock

    Now, onto the next item!

  • Oh, Austin, TX…

    Date: 2010.07.12 | Category: Friends, Life, Life List, Mark, Travel | Response: 6

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

    1. You are so near to the Comal River, where I can lazily spend the day in an inner tube, drinking beer and occasionally scrambling to avoid losing my sunglasses in the tube shoots.

    2. You have Sixth Street. Home to great music bars, like Antones.


    3. Where you can see great local favorites like bluesy girl-band, The Bluebonnets, and the Arc Angels (complete with members from Stevie Ray Vaughn’s former band).

    4. Thus completely rendering husband man in a music geek stupor.

    5. You have Katz’s on Sixth Street. Open 24 hours with some of the best flavored lemonade and fried pickles this girl could ask for.
    Fried Pickles

    Lemonade at Katz's

    6. You are the home to Fuji-yama, aka best sushi and hibachi I’ve ever had in my life. They even managed to convince Mark, the mushroom hater, to eat a sauteed mushroom… but just one.

    7. Austin, you turned an overworked couple to a happy, relaxed couple.

    8. Within 10 miles of you is Round Rock Donuts, allowing me to mark the first item off my Life List.
    Round Rock

    And effectively ruining my diet. (But that’s ok, I’m hopping back on tomorrow, I swear!)

    9. You gave us great, sunny weather on the river and by the pool.

    10. And most importantly, you are home to two of my favorite people: Scott and Dana.
    Scott and Dana

    Thank you Austin! We’ll be back soon.

  • Hers (and His) Life Lists

    Date: 2010.07.08 | Category: Life List, Mark, Travel | Response: 11

    Inspired by my friend Kelly over at BachelorGirl and the blog Mighty Girl, I decided to craft a “Life List.” You know, those things I want to do before I quit this life. I made one a while back on my LiveJournal, and was pleased to see that I actually accomplished several of the listed items. The others have been transferred to my new list.

    When I was telling Mark about this, he got excited. He made me read the whole thing to him and then said he wanted to make one to go with mine. So we agreed. I would write 50 items and he would write 50 items. And we will support each other in completing said items (as long as our budgets and sanity allow).

    So here are my 50. (Maybe I can get him to dictate his 50 to me on the long drive to Austin this afternoon?).

    1. Start a garden.
    2. Drink a butter beer and pumpkin juice at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
    3. Try out Geocaching.
    4. Write a book.
    5. Make a mini documentary of my great, great uncle Mix.
    6. Go somewhere I can see a “real” snow fall.
    7. Finish reading my list of the top 100 literary classics.
    8. Bake a red velvet cake from scratch.
    9. Get paid to write a freelance article.
    10. Win an award for graphic design work.
    11. Win an award for writing.
    12. Go backstage at a concert.
    13. Own a telephoto lense.
    14. Visit Washington D.C.
    15. Build a house.
    16. Buy and ride a bike regularly.
    17. Workout my arms until they look great and I’m comfortable going sleeveless.
    18. Ride in a gondola.
    19. Own an opal necklace.
    20. Be a mom.
    21. Visit the Anne of Green Gables Museum on Prince Edward Island.
    22. Get a working knowledge of Spanish.
    23. Spend at least two weeks in Europe with Mark.
    24. Eat a Round Rock donut.
    25. Read all the Discworld books.
    26. Drink coffee in Seattle.
    27. Go to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios.
    28. Take a cake decorating class.
    29. Visit all 50 states.
    30. Go snorkeling.
    31. Visit the Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta.
    32. Get a working knowledge of another computer language (PHP or Java?).
    33. Change over to organic/natural products wherever possible (thanks for the inspiration Lori!).
    34. Put together a photography portfolio website.
    35. Photograph the women who have had a big impact on my life.
    36. Go on a cruise.
    37. See a Cirque de Soleil show in Vegas.
    38. Go to the Olympics.
    39. Attend a Saints football game.
    40. Go to 100 concerts.
    41. Go to 50 southern festivals.
    42. Send a birthday card to every friend and relative over the course of a year (and hopefully beyond!)
    43. Make gumbo from scratch.
    44. Run a 5k all the way through without stopping.
    45. Make a piece of jewelry.
    46. Try snow skiing.
    47. Do some sort of mission work.
    48. Go to Dollywood.
    49. Learn how to install hardwood floors.
    50. Kiss Mark in front of the Eiffel Tower.
  • The Morning Walkers

    Date: 2010.07.07 | Category: Dogs, Health, Life, Pets, Weirdness | Response: 6

    Back in the day when I used to exercise every morning, and now that I’m doing so again at least three days a week, I’ve started to notice the “regulars.” Those who are diligent about the exercise every morning come hell or high water.

    It’s always an interesting collection of people. Most are nice and just want to get on with the nasty business of working out before work. Some are clutching leashes with their eyes still sealed shut with sleep and being dragged along by their over-excited dog. Some are biking with such focused intent that I fear for my life lest I get in their path.

    And then there are the eccentrics. The ones who make me stare at them unrelentingly for their odd behavior.

    Both at my last house and now in my new neighborhood, I’ve noticed that there is an old man who wanders around picking up trash. The one by my old house was kind enough. He parked his car on random streets throughout the neighborhood, wore aviators and an oversized trucker hat (which looked really funny on his tiny frame) and wielded his trash stick picker-upper with a practiced hand. He always said hi and waved.

    The new neighborhood has a guy that walks really fast and doesn’t make eye contact with anyone. When he sees me coming with Leela, he quickly makes his way over to the other side of the street and pretends like I don’t exist.

    And I am still just kind of assuming that’s trash that he stops to pick up in every yard he walks by. This morning it was misting and he was picking up people’s papers, running and dodging through sprinklers to hurl said papers onto their porches. While I’m sure the homeowners appreciate the gesture, I’m sure they can’t be thrilled with some little old man running through their wet yard.

    That’s ok, because I’ll still take him over the creepy old guy with Einstein hair and yellow sunglasses who used to bike by me at the river. Guy must have had a stroke at some point, because half his face just didn’t work. He always glared at me when I was out walking, and one time he decided he was going to stop and talk to me. At which point he asked me my name and wanted to know where I lived… Yea…. I lied and then changed directions and ran like hell. I don’t think he could have caught me and probably didn’t mean any harm, but yikes!

    Good news is that I’ve learned most people avoid me when I have a dog or two with me. Except for other dog walkers, and they always make a point to say hi and tell me how pretty my dogs are, even when they are struggling to hold back their own dog from running over and sniffing Leela’s and Bonnie’s butts.