Monday, November 30, 2009

a book & a movie

Books & Movies!
Do ya love em?!
I sure do!!

Anyway, i just felt like telling you that i just finished a GREAT book
& saw the BEST movie.

The book is Hissy Fit, by Mary Kay Andrews.

Such a cute book! I loved it! It is set in Georgia & everything is Southern, which i totally get, haha! Also she travels to New Orleans in part of that, so that was neat, because i recognized everything! BUT besides that it's just a really fun tale. It's chic lit which is ALWAYS my favorite. At first it's a bit hilarious, but then it turns into something more -
it's heartwarming. And it also becomes a bit of a mystery as the heroine tries to find out whatever happened to her mama, who left when she was young. I highly recommend this book & i can't wait to get started on the author's other books!

And the movie...

No, the movie was NOT New Moon - although i AM a fan of the Twilight series, i'm obviously not obsessed enough to go see a midnight showing on opening night... no, no, i can wait a little longer. Actually, my sister wants to see it with me & she lives about an hour away & so far we haven't gotten a chance to get together to see it, what with Thanksgiving & all that going on. BUT we will do that soon.

No, the movie i want to tell you about is THE BLIND SIDE.

This is an awesome true story & it was SUCH a great movie. I will definitely be BUYING it because it's one i could watch over & over. Sandra Bullock stars in it. Come to think of it, the only other movie i've wanted to purchase this year is The Proposal. Sandra Bullock ROCKS. But anyway this movie is a powerful story, it will make you laugh & cry. I absolutely loved it. It was fun seeing LSU's (last) coach, Nick Saban in it as well! I've heard there is a book, i want to get it, too!

So anyway DEFINITELY see this movie, no matter what & if you are a fan of chic lit, you should try Hissy Fit or any of other books by Mary Kay Andrews!

Monday Again!

Well, it's Friend Makin' Monday again & aefilkins has a little survey for us today!

1. Favorite Website
Everyday i check my Gmail, Facebook & Blogger.
But Sparkpeople is fantastic for people who are trying to be healthy & I track my calories on it. Also, Pandora is AWESOME for music lovers. I don't use it too much at home, but at work it's great, it designs a radio station according to what you like & plays as long as you let it. Check it out!

2. Favorite Color
I love blues & greens, red & chocolate brown.
That about sums it up!

3. Facebook?
Yep! But, sorry, i'd rather not share.

4. Favorite Christmas Song
Oh, Holy Night. (especially Mariah Carey's version!)

5. Christmas Tree: Real or Fake
I was recently asked this but i'll answer again in case you didn't see it!
We grew up with fake trees because my mom was allergic. It was fine, they make really nice ones & i never knew the difference. But once i moved out, i lived with roommates who always got real trees - & i LOVE the real ones. Love that smell! Right now, Hubby & i have a fake mini-tree! I hope one day we start getting a real one but hubby doesn't seem to excited about that idea! HAHA. I'd be okay with a nice fake one, i suppose, if we can get some Christmas Tree scented candles. HA!

6. Hottest Celebrity?
Without a doubt, Josh Duhamel
If you don't believe me, just put his name in Google Images.

I've never really watched him in anything, other than "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton" hahaha - but ever since then, i've definitely thought he is the HOTTEST!
(& he better NOT be cheating on Fergie!)

7. Favorite Restaurant
If you ever come to Baton Rouge & want some real Louisiana food...
MIKE ANDERSON'S. It's the BEST! (the Shrimp Norman is to die for!)
But our other favorites are La Carreta, La Madeleine's & Capital City Grill.

8. Favorite Magazine
I used to be obsessed with People magazine. I couldn't leave the store without the latest copy. For some reason, not so much any more! My favorites now are
Southern Living, Real Simple & In Style.

9. Favorite Thing to Drink around the Holidays
I guess Hot Chocolate.
But i like that anytime (if it's cold out)!

10. Favorite Christmas Movie
The original Miracle on 34th Street.
& i LOVE the Jim Carrey version of The Grinch that Stole Christmas!
I need to watch ELF though. Everyone is putting that & i've never even seen it!

Hop on over to aefilkins to join in Friend Makin' Monday!

By the way... i'm realizing it's November 30th & i just did my last blog for NaBloPoMo!
I'm so proud of myself. I posted EVERYDAY & sometimes had multiple entries!
The only time i was really tempted to not post was over Thanksgiving! It is hard when no one seems to have wireless or high speed internet! But i did it on my grandma's computer because i couldn't see quitting just a few days before the end of the challenge!
It's been fun participating & now i think i could blog everyday in December, too! But at least i don't HAVE to!! =)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"it coulda happened to anybody"

I keep meaning to blog about this... just because i want to remember it.

Last Monday Brad & i went to Walmart to get some things. The store was packed & the lines were long. I was tired & ready to get home. We picked a checkout line that didn't look as bad as others. We got in line & waited...& waited...& waited. A lady got in line behind us with her two kids. We waited some more.

I started to get impatient. What was going on?! Why is this taking so long, i wondered. I grumbled about it a little to Brad, but he wasn't bothered in the least. I remember at one point actually saying, "Why do i always get in the line behind people with issues?!" & he said, "We ALL have issues." Huh. So true. He has unending patience with things like this!

I definitely do not. There were 2 young women at the front of the line & something was wrong. I found out later that they didn't have the money or a credit card or something. The girl checking out had a $20 bill but that was all the cash she had. Come to find out, when she went to pay, she realized her card was not in her wallet. She was afraid to spend the last of her cash, if her credit/debit card was missing! Her friend had left, so i think she was going to look in the car or something.

The lady behind us started putting all her stuff back in her cart. She looked at me & made a face - not mad but just out of patience. Of course, with two kids in tow i can understand! But there was no way we were going to do that! I knew that the minute i put all my stuff back in our cart & walked away, the other girl would come running back. And sure enough- that lady behind us finished reloading her cart, turned around & before she was even out of the aisle, the other girl came running back & it was our turn! 

The card had fallen in their car. So the girl paid & checked out & all was well. She thanked the check out girl very sincerely for waiting. It was now our turn & the check out girl said to us, "Y'all are the most patient people ever! Thank you!" & as Brad was saying, "Oh, it's no problem. No sense getting upset over it", i was thinking, "i'm pretty sure i was NOT acting like the most patient person!". And then the girl explained what was going on, why they were taking so long. She said, "You know, that coulda happened to anybody."

That stuck with me for some reason. It was just the way she said it. It's rare that a point like that is made that sticks with me. But it's so true. That could have happened to anybody. Why should i get so impatient & upset & annoyed with things like that? She is so right. It definitely could have happened to anyone. And i know if it was me, i would be so thankful for the kindness of that checkout girl. I think it struck me because that is so RARE these days. Customer service people have no concern or care for people's needs. Everyone's patience is running thin. Including mine. ESPECIALLY mine.

I am a very nonjudging person. I can see past people's mistakes to who they really are or who they could be. I can overlook any personality flaw. AND YET- when it comes to waiting in line or sitting in traffic or answering the phones at work... my patience is GONE. Out the window. I want them to move NOW. I have things to do, places to go, people to see!! MOVE IT OR LOSE IT is kind of my attitude. =P

But i am still thinking of that checkout girl at Walmart. She was probably 20 years old. She could have been impatient with those people like so many others would have been. I used to work at a gift shop & definitely got impatient with customers who could not make up their minds!! Being a checkout girl is not a fun job & i can understand how any of them could get impatient with customers doing things like that! Forgetting items & running back to get them, or forgetting their wallet at home. But this girl was thinking of others, which is truly how we ALL should be!

I hope that i remember what that girl said anytime i start to get impatient. "It coulda happened to anybody" - SO TRUE. And i know that i would want people to think this if i was the one holding up the line.

Sunday Stealing: About Me

Time for Sunday Stealing, & this time we are telling a little bit about ourselves.
I love these things. It's sad, really.

1. When is your birthday?
March 2

2. Where were you born?
Woman's Hospital

3. Where do you live now?
in the deep south

4. What is your heritage?

5. Tell us about a weakness.
I have no patience.

6. What's a goal that you'd like to achieve?
Learn to take really good pictures & learn to edit, etc.

7. What is the most overused internet phrase?
I've recently seen FML a lot & I HATE it. Especially since it usually has nothing to do with the person's luck - instead their own stupid choices.

8. What was your first thought this morning?
I have to pee.

9. When do you usually go to bed?
by 10. I've realized that my worst days at work are when i didn't go to bed by 10 the night before. Must have my sleep!

10. Do you smoke? If not, did you ever?
nope, never have & never will.

11. Do you like your current relationship status?
Love being married.

12. Do you (or did you) get along with your parents?
I do & I did. Of course i do more now as an adult.

13. How often do you drink alcohol?
We have a wine at home that we drink occasionally. But that's it. I typically hate alcohol & won't drink it.

14. Have you ever tried drugs (that weren't prescribed)?

15. Have you ever gone skinny dipping? If yes, do tell.
Yeah, when i was 12-14, my girlfriends & i would sneak to the neighbor's pool when they weren't home & skinny dip. We thought we were so cool. HAHA.

16. If given the choice, how would you like to die?
In my sleep. Of course.

17. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a pediatrician or an actress. I still would love to be the actress, but i gave up on the doctor thing as soon as i realized that i can't pass math or science to save my life!

18. Have you ever been dumped?

19. What's on your pizza?
Our favorite is Digornio's Tuscan with Chicken. It has grilled chicken, spinach, diced tomatoes...delicious!

20. Have you ever shoplifted?
No way.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Our Love Story - Part 4


This has really taken forever to tell you the entire story, details & all!

If you haven't been following, you should probably go read the first & second & third parts of this crazy little love story! =)

As i was saying before, I'd written this thing - whatever it was - off. It wasn't going to work. We were two totally different people heading in two opposite directions. I thought he'd turned out to be a great guy & i thought it wasn't fair that all this had happened for no reason at all. Nothing was going to come of it. I really had thought that maybe he was the one after all. Why else would all this be taking place? But i realized it was nothing more than an ex-boyfriend who was still single & wondering whatever happened to his first love. That's it. End of story. Back to real life - & hopefully ONE DAY - i'd meet the person right for me.

I don't remember when that last date was, but i think it was about two or three weeks before i heard from Brad again. And that was fine. I didn't WANT to hear from him. I was getting back to my life & trying to forget that all that ever happened. One day, I was surprised to see an email in my inbox from him. I was even more surprised by what i read. Brad let me know in that email what he thought, things about me that were not true. I was indignant. I was upset. I read it to my roommate & she was upset too. It was mostly, "What does he mean by this?!" & "What the heck is that supposed to mean?" I had to write him back to set him straight. There were several things to set him straight on, but just to give you an example, he thought that by pursuing acting, i was probably sacrificing a lot of relationships. But my relationships were fine, thankyouverymuch. He thought some other things & i wrote him back to let him know the truth about it all. I told him in a very nice way & pretty soon I had another email from him.

The next email from him did it for me. I knew he was the one after that email. I know that is crazy to say, but i did. I didn't tell him that yet. But in one email he answered basically every question i had. He cleared up a LOT of misunderstandings. At the end of his email he said,

"I definitely never dreamed I would actually try to get in touch with you again, but I owed it to you to tell you the truth about why I walked away ten years ago. We are truly as different as night and day, but that's good, and although it doesn't mean we are not compatible, I think it's safe to say that the chapter is closed. I truly hope you continue to find happiness in all that you do and in all your relationships, and I truly hope that your prince finds you, as much as I hope that I find my princess. If I am him and you are her, that's God's business. In the meantime, we must be getting along our way."

Um, WHAT?! "Safe to say this chapter is closed"?! "Getting along our way"?!? I think not!! I mean, you seriously just answered every single one of my questions from 11 years ago! I get it now! I understand now! Oh, thank you GOD, it was all just a big huge horrible misunderstanding! But we can't just close this chapter now?!?!

That's pretty much where my thinking was after that email. I emailed him back in a hurry & i started it off by saying, "I hope that you are not really closing the chapter...just when things are getting good!" and i proceeded to clear up some things that he had misunderstood from 11 years back! You see, in his email to me, not only did he clear up some things for me, but he let me know things that bothered him from all those years ago. And i'm not talking petty silly things. I'm talking serious things. Things that he couldn't let go of. And i realized that they were all really honestly & truly - misunderstandings. I couldn't believe it.

We didn't know how to communicate back then. That was now very obvious. But here we were, a decade later, writing back & forth about EVERYTHING from our relationship before. There were 15 emails total & i cannot tell you what they did for us. We could have seen each other in the midst of these writings, but for some reason we both felt like we shouldn't see each other. We recognized that God was doing a work through these writings. We are both writers & we are both better at getting words out on paper. God knew that we needed to resolve everything before getting back together. Not that getting back together was even a definite at that point. But it was beginning to look like it more & more. We continued to write & i think we knew that God would show us when it was time to meet again in person.

I do not think i am even ALMOST getting across to you the importance & awesomeness of these emails! With every one that i read, i understood a little more. I liked him a little more. I "got him" a little more. Every paragraph i read felt like healing oil. I don't even know how to explain it. He felt the same way. I remember my roommate coming home from a date one night (with HER future husband!) & poking her head in my room to see how i was doing & i said, "Aimie. I really like him. I mean, i REALLY like him." & she was like "really?" & i said, "like, this is it. He's the one." I don't even know if she believed me! She was there through my insistance that he was absolutely NOT the one.

But he was. He definitely was. There was no doubt about it any longer. My heart was bursting over emails, for crying out loud. But those emails were exactly what we needed. We needed to be able to explain everything about all those years ago & to honestly tell what hurt us, what broke us, what made us want to end the relationship. We were honest in these emails. We were able to say, "I couldn't believe it when you said this". We went over every misunderstanding. And trust me, there were plenty! By the end of those emails i had no doubt in my mind. I was so thankful & rejoicing & falling in love (without even seeing him again!).

Finally, I got this email from Brad (feel special that i'm sharing this with you! They've all been kept private till now, but Brad says it's okay to share this part!)...

"I have a REALLY good feeling we have lots more Valentine's Days in store! I've been hesitating out of sheer disbelief at this! It's like seeing a stranger far off and then realizing it's someone you know.....like a broken toy put back together.....an old wine pulled out of the cellar.....a bright star in the sky that turns out to be part of a constellation you hadn't noticed before..... (sorry, you know I have to make analogies). I hope I'm not saying this too soon, but I'll tell you straight up that I think it is worth doing what it takes to make this work, and I am wanting it to work more and more every day. My hours of thinking of you are turning into hours of longing for you. What else could God be trying to show us? I mean, seriously, unless He just drops a ton of bricks on us and says "NO", then what else could it be? You want to know what I think? I think He already HAS dropped a ton of bricks on us --- a ton of "YES" bricks! If you feel different, then let me know and it won't happen, but I say let's go for it. Don't get me wrong, I am not so foolish as to think it will be easy. Any relationship worth having is going to be difficult. It's the people that don't realize that that bail out at the first rough spot in the road. It may feel like we're dying at times, but oh, what a sweet death it will be. Love is a choice, an act of the will, and I choose YOU.....if you are willing to be chosen. Nothing brings more joy to my heart than the thought of spending the rest of my life with you. We both have what it takes to make it work. I mean, of course we still have to go through the process of getting back into each other's lives and all, but that will come easy.....definitely easier than it did "back then". We have an understanding and a respect for each other that we didn't have before, and that's all that was missing. Now all that's left is to see the world together. I know we have our dreams and "rather this's" and "rather thats", but that will all fade away when we look into each other's eyes. I DON'T mean that we'll have to give up our dreams. What I mean is that our love for each other will be what drives us to help each other BOTH have the dreams of our hearts. And God will provide a way for those dreams to come true in a way that we totally didn't expect (just like this little unexpected saga between us is unfolding right now!).
We've known each other since we were babies,
Our families know and love each other,
Our families both want this to happen,
We both have a different, but compatible combination of personalities,
We both would never run out of delightful things to talk about with each other,
We both want to share more with each other than most typical couples do,
We've already both been head over heels for each other before,
We have found the missing element of our "chemistry",
We are strongly attracted to each other,
We both want to help people out of their troubles and into God's presence,
We both have troubles to help each other through,
We're both artists in different, but connected fields,
We've both already shared things with each other that I don't want to share with anyone else,
We both see eye to eye on so many things (go figure! ha! I never thought I would say that!),
We both are the types of people that need people like us,
We both need someone to help us reach our dreams,
We are willing to make ourselves vulnerable to each other,
We can trust each other,
There is a lifetime of adventures before us.....
Those are just a few, of course. And the only reason I can think of NOT to make it work is "fear", and that reason sucks. It's not even worth paying attention to! So, anyway, I'm saying lets do this. If you agree then say so, and we can be face to face within the next week or so. I'm ready if you are.

This was written to me late on Valentine's Day, 2008. Our first official date was February 16th. I was a little nervous, felt a bit awkward, but this date was completely different than those 3 back in December. We knew so much now, we had uncovered so much & said so many things that needed to be said! We now understand & respected each other! We were actually on the same page! As soon as we were face to face again, the chemistry was there. It just was. I thought it was missing on those dates in December, but here it was full force!

Things moved pretty quickly after that! I had always wanted a "whirlwind romance" because it sounded so romantic...& that is exactly what i got. Only it was better, because we have known each other our whole lives & we had so much history. There were SO MANY alone years. But once we were back together, it as a whirlwind!

I remember the evening of the 16th - after going to lunch at Carraba's, we hung out at my house & just talked. Then we decided to go for a walk. We walked the neighborhood next to the condo i lived in. We walked that neighborhood once & i was too nervous to grab his hand & he would't grab mine either! Ahhh! I hated it! I hated being that nervous with someone i KNEW i was going to marry, someone i was falling hopelessly & desperately in love with! As soon as we started to walk that neighborhood a SECOND time, Brad grabbed my hand. I couldn't stop smiling.

I am not sure when we had our first kiss (of this decade)! Within a week or two after we got back together. Do you know that neither of us had kissed ANYONE in all those 11 years?!? I know that may sound pitiful & sad, but we are the kind that don't kiss someone unless it's someone you are serious about. And we just couldn't ever get serious with anyone after our breakup! So we went all those years with no kisses (pecks on the cheek from family doesn't count!). All those years without kissing was AWFUL! (Who doesn't love to make out?! Seriously?! Haha.) But it was well worth the wait! We were also both virgins on our wedding night. I know that is unheard of nowadays, especially when you are in your early thirties! And there were times when i got really impatient & didn't want to wait any longer! But we did & i am very thankful that we did. =)

SO- it is true what they say: when you know, you know. And we weren't going to waste any time with a long dating relationship!! No sense in that!

We were engaged on March 15, 2008.
We were married November 14, 2008.
& we are living very happily ever after. =)

I hope you enjoyed reading our story!

Green Bean Casserole

Every year, no matter where we are having Thanksgiving, my family usually gets me to make the Green Bean Casserole. I swear. It is THE easiest recipe ever. And everyone always raves about it!

This is probably the simplest recipe for green bean casserole. Also the best. =)

Take 6 of these:

Drain them & pour them in a bowl.

Dump 2 of these in with the green beans & mix it up real good.

Grate about 6-7 slices of cheese & mix it all together.

Pour it all in a casserole dish. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
Take it out of the oven & top with these:

Bake a few minutes more & you're done!

Seriously. It's that easy. 


Holiday Recap!

Fievel sitting in between mom & dad in the car - on our way to Mississippi!

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful. I am so glad we got to go up to Mississippi. We had a great time. At my grandma's, she has a bedroom & bathroom seperate from the rest of her house - it's a room off the carport, so we call it the carport room. I told her that i always wanted to get to stay in that room, but never got to because she only put married couples in that room! I was all excited that Brad & i got to stay in the carport room this time! HA! We truly had a great time! I told you what we did on Thursday already (a few blogs earlier)... on Friday we had another Thanksgiving dinner with my dad's mom & it was good, too! My dad's younger brother & his wife (Uncle Mickey & Aunt Pat) came too & we all played Phase 10 & Taboo! So that was fun! =)

Us - Thanksgiving - 2009

We left today & i was sad i didn't take more pictures! What was i thinking?! I got none of my mom's side - my mom & my aunt who cooked a wonderful meal on thursday, my uncle Gary & cousin Brady, my great uncle ruby & aunt erma - age 89 & 86! - i pray i am that spunky & healthy at that age!! And i didn't get pics of Uncle Mickey & Aunt Pat either! But i did manage to take a few pics before leaving this morning.

me & the hubby with my Mama Jo.

3 generations: me with my dad & his mom!

Oh, the cutest thing happened on Thanksgiving day. You see, my dog LOVES squirrels! Ever since he was a puppy, he's loved to see squirrels. When he was a puppy, i lived at my parents & they have a window in the breakfast area that comes to the floor. Fievel would sit at that window looking outside all day. Every apartment i have lived in since, Fievel has been able to look out the window - either it came to the floor or i had a bench up next to it that Fievel could sit in. Even now, he loves to sit on the back of Brad's chair & look out the window. If he sees a squirrel, he gets really excited! If he sees one outside, he'll take off after it while you're trying to keep up! Once a squirrel runs up a tree, he gets all confused having no idea where it went! HAHA! He just loves squirrels & I promise, all he wants to do is play with them, but of course they don't know that! ANYWAY...all that to say - he loves windows & he loves squirrels!

Well, Thursday after eating, we were sitting in the sunroom at my grandmother's house. Fievel was sitting in my lap but he saw the window behind me & tried to scoot up on my shoulder to see outside. Well, next thing i know, he is inching up on the ledge that is by the window. I pulled the blind/curtain thingies out some so he could see better. He climbed up on the ledge which was a little narrow, but i figured if he fell, he'd fall on the couch! Well, we're all chit-chatting & Fievel is just laying down on the window sill. All of a sudden his head is up & his nose is pinned to the window & his tail is wagging furiously! We were all like "what is going on?!" & we look & a squirrel was RIGHT UP there next to Fievel! The squirrel was SOO close that the only thing separating them was the glass! Even I have never seen a squirrel so close! The squirrel stayed there forever with all of us watching it munch on an acorn! Fievel never stopped wagging that tail.
Let me tell you, that made Fievel's YEAR! HAHA!

I grabbed my camera to take a picture because it was just priceless. You can see Fievel, but you can barely see the squirrel because of Fievel's reflection in the glass (& the reflection of those shades). I have no idea how to edit this...i'm still learning about editing pictures! So if you have tips on how to get out the reflection, pass them on! You have to look to see the squirrel!

Can you see the squirrel?!

Hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving!

Friday, November 27, 2009

5 Question Friday!

Well, it's Five Question Friday & I'm doing it...but i'm not linking to anyone's page. Or blog hopping. Or putting the 5 Question Friday picture up! Why? Well, i'm still in the small town of Grenada Mississippi & the computer i'm using is awfully slow!

I just have no patience.

But we're heading home tomorrow & then i'll be back on my laptop & do it right! =)

Here's today's questions:

1. Do you do a real or fake Christmas tree?
Fake. We use a mini one - a table top tree. I figure eventually we'll get the bigger one - like when we have kids. My family never got a real one when i was a kid because my mom was always allergic. After i moved out, my roommates always got real ones & i just LOVE that smell! I hope to one day have the tradition that so many families have - of finding & getting that perfect tree & bringing it home. But i can't see Brad enjoying that kind of thing, so we may end up doing the fake tree thing again. But that's fine. You can get really nice ones! I'll just have to get Christmas Tree scented candles or something! HA!

2. What is your favorite Christmas tradition with your family?
My family - mom dad & sister - plus the hubby now - always get together for a night of appetizers & desserts, gifts & Christmas music. Sometimes a game or a movie is thrown in, too. I really enjoy this night. We used to do it on Christmas, or Christmas Eve, but now it's whatever night we all can do it. I love it!

3. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in your neck of the woods? And, if so...how many calories do you think you consumed yesterday?
Of course we do! And honestly, i don't think i did too bad! I didn't get seconds, if that's what you mean! & that's pretty good for me! I also kept my desserts to ONE serving of ONE dessert! I used to get a whole plate of everything!

4. Have you started decorating for Christmas, yet?
Nope! I will not decorate for Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. I like having one holiday at a time. =) We are out of town now, but i figure i'll start pulling out the Christmas decor this week. =)

5. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?
Okay, cookies are my weakness. Give me chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven any day! But for Christmas, sometimes we have those sugar cookies with icing? In the shape of a stocking or tree or angel? Those are the best!

So, that's my 5QF!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love it! Of course, i LOVE the food...some of my favorite dishes are on Thanksgiving! I am thankful to say that today i did NOT go overboard at all. I had one plate - no seconds - & i was perfectly content (though it is now 6 pm & i'm starting to get hungry for dinner! HA!). I had no dessert until about an hour after we ate & then i had a very small piece of poppyseed cake! Not that that's healthy but i'm sure it's got less calories than mamma's fudge pie or aunt erma's banana pudding!! 

Brad & i are visiting my relatives in a very small town in Mississippi. I am very happy to be here! Although I miss Brad's family - i love them & they're tons of fun! - I am thrilled to be here because i haven't seen most of my relatives since my wedding (the ones that came) & that was hardly a visit at all because everything was so crazy!

Today was a great day. We slept in & then had breakfast with my dad's mom, who i call Mama Jo. This is where we are staying. I cooked Green Bean Casserole here & then headed over to my mom's mom's house for our Thanksgiving lunch & we ate there. Delicious! Great visit with Meemaw (my grandmother), my parents, my aunt Paula & uncle Gary & cousin Brady & my great Aunt Erma & great Uncle Ruby (my sister Michelle & my cousin Ben couldn't come - they were missed!). Great conversation & then we watched some Ice Skating (which i love) - they had a special on TV about Cancer Survivors. It was great. After that, Daddy drove Brad & I around town & it was beautiful. We drove by the lake here & all the trees here were so gorgeous, full of beautiful autumn colors! I thought of that Nikon i want & i thought of all my photographer friends & the good shots they could have gotten!! =)

Tomorrow, we will have Thanksgiving at my dad's mom's house & my dad's younger brother & his wife (Uncle Mickey & Aunt Pat) will come, too! So excited to see them too!

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays! And it's not just the food. But i love the togetherness & the reminder that we have so much to be thankful for. I sometimes get busy in life & do nothing but complain about things that i am not-so-thankful for. But i just need to remember how blessed i am. I truly am! I have so much, that i should never complain!! Thanksgiving always puts things in perspective for me. Gets me back to a right heart & attitude. An attitude of thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Our Love Story - Part 3

Yeah...this is where it starts to get good! =)

So, I've been telling our love story, in case you're just now reading. If you haven't read Part 1 & Part 2, you should do that first! =)

Unless, of course, you're one of those that skips to the last chapter. =)

But as I was saying, things were dim. I was longing for a husband. I was having fun in life, don't get me wrong. I was very involved in the theatre still & i loved that. My roomie was a wonderful friend, too. It's just that something was definitely MISSING. I honestly felt like it was TIME for me to have a husband in my life. For many reasons. I WANTED one before, but now i really needed a best friend, a partner in life, someone who cared for me above others (that i could care for above others in return). I was beginning to be convinced that it wouldn't happen to me.

My friend Rachel & I decided to have a Christmas party for some theatre friends at her house. And that was the night that I received THE text message. We were just having a grand old time at this party & I had no idea that at that moment, Brad was working up the nerve to call my parent's home, in an effort to get in touch with his ex-girlfriend.

Ex-girlfriend from 10 YEARS AGO, i might add!!

Christmas Party - December 2007
Me & Rachel

Me & Natalie

Me & Marion

(The above pics are of 3 of my favorite theatre gals! Just 3 or 4 months after these pics were taken, the four of us were cast in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas...as 4 of the 8 whores! HAHA!)


So i was at this party. And everything was great. And then i got a text message from my sister. I always say this was a text message that changed my life! I hear my phone give me a little chirp to let me know i had a text. I am laughing, talking, having a grand time. I think i was actually icing cupcakes or something?! I don't remember. But i grab my phone during all this & it's my sister, who had moved back in at our parents. Her text said,


Say what???!?!

I was SHOCKED. STUNNED, might be a better word. I mean, seriously, people. You've read these three parts of our story over a week or two, but this was over 10 YEARS.  I hadn't even SEEN him in 10 years other running into him a few times, the last time 3-4 years ago!I never in a million years thought he would be trying to get in touch with me. 

I was freaking. out.

I texted back, "What?!?!? What did he want?"
She replied, "He wanted your number!"
I texted, "Well, did y'all give it to him?!"
"MOM DID! I couldn't believe she didn't even ask you first!"

Well, it turns out i am GLAD she gave it to him. Because if she hadn't & had gotten his number instead, for me to call him if i wanted to... well, there is just NO way i would have gotten up the nerve to do that! Yep, best to just give him my number.
(Unless, of course, he turns out to be a complete psycho freak.
But thankfully, that's not what happened!)

He didn't call me that night. I think they may have told him i was at a party & may not answer my phone. The next day, i was working at the gift shop where i worked at the time, gift-wrapping a present for a customer. My cell phone rang. I immediately knew it was him, because the digits of his phone were from the same area where he lived before, & none of my other friends lived out there. I didn't answer it. I just thought it'd be a little wierd to answer a call from my Ex-Boyfriend from 10 YEARS AGO (you got that?!) when i was busy with a customer & wrapping a gift. SO i finished what i was doing. When i was done wrapping the gift, i remember i snuck in the bathroom & listened to his voicemail. I had to admit. He still had that same sexy voice that i loved! But...

What the HECK did he WANT?!?!

Yeah. Those were my thoughts.

So, when i left work, later on, i called him. The minute i left. And he answered. He asked how i was doing, what i'd been up to, and then he asked me to dinner. He said he just wanted to catch up. Umm, okay? I think we went out that evening.

I remember him picking me up. I felt really awkward. I mean, after all, i hadn't seen him in ages & he was at one time my true love. Before our date, i had to consider if he was, after all, THE ONE. And i thought, "Maybe so. Maybe he is the one, after all these years. I have sure changed a lot in the last 10 years, maybe he has too. Maybe he has every quality i want in a husband now. Maybe he is the one i'm going to marry."

I kind of hoped so.

We went to Bennigans. The entire date, start to finish, took about an hour & a half. Max. And when i got home, i was absolutely 100% NOT interested.

I don't even remember why. But i thought he hadn't changed a bit. And i just didn't want to go out with him again. He was nice & all. But he wasn't who i wanted as a husband. That was a Saturday night. The next day, after church, I would be leaving with my family to go to Mississippi for Christmas. I really was looking forward to church. I wanted to forget about all this dating stuff & really focus on my Father at church the next day.

 I thought - i am just going to go to church & worship God - & then go to Mississippi & FORGET about Brad. I can deal with him when i get back.

Well, GUESS WHO was at my church the next morning?!?!?!

I thought, NO WAY. You have to be kidding me! Now he is stalking me! I had mentioned my church's name in conversation on our date & told him he would LOVE the music there. So that meant he'd looked it up that evening & found out where it was & came!? I didn't think it was cool at all. I didn't want to be near him. I was a part of the praise team & we went on stage ready to start service when i saw him. I remember telling some of my fellow backup singers, "OMG. That is my Ex. What is he doing here?!" HAHA. But i sat by him anyway, because that would be the nice thing to do. Right? I mean, i felt i had to. But i didn't want to!

After church, i think he asked me to lunch again but i told him i was headed out of town for Christmas. And that was that.

Me & my sister - Christmas 2007

While in Mississippi, I managed to tell the family that yes, i went out with brad & no, he was not the one, i was not interested. I remember mom telling me i should give him a chance & that i was being too hasty. I was so mad at that! I was like, How can you say i'm being to hasty?! I know what i feel, if i'm interested or not & i'm NOT! I can't help that!!
But, as it turns out, she was right.

I went back to Louisiana & i thought, you know what? maybe i AM being too hasty. I'll give this another try. If he asks me out again, i'll go. After all, how could i write him off right away. Brad & i are both reserved types, it takes us awhile to get comfy & talk freely. I know i'm like that & i knew he was like that. So we weren't even NEAR ourselves on that first date. Everything was awkward. I wanted chemistry, sparks. Something we'd always had. I wanted fireworks. I thought i would KNOW right then, the minute i saw him. But i didn't yet. But i thought, maybe i'm wrong. If he asks me again, I'll give it a try.

SO when i got back we went out 2 more times. Once to Brewbachers after church (yes, he came again!). I actually enjoyed myself this time & got to know a little more about Brad. He told me all about the Hebrew he'd been studying & how interesting it was & i thought it was really cool. It was enjoyable conversation.

We went out one more time, to Outback. This was the serious conversation. You see, at this point, i was really getting into the acting thing. I wanted to find an acting school, enroll & get better. I wanted to move to NYC or something! & you may find that funny but i was serious about this. Normally this would be something you'd do at age 20 or 21, but here i was nearing 30, ready to follow a dream. I felt that i was single, no man in sight, might as well go for it, right? Or at the very least, just go to acting school & come back. SO i was definitely looking into that. I was serious about it. HOWEVER, if God brought a man into my life then i would have NO PROBLEM staying & marrying & all that! I could easily let go of the acting thing, because what i really wanted above all else, was my own family. To be a wife & mom. But i didn't have a man. And it didn't look like i would have one. SO i was pursuing my dream.

Well, at dinner that night we were talking about Brad's music & my theatre. And, at some point, Brad said, "So...how far are you wanting to take this acting dream? I mean, do you want to like move to California or something?" I knew when he asked this that it was serious. I knew it may even determine our relationship. But i had to be honest. I answered,

"I want to take it as far as God & my potential will take it," I told him, honestly, "I mean, if that means moving, so be it." I told him that it would more likely be NYC than California since i was more interested in theatre & i told him that it may even just be for a season, to get some good training & then come back home.

I did not tell him that if i met my future husband & fell in love, i would be willing to stay & forget about Broadway! I thought that would seem a bit presumptious & such, you know? So i left that part out.

I knew after that conversation, that it was over. I went home that night, realizing that he wanted to stay here & realizing that a future together for us wasn't going to work.  I liked him again. I wanted it to work. But it wasn't meant to be. I was actually pretty ticked at God about this. I mean, after all, i'd been begging him for my husband, talking to him about it regularly. So then my first love, my only true love shows up in my life after 10 years. And i almost write him off, but realize i'm being too hasty. SO it try again. Only to find out it wasn't going to work! It kinda made me mad. I kinda felt like God was just dangling a treat in front of me, to taunt me, like boys will do with dogs. Just to tease. That's how it felt. I felt like God was teasing me & not nicely either! I was upset, because i felt like it'd all been for nothing. Back to square one.

I told my roommate that night, "You know, I think Brad is a really great guy & he is going to get a really great girl. But it's not gonna be me. We're going in two totally different directions in life." And that was the end of that!

To be continued...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Taco Soup!

I am having an awful night. I had ground beef thawing in the fridge all day. I grabbed it out when i got home & started on this recipe. I had hot oil in my beautiful red dutch oven. I practically threw the meat into the dutch oven & OMG. MAN. I guess I didn't realize it was still frozen in the middle? And i think something about frozen meat being tossed into scalding hot oil? Well. It started making really loud cracking noices, flung hot oil on me, burning my wrist & the bottom of my dutch oven is cracked. Like - the enamel on the cast iron i guess you could say? It's gone in spots. There were small pieces of the enamel stuff all over the counter, in the meat & on the floor. I was soooo upset. I was crying! It has been an awful day! And my Dutch Oven is one of my favorite things. Does anyone know how RUINED this makes it?!?! Or is it okay? =(

ANYWAY. Hubby helped me get everything cleaned up & i started over. It was wonderful.

The recipe is from a cookbook called Super Suppers. Apparently it's a place you can go to pick up delicious home-cooked meals for dinner. We don't have any locations in Louisiana, but their cookbook is great! =)

Taco Soup
Serves 6-8

1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces (i didn't include the tortillas)
1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped bell pepper
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
2 14.5-oz cans Mexican-style diced tomatoes, undrained
28 ounces water (it actually said 2 14 ounce cans of water. Has to be a typo, right?)
1 15-oz can small red beans, undrained
1 15-oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 15-oz can hominy, undrained, OR 1.5 cups frozen corn (i used the corn since we had some on hand)
1 7-oz can diced green chile peppers*
1 7-oz can sliced pitted black olives, drained (i used 4 oz. that was enough for me!)
1 1.25-oz package taco seasoning mix

Cheese & Corn Chips, if desired

1) Preheat oil in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven or soup pot. Add tortilla pieces to hot oil. Cook & stir until brown, remove & set aside. Add ground beef, onion, bell pepper, & garlic to Dutch Oven. Cook until beef is brown. Drain off fat.

2) Stir browned tortillas, undrained tomatoes, water, undrained red beans, black beans, undrained hominy (or the corn), chile peppers, olives, & taco seasoning mix into Dutch Oven. Bring to boiling. Turn heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cheese & corn chips, if desired.

*I didn't use the green chiles, because the diced tomatoes i got included green chiles. However it was still WAY TOO SPICY! Other than that it was really good!

Note from cookbook:
Plan Ahead - Prepare up to 4 days ahead. Cover & refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat until hot & bubbly.
Freeze Ahead - Place cooked soup in freezer bag & freeze up to 2 months. Defrost completely in refrigerator. Reheat over medium heat until hot & bubbly.

To complete my crazy night (after the burn-wrist-ruin-dutch-oven incident), we decided to put the leftover soup in a freezer bag to freeze, as suggested above & since we'll be out of town a few days. I held the bag over the sink & hubby poured it in, not an easy task but he did it perfectly. The minute he was done, the bag burst & all our soup went in the sink. SIGH. I need to go to bed. =(

ANYWAY - hope you enjoy the soup!

Nutritional Information here, thanks to Calorie Count. =)

Post-it Note Tuesday!

Well, it's that time again! Post-it Note Tuesday, hosted by Supahmommy! Love it!

Use this link to make your own stickies & join in the blog hop! It's fun! =)

Oh & uh, sorry for all the venting stickies! I'm at work & the phone won't stop!!