Flashback Friday--It's a Papoose!


I love everything about this picture.
I guess except maybe the fact that you can't really see my dad's eyes due to the shadow his hat is making and therefore he looks like a creepy ghost person. 

But other than that, I think this picture is just great. 
The Cub's hat my dad has on, the huge coat I'm wearing, and what picture wouldn't be complete without my confused expression?

Seems to be a reoccurring theme. I'm often confused. 

{Also, in case you're interested, P&P&Z is getting better}

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies


I started reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies last night. I can't say I was in love with the first few chapters, but I'm hopeful that it will pick up, and either way I'm dedicated to pressing on toward the finish. 

I looked up the book on Amazon today so I could write down the author when adding it to my "currently reading" list on my book page.

And there, beside Seth Grahame-Smith, is this: 

Jane Austen (author)

You have to wonder if she, in her wildest fantastical imaginings, ever pictured being listed as the author of a zombie book. I'd sort of like to think she did.

Review to come when I'm all finished. Something for you to look forward to, I'm sure. 
After that, I think I'm going to take a crack at The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. 

Oh yes, and besides reading I'm also still doing some halfhearted half marathon training. It's going well (read: running makes me feel like I'm dying). 

Tennis Exhibition with Andy Roddick


A month or so ago, I bought tickets to see Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish play an exhibition tennis match here in OKC. I was super pumped to get the chance to see two top men's players. 

And it was just as awesome as I expected. I couldn't believe I was actually seeing people in real life that I'd only ever seen on TV. 

Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick have been good friends since they were teenagers, so there was a lot of good old-fashioned joking going on. And then Andy Roddick started imitating other tennis players, which was hilarious. Especially when he stuffed two towels into his shorts and pretended to be Serena. 

It cost a fairly good penny out of my budget for the month, but it was so worth it. 

Andy Roddick going up for a serve. Awesomeness.
Linking up with Heidi for black-and-white Wednesday!

Black and White Wednesday

Flashback Friday--The One with the Yellow Giraffe


I think the title pretty much sums it up. 

And my expression, which I assume is me thinking:
"Mom, how do you expect me to use the wheels in the grass?"

Certainly a valid argument.

A Problem


Today I ran 8.3 miles. And it was the worst run ever. Seriously. I never knew 8 miles could so feel like death. For the entire hour+ I could think of nothing except being at home, drinking water and not running. 

When I finally got home, I took off my socks and shoes and poured myself a huge glass of water. Then I looked down at my feet and realized that I might have a blister problem. 

Apparently the middle toe on my left foot felt the need to split open in the middle and blister on both sides, officially making this the worst run ever, just in case I was debating about the winner of such a prestigious award.

I have not yet decided on a course of action (re: the blistered/split toe). Taping will probably be happening at some point. And new socks will have to be bought. I mean, that's totally gross, right? 

Any suggestions, runner friends?

A Lesson on Not Forgetting to Renew Your Car Tag (A Tale of Fury and Felons)


My car tag expired in March.

As in, six months ago. 

I discovered this yesterday, so after patting myself on the back for being such a safe driver that I hadn't gotten pulled over in all that time, I immediately went to the car tag agency to get myself up to date. 

I wasn't super worried. I thought it was sorta funny, actually. I mean, it's not like I did it on purpose, but with moving unexpectedly, planning a wedding, getting married, and in all respects of my life being crazy busy, checking my license plate for a stupid 2x2 sticker had not even been a tiny thought on the edge of my brain. 

{I should also mention that this is technically my first year to buy a tag for my white Ford. I bought it in 2010, so makes even more sense that I wouldn't remember when it expired.}

It's $91 to renew my car tag, which is annoying in and of itself. The purpose of the car tag is unclear to me anyway, so I was a little grouchy about having to shell out that much. 

But THEN, I was told that I would be charged $100 extra as a penalty for paying it late. 
I instantly became furious--one of those irate people whose face and neck turn an ugly shade of red and whose voice raises to a high pitch.

Later, I felt bad about being so rude, but in the moment I was furious. And it certainly didn't help when a lady (note: not even the original one who was helping me) came over and said, "Have you moved?" 

Me: "Umm...ever?"
Lady: "Have you moved recently?"
Me: "Yes."
Lady: "Well they don't forward the cards."
Me: "The cards?"
Lady: "They don't forward the reminder cards."
Me: "But I went to the post office and had all my mail forwarded."
Lady: "Well those aren't forwarded. It says so on the back."
Me: "Well I wouldn't know that, would I, since I didn't get a card." (That's what I wanted to say, but I didn't. I still like to add it to the story as if I did say it, though, since that would have been a great retort.)

Awesome. So the state of Oklahoma is obviously intentionally trying to screw people over by not forwarding the reminder cards along with the rest of your mail and charging an outrageously ridiculous amount in penalties.

"Why is the penalty so much?" I asked.
"It's to teach people not to be late anymore."
"Okay," I said, even more irate, "I didn't do it on purpose!"

In the end there was really nothing I could do except write a check for $192.50 (because they also charge $1.50 for an insurance fee, and what the crap is that anyway?). 

It was a long time before my face returned to a normal shade of not red. Actually, I continued to fester about it all day. I understand having real felons pay that much in penalty. Or repeat offenders. Or people without insurance. Or people who don't know how to spell. 

But me? I'm a good citizen. Oklahoma is lucky to have me. 

Those stupid jerks. 

The only bright side (and I'm really stretching here) is that I will never again forget that my car tag expires in March. 

When I become president, there will be no car tags.

Book Review--A Song of Ice and Fire Series (Book 1)


I wasn't sure what to think about George R.R. Martin's bestselling series, A Song of Ice and Fire. As a general rule, I'm not one to like the bandwagon; I usually prefer to be in a relatively empty wagon.

A friend from work cites Martin as her favorite author, and any time there's a fiction example needed, she pulls out Game of Thrones. Jordan's read it multiple times and owns all the books, and he spent a few months reading books 1-4 in preparation for number 5, so the series was on my radar. I just never cared to read it. It sounded weird. 

But in the end, the sway of peer pressure can be enough to push me onto the wagon. So when the latest installment in the series was released a few months ago, I decided to get started. Mostly because I was tired of not catching references and being left out of conversations (similar to how I feel about not having read Harry Potter, which I plan on reading through next year). 

So I dove in to book 1 (Game of Thrones) and soon realized that this book was actually nothing like I expected. (In a good way.) When I first opened to chapter one and saw that each chapter was written from a different character's point of view, I groaned. How could he do that? How would it work? It wouldn't, I decided. It was stupid.

I just knew I was going to be horribly confused.

However, after getting past the first few chapters, it started coming together, albeit slowly. It was confusing at times, mostly because one character could be called by three or four different names throughout the course of the story, depending on whose point of view I was reading. So in that respect it was handy to have a nerdy husband around who could explain everything to me should I have any questions (and correct me on pronunciation of names). But there's also a full list of characters in the back via an exhaustive appendix, to which I say, "Bravo, George."

And really, if I thought about it for two seconds it really wasn't all that confusing. I just got lazy, and sometimes it was easier to ask Jordan than to think about it for any length of time.

The thing that surprised me the most about the story was how real it was. Yes, there are beings called "Others" (much scarier and relevant than those in Lost), and there's some magical elements, but for a lot of it I felt like I was reading historical fiction, not fantasy. It was a much easier read than Lord of the Rings, because as much as I love those books, they're hard to follow what with all the orcs and wizards. Game of Thrones is about people; royal people, but people nonetheless, so for me it was a bit easier to imagine.

Something else I loved was how well George R.R. Martin embraced the world he'd created. It wasn't just your birthday; it was your Name Day. You didn't just have goose bumps; you had goose pimples. And characters said things like, "Would that I could." It was fabulous.

Considering how long the books are, it didn't take me much time at all to read book 1. And I was so happy to find out that it didn't end on a massive cliffhanger. I mean, obviously there is much more to the story, but for this book, being the beginning of an epic (ongoing) series, I was very satisfied.

I should note that there was some rape and sex scenes, and these were just slightly graphic for my taste. And there was some cursing. But that being said, it felt right in context of the story--things these characters would do and should be doing--so I was okay with it.

I'm taking a break before jumping into book 2, but I am definitely looking forward to reading it. Would that I could craft a story as well as George R.R. Martin.

At least now I know what Jordan is referring to when he says, "Winter is coming."
Bet you wish you did too.



On Thursday night, it was cold for maybe the first time ever.
Okay, not really ever. But it's been an crazy hot summer, and when it dropped below 60 I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself. 

This will be my first winter living with Jordan. And I guess now that we're all married and stuff (and because it was cold), he felt it was time to bust out his flannel pajama pants. Maybe I'd seen them before, but in any case, I didn't remember. 

So I was quite surprised to walk into the bedroom and find this:

I shouted, "Oh my gosh you're so cute!" and then immediately ran to get my camera, yelling, "Don't move!" over my shoulder. (Even at the time I realized I was being dramatic, but I didn't care. Something about post 9 p.m. makes me crazy.)

So I came back and annoyed him by taking multiple pictures in an attempt to get my settings right so the picture wasn't so dark.

"Those are so cute!" I said. "What do they have...dogs on them?"
"Yeah," he said, rolling his eyes at me from over the top of his book. "I told my mom I wanted a dog....instead, she got me these."

It was the saddest, funniest, and cutest thing I think I've ever heard him say.

Then I interrupted his book reading even further by making him take a picture with me. 

Then I said, "Okay, I'll go now."
And he said, "Thank you" and pushed me off the bed.

But instead of being offended, I just laughed at him and took another picture.

Flashback Friday--A Baby in a Dryer


I used this picture in my wedding slideshow. 

For some reason I found the prospect of me climbing in the dryer hilarious. Especially since I don't look old enough to have done this myself, so I can only assume one of my parents (or both) set me in here just for the photo op. Nice, right?

But then, when I was home a few weekends ago, I found this:

I'm clearly older and look strong enough to have climbed in on my own power. The question is why. Did I remember doing this before and thought it was fun? Did I happen to see the earlier picture and decide to recreate the moment? Did my parents put me in here again

Either way, it appears I had a childhood fascination with dyers. I'm not sure what this means. Probably nothing good. But it might explain why I don't mind doing laundry.


Confession of a Hypocrite


I have a confession. 
I am a hypocrite. 

After bashing pinterest in an earlier post, today, in a fit of work boredom, I started surfing pinterest. And while I'm not fully committed to signing up and pinning things or whatever, I did find these, which I think are pretty awesome:

Vase fillers made from Styrofoam balls and thumbtacks. 
I think I might try them out this weekend. 

I'll be sure and post an update if I do.

4 Months


I was listening to my ipod the other day, and this song came on. 
"I'm Taking the Wheel" by She Daisy.
I found myself playing it on repeat more than a few times, loving these lyrics:

* * *
Everybody says it can't be done
We drive each other crazy but
You're still the one
You make it hard to stay
Harder to run

You and me we're quite a pair
We make a mess out of thin air

So many roads we're left to take
So much history to make
We bend but we don't break
* * *

Also--unrelated--on Friday afternoon I came home 
to find Jordan with a razor in hand
and whisker shavings all around the sink.

The beard is,
at long last,

What Are the Odds?


Jordan and I read in bed every night before we go to sleep. Due to the nature of my job and the fact that I read all day long, I turn my light off long before Jordan does. But I at least like to read a chapter or two.

It just so happened that for the last month or so, Jordan and I have both been reading George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. I'm just starting on book 1, and he's reading book 5--the most recent release and the book that sparked my decision to jump in and begin the series myself. 

It's a bit comical, actually--two people lying next to each other every night reading different books from the same series. But it's not like we planned it.

I started my book before he started his. And as I said, I don't read as much as him each night, though sometimes I stay in bed late on a Saturday morning and read for a few hours. We never really kept track of how far along each of us was in our respective novel, nor did we ever consider the pace at which we were moving through the book. 

So what are the odds that last night we finished reading within 5 minutes of each other? 
Seriously. Jordan read the final pages of A Dance with Dragons, sighed, and said, "Wow. I don't even know what to think. I'm sad it's over."

Not even 5 minutes later, I read the final pages of A Game of Thrones, sighed, and said, "That was crazy."

And indeed it was. 
We didn't try to finish at the same time. 
We never even thought about it.

What are the odds?
Maybe I'm the only one who's amazed by this.

Or maybe this is only the first step toward being one of those married couples who wears matching Hawaiian shirts to the airport.

Flashback Friday--Gangsta


This be my sista. 
Just bein' a gangsta. 

Circa 1998, which means in this picture she was just a wee child of 1. 
Totally rocking the hat, right?
For serious, yo.

Practicing Photographer


I really like taking pictures. 
And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I don't need to have a fancy camera to practice taking pictures. If I practice now, then when I do get a fancy camera, I'll be ready.

But it's harder than it looks. Photography has quickly become my I-wish-I-could-do-that-but-don't-feel-like-I-ever-will-be-able-to hobby.
I don't really care, though, because it's so fun.

So here are some pictures I took of the festivities two weekends ago, when I took a few friends with me to stay at my parents' house for the weekend. It also happened to be my dad's birthday. And my grandparents were visiting from Illinois. Needless to say, there was a lot going on.

My mom made Texas sheet cake, and we lit 52 candles in honor of my dad.

Then, everyone gathered around to cut the cake and pile on homemade ice cream that my grandparents made. And homemade hot fudge. My great-grandma's recipe.

That same weekend we took a trip to the JFK assassination museum in Dallas. My brother stood in the road, right where the X is that marks the fatal shot (seriously; there's literally a taped X on the pavement), to take a picture of the School Book Depository. From the car honks, it appeared the locals weren't too happy with tourists running into the middle of the street.

On Sunday afternoon before we left, my mom made enchiladas for lunch. Pretty sure I wanted to eat the entire dish.

And then my mom made us take a family photo. It took longer than expected to get us together. After finally getting an arrangement that worked for six people, we're going to have to figure out how to make seven work--since Jordan's officially part of the family now.

 So that was my Texas weekend. A lot of fun...and some good photo-taking opportunities.

And though this is not related in any way to the previous events, I really have to tell you about the most amazing pizza ever. I've been searching for a good pizza dough recipe that sounded good, and yesterday I found one buried inside a cookbook Jordan bought me. So I made the dough and then went to the store and bought some squash and zucchini to add to our other toppings: sausage, pepperoni, garlic, onion, and mozzarella cheese.

It. was. delicious.
The kind of delicious where you can't decide whether you want to eat it quickly so you can immediately get seconds or slowly so you can savor every bite.

I chose the former, mostly because I didn't want Jordan to get seconds before me.
I'm selfish like that.

{Also, I finished a few scrapbook pages over the weekend. Check them out here.}

On 31 Days of Blogging


Back in July, I set a goal of blogging every day in August. As I mentioned in this post, things just seemed to keep happening to me, which served as blogging material, so there were actually only 2 days out of 31 where I was worried I wouldn't be able to think of anything to write about.

Looking back now, I can say that this definitely made the whole thing easier, because having to fight for something to write about every single day would have been horribly annoying. Still, this caused me to wonder what came first--the blogging goal or the stuff that happened throughout the month. 

In other words: did things happen to me because of the blogging experiment, or because of the experiment, was I just more on the lookout for things to write about? Since the former doesn't make much sense, I'm going with the latter. Which leads me to wonder what sort of things I would find to write about if I kept up this blogging-every-day thing. 

But don't worry. There's no way I'm actually going to do that. 

So here are my conclusions:

I'm glad I challenged myself to post every day. Ever since I started this blog a year last May, I have wanted to choose a month and post once a day. However, now having done it, I can tell you that the most important thing I learned is that I am not the sort of blogger who likes posting every day.

I use this blog as my creative outlet--mostly to write about funny things that happen to me but also occasionally to post personal goals and sometimes to comment on serious thoughts. 

I realized that I did enjoy the challenge of forcing myself to write, and it was interesting to see what ended up coming out once I started typing. And I definitely don't feel like I coped out (even though I did use Wordless Wednesday to it's full advantage). I didn't even have to use any writing prompts. 

But though I would say it was a positive experience overall, I learned that to write a post I can be proud of takes time and effort, and realistically it's not something I can do every single day. I learned that I enjoy writing and I enjoy blogging, but I enjoy it when I write when I want to... and I can't see myself ever again desiring to post every day, at least for the foreseeable future.

So now I'm back to regularly scheduled programming. The on-again-off-again kind of regular. It's a good place to be. 

Flashback Friday--Jeans and Saxophones


Remember when I said middle school was not kind to me? Well that's obviously because I was still digging 1991-style jeans long after they were stylish (were they ever really stylish, though?).

Also pretty sure I'm rocking my Mickey Mouse watch that my grandma gave me for Christmas one year.

Oh yes, and let's take the attention off me for a moment and focus on my brother and his saxophone. This is one of the only pictures that exists of him playing it. Why? Because his musical days didn't last long. We still make fun of him for how bad he was...which sounds mean, I know. But he really was bad. He'll tell you that himself.

But really, can anything be worse than those jean overalls? 
I suppose only the fact that I remember loving them and wearing them everywhere.