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Wednesday, October 29, 2014


My baby girl Miss Austen turned six this past Saturday. I can't believe it. I know every parent says that, but they say it because it's true. I remember the first time I saw her and how I just had a feeling. Since that day she has been my constant companion (except when I'm traveling, thanks Mom!) and confidant. She can be ridiculously sweet and monumentally annoying, but all she has to do is look at me, wag her tail and I will forgive anything.

I call her Miss Austen, Miss A, Baby Girl, Ba Ba, and Missy A. All variations that have their appropriate place and time. She will eat anything, even glass. She's super nosy and has a great memory. My house does not feel like a home when she's not in it. I simply love her oodles of noodles.

So despite the fact that all I wanted to do after a loooooong week (I know I sound like a broken record at this point they all seem to be long these days) and a show Friday night was sit on my porch in my pajamas and read, I wanted her to have a fun birthday. Mom and I took her to brunch where she could sit on the patio and then headed over to the mall so she could walk around and explore. Then she was serenaded with Happy Birthday by our Church Hill family at a really fun dinner (Thanks Aunt Pam and Uncle Mike!).

Then mommy was tired and she had a bourbon.....:)

Love you baby girl, happy birthday!

Monday, October 27, 2014


Trust is very important. In everything. Relationships, work, your Dr., your barista.....everything. I don't trust easily, never have. A friend says it comes from my partial cold, eastern European roots. The one time in my life I jumped blindly and trusted implicitly I got burned,  so note to self. But trust is also a hard term to quantify and articulate in some cases. It could just be a feeling. Or more to the point a bad, nauseating wave of emotion that you just can't place. That's your gut talking. You know something isn't right but you justify and overlook, accommodate and tolerate because of one reason......

You're scared.

A few weeks ago at work we had communications training. I'm not sold that it's a skill that can actually be taught to someone who lacks it, but I always find the exercises fascinating because I love discussing human nature. What stood out for me? The Trust Triangle. Well, stood out is the wrong term. What made my mind explode, will help me assess relationships in the future and articulate every concern I have from now on with anyone till the end of time...including my barista? The Trust Triangle.

Care, Competency and Consistency.

Three little words that will change your life, because if one of the three is missing, you can't trust someone. The instructor framed it like this.

My teenage son is a great driver. He was wonderful while we practiced and they stopped the test early because he got so many questions right. So when he would ask I would let him borrow my car. After a while, I noticed he stopped taking his football gear out of the car and it would stink up the car and leave it dirty. I mentioned it to him but he kept doing it. Then he started texting me at 11:55pm saying he was "on his way". His curfew was 12am. Then the text would come at 12:10am. "On my way". 

It was very clear a) he didn't care about the state he returned the car to me in and b) he wasn't consistent and missed his curfew. So I sat him down and said I didn't trust him anymore and he couldn't borrow the car. It was a calm, rational way to explain it and a clear way for him to understand which areas he needed to improve upon to gain my trust again.

This may not mean a hill of beans to you, but it really helped me and I wanted to share. Trust doesn't come easily when you've had someone let you down. Despite this, somehow I know that there are other people out there that won't. This has already helped me sort out my feelings about certain situations and assess things better so I'm taking care of myself and not worrying so completely if another person is ok. It's a two-way street though, so I hope it will also help me not become so defensive if someone has feedback for me. I hope I can see my behavior in this context and identify where I can get better as well if it's warranted.

And if communicating your concerns to your barista in this context doesn't work, just dump the poorly prepared latte on their head and inform them you're going to another coffee shop in the future.

Friday, October 24, 2014

It's Friday, Love

{ The whole neighborhood is getting ready for Halloween and I love it }

Didn't manage to get an It's Friday, Love post up last week, was swamped at work, so this one is for the past two weeks. Great stuff going on, but OMG TGIF! The band has a show tonight at Crossroads in case you wanna join, and this weekend I have tons to do at the house to get ready for my annual Halloween costume party next weekend! See ya Monday!

{ I can't even remember what was in these meatballs but they were amazing }

{ Big work event that went awesome }

{ An unexpected layover in Baltimore }

{ Met a handsome man }

{ Apparently when I give a presentation I look slightly drunk }

{ Still haven't been to the Forbidden City Exhibit at VMFA,  but I did look at the preview book at the bar }

{ Finally got my curtains up in the kitchen!!!!!!!!!! }

{ Old Bay croutons and seafood chowder.....yum }

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Root


  • the part of a plant that grows underground, gets water from the ground, and holds the plant in place
  • the cause or source of something

Lets tackle these one at a time and start with number two. I'm feeling lazy and I would only like to participate in activities involving a blanket. What is the cause or source of this meandering onslaught of sloth? Fall. It's so dark, who cares if it's 8:30 I should go to sleep. I could order out but that would mean a phone call and waiting, nope too much activity. I'll roast something! Or as I call it, cuisine for lazy people.

Most of you aren't novices so any favorite vegetable will do. This particular day I had carrots and leaks on hand to accompany rice and leftover curry chicken. Yummy. Roasting is easy. Lay said vegetables on a baking sheet, toss with freshly-ground pepper, salt (I used Hawaiian) and good olive oil. Then as my friend Marie says......wait till it looks like they're dead then take them out. If they still have a breath left in them they stay in. I waited till these puppies were nice and DOA and then enjoyed!

Now number I originally wrote this ridiculous root/water metaphor but it was too cheesy even for me. So what I'll say is that lately I've been watering myself a lot (I know that sounds creepy but it's a metaphor just go with it and it's a heck of a lot less ridiculous than what I originally wrote). 

Happy roasting and happy watering.......

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Wedding

I've always loved weddings....

This weekend's celebration for my friends Brad and Shaunna was no exception. What a wonderful night, and to make it even more special it was the band's first wedding show. My favorite moment came when Brad and Shaunna were dancing. He picked up their dog Elroy and they all danced together. I had to choke back tears so I could keep going. I also had the honor of singing Patsy Cline's You Belong to Me for their first dance. I hope one day I have someone to dance to that song with too. 

Congratulations you two crazy kids we love you.....

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bourbon Neat

After working for the better part of the weekend and Columbus Day I needed a drink. I needed to relax. I needed to give my brain a rest. I needed to exhale. I know its a movie, shut up. Here's my recipe for bourbon, neat.

Step 1: Pour yourself a bourbon. If you're lucky like me, you have a bottle of Eagle Rare recently acquired from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfurt, KY. I love bourbon. It's warm and sweet and rolls of your tongue like simple syrup that's just received it's provenance. It burns as it goes down. Just a bit, letting you know you're still alive.

Step 2: Turn these pesky devices off! Absent the pings, rings and bells that accompany these co-dependant devices, the sounds of nature will be jarring to your delicate constitution, but you'll get used to it.

Step 3: Look up, the trees are kind of pretty and tranquil. Soak up the vitamin d while you can!!!

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Step 4: Look down. The leaves are pretty too. Oh god there's soooooo many leaves and you haven't raked any of them. You are such a bad homeowner...LOOK UP, LOOK UP for the love of god look up!

Step 5: Flowers don't have to be picked up and they are also very pretty....ahhhhhhhhhh.

Step 6: Light a candle that smells like fall. This one in particular smells like what a weekend away in a cabin smells like. I love it in every way possible.

Step 7: Enjoy your bourbon. Think of something frivolous. Think of something wonderful. Think of something sad. Think of something that needs to be thought of so your mind can rest.

Step 8: Close your eyes, lean your head back and exhale........