Tuesday, July 29, 2014

These Are My People

So it's a weekend recap a day late. Because my Saturday was so unbelievably perfect and wonderful, that it has taken me until Tuesday to get around to talking about it.

My entire entire extended family on my mom's side, with the exception of two cousins, were all together for a family reunion. All 7 siblings, 17 cousins, 9 spouses/significant others, and 11 great-grandchildren. Plus a few second cousins and 1st cousins once removed and all those fun things that I don't get.

The people I grew up with. My first friends and those who have known me the longest. Aunts and Uncles who treat me as a daughter. Cousins who act like siblings and friends. Best friends. My people.

With my beautiful Grandma at the center of it all.
My cousins- the people that I may only see once a year; some even less. But that doesn't matter. Because when we do get together it's like no time has passed. And we are back to reminiscing about our 10 year old selves laughing and joking and running around in the country (or riding little tikes 3-wheelers down an extremely steep hill....our favorite pastime). We range from 12 to 33, live from Hawaii to Iowa to Ohio to Virginia, high school students, college students, parents. But no matter the differences, we're family. My family.

These girls. My first best friends. 
My niece who loves peace signs more than an Asian tourist.
And the OU/LaVigne clan- of course the finalists in the family cornhole tournament.
We won't talk about the outcome....there WILL be a rematch.
My favorite people in the world- no doubt about it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Aunt-Niece Date Night

Last Saturday, I got to have a fantastic aunt/niece date. Miss Caroline, in her red-headed stubbornness glory, decided she wanted to go see a movie in the movie theater. Which would be her first time ever going to see a movie. And seeing as her mom was getting over major surgery and her dad was elbow deep in tiling and painting their bathroom, her Aunt Margaret and Aunt Kathryn were volunteered (willingly) to take her.

First stop. Dinner at Panera. Where Caroline ordered her favorite broccoli cheddar soup (I swear, that girl could live on soup alone). And terrorized her aunt's by running around like a wild child and jumping up and down on the bench in our booth.

Impossible to stay mad at this face.

Next stop. The theater. Where she got candy, popcorn AND a drink (pink lemonade. Child didn't need any caffeine).
Bright flash in a dark theater = eyes closed.
We saw Planes: Fire and Rescue. Which it was adorable. And Caroline even managed to sit through the whole thing. Kind of. We were sitting right up front so she kept standing up and walking towards the screen to see what color her Skittles were before she ate them.

She was scared of the forest fire, but snuggles on her Aunt K's lap helped. She also made sure to tell us that if we were scared we could just cover our eyes.

Movie theater selfies.

Monday, July 21, 2014


It's been a while since I've been struck with inspiration. But then I clicked on the article that has been floating around Facebook for the last week or so. The one about Colbie Callait and how she hates being photoshopped. Which included the video for her new song Try. So first...watch this. 

Why? Because it's amazing. 

You don't have to try so hard
You don't have to, give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don't have to change a single thing

I was lucky enough to grow up with a mom who not only was strong enough to not care about wearing makeup or having to be dressed perfectly or have her hair done every time she went in to public. I'm more lucky that she passed that on to me.

I'm not saying she looked like a slob or didn't care about her appearance. But she taught me that I was beautiful no matter what. That your makeup and clothing and hair don't really mean anything if you are a good person. And trying so hard just because of what other people think? Not worth it.

Take your make-up off
Let your hair down
Take a breath
Look into the mirror, at yourself
Don't you like you?
Cause I like you

The video. The words. The meaning. It all just makes me happy.

Hating how you look in pictures is a hard thing to overcome. But the pictures of myself where I'm laughing or have a goofy look on my face or am sunburned with messy hair? Those are some of my favorites.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Life According to my Camera Roll

Between the new job (yes, I know I started at The Orchestra over 4 months ago...but I did just switch positions again), a new house (no, we still have not unpacked everything), our pooch (she can be a bit of a handful sometimes)...not to mention the glorious summer weather and wanting to spend time with friends and family, my motivation to blog has been pretty non-existent.

But thanks to awesome lists of great blog post ideas, like this one from Kay over at The Best of Intentions- it gave me the boost I needed to actually post something!!

So without further adieu/bullshit excuses....the last 10 pictures I've taken on my phone (even better because I barely even have to write...)

Grapefruit Mead at Bottlehouse Brewing- an amazing little brewery close to our house!
Gorgeous flowers for my concert dedication on Saturday night
Spending Saturday night at Blossom listening to The Cleveland Orchestra.
Have I mentioned that I love my damn job??
Three tomato plants. And they are taking over the damn world. 
Husband face and our friend Dustin sound asleep on the couch after a long day of golf/drinking.
Thank you TimeHop for making me feel ridiculously old with this fun fact
Lucy loving her baby pool. 
And me loving Lucy's baby pool after a half day on Friday
Ultimate guard dog
Steak tacos with mango salsa for Sunday night dinner

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I woke up at 3:30 this morning having to pee. And climbed back into bed knowing I was going to have trouble falling asleep again because I was planning to go to the gym at 5:30. Thankfully, I dosed off quicker than I thought I would...but not before I started singing a little Alanis in my head.

And isn't it ironic....don't you think?

Well, these things might not really be ironic but they sure are a pain in my ass.

1. Waking up every hour on the hour on a morning when you have to wake up early.

2. Get in early to work. Plan to leave early from work. Stuck at work an hour late with last minute projects and tasks that inevitably come up after you have already shut your computer down for the day.

3.  Have a meal fully planned out. Cooking times are all wrong. Everything finishes at different times resulting in half the meal being cold.

4. The phone lines at work being completely overwhelmed making it impossible to call out when all I have to do today is make phone calls.

5. Having so much motivation to actually blog because I have this pretty new design that I want to show off. And having complete and total writers block. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cause I'm Happy

I know I just did one of these posts not that long ago. But ya know what? I don't care. Coming up with a list of things that make me happy is an awesome exercise. And well- it makes me happy. And obviously I wrote this on Sunday- unfortunately as you read this I'm sitting at work.

1. MY NEW BLOG DESIGN!! Courtesy of the amazing Brooks. So excited about it :) 

2. Lucy sleeping next to me on the couch. Where she has been for the majority of the day.

3. The rack of ribs that is cooking low and slow in my oven right now. My mouth is already watering for dinner.

4. June 30th = the last day of the fiscal year. And hopefully, maybe things will finally calm down at work! Maybe...

5. Snuggling up on the couch while the rain pours outside.

6. The fact that it is light until 9:00 pm during the summer.

7. Watching my dog attempt to climb on the couch. One of these days I'll get a video of it. But if she doesn't take a running jump, she seriously struggles, and it's hilarious.

8.  Our new TV. Which we broke in last night by watching HP1. And this morning with HP2. And probably tonight with HP3. Seeing a trend here?

9. When Doug refers to Lucy and I as his girls...normally along with the nicknames of Merchabutt and Doggie/Lubutt. I know, weird, but I love it.

10. Our neighborhood. We take so many walks around our neighborhood with Lucy. There are always people out walking their dogs or playing in the yard or having campfires and parties in their back yards. It's pretty awesome.

11. Doug and I spent the majority of our Sunday playing Mario Kart and Wii Party. It was an awesome day laughing and competing with each other. 

12. Air conditioning. When it's like 95% humidity outside.

13. Dawson's Creek marathons on Netflix. Even in season 1 where Dawson is overly emotional.

14. Hanging out with my nieces. Even with Caroline being a terror the majority of the time. And Nora refusing to take a nap- but looking so stinking cute crawling around with no pants on and lying on top of Dudley.
Not shown in this picture is her "Future Bobcat" t-shirt :)
15. Summer Shandy. Otherwise known as the perfect beer for a 90 degree (also see above 95% humidity) day. 

16. Outdoor concerts. Of any kind. Orchestra concerts start at Blossom this weekend. I'm going to have to go quite a few times for work. But instead of looking at it as work, I'm going to take advantage of the fact that I get to listen to a world class orchestra in a gorgeous outdoor setting! Doesn't hurt that we can bring in a picnic and a bottle of wine :)

17. Freshly dyed hair. We'll ignore the fact that it was largely needed to cover the gray hairs *woof* but it's darker and darker hair makes me happy. This 100% has to do with the fact that my eyebrows are black and look so much better when the rest of my hair is dark. 

18. The fact that my boss knows I don't drink coffee. So whenever he goes out and buys a Starbucks box of coffee for the rest of the department, he gets me a chai tea. Perks of being the assistant. Boom. 

19. A freshly mowed yard. And a husband who doesn't mind mowing that yard!

20. Awesome blog friends like Ashten from Always Ashten! But for real. Ashten just celebrated her blogs 1 year anniversary- and I'm so glad that I 'met' her through blogging. Because conversations where we talk shit about our respective college football teams and how much we love Harry Potter are the best. So here is a little Q&A to help you get to know just how amazing this girl is!

1. You just had a birthday (Woo hoo!! You make 30 look good!). What has been your favorite birthday celebration you've ever had- what age and what did you do? 

I recommend anti-wrinkle cream for the aging process...I started using that shit when I was 28 and it was a very good decision. And drink lots of coffee, always. The best birthday I've ever had was my 16th birthday. Three of my best friends planned a surprise party for me (and even invited my crush at the time) and made me the most amazing scrapbook, which everyone at the party signed. They really pulled out all the stops and it was the best party ever.

2. As a fellow uber-competitive girl, are you more competitive when you are competing yourself or watching your favorite team compete? 

I grew up playing basketball and this makes me the most competitive girl on the planet. Sadly a knee injury took me out of the game a couple of years ago, so now I have to settle for watching my USC Trojans compete or getting overly aggressive during board games. 

3. What is your favorite way to unwind after a long day or week?

After a long week/day of work I find that nothing is better than being in a dark, quiet room watching Cops or some other Netflix show. (I've recently started watching House of Cards, which is pretty awesome.) Anything that allows my brain to take a break and have a chance to just "be" for awhile helps bring me back to zero.

4. If you couldn't drink coffee (I know, I know...it's your nightmare), what would you order at Starbucks?

Oh you thought you stumped me, but NAY YOU DID NOT SUCCEED! Oprah Chai. With soy. IT'S DELICIOUS. 

5.  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Being away from the beach has made me appreciate it more. So, I say near the beach. In a beach house, actually. 

6. Marry, Eff, Kill. Tim Riggins, Matt Leinart, Leo. Go. 

This is like Sophie's Choice and I simply cannot play this cruel, cruel game.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Preventing Rumors

I woke up this morning feeling kind of like crap. Between sinus problems and that damn time of the month, I just felt blah and had no desire to move off my couch. But seeing as our fiscal year ends on Monday and my office is in a state of constant panic- I knew taking the day off wasn't really a good choice.

So I need to obviously preface this with a big fat NO, I AM NOT PREGNANT. But as I was getting dressed and ready to come to work this morning, I realized that people could easily see things I was doing and think "She's so pregnant." But again, I'm not.  Like really...I'm just making sure I emphasize this as much as possible to stop any rumors. NOT PREGNANT.

1. My stomach was just not a happy camper this morning. All I wanted was a ginger ale when I got to work. But telling co-workers that you have an upset stomach and want ginger ale first thing in the morning? Starts the rumors of morning sickness.

Couldn't find one that was the reverse of this. But this will do the job.
2. I'm wearing leggings and a loose fitting tunic. Because it's super comfortable and the closest thing I could get to staying in my pajamas all day. But as I stood in front of the mirror, I had the thought that it looked like a super "pregnant" outfit. Here's to hoping that none of my co-workers jump to the same conclusions.

3. Due to above mentioned sinuses, staying up late talking with my mom, and just not sleeping well- I'm feeling somewhat exhausted this morning. I made the comment "I just have no energy right now" to a co-worker, and she laughed at me for already being tired at 10:00 in the morning. Well crap, I realize that that sounded bad too!

Damnit. Apparently I'm just at the age where everything I do can be viewed as "Well??? Is she pregnant?"

No. No I'm not. 

You would believe me if you saw half bottle of wine I drank last night.