Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Sissy is SO. SWEET."

A(nother) tribute.

My older sister recently had her second baby in June.  Her name is Kendall Jane and she has red hair just like her big brother. See here. My sister, brother-in-law and Hunter call her, "Sissy." She is precious. When my sister was pregnant with Kendall my roommate would often ask (in complete seriousness), "Do you think you will love Kendall as much as you love Hunter?" Now I know that this sounds like a dark question but my roommate has seen me talk about, blog about, email and skype with Hunter often. There is not a night in my house that goes by where I don't take out my phone and eagerly say, "Oh my goodness - look at this precious/ridiculous picture of Hunter." He still is one of my greatest delights.

But then came Sissy. I didn't think that a baby girl would behave much differently than a baby boy. But they really do. Sweet baby girls want two things: food and attention...and preferably in that order...which is exactly what adult girls want too but that is neither here nor there. Anyways - as I have spent time with Sissy I have learned one thing, "Sissy is SO. SWEET." (I regularly hear my sister say this to her while I am on the phone.)

So here is another tribute -- to Kendall Jane -- sweet Sissy -- you have stolen my heart!!!

"Oh, and FYI, it's going down this Thursday night."

(I wrote this in late August but didn't post it that night. I forgot that I wrote it until now. While everything below is still true a lot of the sadness has turned into excitement/joy! So lucky to call Kathryn one of my best friends.)

A celebration.

Tonight one of my best friends got engaged to an amazing man. I have been lucky enough to share a room with her the last 3 months as she transitioned from her lease ending on her apartment in Austin in May to moving to Dallas this past weekend. About a week ago I got a text message from her boyfriend that said, "Colleen - call me when Kathryn is not around. Don't tell her I asked you to call me." Every girl knows what this means. I gladly called him immediately, as she was not home, and he told me I needed to find out her ring size. Two things were happening in my head at that point: 1) Part of me was jumping up and down screaming like a 12 year old girl, 2) the other part of me was yelling at him to never call back and throwing the phone across the room. I know some of you are shocked by that -- but it's both exciting and sad at the same time to have one of your best friends move. I've been blessed to have her near for the last 3 years and by my side for the past 3 months. I was sad to lose her to distance but more overjoyed to get to help in the process of her being engaged to a man of great character. This is just a snapshot of things going on in life. There are changes happening all around. Really exciting things coupled with hard things....while engagement is happy, the loss of her here is sad. This same example has transitioned into all areas of my life right now: work, family, church, etc.

Through it all I have been reminded of one thing: Everything has its time. Night after night I keep coming back to Ecclesiastes 3 and reading it over and over. I hope this brings truth and encouragement to you all as well.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven: 
A time to be born, 
And a time to die; 
A time to plant, 
And a time to pluck what is planted; 
A time to kill, 
And a time to heal; 
A time to break down, 
And a time to build up; 
A time to weep, 
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, 
And a time to dance; 
A time to cast away stones, 
And a time to gather stones; 
A time to embrace, 
And a time to refrain from embracing; 
A time to gain, 
And a time to lose; 
A time to keep, 
And a time to throw away; 
A time to tear, 
And a time to sew; 
A time to keep silence, 
And a time to speak; 
A time to love, 
And a time to hate; 
A time of war, 
And a time of peace.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Oh yeah - the Berenstain Bears taught me to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom"

Recently our grocery store, H-E-B, has been promoting children's books. When I was standing in the checkout line I saw one of my favorites from growing up and naturally I had to buy it for my niece and nephew. The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food:
I re-read it just now as an adult and realized there was a lot of things I missed as a child. Turns out the point of the book is that Papa, Brother and Sister are eating too much junk food - so Mama takes them to Dr. Grizzly and they realize their body has all of these systems and they have to eat good foods in order to help their bodies grow...they go on to run a 5k together with killer matching jumpsuits then go back to the treehouse to snack on more raisins, carrot sticks and nuts.

Yeaaaaah.....didn't get that as a child. The reason that I HAD TO BUY it for my niece and nephew is that because when I was a child I LOVED to look at what kind of candy/junk food bears ate. I remember staring at this picture a lot....

And I would try to think about what kind of junk food that was equivalent too in what I liked to eat. And I just loved the colors and the idea that bears also liked to binge on junk food as well.

Alas, now that you know all about that you can imagine my delight the next day at work when I turned the corner from the hall to the kitchen and saw THIS:

You GUESSED it. Someone placed in the free-for-all area in our kitchen at work a GIANT BAG OF PEANUT M&M's!!!! (who is crazy enough to do that?!?!). Did I literally scream out loud in excitement possibly interrupting a meeting that was going on in the conference room next to me? You betcha. (In my defense I didn't know there was a meeting and it was just with two people.)

Call it unprofessional. Call it unreasonable. I call it ..... CAAAAAAAAANDY!!!!!!!!!!!!

p.s. I discussed this with my coworker on the way back from lunch one I just like to look at the Berenstain Bears candy choices and she said, "Oh yeah - the Berenstain Bears taught me to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom."...Then she went on a rant about how when she has guests she just DOESNT UNDERSTAND why they squeeze it from the middle. And then I got scared....haha not really. Then I understood why we get along so well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"That is an awesome quote - I think it should be plastered on every girls' wall!"


So lately I joined this site called Pinterest. And it has changed my life. I've become a better woman. Ask people.  One thing I love is that people post funny quotes on the site.  Below are some pictures that have left me laughing.

This picture below explains life well right now. For all of us. My friend forwarded me this picture.

Oh man. I laughed audibly just posting that pic...Ok this next one I found on Pinterest and it PERFECTLY describes my life right now. I will be upset about something or really stewing over it....then I'll go to bed - take a nap, whatever - wake up in the morning and there will be a total difference in me. Someone will ask me how I feel about the situation and I'll be like, "oh, yeah - that's over - I'm good now."
This next image is a bumper sticker I saw when driving down the road. And again, I laughed audibly. And every now and then I'll think of it and laugh out loud again. It just never fails to crack me up.

Mom - if you are reading this - I apologize for the swear word in the next picture. I found this on Pinterest and I LOVE IT because it is SO TRUE. I spent a large part of college and a year in highschool weighing much more than I do now and I feel this next image deep. When I was a counselor for 15 year old girls at camp we told them that whenever they said something negative about their body we, as counselors, would drop and do 10 pushups with the hope that they would realize how often they spoke negatively about their bodies and also that their words affect others. But also this picture is hilarious - because we all relate:

Final picture of the day, I ran across this image on Pinterest and I immediately stopped and just had to think about it. SUCH TRUTH. I immediately sent it to my friend/co-worker telling her that I wanted to put it up on my wall at home and she said, "That is an awesome quote - I think it should be plastered on every girls' wall!" 

I hope you have all laughed audibly multiple times reading this!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"I know what you never forget it."

A tribute.

So three years ago today I broke my leg. I didn't just break it...I broke it reaaaal good. Rod in tibia - 4 screws in leg.  A book that I love, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller, talks about living a good story and also centers around the parts that make up a good story. One central part he defines is the inciting incident and how that forever changes a person's story. Here is one of my favorite passages of the book, page 104:

"Robert McKee says humans naturally seek comfort and stability. Without an inciting incident that disrupts their comfort they won't enter into a story. They have to get fired from their job or be forced to sign up for a marathon. A ring has to be purchased. A home has to be sold. The character has to jump into the story, into the discomfort and the fear, otherwise the story will never happen."

When I read this part of the book I knew my inciting incident was my broken leg. Because really my leg shouldn't have broken...I was on a skateboard going REALLY slowly on a carpeted floor. It didn't make sense to anyone...but yet I had a lot of time to think about it...months on the couch. It is a big reason why I am in Austin - I had planned to head up to Dallas after camp to live with a girl and find a non-profit to work for...but as I lied on the couch for 3 months slowly the dream came back...what about political science? What about government?  What about trying that field again - one that had been marked with every rejection possible when it came to applying for jobs/internships/etc.

My broken leg has also taught me how to run. I never was a runner before. During the months after I broke my leg if I didn't spend time every day strengthening my leg it would hurt worse the next day. I would have a more pronounced limp, etc. So I cycled with a resistance of 1 for a month after my surgery -- then up to 3 -- then 9....then the elliptical for a year....then --- I could RUN. Wind passing by my face running. And at first it was a glorified walk, a 12 minute mile, an 11 minute mile, etc.  Which, when I look back on how I have had to pay attention to my leg everyday I see the bigger picture of how we address broken places in our lives.

I met a girl yesterday and mentioned in passing that tomorrow would be the 3 year mark of my broken leg...she had a similar experience and said, "I know what you never forget it."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Now that's an understatement."

And now: a rant.
Lately I have been flying a lot. When I was younger I used to LOVE to would get us some bubblegum (the good kind - Bubblicious) to chew whenever we took off and were up in the air so that our ears wouldn't clog...I loved every part of it....I loved putting my backpack through the "xray machine"..which you probably could have put a bike through back then and nothing would beep. I loved walking to the terminal with my family...getting on the plane. I loved turbulence and I REALLY loved (and still do) a bumpy landing.
This all changed for me sometime in my middle school years. I think the TWA flight 800 scared me a bit.  Not to mention once on a flight BACK in the day I was sitting next to a woman IN THE AIR reading the bios of every person that died in the crash. YOU CAN'T READ THAT STUFF ON A PLANE!!! And then maybe it got a little worse after 9/11. I remember one flight I was on a few months after 9/11 and there was some 40 year old muscle man in army pants doing lunges and punches into the air in the back of the plane...a girl about my age in the row over was staring at him and he would just tilt his neck and stare back at her...all creepy-scary like...and I thought to myself, "Oh yeah...this guy is charging the cockpit and we are done." The plane landed. No issue.
Flash forward to two years ago. I was on a smaller plane from Wisconsin to Texas and there was a bad storm over the St. Louis area and things out the window were getting bleak. I was watching our flight attendant like a hawk...he kept getting on the phone to talk to the pilots and when he put a seat belt on I knew we were in for it. Lets just say I SAW OUR PLANE GET HIT BY LIGHTNING!!!...then our plane started making a weird revving noise and going up and down (to the point you couldn't really feel how much or little the plane was going up and down). People were screaming, etc. It was traumatic...but clearly I lived.  Now to those of you out there thinking, "Well I read an article about how planes are engineered to have lightning hit them and they get hit all the time." Ok - do me a favor - get in a plane, get to 30,000 feet and see a horizontal streak of lightning touching the wing of your plane going back to where the engine is. And read the article again.
So anyways...I flew around the 4th of July this year and my plane that was supposed to take off at 9:00AM from Dallas didn't end up taking off until 2:45PM because they had to fly in a new plane as the one we were supposed to be on had unfixable mechanical issues....yessssss that is right...long. fun. layover. So when I finally got to my grandparents that night I was telling everyone the story of how I had a 7+ hour layover and how I wasn't the calmest flyer in the world to begin with. And my Grandpa goes, "Now that's an understatement." Niiiiiice.  So anyways, as I have been flying this summer I have had some ideas.
Ok - so you know that point in flying when you are throwing everything you own in bins and shoving them down long metal tables...taking off your shoes, undoing your belt, removing all the jewelry you didn't know you had on, trying to take any liquids out of your luggage (pending on which airport you're at), all the while making sure that your boarding pass stays somewhere you remember through the entire process of people yelling at you??? It looks something like this:

Yes yes. That is the moment I'm talking about. I think there should be photographers in that moment....kind of like when you walk into a theme park and someone comes up and says, "Can we take a picture of you and your group?" Ok - well this person would take a picture of you as you look RIDICULOUS and then maybe again on the flip side when you're walking to the nearest bench with your shoes in your hand..trailing your belt and purse/suitcase awkwardly and looking dejected and then they could send this picture to your loved ones and EVERYONE could get a good laugh. I think it would bank. I mean $$$$$$ BANK.
One final thought from my flight yesterday: Why would you bring tuna on a plane? Now I know I'm not reinventing the wheel with this happening to me because once on an episode of The Office, Oscar brought a tuna sandwich on the plane. But someone did it to me yesterday. And it took all I had not to stand up and turn around in my seat and yell, "OK SERIOUSLY --  WHO BROUGHT THE TUNA??? AND WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM!?" 

I have a few more stories...but I don't want to speak of them here. Ask me in person. I'll tell you. Say these three words: Emergency. Exit. Row.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"It's a big ol' cake and I can't tell if I can have it and eat it too."

I don't have anything to say really. Well, quite honestly I have a lot of great eavesdropping stories...but I can't talk about them here...but I'll just tell you this...after 7 months I have found out that one of my coworkers has a girlfriend. He is the Ron Swanson of the office...very mysterious...doesn't like you all up in his bid-ness, if you will....but he talks on the phone really loudly and I told him from the start - if he's going to talk that loud I'm going to be all up in his bid-ness. He handles it well...he will hangup the phone and yell across the hall, "So who do you think that was?...That was a weeeird phone call." And I'll let out a sigh of relief that he agrees it was a weird phone call and yell back, "Ok - I couldn't tell if it was a good family friend that you've maybe known for a while or your girlfriend or what." He'll applaud me for my good effort and get back to work.

Moving on...I came across this picture & article today and it left me speechless:

This boy and his dad were there for the first launch in '81 and for the last launch on July 8. My grandparents took my cousin and I to visit NASA in Cape Canaveral, FL when we were 13 and a love for space exploration has been burned into my soul. It's truly unreal to stand and look at a replica of a see how big the external fuel tank really know if a single screw is not tightened properly that the whole thing could blow --- it's amazing.

I'll leave you with this...I was talking to a friend today and he was talking about life and about how he really enjoys where he is but doesn't know if he will get to stay in the same location. And then he said, "It's a big ol' cake and I can't tell if I can have it and eat it too." He knew I would understand that analogy because of how much I love food. But what he was really saying is that there is this thing in front of him that he loves...but he doesn't know how long it will last and if he will really get to partake of all that he sees in front of him because things always seem to be changing....and his sentence has really stayed with me. I hope it's meaningful to you as well.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Whatever, I saw you wearing a visor doing yoga in the backyard last week."

Two words: singles. mixer. Yes - when you and your coworker decide on a Friday morning that "being yourself" at a singles mixer on Saturday night sounds like a GREAT yourself a favor and don't RSVP. So this is the story of me and two of my friends. One is a guy and one is a girl. The guy recieved an invitation to a singles mixer through his roommate's place of work but said roommate could not go because she is not single. So the guy convinced me and my friend to go.  We all decide it would be so fun - we wouldn' try - we wouldn't be nervous - we would just be ourselves and make it fun. This is all great in theory. I picked up the guy first on Saturday night and he had a look of dread on his face while holding a drink. He looked at me and said, "I dont want to do this, I've already started drinking." This was a relief to me as I hadn't been able to eat and felt nervous all afternoon. So then we picked up our friend and she was wearing the cutest white summer dress holding a bottle of wine. She got in the car and said, "Guys - I haven't been able to do anything all day...I've already had two glass of wine." We were clearly in great company. So we parked downtown and walked to what we believed to be the location of this singles mixer. Unfortunately, there are three condos owned by the same group that are all named the same thing located within about 3 blocks of each other. There was a guy in the lobby of the first building we walked into trying to get up to the party. I quickly realized he was trying to get to the same place we were. From his accent I could also tell he was not from the U.S. We all introduced ourselves and found out he was from Greece.  He spent most of the time talking on the phone to someone attempting to explain that he was clearly in the wrong place and yelling in the phone "No...street as in streeeeeet. Street as in streeeeeeet." The girl and I were leaning against the wall laughing nervously. Then another guy walked in that looked like he had just gotten off of the trail (showered but in all of his REI gear) and he was in his 40's. Awwweeesooome. Anyways - through a series of events we found the correct place and it was an AMAZING condo --- on the top floor of the building with a wrap around balcony on the corner of the building with a great view. The breeze was nice that night and there were two garage door like windows that opened to the outside. We mingled with people then met our favorite person of the night: John. See below.

Now look closely. Those are kitty cats...not wolves. And he was also wearing a fanny pack. He was a genuinely nice guy that was an "urban farmer." I mean...he really is an urban farmer. This conversation started out with an argument about how fresh eggs are the BEST thing in the entire world. A fresh fried egg will LITERALLY change your life. Lots of yelling commenced over whether or not you could actually poach an egg.  In the meantime our guy friend was trying to keep from vomitting all over us as he cannot stand eggs -- although he didn't show it during the conversation. The next thing we discussed: aquaponics...the use of catfish poop to hydrate the land in the midst of a drought. (These things really happened.) Other things discovered: the difference between urban farming and rural farming is that urban farming is just farming on a smaller scale. ..... ... .... ... You dooooon't say?!?
While talking to the guy wearing the wolf shirt about his fanny pack, John's roommate Ricky, who was also there ran back into the conversation and said, "I JUST TRADED A FEW EGGS FOR A FREE HAIRCUT!!!" This somehow led to a discussion about John wearing a visor a lot. Ricky apparently hates the visor and thinks it's about as on par with John's practice of yoga to which John replied, "Whatever, I saw you wearing a visor doing yoga in the backyard last week." Once that sentence was uttered I knew I had the title of my next blog post. The rest of the mixer was mostly like the beginning.
My friends and I left after about two hours of being at the party...we then went to a nice outside casual bar and proceeded to eat queso and discuss the following items: the amazing, awesome, infallible document that is the US Constitution, George Washington, George Washington's teeth, George Washington's death, George Washington's REAL death, was George Washington a freemason?, George Washington's SECOND marriage to Martha, Israel, religion, the book of Revelation, the UN, the IMF...and Obama. My friend said she woke up and said, "Did we really discuss how awesome the US Constitution is for that long?"

Yes. Yes we did. I will now leave you with a quote that she sent me that sums up our night of singles mixers and amazing conversations:

"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Sexy, beach hair"

So much to tell you about. My cousin got married and I was lucky enough to be able to stand up with her as a bridesmaid during their ceremony. But alas that is not subject of this post...I realized I needed to blog about a certain girl that I sat next to on the plane on the way to Indy when I got in the car with my cousin Meghan and said..."Oh, I sat next to this girl on the plane...and ugggh...she had a voice that carried." The light went on in my head and I knew I had a good blog.
So my mom and I get on the plane in Chicago...and unfortunately I was the person that picked the seat next to this girl. I sat in the middle and my mom was in the aisle seat. The girl was approximately 95 pounds, in her late 20's and was pretty.  My mom asked her where she worked and she told us how she manages Aveda stores (right mom?) in the Chicago area...but lives outside of Indianapolis with her fiance....but is from Ohio. Ok - so at this point in the conversation I'm liking her...she is nice enough...until she started talking about how she works 16 hour days and doesn't eat her entire shift because she is so busy that she does not notice she's hungry. Riiiiiight. I have a busy job too, girl - so does my mom....I still find plenty of time to shove approx. 4-6 cookies in my mouth regularly while on the job. (Exhibit A) Anyways, my mom started talking about tons of hair product things with this girl. I think the highlight was when the girl reached across me to touch my mom's hair and tell her what kind of product to use. My other highlight was when she was gabbing about how she gets, "sexy, beach hair" without washing her hair for a week straight by using some product...all this while her head is right in front of Lucas Oil Stadium on our descent into Indy...the whole time I'm trying to look around her head secretly yelling in my mind, "GIRL, MOVE YOUR BIG HEAD - THERE'S A FOOTBALL STADIUM TO SEE"...and she just kept moving...and with that....there went my chance to see the stadium from above.  *Sigh*. 
On a side note - my mom may be the best person to travel with...she is a counselor by trade and whoever sits next to her hits the JACKPOT. And you know why? Because they get approximately 1-2 hours of FREE counseling while on the airplane. And they all want it. On our flight back to Austin from Chicago (while both of us were on about 24 hours of no sleep I might add) I would doze in and out of hearing this man tell his life story to my mom...his dad's problem with alcohol...his wife's family issues. I mean...she has a gift. Start praying for an open seat on Southwest next to my mother now!

Monday, May 30, 2011

"Do you think we're going to die?"

My brother-in-law told me I have to post everyday. Naturally I do as he says. I'm sorry that y'all aren't getting any good eavesdropping stories but the only places I spend my time are at work and home right now. And I can't blog about either. So - here is a chance to again eavesdrop into my life.

Today is Memorial Day and the Legislative Session also "ended" today. So today everyone at the Capitol was at work.  Austin also has a triathlon every Memorial Day called the Capital of Texas Triathlon. The bike portion goes right down the street I work on and forms a loop between the parking garage I park my car in and our office building. So every other year I run across the street screaming like Miss Piggy when she is yelling at Kermit. I wont lie - I was looking forward to my crossing attempt (a police officer is "there" to tell you when to go but he kind of just stares at you like...."hope it works out for you"). In the meantime there are men on bikes worth thousands of dollars gaining speed down a hill, wearing their alien helmets showing no regard for the fact that you have to go to work.

Ok - so I had made it to the road and was watching to see when there would be enough of a break in the bikes so that I could begin my Miss Piggy yell/run when a woman - probably in her mid-to-late fifties with sunglasses on trailing one of those luggage/purse/briefcase things rolls up besides me and looks to the left at the upcoming bikes and says, "Do you think we're going to die?" I thought to myself..."Well, I'm not because I plan on screaming and running full speed across the street - but you probably will die trailing that piece of luggage across." I kept my thoughts to myself and said aloud, "Probably not but I promise it will be the most exciting part of our day." She then responded, "Please - the most exciting part of my day  is when I get to leave this place." Total maverick. Alas, we made it across the street.

And when I got to my office I found this waiting for me:
Aaaaah! It is beautiful isn't it? My coworker introduced me to the recipe last week and made it this weekend. If you look closely you will see a bottom layer of cookie - a middle layer of Oreos - and a top layer of brownie. And yes. It was delicious.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

"I feel sorry for you..."

My brother in law told me that if I don't blog soon he will un-follow me. So here I am. This time I will let you eavesdrop into my world for a bit.

About a week and a half ago I had a birthday. At one point in my office I had 3.5 dozen cookies, a dozen cupcakes, and an entire chocolate cake give to me. It reminds me of the story my mom tells of when my oldest sister was a little girl. My sister was being taken care of by another woman who had a daughter my sister's age.  They were in a park and were picking flowers. The woman noticed my sister just standing there and said, "Cara, why don't you pick some flowers for your mommy?" My sister responded, "Oh, my mommy doesn't like flowers - she likes food." Alas, the apple has not fallen far from the tree.

So when I left work on my birthday I put half of the cookies I had received in a container and took the other half home. On Monday I was sitting at my computer doing some work when someone came in to ask a question.  He noticed me picking away at my container that had about 6 cookies in it and made a comment that things must be pretty bad as I was eating a container of cookies close to 12:00PM (I still do not see the issue here). I went about my day ---STOPPED eating the cookies at some point I'm sure--- then picked them up again about an hour later. SAME person comes in...looks down to see that my container of cookies has dwindled from 6 to 2 and says, "Wow....I feel really sorry for you - you just pounded like 1,000 calories worth of cookies." Now this was shocking to me because I didn't think it was socially acceptable to comment on someone's cookie intake. ESPECIALLY if you are not a woman/best-friend/sister who is in the process of also "pounding" said cookies. But overall, it made me laugh. And for all of you taking score at home - eating 4 cookies in a row is not unusual. I didn't even feel it!

Fast forward two days. After my birthday someone also gave me a package of mini-butterfinger's. So I had one in the afternoon. About an hour later I was in my other friend's office stealing some Twizzlers with a coworker and he said, "OH MY GOODNESS WHAT IS ON THE BACK OF YOUR SKIRT?" Upon further investigation I realized that tiny orange pieces of Butterfinger were stuck all over the back of my skirt. Once I figured it out I said laughing, "Oh gosh - you do not want to know."....This made my coworker even more nervous so I explained to him that I had eaten a Butterfinger at my desk and I guess it had fallen in my chair and then I had sat on it and now I was walking around the office for who knows how long with pieces of Butterfinger plastered all along the back of my skirt. I could tell he was kind of relieved.

So there is my update! I hope you find as much humor in these stories as I do!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

"Is it....Collin?"

A tribute. This is my first post about a voice that has carried deeply in my life. And it is about a 2-year old orange-headed monkey.  He also responds to: Bubba, little man, baby, Hunter Ryan and Hunta Awney (as my sister tells me his friends call him). He is my nephew and a source of constant joy in my life. My sister has an iphone 4 and will make videos then send them to me.  Hunter loves making videos because he can see himself the entire time. He thinks he's watching a "baby" (although Allison constantly tells him that the baby is him). Anyways, there is one video in which he is saying funny things to the "baby", giving it kisses, and then he looks really close into the phone and says, "Is it Collin?" (Translation: Is it Colleen?). And Allison says, "No, that's not Colleen - that's have red hair like Colleen"....He thought I may be on the phone because they'll face time me from the phone)....The video goes on but I have it saved on my phone and when work gets long or difficult...or my day is long and difficult...I'll just pull up that video and watch it! So here's a tribute to Hunter Ryan - my love and my delight!

This is Hunter making a heart out of his hands!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"You never eat alone when you are an excellent eavesdropper."

I will now tell you about the situation that led me to start this blog and also post the status that, "You never eat alone when you are an excellent eavesdropper." So it was a Friday at work and all you need to know is that everything worked out so that I was left eating alone. I decided I still needed to get out and went to the coffee shop/restaurant about a mile away where my best friend is the general manager. I was frustrated that I was eating alone but I had a book so it would be what it would be. My friend asked me what I wanted to eat and I said, "Look - all I really want is french fries...y'all dont have french fries do you?" She said they didn't but that she could have them make some extra crispy hash browns and serve them with ketchup. So I went outside on the patio and sat at a table and quickly overheard three women talking - all eating their fresh salads and drinking water. 
I couldnt quite figure out how these women were related - one was in their late 20's, the other late 30's and the other late 40's. They weren't related, they weren't coworkers...I figure they were friends that get together occasionally or something. So anyways, they get on to this conversation of marriage. The oldest woman said that she couldnt believe she had been married to her husband for 7 years. "7 years!?" The youngest girl remarked, "Gosh - I cant believe you are look amazing." (She really did look amazing for 47 - more like 35.)  Anyways, then they embarked down this long conversation about how they just, "Were never one of those women that HAD to be married." This was a very interesting topic to my lone self sitting at a table eating an entire dinner plate of extra-crispy hash browns dipped in ketchup. What makes up one of those "women that HAVE to be married?"...(I think we all know the stereotype). I listened in closer to my salad-eating, water-drinking friends...The oldest chimed in, "My husband always talks about how desperate my sister is to get married...and she hasn't gotten married..." The thirty year old chimed in next, "It's like men can smell how desparate she is...I mean...I was happy to be with the guy I was with for about 8 years, but once we broke up it was fine...I didnt HAVE to be with someone...." 

Now this got my brain going...because I would initially lump myself in with the "women who HAVE to be married type." I listened in more...washing down my hash browns with lots of Diet Coke.  And then it hit me - wait a minute...I am an independent woman! I pay my bills, my rent, have a job that I enjoy going to in which I don't think I am a total failure at...and I have friends that I like to hangout with...I'm not the "HAVE to be married type." Then I realized that if I was never married I would never have children, a husband, an immediate family, possibly grandchildren someday...and THAT's when I started to think...OH MY GOSH I HAVE TO GET MARRIED!!!! This seemed to be a very alarming thought as "getting married" is not something to wake up one day and can't make it happen, pray it into existence or train for it as you do a marathon...So I was on this downward thought spiral when something caught my fact 3 things caught my eye...and those three things were the GINORMOUS diamond rings on each of the women's ring fingers.  And that solved the problem for me...because it seems easy to sit around and talk about how you never were one of those women who had to be married when you in fact yourself....ARE married. I laughed at the irony and went on my way!

Post script: I am really happy with my life...I am hopeful to get married someday...and generally cant wait for it....however, I am genuinely happy with where I am....marriage is not promised but I think it may happen someday for me...and no it wont solve all of my problems or complete me magically. But I think it will be good. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"Eavesdropping is nosey"

I used to blog.  But I found myself writing things and posting them on the world wide web that I regretted posting weeks later. I don't necessarily regret that I wrote the things I did...but I learned quickly that the interweb is not to be trusted with your soul. Lately, I have been inspired to blog by a co-worker: she blogs about the house she and her husband just bought and are fixing up. It is short, sweet, funny, witty and a nice short read.  So here I am attempting a blog that is short, sweet, funny, witty and a nice short read. I think I may already be failing.

So why, "Voices that Carry"? Well because I have learned two things in life so far: 1) I am an excellent eavesdropper; 2) People that have voices that carry generally annoy me.  All of you are nervous right now - that's ok.  I recently was eating at a restaurant for lunch alone (details aren't important) and I found myself eavesdropping to the conversation next to me...(blog post to come)...and so I put out a status that said, "You never eat alone when you are an excellent eavesdropper". I received comments back that said things from,"I like that" to "Nosey." 

So here we go - this is my attempt: to blog for fun about my daily eavesdroppings (which will never be work related - thank you also to coworker who pointed out a woman once got fired for that and now is running the blog full time...making tons of money). I will also be blogging about voices that carry...eternal things, sarcastic things, hilarious things and genuinely good things. I hope you find it short, sweet, funny, witty and a nice short read.