“I gave you my life so you’ll never be on your own…”

Sometimes life just sucks. Plain and simple. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, sometimes grief will consume you so deeply…sometimes you just have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I’m comfortable admitting how selfish I am. I know you’re always supposed to wish that this life ends peacefully for your loved ones, but no. Forget that. When life ends peacefully, it also ends unexpectedly. Those you leave behind have no warning and have had no time to prepare mentally or emotionally. The state of emotional chaos you leave in your place is at times unbearable for your loved ones. So many people use words like “gentle” and “sweet” to describe their grandmothers. I would use the words “sassy” and “fierce.” Everything about my grandmother was different, wonderful, confusing and lovely…somehow all at the same time. She let me watch Pretty Woman at just the young age of 5, of course fast forwarding through the most questionable parts of the movie. (Side-note: For the generation who’s never used a VCR, Google what fast forwarding means on a video. It’s NOT the same as skipping a chapter on a DVD. Actually, for that matter, if you’re in the generation who’s never used a VCR, you’ve probably never seen Pretty Woman. Get on Hulu or Netflix or iTunes and watch the movie. It’s fantastic.) My grandmother, or in our southern style, MawMaw, taught us how to play gin rummy before the age of 8. We built so many Lincoln Log forts, I’m pretty sure each wooden building block is worn smooth by now. She had a passion for reading – I’m so thankful she passed that on to me. She used to let me check out 10+ books from the library at a time…I dream big. She made the best spaghetti in our family, which is saying a lot since my mother remarried a true Italian man. Her apple dumplings were just divine. What I wouldn’t give for a carb-loaded, sweet bite of one right now.

Everyone tells you to be happy and find peace in knowing she’s back with my grandfather (PawPaw – I told you…true southern style) and she’s reunited with her parents and younger brother….no. I find zero amounts of peace right now. And you know what, I think that’s completely okay. One day I will…one day I won’t pick up her necklace and cry at the memory I have of her wearing it. One day I won’t stare at my phone at night, expecting it to ring with terrible, awful news. One day I’ll share her legacy with the next generation. But right now, today, it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, selfish. It’s okay to fall apart when it hurts. Not that she would’ve wanted sadness, but in her true sassy style, I’m sure she’d be hurt if we didn’t cry every once in a while…

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THIS is what true love and true happiness looks like…I can almost smell the gardenias looking at the picture.

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I’m so thankful she let me be myself. I owe so much of who I am today to this spunky, sassy, colorful woman.

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What a looker!

 

*Lyric Title: Nevertheless “Oh Child”*

“What’s my age again?”

Today I woke up with some intense cravings. Not the kind for cheese fries, and believe me I know those cravings, they come quite often for me…No, these cravings were for something so silly and trivial that I feel ridiculous obsessing over them right now. Curtains. I know, right? How anti-climactic. As soon as I said that, I laughed to myself and said, “Oh my gosh, I really am my mother.”

I woke up today to the gray haze of an early morning sunrise. We have these strange cloth-like blinds all over our house. The positive to these blinds: they were already in place when we purchased the home. It was an expense we didn’t have to factor in to our budget. The negative to these blinds: I hate the color. They’re a taupe-y, brown color. Which works for pretty much everyone, except me. I’m a gray-neutral person, not a brown-neutral person. This probably stems from my love of the color black, and my annoyance at the color brown. Anyways, these blinds. While they’re decent at blocking out the direct rays in the window, they don’t cover the entire window. There’s still a small area around the perimeter where sunlight peeks its bright, shining face through to our room. Ergo, my want/craving/desire to add curtains. I feel like such an old, married woman right now. So many girls my age are planning how much water weight they can hope to dispose of before wearing that uber-tight outfit clubbing Saturday night, and I’m getting giddy planning my weekend trip to Pottery Barn. Wow, when did I get so old?

To make myself feel better, I’ll take a trip to my local Barnes & Noble this weekend, because THAT’S not old and nerdy at all…am I right guys?

*Lyric Title: Blink-182 “What’s My Age Again?”*

“Mama said there’ll be days like this…”

It’s days like today I wish I was back sitting on Venice Beach enjoying a good corny dog and a beer. Instead, I’ll just stare at the pictures from our trip, reminiscing all of the wonderful moments and wishing with every ounce of my being that we could move someplace more beautiful than here…

To counteract my current negativity stemming from work, work and more work, I’ll edit pictures so you all can enjoy the sunny beaches of California with me. Feel free to dream along too.

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*Lyric Title: The Shirelles “Mama Said”*

“G-l-a-m-o-r-ous, we’re flying first class…”

First off, Happy Hump Day everyone. I so look forward to Wednesdays – it means I’m THAT much closer to the weekend. Pretty sure I’m not the only person who gets giddy on a Wednesday night. Pretty sure I’m also not the only person who walks around the office, poking my head in random cubicles saying “MikeMikeMikeMikeMike, what day is it?!” Thank you GEICO.

I digress – the whole point of this post was to give you guys the deets on some of our LA experiences. I’ll do this in number format to keep on track…let’s be honest, get a writer going and chances are, she’ll never stop.

  1. Two words for you: Christian Louboutin. In other words, the God of all beautiful shoes, the keeper of the red soles, the creator of shoes that fill women’s dreams at night….No, I didn’t meet the wonderful designer himself, but I did have my first experience at a Christian Louboutin boutique. As we walked up to the door, we realized you had to ring a doorbell, then calling an employee to come unlock the door and allow you to enter. Toto, we were DEFINITELY not in Texas anymore. The amount of swooning that occurred as I passed through those doors is just incomparable. If only someone had taken a picture…I walked around, dreaming of all the fabulous things I could do in these glamorous beauties. Finally, I settled on THE pair of shoes. I say THE pair because, let’s be honest, it was a dream to just take one box home with me. These were the winning babies:IMG_0554As we’re walking to the checkout line, my darling, adorable, loving, doting husband stops me. He asks me if I’m SURE that’s all I wanted while we were here. My heart stops – in my ears, all I heard was “honey, let’s just buy them all!” Really what he meant was that he had picked out a much more daring, eclectic pair that he wanted me to try on. Who’s going to say no to that?! Especially when they look like this: IMG_0547What do most girls do when they can’t make a decision? They buy both! Luckily my husband already knew this was coming…he was mentally prepared. Pretty sure the only thing I’m more obsessed with than my two new pairs of CLs is my hubs. He’s legit – every girl should be super jealous that I have him.
  2. Pauly Shore. Bio Dome, anyone? I wasn’t familiar with his comedic ways, but my husband sure was…we stopped at The Comedy Store on Sunset Blvd (right next to our hotel – The Andaz…super awesome by the way) and decided to stay for the stand-up routines. When Pauly Shore walked on stage, my husbands jaw dropped. Once he regained his composure – actually, he never really regained his composure. He sat there in awe the whole time. It was wonderful to see him in a state of shock and excitement. Pauly Shore wasn’t half bad either.
  3. The Factory Kitchen. This restaurant in downtown LA is fantastic! The hubs and I spent our 6th Valentine’s Day together at this new Italian hotspot. Wish we lived closer so we could go back – guess we’ll just have to start planning our next trip to the West Coast sooner rather than later. Along with the 2 beautiful CLs mentioned earlier, the hubs and I also purchased a new DSLR camera. It was a mutual V-Day gift, or at least that’s what we’re kind-of calling it…Before you all start feeling like this was a one-sided Valentine’s Day, let me mention the 2 hours we spent at Brooks Brothers on Rodeo Drive shopping for men’s clothing. Yes, we both spoiled each other this year. I would say YOLO, but no. I won’t do it.

I’ll share more beach/ocean pictures as I finish editing them. Until then, enjoy the happiness that comes along on a Wednesday evening. Hump DAY, YEAH.

*Lyric Title: Fergie “Glamorous”*

“…Upon this winter night with you”

So last Wednesday… while it started off as one of the best days of the year, it ended in tears and a broken heart. Three words can sum up my sadness: Winter Storm Pax. I received the email about our flight cancellation sometime after lunch. I could literally feel my heart snap in two. Suddenly a wave of tears came pouring out – I felt like a kid watching my mother leave me on my first day of pre-k. This was not a cute, “aw, I wish I could comfort her” cry either. This was a gut-wrenching, makeup streaming down my face, bloodshot eyes, sobfest. Long story short, I call my hubster and relay this devastating news. We conferenced the airlines customer service line together, and after 1.5 hours on the phone with an agent, we ended up booking 2 tickets to LAX. Cue the Miley Cyrus “Party in the USA” songfest. Though my pasty skin prefers the dark trench coat wearing ways of the northeast, I found myself heading for clear-blue skies and Hollywood. Little did I know this crazy, spur-of-the-moment decision would end up becoming our favorite trip. Ever. And that’s definitely saying something. Sneak preview into tomorrow’s post…A snappy duo of red shoe soles, Pauly Shore and the most wonderful Valentine’s Day.

*Lyric Title: Sarah McLaughlin “Song for a Winter’s Night”*

“In New York…Concrete jungle where dreams are made”

Today is a wonderful, fantastic, mind-blowing Wednesday. Today my husband and I are heading to NYC for 6 days!! I can hardly contain my excitement! Not only do we get to spend some quality time in a city I adore, but we also get to meet our newest nephew, Lucas. I’ve been waiting months to meet this handsome little guy, and I can’t believe the day is finally here! Oh yeah, and some quality time with my sister and her husband. Family time + Manhattan = pure bliss in this hot mess’ book.

Never have I ever loved any place as much as I love and adore Manhattan. Had I not met my adorable husband, I know a tiny >500 square foot apartment on the UES would be my humble abode. But, since I met the man of my dreams, our funky, quirky townhouse in HTX will have to do. I’ll just settle with traveling to the city that never sleeps. The city that gave us Jay-Z, Frank Sinatra and Lady Gaga. The city with some of the best shopping on the western hemisphere. The city with some of the best chefs/restaurants in the world. The city that will truly, forever hold my heart. 6:45 pm cannot get here soon enough!

*Lyric Title: Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind”*

“Where have you been, all my life?”

So….5 months later. Here we are again! My, oh my, what crazy things have happened in 5 short months. I’d say the biggest, most craziest change in my life is the decision I made to be healthier. I try to refrain from saying “get skinny” or “lose weight” because those phrases seem to always set me up for failure. I feel if I don’t lose 10 pounds easily, my diet has failed and I decide cheese fries sound so much better anyway. These are the confessions of an inner fat kid. I also tend to shy away from saying this is my “New Years Resolution.” It’s less of a resolution and more of a complete, holistic change in the way I live my life.

First major change: reduce Diet Coke count. Notice how I said “reduce” and not “eliminate”…no one wants to see me without at LEAST 1 Diet Coke can’s worth of caffeine/day. No one. My poor husband would turn around and run if he had to deal with that craziness. Maybe one day I’ll be able to fully eliminate Diet Coke from my everyday routine, but for now, reducing the excessive amount is a pretty great start!

Second major change: adding workouts to my daily routine. Yes, I did just use the word “workout” – my friends and family know my thoughts on this word. I’ve always been a firm believe in eating better/less and not necessarily working out. I dislike: sweating, panting, feeling like I’m going to die from lack of air, stitches in my side while running, etc. Literally, can’t say that I’ve had a strong workout routine since I was in high school under the strict watch of my best friend/dance team captain. 7 years, college, a marriage, 2 moves, and a career later, I find myself 30+ pounds heavier than I was in high school. Yuck. It’s time to get back in the swing of things…I may not be in my late 20′s yet, but my body doesn’t rebound from indulgences quite the way it used to… My trainer is a God-send. He’s just strict enough, and my goodness is he patient with me. I test him every time he sees me. This path would be exponentially harder without him. Stivan, you rock!

Third major change: love the life you’re living. Many of friends/family have heard me complain about where I live. My brilliant/wonderful/gorgeous soon-to-be cousin once forced me to find 3 things I like about my city…just 3 things. The first time she asked, I struggled to come up with 2 serious answers…when I say serious, I mean legitimate reasons. She quickly told me “It’s only 3.5 hours away from Dallas” doesn’t count as an answer…I’m now starting to challenge myself to find 3 things I love about my city and my life, every single day. Truly, it’s making me a happier person. Crazy how just a few things a day can change your entire outlook on life.

Follow me on this crazy path I’m embarking on…2014 is going to be a wild, hot-mess of a ride!

*Lyric Title: Rihanna “Where Have You Been”