Peter Cottontail Has Left the Building

It's pretty sad that Easter is three days away and there is not an egg, bunny or basket in sight around here. I have done nothing remotely festive or decorative to acknowledge Easter's fast approach. Who wants to come live with me, hmm?

I feel like Easter has deceived me this year and has totally sneaked up on me. Of course, I think I say that every year. Who gave Easter the authority to move its little ol' self around from year to year anyway? Can't our holidays have some stability?

Thank goodness Uncle Dan and Aunt Jerry sent us this adorable stackable spring chick otherwise we would be complete Easter losers. Isn't it cute? Please pardon the pink crinkly grass oozing out of the lids; stuffing it all back inside would require way too much effort on my part. The chick boxes are filled with oranges, cookies and jelly beans. Annelise has already tried to claim ownership of the jelly bean box and the cookie box. Smart girl.
Last night was Annelise's Easter program at school. The kindergarten, first and second graders all sang and the older kids acted out a short skit. Sadly, we did not get there in ample time to scout out and claim adequate seats that would lend themselves to photo documentation. Sigh. This was pretty much our view for the whole show. Pitiful, no?
Needless to say I took only two photos of the whole program and gave up in a huff of bitterness and frustration (totally our fault for not getting their earlier...kick, kick). I could have been rude and stood up from my seats to take pictures like some others did, not thinking about the people sitting behind me. But I didn't. I could have moved to the end of the aisle in the middle of the performances like some people did, possibly interrupting someone else's video-ing or picture taking and causing quite the spectacle. But I didn't.
I just enjoyed the music and the the occasional glimpses of Annelise's head or arms.
And made sure to snap a photo or two after the show.


Harry and Me

It's rather intimidating to see them all together forming a literary tower, isn't it? I don't quite know what came over me a week or so ago, but I suddenly decided I must work my way through all of Harry Potter's magical adventures.

And so I am.

I had read the first two books ages ago when they first came out, and then I somehow lost my magic groove. I remember liking them but not loving them, so Harry and I parted ways. This time, in the spirit of a complete effort (or addiction, you decide), I re-read the first two with fresh eyes.

I liked them more this time.

Now I am in the early stages of Harry number three (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and am completely hooked. I feel like I know the characters better and am loving JK Rowling's wicked sense of humor. The word on the street (even though I'm quite late to the Potter Party) is that each book is better than the one before it. Since the next books are quite hefty and require a substantial investment of time and energy to read each one's bazillion pages, I hope it's worth it.

I think it will be.

Are you friends with Harry too? Which book is your favorite? Who is your favorite character? Do you recommend the movies? (I'm planning on rewarding my literary accomplishments with the movie versions through Netflix)


Mourning Crystal Gayle

Don't fret, to my not so very vast knowledge Crystal Gayle is fine and dandy and is probably performing in Branson as I type.

However, I am mourning our resident little person's decision to say goodbye to her Crystal Gayle-like hair. Unlike Crystal's hair, it wasn't long enough to sit on, but it was still a lengthy ways down her back. Her long hair has been the epitome of little girl girlyness to me for, well...ever. Annelise had been begging for a haircut for months and her pleas had always fallen on deaf ears.

Until Friday evening.

Maybe it was a combination of her pleas, me noticing how scruffy and dry the lower half of her hair was, along with being slightly weary of brushing through her tangly rat's nest several times a day, that convinced me a change was in order. She wanted above her shoulders, I wanted well below her shoulders. Before I knew it though, this was really happening...

Annelise thought it was pretty neat to be able to share her ponytail with another boy or girl that needs it through Locks of Love. Snip, snip and it was GONE, baby gone.

Deep breath.

Don't it make my brown eyes blue?

Yes. Except my eyes are green.

Annelise thought it was all over and she loved it just the way it was, grinning from ear to ear in the mirror at her new, yet quite uneven self.

Thankfully the lady convinced her she wasn't quite finished and she would like it even more once it was shaped up.A few more snips here and there and instead of my long pony-tailed six year old, I was staring at a different child. One who looked instantly older. Who was this little girl?

Another deep breath.

She was beside herself with pure new hair-do joy! For the next few hours (until she fell asleep really) she was checking her new look in the mirror--or any reflective surface--and was mighty pleased with the results. And she woke up the next morning still enthusiastically in love with her haircut.

Mama is still taking deep breaths (it's growing on her).
Again, who is this little girl?

She's familiar, yet different.

Don't it make my brown (green) eyes blue?


Whoever she is, she looks so much older, way more mature.
Wait, I take that back.
There she goes, new haircut, stuffed cat (Kit), purse (one of my hand-me downs she claimed), rolling luggage and all on her way to visit Pappo and Grandma.
I hope they recognize her.


Five for Friday

1. Clearly I do not practice what I preach, as this photo documents me in not only the t-shirt I slept in but yesterday's makeup as well at 9:30 this morning. Yuck.
I've fallen victim to the very lazy habit lately of not washing my make-up off before I go to bed. I know that's not good, but I ignore the nighttime voice in my head that tells me to wash my face (hello, it takes like, two minutes!) I use the excuse that I (usually) didn't apply my make-up until the afternoon, so it's not really as long as it seems. How weak is that?

2. I did throw on my new favorite pants to take Annelise to school. They are the destructed boyfriend khakis (currently on clearance for like $17) from Old Navy and are oh so comfy.
3. (Me) "Psst...hey, Sadie, wanna go for a little walk?"
(Sadie) "Walk? Did you say walk? I'm your girl! Can we go now? Can we huh, huh?"
(Me) "Sadie, look at all the trees those nasty bulldozers have knocked down for the new development! Can you believe it?!?!?"
No response from Sadie other than aggressive grass sniffing.
(Me) "Where are all the deer going to go now? This hurts my heart! Everything is going to look so different soon. At least they're leaving a few trees in their wake of destruction."
(Sadie) "I think I smell a rabbit." (Cue more aggressive sniffing and leash yanking.)4. I had a momentary organizing-ish brainstorm the other day when faced with the jumble of jewelry living inside our bedroom armoire. I remembered I had a shoe organizer thingie that I had not put to good use yet (the shame!), so I blew the dust off the cover and opened it up. Even though the pockets are canvas instead of clear, it still works well to organize and store my necklaces and bracelets. It felt so good to make better use of completely unused space (the door to our master bathroom) and arrange my jumbly mess of jewelry so I can see it, remember what I have and use it. These over the door shoe organizers are so versatile! I use one for ribbon in my craft room and two in Annelise's closet for shoes and small/odd toys that don't have a proper home.
5. Hmm...I've got nothing else to share I guess. I was going to rant about being accosted in the car pick-up line yesterday for an impromptu, johnny-on-the-spot, child standing at my car window ready to hop in, first time play date. Excuse me? I know I'm sheltered (and I like it) and Annelise is therefore sheltered (and I like that too), but please correct me if I'm wrong, this did not seem like normal behavior (her, not me, I'm COMPLETELY normal, right?!?!) Yes, this is the same pushy mom, same child and the situation has never been resolved (my fault because I just don't know how to say no, I won't allow my child go home with someone I don't know very well without being rude, so I'm still stalling/avoiding, which I know is just as rude).
Well, I guess I ranted after all.

It's okay if you just want to slap me. Sometimes I want to slap myself.
Now I'm off to vacuum. Or read more Harry Potter. It's a toss up.
Have a fantabulous weekend y'all!


A Fashion Epiphany in the Pedi Spa {5 Steps to Fabulous}

As my toes were submerged in the warm, swirling whirlpool a week or two ago, some local morning show chatter on the flat screen TV caught my attention. A well dressed lady was hawking promoting her new style book and began to share her five keys to looking fabulous. On a shoestring budget no less.

At this, my ears perked up. Who doesn't want to look fabulous?

Since then, a few of her tips have been percolating around in my brain and a few I've tried to put into practice. Wouldn't you like to be privy to them too? Well, all righty then, let me give you the scoop.

1. Wear lipstick. Duh. She suggests a brighter color to perk one's face up a bit. I've recently switched to more nude colors and tossed most of my brighter lipsticks, so while I do always wear lipstick, I'm probably failing her very first tip anyway. Rats.

2. No matter your shape/size, accent your femininity (read: curves) by doing two simple things: 1) don't hide your shape under baggy, loose, ill-fitting clothes and 2) make the most of your shape by first, lifting *the girls* and accent your waist with a belt, sash, etc.

3. Black boring handbags should be against the law!! Don't ruin your overall look by carrying a BLAH bag. Choose a fun color and/or style that makes you stand out (not too far out, but not a wallflower either). Color is NOT a dirty word.

4. She stressed the importance of our footwear, how it can make or break your style. She said you can find comfort and style together, you just have to look a little harder for it. This rule is probably one I break all the time since I live in flip-flops, Crocs and ballet flats. She also said that we should treat animal prints as neutral, saying they go with everything. I'm going to keep my eye out (well, both eyes) for a pair of leopard or zebra print ballet flats.

5. Here's the one suggestion that really hit me over the head. The great thing is, it's EASY to do, you just have to think outside the normal fashion box. When it comes to jewelry, it's no more matchy-matchy. Did you get that? Stop matching everything up! Apparently that is tres BLAH and not tres chic at all. If you are wearing a warm color, then you must wear COOL toned jewelry, and therefore the reverse is also true, if you are wearing a cool tone, then pop it with a warm color. Be unexpected.

One of the ladies on the show wore a black and red dress, so she popped it with turquoise dangly necklaces and bracelets. The other lady was wearing a blue and green print dress and a chunky yellow necklace along with a shorter orange-ish bead necklace. And they both looked fabulous!

So that got me thinking. And noticing.

Almost all the outfits that I notice (and admire) whether in pictures or in person, they embrace the unexpected.

At the book signing I noticed a lady wearing a darling orange sweater and a green necklace. She looked great (and I told her so)--the green complemented the orange perfectly, yet it was unexpected. When I wear black tops I usually wear my red ballet flats, in an attempt to add a pop of color and be unexpected. Yesterday I wore a simple brown t-shirt, jeans and a denim jacket. Instead of reaching for bronze or brown jewelry, I tossed on an orange necklace and earrings just for kicks. Turquoise would be a truer cool color option, but orange was a fun splash of color.

I almost always dress casually but adding a bit of unexpected color seems like a fun and simple way to instantly spruce up an otherwise blah-esque outfit.

Be unexpected.

Try it, you'll like it. (Hey Mikey!) (Please tell me you remember Mikey too.)


Are You the Devil? {My LOST Thoughts}

So, um...I don't know about you, but I kind of want my money back after last night's LOST Ricardo/Ricardus/Richard fest. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't that great either, so I'm shrugging my shoulders and saying, "Eh."

We already knew Richard came to the Island on the Blackrock, so last night filled us in on how he came to be a slave in the cargo hold of the Blackrock. In Spanish. For most of the show.

Again with the shoulder shrug and the,"Eh."

I mean, Richard's okay, he loved his wife, he had some seriously bad luck, got the nail out, lost the nail, met MIB, pledged to do MIB's dirty work (kill Jacob with the special dagger before he says anything at all), switched to Jacob's team, made a wish to live forever to avoid hell and became Jacob's representative.

Another shrug and an, "Eh."

I did like learning more (though just a teeny-tiny bit) about Jacob, MIB and their severely dysfunctional relationship. I also liked seeing Hurley act as go-between for Richard and Isabella, that was really sweet.

But I missed the dynamics of the whole cast, or at least the two sides, moving the story along.

No offense Richard, but I want the whole LOST enchilada.

What did you think?


Fashion, Fame & The Cheesecake Factory {or the best Saturday in a loooong time}

As Saturday morning dawned clear and crisp three very excited women left their respective sleeping families and took to the highways and byways on a very important mission that was three-fold.

Since the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize, we made our first stop at THE BEST PLACE ON THE PLANET:
If you have never experienced the joy that is Sam Moon, well, my heart hurts for you. Imagine a warehouse stuffed floor to ceiling with every possible pleasantly priced (read: cheap) accessory known to man. Or woman actually.

When Heather's car tuned into the parking lot, it was like the mother ship had called us home. Needless to say we were a giddy trio.

2.5 hours later (yes, you read that right), after scanning most aisles at least once, others at least three times just to make sure we didn't miss the perfect necklace or bracelet, hemming and hawing over colors and styles and cackling like socially starved maniacs, we bid Sam Moon adieu.

Not only did I go crazy for cheap costume jewelry (orange, turquoise and pearls were the hot items of the day), but I also found a good belt for jeans, another skinny belt for cardigans (at least that's the plan in my head), a cutesy monogrammed "H" insulated travel mug, a cutesy monogrammed "H" hard clutch wallet and a cutesy hot pink & lime green polka dot lunch kit for Annelise (she was beside herself with glee).

It was a good day. I might still be a little high from the shopping adrenaline and laughter.

We did not let the rain deter us (even though we looked a tad disheveled after running through it) from the next phase of the day, the book signing at Barnes & Noble.

We had a little time to kill after purchasing our books (I only purchased Francine's new book since I've already been reading about insecurity) , so we settled in at Starbucks for a little chat and yummy sustenance.
We soon made our way upstairs to wait for the signing to begin. We were in group 3, but the wait wasn't too bad at all since each grouping was small. We could hardly stand it though because we were soooo excited to meet Beth and Francine!

Heather took a last minute potty break while Kim and I kept our spots in line. Imagine our surprise a few minutes later when we glance over and see Heather walking back with Beth herself, chatting it up like they were old friends!! It was hilarious! Our jaws dropped to the floor and we waved at them like gleeful idiots I'm sure.

First we met Francine Rivers and had her sign our books. She was so kind to let us pose for a picture with her as well. She writes historical Christian fiction and I highly recommend Redeeming Love and the Mark of the Lion trilogy.

Notice all of our Sam Moon bling? Don't you LOVE Heather's splash of orange and Kim's quirky silver pearls?
Then, gulp, it was our turn to meet Beth Moore!! Let me just say not only has she been blessed with numerous talents which she uses in women's ministry and to glorify God, she is the cutest little thing ever. Ever.

Since we have done several of her bible studies over the years (highly, highly recommend you do them too), meeting her in person was such a treat! I think we may have scared her just a bit with our over the top enthusiasm and random comments. We felt the need to tell her we had gone to Sam Moon--she said she could tell, Heather let her wear her orange necklace for one of the pics, we told her about our love for flamingos and pink boas, Kim showed Beth her scripture journal--which Beth autographed, I mainly grinned like a loon and giggled. We waited and went through the line twice so we could take more pics with her. She probably thought we were out on a day pass, but was sweet and well mannered enough not to say so.
I almost didn't post the pics that included me because I was none too pleased with the results, but decided to girl up and get over it. The irony of Beth signing her new book So Long Insecurity and me nitpicking myself to pieces was not lost on me, nope, not at all.
Here are Heather and Beth:
I don't have (yet) a photo of Beth and Kim or one of our group shot. I'll add them when Heather and/or Kim upload their pics (hint, hint, nudge, nudge).
Next up was a little more shopping (um, Ann Taylor LOFT, why are you so proud of your stuff right now? C'mon, mark some stuff down and make a girl's day!), which led me to a life changing moment.
I don't know what came over me, but after reading that PW wears Banana Republic skinny jeans and says they are skinny jeans for real (not skinny) bodies, I gave them a whirl.
She was right. Of course.
Thanks to a 30% coupon I am now a convert to the skinny jean. My mind is still reconciling itself to this fact, but I will say they are super comfortable and Heather and Kim gave them the four thumbs up, girlfriend squeal of approval, so I went with it.
We ended the day with supper at our favorite place, The Cheesecake Factory, choosing the smaller Factory Chopped Salads so we would have room to share this...
Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake and Red Velvet Cheesecake were, of course, to die for and the perfect ending to the perfect day.
I hope my skinny jeans will still fit.
Stay tuned...I'll be back later this week with a thinking outside the fashion box type post.


Five for Friday {The Spring Break Edition}

1. Some mornings it is all Annelise can do to stumble out of bed, walk ten steps or so, collapse on the rug on the stair landing and gather her morning wits about her. This can take a while.

Some mornings I feel her pain. Thank goodness this year the ridiculousness, otherwise known as the spring forward time change, coincided with our Spring Break. We've been able to pretty much ignore it so far what with our staying up later and sleeping in with true slothlike ambition and style. I hope Monday morning isn't a cruel slap in our face.

2. This Spring Break we had no plans. Zip, zilch, zero. It was perfect. Annelise was content to do this and that, play outside, watch TV, play inside, whatever. Did I mention it was perfect? Since she's still young and blissfully ignorant of the fact that some parents plan elaborate vacations or detailed, action packed days with stimulating activities for each and every hour of Spring Break, she has no expectations, so therefore no disappointment.

A lazy day at home topped off with dinner and bowling with friends that night? She declared it the best day EVER. A rainy day filled with playing indoors and watching movies? A treat! Working in my classroom at church and a trip to the grocery store? What more could a girl want? We did plan a family outing Thursday followed by a sleepover at Pappo and Grandma's house and she declared it the best day EVER, again.

I'm so thankful she is easy to please.

3. These photos are proof of our extensive St. Patrick's Day celebration:

Do you think we went too far?
4. The other day Annelise got some mail, which is always an exciting event around here (hello, did you not just read about our over the top Spring Break and St. Patrick's Day?), and she ripped the envelope open with glee. Then she realized it was a bill.
Sort of.
Turns out her gift subscription to National Geographic Little Kids magazine has ended and they sent a renewal notice directly to her. A six year old. She emphatically asked for me to renew it for her since it only costs $15, to which I quipped, "Well, maybe you should see if you have $15 in your piggy bank."
Cue crickets chirping.
The next day, Scott and I were tickled to see this appear on the kitchen counter:
She was a dollar short, but Scott wrote out a check anyway.*
5. And, finally, guess what I will be doing this Saturday? As in tomorrow! As in I am soooo excited I might not sleep tonight!
Making two new best friends, that's what! Wait...that might sound stalkerish and creepy. Well, my two best girlfriends and I will at least be taking photos (prepare yourselves) and asking them to autograph their new books. I'll be back next week with all the scoop.
*We sneaked the $$ back into her piggy bank. We aren't complete coldhearted Scrooges unmoved by a certain six year old's desire to stay current on all the exciting animal *news*.
Have a FABULOUS Friday my friends!
Was the time change a cruel slap in your face?
Do you plan lots of things for Spring Break? (I promise I won't hate you if you do)
Aren't you jealous of our St. Patrick's Day festivities?
Have you read any of Beth Moore's or Francine Rivers' books? If so, which one is your fave? (I just finished Francine's Reedeming Love and of course, LOVED it--in like two days, couldn't put it down kind of loved it. I plan to re-read A Voice in the Wind soon, and work my way through the whole Mark of the Lion trilogy.)


We Ain't Taking the Plane, Freckles {My LOST Thoughts}

While not as emotionally draining as last week's episode, I still enjoyed last night's Almost-All-Sawyer-All-the-Time episode treat, otherwise known as Recon. We were teased with a few more clues, peeked into Sawyer's Sideways life and the Island story moved painstakingly along. I don't know about you, but I am ready for a few more reunions (hello, just how long do we have to wait for Jin to find Sun???) and a little more action. But I'm not complaining, since there are now only 8 episodes left (getting out my sackcloth and ashes now) I am savoring each precious one.

In Sideways World Sawyer is a policeman and Miles is his partner. Apropos, no? The two closest to being criminals in the Island timeline are tasked with preventing crime. Did you not fall on the floor laughing when he gave the go word "LaFleur"?!?!?

Didn't Charlotte look gorgeous? Seeing her all glammed up instead of spewing blood was a nice twist. Too bad she stumbled across his secret folder instead of a t-shirt. It was sweet he tried to make amends, but puppy dog eyes and a sad sunflower (and a six-pack) weren't quite enough to win Charlotte back.

Love that Sawyer the Cop still reads!! About bunnies!! And time travel!!

And that he eats watches Little House on the Prairie!! I didn't think I could love Sawyer more, but now I do.

Sawyer the Cop is still tortured by his past and is obsessed with finding Anthony Cooper. Nothing new there. Glad to see him tell Miles the truth, moments before the car they were sitting in was rear-ended. Sawyer, being the upstanding policeman he is, ran after the hoodie wearing car crasher, who turned out to be, of course, Fugitive Kate. Sweet.

Back on the Island, FLocke gathered his team around in front of Crazy Claire's nest and tried to reassure them he would answer any questions after they took advantage of the daylight. It seemed like a cross between a corporate team building exercise and a Kumbaya campfire moment.

FLocke sent Sawyer on a recon mission to Hydra Island after confessing he was the smoke thing. Why Sawyer you ask? Because he's the best liar FLocke ever met. And that's saying something isn't it?

Crazy Claire attacked Kate with a scary knife, while an amused Sayid looked on and offered no assistance. Oh Sayid, what has gotten into you? Oh yeah, EVIL. FLocke rescued Kate, scolded Crazy Claire (could someone please get her some bi-polar meds and a hairbrush pronto?), told Kate that in fact he was NOT a dead man, and explained to Kate the problem with crazy mothers causing their children to have, ahem, growing pains.

Like turning into evil smoke monsters wreaking havoc and leaving death and destruction in their path?

So...was FLocke warning Kate so she can keep Crazy Claire away from Aaron? We'll see.

Poor Kate, one minute Crazy Claire has you pinned down with a knife at your throat and the next she's sobbing in the jungle, begging for forgiveness and y'all are hugging it out. That falls in the Too Much category.

I didn't trust Zoe from the start, I'm glad Sawyer saw right through her as well. Will Sawyer keep his agreement with Charles Widmore? Will he keep his agreement with FLocke? Is he just playing one side against the other and ultimately looking out for #1? Will he really help Kate leave the island via the submarine?

I don't know. Yet. He is the best liar ever, you know.


Rock, Hard Place, Ball, Court...and Me

Did you know that I H-A-T-E feeling like I am in between a rock and that proverbial hard place (whatever that means)? I also H-A-T-E having the ball in my court, especially when it's a ball I don't want in the first place.

In a nutshell, I have been cursed with a fresh, new playdate situation that might require more Xanax. How do I get myself into these things? Oh yeah, I'm a parent. Of a very social six year old girl. At the last classmate's birthday party (remember the one with the snake charmer?), one of the moms cornered me and put me on the spot about arranging a play date between our two daughters.

I was caught. Cue deer in the headlights position. My brain checked its files and came up with no plausible excuses real-time. I responded with my usual vagueness (it's a defense mechanism), which did not deter her at all. She pushed some more. Before I realized what I was doing, I nodded and asked if she had my phone number. She did.


Didn't she know this is a BIG fat hairy deal for me? That letting my daughter go over to someone's house I don't know very well pushes me close to the edge of the very scary ledge called sanity? Didn't she pick up on the fake smile, sure, yeah, sometime...nervous laughter that meant no way jose, let's just let this one die a quick death signal?

No, she didn't, because now there is a phone message on our machine asking me to call her back so we can arrange a play date. So far I've done the extremely mature thing and have not called her back yet (from last Thursday).

I know, I am a small, small woman. With passive-aggressive control issues.

See, I am absolutely A-OK with letting the little girl come over to our house to play. Playdates here are great. It's the next play date that will most likely involve allowing Annelise to ride home with and PLAY AT BASICALLY A STRANGER'S HOUSE that freaks me out.

Can you tell?

How do I play that scenario? Without offending the mom, of course.

Help. And I'm shamelessly begging.


I'm a FashionOrganista

Not really, but I'm pretending to be one on my blog.

You know how on one day you can pop into TJ Maxx and nothing strikes your fancy? Not. at. all. Then, since you are a true Fashionista Wannabe, you can go back to TJ Maxx on another day and strike a shopping cart gold mine?

Somehow a cute blue and white Talbots casual skirt that just oozed summer popped into my cart along with a pair of Seven for All Mankind jeans. Granted, the Seven jeans may be knock-offs made in a garage down Mexico way, but they look *real* and fit nicely, so I'm pleading ignorance to how a usually priced $100+ pair of jeans can sell for $24.99.

I also fell head over heels for all the embellished shirts and ruffle-y drape-y vests Well, I'm not sure if they are vests, but they are so going over my T-shirts this spring and summer anyway. See?

As if TJ Maxx wasn't enough, Old Navy has lots of cuteness on special now too. Annelise begged me to take her picture with all of the freaky plastic people, so I did, and so why on earth does it look like it's absolutely killing her to stand there next to the chipped plastic dog? Hummph!

They have a ton of cute skirts that will be perfect for summer on special right now for $15, so run, don't walk to your nearest store to pick up one or three like I did, m'kay?

Last weekend I had a small dose of organizing ambition, so I attacked my side(s) of the closet. Two big trashbags of clothes for Goodwill later, this is what it looks like:
It might be hard to tell, but I tried to hang most of my shirts by color. On the right side are the greens and blues and on the left is still kind of a hodge podge of dresses, skirts, and miscellaneous blouses/tops.

Over here are more shirts grouped in their happy color families and on the lower shelf are more skirts. I realize now I have gone a tad skirt nutso.
And that's where the somewhat organized part stops. Here are the shelves where all of my running shirts/tanks, shorts/skirts, layering tanks and miscellaneous t-shirts are neatly stacked crammed within an inch of their lives.

If that didn't send you crying for your mama, well, then take a peek at my shoe shelves.

I used to have my shoes in labeled plastic shoeboxes, but now I have this. Truth be told, those labeled shoe boxes are upstairs filled with shoes I haven't worn in three years. I really need to purge them and reuse the boxes for this rat's nest, don't I?
Something else you might not see is the fine layer of powder (both baby powder and Coco Mademoiselle dusting powder) coating most surfaces and/or exposed shoes, but believe me, it's there. Since I get dressed in the closet and do my powdering up in there, this is a never ending battle.
I'm keeping my eye out (okay, both eyes) for inexpensive baskets to better contain some of the clothes and miscellany currently stacked willy nilly on the shelves. I'd also like to invest in better clothes hangers (we have a major hodge podge of cheap plastic and even some "I Said No Wire Hangers, Christina!!"), but I always talk myself out of spending $$ on hangers.
So I can go back to TJ Maxx and Old Navy, of course.
Fashionista trumps Organista. Again.


A Defining Moment {Fashion vs. Pride}

You know those moments when the plan in your head fights it out with reality and you have 2.5 minutes to leave the house? Those are moments that can defeat you or define you, depending on how you choose to handle them.

For example, let's flash back to one of those moments Monday morning as I was preparing to leave the house to drive to Huntsville for my uncle's funeral. Let's also flash back a wee bit farther to Friday afternoon when I was at Target and deciding between two sizes of an uber cute dress marked almost 50% off.

As I attempted to zip up the awkward side zipper Monday morning, and had to call in Scott for additional zipper technical maneuvers, I realized I had made the wrong call between the two sizes. Now I was in one of those defining moments and had to make a decision between fashion statement, pride and personal comfort. It was also almost past time to leave the house.

Knowing me as you do, what do you think I did?
That's right, I tossed on an elbow length sleeved lime green cardigan, since the dress was sleeveless and to disguise the fact the evil side zipper was barely 3/4s of the way zipped. Add some long pearls, ballet flats and I was set.

Then I had the perfect opportunity to practice my shallow breathing techniques and tried not to hyperventilate as I crawled my way through Houston rush hour traffic in the rain. Fashion, of course, had won.

Or maybe pride was the victor after all.

What would you have done? Have you experienced a defining fashion moment where you've had to make a tough call?


It's Dr. Linus, Actually {My LOST Thoughts}

I can't believe I'm actually typing this, but here I go anyway...I *heart* Ben Linus.

There, I said it. Are we still LOST friends? I hope so.

I have been creeped out by him, seethed with anger because of his manipulations, desperately wanted Karma (or Ol' Smokey) to bite him on his hiney, but after watching last night's episode of LOST, simply titled Dr. Linus, I wanted to give Ben a hug. A big ol' bear kind of hug.

The realization that Ben Linus may actually have a soul after all has thrown my little brain for a loop (yours too?), so this week's LOST thoughts (you know, my random observations, quotes and questions) will have to be in something of a list format (pretty much like every edition of my LOST thoughts).

So, without further ado, here we go...

"I'm fine. Thank you." (Ben, doubled over gasping for air after running through the jungle away from the temple, to Ilana.)

How appropriate for European History professor, Mr. Roger's cardigan wearing Sideways Ben to be teaching his class about Napoleon's devastation over losing...what was it? Oh, yeah, POWER.

"It's Dr. Linus, actually." (Ben to Principal Reynolds after being told he must give up History Club in order to babysit delinquents in detention, delivered with a well known sinister tone and evil glint in his eye)

It was rather fun to see Arzt again, all together in one piece, wasn't it?

Substitute Locke casually suggesting (planting a seed of dissension? stirring up mutiny?), in between bites of his sandwich, that Ben should be principal.

The correlation between Professor Ben's concern for the students and Mastermind Island Ben's misguided attempts for ultimate power on the island was all throughout this episode. Loved that.

Oops! Island Ben was caught in yet another lie, thanks to Miles. C'mon Ben, the jig is up, time to fess up. And, I'd watch out for Ilana, she's got your number, dude. And a rifle.

Of course, I was happy to see Sideways Ben taking care of Roger (the Work Man), his father, instead of gassing him in a Volkswagen van.

It was also very sweet to see Dr. Ben tutor Alex and encourage her, even later sacrifice his own ambition to help her have a better future than he.

So, do you think Richard was a passenger on the Black Rock in the 1800s? The way he touched the chains inside the ship made me think Jacob had freed him from being a slave--to only become a slave to the Island and Jacob.

Did you notice Chaim Potok's book The Chosen inside Sawyer's old tent on the beach (next to the girly mags, of course)?

Poor Ben, having to dig your own grave must be quite humbling.

"What are you gonna do? You're gonna write me a check on this banana leaf?" (Miles, to Ben. I *heart* Miles too)

Did you not fall off the couch laughing when Hurley asked Richard if his non-aging was a Terminator thing, if he was a Cyborg or a vampire? Richard calmly explained, "No, I am not a Cyborg" (As if someone from an 1800s slave trader ship living on a magical island for hundreds of years even knows what a Cyborg is.) Richard also explained that Jacob gave him a gift. Apparently when Jacob touches you, it's considered a gift...or it might be a curse.

"You know, you really had me fooled with that sweater vest. Linus, you're a real killer." (Arzt to Dr. Ben after making a deal for a better parking spot and lab aprons.) And seeing the smug look, complete with a tiny smarmy smile, on Dr. Ben's face was classic.

"Jack, dude, we gotta go! Guy's crazy, and I know crazy!" (Hurley, as Richard and Jack settle in for a little chit chat over a steadily burning fuse attached to mega-unstable dynamite.)

And then Jack, laughing, asks Richard if he wants to try another stick. Oh the close-call-rendezvous-with-death-gallows-humor! (Stop it!)

Hmm...FLocke/Smokey doesn't want Ben to die after all. He wants Ben to play on his team.

Suddenly freed, Ben makes a run for it with Ilana in hot pursuit, while over in SidewaysVille, Dr. Linus makes his power play, and is faced with a very tough decision regarding Alex. Then, back on the island, a desperate Ben tries to explain his dastardly actions (also regarding Alex) to Ilana.

That's when my grinchy Ben heart grew nine sizes too large. As a tearful Ilana forgave him and assured him he was welcome to stay on her team, I forgave him too. And when Dr. Linus listened to a joyful Alex tell him about her glowing letter of recommendation from Principal Reynolds, told her he would see her at History Club at 4:00 and watched her walk away with a peaceful look on his face, I wanted to reach through the TV and give him a hug. A big ol' bear hug.

There is hope. There is forgiveness. There is redemption.

And Dr. Ben gave his parking spot to Arzt to boot.

The closing scene on the beach was absolutely perfect, wasn't it? Yes.

However, the submarine that looked like it was a toy in a bathtub was a little ridiculous. What is Charles Widmore up to now?

Now if only ABC would please stop reminding me there are only 9 episodes left, to the tune of Leonord Cohen's Bird on a Wire, because I just can't take it. I prefer to live in blissful denial, with my head stuck in the island sand like an ostrich. Thank you.

What did you think?


Joseph, Seven Miles and Buckets of Snakes

Hold on to your hats, I'm about to throw at least two well established rules of blogging out the window, you know, the good ones like 1.) be concise and 2.) have one topic per post. Oh well, rules were made to be broken, right?

Friday evening Scott went to a men's retreat at our church so Annelise and I had a mama and daughter date with Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat. Can you believe I have NEVER seen it? Nope, never. Isn't that pitiful? (Yep.)
A local church put on a fabulous production (and it was free!) so we absolutely had to go check it out with some of our bestest friends.The cast was mainly teens, but they were all outstanding performers. The singing was great and the songs were so funny (I mean who can resist a Pharaoh dressed like The King himself and calypso singing sons' of Jacob? Not I!)Everyone had a fabulous time! We then finished up the evening with frosties from Wendy's, which was the perfect ending.

Thankfully, it was not too late a night because I had an important appointment Saturday morning, one that I had not kept in an embarrassingly looooooong time. That's right, I got up at 5:00 am, laced up my running shoes and met my running group at the school for a brisk morning run. I can't remember the last time I had done that, probably not since August (head hung in shame).
I am ecstatically proud to say I finally broke through the 3 -4 mile self-imposed mental barrier and ended up running, wait for it...
SEVEN ding-dang miles!!!

Can you believe it? It's been forever and a week since I've run that many miles at one time. I told myself I would do 5, maybe 6, but since it was a cool, clear morning, the stars were all aligned and I was feeling good, I ended up finishing 7 (which is what the training schedule asked of me anyway). Can I get a WOOHOO? Thanks ever so much!
I jumped a hurdle not only by finishing a longer distance, but just in the simple act of getting up and getting out there, which can be one of the hardest things to do when it's not part of your regular routine. Now I feel like I am somewhat on track for the half marathon next month. Still though, gulp.
While Scott spent part of Saturday at the other half of the men's retreat, Annelise and I went to a birthday party for one of her school friends. It was a dinosaur/reptilian type themed party and they even had a snake charmer!
Okay, maybe not a snake charmer per se, but a lady with buckets of snakes. She shared some cool snake facts and then passed around real live snakes. She started with the teeny tiny brands,which were kind of cute. The boys and girls each had a chance to hold them (or wear them--eek!) if they wanted. Annelise held the first one, but as they progressively grew in size each time the lady opened a new bucket or bag, Annelise only watched.
After, oh, I'd say ten different snakes or so, this big guy was the closing act. Shiver.
By that time Annelise was so over the snakes and had moved on to the food buffet. A few of the kidlets sat through each and every snake presentation, but many had lost interest after the fourth or fifth one. Even though the snake charmer was a really cool idea, I can't say I blame the five and six year old party crowd being ready to move on to the next party thing, because I was right there with 'em.

Have you seen Joesph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat? Can you believe I finally ran more than 3 or 4 miles at one time? Where do you stand on the whole snake issue?

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