Thursday, April 29, 2010

Oh Nerves, Why Do You Do This To Me?

Without saying too much, life is crazy for us right now, and if nervousness made me money rather than always feeling like I am going to throw up, I could be so freaking rich! My current nervous tendencies, which don't involve flying, speaking in public, or any other thing that spikes peoples' greatest fears, will be revealed to you shortly. But seriously, this crap is affecting my life and my writing skills. As you can tell, all I've been able to do is pop out a questionaire this week! It will be a few days until we meet again, and hopefully, I'll have something better to say.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Would You Rather???

It's been too many days since I have written, but to tell you the truth, I haven't had much to write about unless you want me to vent about how much playing the waiting game sucks. I promise I'll spare you! I've been so busy lately! I worked 50 hours through last Saturday and we took a small road trip south on Sunday and came back yesterday evening for me to start my 10 hour a day work week all over again. Okay...I'm hearing crickets and I know it's time to quit with the whining! I'm lucky to be working! So since I don't have much to report and since it seems to be a trend with some of my favorite bloggers, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and answer a "Would You Rather Quiz" just so you can get to know me a little better! Isn't that what you always wanted? Q. Would you rather be popular for 5 whole years or have the greatest friends ever? A. Is both an option? Q. Would you rather have super powers or have Christmas never end? A. Super Powers as long as I don't have x-ray vision and can see people naked! Q. Would you rather drink 1 gallon of ketchup or 1 gallon of mustard? A. Mustard-it goes with everything, especially popcorn & fried fish Q. Would you rather be prom queen or have a super cool and good looking boyfriend? A. No one cares about prom queen, but every girl is jealous of a hot boyfriend! Q. Would you rather have 500 tarantualas crawling in your house or 1000 crickets jumping around your room? A. What kind of question is this...crickets please Q. Would you rather have a third leg or a third arm? A. Third arm definitely, think of all the multi-tasking I could do! Q. Would you rather meet the Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus? A. Miley. I would ask why she hasn't fixed her teeth and what is it like to be Billy Ray's spawn. Q. Would you rather eat 25 hot dogs or jump off a 50 ft. high tree? A. You're not even supposed to eat more than 5 hot dogs a year! Besides, I have super powers anyway, so I would definitely be jumping from that tree! Q. Would you rather ride in a car going 90 mph and ride off a 30 ft. cliff or ride in a car going 30 mph and ride off a 100 ft cliff? A. I guess either way I would die, so I'll take the shorter cliff and get it over with. Q. Would you rather eat 5 rotten cheese slices or lick a dirty toilet? A. Considering Michael is in charge of cleaning toilets, I'll take the rotten cheese (who thought of these questions?) Q. Would you rather be queen of the universe for one year or get what you want for one year? A. UMMM...wouldn't you get what you want if you were the queen of the universe? Q. Would you rather have 100+ friends who are OK or have 3 best friends who are great? A. 3 best friends Q. Would you rather live as a dog or as a cat? A. If I had a life like Scarlett's, then definitely a dog! Q. Would you rather go to a wild concert or a relaxing spa? A. Spa...I've got an appointment this Friday!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Plant a Tree
Happy Earth Day everyone!
In the spirit of this 40 year celebration, I thought how perfect would it be to take Mr. Lindsay's advice and plant myself a little tree!

Problem...we don't own a house, and we don't have a yard

Solution...plant a tree in someone else's yard

How...The Arbor Day Foundation makes it easy to buy & ship trees online

Plan...Buy and send a tree to my mom who has just moved into her first very own house. It's the cutest little place with two acres, which means she has more than enough space to plant a few trees. Plus, each day she can look out her window at the tree and think of me!

How perfect! I'm helping the planet and giving my mom a housewarming gift with a beautiful tree!

After going back and forth between a couple of trees, I decided on a Red Maple. It's fast growing, deer resistant (utmost importance), and beautiful in the fall. The best part is that it only costs $16.95 with tax and shipping!

Besides planting a tree, here are 10 easy ways to Go Green:

1. Save energy by washing clothes in cold water and switch to flourescent bulbs.
2. Take shorter showers.
3. If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat costs a lot at the store-and it's even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs.
4. Skip the water bottle.
5. Buy second hand products & furniture from Craigslist, garage sales, and antique stores.
6. Check out books at the library instead of buying new ones.
7. Recycle old reports and papers at work.
8. Keep electronics longer, and recycle them properly.
9. Make your own non-chemical cleaning products.
10. Unplug appliances when you aren't using them or get a "smart" power strip.

More ways to conserve can be found at World

It's not too late to celebrate Earth Day, so get up and go plant a tree!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Say Thank You

Today, we celebrated Administrative Professionals' Day, so to all of you Administrative Assistants out there, I hope you had a wonderful day at work today!!! As part of my job, I serve as an administrative assistant to the department managers and Board of Directors at the club I work for. But today was my day as well as a day for the two other assistants in our office, and I must say what a good day it was.

First of all, my my hair cooperated all day and I didn't even have to put it in a ponytail! I also have on a new dress that earned a few compliments throughout the day. Looking put together always makes me feel good, so that started my day off on a high note.

We were treated to an over-the-top three course lunch at the club complete with a Greek Salad for the first course, beef tenderloin, salmon, & shrimp for course two, and lemon-strawberry bavarian creme for dessert! I specifically skipped the bread and butter so I could devour every inch of my dessert. Even better, our management staff presented us with a $75 gift card from Fresh Market as a way to thank us for our hard work.

It feels awesome to be appreciated by the people I work for and work with, but I can't help but think about the other staff members who don't get praised enough. What about the ladies I work with who were serving me lunch, what about the chefs who prepared my lunch after dealing with the health inspector today and who make us lunch every day for our employee meal, and what about Bill who washes our dishes before he eats lunch every day?

I have a lot to be thankful for, and although today was about thanking me for doing my job, I want others to know I am grateful for my job and for the people I work with who make my job easier.

It never hurts to be grateful; in fact, it feels pretty damn good to let people know how much you appreciate them! After I got back to my desk, I sent a simple email to our chef and let her know how much I loved lunch. Her response let me know how happy my gratitude made her. She and our kitchen staff work harder than anyone in the club, yet they are often overlooked.
I don't tell the one's around me enough how much I love them and am so thankful for them. I definitely need to thank them more often!

It's Never Too Late to say Thank You

It takes so little.
Yet it means so much.
Make the effort.
No matter how late.
Mean it.
Say it generously.
It lifts spirits.
It maintains friendships.
And seals love.

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Have Fun I don't have enough fun. I can't tell you why really, but for someone who isn't tied down with children or with lots of obligations outside of work, I really don't have enough fun! What I do have a lot of is EXCUSES! But I'm working on it I promise! I really am trying to relax and have more fun with Michael while we have all the time in the world. I want to live a life with no regrets, and I am lucky to have a husband who wants to go along with me on the adventure! This weekend I had a lot of fun! Michael and I and a group of friends he met at UT enjoyed a fun and relaxing (well...for the most part) weekend on Norris Lake. We are very lucky that our friend Andrea's parents allowed us to stay at their lake house and use their boat. The weather was perfect, and the lake was gorgeous. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the most easy going gal when it comes to traveling with a big group. Those of you who know me most are thinking NO, really? You...uptight? Ha! I know! But I will say that this was one of the most fun times I have had with a group of friends. Everyone chipped in and brought fabulous food, and we had such a great time lying out on the dock getting sunburned, cruising around in the boat, drinking by the fire, and watching the boys jump off cliffs into the freezing water. Of course it wouldn't be a vacation with this group without a good story to tell! Max dislocated his shoulder early Saturday morning on his first wakeboarding run. He, Michael, and Andrea spent 4 hours in the La Follette hospital. Michael couldn't go in the room with Max and Andrea, so he spent the afternoon reading waiting room magazines and watching infomercials while the rest of us soaked up the sun. I felt so bad for them, but I think they had their own adventures. Too bad Michael decided to shave off that monstrosity on his chin, or he really would have gotten some looks in the emergency room. Michael with a Fu Manchu and Max in his wet suit! I'm so glad Michael and I decided to go to the lake this weekend. I got to know everyone a lot more, and I am glad we all got to spend a weekend together before everyone gets jobs and moves all over the U.S. This weekend made me realize, I need to have more fun!

Cruising in the boat! Check out Max's sweet arm brace!

Michael jumping off the cliffs!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Michael's Makeover!!!

Last night, Michael took FOREVER in the bathroom! I was so tired, and all I wanted to do was go to sleep, but no, hubby decides he wants to shave and shower at the last minute. Not a big deal except for the fact that our upstairs bathroom is tiny, with little more than a pedestal sink for both of us to share. If one of us is in the bathroom, the other one is not allowed. Ahhh I can't wait for the day when we graduate to a master suite with double sinks! So I sat patiently on the bed watching HGTV while Michael groomed himself last night, and all I could think of was, "What is he doing in there?" Seriously, I watched an hour of TV before I got the chance to enter the domain. Finally, I'm brushing my teeth and washing my face while Michael finishes up his shower. I'm all ready for bed, Michael gets out of the shower, and reveals to me what took him so long. Behold his tansformation!

To torture me, he says he is not going to shave it off for a few days in hopes that some of the hair will fill in at the top! I look like I'm married to one of the members of The Village People!

At least I get to share my life with a man who has an unbelievable sense of humor! But I can't keep a straight face when I look at him!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Cuddle Someone

Michael, I will warn you now. You will be rolling your eyes before you get finished reading this!

Michael used to be cuddled every day. I used to be cuddled every day. Now Scarlett gets cuddled a thousand times a day!

Every morning I wake up and she is the first thing I grab onto and cuddle. When I go to bed she is the last thing I cuddle. Yes, I am a proud dog spooner! Michael constantly teases me that ever since she came along, I love him about 30% and Scarlett 70%. We better not ever have children because he will be lucky enough to claim 5%!

He talks a big game like I'm the only one obsessed with our little cuddle baby, but who does he turn to first thing in the morning? Not me! The first words out of his mouth are "Good Morning Sweet Pea," and that's not my nickname!

At least we both can agree 100% that we love our dog more than anything, and cuddling her brings a lot of joy and love in our lives. I can remember when we first brought her home, I wanted to send her back for about two months. I had never been responsible for anything in my life, and I casually overlooked the fact that owning a dog meant putting up with frequent potty breaks, potty accidents, whining, chewing, and constant attention! I am so glad I waited it out because I don't know what I would do without her! She is the second love of my life but the #1 cuddler in my life! If any of you have fur babies of your own, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Michael, I promise I will make a conscious effort from now on to cuddle you more in the mornings!

A family cuddle (sort of) I'm still the main cuddler!

Life without touch is hollow.
Cuddles transmit love.
They give warmth. And hope. And trust.
The feelings flow back and forth.
A cuddle can make someone's (Scarlett's) day.
It can even save a life.
Cuddle generously.
And often.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Listen to the Birds

Birds are such sought after creatures that they have a whole society of human beings who devote their lives to watching them. There are stores for bird lovers, books for bird lovers, trips for bird lovers, clothes for bird lovers, and special bird watching binoculars for bird lovers.

I'm not a bird lover. I'm not even a bird admirer. I think birds are kind of gross, especially crows, pigeons, and vultures. And don't forget seagulls! YUK! Birds are friggin scary too, just thank of Mr. Hitchcock's famous movie!

I haven't had too many positive experiences with birds.

I had a bird poop on me once. I was a little girl playing on the playground at school, and a bird shit on my shoulder. I wore dried up bird feces on my shoulder until my dad came to pick me up that day. The bird poop incident obviously scarred me because that memory crossed my mind several times years later when we were planning our outdoor wedding. Wouldn't it be horrible if a bird flew over me the instant I said "I Do," and it pooped all over my wedding dress?

When I was a teenager, we had two parrots. Not at the same time, thankfully! This was a seriously bad idea that spawned from one of those stuffed parrots you could buy at toy stores. Do you remember those? When you turned it on, you could say something to the bird and it would repeat it and blink its eyes. My dad got one for some reason, and it made him think he wanted a live bird that he could train to talk. It didn't take our family very long to realize that training a bird to talk isn't all that cool when bird speak comes with squawking, squealing, and skank. Our second skanky parrot named Smoky had an anxiety disorder, which caused him to pull out his feathers. For some reason, we kept him in the dining room! Mom, if you are reading this, maybe you can explain why! So here we were, the proud owners of an axious feather-pulling bird who spit out his food all over our linoleum floor and pooped from his perch every night as we sat down for family meals.

When Michael and I moved to Australia, I was shocked at all the wild cockatoos and cockatiels in Melbourne. They outnumbered the students at the university I attended. Back home, we would pay hundreds for these squawking monsters, and they were everywhere for the taking. I'm glad I didn't get pooped on because these are some big birds! We had a few cockatoos that perched themselves outside our window, and as pretty as they are, you would think God would have given them a beautiful voice to go with their looks. Think of the worst hacking, screaching noise you have ever heard and times it by 100 decibels!

Though I'm not a fan of birds, I can see where Mr. Lindsay is going when he says It's Not Too Late to Listen to the Birds. There is a beauty to many of them, and I do find myself appreciating the sound of birds in the early days of spring because I know it means that the world is finally coming alive again. But my bird love quickly ends there. Let's just say, I don't think I'll become a bird watcher any time soon.

Monday, April 12, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Dance This weekend, I had two awesome opportunities to shake my booty! On Saturday night, my friend Elizabeth and I saw Mama Mia at the Tennessee Theatre. What an amazing show! Nothing I say could ever do this musical justice, but the music is so good you can't help dancing and singing the whole time and the actors are so dang funny! If you ever have the chance to see this show, GO!

My sweet husband made us dinner before the show. We had homemade eggplant parmesan!

On our way to the show! I know I wasn't supposed to, but I snuck a picture of the cast at the end.
On Sunday, Elizabeth and I got together again for the first-ever YMCA Zumbathon in Knoxville. I first started doing Zumba when we lived in Hot Springs, Ar and Elizabeth has been doing it as long as I have known her. Though we haven't taken classes in a while, we signed up for the Zumbathon because it was a great way to have fun, work out, and raise money for charity. So on Sunday from 2-4 pm we danced 'til we dropped with two straight ours of Zumba and helped raise money for the YMCA Change A Life Charity. It was a lot of fun, and I was so happy this morning when I wasn't as sore as I expected!

Elizabeth and I are looking pretty good after sweating for two hours!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Run a Marathon

"We're all athletes. Some are just better and faster than others." Anonymous we're not! Who wrote this crap anyway? That's right, someone Anonymous.

I will forever be envious of you perfectly sculpted athletes with your armored tummies and cantaloupe calves who go for a simple 7 mile run every morning to get your day started. To that I say, "Coffee please!" And don't get me started on you freaks of nature who can run the 26.2 miles of hell. I am jealous of you all! Why?

a. because I will never have your discipline and endurance
b. because I will never have your ass and legs
c. because I will never be able to eat whatever I want and go run it off later

Back in the day, I was a cheerleader and dancer, which does require some athleticism. (I know what you haters are thinking...cheerleading ain't no sport!) But running, pleeeaaaase! I hate it, just hate it!

Sometimes when we walk, Michael challenges me to run to the next light pole. I can't make it without thinking of reasons to stop. Oh shoe is untied, I've got a wedgie, the asphalt hurts my feet. And how far are those poles apart, like 1/50th of a mile!

So what will I take from this lesson because I don't see any marathons in my future? I promise I will do my best to harness the athlete within me though I may die before it happens. But for now I can simply be happy that I won't have to undergo double knee replacement from all that running!

Today's Soapbox: This Makes Me Sick!

Yemeni Child Bride Dies of Internal Bleading
Those of us who have a choice should be thanking our lucky stars.

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Tell the Truth If you grew up like me, one of the cardinal rules in your home was to always tell the truth. My parents taught me that no matter how much the truth hurts, telling the truth is always better than lying in the end. Except for, in my opinion, those little white lies we tell in cases of emergency when courtesy triumphs over the truth. I vividly remember a lie I told my parents when I couldn’t have been older than three. I had a plastic shelf in my bedroom full of stuffed animals. I went to reach for a bear on the very top shelf only to watch in horror the entire shelf and all my toys come tumbling down with a big crash and explode all over my room. Mom, dad, and their radar ears came quickly to my rescue. “What happened Brandi? What did you do?” In sheer panic and in fear of getting in trouble, I quickly exclaimed, “I don’t know, Patches did it!” Patches was our family pet, a cat that adored my dad and that just happened to be in his presence at the same time the big crash occurred. Ahhh…if only I had brothers and sisters to blame. Long story short, I got a spanking for lying to my parents and blaming the cat, and I am quite certain I learned my lesson. Always make sure you know where the cat is before you lie! I am not a good liar, and I think this is an admiral trait to have. Michael may be the most honest human being I’ve ever met, and his honesty tops the list of why I married him. I value honesty, and I wholeheartedly believe the truth will set you free. No matter how much it hurts to tell or to hear the truth, eventually you will heal and will be free from the burden of living a lie. Haven’t you always heard, “One lie leads to another?” Lying can be exhausting! Okay…I’m starting to sound preachy, but seriously take it from Pinocchio and just tell the truth already! “When in doubt, tell the truth.” Anonymous

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Sucky Moment

It sucks when you find out your dad has a facebook page and forgot to make his wall posts private, especially when he calls his 59 friends his "family" and tells them how much he loves them all.

P.S. I'm not one of his facebook friends.

I guess it's my bad for reading his profile.

It's Never Too Late...

To Find a Soulmate

To have a soulmate you must be one. It's usually a natural selection. Soulmates find each other. But you must be receptive. It's a beautiful, rewarding friendship. It has a strong spiritual element. It can't be manufactured or forced. To find yours you must look outwards, not inwards.

It's Never Too Late...

To Find a Soulmate


To have a soulmate you must be one.

It's usually a natural selection.

Soulmates find each other.

But you must be receptive.

It's a beautiful, rewarding friendship.

It has a strong spiritual element.

It can't be manufactured or forced.To find yours you must look outwards, not inwards.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tuesday Post 3 - It's Never Too Late...

To Smile I've been smiling a lot more here lately. It may be because I overcame a huge fear recently by flying and now I dream of jetsetting across the world or it could be the endless supply of sunshine and warm weather we've had in Knoxville that makes me so happy. Whatever it is, I hope it stays! I think I might be smiling more thanks to my mom. When I was having a hard time with feeling sad and anxious, she told me something I will never forget. She has struggled with anxiety and depression during certain times in her life, but you would never know. We are very close, and I didn't even know until a couple of years ago that she used to have panic attacks. She is smiling and happy in every memory I have of her. So one day recently, I asked her how in the world she did it. How could she be suffering inside but seemed so happy on the outside? She replied, "It's simple. If you just smile and act happy, eventually you will become happier. It's almost contagious. Your smile and happiness makes other people smile back at you and react to you positively, and you end up smiling more and eventually your sadness goes away. Smile more, act happy, and you will be happy." Happiness because of a smile? She is right. I'm proof. It's Never Too Late to Smile... So few muscles needed. So little effort. So many benefits. Smiling brightens our faces and lights up a room. It can disarm Charm.

Tuesday Post 2 - Puppy Love

Another treat for the weekend was having Scarlett's boyfriend Bogart come and stay over a few evenings. His mom Elizabeth took a trip to San Francisco, and since she is always willing to take our baby when we travel, we were happy to have him keep Scarlett company. I took some pictures of them playing outside on Saturday. They don't really play together all that much; they are both lap dogs, so Scarlett tends to stay by my side while Bogart follows Michael around everywhere he goes until Michael finally sits down and Bogart can climb all over him. Click here for more pictures of their Puppy Love!

Tuesday Post 1 - Chillin' and Grillin'

Easter weekend was the most beautiful weekend we’ve had this year. Michael and I spent every waking moment outside the past few days, which is why I haven’t written any blog posts since Friday. It’s been too cold for too long, so there was no way I was going to spend time inside at my computer! Those of you who are closest to me know I don’t eat meat all too often, but this weekend the allure of grilling outside overcame my slight disdain of meat, and for four nights in a row, we enjoyed a delicious meal straight off the old charcoal grill. Friday night, our friends Emily and Joey joined us for some steaks and salmon, cold beverages, and Scattergories. The food was awesome, but the evening entertainment was the best part of the night! Not to toot my own horn, but I kicked butt in Scattergories. Us girls killed the boys with Emily coming in second place. Joey rounded out the bottom with his unique answers like “Parachute Package” for things you don’t want in the house and “A Long While” for naming a title of a book. Knowing none of us have heard of this particular book, Joey defended his answer by saying, “I’m sure a book with this title exists somewhere!” Saturday night, Michael and I grilled out again. He grilled fajita seasoned chicken breast, and we combined the chicken with leftover steak and grilled red peppers to make fajitas and tacos. YUMMY! To celebrate Easter, we had dinner outside (with our camping chairs and TV trays). We grilled swordfish and tuna and served our fish with green beans and mashed potatoes. Since it was a special occasion, I made chocolate fudge brownies for dessert.
Last night’s dinner was Grilled Fiesta Burgers, and it was my favorite! The burgers are super simple to make and sooooo delicious when topped with homemade guacamole. Here’s a recipe for the burgers and guacamole in case you want to create a crowd pleaser or wish to eat something tasty yourself! Hamburgers 1 pound ground beef or turkey 1 small red onion 1 cup of your favorite cheese shredded ½ packet ranch dressing mix Mix all ingredients together and form into patties. Cook on the grill or skillet. Serve on whole wheat buns with lettuce, tomatoes, and guacamole. Guacamole 3 very ripe avocadoes 1 packet store bought guacamole seasoning 1 can Rotel Peal and smash avocadoes in a sealable bowl. Drain juice from can of Rotel and add tomatoes to the avocadoes. Add ¾ to a full packet of guacamole seasoning and stir together. Michael and I like to make guacamole at least two hours before serving. Of course you can serve your hamburger with fries or chips and dip. For a healthier option, I made a side salad of arugula lettuce drizzled with balsamic vinegar and topped with guacamole.

All this grilling and eating is the reason I started Jillian Michaels' 30 day Shred routine!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Today's Soapbox - Hip Hip Hooray for the FAA

FAA to Allow Pilots to Fly while on Anti-Depressants

I applaud the Federal Aviation Agency for making this bold step towards ensuring pilot safety and mental wellbeing. I had no idea that pilots were not allowed to take anti-depressants without losing their jobs until I heard this on the news today. My first thought was, “how many stories have I heard about pilots flying planes while still drunk after a night on the town with no sleep (I’ve heard countless stories of this behavior from a good friend who was a flight attendant for several years and knows first-hand about pilot shenanigans), but anti-depressants aren’t suitable for flying.” How bass ackwards is that?

Pilots are human beings remember! They aren’t superheroes with superhuman strengths and enhanced mental capacities. They are like the rest of us. I couldn’t imagine how miserable I would feel if I became depressed but couldn’t take medicine for fear of losing my job. Talk about a tail spin into a black hole! More importantly, how scary is it for passengers like myself to be flying in a plane where pilots are self-medicating without consulting a doctor?

As a girl who suffers from anxiety and depression, I am thankful that America is finally waking up and the stigma of depression is slowly disappearing. Depression and anxiety are mental diseases that should be treated with the same respect as cancer and diabetes.

My hope is that pilots who have been scared to come forward in the past will finally have the courage to speak out and seek a proper diagnosis.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's Never Too Late...

To Write a Poem

I can't remember the last time I wrote a poem. It was probably as an undergrad in a creative writing class. I'm a little rusty, but here are three Haikus just for you!

To be sad no more
Is a wish upon a star
Wishful thinking sucks

Forgive don't forget
Isn't that the human way?
Can't seem to let go

Growth is powerful
When it's been too long to count
the sadness of the past