January 30, 2011

An Announcement and Some Miscellaneous Photography

One week from today Matthew and I will be headed out to an undisclosed location to celebrate our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!  I can hardly believe it’s been almost a year since our wedding already.  I know everyone says this, but I feel like the older I get, the faster time speeds by.

As for our little anniversary rendezvous: all I’ll say is that I just KNOW there will be fabulous pictures.  I chose this particular location primarily for the photo ops!

You may have noticed that the page titled “the Romance” up at the top of the blog there has laid empty for quite some time (except for the promise of an “enchanting love story” coming soon).  Well, being that next Monday is our anniversary and the week before Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be the perfect time to post that little love story.  I may do it in a few parts throughout the week (starting next Monday), so be sure and tune in for that.  I know all couples have a special story, but Matthew and I have a story that will SORT OF convince you that fate is real and Somebody Somewhere decides to step in and make his will known every now and then.  Truth be told, my life has been quite a series of serendipitous events.  And I’m looking forward to sharing some of them with all of you. :)

In other news, I’ve been itching to photograph things lately; but as it turns out, I really haven’t gone anywhere or done anything even remotely worth busting out the camera for.  So over the past couple days, I decided to just take a few pictures of things I love around my home, and I also brought my camera with me to lunch with my mom the other day.  We hadn’t really spent any time together since Edd had his surgery (he was in the hospital for a week, but he’s finally home now!), so we had a fun time catching up over coffee and laughing about all of the things that make us human.  You have to be able to laugh at yourself, you know? 

Anyway.  Enjoy your Sunday, and decide RIGHT NOW that it’s going to be a beautiful and fabulous new week!! :)

 AroundTheHouseJan2010 005 AroundTheHouseJan2010 017 AroundTheHouseJan2010 021 AroundTheHouseJan2010 033 AroundTheHouseJan2010 041 AroundTheHouseJan2010 045 AroundTheHouseJan2010 046 AroundTheHouseJan2010 059 AroundTheHouseJan2010 072 AroundTheHouseJan2010 079 AroundTheHouseJan2010 081

lunchwithmom 019 lunchwithmom 028


January 27, 2011


I’ve always known that tanning is bad for you and causes premature skin aging and blah blah blah, but all of those warnings you hear never seemed terribly applicable to me in the blissful ignorance of my youth. 

But all that changed this morning.  I was getting dressed and, to my alarm, I discovered a large and ominous sun spot right smack dab in the middle of my chest — the part of your chest that shows even if you wear a modest low cut shirt or dress.  Meaning, I will have to live with the scourge of this sunspot for the rest of my days, and people will probably stare at it and whisper and feel sorry for me whenever I wear a cute sundress or a v-neck or a swimsuit.

Naturally, I freaked.  I went running through the house like a ninja to show my husband and to inform him that I am officially old and well on my way to wrinkles and probably lots of other age spots and, soon enough, the grave.

Here, I took a picture of it just for you people:

sun spot 2 

‘Tis true.  And I kid you not when I say I have so many white hairs that I recently had to start coloring them.  And now this.  I am only 24!!! 

I’ve been slathering on Proactive’s skin lightening lotion all morning (Matthew had a little sample of it) and watching the sun spot closely. This is truly a crisis situation in my eyes, and the beginning of what will probably only be many more crises of aging.

One thing I know for sure is that I will not be one to age with dignity and grace.  Botox all the way, baby.  I will, undoubtedly, be that 70 year old woman whose face looks frozen in time and who cannot laugh or frown because her skin was sewn too tightly over her skull.  And I’m ok with that. 

Please people, I need advice.  Have any of you found a sunless tanner that actually works and doesn’t cause fair skin to look orange?!  Help!!!


January 24, 2011

Dear Diary: Sometimes I Want to Kill People. (disclaimer: not REALLY)

What a weekend.  And just FYI?  I am PMSing violently.  VIOLENTLY!!!  Like, if someone were to piss me off right now I may or may not shank them in the liver right then and there. That’s how dire this situation is. 

Irrepressible fury? Check.

Copious amounts of unsubstantiated tears? Check.

Headaches and fatigue? Check, check.

Undying appetite for and slight infatuation with the girl scout cookies we just bought Saturday night?   You guessed it. CHECK.

PMS in all it’s glory. 

Friday night was date night.  Matthew and I went to our favorite restaurant where we wined and dined and had a delightful time; but the fun stopped there.

Next we went to the movies and saw Black Swan.  Have any of you seen this?  Lord have mercy.  Here was my take on it, via Facebook:

black swan

The following words actually came out my husband’s mouth while walking out of the theater: “I’m not sure if I want to go get drunk or go get stoned or just blow my brains out.”  And NO, he doesn’t REALLY do drugs or drink in excess, and he’s not actually suicidal.  But you get the picture, right?  That movie was d.i.s.t.u.r.b.i.n.g.  I found it interesting the way that, when the credits came up and the lights turned on, everyone just sat there, as if their brains had been sucked right out through their eyeballs.  People seemed confused and stunned… maybe damaged inside. 

Wow.  That’s all I can say.  I’m sure it’ll win an Oscar, cause the weird ones always do.

Saturday I did about a month’s worth of housework in one day.  It was epic, and I was angry the whole time.  I vacuumed, dusted, scrubbed the floors, cleaned the closet, did mountains of laundry, and picked up two metric tons of poop from the backyard. Clearly my new year’s resolutions to stay on top of housework aren’t faring too well.

And Sunday morning.  Sunday morning I went grocery shopping for the week.  And once through and all rung up at the checkout counter, I was told by the cashier that a manager was needed for an override.  Said manager arrived and rudely informed me that it’s illegal in Texas to buy alcohol before noon on Sundays, and then she dug around in my packages and took the wine away from me. 

Oh, the rage that boiled up inside.  It was 11:30, and I needed that wine for the beef stew I was making last night. I don’t really remember the exact words that flew out of my mouth, but I’m sure they weren’t pretty. Poor little cashier boy.  He just had me on a bad day. 

Here’s hoping for a better week.  PMS be damned. 

moi  “I try to be the stretch your wings and fly type, but I can’t stop trying to burst people into flames with my eyes.” Author Unknown


January 21, 2011

My Possibly Voyeuristic Old Neighbor and Why Quasi-Pornographic Photos of Me May or May Not End Up Somewhere on the Internet.

First of all, EDD CAME OUT OF SURGERY WITH FLYING COLORS!!!  It was a long afternoon of waiting yesterday, but after a tedious SIX HOUR surgery, we finally heard good news. So far he is doing wonderfully, though the road to recovery will be a long one.  Thank you all for your sweet messages and promises of prayer.  They really meant the world to my family.  He’s not out of the water yet, but we are so very hopeful.

Second of all, I have a story for you.  It’s a good one… nay, a great one.  So don’t be frightened off by the fact that “quasi-pornographic photos of me” is in this post’s title.  I promise, nobody’s gonna get naked on THIS blog. 

Yesterday Matthew and I were going about our business at home on an exceptionally cold and windy day here in Austin, when the doorbell suddenly rang.  An unexpected visitor!  How intriguing.  We opened the door to find our bumbling old backyard neighbor bundled in a puffy jacket and a beanie pulled clear over his ears.  He was obviously very flustered, and exclaimed (in a thick southern drawl), “hi! My name’s Billy and I’m your neighbor in the back there; the one with the little dogs!  I’m sorry we have to meet on these terms, but the fence between our backyards done blown over!” 

Now before we go any further, you absolutely need some background on this “neighbor in the back there with the little dogs.”

Perhaps this recent status update on my Facebook page will put things in perspective for you:


Needless to say, this neighbor and his four obnoxious dogs have been quite a bone of contention in my life, causing me to have uncharacteristically murderous thoughts for a species I usually love even more than my own. So to meet the man behind all the madness was interesting – and even more so interesting after the events that transpired next. 

We led Billy through our house and into the backyard where we discussed the fence that was, indeed, swaying wildly in the wind and completely broken apart in spots. And then I led Billy BACK through the house to our front door while Matthew worked on repairing the problem.  On our way, Billy covered a lot of ground.  He told me of his wife that had left him after 31 years because she had “turned her face from God” and moved to east Austin to live with her mother and wanted to keep the house and wouldn’t even give him a divorce.  Once inside, he also stopped to examine our granite countertops and a small niche of wooden decor crosses and the brick wall in our dining room.  He was very nice and all, but what I REALLY got a kick out of was what he said to me while he and I were still on the back porch. 

You see, our dead Christmas tree is still lying out there, waiting for Christmas tree pick up day, and Billy exclaimed, “OH! What a BEAUTIFUL tree!” 

“Yes, yes it was… before it was dead…” I replied.

To that, Billy answered, “Well, I sure enjoyed looking at it through the…” and then his voice trailed off.  And I can only assume he meant through the window. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m ALL FOR peeking into people’s homes through their windows whenever possible.  And at night around Christmas time, who DOESN’T admire people’s trees through their windows?  So no biggie.  I thought it was amusing and only mildly creepy.  Until later that night, when Matthew and I were discussing the day’s events at dinner.  I laughingly told him about Billy’s Christmas tree comment, and how he must have been looking in our windows at night.  And then Matthew got all smiley and started laughing.

He said, “I wasn’t even going to say anything cause I thought he might be a bird watcher or something, but when I had to go out through the guy’s house when I was done fixing the fence, I saw binoculars on the table by the back door.”


By the back door. 

Where all the windows pretty much face into our living room and master bedroom. 

Bird watching, Matthew? Really?!  I think not. 

We are being watched.  And Matthew’s take on this is: “there’s no shame to my game, baby.”  But MY take on this is: “ummm, it’s pretty freaking creepy and I sort of feel like there are spiders crawling all over me right now.”  Either that or perverted old man eyes.

I really don’t know which is worse.

Happy Friday, ya’ll. 


January 19, 2011

Tomorrow Is A Big Day

Damnit, I’m emotional today. Looking through potential pictures for this post has me all teary-eyed and such.
Tomorrow (Thursday) my stepdad, Edd, is having a really important and major surgery, the outcome of which could give him some serious quality of life back.  Many of you asked to be kept up to date on his health, so I thought this was really important to post about. 
No, it’s not fun or funny, but yes, it is very important to me. 
mom and Edd 3
My mom and Edd met on Match.com about seven years ago. I remember meeting Edd for the first time and later finding out that he was pretty freaked out about that first meeting.  He had two boys, and my mom had two girls.  Neither of them really knew very well how to relate to teenagers of the opposite sex. 
At first, I was pretty weirded out that my mom was dating again.  Her and my dad were married for 20 years.  But eventually, Edd became a staple in the diet of my life, cheesy as that may sound.  I liked him because he made my mom so happy, and that was the most important thing.
Over the years I have tried to live up to the high opinion Edd seems to have of me.  Whenever I’ve tried to put myself down, he’s quick to dispute me.  My boyfriends were never good enough.  And when I read him the first few text messages I got from Matthew in the beginning, I still remember Edd saying, “I don’t know about this guy, Jenni.  I mean, who does he think he is?” (obviously, he likes him now!) ;)
Anyway, my point is that Edd has become someone I look up to, admire, and love.  And I want nothing but the very best for him.  Last time he had a similar surgery he got a horrible and life-threatening staff infection in the hospital, and that fear is always fresh. 
All I ask is that you say a little prayer for him today and tomorrow, no matter what you believe about God.  This is what my prayers often sounds like:
I really don’t understand what you are, God, and if you even ever choose to intervene on our behalves when we fervently ask you to.  But I still pray that you will give Edd another shot at a normal life with a healthy body.  I understand that without suffering we would never truly appreciate the absence of suffering, but Edd has had enough for now.  Please heal his body and give him many more years on this Earth.  Amen!
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!  I always feel so many of you “got my back.”  :)

January 18, 2011

For The Love of Old

People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them.  ~James Baldwin 

Life '53 (4)photo © 2010 Ky | more info (via: Wylio)

On Monday mornings, I love to watch the show If Walls Could Talk on HGTV. Even Matthew likes to watch it with me, which is saying something!  Usually he grumbles and groans if he finds our television set to HGTV… which, obviously, is always.

He and I both have this passion for old homes.  We love history, we love to browse antique stores (I much more than him), and we love to admire the incredible woodwork and detailing and character of homes built in the early 1900’s or before. 

For some reason, my heart just reaches out to things that are old. Old books, old kitchen gadgets, old photographs, old movies, old homes, old people.  They all have a story to tell; they’ve all seen so much life. 

I have this ultimate, ultimate dream: to live in a tired old, pre-war New York City apartment with worn hardwoods and detailed mouldings and great big windows that pour forth light and peer out to a tree lined street below.  To have a quiet little nook beside that window, with my computer and a desk piled high with books and papers and coffee and a bagel from some nearby cafe. 

Yep, that’s my ultimate dream. To be surrounded by so much history and energy and life.  If I ever write a novel, it will probably be there. New York inspires my creativity like nowhere else.

Sometimes I feel a little resentment towards new construction and modern art and contemporary design.  I’d take a tired old colonial home over a giant modern mansion any day.  Things that are new just seem somehow cold to me.  But then I have to remind myself that we, right here and right now, are creating our own history, assigning our own meanings to things, and are a part of what will someday be considered vintage and of a bygone era.  It’s ok to appreciate things that are old, but sometimes yearning for them as much as I do is just another way of ignoring the beauty of the present day, and wanting what I can’t have. 

I’ll never stop loving history and all things vintage, but I have resolved to live a little more in now and a little less in then. Because while then was beautiful and fascinating, now is where we are and always will be. 

Do YOU have a love of old, too?


January 16, 2011

What One Photographs When One Takes 1000 Photographs (With One’s Cell Phone. In A Rather Short Period Of Time.)

Yesterday I realized I had reached a milestone in my life.


That’s right folks.  One thousand iPhone pictures.  In less than 6 months. 

What does one photograph when one takes 1000 photographs with one’s cell phone camera? 

Let’s take a look.  ;)

Loved Ones

blogM   Matthew

blogmom2Mom and Grandpa

blogeddEdd and Nicky

These Two

(And I assure you, “these two” take up about 75% of the 1000 pictures)




The Puppy That Matthew Got Me Which We Had To Give Back Cause Gracie and Cooper Wanted To Eat It

(Read more HERE)


Screenshots Of When I Slaughtered Matthew’s Fastest Time and Fewest Moves On The Solitaire App



blogme2One of my worst haircuts to date.



Culinary Creations

blogfood blogfood2 blogfood3 

New York City

(Read more HERE)


The Giant Pterodactyl/Moth That Lived On Our Patio For Several Days and Cast A Dark and Ominous Cloud of Fear and Uncertainty Over My Life During That Time

blogmoth I swear, it was MUCH bigger in person.

Stuff in Matthew’s Emergency Bag

(read more HERE)


 Room Makeovers

(Read more HERE)



So there you have it: a little sampling of my cell phone picture album. I apologize for the complete pointlessness of this post, but I do not apologize for the fun I had creating it. :) 

Have a wonderful new week, darlings!


January 13, 2011

Awards, Flattery, and Miscellaneous Musings on Other Blogging Related Phenomena.

I don’t like to let my readers down, so when it comes time to tap out a new post here on the ol’ blog, I tend to be pretty choosy on the topic choices.  I realize that many people use their blog simply to document their life and thoughts, and essentially that’s what I hope to do here as well — but I also want this blog to be so much more than just an online journal.  I write for YOU PEOPLE.  My mom. My mother-in-law. My dad.  My grandma.  My “in-the-flesh” friends that read.  And those of you stop in to get a little taste of a life different from your own.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I feel a great responsibility to all of you!  Because your time is precious, and I don’t want you to waste it here.  If nothing else, I at least try to make you laugh or smile.

Over the past few months I’ve been blogging, I won quite a few little “awards” that are passed along from blogger to blogger here in Internet-land, but I’ve always been hesitant to “accept” them and blog about them because most require that you write a certain number of random facts about yourself before you pass the award along.  Bloggers can already seem self-centered enough, but then add constant postings on awards you’ve won and facts and figures about yourself, and that illusion of self-absorption shoots through the roof!

And in most cases, that’s probably all it is: an illusion.  I know for a fact that it’s hard to come up with good things to say that people will benefit from, so many bloggers just end up writing about themselves and their lives (hello?? My blog is CALLED “story of my life!”).  And there really isn’t any shame in that, unless you’re simply not satisfied with it for your own blog.  And I guess I’m really not.

I think that many bloggers, as they gain followers and receive constant flattering comments on this or that, become disproportionately impressed with themselves and their newfound popularity.  For me, blogging has been attractive because I was never really a cool or popular kid in high school or college; rather, I just kept to myself and didn’t share much of what I had going for me.  I really didn’t have much confidence.  And now, as I’ve gained a loyal following, I feel this confidence blossoming.  People like me!  Woohoo!!!  But I also try to remember that, while the online world IS a legit thing and all my readers ARE real people, the opinion you all have of me doesn’t necessarily reflect reality.  I need to constantly be tweaking things about myself that aren’t working, that aren’t good and kind and admirable. 

Many bloggers begin to be looked at as celebrities as they gain popularity (believe me, I know I’m not there yet), and the thing about celebrities is that often they begin to believe all the things their fans or critics say about them.  Maybe they forget that THEY are the only ones with the real power to define themselves.  And no matter where this blog or my writing career takes me, I just don’t want to forget that the only person with any power to define me is, ultimately, me

So anyhoo. Basically all of the above just makes me feel better about accepting the award below and writing a bunch of random useless facts about myself.  Bahaha.

I’ll keep this brief.

Thanks so much to Jenna and Emily (and a couple others over past few months) that honored me with The Stylish Blogger award!  Thanks for thinking of me, girls. :)

Stylish Blogger Award

In order to accept this award, I must list 7 random facts about myself before passing along the award to other bloggers I feel deserve it.  So here goes.

1. Fried Chicken is quite possibly my favorite food.

2. I love sweet tea.  The more sickeningly sweet, the better.

Iced Tea with Pitcherphoto © 2010 Evan Swigart | more info (via: Wylio)

 3. Obviously, I have lived in the south too long.

4. I submitted a commencement speech for the graduation ceremony at my high school, but of course someone much cooler and more popular than me won.

5. I did not attend my college graduation.  And I haven’t regretted it for even a moment thus far.

6. I have had 5 guinea pigs over the course of my life, but my favorite one was the first: Ginger.  But my sister dropped her (him?) down the stairs, and its leg broke, and it died.  This was my first experience with the death of a loved one, and I did not handle it well.

Guinea Pigsphoto © 2008 Michael James | more info (via: Wylio)

 7. One time, in 7th grade, I was at a friend’s birthday party and there was a trampoline and we were all jumping and laughing really hard, and I peed myself a little. But no one knew this. Until now.

You are so welcome. Have a fab day.


Oh, and DUH!  Here are the bloggers I pass the award along to.  If you’ve received it already, no need to post on it again.  I just love you girls and think you deserve it! (And there were many more I thought deserved the award, too, but I don’t have time to list you all!)

Faith @ Life. Love. & Marriage

Kristen @ A Kapple A Day

Alisha @ Alisha & Brandon

Jenn @ Simply Jenn-Sational

Alexandria @ The Saga of a Twenty-Something

Angie @ Living Aloha

Jessica Lynn @ Lucky Knot

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