Messing Up Their Stripes

It is a sleepy Wednesday. Storms are predicted and the temperature is supposed to be about ten degrees cooler than what we have been used to. This is good news, but I’ll take ten more, please – it would be nice to get into the mid 70s, you know?

Last night it was cool enough to sit outside under a fan, and so we did. My mom took us to The Galway Hooker in Huntersville for dinner, and it was nice to be able to enjoy a quiet evening with the women of my family. I wore a pretty new shirt that Ryan bought for me while he was in Chicago and a knotted nautical headband that I treated myself to. We forgot to take pictures. My sister wore an orange dress and big earrings, and my mom wore a black dress with copper studs around the waist. I ate a spinach and strawberry salad, Ashley had a sandwich, and my mom ordered veggie pasta. Do you feel like you were there with us?

I do have a picture of my zebra:

Image from Banana

It’s another shirt that Ryan bought for me for my pre-birthday. Does it make you giggle? Mine is actually a dark gray color, so my zebra family is a little more prominent. I love it. He also brought me back a comfy tee and some new VS lip glosses to add to my collection. Isn’t he the best?

Ryan has taught me a lot about taking care of zebras. Our conversation went something like this:

- What do zebras eat?
- Mostly just grass and leafy trees.
- Oh okay, good. I’m glad they are vegetarians like me and don’t eat black cats.
- Yeah, eating black cats would mess up their stripes.
- Oh. Well that makes sense.

So now you know, too. Isn’t it reassuring to have this information in your knowledge bank? Just in case a zebra (or three) enters your life any time soon. 

Please visit my my sister's blog to check out the adventures of Mus.   I'm not sure what Mus eats, but I think he is hilarious.



Today is maybe the longest day ever. Does this ever happen to you? It just goes on and on and on, and by the time it is 1:07, you feel like it is 4:59, and then every minute passes by even slower than the previous one. My long day may have something to do with one, two, three, or all of the following:

a) I woke up at 5:30 this morning. I traveled the streets of Charlotte all sleepy eyed and hot but cold because my body temperature wasn’t even awake yet. And there is actually a lot of traffic on I-77 at this hour, so you should pay attention and not try to take a tiger snooze while driving.

b) I skipped out on my coffee this morning. I’m not sure how or why this happened, but looking back, it seems like it was a big error.

c) I have three very special dates tonight, which means I am three times more excited, anxious, and ready to get home and see them. Their names are: Mom, Ashley, and Alekzander. Well, there is Rex, too – of course. But he is my date every night, and he doesn’t typically go to restaurants with me.  For some reason, I think that is frowned upon.

d) My three dates are swimming at my pool right now. Without me.

What are you doing to pass the time on this hot June day? And can you believe that it is almost over? And did you know that it is my friend Meghan’s birthday today? Let’s sing for her. Ready? Go!

Hey and did you know that Ryan already gave me birthday presents? He was twenty two days early. I’m a brat and wanted my zebra NOW. Oh yes, the zebra came. Stay tuned.


A Birthday For My Love

Today is Ryan’s birthday. One year ago today, we were in Biloxi, Mississippi, celebrating our first of many birthdays that we will spend together. Now we are on round two.  Happy birthday, my dear.

Oh my goodness, this guy is loved. Do you know?


We Dance and Eat Cobbler

We are the type of people who dance. We, meaning over 90% of my friends. My sister is on the fence with this activity. I’d probably classify her as a non-dancer, but I have faith that a dancer could be found somewhere deep down in her conservative little soul. This isn’t to say that we dance well. Nope, not at all. But we dance. And it makes us smile and laugh and fall in love with our loved ones all over again. This is what we did last night. We danced. And for the majority of the evening, we were the only three people dancing. Even better.

This weekend was a breath of fresh air. Heather’s visit was perfect – I love my low maintenence, easy to please Virginia Beach girl. On Friday we walked the streets of Birkdale and visited some of the boutiques for honeymoon dresses for the bride-to-be. We ate pizza at Brixx (veggie for me, pineapple for her) and came home to split a piece of cheesecake for dessert. On Saturday we tried to get a little sun at the pool, and then we slowly and lazily got ready for our big date night with Ryan. He took us to Mez uptown, and we all stuffed ourselves silly. (The pre-dinner bread was my favorite part!) After that, we made a panicked decision to head back to the lake for some live music at Kylie’s – where, of course, we danced the night away.

Tonight, Ryan, Heather, and I were invited to my sister’s house for dinner and then to see the Charlotte Symphony at Pops in the Park. Unfortunately, a storm blew through, knocking over a tree in her back yard, so we weren’t able to make it. Oh, boo – too bad we had to stay in the cool indoors and play BABY for a few extra hours! Feeding Alekzander cereal and teaching him his family tree was probably Heather’s favorite part of the whole weekend. Who doesn’t love a chubby cheeked baby on a rainy Sunday night? Plus, my mom was there and had made us homemade blueberry cobbler. Moms are great like that. And she even sang a little circus song and danced a couple of jigs for us. Does your cobbler making mother sing circus songs in the middle of the living room? I didn’t think so. Mine wins.


The Best Years

“I’m so happy! The past six months have been the best years of my life.” – Heather

Amen, sister.


My Very Own Zebra

Oh my goodness, what a happy Friday! I woke up early (I really need to start doing that more often) and decided to start the day with a cup of coffee and a Gold Machine smoothie. Yum! I checked my mail and found (along with another $500 medical bill) a letter and pictures from Alekzander and Ashley! And guess what? Heather is coming! Heather is coming! Heather is coming! If you say it three times and jump up and down, the excitement really shines through. And also, Ryan is coming home from Chicago today! Okay, one more: my mom is coming tomorrow! It is going to be such a fantastic weekend! And guess what else? It is supposed to thunderstorm … a lot! I’m not sure how my guests will feel about this, but I am pleased as punch!

Ryan has been keeping me posted on his Chicago adventures (spell check wanted to change that to “Chicano adventures”, which, I’m sure, would be entirely different). Here is his most recent purchase, which came to me with a brief lesson in baseball:

“Ernie Banks is one of the greatest Cubs of all time; they call him Mr. Cub. He used to say "Let's play two" back in the day when they had double headers frequently.” Well, okay then.

He also bought me a zebra.  My very own zebra! I’m not really sure if this is for real, but in my head it is. On Wednesday, Ryan texted me to ask if I like zebras. And I said something like, “Yes, absolutely! I love all four-legged creatures!” and he said, “Except for dogs.” This is not entirely true, nor is it entirely false. Love is a strong word, you know? But I totally respect that fact that you love dogs, just as I love cats, which you maybe probably don’t. (I like to say things like “maybe probably.” Have you noticed?) So, yesterday I asked Ryan how he was planning on shipping my zebra back, and he said he was just going to ride it. Fine. But now, Ryan is on a plane. So I’m kind of confused. Where is the zebra? Do you think it is really coming? Circle yes or no.


A Happy Morning

Today I woke up happier. This is good news. And lots of wonderful things have happened in the fifty minutes that I’ve been awake. First, I found that my hair had dried into big, workable waves, meaning I didn’t have to fight with the heat of the flat iron this morning. Then I threw on a sundress with gold sandals, my pearls from China (and Ryan), another long gold necklace, and I called it an outfit. (Usually I go through about three before I’m satisfied.) As I was leaving, I found this napkin, which was tucked away safely in my purse:

I took it from a bar in Wilmington – I probably used it to wipe the cheesecake off my face – which I sat and ate all by myself. (Cheesecake is not ice cream, so I am allowed to eat it.) But still. How fitting. It made me laugh as I was guiltily indulging in my delicious cheesecake, sitting alone at a bar, probably around 10pm, while my friends danced and laughed and celebrated. The napkin was a good find – I had another giggle this morning as I scanned it using our work copying machine. Guilty.

And then I opened my email, where I found the sweetest note, beginning with: “Hi my little Tessa Bug” sent from my friend Kellie in Richmond. Since we are honest around here, I must tell you that I am not good at keeping in touch. No sir. I have friends scattered all over the United States – many of which I haven’t spoken to in months – but oh, how I love them all so. Each and every one of them. And I miss them. And I think of them often. My new mommy friends, my friends who bravely packed up all of their belongings and landed on the west coast, my friends who are still in my hometown of Virginia Beach, my friends who are pursuing their master’s degrees and second bachelor degrees, my friends here, my friends there – I wish you all well. Kellie is a fantastic friend. We even share a birthday (a year and a week apart), but I like to think of us as sharing one. And as everyone knows, I don’t share – so, Kellie, I think this means I must love you a lot. How could I not love her with the kind words of wisdom that she – my older birthday sharer – sprinkled upon me at the end of her letter: “Also, I hope you know once you turn 25 it is completely unacceptable to wear your underwear inside out.” I'll just leave it at that.

Please watch this video of my nephew’s laughter (and hiccups). How could you not have a happy morning once you see this?


Summer Blues

Summer is here. It came on Monday without me even realizing its arrival – you know, because it has been so ding dong hot anyway. Do you know about ding dong hot? It is really miserable. But I’m kind of glad it is here, because now I can officially say that I have a case of the summer blues, and also, it is three days closer to fall. Oh fall, I love you.

But here is what I am going to do to get through the next few months: hibernate, eat a lot of yogurt, read Eat, Pray, Love (and some other books since I’m already halfway done with this one), play with my nephew in his baby pool, sleep, snack on pre-sliced celery sticks, visit some new Charlotte places with Ryan, and snuggle with Rex. That’s it. Oh and maybe move to Canada. That’s all I’m going to do. And it is going to make me happy. Okay? Well then. Everything seems to be settled. Carry on.

Ryan is here:

The weather channel website is telling me it is 72 and rainy in Chicago. I am so jealous. All I want is a thunder storm, 70 degree weather, and a happily ever after. Is that really too much for a girl to ask?


In My Car

What do you keep in your car? Last night after kickboxing, I found four water bottles in the front seat of mine. Four. And only one of which is throw-away-able. Is this indicative of the fact that I maybe own a few too many reusable ones? Perhaps. Especially considering that one is on my desk at work and two are currently hanging out in my dishwasher. But I love them. I think I subconsciously collect them – along with lip gloss, micro-rib tank tops, and … unmentionables.

Along with my Dave Matthews, Easter present, and birthday numbers water bottles, I also found:
- 2 yoga mats
- A sales plat from work
- A car jack
- 4 bags of groceries
- A yellow tank top
- A black cardigan
- 3 headbands
- A black cat (just kidding … but isn’t he cute?)

Don’t worry, my groceries are fresh – as in – they haven’t been sitting in my car for the two weeks that my water bottles and articles of clothing have. In fact, I was actually pretty proud of my $30 worth of groceries last night. I got all kinds of treats like: green leafy lettuce, 4 tomatoes, cottage cheese, whole wheat pitas, 8 cups of yogurt, garlic hummus, celery, skim milk, baby carrots, a pineapple smoothie, 3 bags of frozen broccoli and cauliflower, and coffee creamer. Maybe there was even more. Groceries are hard to remember.

While I was at Harris Teeter, I was overcome by the urge to ride my shopping cart down the aisles – you know, like five year olds do. (You put your left foot on the bottom rack, two hands on the handle, then scoot scoot with your right foot and take off.) And so I did. And it was lots of fun. I even did it in the parking lot all the way to my car. A passing man chuckled at me – it made me happy.

What’s in your car?


Jiggity Jig

We had a wonderful weekend in Wilmington, and both Ryan and I should be well caught up on lost sleep from Friday and Saturday night. After getting back around 4:00 yesterday afternoon, I slept for 15 hours, Ryan for 12, and here we are, back in the real world.

Zac and Lindsay had a beautiful wedding – from the ukulele player to the blue cookies, the gorgeous fresh tropical flowers to Lindsay’s impromptu singing of “Something to Talk About”, the bridesmaids in long floral dress to the groomsmen in flip flops, the familiar songs of Simplified to the mother-son dance, everything was stunningly simple and so reflective of their personalities.

Wilmington was adorable, too. It was unique, historic, quaint, and sweet all wrapped into one delicious little slice of a beach town. But as always, it is good to be home. Home again, home again, jiggity jig. There is never anything better than home.


A Day for My Father

Today is Father’s Day. I really love my dad, and I hope you love yours too. My dad’s name was Dad for about twenty-one years, until he declared that he shall be called Buffalo. And then my sister blessed him with a grandson, and from that day on, he has answered only to Gruffalo. You know, like a Grandfather Buffalo combination.

My dad is Polish, and hence my sister and I were raised as Polish princesses who received Polish braids in our hair every night. He was the chef of the house, and pizza and pierogies were our family favorites. My dad and I can eat a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting, along with a box of wheat thins and a block of mozzarella cheese. It’s just what we do, you know? When I was little, my dad grew prickly cucumbers in our backyard, and so I decided I would be a vegetarian for the most recent twenty years of my life. My dad has a Lone Ranger lunchbox and likes old western movies. He also likes the news and the Pittsburgh Steelers. His patience is maybe one-hundred miles long. It has to be when you are married to the Queen of Quite A Lot, have two Polish Princesses for daughters, and teach math to snot faced little 6th graders for the greater portion of your life. My dad thinks all cats are girls and all dogs are boys, but sometimes he messes up and says that all girls are cats and all boys are dogs. He makes me laugh and has lots of stories from his childhood. He can fix anything in the world, and he can also add a second story to your home. My dad is as handy as a handyman gets, it is true. His favorite store is the grocery store – especially Fresh Market. He loves a good deal, but loves good food even more. Last week, my dad shot a copperhead snake from his back porch, and one time he wrestled my sister’s high school boyfriend in our living room. My dad has always had a moustache, and when he shaved it off for the first time, my sister cried because she thought he was a stranger. My mom thinks he is really handsome, and I do too. He likes trucks, tools, kielbasa, and a good loaf of French bread. I think he should write a book one day, because I know that he secretly has lots to say. He tells me that I have a big head and I believe him, because he has one too. We love each other enough to be honest about those sorts of things. My dad likes to listen to Michael Buble, and I think that is pretty rad. If you drive the six hours to visit him, you better believe that there will be a homemade pizza waiting for you when you pull into the driveway. That’s just how wonderful he is. He used to have a toaster in his classroom, and he would bring in loaves of bread and butter to make sure that his students were able to eat breakfast. My dad likes his coffee with cream on the bottom (not stirred up) because it is a sweet surprise when he gets to the end. When I was in college, he would sometimes send me five dollars and a silly little note. I think he thinks I am a little crazy, but I also think he loves me because of it. I certainly love him. Happy Father’s Day, Gruffalo!


A Wilmington Wedding

We are at the beautiful beaches of Wilmington, NC, celebrating the marriage of:

Aren't they sweet?

We love them, and we are so thankful to be a part of their special day.


Spin Pins

Spin pins. I found them. After searching the shelves of over ten (yes, ten) different stores, I finally was able to locate two packs at a CVS next to the Huntersville Hospital.

Image from Goody

And guess what? They really work! The corkscrew shape is supposed to be equivalent to using twenty bobby pins in your hair, and I think it is so! I had to use four pins to hold up a curled bun, but with shorter, thinner, or straight hair, two would probably do it. Good luck finding them – it’ll be worth it!


Today At The Office

Next week, the company that I work for is relocating (just a wee bit down the road, but no more views of Lake Norman). Here is what my office looks like today:

Everything I have fits in two boxes, the second of which isn’t even full. Buck is here helping me. Mostly he just pants and slobbers, but I’m pretty sure he thinks he is doing a good job of protecting me from the UPS man. All that is left on my desk is my bamboo plant and my pharmacy corner, complete with: hand sanitizer, vitamin b, water bottle, warm vanilla sugar lotion, my coffee mug, biotin, eye drops, and extra strength antacid. I also still have a colorful map of the United States taped onto my wall. It is printed on 8.5 x 11 paper and it makes me feel like a 4th grade Social Studies teacher. Really I just need it for the state abbreviations for marketing related tasks. Yes, people make fun of me here. No, I don’t care. Numbers and places just aren’t my thing. Let me write you a sentence.



Is willing to accept that she creates her own reality except for some of the parts where she can't help but wonder what the hell she was thinking

-Brian Andreas

Once upon a time, my mom sent me a card that said this. Actually, twice or thrice upon a time, my mom sent me a card that said this. (Mom, did you know that?) She also bought me blank cards to mail out that said this. And so, I’m lead to believe that this is what she thinks of my life. Which I’m totally down with/appreciative of, by the way. (Do you ever want to type the word “slash” instead of hitting “shift” and “?” at the same time? Me too. Maybe I’ll start.) Recently, this photo has been brought to my attention (for secretive reasons), and I couldn’t help but think the exact same thing. It has also been brought to my attention that the last photo of the night is usually a self-portrait of my face as a fish. Do you judge?



It is hot. Sticky hot. So hot. The kind of hot that melts your entire face of when you get into your car. The kind of hot that makes the pavement steam after a storm. The kind of hot that makes lightning every afternoon at some point between four and six. The kind of hot that makes you wonder why you just took a shower because now you are covered in sweat after attempting to blow dry your hair but only making it half way. The kind of hot that makes you wonder why you just (oh so recently) gave up icecream.  And you thought I was crazy for wanting winter to hang around a little longer? What are your thoughts now? Want to move somewhere chilly and willy with me? Yes? That’s what I figured.


Cat Safety First

When I got home on Sunday night, something terrible had happened. I had been gone for about 36 hours, and when I walked inside, Rex was nowhere to be found. This is not normal, as I can usually hear him meowing through the door before I can even get my key into the lock. I went inside, put my stuff down, and called for him. He came stumbling out of my bedroom and then toppled over against the wall and slid down to the ground. Rex is a very black cat – no markings on him at all – and the first thing I noticed after I saw him was his white (but usually black) nose. And then I saw what had happened. Poor baby had apparently tried to remove his collar by using his mouth, and it was stuck between his jaws like a gag. He had lost a lot of fluids because of the inability to close his mouth, and his face, neck, and front paws were covered in dried cat drool. Once I took off his collar, he was lethargic but wanted to eat and drink (as I would too). I have no idea how long he was like this, but based on how dehydrated he had gotten, I know that it was a decent amount of time. He’s totally fine now – back to his little Rexy self: playing catch, wanting snacks, attacking feet, being a snuggle bug, and greeting me at the door.

So, this is not to tell you how horrible mother I am (because believe me, I already feel bad enough), but to tell you to switch your animals’ collars to safety (breakaway) ones. They make ones that pop open should they get in an emergency situation like this – or stuck on their cages/fences. Please learn from my mistake – I’d hate for you to come home to the circumstance that I did (or worse).


How I Roll

As expected, Uphonik was fantastic. Ryan loves the word fantastic, and he has a way of saying it (maybe it’s the Chicago in him) that makes you really believe him. He gives it a certain level of enthusiasm and emphasis that is just right. Here is what our Saturday evening looked like:

Notice how I roll? Not all of the guys are pictured, but may I say that I felt pretty special walking in with this group of ten studly gentlemen? And did you know that studly isn’t a word?  Regardless, Ryan is blessed with an amazing group of friends - and Greg makes the best faces ever.  Can you guess which one he is?


5 Star Saturday

In my book, today already gets five silver star stickers. Do you remember these? I’m pretty sure you can get a zillion for a dollar, but for some reason they were such a treat when I was younger. Everyone loves stickers. I even have ant stickers in my desk drawer at work in case someone is having a bad day – or their kids stop by. Wouldn’t you want an ant on your hand (or forehead) if you were feeling down?

My morning started by a quick visit to Ryan to drop off his camera. I found his friend Mike in the parking garage, I handed off the camera, and I was on my way. I traveled all the way down to South Charlotte to see Ashley and Alekzander while Andrew was playing disc golf, but first I had to make my obligatory stop at TJ Maxx. I found all kind of good deals – my new $16 gold sandals and $15 bubble dress are probably my favorite buys though. Ashley and I also made our way to Target (surprise), and we treated ourselves to (free) Starbucks chai lattes (hers frozen with soy, mine hot with skim) while we shopped. There is really nothing better than shopping with chai tea in your hand.

It was ridiculously hot (anyone else ready for fall?), so we passed on the walk we had planned, and decided to sit in the baby pool while Alekzander tried out his new float. Two girls and a gigantean inflatable infant float aren’t really the best fit for the pool (in fact, we made it overflow quite a few times), but we had a wonderful time watching Alekzander busily collecting his toys to eat and drink from. Since the last time I saw him, Alekzander has grown much too big for my liking and he has taught himself to scoot. He isn’t quite up to the full crawl, but he’s quickly figuring things out. Right now, his crawl is more like: right hand smacks the floor, left hand smacks the floors, toes press down, and pull. He certainly can get where he needs to go though.

The four of us had a track and field party on the bed, and Alekzander climbed and maneuvered his way over our bodies to visit everyone. He seems to love when all eyes are on him, and he’ll look around and grab ponytails to make sure everyone is still watching. And we are! I mean, how could we not? Did you know I love babies?

Ryan is having his quarterly boys day (it has a much manlier name than that, but it seems to escape me at the moment), but I scored an invite to join them this evening. We are going to RiRa’s to see Uphonik play – always a good time – and Kellie, I’ll be sure to tell the lead singer you said hi. We’re ready for you to come back now.


The Scoop

From the very beginning, the scoop has played a major role in my relationship with Ryan; yet it wasn’t until last weekend that we actually found it. Maybe you are confused. You see, the word “scoop” (more so the noun than the verb) can be used in a vast array of different situations. Our favorite is to use it as a replacement word for “thing”. “Thing” is such a weird, blah word anyway – it is basically just sitting around asking to be replaced. After all, “thing” was definitely on the middle school word wall of words not to use (you know, right next to “good” and “big” and “stuff”).

Most frequently, “scoop” gets used in the following scenario, which can be verbalized, texted, or emailed: “(insert number here … example: 4) Scoops: (insert a three item list here)”. Try it. Like this:

4 Scoops:
1) Can you stop by the market and pick up a stalk of celery for me?
2) I just accidentally ordered a new dress today.
3) What time do you want to eat dinner?
4) I love you.

See. It’s fantastic. And you can say anything you want in your lists. So we do. Lots of times an “ILY” sneaks in there (see above). And so here we’ve been, scooping away for the past 15 months, and then … there she was. Right there in Holden Beach. The Scoop.

What kind of scoops do you have today? How many? And what about your weekend scoops? I hope to have some good ones. I’m definitely getting one BIG scoop of Alekzander tomorrow, and that makes my heart very happy. (I think “very” and “happy” were both on that list too. I know “big” definitely was.)

So now is as good of a time as any to make this one-big-very-sad scoop of an announcement:  I've decided to quit ice cream.  This may be temporary.  But stay tuned.


Say Hey

I thought you might need something to put you in better mood today. You know, I can sense when you are having that kind of day. Or maybe I just think that my day is reflective of your day? Whatever it is – if you are sleepy, sad, in a funky funk, or maybe just need a splash of hope today – this will cure it. In fact, I’m pretty sure Michael Franti’s “Say Hey” will give you the happiest of happies. You can just listen if you want, but might I recommend watching the video as well?

Image from Amazon.

Now I’m not a highly metaphysical man
But I know when the stars are aligned
You can bump into a person in the middle of the road
Look into their eyes and you suddenly know
Rocking in the dance hall moving with you
Dancing in the night in the middle of June
My momma told me don’t lose you
Because the best look I had was you
I said hey I be gone today
But I be back around the way
Seems like everywhere I go
The more I see, the less I know
But I know one thing:
That I love you


Naked Green Machine

Have you had this? It is Naked’s Green Machine 100% Juice Smoothie. Today it counted as lunch, along with a few handfuls of honey wheat pretzel twists. You really have to look past the color (puke green) and consistency (super thick), but once you do, it is amazing. I mean, really amazing. It mostly tastes like kiwi and pineapple to my dinosaur taste buds, but it also has apples (yes, plural), banana, mango, broccoli, spinach, algae, garlic, barley grass, wheat grass, ginger, and parsley.

Image from Naked.

Whoever thought of this is maybe crazy, and whoever buys it to try for the first time is maybe crazier. Really, it’s the worst possible color ever. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come wrapped in a leaf in real life. But you should try it anyway. It’ll be worth your $2.99. A pound of fruit is in every bottle! Did you know?

Also, my sister will probably cry if you drink hers.  It's happened before.  And I'm trying to get over a major spurt of tired.  Big time tired.  Does this happen to you?


Pewter Rose

The sevens seem to be coming faster and faster. Last night we celebrated our 15th seven at Pewter Rose Bistro, which we arrived at via the light rail. I don’t know that either of us knew what to expect when we walked up the stairs to the restaurant, but their website didn’t seem to really give a true representation of their d├ęcor and style. The weather was beautiful, so we certainly couldn’t resist sitting outside, but I’d maybe suggest sitting indoors for a more modern atmosphere. We got to listen to a couple plan their wedding, as well has hear their engagement story – it involved Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” song – which we heard at least four times in a row. I think they must have been meeting with their DJ, who was kind enough to bring his laptop for them to listen to songs in the corner of the patio. We also heard about the bride’s love for Michael Jackson and her adamancy in providing beer and wine for her guests (but no liquor – she didn’t want things to get too crazy). I ordered hummus, which came with yummy bread, tomatoes, and some other items I don’t care for that were labeled as “assorted sours”. Ryan got a chicken Caesar salad, as we are on our way to good health. We also decided to wake up before 6 this morning to go running. Circle yes or no if you think that really happened.


Sand Sillies

Oh the sillies you can have when you have someone to be silly with. We are safely back from Holden Beach with handfuls of pictures to prove our good times. Ryan and I both found the 7 year olds inside of us today. We had cartwheel contests (Ryan: 17, Tessa: 8), handstand practice, Cheez-Its, football tackling lessons, fish faces, and a sea shell ring.

And Ryan made me laugh. A lot. Especially when he was singing me his personalized lyrics. And then trying to turn the noise from the wind in the Jeep down via the stereo’s volume knob. I hope everyone else has as much fun as we do.


Holden Time

Yesterday was our first night in Holden Beach. We are staying at our friend’s family’s vacation house, and it is absolutely adorable – everything you’d hope for in a little beach getaway and more. My favorite part is the outdoor shower, which is more like a fully enclosed personal locker room, complete with benches, a mirror, hooks, two shower heads, and shelves. There is a full wraparound porch with more wooden chairs and tables than you could ever imagine. I think in my next life – when I’m a cat – I’m going to live there and lounge all day in the sunshine on the Adirondacks. You really don’t even need the inside of a house when you are at the beach in early June.

Last night we went to dinner to celebrate our friend Scott’s birthday and then came back to listen to 90’s slow jams (Boys II Men) and rock and roll. We all sat snuggled on the porch and watched Ryan, Dan and Justin dance and have pull up contests from the rafters. Even I participated in the pull ups – of course I lost with my measly one – but I gave myself an A for effort.

This morning we made a big breakfast, put on our swim suits, and walked across the street to the ocean. It was the perfect day to spend outside in the sun with good friends. We ate grapes and pretzels, went on walks, counted dead jellyfish, dove into the waves, and even encountered a washed up juvenile turtle (he didn’t make it). After the beach, we all showered and started to prepare dinner, which was later cooked by Mr. Taylor on the grill. Steak, potatoes, asparagus, corn, zucchini and squash – can you think of a better summer dinner? I think the only thing missing was watermelon for dessert.

Tonight we are laying low and spending the evening watching the lightning storm on the porch, listening to Citizen Cope, and soaking in every glorious beach sensation that we are offered: the smell of the salt in the ocean, the breeze in our hair, the heat radiating off our skin, the leftover scents of coconut sunscreen on our drying towels, and the laughter of our closest friends.


Emotional Stuff

"Hair brushing is emotional stuff."- AMS

This simple little statement made me laugh.  Out loud.  And maybe cry a little.  On the inside.  Because it is so inexplicably true.


And So ...

My mom used to say “I want, I want, I want” in a whiney voice – mocking me – when I got like this. And it’s true … I’m having a major case of the “I wants” right now. Unfortunately I’m simultaneously having a case of the “can't haves” right now, but the “don’t really needs” are trailing closely behind. So basically I’ll end up with nothing (lose), spend nothing (win), which is okay because I seem to have all that I need (neutral). Mostly I’m wanting new bathing suits and dresses from Victoria’s Secret, and that’s probably just because we leave for the beach tomorrow. In two days I’ll be completely over it and onto something new that I’ll forget about in another week. And so it goes.

Tonight I have to pack (my old boring clothes), and there’s probably nothing I hate more than packing. But did you know about my giraffe luggage? I really like it a lot, and you would think it would make packing so much more fun, but it really doesn’t. Not at all. Not even a smidge of extra excitement comes with it (lose). But it does make me feel pretty fabulous walking through the airport and picking up my suitcases at baggage claim (win). And people talk about it. They do. I hear them. Even the airport workers have something to say about my giraffe luggage: “Wow, I bet you never lose your bags!” or “Haven’t seen that one before!” (neutral). And so packing is still packing – no matter what kind of animal suitcases you have.  Even if they look like this:

Image (and luggage) from CSN.

One time, I went to the beach and forgot to wear bathing suit bottoms. My best friend Katie and I rode our super sweet beach cruisers to the oceanfront from my old house in Virginia Beach. We locked up our bikes, laid out our towels, got settled into a spot on the sand, and began to undress. I took off my shirt and began to take off my shorts. I quickly noticed that I was still wearing my unmentionables, and they were halfway exposed to all of 9th Street (lose). Katie thought it was pretty funny (neutral). I had to ride all the way home and all the way back – by myself – just to fetch my bottoms (lose). And so, nothing good comes from wearing your bikini top paired with your unmentionables when you are fifteen at a crowded public beach. I can’t imagine that anything good would come of that when you are twenty four either – and so, I will remember.


Road Trip

On the first Wednesday of June last year, we were sitting at a hibachi restaurant sticking chopsticks up our noses. And wearing them like walrus teeth. Tonight, I think we’ll pass on reenacting that and just do a few loads of laundry and catch up on missed episodes of US of Tara.

On Friday, we are packing up a few necessities (like a bathing suit, toothbrush, and towel), and heading to Holden Beach. It has been way too long since I last saw the ocean, and although where we are heading is nowhere near home, the waves and sand of the Atlantic are home enough to satisfy my cravings. And getting away from the city with a handful of our closest friends will make this trip extra special. Everyone loves a good road trip.

And every road trip needs a good playlist. Like one that includes Citizen Cope, Ke$ha, Pearl Jam, Black Eyed Peas, Eric Church, Michael Franti, Usher, Train, and maybe even a little Simplified.

Where do you want to go? And what’s on your playlist?


Happy June!

In our 14th month together, events are starting to repeat themselves. We celebrated Memorial Day by spending time with good friends at The Rusty Rudder - listening to the songs and sounds that feel so much like where it all began. Next, there will be birthdays, the 4th of July, more birthdays, and the cyclical nature of the rest of the year. Oh, no, I am not rushing this away. I will savor every last little minute of it. And live it. Again. And again.

Happy June!