Cranes for Kids

For every paper crane that finds its way to Oshkosh – via the internet, snail mail, or hand delivery – a special child in Japan will receive an article of clothing. This is such an easy, fun, and free way to help survivors of the heart breaking devastation that was created by the recent earthquake and tsunami.

I know you have a kajillion sheets of scrapbook paper somewhere in that messy craft cabinet of yours, so get to folding! You even get to write a special wish on the inside of each of your cranes.  I think I love them:

I wish I could make a thousand. You know what happens then, right? I do, because I’ve read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (out loud) about five times to classrooms full of 6th graders.

Visit Oshkosh's Cranes for Kids website here to get crane making instructions and more details about this sweet project.

“Make a crane. Clothe a child. Make a difference.”





Just some more pictures for my mom to be totally jealous of.

Alekzander really needs to stop growing. 
Or maybe I should just start borrowing his penguin jammies.
We ate strawberries,
said "uh-oh," "meow," and "mmm!" a million times,
and decorated cupcakes with jellybeans.
Then I ate one in the corner because I didn't want to share.
That is all.



Sometimes you have a really fun night (RFN) and when you wake up the next day to look at all of your really fun pictures (RFPs) of your RFN, you realize that your RFPs don’t exist. And then you just have really not fun pictures that you will never put anywhere in the history or future of forever.

Basically this is my favorite picture of the night. Only because I think Ryan maybe is checking me out. And because I think my curls look fabulous and bouncy. I’m allowed to say both of those things.

And I was able to scrounge up these:
1) Where Ryan looks really happy and like he is having a RFN and my shirt looks maybe three sizes too big, so I had to crop the picture.    

2) Where the Wolfe Pack is moving to South Carolina and I am really sad, but I make a fish face instead of a frown because the band was most likely playing “Bad Fish”.  You know, because you’re a bad fish, too.

And 3) Where the Wolfe Pack is moving to South Carolina and I am really sad, but Chris’ red hair always looks super fantastic and she loves her husband a whole ton of a lot. 


My First Date with Perry

I had my first date with Perry of Perfectly Perrywinkle this Saturday morning. We had previously met through mutual friends and even attended a bridal shower, a wedding, a baby shower, and a New Year’s Eve celebration together. But this was our first real date. There is nothing not to like about Perry – I mean, after all, she is Perfectly Perrywinkle (and sweet as pie) – and our shared love for blogging, clothes, and crafts kindled an immediate friendship.

Perry’s kitchen table is her creative space, and it is covered in various fabrics, feathers, ribbons, paints, pearls, buttons, jars, hot glue sticks, and anything else a crafty girl’s heart could dream of. She makes nursery art, cupcakes, headbands, headboards, cookies, hair clips, pillows, and I’m sure so much more. Perry even has her own supply of lacey underwear elastic (which can double as a stretchy headband for a baby). Also, we were wondering … who makes their own panties? And why?

You can find more of Perry’s adorable creations here in her Etsy shop. While I was visiting, she concocted Mardi Gras Madness, while I twisted up Sweet Simplicity. I think her headbands are adorable for you or your little ones. I love wearing a party on my head!  Don't you?  And, just saying, you should probably stay tuned for an upcoming giveaway!



The time I get to spend with my nephew is p to the recious. He is getting way too big for his britches – actually, his britches fit fine since my sister dresses him in the appropriate size, but maybe he’s just getting way too big too fast for my liking. He has a mouth full of teeth and is climbing up stairs, sliding down slides, talking to the duck-ducks, requesting bananas, rolling down hills, and running (sometimes drunkingly so) to make some calls on his mama’s cell phone when she isn’t looking.

Last night, Alekzander, Ashley, and I played at the park, visited the duck-ducks, rode on a tractor, and swung up to the moon and back again in their front yard. While we were hard at play, Andrew made us pasta, broccoli, bread, and sweet tea for dinner. More than once, Alekzander asked me to share my bread with him from across the table – he has quite the appetite, that little one. Later, we drew on the bathtub walls and read his favorite books about cats. I love cat books! Especially when you can pet the fluffy cat bellies and fuzzy cat tails while you read. Alekzander showed me his belly button, shared his pet panda, and let me play with his fruit puzzle before bed time. I really like him.

Most importantly – besides the delicious snuggles and hugs – we have these forever memories to make us smile for the rest of always:


Things Ryan Sends

Ryan sends me interesting things from his travels.  Yesterday he returned from a four day trip to California, and I have these beauties to prove it.  Please see Exhibits 1 through 8:





My Bee

Rewinding to 8:30am on Saturday, Ashley shows up at my condo to borrow a cardigan. We both have an extensive collection of cardigans, and basically all things clothes, but sometimes you just need to wear that specific something that your best friend owns. So she came over to borrow my brown Victoria’s Secret wrap that Ryan actually gave me on this day, when he surprised me with a trip to get my hair did too (um, yes, he’s the best).

But on this particular Saturday morning (you know, the one that I wore yoga pants and purple Nikes to do a lot of things), I was a mess of anxiety and all kinds of emotions that happen when your life is in the state that mine is – see: excitement, unknown, confusion, question marks, hoorays, career changes, poverty, and black cats. And then she gave me this:

And I CRIED. Like – a lot. Because she is one of the sweetest things ever, and because an Accomplish Magnificent Things Bee was exactly what I needed right then and right there in my kitchen having a mental breakdown an hour before the Praxis II. My special bee came with a card that said this:

accomplish magnificent things
make a wish and put on your necklace.
get ready to accomplish the incredible!
you can do whatever you set your mind and
your heart to. wear your necklace as a reminder
that you are capable of anything you imagine.

And I love it. I feel so loved. Over the past few weeks, I have received so many pieces of encouragement from my friends and family – flowers, phone calls, cards, notes, bees, and even the “How’d it go?” and “How are you doing?” texts that mean oh so much to a stressed out tiger.  So - thank you.  And love. 


The Day I Wore Yoga Pants and Purple Nikes To Do A Lot Of Things - 2

After Vida, we decided to go dancing. I love to dance. I never said I was any good at it, but it is maybe my favorite thing to do in the history of ever (well, besides a few other things that are considered more favorite). Going dancing meant joining the 3,000 other crazy people who were out participating in the St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl, which would be okay except – if you’ll please remember – I was still wearing yoga pants, purple Nikes, a hot pink sports bra, and a gray hooded sweatshirt. All of which I had put on at 8:00 that morning. We found our friends in the sea of the 2,992 other people wearing the exact same obnoxiously green t-shirt as everyone else, and the first thing Ashley said to me was: “It’s okay, I have makeup!”. This means that I was looking not so hot in the facial region. But I mean – after a two hour test, a hike across the park, a one year old birthday party, and a patio lunch at a Mexican restaurant, what do you really expect?

So AB fixed my face and we danced some super sweet dances and I talked about my purple Nikes maybe the entire time. As you can see, I even did some quick stretches while at Buckhead. And then we took this gem of a photo:

Sometimes when you wear sunglasses and a hood, you feel invisible and you can dance however you want and nobody can judge you because they can't even see you!  Then it was 9:00 and I cried because I missed Rex. What? It just happens sometimes.


The Day I Wore Yoga Pants and Purple Nikes To Do A Lot Of Things - 1

Yesterday I took the Praxis II. I wore yoga pants and my purple Nikes and Melissa told me that she thinks I am this type of person: “I will do exceptionally well without studying. I will acquire all the knowledge I need simply by carrying my book around with me.” And I hope she is right. I thought about sleeping with my study guide under my pillow, but I got nervous that Rex would soak up all the knowledge, wake up as an ESL specialist cat, and then leave me with nothing.

After the test, Ryan and I went to a one year old’s birthday party at Freedom Park. I was still wearing my test taking outfit and Ryan brought me crackers and a mini-Sprite to have in the car because taking the Praxis II makes you hungry and thirsty a little bit too. So, apparently Freedom Park is the biggest park in the world, where multiple birthday parties and all kinds of crazy things go on. We parked at the entrance and walked maybe seven (or one) miles all the way to the other end of the park where the party was held. And on our treacherous walk, the weather changed from 60 degrees to 100. We also saw people stepping out of time machines and probably close to 400 species of dogs. It was the most bizarre place I’d ever been. And a man on a bike told us that pedestrians had the right of way in most cases – implying that this was not one of those cases – and he could happily run us over if he so pleased.

Post park experience, we decided to have a late lunch and people watch from the balcony of Vida. It’s new and it smells like a fresh spring meadow. It also serves the fancied up version of Mexican food. Plus, there was a St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl going on which meant that there were all kinds of people on the streets to entertain us. Like D-Will and Erin who should maybe consider second careers in modeling.

Please note that Ryan was wearing a disguise, which is also known as a jacket. He kept saying how happy he was that he was wearing his disguise, and then he’d try to hide behind the collar of it. He also told me that he sometimes feels like he has the eyes and profile of a shark. Here he is in action ... can you see it?

I just said “okay” because I mean, half the time I refer to myself as a tiger, so I really can’t judge here. Also, I was still wearing yoga pants and purple Nikes at a nice restaurant. This story continues. And it has more pictures.


Los Bulls

The Bulls were in town yesterday, and if you know anything about anything about Ryan, you will know that he went to see them. I don’t even think Ryan loves me as much as he loves Chicago sports, but I’m okay with that because I wouldn’t really want him walking around with my face on his t-shirt and hat anyway. And I mean – what colors would team Tessa be? Peach and brown and green? Because that’s what I’d color myself if I were using crayons. You know, for my skin, hair, eyes.

So we saw the Bulls. This past Saturday, the Bulls played Miami, and for some bizarre reason both teams were wearing jerseys in Spanish. Except they said this: “Los Bulls” and “El Heat”. This didn’t make any sense to me because why even do something if you are going to do it less than half way. But last night, they went back to English. And Michael Jordan was there, wearing jeans and a maroon hooded sweatshirt. I didn’t see him (or anything else) because I spent $400 on glasses, $200 on a second pair of glasses, $100 on a mandatory lesson on how to put in and take out contacts, and $150 on contacts – all of which I constantly forget to wear.  Stupid.

I did, however, have a great view of the camera man, his camera, and his cheat sheet of Bulls players. He was right below us, and it was my favorite thing to watch because I could see all of the action zoomed in on his screen. Here he is checking his iPhone to see if his girlfriend texted him:

The Bulls won 101 to something, and Ryan lived happily ever after. Then we walked home in the rain and ate four pounds of peanut M&Ms. I asked Ryan what I should do if Joakim Noah asked me to marry him. Ryan told me that would be my decision. I told him that was a bad answer. And then we Googled him to see his face up close (an important factor when considering marriage) and I made my decision very quickly. Does this make me a snob? Sorry. I’m just happy with what I’ve got.


Turning Two

Yesterday we turned two. Hooray! To celebrate, Ryan wore Puma sweats and a t-shirt that I think he looks exceptionally studly in. I’m allowed to say this because, you know … we’ve been dating for two years. And I wore a similar outfit.  Staying in is sometimes so wonderful.  He also baked us a pizza. See:

Our pizza sides were carefully separated by the great wall of green peppers. And Ryan happily ate his pieces decorated with seven pepperonis (seven for our twenty-four sevens!) while I ate my pieces stacked with veggies. See:

We looked through two years worth of old pictures and reminisced on our favorite events of each of our twenty four months together. And then we took a new picture for the collection. See:

I gave Ryan a scrapbook filled with items that he’d been collecting – concert tickets, stubs from movies, planes, and athletic events, love notes, random post-its with zebras carefully drawn on them, and other such delights. He was totally unsurprised. Apparently he has super senses and knew his items were missing about three seconds after I stole them. Even though he was in a different state at the time.

It’s okay though, I still want to live HEA with him. Even though he didn’t even pretend to act surprised at all, there are oh so many reasons to love him. (Like when he writes me blog posts and sends me flowers at work.) Remember these? Perhaps I’m feeling up to the challenge of turning 101 into 202.


Two Years Ago Today

Two years ago today, I decided that I was going to fall in love with a boy in a bar.  Don’t judge.  This is how it happens out here in the for real world.  Told by Ryan, here’s the skinny on what went down that night ... (also, please note that I called him "Taylor" until he told me that wasn't his name in the middle of our first date.  Embarrassing.):

03.07.2009:  I was out and about on this Saturday night like many in the past. No expectations to the evening except to have a good time with my friends doing activities we enjoy. On this night, the activity was a hard rock concert and the friend was Zac Lendyak. The venue was Amos Southend (an empty warehouse that has been renovated into an ideal concert venue, I highly recommend).

It was not Zac’s first hard rock concert (or mine, it’s my favorite pastime), but it was the first time he felt the rush of being in the middle of a mosh pit. And might I say I had a hand or two (in his back) in his discovery of the mosh pit. I won’t get into the details of the concert as it’s not the focus for today’s story. However, to set the stage, I left the concert around midnight a sweaty (and not all my own sweat…ew), cocktail drenched mess, thrilled with the experience and rush that only a live concert can inspire.

I was dressed in my favorite ripped jeans, a “Ron” t-shirt sporting my signature blue and white Chicago Cub’s mesh baseball cap. It was in these sweaty, yet familiar clothes that I arrived at the uptown pub, Blackfinn, to cap off the evening with a few cold beverages.

Blackfinn, being one of the newest establishments in Charlotte at this time, was jam packed. Zac had gone to a different location to meet up with his finance. So it was just me with some familiar, friendly faces mixed in with many unrecognizable strangers, some more attractive than others.

I was alone on the dance floor showcasing my patented “tailspin” move when a little tiger crept up beside me. This would be her initial attempt at taming a big tiger.

She danced about half a song with me and then the Lil Tiger looked up at me and proclaimed, “Hey, you have a great smile”. Before I could respond, she demanded “give me your phone!!”. Being three years into my cell phone contract, I was rather embarrassed to pull out the original blackberry, but my curiosity got the best of this cat. So I reluctantly gave this semi-crazed lil creature my ancient cell phone.

“What’s your name?” she inquired as she began punching the keypad on my phone. “Taylor” I said, (that’s what all my close friends call me).

“Well Taylor, here is my phone number, call me tomorrow and let’s go out sometime soon”. Before I could respond, she had vanished into the dark shadows and cracks of the dance floor.

So I put the phone in my back pocket, thought to myself “that cat is a little crazy” and went on with the rest of my evening.

When I woke up the next morning, I began replaying to myself the prior evening’s events. Many memories were created that night. As I recalled the Lil Tiger, I pondered on whether or not to call this crazy creature. The consensus in my head was not in her favor…"what girl in her right mind gives a boy here phone number by dialing it herself on HIS phone?”. She can’t be sane I concluded.

Just as I was about to dismiss the encounter, a text message came through. “Hey, when are we going to get together?”. That was all the encouragement I needed. We agreed on meeting for dinner the next Wednesday, and that’s when a little bit of HEA began to brew….to be continued March 11th.



Ryan travels. A lot.  To places like Miami, China, New York, Las Vegas, Amsterdam, Chicago, California, and Wisconsion.  This means I miss him. A lot.  Even when he is only gone for one night or two.

So basically, this is just to tell you that I want him to hurry home so I can squeeze his cheeks and kiss his face.  In public.  While he puts his hands in my armpits.  What?



Lindsey at Harpersville Home tagged me in her handwriting post.  First: I love handwriting.  And second: am I a huge nerd because I was over the moon excited that she picked me?  Third: Lindsey thinks my handwriting is awesome.  Wait … really, Linds?  I think I kind of write like a man.  It’s certainly not elementary school teacher handwriting.  I guess I need to work on that.

So, doesn't it kind of seem like the quick brown fox and the lazy dog lived happily ever after?  Maybe they did.  You don't know them like I do.
Wait til you see Heather’s handwriting.  You might melt with jeal.  I do.  And once upon a time, my mom got a handwritten letter from Heather and thought she had typed it up using a cutesy font.  That’s how perfect Heather is.  She’s quite the little snack sized ball of sunshine, that one.
Here are the rules: 
1. What’s your name/blog name? 2. What’s your blog’s URL? 3. Write, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” 4. Favorite quote? 5. Your favorite song? 6. Your favorite band/singers? 7. Anything else you want to say? 8. Tag 3 bloggers to participate.