Monday, May 30, 2011

goodbye Richmond

This town is colder now, I think it's sick of us
It's time to make our move, I'm shakin off the rust
I've got my heart set on anywhere but here
I'm staring down myself, counting up the years
Steady hands, just take the wheel...
And every glance is killing me
Time to make one last appeal... for the life I lead

Stop and stare
I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
Yeah I know that everyone gets scared
But I've become what I can't be, oh
Stop and stare
You start to wonder why you're 'here' not there
And you'd give anything to get what's fair
But fair ain't what you really need
Oh, can u see what I see

They're tryin to come back, all my senses push
Un-tie the weight bags, I never thought I could...
Steady feet, don't fail me now
Gonna run till you can't walk
But something pulls my focus out
And I'm standing down...

Stop and stare
I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
Yeah I know that everyone gets scared
But I've become what I can't be, oh
Stop and stare
You start to wonder why you're here not there
And you'd give anything to get what's fair
But fair ain't what you really need
Oh, you don't need

What u need, what u need...

Stop and stare
I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
Yeah I know that everyone gets scared
But I've become what I can't be
Oh, do u see what I see...

OneRepublic-Stop & Stare

Monday, May 23, 2011

babies babies babies

I am so happy for my preggo friends! One of my best buds Ashley is due for twins...any second now...and Sara is due in July. Ashley is such a sweetheart and made the long trek to the east end with me to celebrate with Sara at her shower. They are so adorable! 

First we have Ash, ready to pop. Can't wait to meet the girls!

Sara and Josh opening gifts

Sara, yours truly, and Ash

So happy for them! Sara is having a girl too

I love belly pics

I don't know how these ladies do it. I honestly don't. I'd complain the entire time, I'm sure of it. So proud of them! Everything is better in twos, right Ash? So happy for my girlfriends! 

Happy Birthday Meir!

Not only is my lil sweetie Coco 3 this year, but so is my nephew Meir! I stopped by for a while to visit during the party, with Darren and Coco in tow of course. I truly think this kid could care less if anyone is there, aside from his momma, Coach (his dog) and Coco. He is obsessed with Coco. He even calls me Coco, to save time I guess. Because lets be honest folks, Coco is all that matters in this world. I love how my nephew sees things... 

Lots of bubbles for the birthday boy!

more bubbles with Uncle Darren


He was obsessed with this book. Would NOT put it down, had no interest in
any other gifts...

Till he opened the book

Thomas the Train! He's ate up with it

Open them all momma, now! 


Happy Birthday Meir, Auntie loves you!

Life is fabulous, especially when there's cake!

Maymont with my favorite

A couple of weekends ago, Darren and I finally took the opportunity to make a quick trip to Maymont Park, my favorite spot with my favorite guy. We were certain it would rain on us, but we were willing to take the chance. I was hoping to take him to see the flowers in full bloom, but alas, the tulips had come and gone. But thats ok, roses were in full bloom and there was still plenty to look at. I was also secretly hoping for that rainstorm just so we could have an excuse to stop and kiss in the rain.  Full on Notebook style.

Yes I am that cheesy folks. He brings out the cheese in me. No joke. I just can't help myself.
*Thanks Google images for the NB pic

I digress...back to the topic at hand.

Maymont's gorgeous peonies...we almost missed them because of the rain beating them down. But they stayed strong...just for me of course

Magnolia for my Momma

This is my favorite photo from the day. This guy has got the right idea. Why just rest or just eat? Why not do both and lay in your own feeding trough? I envy him. 
We love Maymont Park. Ok I do. I think Darren likes it too. 

Oh and I didn't get that rainstorm that I was secretly craving for my Notebook moment...still waiting. 

Life is busy and has a lot of surprises, but it's fabulous. More to come. 

I know

I've been a serious blogging bum lately. I have plenty of pics and stories to share, but have so many things going on, I just haven't set aside the time to do it. I'll work on that now, sorry friends!

I would also like to place some of this blame on THIS WEBSITE . Thanks a lot Hollie, really... xo

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

newest obsession

I LOVE this flippin show. Seriously. What started as just a chance for me to see Adam Levine on TV has now turned into my favorite weeknight-Tuesday night...all because of this amazing show. Adam may have got me to start watching, but it's not him that's kept me's just THAT good. 

The concept? Well this ain't your regular singing show honey. I'm not a fan of shows like that...they all seem the same to me...someone trying to look pretty and be famous and being chosen from what looks like a popularity contest. This show bases their choices on a contestant not because of how popular someone thinks this person will end up...but based on what really matters, their real, raw musical talent. These people have it. How does it work? Well the show started off with several contestants, and 4 judges. The contestant would sing a song of their choice and the 4 artists (all amazing by the way) would give their vote if they wanted this person on their team. But the twist, the judges can't see the person singing. They are in these large chairs facing away from the contestants. They have to make their decision based solely on the persons VOICE. Imagine that, a singing show where that's what really matters? Turns out people really do like the "real" thing, not some made up show. If more than one artist turns their chair around to pick the contestant, then the ball is now in their court, and they get to pick which artist they'd like to work with the most. 

So, up to speed. Now all of the artists have chosen their 8 contestants to be on their team. Then the artist chooses 2 people each week from their team to face off and sing against each other. The same song, at the same time. Each contestant gets their own part of the song, and they also have to harmonize. Then, the same artist that has been working with them both to prepare them, has to kick one off the show. Once they are down to 4 contestants per team, then America will get to vote for their favorites (similar to American Idol, only 1000 times better). Can you tell I am not an Idol fan? That show is way past expired and if you know me you know I am all about getting rid of things that are way past expired these days. 

I encourage you to watch it. I don't know why I am so adamant about people watching this show, I guess simply because it's that good and when I find something that is good I want to SHARE it. So please check it out. Tuesday nights, 10pm. Set your DVR. Now! You'll thank me later. If you want to catch up on past shows, you can check them all out on their website. I have to share this clip from my favorite performance last night. I love this song by Pink, and I feel like the perfect girls were picked to sing it. I was sad to see one of them go, her voice is truly amazing. I am hoping that closer to the end of voting there will be a twist and they'll bring some of these people back. Enjoy!

Did you get chills? Cause I did. Bye bye American Idol, see ya never. 

Life is fabulous 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm Never Gonna Leave This Bed...

Well, I kinda have to, especially if I want to see THESE GUYS on August 3.  I. AM. SO. FLIPPIN. EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!! I've been DYING to see Maroon 5 since I first heard "Harder to Breathe" on my way to class one day at VCU (like, almost 10 years ago!). It was one of those moments where I thought OMG this song just fits, these guys are awesome, who the heck are they??? To this day Harder to Breathe is still my go-to ticked off song. Always makes me feel better, and if I have it up loud and am singing it to the top of my lungs in the car, even better! My favorite album is still their first big seller-Songs About Jane. I read somewhere that Adam wrote these with his ex girlfriend Jane for inspiration, and even when they hit it big and she heard in on the radio, she still didn't call him. (One, who breaks up with Adam Levine? Two, if he writes an album for you, you should give him a call or something...) Anyway I hear they're friends now.

I digress. Back to the very exciting matter at hand. I am FINALLY going to see Maroon 5!!! Finally finally finally! Every year when they come around I somehow miss out and hear about it too late. Not this time, I was ready to go as soon as the tickets were on sale and I had my pick of the best. I decided not to get crazy expensive and am only sitting about midway, but I am still so stoked. I mean seriously people. 

Not only do I get to see Adam and the rest of the Maroon 5 guys, but they are playing with Train (love them!) and Gavin Degraw. YAYYY! I LOVE Train, they are fabulous, and I really like Gavin too. A couple years ago E and I got the chance to go to a small concert of his and meet him! 

Please excuse my tiredness in this pic, I don't know why I was so out of it that night but I was. 

As for Train, I've had this song stuck in my head ALL day...

So click and listen. Makes me smile and I can't help but ohh and ahh over Darren thinking about it <3

I confess you are the best thing in my life
But I'm afraid when I hear stories
About a husband and wife
There's no happy endings
No Henry Lee
But you are the greatest thing about me

If it's love
And we decide that it's forever
No one else could do it better

If it's love
And we're two birds of a feather
Then the rest is just whatever

And if I'm addicted to loving you
And you're addicted to my love too
We can be them two birds of a feather
That flock together
Love, love
Got to have something to keep us together
Love, Love
That's enough for me

And I finally took a moment today to look at Maroon 5's newest video; Never Gonna Leave This Bed. LOVE their newest CD by the way, Hands All Over. So good. Go buy it, like now. Well check out the video first. 

Yeah, I know, I know, it was just sooo tough watching Adam Levine roll around in  bed for 3 and a half minutes. Whew they are talented :) 

Just in case you didn't catch it the first twenty times I said it, I am SO FREAKING EXCITED to finally see Maroon 5, and the other 2 are just icing on the cake. Yummy! 

Life is so awesomely fabulous. 

Dear 16 Year Old Me

Saw this today on a friend's Facebook page, and I really thought it was worth sharing. Please watch.

The older I get, the more I hear about things like this. Young people dying every day. Too young, too soon. It's just not right. I remember the days in my late teens when I worshiped the sun. I pray that those days won't come back to haunt me now. For the past 3 years or so-after getting the news about several different relatives getting cancer- I've been terrified of the tanning bed for the reasons stated in this video. Cancer is everywhere, but we can take precautions. I don't need to tan. Now, if I feel too pale I'll get a spray tan or use self tanner, much healthier options. If I do go out in the sun, I protect my skin. I remember the hot summer days as a lifeguard at 17 when I'd work from sunup to sundown unprotected, and used the tanning bed as well. I thought I looked great. You know what doesn't look great? Being dead. Not very attractive at all. So don't do it. It's not worth it. Plus it ages your skin faster, so you'll be wrinkly before you even turn thirty. So not worth it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Does your dog do this?

I didn’t really have a pet growing up, so maybe this is more common than I can imagine. I remember watching countless cartoons and TV shows where you’d see a man/woman/child dragging their dog into the vet. I remember before I ever had a dog people telling me horror stories of their dog not even getting into the car, or getting carsick once in the car, because they knew they were on their way to the vet. Stories of shaking, biting, vomiting, howling, and trying to escape-all because of the vet.

So tell me why Coco is so flippin’ excited to go to the vet…  I’ve never seen anything like it. You’d think I was taking her on some lavish doggie vacation. I will say that I do see one similar action to those dogs that are terrified…before I can even park the car at the vet; Coco begins making these high pitched squealing noises-they are just awful.  Like she’s being stepped on or possibly being murdered.  Don’t be fooled. Coco doesn’t make this noise because she’s scared. This is also what she does as soon as we pull into Darren’s neighborhood, and she won’t stop until I unhook her out of her seat. She does this right before we pull into my mom’s driveway.  She gets so excited that she starts “screaming” as I call it, because that’s what it sounds like to me, a terrible cry-like a baby in pain that needs attention NOW.
I constantly forget that this happens, whether rounding the bend at Darren’s or Mom’s, or pulling into the parking lot at the vet. Never fails…this dog will start squealing.  I really wish I could remember and somehow rig my camera to record this, because it is by far the strangest thing Coco does. And in case you hadn’t noticed, Coco can be pretty darn strange. It’s all I can do to unhook her fast enough, attach her leash to the harness, and open the car door, before it even opens all the way, she’s bolted out and pulling me.  She then pulls as hard and as fast as she can to get into the building. Once there, she is greeted by the usual welcoming party of both “vet people” and “grooming people”...”Oh Coco’s here! Oh Coco, we are so glad you are here today, it’s gonna be so much fun, thank you Ms H for bringing her, we love her!”  Before I can even process what’s going on, Coco has squeezed herself under their little door and has no concern over me anymore.  She just can’t wait to go to the freaking vet.
Now I ask you once again, is this strange? It’s been like this since day one with Coco. I get the same reaction out of her and the staff when I take her to the groomer too. I thought dogs didn’t like these kinds of things???
This morning was no different. Coco had an appointment to get updated on shots, and her semi-annual testing.  These are all uncomfortable things, but I guarantee you this dog will be happy as a clam the entire day there. Each time I bring her, I get a call, “Coco’s all set, she is great, but you can wait to pick her up if you want, we love playing with her here.” Last time she went to the vet, the actual vet called me, which was a first. Usually it’s the vet’s assistant. She called to introduce herself because she was just starting there and wanted to tell me how smitten she is with Coco. “I love this dog! This is the sweetest dog I’ve ever met. Please leave her here for the day, we love having her here” This leaving her here for the day thing is common at the vet here, and quite convenient for me, but I just find it funny that they ask that I keep her there so they can spend more time with her. Maybe everyone gets this. I don’t know. All I know is, this dog practically gets the red carpet rolled out each time they open the door for her in the morning, and when I take her home the groomer is asking when they get to keep her for the day. 
When I go to the doctor or even the hair salon, I do not get this kind of welcoming party, and I am nowhere near as excited as Coco.  For both I am usually terrified, just like the dogs I heard about before Coco was around.
If everyone approached life with the kind of zeal Coco does, then we’d all be very happy people. Or possibly arrested.
I love this dog.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day - a gift for my momma

Thank you for always being there. Thank you for always being real. Thank you for being a single mom when you could've just given up. Thank you for bringing David and Samantha into our lives, the best gift you've ever given the world. Thank you Momma. I love you.

The Best Day
by Taylor Swift

I'm five years old, it's getting cold, I've got my big coat on
I hear your laugh and look up smiling at you, I run and run
Past the pumpkin patch and the tractor rides, look now, the sky is gold
I hug your legs and fall asleep on the way home

I don't know why all the trees change in the fall
But I know you're not scared of anything at all
Don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away
But I know I had the best day with you today

I'm thirteen now and don't know how my friends could be so mean
I come home crying and you hold me tight and grab the keys
And we drive and drive until we found a town far enough away
And we talk and window shop 'til I've forgotten all their names

I don't know who I'm gonna talk to now at school
But I know I'm laughing on the car ride home with you
Don't know how long it's gonna take to feel okay
But I know I had the best day with you today

I have an excellent father, his strength is making me stronger
God smiles on my little brother, inside and out, he's better than I am
I grew up in a pretty house and I had space to run
And I had the best days with you

There is a video I found from back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen and you're talking to me
It's the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs
And Daddy's smart and you're the prettiest lady in the whole wide world

And now I know why the all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
For staying back and watching me shine
And I didn't know if you knew, so I'm takin' this chance to say
That I had the best day with you today...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The girl that eats cake for breakfast

has been literally starving for nearly a week.

 I’ve decided to take on “healthy eating habits.” If you know me well or heck at least have known me for a good 5 minutes, you know that my habits are more Paula Deen-like than say that scary lady on The Biggest Loser-like. I can’t even watch that show, that lady scares the bejesus out of me, seriously. 

So-I’m known at work as the girl that eats cake for breakfast. With a side of ice cream. I’ve been caught doing this on more than one occasion. I used to think it was funny. I used to not care about gaining a few pounds, because usually within a few months, the pounds either go away, or I just get over it. All that changed when I saw this on Friday morning.

*Image from 

That’s right. Kate freaking Middleton. Skinny people usually have no effect on me. For the most part I don't care what anyone weighs, most of the time even myself.  Usually when I see the thin models in magazines with their designer clothes, I just turn the page and move on with my life. BUT…all that seems to change when the person is not only super thin, but super beautiful, wearing gorgeous designer clothes, and is about to become the bride of a prince….that seems to snatch up my attention (and appetite) right away. That’s right, I said it…Friday when I woke up around 6am to see THE DRESS on the future princess…I suddenly lost my appetite. I know I can’t be alone in this. Anyone out there? Did you see how thin this girl is? How beautiful? Everything was just PERFECT. For a while I stuck in this delusion after seeing it. This girl is skinny so I should be too. I should be just as skinny as she is, at the very least. I can honestly say before last week, this had never happened to me. I’d never based wanting to do something with my body just because of what someone else looked like. I’m a grown up for crying out loud! Seeing this girl turned me into an insecure child, and I still can’t figure it out…aside from blaming that PERFECTION DISEASE. The one I promised I was gonna work on…you remember right? Today it hit me. Of course I didn’t just realize it on my own, I had several friends, coworkers, and Darren asking me when in the world I was going to eat again (not because I’m losing weight or anything probably, but because of the raging $#*#@ I am when I am hungry. Make that starving. With a side of extra starving.

But let me back up. So without even knowing WHY my attitude had suddenly changed and I suddenly wanted to be skinny (yes sadly it took me until today to realize what started this mess) I started cutting my calories down…dramatically. Guess what that did-it made me hungry. And cranky.  By the time Monday came around I was hitting a low point, and thinking about rushing to the nearest fast food joint and getting one of…everything. A coworker asked if I wanted to go for a walk and I said sure, maybe it’ll get my mind of the fact that I am starving. She reminded me of a website that I used to frequent that is a food diary that will count your calories and calculate your exercise and water intake daily to track your progress. So I decided to sign up again. I hadn’t really had that much food since Friday, so I managed to remember everything I’d had since then and put it in the site. I started to feel positive because the site said I was doing well. By Tuesday afternoon I was losing my steam and thought once again about rushing to the nearest fast food place. By Tuesday night I was craving bread. Yes I said bread. If you know me, you know I’m not a fan of bread. This should tell you how hungry I really was. This morning-Wednesday-I got up and looked at the site again. I started to think about it. I spoke with Darren on the phone. He asked me how many calories it said I should be eating. It said that a healthy goal for me was 1200 calories a day. I am not sure why it took me 3 days to realize that this site…is insane. I am no health expert…but that can’t be good. At what point does malnutrition start to take place? What’s even worse, is that I was scared I was going to hit over the 1200 each day, so I was usually only doing about 1000 calories a day. No wonder I was such a witch-with a capital B. Today I decided to push the limits. Since it has you put in your daily exercise, I put it in. Then I decided to do a search to see what these sites consider “exercise.” I can understand walking, jogging, etc…but sitting at a desk? Lying down in a state of rest? These sites have options to put this, and they put high calorie burn rates with those. By the time I put in all of my “exercise,” I’d gained an extra 1200 calories to eat for the day, without doing any real exercise today on my breaks because of the rain. Um…is there something wrong with this picture?

I guess I need to point out a few things before people become too concerned about me. No I don’t think I’m fat-most days anyway. But I will say that I felt that way after seeing that pin thin girl in her princess gown on Friday. Hhmph. Why did she get to me so much? Once again, perfection. I tried to read up on her a bit and found that she’s about 5’10, and estimated to weigh less than 120 lbs. Um…is that considered healthy these days? I know as a country over here we are pretty overweight, but am I wrong in thinking that 120 lbs on this girl may be a bit thin? I am 5’3 on a good day. This girl has seven inches on me and only weighs about 120? I won’t be basing my looks on another girl’s again.  When this craziness started, Darren reminded me constantly that it wasn’t necessary for me to do, and he was happy with me the way I am...and to please go eat something, like now.  He even said he’d already thought I’d lost weight, I’d been looking thinner to him (good answer Darren!). Yet another reason why he is so flippin awesome. Maybe some people do think I’m fat. But you know what, I’m not fat.  I’m actually in what is considered the healthy weight range.

So what has this taught me?

1.       Don’t compare how I look to someone who may be nearly the same age, but is across the pond, has personal trainers/chefs/designers/maids. Better yet, don’t compare yourself to anyone but you.

2.      I’ve realized this isn’t really about me being thin. This is about me being healthy. I obviously have a long way to go, as someone that sometimes eats cake for breakfast, with ice cream. I’ve said for years my motto is like Paula Deen’s. “Bread is just a vessel” (to get the gobs of butter in my mouth). I need to work on that more so than eating only 1000 calories a day.

3.      My new goal is to not be skinny. My new goal is to be a little more HEALTHY. More exercise, better foods, but when I am contemplating chewing my arm off or selling my soul for a twisted Oreo Frosty, I’ll just go get the darn Frosty. I mean really people.

I know as a woman so many of us go through this. I hope that all my girlfriends out there can remember that you are beautiful, just the way you are, and as long as you are trying to be healthy, this is the best you can do, and you are fabulously awesome.

Life is fabulous.
And I got that Frosty tonight. With Oreo...thank you very much. (ate the whole thing for the first time!) If you're concerned, according to the dumb website, I'm still under my recommended calorie intake for the day. I couldn't help but check!

*I'd also like to add that even though Kate was super thin, she was gorgeous and poised-so lovely. Maybe she's just naturally thin. If so, good for her. I love their story and wish them all the best!


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