September 30, 2013

The House Is On Fire...Again. {& Other Crazy Thoughts of Mine)

Worry. Such a simple little word. Such a grand meaning.

I know everyone worries from time to time (if that's you, consider yourself lucky) but some of us, myself, were gifted with the extraordinary talent to worry about every. single. thing.

I mean, everything.

I seem to be a pretty normal person on the inside...or so I'd like to think. I like to laugh, have a good time, show my sense of sarcasm and sometimes even make a fool of myself, but on the inside, I sometimes find myself to be a complete and utter mess. I am the absolute epitome of a worry wart and I've come to the realization that the older I get, the worse it becomes. (Thanks, mom.)

How bad do my roots really look? Does this outfit even make sense? What is this person going to think of me? Did I say the right thing? Did Beau make it to work in one piece? I know he's playing softball tonight...what if he falls in a hole and breaks something? Am I making the right career choice? Is Oakley alive at home by herself? What if she chokes on a toy? Or escapes from her kennel, eats an entire roll of toilet paper and her entire jar of treats and we have to have her stomach pumped? Is my mom doing okay? Is she happy? What about my brother? Did him and his fiance make it into work okay? Am I going to be able to make the mile run up to my gym and back without literally passing out, dying and being left for the coyotes? I left the Crockpot going when I left. Crap-the house is on fire. Again.

That last thought was real (as with 99% of the others). As I was sitting in Fire Warden Training this past week (Yes. Fire Warden Training. Yes. I'm a "Warden" now. And yes, I'm totally adding that to my qualifications on LinkedIn.) watching horrific videos of families losing entire homes, all I could think about was my Crockpot (on the lowest) setting, cooking our dinner for the night, causing a spark and starting a fire. As I watched these poor innocent people's homes become engulfed in flames, my mind just went wild. Absolutely out of control to the point of me just wanting to get up and leave to be sure my house, indeed, was not on fire. I know Oakley knows how to escape from her kennel but would she be able to get out and survive? Would the firefighters get to my house in time and be able to rescue her? What if the smoke detectors didn't go off for some reason and the firefighters never got called? Would a neighbor see the flames and make the call? 

Granted some of these thoughts of mine are a little silly (okay-that last one is not silly) and even far-fetched but, some are just downright deep.

How old will I be when I die? How will it happen? Will my family be okay? Have I let them know how much I truly love and care for them? What if when I get pregnant, something is seriously wrong with our baby? What if I can never get pregnant? Will I even make a good momma? What if something happens to Beau? Did my dad know how much we loved him when he died? What if our house really DOES ever catch on fire? Are we going to get robbed tonight? Is some whackjob going to come into my office building and blow the place up one day? 

God forbid all of the above but these are real thoughts I've had on multiple occasions.

Have you ever thought about how much you actually worry about on a day-to-day basis? I know for me, it's probably not healthy. Let's be honest, y'all. It's a problem. 

But it's real.

Though I try turning my worries into happy thoughts or even drop a quick line to the Man upstairs and hope he doesn't consider me a total lost cause, sometimes my worries just continue to consume me and I can't stop myself from thinking all these crazy thoughts.

Do you worry this much and about crazy things like I do? Has your house caught on fire like 16 times now? (Please tell me I'm not alone here.) What do you do when you worry? How do you keep yourself from going nuts with all these weird thoughts we face on a daily basis?!
Thank GOD for ^that^, right?

September 25, 2013

Our Lil Graduate

Before dropping Oakley off at camp a few weeks ago, we gave her a little pep talk and asked her if she was going to do good in school:


Let's just say sister kept her promise and was determined to get her little butt home because 6 days earlier than expected, our sweet girl graduated from Kickapoo Ranch Pet Resort! 

I don't know what it's like to have a child walk across a graduation stage but I'd say the feeling is pretty darn close to that. Proud is an understatement. 

We are so so happy to not only have our baby girl back, but after 15 days of rigorous one-on-one training for Oakley and 2 days of training for us, we are finally able to enjoy her all the time. No more jumping, no more dragging us down the street when we take her for a walk, no more crazy harness contraption around her shoulders, no more leash at all, as a matter of fact and I just can't tell you how much stress has been taken off our shoulders. I know I sound incredibly crazy for saying that so judge away, but dealing with such a strong, powerful dog like Oakley was really starting to stress Beau and I out! It feels good to be in complete control of an 80 pound ball of sass. 

Oakie Bear, I know you can't read (yet!) but we are so so so happy to have you home and I think it's safe to say you're really happy to be home, too. :) Thank you for making me not have to go 6 more days without you!

I've gotten a lot of emails lately asking what camp we sent Oakley to so for those interested, we sent her to Kickapoo Ranch Pet Resort in Waller, Texas (right outside of Houston). I would highly...HIGHLY...recommend Mike and his team if you're in need of a final solution for training your dog. The facilities are amazing (like, I want to move there) and the grounds are SO clean. (I never saw a single pile of poop anywhere, if that explains anything.) From puppies, to rescue babies and even older dogs, these people know what the heck they're doing and I am so incredibly appreciative of them! Honestly, this has been the best time and money I've ever spent. Ever. But if you still have questions, feel free to shoot 'em my way!

September 24, 2013

Wrap It In Lace {A Simple DIY Project}

Once upon a time I promised you I would do a quick tutorial on the lace wrapped monogram seen in the below photo.  (Snapped from quite possibly the most epic bachelorette party I've yet to attend. even topped my very own.)

Well,  that once upon a time boat set sail a few weeks ago and just now came back to shore so I apologize to any of you who have experienced chronic stress, anxiety or sleepless nights just waiting for this grand "how-to". Go ahead and send all Xanax and Ambien receipts my way for reimbursement. (Kidding. I do not condone either of those prescription drugs nor would I reimburse you for taking them. Ever.)

Ok lets get back on track, shall we? The lace monogram initials. Lets just say there are three simple steps to creating these beauties. And when I say "simple", I mean it took me longer to go out and buy the materials to make these than it did for me to finish them.

1) Purchase your supplies:
Wooden initials | Stretchy lace | Flower (or something similar) - all from Hob Lob

2. Take the end of your lace and hot glue it to the back of the wood before you start wrapping. Once that dries, begin wrapping the stretchy lace around your letters, stretching it as tight as possible. If you get to a place where it gets a little difficult to wrap the letter with the same strand of lace (for example, the middle part of the "A"), cut it, glue that end down, and start over wherever you need to.

3. Hot glue the end piece of lace down, slap a pretty burlap flower on that puppy and voila!

I thought about hanging them from something or finding something to glue to the back to make them stand on their own but didn't have time (bachelorette festivities were to be had) so I just rested them against the TV during the Monograms & Mimosas party. worked. (Yes, my friend Ashley's new initials resemble that of an American Online ad but I assure you that is not her name.)

I adore lace...anything lace. Add a turquoise burlap flower and consider melt my darn heart.

My favorite thing about these letters is that my friend Ashley, who is getting married in November, can use these at her other showers or even the day of the wedding and in their house after the wedding! Aside from weddings, can you imagine how cute these would look in a little girl's nursery?! Just sayin'...

September 23, 2013

Christmas In September

We made it! We made it! Well...she made it...

My sweet Oakie Bear graduates from training camp today and when I say it feels like Christmas around is no understatement! Her beds are perfectly made. Her bowl is already full of fresh (ahem...and filtered) water. New toys await her and my couches are already lined with clean sheets. Not to mention, I got less than 4 hours of sleep last night in anticipation of her homecoming...

While I should give my smart girl all the credit here, the fact that I, her obsessive crazy furmomma, made it 16 days (SIXTEEN!) with only 4 visits, 8 phone calls and several hundred tears shed...I can't help but give myself a little credit, too. This girl does, however, get ALL the credit in the WORLD for graduating 5 days early! She's gifted. We know. And I can say that because I wasn't the one who trained her! ;)

Y'all. I went and worked with her yesterday and I'm really not sure how the hell they taught her the things they did. We went from her dragging me down the street the night before she left (literally...I have scars to prove it) to her walking by our side SANS LEASH. I really don't even know how they managed to get her to sit still long enough to snap the above photo.

I swear it's magic.

While she's spending the morning getting pampered in the dog spa (and experiencing her very first "pawticure" lol)...I'm over here literally counting down the minutes until we get to go pick her up!

That face. Those wrinkles. I just can't wait to snuggle my bug! Call me crazy but you try being away from your baby for more than 2 weeks! Y'all really have no idea...

3 hours and 22 minutes to go! Happy Monday, y'all!

September 19, 2013

Instant Gratification

I don't ask for much in this life. A pillow to lay my head on, clean clothes to wear, food on the table, a best friend to call my husband and a good cup of coffee.

Ok that's a lie. And my husband would totally disagree. I do ask for a lot in a pretty bed to go with said pillow, new dresses, shoes and tops to wear on a weekly basis, healthy (and sometimes a leeeetle pricey) food to go on the table and a nice, warm cup of coffee made by that husband of mine which consists of far too much french vanilla coffee creamer, comes in the most adorable Anthropology mug, and is hand delivered to me in my bathroom as I apply my makeup. Keeper, I know.

While I thought this hand-delivered coffee couldn't possibly get any better, was I ever so wrong.

Gimme a new Keurig® Brewing System...

Toss in a couple of Fair Trade K-Cup packs from Green Mountain Coffee®, specifically the classic Colombian flavor or the exotic Nantucket Blend (LOVE!)...
And consider my mind blown.

NOW I know what all this K-Cup jibber jabber is all about!

Yes. My first Keurig experience happened one week ago. Late to the party, per usual, but this, my friends,  is instant gratification at its absolute finest and if you're anything like me, constantly on the go and the most impatient person in the world, you too, can fully understand why this makes my little heart just  siiiiing! (See? > La la la la laaaaaa!)

Coffee drinkers of America: am I right or am I right that there is little to nothing that compares to a good...and I mean a gooooood cup of coffee that you don't have to wait 15 minutes to brew?

I'm right. I know. And you, Mr. Keurig, are a flipping genius.

And even better than that is the fact that Fair Trade coffee from Green Mountain Coffee® provides farmers with better coffee bean prices, giving us a better quality coffee at a reasonable price which keeps coffee guzzlers like myself buying more and keeps these coffee bean farmers in business. Environmental friendliness at it's best. Win/win/win. Yes.

Are you a "Keurigger"? (What are your favorite K-cup pack flavors?!)
And most importantly, Are you a coffee drinker, and if so, would you consider buying fair trade coffee?

Take a second to answer the last of those questions in the comments section below and be entered to win a Keurig® Brewing System and a Green Mountain Coffee® gift basket!

Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 09/19/13-10/31/13.

September 18, 2013

Chicago: Ooohs & Ahhhhhrchitectures

Sightseeing and I have never really been good friends. You see, I like to go and do and eat and drink and lay out. (Also read: I'm a tropical island kind of vacationer.) Walking around or driving forever and a day to solely look at something that doesn't move or entertain me has just never been mah thing. Hence why going to a museum makes me want to chew my right arm off. (Yes. It's true.)

That is...until I went to Chicago. 

Holy mother of all things amazing! The design and architecture work that went into building this city is absolutely breathtaking! I wish I could remember the names of all these incredible buildings but lets just go ahead and blame that on the mimosas mmmkay?! (Oh! And if you missed my first post on this beautiful city and want to read about deep dish pizza and the most mouth watering pulled pork nachos to grace the planet, you might want to read here first.)

From one non-city girl to another, I sure do hope you'll add Chicago to your list of "must-visits"! Amazing food, incredible weather, and breathtaking views...not much tops that!

September 17, 2013

How To Be A Tourist Chicago...

I promise to keep these recaps short & sweet! Trust me...I know there's nothing more obnoxious than reading hours and hours about someone else's lavish vacation...

Jacket in 70 degree weather. Check.
Cross body bag that screams "I'M NOT FROM HERE". Check.
Canon rebel + 2 lenses. Check.

Convince your BIFF and her husband to drive 5 hours to join you and be in complete shock when she actually agrees to do it!
(BIFF = best internet friend forever)

Ask your hotel concierge for the best pizza recommendation in town. Gino's East...duh!

Eat deep dish pizza even though you gave up cheese over a year ago. 
I've never met a piece of pizza I didn't like and this was no different!

Stop for a photo op every .5 seconds.
Yes our outfits are matching. No they were not planned. Yes we have ESPN.

Hold hands while crossing the street.
Don't forget to look both ways!

Visit Millennium Park.

Drink cappuccino at 5pm because 65 degrees to a Texan is  freezing cold.

Make your husband pose for random photos with another man
because honestly, these two are just too darn cute to not.

Make the obligatory pit stop at the bean. Smile!

Order the Seafood Platter from Shaw's Crab House. 

Stop & grab a Starbucks because, hey, there's four on every corner. Might as well.

Do lunch at Sweetwater Tavern & Grille.

And do not order ANYTHING except for the pulled pork nachos. 

Pay a visit to good ol' Navy Pier!

Walk to Lake Michigan every single day...

...and knock off #13 on your 30 Before 30 list..."Swim in Lake Michigan". 
(This was as close to "swimming as it was going to get...)

Enjoy your very first Crumbs experience and remind yourself that it is worth every. single. calorie.

Dance the night away at a bar called "Social 25" to a band called "Recycle the Day"
Soak up every last minute you have to spend with your "midwestern" bestie because though you've enjoyed adventures in Florida, Ohio, Texas (twice!) and now Chicago together, the time spent with one another over a quick weekend trip is just never, ever, ever enough.

Not pictured:
  • Stay at the Ritz Carlton in Downtown Chicago
  • Eat cheesecake at 3am from the comfort of your hotel bed
  • Totally whip some college kid's butts whilst playing beer pong at Trinity
  • Ward creepers off your BIFF when things get outta hand at 'said' beer pong bar
  • Purchase a new bra from Victoria's Secret because yours sucks and you needed a souvenir from Chicago, anyways
  • Attempt to enjoy drinks on top of Trump Tower but realize the drinks cost an arm and leg (no lie) so instead, just take in the scenery
  • Go (or don't go) to a very odd/secretive/Alice in Wonderland type lounge that forbids you to act any different than you would at your mother's house for Sunday dinner (Weird? Yes.) 
  • Stalk Joanna Krupa because according to her Instagram, she's in Chicago, too
  • Chase Rasheed Wallace through the hotel lobby because you might not know who he is but your husband says he's famous
  • Go on the architecture boat tour & be simply amazed by the tallest buildings in all the land
  • Pretend to be an Ohio State fan at McGee's
  • Order truffle mac & cheese from State Bar and consider your life to be changed for-ev-er
  • Devour ice cream at Ghiradelli's at 11pm
  • Make some of the absolute BEST and most hysterical memories in places like the elevator and a cab #whoalady #quitbeing... 
  • Take a later flight home in lieu of a couple Southwest airline vouchers and start planning your next trip to see one another! :) Thanks, Southwest!

Coming up next...Oooh's and Ahhhrchitectures!


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