Friday, May 31, 2013

blog every day in may: admitting defeat

So, when I started blogging every day in May, I didn't think about how busy this month would be for me, work-wise. I could have posted some junk this week but I didn't want to. I am still at the stage where I know how many followers I have where, and my feelings get a tiny bit hurt when I see the numbers decrease and not increase. I don't want to write something that makes anyone go "Wow, she's boring..." so this was just a case where I chose to say nothing at all!

I HAVE been reading blogs though! I read on my iPad through bloglovin and sometimes, it is really persnickety with commenting - does anyone else have that problem? I haven't commented nearly as much as I would like to. I also feel a lag in "growing" my blog (ick, I hate that word). As much as I can say that I want to document all of this for me, it IS nice to have some people to you know... read what I write and interact with me. I am kind of in a lull. I guess I need to make time to find some new ladies to follow and see if they care enough to follow back. If you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them!

I did get a few sweet emails from blog friends asking about graduation. We had an event on Friday night and then I needed to get ready to be out for a week. While I was at work at 7:30 pm, I realized that I hadn't gotten the graduation speaker's gift from the bookstore. We are a small school and it was already closed so I freaked out... I mean, this is something that I do for every graduation and this isn't one of those things I could get by with forgetting. Luckily the bookstore has to be at commencement and the manager is awesome and had me covered and was able to get me a frame the next morning. Crisis averted (and thank goodness for kind coworkers!)

Comicpalooza was also happening at the same place as our graduation. That means that amidst all the law school graduates and their families, there were storm troopers, avatars, and superheroes. My dean wasn't exactly thrilled with the professionalism that conveyed, so that was a whole big thing. I had to beg our police officers to play ushers to the crowd and they were not pleased. 

You know how in elementary school, you learn how to count? Well, apparently some people forget once they get their undergraduate degree, take their LSATs, and enter law school. We had student ushers who needed to count to 29 and then send people to the next row of chairs. Sounds easy, right? Well, we got to the final 20 graduates and were out of chairs. Cue panic. A bunch of staff members, our bagpipe player in his kilt, and an HPD officer created the world's most eclectic assembly line to get chairs back to the last row. Then, once the students sat down? There were at least 15 chairs on the right hand side that were empty because the counter counted wrong. I was so embarrassed - I mean, there were only 3000 people in the auditorium.

But other than those problems that hopefully most everyone will forget about, it was fine. I got great advice from someone leading up to the ceremony: "At the end of the day, it's just another day..." That was exactly what I needed to hear and great perspective! 

I am loving being off work and I'm planning on some shopping in the near future! As much as I am savoring this vacation, I will be glad to get back and get into a good workday routine - carpool with my husband, blog time in the morning, normal hours at work. I also like to go grab breakfast or coffee on carpool days - anyone have any good places to check out midtown or downtown?

Friday, May 24, 2013

my google doppelgänger

So, the other day when I was wasting time perusing, I saw an article on finding your google doppelgänger. I decided that I should go find mine.

First, I used my profile picture:

This photo is over a year old. My hair is way longer now.

And apparently, this is what Google thinks I look like:

A dog? Ouch google, that hurts.

Well, at least she's pretty cute.

I was a chubby baby, but I thought I had at least become a shapely woman by this point. Way to give a girl a complex, Google.

I have always said that i don't look like either of my parents, nor do I look like a celebrity. I'm going to stick with that story. How did I try to find my doppelgänger? Go to, select images, and then put in the image URL of my profile pic. Maybe I will try this in the future with other pics. Have you tried this? Who are your doppelgängers?

This weekend I have to work graduation, then I am going home, napping, and then we are driving to Atlanta. I will probably tweet the whole thing. I told Andrew that we need to listen to every Dave Matthews CD that we own. Let's see if we can fill all eleven hours of the drive. Follow along, will ya?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

thursday bullet points!

My husband texted me this morning asking where today's blog post was. I told him there wasn't one but he reminded me about my commitment to blog every day in May so I have to come up with something. Since it's 9:00pm and I have had two glasses of wine and a tiny dinner, how about some bullet points?

  • Graduation is this weekend. It is Sure, it's the same thing over and over, but did you know I have a vendor for electricity? Yup... they called me this year and wanted to know where to place the outlets. I told them in the same place they had them last year, but they don't seem to have that on record. Awesome. Thank goodness we are having a walk-through tomorrow. Next time you are at any kind of big event, stop and think about all the preparation that went into it, kay?
  • I hate to be in front of a crowd. I blush at the slightest piece of recognition. Tomorrow we are having an event with General Suter, the longest serving clerk of the US Supreme Court (he is our commencement speaker on Saturday). He has generously offered to do an informal chat with us, and I have to go through the audience and collect questions and give them to my Dean. In front of a room full of people. I am nervous. I hope I at least have something cute to wear. And that I don't trip in the Banana Republic wedges that I had to order online that are far too tall for me that I will end up wearing because let's be honest, I love them.
  • One of my deans sent an invite to the aforementioned event to the entire faculty and encouraged them to bring their family and friends. I underestimated attendance (and catering) for this event because it's technically the start of the holiday weekend. Let's all cross our fingers that I don't have a ton of people attending, kay?
  • What makes you stick around a blog? What makes a writer interesting? This is plaguing me lately. I try to have a voice and then I try to get to the damn point and I get stuck somewhere in between, never really sounding like myself... because "myself" uses way too many words.
  • Sometimes I get on and I can't look away. I waste tons of time there.
  • Who else watches Nashville? I love it. Just watched the finale.
  • Is it sad that I would rather waste time on twitter and blogs of people I have only met a time or two (or not at all) than facebook, hearing about the people I know in real life? I'm just kind of over it. Twitter is what keeps me interested (says the girl who feels twitter is so narcissistic that she won't share hers with others).
Okay, seriously, that's enough. I have half a bottle of wine to finish. Let's see how long I keep this post posted. It is just what's on my mind now... And now you have learned that if you ever want to get good info out of me, just give me a few glasses of wine... 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

48 hours in Washington DC

The weekend before last, I travelled to Washington, DC so that the law school I work for could swear nine of our alums into the US Supreme Court Bar. I'll write about that whole experience in another post. What I really want to go into is what I did in DC when I wasn't working (this is the longest and most photo-heavy post I have ever written! You've been warned!).

The National Mall is where most of DC's major attractions are and everyone I spoke with told me I could find plenty to do there. My hotel was nearest the Capitol side, so I started my exploring there. Unfortunately, I got in too late Saturday for a tour and it wasn't open on Sunday. The Washington Monument has been closed for almost two years (since an earthquake struck the area) and tours of the White House aren't happening due to the government sequester. It was kind of a crummy time to visit and I would have been pretty bummed if this was a trip I was spending my own money on. Come on government, work with the tourists!

The Supreme Court is being restored so they have a massive drape over it... kind of a bummer since that was the reason I was there!

The Back Side of the Capitol

On Saturday afternoon, I just walked down the mall for a while. There are many Smithsonian museums along the mall, all of which are free to get in to. The Air and Space Museum was open late that night, so I checked it out. It is definitely a kid-friendly place. 

A Soviet Space Suit

You know you wonder...

A potty for a lady astronaut. Think about it and you'll figure out what goes where.

Full-scale Hubble Space Telescope (I think)

Orville and Wilbur Wright's original plane... the wood is the real deal but the cloth has been replaced.

A rocket in the museum

John Glenn's Space Suit and Yuri Gagarin's Space Suit

I was disappointed to see that food choices near the National Mall were museum cafes and food carts. Luckily I did my research and found a highly rated Indian restaurant fairly close and grabbed dinner there. It was more a fine dining place and not ideal for take-out and the portion was tiny (my $17 chicken dish didn't include rice!) but it was pretty good.

Since I was free all day Sunday, I wanted to get started pretty early. I started with a trip to Chinatown Coffee which was only a few blocks from my path back to the Mall. The coffee was great (and there was latte art!), so I would definitely recommend it. The Chinatown area has some really cool architecture, too.

I was awkwardly trying to take a picture from around a tree, but you get the idea.

The top item on my list to do was go to the National Museum of American History. I love pop culture, so I knew that was the place to see Dorothy's slippers, Archie Bunker's chair, and Julia Child's kitchen. But, the museum was a lot more than pop culture. They house the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star Spangled Banner in this amazing, dark exhibit with dim lights on it and a lot of info on the history about that flag. It was sewn by a woman, her daughter, niece, and her African-American servants (I don't remember if they were considered slaves or free). The flag was larger than the first floor of the home and they had to use a nearby warehouse to complete it. I dare you to go through that exhibit and not feel patriotic! (No pictures allowed in that exhibit, though.)

1) A house that was moved into the museum. It's history from before the Civil War to the 1940s was an exhibit. 2) The Woolworth's Counter from the Civil Rights era. 3) Lincoln's pocketwatch and a cast of his face. 4) The nuclear "football" from the Clinton Administration. 5) Dorothy's slippers! 6) Kermit! 7) Archie Bunker's Chair 8) Michelle Obama's dress 9) Julia Child's kitchen

There was a really interesting exhibit there on the history of African Americans in the U.S. that featured Abraham Lincoln's top hat from the night he was shot and one of his suits as well as a really detailed history of the March on Washington in the 60s (no photos allowed there, either, but it was really cool).

There were also exhibits on every war the US has been involved in, a hall of First Ladies' dresses (usually from the inauguration ball), and all kinds of Presidential memorabilia - like President Clinton's saxophone.

After three hours (!!!), I left to see what else DC had to offer. I stopped at the WWII Memorial, which was very cool.

I passed the back of the White House along the way. This is as close as I got.

A view of the WWII Memorial. There was a column for each state as well as for some of our allies during the war.

View of the Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial. The reflecting pool kept making me think of Forrest Gump. See the metal cage around it from the restoration?

I made my way along the reflecting pool and up the steps to Mr. Lincoln. I have seen the Lincoln Memorial on TV, but nothing compares to seeing it in person. It is so huge! I don't know what I was expecting, but it was bigger than I thought it would be.

From afar

Some scale... it was huge.

Carved inside 

The Vietnam Veterans' Memorial was close to the Lincoln Memorial. It was somehow smaller than I thought it would be, though taking in the size of the walls and the tiny font the names were written in really did show the enormity of the loss during that war. I didn't feel right taking photos there, but I am very glad that I went. I also went by the Korean War Memorial, as my grandfather fought in that war. While it isn't very well known, I still thought it was a very respectful memorial.

Since being alone and visiting war memorials wasn't depressing enough, I made my way to the Holocaust Museum. It is free to get into, but you are supposed to get tickets in advance, which I of course didn't do. I was lucky though, and I got in right away. WOW. It is a very powerful place. There were a lot of people and a lot of panels to read and film clips to watch, so I couldn't see everything I might have been interested in, but it was very moving and just so... sad? Powerful? There are no adequate words to portray the horrors that the museum was able to convey, but it was very well done. I recommend a visit there, but just be prepared.

I was ready for a little bit of levity after this, and it was getting late. I really wanted to check out the Hope Diamond at the American Museum of Natural Science. This museum was so kid-friendly (and there were kids everywhere). They had taxidermied animals in situations close to their habitat and bones of almost every animal you can think of, dinosaur bones, a giant squid, a really cool exhibit on ocean life, insect stuff... a science nerd's dream. Unfortunately, I'm not really a science nerd. I walked through the things that looked cool pretty fast, took a few pics of the Hope Diamond, then I went on my way.

I walked through the Smithsonian Castle on the way there. It used to house the Smithsonian collection, but now it's just offices and a gift shop.

A "stuffed" giraffe in the Natural Science Museum. I liked how they posed him.

The Hope Diamond

For dinner, I wanted to check out Mike Isabella's restaurant, Graffiato. Mike came in 2nd place on Top Chef All-Stars and was known for his pepperoni sauce, so I was dying to try it. I found the restaurant, put on my big girl pants, and went and sat at the bar alone. I have never done that before! I ordered a great cocktail made with rosemary syrup and took a look at the menu... no pepperoni sauce (I think it's only on a dish that is on the lunch menu and this was dinner). It was a small plates kind of place, so I ordered a Caesar Salad (forgot it would come with anchovies... I ate them if I didn't see them and they were actually good, and pushed aside the ones I saw) that came with cream cheese croutons. Little squares of cream cheese lightly fried so that they broke and became a rich, gooey mess when you bit into them. Um, yum. I also had the pork neck gnocchi with ricotta. Usually I wouldn't want pork neck but I love gnocchi and I have had pork neck before (it just tastes like... pork) so I got it and it was great. I could have eaten more, but I was alone at a bar and kind of afraid to look like a total pig. But, I figured I walked around all day, so I earned it!

I walked around Union Station (pretty much everything was closed by then) and then went back to the hotel where I saw my coworker at the hotel bar, so I hung out with her for the rest of the night.

After the ceremony and lunch on Monday, my coworker and I had a few hours to kill. I had yet another restaurant in mind - Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery. Spike was also on Top Chef All-Stars and Life After Top Chef, and he has two casual restaurants in DC. We had already eaten lunch, but I considered this an early dinner and got a snack size fry and a kid's toasted marshmallow milkshake... it was good, and priced well, but if we are talking about Top Chef burgers, I prefer Richard Blais' FlipBurger in Atlanta. I'm glad I got to go, though - another Top Chef place to add to my list!

We the Pizza, his other restaurant, was right next door.

Spike was there! Well, kinda...


Inside Good Stuff Eatery.

I really had a great time in DC. I would have loved to have my husband with me, but it was a great chance to get outside of my comfort zone. And, now I have scoped out part of the city, so if we ever go again, I have an idea of what I'm doing!

All the places I went on Sunday. Google said it was seven miles!

Have you ever gotten to explore a city alone? Is there anything I missed in DC? Can you believe I walked twelve miles in three days?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

blog every day in may: five favorite posts

Like the rest of the country, I am thinking of the people in Oklahoma today. My cousin, her husband, and their three young children live in Moore. Luckily, they have a storm shelter and were safe during the storm and their home suffered minimal damage, comparatively (the chimney was on the ground beside the house and they lost part of their roof). Many parts of their neighborhood were devastated and they are out with their church helping in the community today. 

I wasn't going to blog today because I still don't have my post written and photos uploaded from DC (sometimes life has to come before documenting life, y'all) but then I remembered blogging every day in May and I looked at the prompt and knew I could do it!

I've only been blogging since February so I don't know that I have found my voice yet, but here are a few things I wrote that stick out to me...

putting good in to get good out - I tried to be a better person, and I was rewarded in return. A great reminder that I always need.

the top 100 restaurants in Houston -  I wanted to write this post before I ever started a blog.

a day in the life: event planning - I always wonder what other people's jobs are like and I get asked about mine quite often. I like that I documented a good day so I can always remember what this job was like.

Chicago: my kind of town - warning: food overload, but I loved visiting Chicago (even though it was -8*).

seven years ago today - one of my first posts. A quick history of how Andrew and I got together, if you're into that kind of thing.

Hmmmm, I find it interesting that none of my posts for this month made the cut. Perhaps I have been struggling with quantity over quality, or perhaps those all just feel too "new" to be a favorite? Anyone else notice this as you tried to recall your top posts? Granted, I'm sure nearly everyone else has a longer blogging history than I.

Send me a link to your favorite post! I would love to read it!

Monday, May 20, 2013

meat and meet weekend

I wanted to sleep this weekend, write some blog posts, play with my Influenster VoxBox... be a bum, basically. Apparently my husband had other plans. Actually, so did the universe as a few weird things happened that made our weekend even better than we could have planned.

I've mentioned before that Andrew loves barbecue. Texas Monthly released their list of 50 Best BBQ places in Texas the other day and we have been to three of the top four. My darling husband wanted to make it his mission to go to the fourth but knew that I had no desire to road trip for meat, so he had to bribe me. He texted me on Friday morning that we would be seeing Dave Matthews Band in Dallas the following night... but of course that wasn't the only thing he wanted to do.

We were on the road at 6:45 a.m. Saturday morning and headed to Austin. We needed to visit Franklin BBQ again as they were named the best BBQ in Texas and they have recently started offering beef ribs on their menu. We got there at 9:30 a.m. and the line was already really long. We made friends with the people in line with us and my husband became the de facto Texas BBQ encyclopedia for them. He was really in his element! The food was excellent, as always, but there were no beef ribs as Aaron Franklin, the owner, is the only one who makes those and he was at an event in Dallas for the weekend. Ever since I got a sample of their turkey in November, I have been dreaming of it, and it was definitely my favorite thing that we ordered.

Andrew in line (only took three hours) | Wall plaque of the owners commemorating their Franklin beer | Food (we shared it) | View of the Capitol from behind Franklin

We drove to Dallas (got stuck in tons of traffic) and got to our hotel, the Hyatt Reunion Tower, around 4:00. That gave us just enough time to freshen up and head to the concert venue. While we were in traffic, I started looking at #dmb on twitter and found Boyd Tinsley's twitter account. He has been the violinist for DMB forever. Apparently after each show he meets somewhere with the fans and has an informal meet and greet. We kept checking twitter just to see where it was going to be, and of all the places in the city, it was at our hotel. We had to go.

Reunion Tower at night - clearly I shouldn't have kept walking as I took this.

The concert was great. Our wedding song was "You & Me" and we played "Rapunzel" during our cocktail hour, and they played both of those songs. I am not a hardcore Dave fan but the songs I know, I love and I didn't brush up on Dave songs like I did before we saw them last year, so I was a little clueless during some of the set. But, we did get Crash, Crush, and What Would You Say so you really can't complain when you get three hits like that. They are such amazing musicians and if you ever have the opportunity to see them, they put on a great show. I have already decided that since we saw them in Houston in 2012 and Dallas in 2013, we need to see them in Austin or San Antonio next year... just because.

(If you follow me on twitter, you saw me rant about this already but - we were seated next to the riser for handicapped seating. There was a woman and her husband [who was in a wheelchair] there from West, Texas. She told everyone she could find who worked there that they were from West and Dave donated money to the community and she wanted to thank him and that they should be in the lower bowl, even though her husband has broken his legs in mosh pits three times before [while in his wheelchair] and told her husband that he should use his wheelchair to his advantage at all times. They didn't get moved and she kept trying to yell "thanks from West" during the entire concert when it got quiet. I wanted to punch her. Who does that??)

Our seats were in the front section and really good, especially for being purchased the day before the show! | Dave is in the top pic | Boyd is in the center right | Our view of the stage was really good, but not when captured via iPhone.

We got back to our hotel and sure enough, there was a tour bus with a line of people outside. About thirty minutes later, there was Boyd! He got to the first person in line and gave her a long embrace... I thought maybe she was a super fan and knew him somehow, but nope... he gave the next person a long hug... and the next. Male or female, everyone he hugged got a l-o-n-g hug - maybe 45 seconds? Then he would happily give autographs or pose for pictures. It is really awesome that everyone got the opportunity to talk to him, not just a signature and moved on, but if you remember this post, then you know that hugging isn't really my thing. I was really anxious about it, but once it was our turn, Andrew went first, and I just accepted that we would be hugging for a long time. What is he doing? Praying? Smelling you? Counting to a certain number? I couldn't figure it out. But, it was a very cool experience. How many other members of huge music acts go out and hug their fans until 2 a.m.? (That is how late the bus driver says they were out til in Houston; we could see the bus and fans from our hotel room and there was still a crowd when I went to bed at 1:30.)

Gathering outside the bus | Andrew and Boyd have a moment | Our pic with him (I was a sweaty mess!) | Feeling... awkward...

On Sunday, we went to try out the only place in the Texas Monthly Top 4 we hadn't had yet - a place called Pecan Lodge in the Dallas Farmer's Market. The Farmer's Market is really cool, by the way - five different pavilions selling all kinds of stuff, especially fresh produce. I wish Houston had something like that.

It opened at 11, so we got there a few minutes after 10 and were third in line. The pavilion it was in was completely enclosed and air conditioned, so it was like waiting in a large mall food court. The line started to grow as soon as we got there and Andrew said "Hey, there's Aaron Franklin." I thought it was just a guy who looked like him, but no, there was Aaron Franklin and his wife, getting in line like so many people do at his restaurant every day like normal people, not like the BBQ Royalty that they are (Aaron even judged a season of BBQ Pitmasters, which is probably the most boring show ever). He had been in town doing an event with Pecan Lodge so why he showed up and waited like everyone else was hard for me to understand, but I thought it was really cool of him to be so... normal. I told Andrew to go chat with him, but he didn't.

Now, onto the food - it was amazing. Pecan Lodge's brisket was better than what we had at Franklin the day before. Maybe Franklin was having an off day without Aaron there because their brisket has been better, but this weekend? Pecan Lodge wins. They had a special called "burnt ends" that was just that - the burnt ends of the brisket. I am so glad we ordered that as it was perfect. The ribs weren't that great, sausage was really good, and pulled pork was also good (though required sauce to be tasty - I didn't really care for it on its own). My favorite part, though, was the mac and cheese. Most BBQ places (and remember, I am becoming quite the expert) offer beans, coleslaw, and potato salad, all of which I hate. I was so excited that this place had mac and cheese that was supposed to be amazing. And it was. It comes sprinkled with bacon bits and has tiny green chiles inside. It's basically like a thick, melty cheese sauce that happens to have macaroni in it. It was so, so good and would be a reason to drive the four hours to Dallas again soon!

Our spread (don't worry, we took half of it home) | Close-Up | A note hanging by the cash register. It says "there is nothing here that is not worth the wait" and though I didn't love the ribs, everything else was so good that I think the note speaks the truth.

We were going to go to The JFK Museum and In and Out Burger, but our common sense of needing to get home and be responsible prevailed. Next time, though! I still kind of can't believe that my husband decided on a road trip to satisfy his BBQ wants, but we had such a fun weekend that I would gladly do it again!

So, how was your weekend? Has anyone in your life ever gone to something kind of extreme to get you on board with what they want to do? Ever share an awkwardly long hug with a kind-of celebrity?

Friday, May 17, 2013

blog every day in may: a favorite picture of me

Sorry to be cliche, but I am going to have to go the bridal portrait route. (Hey, I spent a lot of money that day so I should have looked decent, no matter what!) Hopefully my reasons for choosing this are a little less cliche, though.

"Sweet Caroline" had to be played at my wedding; it's just a fun song. I requested for it to be played near the end. By this time, the casual guests had left, the traditional stuff was out of the way, and I had had plenty of wine. The way I remember it, all of the guests got on the dancefloor, if nothing else, just to fist pump their "so goods" right along with us. Andrew and I ended up in the "front" area, facing all of our guests and leading them in the chant.My mouth is teal from my cake, my new husband is no longer in his tux jacket, and we are just happy, surrounded by guests and love and jamming to Neil Diamond. For so many reasons, it's a photo I love.

If you follow me on twitter, you know I am going out of town again this weekend. To Dallas by way of Austin. I will be seeing Dave Matthews in concert tomorrow (yay! A favorite!), likely going to the Sixth Floor Museum, and eating BBQ (the reason Andrew planned this in the first place - I told him I didn't want to go anywhere this weekend and he kinnnnda maybe bought concert tickets so I would have to. At least it's Dave.). So, I won't be able to make it to the Houston blogger meet-up. Hope you guys have lots of fun and I can't wait to see the pics!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

because I need to blog every day in may...

I wasn't going to blog today because I had nothing to say but the The Office finale happened and I wanted to write about it because, why not?

My dad told me about a silly little show called The Office. He basically reenacted the entire "Yankee Swap" episode for me in the car one day in the way that he likes to do. I ignored him, because I was in college and if my dad liked a show, then it definitely wasn't cool.

I kept hearing about it, though, so I caved in. The first episode I ever watched was the one where Michael lectures everyone on prison and calls himself Prison Mike and basically calls himself a dementor. A show with a Harry Potter reference? I'm in.

DVDs were bought and mass quantities of show were consumed. This was before Andrew and I lived together, so I got him on board. His sister learned to love the show too. It was our thing.

I remember rushing out to buy one of the DVD sets (I think season 4?) from Best Buy the day it came out because it had a faux Dundie and a Dwight bobblehead. I don't know, I guess it was the first show that I ever cared enough about to put any effort into. When the Target dollar bin had Office stuff, you better believe I stocked up (my mousepad at work is Dwight's poem about himself and I have a pad of "I heart Jim" paper. Dunder Mifflin forever).

Our wedding rehearsal invites started with a poem Andrew composed that said "She's the Lucy to his Ricky, he's the Pam to her Jim..." and I have already told you that I promised to love him like Pam loved Jim in our wedding vows. When we got Bauer, he was almost named Toby (Andrew wanted him to be a badass, not a wuss, though).

I guess the only point I want to make is - I will really miss this damn show. I know it's just a show, but when it was good, it was good. I didn't really realize how much I cared until I realized it was gone for good. Yes, the past few seasons have been bad and there have been many forgettable episodes, but when I see the shot of Pam falling asleep in the conference room and her head hitting Jim's shoulder, all is forgiven.

This is pretty spoilery, so if you don't want to know about the finale, stop reading now.

The final episode? It was perfect. I love that I didn't KNOW that Michael was returning. The way that they did it was perfect - it didn't take anything away from the other characters, but there was a "that's what she said" and you learned that Michael was happy. All of the characters' stories wrapped up, and isn't that what we wanted? I loved the casting of Joan Cusack as Erin's mom (perfection, if you ask me), loved that the Scranton Strangler question was finally answered, and love/hate that we still don't know what was in the teapot note. I loved Andy Bernard's rumination on never realizing that we are in the good old days - the only thing that would have made it better was a cameo by Here Comes Treble to sing about it. And the cat wedding gifts - loved that. And Kelly and Ryan together. Loved it all.

So, for a TV geek like me, it is bittersweet to say goodbye. The show will live on in reruns where I can choose to rewatch the good (SO MUCH GOOD!) and ignore the bad (ick, Robert California). Thanks for indulging me in a little more Office talk and letting me remind myself how much fun a silly show brought into my life the past few years.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

blog every day in may: phoning it in

Y'all, I have kind of missed blogging. I was proctoring all week last week so I wrote a lot of posts then and scheduled them so I feel like I haven't talked to my blog friends in forever!

I wasn't going to blog today. I went to DC (must write a recap!) and came home with some serious sinus issues. I stayed home from work yesterday and didn't go in until noon today, but I didn't leave until 8:15 (reception - event planning problems) so I still worked a full day. My husband asked me if I blogged and I said no, then remembered that I needed to blog every (week)day in May, so here I am. How about a few bullet points since forming full sentences with medicine head is kinda hard?

  • New Girl finale, I wanted to love you, but I didn't. There weren't nearly as many quotables as there are in a regular episode and the Taylor Swift cameo was just dumb. I do love Nick and Jess though, so I am interested to see where they go next season.
  • The Mindy Project, you got better as the season went on. I love Pastor Casey. And the fact that Mindy and Danny had a moment... so so good. Now I want to reread Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
  • Speaking of books, I am halfway through Bossypants. Love it. The perfect amount of memoir/non sequiturs/hilarity.
  • The Houston blogger meet-up is this weekend and I am already stressing out about what to bring as a finger food to share. I don't really do Pinterest. Anyone have any super easy recipes to send my way? (PS - is anyone else going with neither a dog nor a kid? My dog is not meant for social situations...)
  • I hate when a good blog turns into nothing but sponsored posts.
  • I can't believe we are going to Atlanta the weekend after next. I am taking the whole week after Memorial Day off and I am really excited about it. I think this is the most time I have taken off work in a row since our honeymoon in June 2011. We come home that Wednesday, so I have a few days with nothing planned.
Okay, enough rambly mumbo-jumbo. I am off to take some nighttime meds, snuggle my kitty, and go to bed. Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow and be able to write a nice post with actual paragraphs!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

blog every day in may: ten things that make me really happy

This should be easy and fun! I can't wait to see what everyone says makes them happy.

1) Rediscovering a song that I used to love that I haven't thought of in forever.

2) Latte art.

Blacksmith is my favorite.

3) Cozy blankets and hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows

4) Pink accents- from my water cup to my cell phone cover to my pencil cup at my desk. It's nice to see something cheery!

5) Pants that fit perfectly (Am I right? They are so hard to come by that when I find them, I'm happy about it for a few days...)

My current favorites are from Target! I may have four pairs...

 6) TV shows that take place in quaint towns that make me wish I lived there (Gilmore Girls, Everwood, Hart of Dixie, I'm talkin' about you).

7) Las Vegas. I have never gone and not had a blast. I need to post about it...

Outside the Bellagio waiting for the fountain show to start - probably one of my favorite things, ever.

8) Real email - whether it's a personal message or a blog comment. Makes me happy every time.

9) Silly nieces.

 Crazy hair because we just played Just Dance.

10) My home life - husband, kitty, and dog. We don't live in our dream home by any stretch and we definitely don't have much in life figured out, but I love going home to them every day.

What makes you happy?

Monday, May 13, 2013

blog every day in may: something missed

I'm in Washington, DC today, y'all! Follow along on twitter and instagram and I will post a full recap when I get home and settled!

Yesterday's prompt was to write about something I miss, but since I'm a rebel, I have prepared it for  today.

I think I have already said that I always knew I wanted to be a wife. Since I wanted to be a wife, I most definitely always wanted a wedding. I didn't have binders or a premature wedding magazine subscription, though. I actually had no concrete plans for what my wedding should be like.

I got engaged in December and planned to get married in June a year and a half later. That gave me 17 months to wedding plan! This was in the time before Pinterest, but I still had magazines, blogs, and wedding shows for inspiration. My husband was so great through it all - if I wanted something and we could make it happen, he was completely game.

 Why yes, I did insist on printing menu cards, place cards, and hand stamping mini boxes that held truffles, as well as printing the vellum surrounding the candles. And I loved every minute! (The green tablecloth was not this loud in person)

Those tile and scrapbook paper coasters all over Pinterest? We cut paper, modpodged, and cut the backing for hundreds of them. When the ink ran on the personalized ones we had to have, Andrew risked his lungs to seal the printer ink to make them come out perfectly.

We chose invitations, printed menus and programs, embossed envelopes, played with seating charts, and toured twelve different venues, all together. Every decision was made with the other in mind, so that we could have one perfect day.

In addition to working together, I think the anticipation of all of the hard work paying off made wedding planning sweet.What I am basically trying to say is - I miss planning for my wedding. All of it. Working together and seeing the final result. Wondering how it would all come together. Knowing there were presents at the end of the journey. All of it.

A photobooth wasn't enough - I needed to stamp the envelopes so our guests could take them home without smudging them.

So, if you are currently engaged (or not there yet), all I can say is, when it's your time - enjoy it. Nothing else compares. Yes the marriage is more important than the wedding, but it's a life stage you can't get back. And if you need a little help, I'm here for you. I think I still have a stack of wedding magazines buried somewhere. You know, in case we ever need to renew our vows...