Category Archives: happy place

Any Little Excuse

My work was kind enough to give us the day off.  I guess to properly recover from any New Year celebration revelry that may have lapsed over into Sunday/Monday.  Long overdue renovations and repairs began in our home today.  Let me tell you, five adults and two children is entirely too many people to have in one little house, especially when three of those adults are trying to move ladders, tubs of paint, scrapers and various other equipment throughout the rooms.  So I decided it was THE perfect excuse to take the kiddos and go explore the going-out-of-business sale at the outlet mall’s bookstore.

Oklahoma City was lucky enough to have a beautiful, brand spankin’ new outlet mall open up just a few months ago.  I’m not quite sure why the bookstore is already going out of business. I find that to be a sad state of affairs in the world (curse you e-books!), but that’s a topic for another time.  And really…any excuse to go to a booksale is a-ok with me.

I was surprised by the quality of the selection.  I was fully expecting just stacks of remainder books, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction titles, and best of all, an entire food writing section!   Here’s what I purchased – for a mere $14, I might add 🙂

1.  Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict – Laurie Viera Rigler –  I’ve had this on my TBR list for some time, but my local library doesn’t stock it. So yay for finding it for dirt cheap!

2.  Horsemen of the Esophagus: Competitive Eating and the Big Fat American Dream –  Jason Fagone – I’ve been eyeing this one for some time. So glad to find a copy.

3.  Alone in the Kitchen With An Eggplant – Edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler –  I LOVE this book, and have checked it out numerous times from the library. I must admit, I did a little happy dance and accompanying squeal when I saw it on the shelf!

4.  On The Threshold: Home, Hardwood & Holiness – Elizabeth J. Andrew – I thought this looked super intriguing.  A book of essays about home & faith, very timely in my life.

5.  Familyhood – Paul Reiser –  I’ve been a Paul Reiser fan for many, many years, and adding Familyhood, his newest, will complete my collection, which also consists of Couplehood and Babyhood.

6.  Someday My Prince Will Come:  True Adventures of a Wannabe Princess – Jerramy Fine – This looks super cute. I can’t wait to read it!

7.  Life, Death & Bialys:  A Father/Son Baking Story – Dylan Schaffer – Have I mentioned my weakness for food writing?

8.  Bright Lights, Big Ass – Jen Lancaster – I LOVE Jen Lancaster.  She never fails to crack me up:)  And although I’ve already read this one, I went ahead and picked up a copy to gift to someone.

9.  Spoon Fed:  How Eight Cooks Saved My Life – Kim Severson – See aforementioned food writing writing.

In my opinion, some excellent finds!  Now, if you’ll excuse me…I’m off to read.


1: A Decade in Review

Happy New Years to everyone!!  I hope you all rang in the New Year in a safe fashion, yet just the way you wanted, surrounded by those you love.  In lieu of posting the normal resolutions (aka goals) that I usually make each year, today I’ve decided to share a brief review of the last decade of my life.  It’s been a big one– lots of firsts.  Lots of heartache.  But even more importantly, lots and lots of love!

2000:  I rang in this new year with a small party at the apartment I shared with my college friend Erica.  I remember lots of party hats, poppers, and dressing up like Britney Spears and performing “Hit Me Baby” for my friends.  Wow…how my celebrations have changed:)  In March of this year, I lost my best friend.   But in August of this same year, I began to hang out with my current best friend.  God certainly knew I needed some strong friends in my life!

2001:  In January of 2001, I almost lost my dad.  Long story short, his doctor had put him on two types of medication that were apparently fatal when combined.  His kidneys and liver shut down, and the doctors said that he would have died within 24 hours if we hadn’t gotten him to this hospital, because his heart was beginning to shut down also.  Without a doubt, the scariest time of my life.   While my dad was in the hospital, his father passed away.  My dad obviously couldn’t be with him as he was passing, but thankfully, with the use of a cane, he was able to attend the funeral service, which my sister and I sang at.   In April of this year, I met Darrell, although we didn’t actual begin “dating” until September.  I remember him calling and asking me on our first date on September 11th (I had already left town to go stay with my family during the days following the terrorist attacks).  This was pre-caller-ID days for me, and he didn’t leave his phone number, LOL.  How was I supposed to call and accept his offer?? :0)  This was a VERY tumultous year in my life.  I’m not embarassed to admit that I spent a large part of it intoxicated.  Also in April of this year though, I met another of my very best friends (although I didn’t like her at first, LOL!).

2002:   Still drank a lot, but that quit when I became pregnant.  I vividly remember crying on the 4th of July because I didn’t have any pants that fit. I thought I was getting so fat (alcohol does bloat you, ya know!), but apparently, I was almost three months pregnant.   When I was seven months pregnant, I was also laid off from my job for the first time in my life.

2003:  February- I competed in a local contest, and was named Oklahoma Country Idol.  Too bad the sponsoring radio station went under and I never did get any of my prizes.  March 27, 2003- birth of my precious son, Jaxen.  Life was never the same after that.  Especially when I began to suspect I was pregnant again about seven weeks after giving birth.  I was in such denial that I wouldn’t even take a test until August— sometimes you just know!  I began working at a local bank during this time, and although I loved the job, I hated the people I worked with.  I’ve never been surrounded by so much negativity in my life!

2004:  March 15, 2004- birth of my beautiful daughter, Jalyn.  My life suddenly became VERY busy with two kids in diapers & still on bottles.  I still found time to sing, and this was FINALLY the year that I was named Best Female Country Singer at the national Talentquest Singing Competition in Laughlin, NV.  $3500, a big ass trophy, and still one of the proudest moments of my life!  In October of this year, I began working at the law firm that I’m currently still with.   And if I recall correctly, this is the year I met my favorite gay at our annual A.S.S. Christmas show.  He was worried I was going to upstage him:)  (Maybe it was ’05???)

2005:   Busy, busy with the kiddos, but got a promotion at work– woot woot!  AND,  my sister-in-law had her first baby, I became an auntie for the first time (although technically I was already by marriage) , and became engaged to Darrell!  Darrell began his electrician apprenticeship program, and in May, we bought our first house.  It was a good year.

2006:    My little sister had her baby in September.  Almost as exciting as having my own children, I cried & cried because I was just so happy for her.  Young– yes, but she stepped up to that motherhood job like nothing I’ve ever seen, and became an immediately amazing mom. 

2007:   In April, I became an auntie again!  (My sis-in-law is a baby making machine!!).   On the same exact day, my car blew up, and I had to face the situation of purchasing my very first car by myself.  Scary, but exciting, and definitely monumental.   I also lost my beloved grandmother this year.

2008:  Guess what?? I became an auntie again!  (I told you she was a baby making machine, LOL!).  And a mere few weeks later, I became Mrs. Darrell Hall.  Other than the birth of my children (obviously), the BEST day of my life.  One of the highlights:  watching Darrell’s brother try to make his best man speech, and crying so hard he couldn’t speak.   Darrell worked a lot this summer, driving to and from Lawton almost every day for two months, so the kids and I spent the summer making lots of fun outside memories–and Mom read a LOT of books!  J-Bo and Sister Bear started school this year, and yes, I cried.   In January of this year, I also began at my current position at work.  Scary, scary, scary–but thankfully they were patient with me, and forgave me the huge learning curve that I had yet to obtain.   Ohhh….and the Overflowing Bookshelf began this year as well.

2009:  Still at the Firm.  Kids busy busy with school.  Jaxen started soccer this year, and lost his first tooth the day after Christmas.   Both kids learned to read this year, but especially Jalyn– she’s my little bookworm.   Closed out the decade by falling asleep at 9:30, kids falling asleep shortly thereafter, and missing the ball drop for the first time in my life.  Amazing what a difference a decade can make.

I’m glad that I’m no longer who I was at the beginning of this decade.   I’m a content, happy mom of two, with a wonderful husband, and the best friends a girl could ever ask for.   Obviously, I couldn’t touch on every single milestone that occurred in our lives.  The above-mentioned ones were just the biggies that popped in my head first.  And also, there are apparently many stories I could tell that include events in my friends lives as well, but hey—I’ll let them use them on their blogs:)

Here’s to 2010–may it be blessed with even more wonderful memories!  In closing– here is my favorite photo of the decade.


My Happy Place

As anyone who read my self-absorbed, whiney blog from yesterday, you will know that I have been in a serious funk the past few days. So today I took my dear friend Heather’s advice and searched out my happy place by implementing some of my favorite things in life into my day.

Here’s a couple things I did to make myself smile today:
1. I wore my Grass perfume. GAP has recently reintroduced my all time favorite scent (still only available in outlet stores or on ebay though) to the masses. I have been rationing my supply for so long in fear that I would run out, so when we encountered a GAP outlet while on our honeymoon, I smooth stocked up. I’m not ashamed to admit that today I doused myself in the stuff. My apologies to any who walked by me at work today and wondered if someone had mown the grass and not changed their clothes. I love the smell of a freshly cut lawn, even on my body:)

2. I cleaned my kitchen. Although I hate the actual task of doing dishes, I LOVE walking into a clean kitchen the next evening when I get home.

3. I pre-programmed a huge pot of coffee to be waiting for me when I wake tomorrow.

4. I talked to the kids about their very first Open House at school tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to seeing where they spend their days, and they are really looking forward to showing me absolutely EVERYTHING:)

5. I drank a Bud Lime (seriously.. how can anyone NOT love this stuff??) and sang karaoke in my (clean) kitchen. Although Jalyn’s room technically has the best acoustics in the house, she was trying to go to sleep, so I turned up my tunes in the kitchen and sang my little heart out. Ironically, Heather, one of the first songs I belted was “Anyway”. Closed my eyes and pretended I was in Laughlin with all my buds.

6. I searched out some fantastic new music to listen to while I worked. AOL has two great sites that put up new cds every Monday for your listening pleasure before they are released the next day. I’ve discovered many many great artists this way. Today I stumbled across a girl named Lenka. Wonderful stuff. Google her if you’d like.. she has a lot of music posted on her myspace page as well.

7. I went and had Chinese food for lunch with my good friend Allison. I also lent her two books (YEAH!!). This may seem like a small thing, but Allison isn’t much of a reader really. So when she told me last week that she had recently devoured the entire Twilight series, I made it my personal mission in life to introduce her to some other books that she will enjoy. I’ve got my fingers crossed that she will enjoy the ones I chose for her.

So there you have it. Small, simple things in life… but what can I say? They all make me happy. What about you? Do you have certain things that push your happy button and pull you out of a funk?


Posted by on September 23, 2008 in funk, grass, happy place