Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Okay Okay, I will turn 29

If you know me at all, then you know that I like to live life to fullest. If you know me at all, then you know I really like to celebrate, especially birthdays, especially my birthday. Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 29. If I am being completely honest, I was not in the greatest mood about it. It is no secret that I want to be young forever. I post a lot of stuff of Facebook, and I always wonder if I should cut it back. Today, I decided that the answer is no. Because today, when I was down in the dumps about my birthday. I took a look at the highlights from the past year. I got so worked up, I wanted to write them down. Races: I have ran two half marathons, one ten miler, and probably a million 5ks. Not a million, but seriously more than I can keep up with. One with mud, one with glitter, one with rainbows, etc. I also racked up a Half Marathon and a 5k PR, not bad. I (with Justin) went to my 1st Alabama game this year. It was awesome to see the Crimson Tide in person. I (with Justin) went to the beach with some awesome friends, and I don’t know if I have ever had a more fun beach trip. I (with Justin) went on vacation with our best friends, and had a great time. I (with Lizzy) saw the Hoover Dam and the dessert for the first time. I (with Chris, Katie, Ainsley, Andrea, Tyler, Brad, Teresa, and Justin) have had so many awesome times at the lake. I finally was Pocahantas for Halloween. I saw Ainsley turn 1 year old. I went to my first DragonCon! I (with Kacee, Caleb, and Justin) had an awesome Friendsgiving in Charlotte this year. I survived my 10 year high school reunion. I got a new car! Bye bye, Cavalier. Hello, Lime Green! I got the coolest lioness tattoo! I (with the rest of America) saw the USA win the Women’s World Cup. Concerts: Luke Bryan, Motley Crue, Garth Brooks, Yarn, Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert, Maddie & Tae, Raelyn, Gary Allen, Brooks & Dunn, Lee Baines, Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Rascal Flatts, Sara Evans, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, The Eli Young band, Joe Nichols, Justin Moore. I am sure that I am missing a couple. These are just the highlights. My Instagram is full of little bits of stuff that makes life great. When I looked back, I realized something. I have to turn 29 tomorrow. This 28th year simply cannot hold anymore…

Friday, December 12, 2014

Knitters Know

Knitters know. We knitters know a hand knit item when we see one. That is just part of the trade. I see tons of hats at winter time, and I always can pick out a handmade one. Us knitters call it “spotting a handknit in the wild”. And a handmade hat can tell me a lot about the wearer of the hat. For example, I saw this guy at the bar one night. From the front, he was a big burly guy, with an out of control beard, he was doing shots, and may have been yelling a few obscenities. I was just about to write this guy off, and he turned his head. He was wearing an amazing handmade crochet tam hat. The detail was brilliant. Of course, being the shy person I am, I walked over and said “I love your hat.” He quickly replied, “Thanks, my friend made this for me.” Obviously, I already knew this, but this told me so much about burly bearded man. It first told me that he appreciates handmade things. That he sees the value in the time and effort that went into his hat. He knows that he could have bought a hat, but he wears this one because he knows that it is worth more than anything that could be bought from Target. Second of all and the point, I know that somewhere there is a knitter who loves burly bearded man. Someone out there that cares enough about him and thought enough of him to make him this hat. The hat was too awesome to make for someone you don’t care about. And if one of my “people” thought this much of him, I must have missed something in my initial assessment of him. My favorite thing about winter is seeing the pictures that I get of people wearing the things I made them. I love the idea of when these people are out in the cold world, I am keeping them warm and protecting them. These people, wearing things that I made them, are going about their daily lives without a notion. Unbeknownst to them, they come across a knitter or two. And that knitter or two, looks at them and knows that someone somewhere loves this person and finds them worthy of a handknit. That brings us to this morning, when I walked into the kitchen and saw Justin’s black hat. I made him this hat right after we got married 4 years ago. It was the 1st thing that I made, that he wore. I have seen that hat leave many a cold morning, and I always felt a little better because I knew at least his ears were warm. After 4 winters of working, wearing, and washing, it finally met its match, a little bleach spot. Just as I was about to toss this old hat in the trash, I thought about when I made it, how happy I was when he wore it, and how many times he has worn this symbol of love into the world for other knitters to know. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t throw this well-worn hat away, so I held it for a minute, shed a tear, and stuffed into a drawer. Yes, there is another black hat already on the needles...

Friday, April 4, 2014


For some reason, I have been thinking about tattoos a lot recently. Maybe it is because I am contemplating my next one. Maybe it is because Justin is in the middle of the a full back piece. I don’t know. I love tattoos. As I was driving home from lunch, with an article that I had shared on Facebook still fresh in my mind, I begin to define why I liked tattoos so much. I got my first tattoo when I was 22. I got one purple star on my right hip. I thought I looked uneven, so I went back the next month to get a matching star on the other hip. I do want to admit, that my current 27 year old self, would not get matching stars on her hips. But I still love my stars, when I notice them. (After time, tattoos just become a part of who you are, and you kind of forget them.) So no, I wouldn’t get stars today, but I did at 22 and I am okay with that. Here’s why. Whenever I look at my stars, I am instantly reminded of the 22 year old that got them. I got them in January. I had been in Atlanta for only two months. I was clueless. All of sudden, I left a small town in Alabama, and I had thrown myself into the big city. I was at a real job with real adult responsibilities. I was searching for who I could be or what I wanted to be. I knew very few people, and had no friends here. I didn’t know if I could make it, or how not to make it. I was ready for anything, and prepared for nothing. That was the 22 year old girl that got stars on her hips, and I like thinking of her when I look in the mirror. My other tattoos have similar stories. They remind me of a specific time and place in my life. And when I look at them now, I see them as a single portrait of who I was at the time. A portrait that will always stay with me, reminding me who I am and where I have come from. So you see, when I think of my tattoos as a representation of me, how can I be ashamed of them or regret them? I love fielding the question, what are you going to look like when you are 80 years old and you have all these tattoos. Well, I have seen a lot of eighty year olds, and I have never wanted to see any of them naked, tattoos or not! So for the person(s) who will have to see me naked at 80, I will go ahead and apologize to you. Not because I have tattoos, but because I will be old and wrinkly. At least, you can have some fun imagining the stories behind my tattoos.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Three things that I have learned from Running

I never ran in high school or college. Never. Like people were very shocked when I told them I started running. I even have this funny story about me involving the cops and me not running. Me telling them clearly, that I may walk away, but I won’t be running so there is no need for you to stand guard outside my car door. I started running back in 2003. I don’t remember the day exactly, but I know how it went down. I got an emailed regarding the Annual Corporate 5k challenge, and like so many other times in my life. I got excited, and made a snap decision to do it. (This happens quite often to me) Once I make a snap decision, I am committed for better or worse. I have been running off and on since then, (currently, I am on) and it is definitely a love/hate relationship. But it is a relationship that has taught some things over the years. I know everyone has a blog about what running teaches them, but I swear mine are a little different. 1. Effort counts. I am a slow runner. Like I have stopped and walked, and I can make better time walking, type of slow. When I schedule a long run into my weekend, I allow 15 per mile. Now, I am a little faster than that, but shit happens. I used to feel self conscious about how slow I am, but then this thought hit me. “At least, I am out here.” Yes, I am slow. Yes, Justin can run faster than me without a bit of training. But who ran 7 miles yesterday? I did. So what, if it took me forever to do it. I did it. And that effort counts. Real Life Example: I made my mom a birthday cake on Friday. I wanted it to be an old fashioned, southern, from scratch, 7 tiny layer cake. And it went okay, until something went wrong with the boiled frosting and all of it slid off the cake. It was a pitiful looking cake, but my mom loved it. God bless her, she even took some home. She knew the effort that went into that cake, and she was happy. See, effort counts. 2. There are different levels of suckiness. Now, we have already talked about how I am slow runner, but you know what I am getting faster. I am doing the weekly speed workouts. I am putting long runs in, and I think I am getting a little faster. And let me tell you, I feel good about that. I really do. Real life Lesson: Even if you are bad at something, do it anyway. If you are terrible cook, cook anyway. You can’t let what you suck at hold you back. You may never be good at it, but you can suck less. And trust me, that feels pretty damn good. 3. First mile always lies. I hear new runners say, “I started to run, but my legs hurt so I stopped” “I couldn’t breathe, so I stopped” That is the mistake, stopping. My 1st mile always suck, it is like my legs are like, “nope, we aren’t doing this”. And then most of the time, they shut up. Real life lesson: Don’t give up at the beginning; there is a good chance that this is the hardest part. There are more, but these are the ones that I remind myself of while I am hitting the pavement. In case any of you out there are wondering, I have ran 155 miles since January 1st. I am 30 miles ahead of my goal to run 500 miles in 2014.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

It is the end of January, and I never posted a blog about my New Year’s Resolutions.  I was listening to a podcast said that many resolutions are broken by the end of January.  So this is an update on where my resolutions are to date.

No Drink January - I am about 14 and half hours from February 1st.  Not that I am counting by any means.   But I stopped drinking at midnight on NYE, and have been sober since.   It has been an interesting month.  I have learned a few things.  I can go a month without alcohol.  Not having a hangover on Sunday feels awesome.  It is insanely cheaper not to drink. And it is much easier to lose weight when you are not drinking.

Knit New Things - Well, I am knitting socks, and I haven’t made socks in a really long time.  So I am considering this new knitting.  I also have a baby blanket started that I will need to finish.  So far so good on this one.

Stop biting my nails – I realized that I do this when I am bored or at a loss as to what to do with my hands.  I have been in this situation many times this month due to the not drinking.  But my nails are ugly, and I want to get them painted.  So my goal is to work on this is in February.  I don’t think I have broken this resolution, because I haven’t officially started it yet.

Eat more less processed foods - I am making some real progress towards this, and as with spring, summer, and fresh vegetables coming up I expect more of this to continue.

Crochet Hats for the Homeless- Haven’t started this yet, but I haven’t abandon it or forgot about it. Those hats are fast, and I have plenty of time.

Now, for the biggest resolution that I have made.

Run 500 miles in 2014 – I have 54 miles to date.  I am over 10% of the way there.  Of course, training for the half marathon has helped A LOT.  And it will provide a little cushion for me for the rest of the year.  I am excited.

I am not doing so badly, but it looks like I got my work cut out for me in February.

Happy New Year!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fall - A New Beginning

I apologize in advance; this is probably going to get a little cooky before I am done. I just got back from a run, like literally sitting in the kitchen with my sports bra on writing this. I have decided that if I intend to write more. I should write when I have something to say. Man, I am so smart. Anyways, I love running in the fall. The colors and trees are so beautiful. This afternoon was no different, and I was looking around appreciating the beauty and hating that it would “end” soon. The leaves will soon fall, winter will come and it will be over until spring. Then a queer thought came into my head, what if fall is actually the beginning. The more that I thought of this, the more it made sense to me. If you have ever planted a seed, you know that although you may not see anything above the surface yet, major things are happening beneath the soil. If the prep work is never done underneath the soil, then there would never be anything above. So how can spring be the beginning? Wouldn’t there have to be a season of preparation? Maybe fall is the first part of the preparation. The trees are actively choosing to shed themselves in order to prepare for the new things to come.Shedding the leaves seems to be a process. It seems like trees fight the urge to change their leaves. I always find that trees stay green for quite awhile, after the official season of fall starts. Then you see one spot of color on an entire green tree. As if the tree held out for as long as it could, and once they have accepted the color, then the shedding starts. Maybe that is why you see some trees hold their leaves until the last possible second it seems. Maybe they were the ones just weren’t quite ready to let go of the old in preparation of the new. This also makes me wonder why we celebrate the new year in the dead of winter. Isn’t the whole point of New Years is to set goals and ambitions for the upcoming year. It seems so unnatural to do it then. Why not practice the act of shedding our old selves during the seasonof fall along with the trees? It works so well for them. They shed themselves, they enter a season of anticipation and preparation. And then all of sudden, BOOM, spring. Amazing. I have some things I need to shed. Some bitterness, some self doubt, some Wish I’s and some Shoulda’s. Hell, while I am shedding things, I may as well shed this bit of fear. I am going to enter a season of preparation and anticipation. I have some amazing things in my life, and I can only imagine what is in store for me come spring.

Monday, November 18, 2013

I am a writer.

I am writer. I know that the few of you who read this are thinking, “ummm...yeah” But I don’t think I realized this, or I have definitely forgotten about it. Now that I sit and think about it, I have written quite a bit over the years. I wrote all my speeches throughout my many years in 4-H. I was the kid in high school that was acting like they were complaining, but was secretly a little excited about doing the research paper I remember being super clever on my introduction about my subject, Latin dancing. It went something like... “You see a couple in a dimly lit room. Two sweaty bodies convulsing to one dominate beat. You can’t look away, and are force to pry into this passionate moment. What are they doing? The salsa, of course.” Pretty clever, right? High school seniors loved it. I actually studied poetry while I was in high school on the side. My dad and I would go to Dothan once a month, so I could sit and converse with people much older than me. I would read my poetry for them, and listen to theirs. Before insurance, I was actually a journalism major in college. I also have started a blog. A blog that has derailed from its primary purpose, but a place where I write occasionally. So yes, I guess I am a writer. So I don’t know why it surprised me so much when Justin called me one on Thursday night. I don’t even remember the conversation; I just know that we were on our way home from the concert. He said, “Blah blah blah, you are a good writer.” And I was like, “say what?” Now if you know my husband, then you know Justin is also a writer. His short stories are amazing. His creative story lines and incredible description of detail is what I like most about his writing. Although, he doesn’t write as much as he should, he is a writer. And a very good one. So when Justin said that I was a good writer, it took me by surprise. First of all, he has never said that in the almost ten years we have been together. Second, I guess I thought since I don’t think I could ever write a book or a really good short story, that my writing was subpar. But Justin labeled my writing as a style, a style that he has tried before and can’t seem to get just right. We talked about how our styles are way different, the biggest difference being the audience. Justin has always written for others. His writings are meant for others to see and to appreciate. My writing is for me. I don’t give two s***s if I am the only one who reads this blog. This is me and my feelings, and I read them. I write for myself, and if others enjoy, that’s even better. So if I am a writer, and if I write about my feelings, and if I have a lot of feelings, I should be writing more. So why aren’t I? Good question, really good question.