Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I'm starting to feel the lazy days of summer creeping in.

It's nice.
It's the smell of watermelon, lightning bugs, naps, sweat, and feet in the pool. It's the joy of books, and blogs, and poetry. It's mouth-watering of grilled meats and gooey sweets. It's the dogs panting and wagging their tails; it's the haze that hangs over everything; it's the gypsy spirit dancing around in my brain.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Everything’s Up to Date in Kansas City

PicMonkey Collage
This weekend was another whirlwind of travel. Whew! I’m feeling like the blur again. After a couple of days of recuperating at home from my favorite trip to Disney, Bryant and I headed off to Kansas City, Missouri. Neither of us had ever been to Missouri or Kansas, so I guess we’ve checked those two off the list. Some friends of ours got married in Baldwin City, Kansas. They have one stop light and one motel and one pretty little chapel to get married in on Baker University’s campus. It was a simple, beautiful ceremony. I think the bride and groom had a great time and enjoyed spending the weekend with friends and family.
We spent Sunday in Kansas City exploring the barbeque (I didn’t notice a big difference from good ol’ Alabama barbeque, but whatever.), a great art museum, and some really cool architecture in the city. Monday was our 6th wedding anniversary, so we celebrated on Sunday as part of our trip. It was fun exploring a new place and new part of the country together. I have to say we were glad to be home and didn’t do much yesterday, but we had a great celebration weekend!

Monday, June 25, 2012

20 Items for You

There is a seriously great giveaway over at Living in Yellow! You have a chance to win ALL twenty items! Did you hear that? Twenty! Go enter now! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Freaks and Geeks

Last week I let my freak flag fly. I do it about once a year. Here’s the confession. I am a Disney freak. My mom, dad, and sisters are also Disney freaks. We spent last week in “The World.” There are a lot of people who don’t understand why we still go—we’re all adults. We’ve taken some serious verbal beatings over the years. You know what—it doesn’t matter. We love Walt. We love the Mouse. We love each other. This is where we go to relax and enjoy one week together every year. It’s a blast—don’t hate.

Those are my adorable parents. They’ve been married for almost 31 years, and they are the sweetest, most sarcastic, and beautifully happy people I know. I’m seriously thankful every day for them. My mom’s family started the Disney freak business, and these two solidified it. They started taking us when I was 4; I think. It has truly become the place we go to relax and breathe a little. It’s not about the rides, or the food, or the heat, or the crowds; It’s just about us.

Our favorite resort is Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. We’re really not all that rustic, but we love that place. It’s cozy and warm and smells good and is filled with adventurous music and life. There is literally water moving through the lobby.

Those are some happy faces.

Even if you’re rolling your eyes at my sappy “I love my family and my family loves Disney” talk, you can’t deny that that treat doesn’t look tempting. It’s Disney’s Beach Club resort’s Everything and the Kitchen Sink ice cream. We’re talking vanilla, strawberry, coffee, mint chocolate chip, and chocolate ice cream. We’re talking brownies, yellow cake, Oreos, bananas, chocolate syrup, peanut butter, caramel syrup and sprinkles. We’re talking an entire can of whipped cream. That’s right people. You can’t get this anywhere else. It’s genius and so much fun! You know you want one!

Hey, I know that guy! He showed up for the last few days of the trip. Guess what—he thinks we’re freaks, but look who’s wearing the Mickey t-shirt.

We might be freaks or geeks or just plain nuts, but you know what? I don’t care. I love it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

When You Marry in June- Part 2

We dated. I guess it’s the only time in my life I’ve dated. I hope it’s the only time I’ll ever have to. It took about six months before we were a real couple. In my mind we were from that first date. He had other priorities at first. Football, friends, duck hunting all took precedent. I must have been a pretty scary prospect. It just took a little time and a mad case of homesickness to win him over completely. I was sick, so sick for home that I almost packed my bags. We were at a friend’s apartment watching Scarface when I told him I was thinking of leaving. It wasn’t long after that that things changed. We were together. I didn’t go home again. I stayed in school all summer every year.

December 6, 2005
He proposed. There was a Christmas celebration/festival going on and he was showing some of his art at a fellow artist’s gallery. He bugged me all day to get there on time after work. I did. A family of violinists was playing, his artwork was all around, and a suspicious number of our friends appeared. The gallery owner welcomed the crowd and introduced Bryant as the featured artist. Bryant took the mic and called me up to the front of the room. I was shaking. He proposed. I said yes. He did kiss me.
After the shock wore off and reality set in we started planning a wedding – a task not meant for me. I don’t particularly care for weddings. I’m weird like that. Don’t hate.

June 25, 2006
If it weren’t for my mom, there wouldn’t have been much of a wedding. She did a beautiful job planning a perfect hometown wedding. We had family and friends from childhood surrounding us on that special day. It was simple, there was good food, and time to chat and catch up with so many visitors. I look back on that day with nothing but fondness. The moments I spent with my dad just before walking down the aisle are etched in my memory forever. The relief my mom felt when the whole event was over I can still feel in her hugs. My sweet sisters stood beside me, even though my youngest sister was admittedly a giant ball of nerves. My middle sister strapped my shoes on my feet when I couldn’t reach them. My darling friends hugged me in support and pride and defended me when things didn’t go my way that day.
It was a great start to our lives together. It was nothing but celebratory. It was nothing but perfect for us.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Perennial Poesy

 Southern Heat and Little Laughs

I am burning like a wick beneath fiery heat.
still dressed to a tea despite the temperature. A southern
tradition to shade with a parasol keeping wet
the sweet lips of a belle. Hiding my skin from the sun
burn to keep the buttermilk skin of my mother.
Melting still, the wick is short and I sweat.

Remembering puckered lemonade lips of childhood sweat
and summer grass playing outside. Heat
demolished by the refreshment my hero-my mother
brings. Her soft curly red hair shining southern
comfort under the intoxicating glow of the sun.
Frozen ice, pure liquid of sour descent all wet.

Exhaustion full of energy from a day wet
with the chlorine smell of little prune fingers not sweaty
because of the chemical clean water sun-
warmed, and immersed my body without heat
enjoys the scalding protection of a southern
summer swim with sisters, mother,

and my daddy, loving, working, giving for mother
and all. Today we splash together faces wet
with water, ice cream, sweet tea a southern
treat. Then again, returning heat and sweat
drips and drops bodily rain in the heat;
to cool we splish until the sun

is gone and the moon appears to replace the sun.
Resisting leg-jumping sleep, Mother
reads to my sleepy eyes and my sisters. We rest in heat-
induced slumber. Little backs still hot and wet,
toss and turn all night under fanned sweat.
Up, growing in the summertime of a little southern

belle; sitting pretty in the lap of southern
souls that live and breathe the thick sun.
Thriving, loving, abiding by the salty sweat
that girls wipe gently away from their brows because Mother
said so. Mama’s sweet kisses leave Daddy’s cheek wet
even by the shivering fireplaces unused in the heat.

Eras I sweat and glow in the southern
heat and fantastic round sun. While my
Mother laughs and squeaks wetness from her eyes.
Originally written September 2005

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Etsy Love

Have you guys seen Flightless Bird Design on Etsy? Seriously cool shop, people. Shop owner Amanda has been sweet enough to offer my readers 15% off of merchandise from her shop.
Her style is eclectic and whimsical-- my favorite.
ballon earrings
How cute are these? I might have to have these for my impending trip to Kansas. They’re very Wizard of Oz; don’t you think?
Mermaid print
Look at the incredible detail in this original print! It’s fabulous. I love supporting the arts, and there is no denying that this is an excellent piece. I might have to have this for my house. The mermaid’s “wavy” hair is my favorite.
boat tea wallet
In keeping with the nautical theme, how cute is this little tea wallet? You can keep your tea to go in this cutie, but I can think of tons of other things to keep in there. It would be great for travel this summer!
Okay readers, go check out the shop and don’t forget to use the code Neighbors15 for 15% off.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When You Marry in June

Six years ago this month Bryant and I tied the knot. I’d like to tell you we had a whirlwind romance, kissed each other with a smile each day, and held hands while walking through the grocery store. That would be a lie. It would also be a lie to tell you that I’m not nervous about sharing this with you. Three people could read this or three million. I don’t know how many will, but honesty isn’t easy. I don’t know where to start other than the beginning, so here goes.

August 22, 2003
I was eighteen years old with more brain cells in cryogenic sleep than I care to admit. I had just moved into my freshman dorm. Yes, you U of A people, I survived Tutwiler. The tradition of sorority rush had finally ended. I had been given a bid to a good sorority, and I was mingling at the bid day party at the Mellow Mushroom. When a girl I had become “friends” with introduced me to a cute guy with a mouth full of braces named Bryant. We chatted about where we were born, our love for DMB, art, and I don’t remember what else. I didn’t think too much about it, and I gave him my phone number. (I suppose napping brain cells work out sometimes.)
The next day he called me and asked me out for dinner. We had Italian food. He asked the blessing. I liked it. He didn’t kiss me.

Sunday morning rolled around with thoughts of that fella filling my brain. I went to church with my one friend from high school that took the road less traveled. (I grew up just outside of Auburn, Alabama. Most people transition easily to college life basically in their hometown. I’ve never done much the easy way.) We drove to a big, white, terrifying church. We walked in and sat together. He was there – the one who had asked the blessing.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I Love Cheese

I am by no means a good cook. In fact, I hate cooking. It is the bane of my existence. There I said it.
Despite my distaste for the culinary arts, one dish I can manage is simple, southern, and summery-pimento cheese. My mom has been a fan for as long as I can remember, and I've grown to love the deliciousness as well. Okay here's how to make it. Don't worry this will be very scientific and specific.
2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Fat free mayo
1 small jar of pimentos 

Drain the pimentos; dump them in a chopper thingy (I told you very scientific.); add the cheese, drop a couple of spoonfuls of mayo and press the go button on the chopper thingy. 
Chop away until the consistency looks good to you. Some people like it chunky. I prefer smooth. 

Eat it on a sandwich, crackers, straight from the spoon-whatever tickles your fancy. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Dress

Summer Dress
I want to wear this every day this summer, and I probably will. I'm kidding. I'll mostly wear gym shorts and the biggest, oldest t-shirt I can find. I would look better if I wore this, but who wants to get dressed when you don't have to? 

Bryant will wear this every day.

Bryant on the phone
I hope he doesn't wear these every day. They scare me. 

toe shoes

Happy Monday. I'm going to go forget that it's Monday and pretend it's some other day because I can. I love summer vacation!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Saturday at Pepper Place

Birmingham has a great farmer's market. I've lived nearby for 5 years, so it's really sad to say that today was the first day I ventured downtown to visit Pepper Place. The market did not disappoint. Bryant and I were both impressed and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was so nice to get out of the 'burbs and do something fun.


Dr. Pepper Sign
This explains the title Pepper Place.

I love that it says, "A.S.A.P. as southern as possible." 

Speaking of A.S.A.P. aren't these beautiful?

There were such beautiful things for sale. 

Sloss Furnace
It was interesting to find this smack in the middle of downtown. Old railroad ties in piles beside the road and field we parked in. Yes, field and downtown said in the same breath.

My only purchase was an old record hand painted by an Alabama artist. She had an array of items for sale. 



This is the one I came home with. You can find the artist here

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Quick Thank you

Thank you, Melissa over at Cherry on Top Blog Shoppe for creating my new header, sidebar links, and button! I highly recommend working with her if you want a little something special for your website. I think my blog is looking great; don't you? 

Magical Days

Do you ever have days that are simple, secure, and satisfying? It takes a bit of magic for those days to exist. The perfect combination created a delightful day that I am more than thankful for. The ingredients: my parents, shoes, books, furniture, food, conversation, and laughter. It just doesn't get much better for me.