Archive | July 2012

Book Review: American Wife

I got a great piece of advice once: While traveling, bring along a book written by an author from the area you’re visiting.   Or a book set in the area you’re visiting. I have followed this advice a time or two.  It really does add another dimension to the trip.

However, I did not make it to the bookstore prior to our Jamaica trip. Instead, I snatched one from the resort’s bookshelf of discards. The selection was slim.. and mostly in German. And obviously these are the books people DISCARDED, as in “no reason to keep this one!”. Alas, I ended up with “American Wife”, by Curtis Sittenfield – a female Curtis I believe.

The book was quite lengthy, over 300 pages, and its a fictional memoir by a fictional First Lady.  It was a hardback and missing the dust jacket, so I didn’t get to see the lovely photo until just now when I google’d the book to get an image.  I can’t say the bridal-ish photo really fits the book.

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Foto Friday – Episode 29

So, the truth is after 30 weeks of chronicling all our adventures together over the years, the Foto Friday stash is running a little thin.  You know what the saddest part is? There are several hilariously awful episodes from our joint past for which there is no photographic evidence.  Unfortunate indeed.  Example: We went through a Hanson-loving phase where we sat at the piano for hours trying to pick out piano parts for some of their more obscure songs.  (*phase* Who am I kidding?  I still love me some ‘Middle of Nowhere’ and Bethany recently manned the merchandise table at a real Hanson concert.)

Enough about Hanson… This week’s photo is a reunion dinner following the big post-9th-grade England/Scotland tour.

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Jamaica Travelog

The Caribbean region is fascinating to me and I am definitely planning to see more of it.  Well I’m hoping to see all of it actually.  Can I put that on my life list?  To visit every island in the Caribbean?  Jamaica is just a start, but it was a great trip.  All seven of our days there looked about the same:

6am.  Sun coming in the room.  Wake up and read a bit.  The view from our room was lovely and it was all too much fun to go back to sleep.

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Chicago: a race, a violin, and All. That. Jazz……

“The Bean,” a cool piece of public art shimmers in front of the Chicago skyline.

So originally I’d had high hopes of getting to Maine or Arizona or Montana or St. Louis or San Francisco or Boston.  But scheduling in a trip to one of those places just wasn’t in the cards.  Theoretically I’ve been to Chicago before on a high-school jazz band trip.  I remember the house in the suburbs where we stayed and the school where the competition was.  Mom says we also took a trip into the city, and while I believe her, I don’t remember any of that part of the trip….and the few days this past week that I spent in Chicago didn’t ring any bells in my memory.  So I decided that I’m going to count Chicago as my new major city and cross off a list item:

5. Visit a new state OR major city

This trip turned out to be pretty epic.  First of all, I got to spend some time with Harriet, a Compassion LDP student from Kenya.  And you already know how I feel about those Compassion LDP students.  They amaze me.  Then of course there was the free yoga-in-the-park class on Saturday morning.  And then there were the violins. Read More…

Namaste, Chicago

This whole trip to Chicago is turning out to be not only amazing (Keith and I have decided we’re kind of obsessed with this city), but very list-item-friendly as well.  Remember I said I didn’t think I would check anything off on this vacation except for the book I read on the airplane here?  Well……turns out I was wrong.  I checked off another list item this morning…making my list halfway complete!

Here’s a fun fact about me….I’m a law school dropout.  Yup.  I attended the Mississippi College School of Law for the Fall 2004 Semester.  And didn’t love it.  It was a stressful, unhappy season of life although I learned alot about myself.  About week 2 of school I realized I really needed something to get me through and so I started taking a pilates class at my church.  The teacher was a wonderful Christian woman and those 3 hours a week that I spent stretching and relaxing were vital to my mental health that semester.  However, I’ve never taken a Yoga class, so when I was putting together my 30×30 list, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to take one.  Thus:

18. Take a yoga class

was born.  I bought a Groupon for 5 discounted Yoga classes at a yoga studio not too far from where I live in Nashville, but never had time to take a class before the Groupon expired.  Then two weeks ago I emailed a yoga studio that is literally 3 houses down and across the street from my house and the owner was kind enough to invite me to take a free class.  But again….with all the traveling I’ve been doing lately, I just haven’t had time to take her up on her sweet offer.  And then I came to Chicago. Read More…

Foto Friday – Episode 28

{chirp chirp. Chirp}. Yeah thats the sound of the crickets that have taken up residence here at the blog. Both Bethany and I are out of town and not blogging much. Nevertheless, Foto Friday must go on

That’s us two Christmas’s ago when Ransom was but a wee babe. Aaaaw Ransom is about the only thing I’ve missed on this vacation.

Jamaica time ends tomorrow morning and I can’t wait to see the kid! And between now and then, I’m getting a pedicure. So that will fill some of the time… He he

The Bell Jar

Today I hopped a flight to Chicago, Illinois.  I’m here for two reasons: to accompany husband on a business trip for the first part of the week, and then to run my SECOND 1/2 marathon on Sunday.  Can you believe I’m crazy enough to go back for seconds? Of course I love to use any opportunity I can to check list items off.  I’m tempted to use Chicago as my “new major city” although I was here for a jazz band competition in highschool….I don’t remember seeing the city….just the house in the suburbs where we stayed….and the inside of the school where the competition was held.  But I won’t check it off since I have been here before, I just don’t remember it.  I scanned my list of things left to do and couldn’t really think of anything that I could check off while I was here.  Except….

I still have 3 books to go on my list.  Three X’s left to link up.  So I brought a book I was halfway finished with on the plane with me today and finished.  Bam.  Only 2 more books to go now.  Thank you, Chicago trip.

I first fell in love with Sylvia Plath in Mr. Locke’s English class in 12th grade.  Read More…

#14 Jamaica mon!

#14 is done because me and August and six friends are on vacation down in Jamaica. It’s a lovely place and we’re having a blast. I’m getting to work on more than one extra list item while we’re here too. BONUS! I’ll try to blog regularly but it’s a little bit difficult to act like a responsible adult here…


That’s us coming back from “yoga on the beach”. This was a first for me, we’ll see how sore i am tomorrow. Other non-list firsts: first mojito among other beverage firsts, first ride on a hobie cat (sail boat thing), first piano bar, first time to meet a marijuana dealer… You know, all the good stuff. More to come…


Tonight Keith made the comment that there is no way I’m going to learn to speak Spanish by August 14th.  And sadly, he’s right.  I’m also probably not going to finish memorizing the Book of James.  But I’m not the type of girl who gets down about things.  So I decided I needed to check something off my list to make myself feel better.

You all remember the poll I took to choose the last two new foods.  The winners were rhubarb pie and kale.  The rhubarb pie was a huge hit.  I loved it.  The kale…….eh?  Maybe not my favorite.  Or maybe I need to give it another try.  I kept hearing that kale was a “super food.”  That it was full of all kinds of healthy nutrients and such.  I wasn’t really sure what to do with it, so I threw it in the juicer and made myself a tall green glass of kale juice.  and I did not love it.  Keith took a sip and made a yucky face that confirmed what I’d been thinking.  it was terrible and should be poured down the drain.  So I did.

But I’m still checking it off.  I bought it.  I consumed it.  I didn’t love it.  Maybe on a sandwich mixed in with spinach and other greens it would be lovely.

So with the tasting of Kale, I put my final X next to 16. Taste 8 new foods (one a month).  Which means I’ve crossed off the 14th list item!  Almost halfway there!

One Month To Go…..

Today is July 14th which means my birthday is exactly ONE MONTH AWAY!  How did this happen?  Wasn’t it just yesterday that I got an email from Mary-Hall saying, “hey…I have this idea….”  I thought I’d take a slightly different approach to this update post as you’ve now seen the same format on a few different occasions and I’d like to keep things fresh.  I’ve taken my list from the B’s List page and pasted it here, but in four different chunks.  Chunk 1 consists of things that I checked off a long time ago.  The links are there so you can refresh your memory if you like!  Chunk 2 consists of things that I’ve accomplished since the last update post when I had 3 months to go!  Chunk 3 consists of things I’ve made progress on, but not completed, and Chunk 4….well, let’s just say I wish there wasn’t a Chunk 4.  I’m not sure how I’ll get to all that in the next few weeks.  And of course, I give you overall stats along the way.  Who doesn’t like stats!?

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