Wednesday, February 27, 2013


My grandma ("Grandmil") passed away early Monday morning. It's been a busy week, so I haven't had any time to blog. I'll be headed to Virginia tomorrow to attend her funeral.

Although it's a very sad time, I have so many wonderful memories.

I have a lot of extended family on my dad's side, so I'm thankful that I'll get to see some family this week that I haven't seen in years.

Here is her obituary and some pictures:

Mildred Holland Lawrence

Friday, February 22, 2013

I Wonder About People Sometimes

I was reading this post on the Pioneer Woman blog yesterday. In summary, Ree recounted an experience from her childhood when an Italian waiter told her "A-spaghetti without a-cheese is like a-kiss without a-squeeze!"

In typical Pioneer Woman fashion, she went on to write more clever similes, such as
 "A-Basset without a-stench is like a-park without a-bench"  or "A-coffee without a-cream is like a-sleep without a-dream."

So on and so forth.

Anyways, at the end of the post she told the readers to come up with their own witty rhymes.

So all the readers were writing  their little rhymes in the comments section and I was enjoying myself reading through them.

But then I got to this one...

"A girl without a-love is a cowboy with a horse."


Later on I got to thinking about my pet peeves and one thing that really drives me crazy...
People with poor grammar (no, not you Brian).

I will admit that I make quiet a few grammar mistakes in my blog and never catch my errors.

Something that has recently been bugging me? Apostrophes in Last Names!!!!!!!!

Here's an example:
Brian and Kelly are "The Strawberrys." (correct)

"The Strawberry's" is just plain wrong.

And by the way, we aren't "The Stawberries." (I wonder about people sometimes).

Kelly Strawberry's dog is named Otis.
The Strawberrys' dog is named Otis.

It gets a little tricky when last names end in -s, such as our friend Brandon Winters.

Brandon Winters's dog is named Barkley.
Brandon and his future wife are the Winterses
The Strawberrys are going over to the Winterses' house today.

Am I right or am I right??!

Actually, I may be wrong.

Google it and get back to me.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Otis Has Some Serious Competition

Do you remember when Otis was the cutest thing you had every seen?

Otis could be eating the wooden legs off of our dining room chairs and I'd be all like "wook at dat adorable widdle Odie buddy eating our chairs."

Well Otis no longer takes the cake for cutest dog ever.

Brian and I follow the Bulldogs World forum and there is now a new contender.

Check out pictures here if you want to see Sherman. If you click on the General Bulldog forum you will see where ShermanK has posted tons of pics.

I die of want.

But don't worry Otis. I still love you more than anything in the world.

It's just that now you look like this...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Internal Struggle with Social Media

I go back and forth with my feelings toward social media.

My current usage looks something like this:

Facebook - check home page a few times a day, upload pictures of Otis on a regular basis
Twitter - I signed on yesterday for the first time in over a year
Pinterest - log in about once per month
Instagram - Complete confusion about Instagram until recently, but I think I've accidentally been posting images pretty regularly. I don't know how to take the photo on Instagram without sharing it!
Blogger - I once was posting every day and now it's more like once a week

Basically, we can either use social media for good or for bad. It's all about our attitude and approach.

It's true that social media makes it possible for every person to be a celebrity in their own world. Well, I think it comes at a high price.

I'd compare Facebook to the movie The Lord of the Rings. It's like you have this really awesome opportunity, but this opportunity has lots of evil potential. You must take the high road and choose to do good with it. Does that make sense? (I actually slept through 95% of that movie, so I'm not too familiar with the plot).

I've had a fairly negative attitude towards Facebook in recent years. I remember back in 2005 when it was just getting popular. There was "the wall" in that bottom corner and it counted your number of wall posts. Oh, those were the days! It was so much fun. Now it just seems like a huge time waster and huge annoyance.

It should also be said that I'm very traditional and should probably be living in year 1960.
Or maybe year 1760.
Or 1760 b.c.

Just think back to your own childhood. Do you remember your parents ever taking pictures of you? With their cell phones? And then uploading them to Facebook and getting 10 likes?

I try to imagine my mom posting pregnancy pictures of herself on Facebook when she was 28 years old and it makes me laugh.

Another question: Do any of you have photos documenting every month of your life like this right here? Probably not.

I think some things are definitely getting out of hand, people!

i.e. self pics

Unless there's an English Bulldog in your self pic, I don't wanna see it.


All negativity aside, I'm going to try to embrace social media and use it more frequently. I've tried doing this before with Twitter and it never really stuck, but I feel like there are a lot of positives to social media interaction.

I'm choosing to be positive!!! (Starting now. After the negative rant in the first few paragraphs)

I've started every morning this week with the "Ain't Nobody Got Time for That" YouTube video, and it literally brightens my day. Just try it. Your morning will start off on the right foot if you watch a few minutes of Sweet Brown.

In other news, I'm also going to re-vamp my blog here a bit, hopefully using the same design team that my friend Karen used (see her Queen City Runner link on the right side of my blog). I like the fact that I can still use Blogger instead of Wordpress, but my blog can have a more professional look!

Stay tuned for that.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Weeknight Dinners. We Need to Add Spice.

I'm so ready for warm weather. You may or may not know this, but I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. True story. I suffer from depression every year around this time. It's horrible.

On a more positive note, I'm really excited about this pulled pork recipe that I'm trying this week. It's pretty much a three day process, so it better taste good!

Brian and I both agreed that we needed to add some variety to our dinner rotation. We've been eating the same thing over and over again for the past few months (#1 Beef and Rice, #2 Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo , #3 Baked Chicken, Corn, and Biscuits...then repeat dinners #1-3.)

I have difficulty finding recipes that I think Brian will eat.

I have to eliminate pretty much everything that includes the following:
Vegetables (other than corn or artichokes)
Ricotta Cheese
Brian typically is not a fan of pasta, potatoes, anything creamy, or anything ethnic (other than Mexican or pizza).

I've decided that I should be making better use of Pinterest.  Up until now, I've rarely utilized this source and haven't been hyped about "pinning" things. I also am going to do a better job of looking through my cookbooks to find weeknight meals (while trying to stay on a budget!).

One thing I liked about the pulled pork recipe was that I already had all the ingredients on hand, except for the pork and the hamburger buns!

Ok, on the menu for this week......

If you have some dinner ideas that fit the criteria, leave me a comment. I need more variety in my life!

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Romantic Valentine's Day Spent with the Love of my Life

 I always knew I was one lucky lady, but yesterday really sealed the deal!

I came home to something unexpected.....

 A dinner date planned with a true gentleman!

Of course, I was the one in charge of the cooking, but I truly didn't mind. At least I was in great company!

Here's my handsome date waiting to be served.....

 He did get a little impatient at times, but he was so sweet about it....

After dinner, he even offered to clean up!

After he was done licking the plates clean, we settled in on the couch to cuddle....

And he was even asleep before 9pm! A man after my own heart!!!

I love you Otis!!!
Thanks for keeping me company and being the World's Best Valentine :-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Brian and the One Weekend We Didn't Go to Sharky's

We started dating July '09.
He took me to Sharky's, I shrugged, "this is fine."
So I sat with my beer, I inhaled lots of smoke.
2am passed. "Now this must be a joke."

Week after week, I watched lots of pool.
I tried playing once. Brian said "uh, not cool."
I was quite pathetic and I looked silly tryin'.
I gave up quick - didn't want to start cryin'.

It soon became pointless to ask "what's the plan?"
" 'Cause Sharky's is cheap at 2 dollars per can."
"I don't shoot pool. I'm not having fun."
"Well, it's going out of business anyways, hun!"

Three years later, the bar hasn't died.
In fact, I'd argue it's even revived.
New owners came in and they brought it new life.
For me and Brian, that just meant more strife.

"Sharky's", "Sharks", sometimes it's "the Tank."
We're there every weekend - take that to the bank.
All the same faces are there every night.
Same guy to my left, same girl to my right.

But I will admit that it's not all that bad.
Lots of fun times I remember I've had.
Talking to friends and drinking a beer,
I just don't want go every day of the year.

Exaggerating - yes - it's just what I do.
But here is a story I swear that is true:
One time I said "I'll just wait in the car."
(There was no good place to sleep in that bar).

I thought to myself  "he won't be long."
But let me tell ya, boy was I wrong!
Four hours later, I opened my eyes.
It was 4am, to my surprise.

I was cold and stiff, still out in the car.
Was Brian still shooting pool in the bar?
Well, yes. In fact, he was still in that place.
And  you shoulda seen the look on my face!

I'm guessing I know what you're dying to say,
"If you don't like Sharky's, why not stay away?"
I've never been dragged. No, not even a shove.
I do it - simply - 'cause I am in love.

(I'm in love with Brian, not Sharky's. Just to be clear on that last line)

Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow!

p.s. - This poem is not about a weekend that we didn't go to Sharky's Place, but I just let the words come to me and this is what was created. Or perhaps I just couldn't remember a weekend we didn't go to Sharky's.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I've Been Lacking in the Creativity Department

I don't know if it's the winter blues or the semi-cold symptoms, but I haven't felt 100% lately. Thankfully I'm still on my gym kick, but I haven't had motivation to do much else.

Every time I sit down to blog, my mind draws a blank. This is fairly unusual since I always seem to have a lot to say, but lately I've been struggling to write anything. I don't want to write anything political because I don't want to stir the pot. I don't want to write about current news events that I'm passionate about because - again - I don't want to stir the pot. I'd like to write an opinion piece about social media creating a narcissistic and overall less intelligent society, but I don't want to offend anyone (i.e. everyone who takes selfies. Selfies make me cringe every. single. time.). Over dinner tonight I will probably explain "selfies" to my parents and show them some prime examples. It's gonna be a riot.

Moving on....

A few weeks ago, I had the perfect blogging experience only I didn't blog about it. The story involved my two friends from college, their two babies, our dogs, and a chaotic evening that didn't go as expected (I was expecting a  nice and relaxing evening drinking wine around a kitchen counter).

The whole evening was somewhat of a nightmare. Otis' behavior was exceptionally embarrassing. I'm not a "baby person" nor is our house baby-proof, so that didn't help matters. Brian was feeling sick that night and, surprisingly, he had no interest in hanging out with five females. Brian headed out to a bar by himself and at this point (almost 10 minutes into our evening) I was wishing I had suggested we all go out to a bar for a few drinks instead of trying to cook dinner at the house.

Here is where I skip the parts of the evening which involve breastfeeding, pasta being thrown into the air, Otis humping everything, and a really cute baby screaming and crying after 7:30pm.  

Once the evening finally came to a close, I was utterly exhausted and overwhelmed. I was still in my work clothes, I had a very messy kitchen, and I had a hyper dog that had not eaten dinner or been out for a walk. I had the unsettling realization that I never want to have a baby. I had tears welling up in my eyes because I felt nostalgic for the college days when my friends and I could drink and laugh heavily. To top it all off, I imagined Brian out at a bar chatting it up with some attractive girl who didn't have a messy kitchen and a ton of shit to clean. (I now realize that Brian being chatty is a laughable thought; however, I was in a very emotional state at the time).

All it took was a good night's sleep for me to wake up the next day feeling much better. I was happy I got to spend time with my friends. I even thought to myself that I would write a really humorous blog about the chaotic evening.

Week after week went by and I never blogged about it (until now).

I've been lacking in the creativity department.

Also, with Valentine's Day upon us, you'd think I'd be writing some really good poetry, right?

I could write a poem titled "Brian and the One Weekend We Didn't Go to Sharky's" and it could be awesome.

Or I'd do some really creative Valentine's Day-themed baking and share it with you on the blog.

None of this is happening.

There is no creativity anywhere to be found, nor is there any desire.

So I'll just keep reading Gone Girl (excellent book) and wait for my light bulb moment.

Until my creative brain comes back, my blogging may be sporadic and boring. Bear with me, people!

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Glimpse Back at my January Goals

I can't believe it's already February.

With  the exception of last weekend, I think January was a productive month. Last weekend was icy and cold. Also, Brian has been sick for a couple of weeks.

He's sick of being sick.
I'm sick of him being sick.

Men tend to act helpless when they are sick (not you Brian).

Ok, here is a recap of my goals for January:

January Goals

1. Wake up at 6am instead of 6:15am
I succeeded in this goal and it has helped me to have much more relaxed mornings.

2. Give Money

I began my sponsorship with Compassion this month, and I also donated a small amount to Hope for Honduran Children and also the Cesar Millan Foundation. After my giving, I ended up with only $9 left to spend for the remainder of the week. Perhaps that was poor planning on my part. Nine dollars goes fast and buys nothing.

3. Write something

Eh, I didn't really do this (although I blogged a couple of times, but that doesn't count). I really would like to write a fiction book but I can't think of an original story line. My clever ideas always end up evolving into something that's already been written or my story line becomes autobiographical.

4. Read something good (i.e. not Fifty Shades)

I read the book "Seven" by Jen Hatmaker. I have mixed feelings towards this book, but overall I was uninspired. I may decide to write a blog review. I've been wanting to read Gone Girl, but I'm still waiting to borrow a copy. I couldn't bring myself to spend $12 on the Kindle copy. I'm cheap that way.

Alright, hopefully more consistent blogging soon. I think that will be a February goal. But in my defense, work has been hectic. I've also renewed my gym membership. I'll be enthusiastic about the gym for at least another two days.

Talk soon,