Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Friday Toils

I worked from our company's Gulfport (MS) office the day after Thanksgiving. It was a great way to allow me to spend extra time with family, not take a vacation day, and not commute back to BR with a holiday weekend "wasted."

I thought I was wonderfully clever to have this idea...until I realized I'd be missing the LSU game. I have, as my Daddy informed me after the Saints' Monday Night Football game, "become a little football junkie," and true to form, was a bit sad that I'd have to keep up with the score via texts from friends instead of watching it myself.

About a quarter into the game, my colleague asked if I wanted to watch it on the department TV, which is generally used for newscasts and weather updates (this is the MS Gulf Coast, and the building was pretty messed up in Katrina). Since there were only a few of us in the department -- much less the building -- at this point, I thought it couldn't hurt to bring some transportable work to the table to watch some football. I did, and was transfixed! LSU played a pretty good game (I was worried they'd forgotten how), but alas, Arkansas played better. One sad point better, in fact. The nail-biting final was 31-30.

But as the clock ticked past 5 on the day after a holiday and I continued to sit, laptop in tow, and glance at the TV during big moments, I couldn't help but think two things:
1. This is a pretty sweet deal.
2. My daddy is right. I have become "quite the little football junkie."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What's not to be thankful for?

I am so thankful. Being reminded of the spirit and meaning of Thanksgiving makes this week's "thankful" post harder than ever to narrow down. I did it, though, and this week, am especially thankful for:

1. Friends who will speak the truth to me, over and over. (For instance, Kristen, Erica, Jane and Tiffany's timely reminders about time and timing.)

2. Vay-cay! I go to NYC next week with Liz and Cecil and am SOOOO pumped! :-D

3. Family members whom I count among my best of friends (parents, Nan, Kim, Jeff, Greg, Russ, etc.).

4. Coworkers who get, put up with, like, and even seem to love me. (Grazie, ALong and SCole.)

5. Puppies! I heart my Tractor and I got to pet her and talk to her more than ever this weekend, along with Greg, Alicia and Lauren's puppy, Lacy. Good times. :-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday.

I'm a big fan of a day that focuses on no-frills, no gifts, little hassle, and no muss and fuss (other than turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce, of course), and who isn't all about giving some thanks? It's a very easy thing to do, because there's entirely too much to be thankful for, even on the worst of days. It's also a great reminder of the brighter side of life, especially on the worst of days.

When my all-time favorite political cartoonist, Marshall Ramsey, sketched an image about my all-time favorite holiday, I obviously had to post it. (Given the economic environment, it's kind of nice to laugh rather than groan about the news.)

Food and economy aside, though, please know I am thankful for many things, including you, my friends and family. Without your love, support and patience, I'm well aware of how frighteningly different my life would look.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Saintsational Night at the Superdome

Tonight the New Orleans Saints played Monday Night Football in N.O. and I was honored to be offered a ticket from friends! It was a record-setting game for N.O., who slammed the Green Bay Packers 51-29.

Records set and interesting game notes:

1. Deuce McAllister scored on a 3-yard run Monday night for his 54th career touchdown. His third-quarter TD gave the Saints a 38-21 lead against the Green Bay Packers and broke Dalton Hilliard's mark, which he tied a week earlier in Kansas City.

2. Saints QB Drew Brees now has 3,574 passing yards through 11 games. Brees passed for 323 yards and four TDs.

A couple of years ago, I met Deuce at a work event for Nissan in Canton, MS. I am not crazy about the above picture of myself with him (and am pretty sure Bethanie will grumble if she sees it, too), but given tonight's win, I had to post it. :-)

Geaux Saints, and thanks to Shanehan, Paula, Dan, Ty, Stacey, Keith and Toya for including me in on the big night!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Blog on blogging.

When I blogged solely on MySpace, pics were, for some reason, difficult to include. So blogging became more of an online journal for me, which I loved -- rather than a show-and-tell situation, which is what I personally enjoy about friends' non-MySpace blogs.

Now, however, I find that on Blogger, I feel very compelled to have a visual with each entry. Obviously, I don't always provide the pic with the entry, but still. I don't think my non-pictoral entries can be that interesting.

I think that's thwarting my creative blogging, though. I mean, I'm all about some writing, and getting my thoughts out there, and sharing my words with the world (which no doubt, the world clearly loves). ;-) But I'm not compelled to share (much like I'm doing right now) unless I have a visual (which I don't right now, and I refuse to find as a companion to this entry).

So, I guess my question is, to visualize or not to visualize? Would readers/subscribers prefer posts with depth (I promise that sometimes I include that) or pretty pictures (which I can TOTALLY appreciate)?

Your honesty is expected! No pressure.

Bad news.

Anyone who knows me well is not shocked to hear how hilariously entertaining I find kids' stories to be. So it might not come as a huge shock to you that this most recent tale from my sister about my nephew totally cracked me up:

Setting: Family (Steve, Kim, Caleb) sitting on the couch, watching TV.

Timing: Random moment.

Caleb: (With a big sigh) "Bad news about one of my jackets, guys."

Kim (to Steve): "What four-year-old says that?!"

Caleb: (Further sighing) "The zipper broke. On the playground. It fell right off of me."

Seriously. I know he's my nephew, but who doesn't think that's funny?!


The five things I'm most thankful for from the past week are:

1. God's grace. How thankful I am that His mercies are new every morning, even when my own are much harsher and much less forgiving.

2. FRIENDS. Could I be more grateful for the wonderful friends I've been blessed with? They keep me laughing, hopping, guessing, and on my toes. Yay me!

3. NYC in T minus 11 days!!!!

4. Caleb Levi Wood, who brings an innocent light to my life that would otherwise be much more vacant.

5. Peanut butter. I'm not ashamed. I'm 32, and still love it as much as I did when I was 2. Bring it on! (Crunchy, please.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fab Five

Five things I was thankful for last week:
1. Celebrating past, present and future friends.
2. Coats, gloves, scarves and hats! It is COLD.
3. Time to clean and organize.
4. Things to look forward to. (In particular, Rachel & Co. coming to BR and letting me tag along to the Ole Miss game!)
5. Memories of time with my sweet family last weekend.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blast from the past

Recently, my sister and I had the honor of singing at a dear childhood friend's wedding. Along with the joy of being part of her special day came the opportunity to catch up with old friends we had grown up with. It was definitely a blast from the past, complete with a rehearsal dinner in the Woolmarket Baptist Church gym (Family Life Center), where we girls spent many a skate night and lock-in.

Pictured here are the Johnson girls with the Monroe's been a long time. :-)

Tiff, Bekah, Jenn, Wendy, Kim, Mel

We also have the WBC girls' reunion photo from the wedding:

Tiff, Wendy, Jalena, April, Melanie, Bekah, Jenn, Kim

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans' Day

Veterans' Day has special meaning for me since I know several who have fought (and who continue to fight) for my freedom. This year, it was also magnified by the recent presidential election, which always somehow make me more aware of national holidays (particularly those centered around controversial subjects).

Marshall Ramsey, political cartoonist for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, MS, always has a clever and poignant way to express the sentiments of the time, so I'll let his picture be worth my 1,000 words.

Thanks to all who give who they are for my freedom.

God bless you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Top 5

Five things I've had to be thankful for in the past week are:

1. Spending time with my family, including Kim and Caleb, who gets to be more of a mess every day!

2. Seeing old childhood friends as adults, and laughing the way we did as kids.

3. Fall!

4. That SOMEONE's team is having a winning streak. (Someone = Caleb; team = Alabama)

5. My upcoming trip to NYC with Cicily and Liz! :-D

Friday, November 7, 2008

No Bama!

I figured I had better post this before the Bama/LSU game this weekend, since there's no telling what the outcome will be.

My new-ish BR friend Tiffany (pictured here with me) gave me a "Nobama" shirt for my birthday this year, with the intention of it favoring politics. I wore it to last weekend's game vs. Tulane, and couldn't believe the number of high-fives I got on campus! It was hilarious. Some people thought it wasn't political at all, but sports-centered, and that it said "No Bama."

So in light of our newly chosen president-elect, I mean no disrespect. I just hope we beat Bama. :-)

Also pictured is myself with Tiffany and Sheree...

...and with Angelle after the game (I look very haggard, but at least we won!).

Heads up.

I'll be spending time with my 4-year-old nephew this weekend, which means those of you who talk to me next week may, at any given point, hear an increase in the "Aw man!"s and "Cool"s in my conversations.

I'm just sayin'...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

High Five

Five things I've had to be thankful for this week are:

1. The Sunday School and church service I visited last weekend (FBC Baton Rouge - downtown campus). Memories and snippets from both have been helpful reminders this week.

2. Friends who don't sigh in disgust when I'm grouchy (Angela and Shannon), or quickly avert their eyes and walk away when they see me in the mall and I'm weepy (Angelle), or tell me to toughen up and get over something that many may think I should've gotten past long ago (Cicily, Rachel R., and Liz).

3. A good job in an unstable economy.

4. Big, fat, juicy hamburgers.

5. An extra hour to snooze tonight.

Being Sarah Palin

Ever since John McCain selected Sarah Palin as his running mate, I can't go a week (and sometimes a day) without being stopped on the street and told how much she and I resemble.

So this year, I decided to dress as her for Halloween. It was so much fun -- I've been waiting my entire adult life for a costume that incorporates glasses! (I've been told countless times how much I look like Tina Fey, but I never could figure out how to dress as her for Halloween without lugging around an anchor desk.)

Some things that stood out from this experience are:

1. No one asked me who I was! People just came up to me and said, "Hi Sarah." Really fun.

2. "You betcha" can be used as a reply to so many comments.

3. I haven't worn that much makeup or hairspray since Prom 1993.

4. Thanks to this costume, numerous pictures of me with random people are now floating around the BR. So many people wanted photo opps - even those who were anti-Sarah.

The papparazzi can be so demanding.

6. If I do this again, I'm using temporary hair color to become a brunette. This is a little scary, since it will be the first time I've put any sort of color on or in my hair, but it's just about the only thing left to authenticize the costume. Apart from a hockey stick, that is, which would just be too dangerous.

7. Wearing a suit from 1999 (or possibly older!) is fine, as long as one remembers to cut out the tell-tale shoulder pads. Which I didn't do. And which my (younger) friends pointed out with glee. :-)

8. When being Sarah Palin, the perfect send-off for groups who ask to take photos is "See ya at the polls!"

9. It's really hard to find a place at The Chimes with enough light for a proper video shoot. But at least you can hear!

Here is our whole group -- Erica "Cyndi Lauper" Bankston, Tiffany Hess as Tiffany Hess, Brad "Michael Phelps" Blanchard, Sheree "Olympic gymnast" Beverly, Liz "German girl" Keys, Chrissy Davie as Chrissy Davie, and Rebekah "Sarah Palin" Johnson. (IDK where Angelle was when this pic was taken, but she went as Angelle Bertrand.)