Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday List

Thank you for all the fabulous anniversary wishes! I partied in style by going to Bible study and crawling into bed by 9:30. It was a wild night, my friends.

So it is Sunday evening and I realized that I have a few tidbits to share with you. I believe a list is in order:

1. Lists and kettle corn are my love language.

2. It is supposed to be a high of 1 on Tuesday. How are humans supposed to survive that? I may just wear my down comforter to work.

3. I searched cake recipes all weekend just so I could find the perfect anniversary dessert. And I have chosen to make a Hummingbird Cake! It looks amazing! Have you ever heard of it? Ever tasted it? All I know is that it has cream cheese frosting, so you know, SOLD.

I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and give you my recipe.

4. I made lentil soup for dinner tonight and it was so darn good. I highly recommend you make some this week, especially since you will need something to keep you warm as we brace for the Cold Front from the Frozen Arctic Depths of Frigidity.

5. I saw True Grit this weekend and would recommend this movie to EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE PLANET. I loved it. That little girl is A-mazing. Seriously, who taught her to act like that at 13? She must have watched one of my drama performances from middle school or something.

Actually, it is a great movie and completely entertaining and funny and heroic and suspenseful. The only bad part: snakes. They made me squirm and gag and I almost slid out of my chair. All I can say is that I am glad that movie wasn't in 3-D otherwise I would be in a padded room somewhere sucking my thumb.

6. My dad drove all the way to my apartment just to carry my grocery bags up the steps. They were so heavy and since I have two bum shoulders, he came to help. He is my hero. Time and again, he is my hero.

7. Speaking of shoulders, I finally went to the doctor and guess what she discovered: I have tendinitis in both shoulders so she prescribed two massages a month.

She is my favorite doctor ever.

8. My BBC show starts in 30 seconds. Brilliant! Let's hope the main girl has a new hair style otherwise I may be forced to write them another letter.

9. I love Isaiah 40. It is food for my soul. It can be food for your soul too.

10. I am pretty sure it is time to buy a new pair of heels. Wait, no, I am COMPLETELY sure it is time to buy a new pair of heels. Any thoughts on what color?

The FC

Friday, January 28, 2011




That's right, Our blogging relationship has been going strong for one year! Can you even believe it? I feel like I should buy you a present or at least take you out to dinner.

What started as a way to chronicle my trip to the Middle East turned into a year-long project on chocolate, shoes, embarrassing moments, FC flashbacks, trips to Oklahoma, week-long illnesses and lots of random weird stuff.

I hope I haven't warped you too much. I can have that effect on people.

I have loved this past year. Truly! I have loved it because it has allowed me to get to know you better. All four of you. You are the best blob readers ever. Seriously, ever. And your comments make my day.

So thanks. Thanks for reading. For commenting. For laughing. Or not laughing. Thanks for chatting about what you have read or seen. Thanks for making Oreo balls and Pesto Spinach Salad and Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin cookies. And thanks for supporting me, loving me, praying for me and walking with me. Like I said, YOU ARE THE BEST.

Cue sappy music, I am thinking "That's What Friends Are For." The Stevie Wonder/Elton John version.

So, to celebrate our anniversary, I am baking a cake. A big, ginormous, fluffy cake. I am sure it will involve chocolate and other deliciousness. And you are invited to eat it with me. Come on over. I'll have forks waiting for you. And lots of napkins. And plates, if you are in to that kind of thing.

But you will have to bring your own milk. I loathe milk. I can't help it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's Like It Was Made For Me

What are the odds that Robert Redford reads my blog?

I'm thinking pretty darn good.

Gotta love the Sundance catalog.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

FC Flashback: "Baton Twirling"

For a girl from northwest Oklahoma, baton twirling was a very big deal in 1984. A very. big. deal. It represented sparkly outfits, amazing agility and pink Tinkerbell lipstick. I knew that I was destined to be a baton twirler.

With that said, I took one amazing and semi-terrifying lesson. All four-year old girls who had dreams of marching in the OU band and flinging batons in the air showed up one afternoon and for an hour we twirled our hearts out to the tunes of the Micky Mouse Club.

It was a girly utopia.

However, after a few wayward batons to the head from less-skilled twirlers, I realized that I was more of a self-taught baton twirler. It was safer that way. So I put on my favorite outfit and worked my magic.
Exhibit A:

What is not to love about this dress? It was big, blue, flouncy and had ruffles in all the right places. I also loved my red shoes. Red shoes must be in my DNA.

My cousin Becky (Hi Bec!) is nine months older than me and I thought she was the coolest person alive. Still do. Becky once told me that when she was born my parents took one look at her and thought they needed one just like her. And nine months later, I was born.

I love that story.

Now Claire on the other hand, is like some cute little woodsy creature. Like a fairy or wood nymph, whatever that is. And don't you think she looks just like the girl in My Girl?

Seriously. Maybe this is my long-lost sister. Or maybe Claire was adopted.

We will never know.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Identity Crisis

This past Sunday I filled in for a friend of mine at my church nursery. I  love doing this because I love babies and the way they smell and their cute little hands and funny expressions on their faces and the fact that I only have them for 90 minutes then I give them back to their parents.

It is a sweet deal, my friends.

As I was sitting on the floor playing with one of the sweet little cherubs who was drooling on my foot, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that a dad walked in with his little bundle all dressed in blue. I had never seen the dad or his baby boy before, which is actually encouraging because I love when we have new people at our church. The other nursery helper welcomed them and helped him sign up his kiddo on the registration form.

Then the dad came over and placed his adorable baby on the floor next to me and at that moment I turned around looked at the baby and said "Well hello there, handsome guy."

Only to be met by the most darling baby GIRL.


Like 22 kinds of awkward.

The dad just looked at me like I had grown a third eye. And I sat there wishing the ground would open up and swallow me. I had just called his adorable angel princess a BOY. Oh the issues she will have at 13.

To my defense, if I have one, she totally looked like a boy out of the corner of my eye and she was wearing blue from head to toe. WHO DRESSES THEIR BABY GIRLS IN BLUE? But what I didn't notice were her extremely long, girly eyelashes, the ruffles on her socks and the polka-dots on her shirt. I tried to figure out a way to laugh it off and pretend like I was talking to another boy baby but the dad was the only guy in the room.

Dear Jesus, come quickly.

So here were my choices:

1. Laugh it off and apologize, saying "Oh, I'm sorry. Of course you are not a boy! You are a beautiful little girl!" (That was obviously the route I should take.)

2. Hope that the dad thought I was talking to him, which HELLO HE IS MARRIED, would have been inappropriate on so many levels, especially since we were at church.

3. Pretend I didn't say anything and just keep acting normal...whatever that is.

I chose 3, because I am a mature adult, with a good dose of "well aren't HER ruffly socks so cute!" I am such a chicken.

When the dad returned to pick her up after church, I met him at the door saying, "SHE did such a good job! SHE is so sweet and plays so well with others. And SHE is almost walking, you must be so proud of HER!"

Overkill much?

Yes, very much.

So, if you ever need a babysitter, just let me know. I'll try not to warp your children.

And for the dad who brought in his baby girl all dressed in blue, please, for the love of her self-esteem and my reputation, put a bow in her hair. It will save a lot of awkwardness. I promise.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Letter to the BBC

Dear BBC,

Every Sunday night at 9:00 pm, you welcome yourself into my living room with the most delightful stories of intrigue, scandal and romance.  Most of the time I have no idea what your actors are saying but your scenes of tranquil gardens and 19th century evening gowns make up for it.

Often I am left with the feeling that I should have been born 150 years ago into a noble British family, where all I would do is talk about the roses in my garden and drink tea with old ladies. But alas and alak (I am using one of your phrases, BBC), my desire for indoor plumbing, central heating and Starbucks brings me swiftly back to reality and I once again become thankful for being alive in 2011.

But please do not let my 21st century needs and wants deter you from producing such cinematic sensations as your six-hour version of Pride and Prejudice, or your six-hour version of Emma, or your six-hour version of Cranford. Not only do you whole-heartedly stand by your belief in multiple-hour miniseries, but you also take any and every opportunity to highlight the Poster Child for Brit Lit: Jane Austen. I do love Jane.

Currently, I believe I am in hour seven of your latest accomplishment, Downton Abby, which, by the way, is delightfully charming even though the oldest daughter in the show is super snobby and needs a new hairdo. Perhaps you could work on her hair before the last episode airs next week. Thank you.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I would like to make a request: please send Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightly, and some dude named Matthew in the show I am currently watching, in my direction. My neighborhood could use a few charming, dashing, slightly arrogant and entitled yet humble and assertive, men. And if they have top hats, that's even better.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

A devoted fan and lover of scones,

The FC

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Me: "Hey Noah, what does P-R-I-N-C-E-S-S spell?"

Noah: "Sarah"

I told you he was a genius.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

That's a Big Sombrero

The other night some wonderful friends of mine, along with my familia, took me out for a belated birthday dinner at my fave Mexican restaurant.

How great are they? I mean, seriously.

And just when we had finished the meal and I was having some quality snuggle time with my buddy Kaiden...

A ginormous sombrero landed on my head.

What are the odds?

And with the sombrero, came a strange Latin man who fed me whipped cream.

I'm not going to lie, it was weird. And when I say weird, I mean EXTREMELY AWKWARD.

However he missed and it went straight up my nose.

All the while, a roaring rendition of "Happy Birthday, cha cha cha" was being sung by a chorus of wait staff. It was musical magic, my friends.

Sweet Kaiden. I think he was in culture shock. I hope he isn't traumatized for life.

And in the end, they brought out heart-shaped sopapillas for everyone.

So just in case you ever want a fabulous birthday dinner, just make sure a sombrero, whipped cream, free sopapillas and a creepy Latino are on hand. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

FC Flashback: "Family Drama"

Ah, the summer of 1991.

What was not to love, right? Boyz II Men was on the radio, rollerblades were tearing up the sidewalks, neon was on its way out and grunge on its way in.

I was eleven. I had no concept of trendy fashion or music, all I knew was that I loved really big earrings and I was born to be a movie star. To add to the awkwardness, I was just coming off of three years of home-schooling.

Here is some proof:

I would like to point out a few observations for you.

Claire takes every opportunity to look cute. Totally overrated.

My cousin Amy has a SPECTACULAR perm. It almost takes my breath away.

I am not sure whose glasses I am wearing. However I do know they were large and I couldn't see out of them. And they pretty much made my outfit.

We were rehearsing a musical theater number. And we were magnificent.

Friday, January 14, 2011

FC Flashback: "Evolution of a Cowgirl"


The feather really does add a special touch, don't you think?


I was attempting the "Maid Marian" hairdo with a curly perm. Robin Hood was all the rage at the time and I was madly in love with Bryan Adams. I mean, who wasn't, right?


Welcome to 8th grade.

Yes, that is a bolo tie.


I am currently feather-less, horse-less, bolo tie-less and cowboy-less.

Hence Frustrated Cowgirl.

Yee-haw, peeps!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

FC Flashback: "Bountiful"

My parents still have this bowl, by the way. It makes the best chocolate chip cookies.

They do not, however, have the wall hanging.

Amen and amen.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

FC Flashback: "Wardrobe Malfunction"

Apparently I am very worried in this picture. And I am pretty sure it has to do with Claire's choice of hair ribbon. I feel like she could take off and fly at any moment.

But what I should really be focusing on are Sam's sweatbands. I mean, seriously.

This is what I live with, people.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

FC Flashback: "Joy"

I cannot tell you how much joy this picture brings me.

I don't remember the moment it was taken but I am so glad someone captured it.

And today is his birthday. I am sure they are partying in heaven!

Monday, January 10, 2011

31 and Counting

Don't you just love it when your sister takes over your blob? She's a sneaky one. I especially love the photo where it looks like jet lag beat me up and spit me out. I'll let you decide which one that is.

Thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes! I had a fabulous day and I can't remember the last time it actually snowed on my birthday. My day consisted of church, family, snow, pizza, snow, presents, chocolate cake, snow, chocolate cake, snow, text messages, ice cream, chocolate cake and snow.

It was pure magic. And due to this blustery storm, my birthday has been extended throughout the month. I am totally in love with birthday months.

In honor of the passing of time and the introduction of eye renewal night cream, I am going to dedicate the next few blog posts to a photographic walk down memory lane. In other words, I am going to show you some never before seen pictures of myself at various awkward stages in life.

It's going to be awesome.
Happy Monday, peeps!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Birthday Girl

It's a special birthday for someone today.

She's an expert entertainer on roadtrips and world's most awesome aunt and sister...

She's an international developer and world traveler...

And can brave any sort of international adventure.

She is a fabulous friend and a lover of Diet Coke, Jack Bauer, and her Ferrari of a Kitchen-Aid mixer.

And we are all so glad that she was born.

The world is so much better with you in it, Sarah Dell.  We love you.

Happy birthday, birthday girl!

 - Posted by the Seester.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Last night I ate 7 chocolate chip cookies and blueberries for dinner.

And peppermint tea.

Not one of my finer culinary moments.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

An Overdue Home Tour

Do you remember waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in August when I discussed my need to redecorate yet had absolutely no skill or money to do so?

Or do you remember when my 50 pound mirror did a back-flip off the mantle and nearly decapitated my sister?


Darn it.

Well, just click on "Casa Bonita" on the right if you need a refresher.

As a way to bring some closure to this process, I thought I would give you a few snapshots of our newly redecorated pad. I know you have needed closure. It's why I am here. It is what I do.

First, I started off by printing some of the 8,340 pictures I have taken in the past year (again, big kudos to the man in short brown shorts). I love them. The frames were some I reused and others that I found on HUGE sale at Michael's.

This was my most expensive purchase of the extreme home makeover. We have this huge wall in our house that was empty, therefore a big honkin' piece of art was in order.

SIDE NOTE: "Big honkin'" is a technical term I like to use often. It makes me sound more professional.

Then came the mantle. Mantles give me 17 different kinds of anxiety because they are usually such a focal point in your home. I avoided decorating ours until the very end. But once I found a fabulous lamp that fit perfectly, an owl statue that makes me smile and a few framed photos that I took in Petra, my vision came together.

I love this guy.

Next up: accessories. Any good home needs them. Noah took this picture of the three of us this summer. That kid is a genius, I tell you. And the peace sign? Well, that belongs to the Seester who has a hidden hippie alter-ego. I think it works.

My favorite find of this process was this table on Craig's List. The listing price was $50 but they sold it to me for $35. Did you get that? $35! It was one humdinger of a deal! It is in excellent condition and comes with a leaf. Seriously.

And here is a view of our "dining room," which actually isn't a "room" because our whole floor plan is wide open except for bedrooms.

SIDE NOTE: I make all of my recipes on this table because of the natural sunlight. Subsequently, this means that I haul  my bowls, spoons, measuring cups, ingredients, mixers and tripod over just so my pictures come out pretty. Obsessive much?


So there you have it. That is just a glimpse into my home. Thanks for letting me share with you. If you would like a full tour then you will need to make an appointment. Hopefully no mirrors will fly off the wall to attack you.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cuba: So Close Yet So Far Away

Did you know I went to Cuba? Yep. I did. I went on a work trip a few years ago and I barely got through Cuban airport security. Apparently they are very fond of German Shepherds and AK-47's. I just pretended I didn't speak Spanish...or English for that matter. 

For some reason this trip came up over the Christmas holiday, which led me to search for my pictures from the trip, which led me to think that maybe I should post something about it. I am a linear thinker.

I have no idea how you feel about Cuba. You may love it. It is the birthplace of the Mojito after all.

Or you may hate it. It is full of communists that don't allow you to eat beef. True story.

Or you may be indifferent. I was. Although I had always been intrigued by it. I think it was because I saw Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights and thought that if I went there I would fall in love with a cabana boy.

That did not happen.

Regardless of your feelings, you are going to get a dose of Cuba today.

Son listos? Que bueno!

First off, it is beautiful: the people, the scenery, the food, the music, all of it.

Secondly, it is sad and stifling and oppressive and lonely.

How can two extremes be so present in one tiny island? I am pretty sure it has something to do with freedom...or the lack of it.

Cuba is packed-full of history, and is full of old colonial buildings...

And some very old-looking horses...

And some very old, but super cool, cars. Even I know these cars are fantastic. This one had balloons on it in honor of a Quinciera celebration.

Cubans love to party. And dance in the street. I am pretty sure I am part-Cuban.

Then there are things that make you pause and wonder where in the world you are and how you ever got there.

Like roosters sitting on people's laps...

Or witches telling fortunes while smoking very large cigars...

Or propaganda machines that combine Hitler and Dubya.

SIDE NOTE: The U.S. is not popular in Cuba.

But then they go and sell fresh mangoes on the side of the road, making everything seem perfectly right with the world.

 This is my friend Moises who showed me around the island. He is super.

And this is my friend Lily who invited me to come back and live with her. I would do it in a heartbeat if it weren't for the whole "It is illegal to go to Cuba" thing.

And you get to see people watching other people...just watching and waiting for something to happen.

And you see old parts of town that are both charming and lonely. Vibrant yet desolate. Full of life yet full of despair.

That is Cuba: a place of contradictions.

During my last two nights on the island, I stayed in Havana at the hotel that Castro invaded and took over as his command center. Nothing has changed in this hotel since that day. Even the carpet looks 50 years old. Ironically, Cubans are not allowed to stay in the hotel, only tourists.

And you can see Key West from here too.

All in all, I loved every second of my trip. Cubans are warm, friendly, skeptical, smart and ambitious. The culture is inviting, rhythmic and soulful. And their food is out of this world.

SIDE NOTE: Cuban rice pudding has changed my life forever. I am not kidding. I didn't even need peanut butter for this trip.

If you ever get the chance to go, go. I guarantee you will have to sweet-talk your way through customs and immigration, but in the end, it is totally worth it.

Just tell them you are Canadian.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Top Ten: Things To Do To Kick Off 2011

Happy 2011, peeps!

Don't you just love a new year? All things seem possible. Everything seems new and fresh. Even the brown snow outside my apartment seems a bit less disgusting than it did in December. It is amazing how the hands of time are able to do that.

So, like any good type-A personality would do, I am making lists. Lists make my world go round. Lists make me feel like I have some semblance of control in my life (I think I just heard God laugh at me). And lists help me accomplish more than just getting up and eating oatmeal everyday.

So, here is my list of the top ten things I would like to do to officially kick of 2011:

1. Stop eating everything that comes in a shiny wrapper and looks like chocolate.

2. Make up with my treadmill. The distance between us has been weighing on me. LITERALLY. It is time to make things right.

3. Clean my house from top to bottom. I started this process yesterday and even busted out the ladder to clean the overhead light fixture in my living room. I also took out everything that resembled Christmas except for the poinsettia, which I am sure will still be alive in June. Those things just don't know when to quit.

4. Clean out my car. I would love to hire someone who all they do is make sure that everything is working smoothly with my car, and that includes keeping it clean. I used to call this person "Dad," but since I am knocking on 31, I figured I needed to become an adult in all things car-related. Adulthood is extremely overrated.

5. Plan 12 new things I want to do this year, one for each month. Thus far, they include travel to a new country, cook every recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, take a photography class and wear shorts. That last one will only happen if I accomplish #1 and 2 on this list. I promise.

6. Renew my driver's licence and car registration. Don't you love that both of those came due right after I paid off my car? Oh, and not to mention the four new tires that I bought and a new something-or-other switch that went out on my transmission. If kids are like cars, then I am going to need to win the lottery if I want four someday.

7. Change out my passwords. For some reason I have become extremely paranoid about the passwords I use for all of my online accounts. I feel like internet pirates are lurking around every corner, just waiting to steal the $4.68 out of my savings account. On the other hand, I almost feel sorry for them because they are going to be extremely disappointed if they ever hack into my accounts.

8. Rearrange my bedroom. Don't you love doing this? Every time I do it I think: "WHY ON EARTH did I not have my bedroom like this before??"

9. Drink a cup of peppermint tea every night.  Yes, I am 80 years old and no, I don't know how to knit.

10. Get a physical. I loathe this one because I don't like going to the doctor. But I have two shoulders that don't work properly and I really want to be able to wash my hair without having to bend over.

So, what's on your list? Or do you even have a list? Or are you still recovering from New Years? Or are you stuck in a pile of shiny candy wrappers? If so, let me know how I can help.