Saturday, July 30, 2011

Photo Booth

So this past week I stepped once again into the 21st century and bought an iPad. I know, right?!? I don't even know who I am anymore. But after I started playing around on it I had a minor freak out because I wasn't sure I would be able to blog on it. And I am nothing if I can't all four of you.

So, I called my brother and asked for help, telling him that I was 'thisclose' to returning it because I had somehow ended up with the technological idiot gene. And Steve Jobs had failed to convince me why this stupid iPhone-on-steroids was so freaking awesome. Thankfully he talked me off of the proverbial Apple ledge and helped me figure out what I was doing.

And this was the result: iPads are the bomb diggity.

These are three college degrees at their finest. Mom and Dad are so proud.

Needless to say I think I am going to keep it now. I mean, how could I not after that 30 minutes of fun?! And this way, while I am traveling to Ireland in the days to come, you'll be able to keep up with me as I win friends and influence others with my mad computer skills. It's the least I can do for this world.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

No Words

Do you know what this is?

Yeah, me neither.

But I do know that a certain six year-old found a coat in the closet and stuck his stuffed dog's head through the head hole. And it was howling.

2 points for creativity.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Musical Genius of Treehouse Sanctum

Last month I introduced you to the biggest musical sensation since U2: Treehouse Sanctum.

They are otherwise known as my big baboo Sam Rymer and his darling singer/songwriter friend Danya Prado. This musical duo is taking Denver by storm - I don't know what that means but they are doing it!

I have personally witnessed two of their performances and I can honestly tell you that I had NO IDEA that my brother possessed that much musical talent. Seriously. Muy impressivo. And to think that I share those same genetics. Perhaps I do have a career in the electric banjo after all. (No joke. I would love to learn the electric banjo.)

And Danya? Well Danya is fab. She has the most angelic voice around. Really good stuff, peeps.

I encourage you to come and listen to them sometime. Or now. You could listen to them now if you want. You know, just to get a sneak peek.

Their next gig is Monday, August 1. You should totally come. You could even meet the band.

And if you want to hear more of their stuff, you can find them on Facebook. Or just email me since I am now their unofficial, unpaid PR guru who hopes to someday be mentioned in an album cover or in a song. I don't think that is asking too much, do you?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A List of Things That Have Nothing To Do With Each Other

Behold: A list. My mind just works better in list-mode. Bullet points and numbers bring peace to my soul.

1. We haven't discussed the series finale of Friday Night Lights but GOOD GRAVY was it awesome! I loved how they didn't show the final catch of the game but you knew they won because they were wearing their championship rings in the next scene. I love how Coach Taylor ran through the Santa-crazed mall to tell Tami that he will move to Philadelphia so she can have the job of her dreams. I loved that Matt proposed to Julie (who sometimes drives me crazy) in front of the Alamo Freeze. And I just about DIED when Tim Riggins said that he hoped his and Tyra's dreams would one day run into each other. DIED, I tell you. Oh sigh. I love Tim Riggins.

2. I have yet to make the black bean brownies. To be honest, I am kind of afraid. I mean, seriously. Black beans in brownies?? But that's the recipe...dump a whole can of black beans into a brownie mix and PRESTO! Magic beany brownies. Have you ever heard of these? Have you ever eaten them? Would you eat them again? It boggles the mind.

3. My vacation is just around the corner and I am already counting down the days. Next week I am off to Ireland, the home of my pasty white peeps, fabulous accents and lots and lots of sheep! And they also have some of the best food on the planet. I may take a computer with me just so I can show you what I am eating on a daily basis. Riveting, I know.

4. I need a manicure.

5. I am pretty sure Super Target is my kryptonite. Seriously, people. That store is amazing. It has some sort of magnetic power that sucks me in and whips me around, leaving me penniless and laden with material goodies that I am convinced will somehow complete me in every way. That is marketing at its finest and it gets me every time.

6. I went bowling this past weekend and scored a 51. That's right, 5-1. Try not to be jealous.

7. Happy Tuesday to you! I know it is weird to end on #7 but I don't know what else to say.

8. The End.

Friday, July 22, 2011


There's a new man in my life.

Correction: There is a new man in Claire's life, but since she lives on the other side of my living room, there is a new man in my life too.

His name is Carr and they are blissfully happy. BLISSFULLY.

Like the kind of full-on twitterpation that usually happens once in your life and it takes both your appetite and your breath away and you can't eat, sleep or think clear, rational thoughts and sometimes you might even leave ice cream out on the counter for your sister to discover later.

That kind of bliss.

Sometimes I don't even think they know I am there because they are so wrapped-up in their blissful world that nothing else matters. It's actually pretty fun to watch. It is a picture of God's grace. And His love. And His plan, for not only them, but for those they will meet and change and influence in their years ahead together. And it gives me hope that God raises up good men. Sometimes I feel there is a shortage of them but I know they're out there.


(Cue "Somewhere Out There" from that mouse movie. You know which one I am talking about.)

But in the meantime, if I can get past all the ooey gooey-ness of what is now my apartment and most of my waking hours, I am really excited for these two. They just fit, you know? Like chocolate and peanut butter. Or chocolate and coffee. Or chocolate and dark chocolate.

Or maybe just like Claire and Carr.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Culinary Cravings

I kind of want to eat my weight in miniature Snickers. That's not weird, is it?

And I think I am going to make brownies tonight only using a can of black beans. Have you heard of this? Doesn't it just BLOW YOUR MIND?

I'll let you know how they turn out. I could either love them or hate them.  Well, obviously.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cloudy With A Chance of T-Ball

On Saturday I got a phone call from my Mamacita telling me that Noah had expected me to attend his t-ball game. The game was just getting ready to start and if I left right then I could make it in time for most of the game. Unfortunately, my night's sleep had not done its magic and I resembled a cross between a wet mop and death. So I showered, changed, grabbed my camera and raced to the field.

Lo and behold, I was able to capture the last seven minutes of what I am sure was a very riveting game between two teams who would have rather looked at rocks than play a game of ball.

Case in point:

Take a look at the kid on second base. He is studying to be a meteorologist. He predicted rain for the afternoon.

At one point, there were more dads on the field than there were players. It was all they could do to keep their kids motivated. I am surprised they just didn't get up there and bat themselves.

And this little guy brought his teddy bear with him.

He is so cute that I almost want to eat him.

Even though the players often struggled to show enthusiasm, the fans made up for it. These two haven't missed a game. Bless their hearts.

And this kid? Well, I think he was bummed out that I missed him bat. I realize it was my fault but I didn't want to scare the kids with my dirty mop head. Hopefully I can make another game before the season is over.

And maybe I can have a weather report while I am at it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Top Ten: Things I Have Loved About Summer 2011

We are half-way through the summer, peeps. Well maybe not technically, but let's be honest, summer will be over the minute everyone goes back to school and fall wardrobes hit the stores. Just the thought of a turtleneck sweater makes me want to gag. And the thought that we are now closer to Labor Day than we are to Memorial Day may cause me to cry. Yes, that's right, cry.

Truly, I love summer and this one has already been a winner. So here are the things I have LOVED about the first half:

1. My WIDE, OPEN schedule. Sometimes I find myself in awe of my own lack of a social calendar. It makes me happy because I am then able to fill it up with spur-of-the-moment activities. This never happens to me.

2. The unbelievably fun and fabulous family golf tournament in which my team BEAT THE HECK out of all the other teams. I try not to gloat.

3. My recent trip to Boulder with my friend Lizz to watch The First Grader. It is an amazing movie about a Kenyan man who went to first grade at the age of 84. It is a limited release (hence why we had to go to Boulder) but I highly recommend finding it.

4. Taking naps after work and waking up to find that it is still daylight outside.

5. Frozen yogurt. Self-serve. Pineapple and coconut. Massive quantities. Bliss.

6. A late-night dinner with my friend Mandy at the Melting Pot. We were the last ones to leave because we had so much catching up to do. And besides, it would have been a crying shame to leave any chocolate behind.

7. The EPIC family talent show in which I sang "Proud Mary" with nine gorgeous back-up dancers and my cousin Kalen pretended he was a horse. We also saw the musical duo of Sam and Noah (with Noah on the drums) a rousing rendition of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" by a few pre-teen cuties and various other musical acts that should make their way to YouTube immediately.

8. My mom's birthday breakfast garden party. I loved the scones, the flowers, the dresses, the sunshine, the coffee, the fruit and the birthday girl. Oh, and Thor. I loved the appearance of Thor. It was perfect in every way.

9. This past Thursday night with my girls. I love them all. And Rachel, who most of you know and love, is really, really awesome. (I'm sorry for the late shout-out, Rach!)

10. Watching a certain couple, who I love and adore, fall in love. More on this in the future, but let's just say that I may be looking for a new roommate soon!

I hope your summer continues to be stupendous! What are some of your faves so far?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday Night Girls

Last night was Women's Group. You know, those crazy, funny, fabulous girls with whom I have spent every other Thursday night with for the last eight years?

Yep, those girls.

After yesterday's monsoon, we drove to Jenn's place where we sat around her table eating three of the four main food groups: pizza, chips and salsa. It was casual and relaxed and fun and wonderful. All we were missing was Abby who had a work meeting.

Stinking work. So overrated.

We talked about all the important stuff: babies and potential boyfriends and in-laws and husbands and renting vs. buying and The Bachelorette. And we all agreed that the current bachelorette is an absolute train wreck.

We also decided that we must make chocolate chip cookies and buy some ice cream because HELLO, dairy! And because conversation just goes better when you are able to stick your head into a bowl of cookie dough.

Truly. The Lord is so good to me by giving me friends like these.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Where's Noah When You Need Him?

We are now into day 8 of monsoon season here in Colorado and I have never seen rain like this before in my life. Ever. Everything is soggy and wet and mucky and very, very green. The air is heavy and soupy which makes my hair half-way curly and half-way ridiculous.

This is the view outside of my office window. There are supposed to be mountains in this picture. Big, rocky, continental divide-type mountains. Maybe they were washed away. I wouldn't doubt it at all.

However, if I see a pair of penguins float by I'll know we're in trouble.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Friday Night Sadness

Over the past year, I have fallen in love with Friday Night Lights. I think it very well may be the best TV show ever. It is full of football and cowboy boots and Tim Riggins. What is not to love I ask you? If you have never seen an episode, I implore you to start watching. Immediately. It is just that good.

So since this Friday is the series finale and because I want to preserve the memory of this show forever, here is my list of things that make this show so great.

1.Tim Riggins. Yes, I know that his hair is always greasy. And yes, I know that he has indeed done some jail time and seems to have a perpetual chip on his shoulder. But there is just something about a bad boy who is actually a good boy down deep inside, who knows how to wear a pair jeans with boots, loves football and wants nothing more in life than to own a piece of land where he can park his silver mobile home that makes this girl weak in the knees. WEAK. IN. THE. KNEES. Good gravy. I just can't handle it.

2. Three words: Tami Taylor's hair. It is now my goal in life to achieve hair perfection such as hers. It has perfect volume and shine. And somehow the humid Texas air does nothing but make it look even better. HOW IS THAT HUMANLY POSSIBLE?? Oh, some mysteries we may never solve.

3. Football. I love football. It is by far and away my most favorite sport. Football is life in Texas (and Oklahoma for that matter) and I love to watch how the entire town comes together to watch their team play. If they were holding auditions for 31 year-old cheerleaders I would totally show up.

4. Small Town, USA. I am definitely a small-town girl. Well, a small-town girl that needs an international airport close by. Most TV shows based in the South portray their characters as ignorant, small-minded trailer park dwellers that survive on pork rinds and Chees Whiz. But what this show does so beautifully is depict its citizens as intelligent, funny, football-crazed people who are devoted to one another and their town. I am thinking we need more of this. Pronto.

And for the record, there is nothing wrong with canned cheese.

5. No sugar-coating involved. This show is for real. There is heartache and heartbreak and lost games and lost jobs and not everyone gets along. But it also shows the compassion people have for one another. It is so well acted that I almost feel like I could drive to Dillon, Texas and just hang out with everyone. Is that weird?

6. Tim Riggins. Again.

The End.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Heritage of Pound Cake

Last night my aunt Dedra and Uncle Dale came through town. Dedra is my dad's younger sister and she and her hubby live in West Virginia. Dale had meetings in Colorado and they had just enough time to drop in my parent's house for dessert. 

Some may call that luck but I would call that perfect timing.

I whipped up another Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble and I admit that I ate two bowls of it with ice cream. No judging people. It was my dinner and dessert. Totally justified.

Anywho, I love my relatives. My aunt Dedra is funny and fun and gives great hugs and has a laugh that is known and infectious. However, what I really want to tell you is that she introduced me to something that so completely rocked my world that I have never been the same since. And neither have my thighs.

She introduced me to my grandma's pound cake.

I need to take a moment to let that sweet memory sink in.


Okay, I'm back. This pound cake is famous because it is so absolutely divine and fluffy and pound-cakey. It is amazing! My grandma made it every time we were all together and I remember racing into the kitchen to get a slice of it. (I only run when food is involved.) I also remember my aunt Dedra and I eating our slices together, sitting in the dark air-conditioned kitchen in sweltering Texas, wondering just how many more slices we could eat before others wanted a piece.

I love bonding with people over food. It is one of my greatest pleasures in life. So as I sat on the couch chatting with Dedra last night, I thought of our pound cake escapades and how much a simple recipe can bring a family together. I firmly believe that most arguments can be settled with a big slice of cake.

Food builds bridges, people. Big, delicious bridges.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Corkers, Pips and Dandies

My grandpa had an amazing vocabulary. Much of my vernacular comes from him. He was Irish through and through, and therefore some of his sayings and quips sounded very much like he could have been sitting in a pub somewhere in Ireland.

When my cousin Nathan planned our family golf tournament, he decided to call each team of 8 after some of my grandpa's most commonly used endearments: Corkers, Pips and Dandies. He would call those he loved most, enjoyed most, thought of most or cared for most by these names. Thankfully, I heard them often.

I was a Corker. And we rocked it.

Our tee time was at 7:30 which is extremely early for a crowd that is known to stay up very very late when we are all together. Somehow we all stumbled out of bed and onto the golf course on time just as all the carts were being pulled up for spin around the course.

My cousin Amy, who surprised us from California, showed up with a box of clubs. A box. With duct tape.

We like to keep it classy.

These were our fans. Technically they were every team's fans but I like to think they were rooting for us the most.

This was our course. It has been here for 400 years. Or something like that. It is literally located in the middle of the prairie.

And this is my team. My mom, my aunt Patricia, Anthony and Char, cousins Jenny and Charley, my uncle Mike, cousin Becky and yours truly.

Char didn't play...she just enjoyed the spectacle that was our family's tournament.

Jenny, Charley and Mike are assessing the green.

Mike as the lone ranger. Even though I know I carried our team, I do like to give him credit for a few good shots.

I mean, I like to give him credit for basically winning the tournament for us.

I get those confused sometimes.

Here is Mike teeing up to hit.

And here is yours truly trying not to miss and get a face full of prairie dirt.

Jenny and Charley with my mom and Patricia in the background.

Sometimes you run into obstacles on the tractors. Wild tractors are native to this part of Oklahoma.

Sisters: Jenny and Becky. I grew up with these two and served as a bridesmaid in both of their weddings. I like them a lot.

Once again, it was time to assess the green.

Twisted sisters.

Punk kid.

Cart buddies. Beck can really drive a mean cart.

After all of the teams played nine holes (we played 12 just to show off), we headed to the club house for hamburgers and air conditioning. We were also eager to hear who won. Can't you tell that Grey is anxious to hear too?

And there you have it: victory for the Corkers! I accepted our trophy and thanked the Academy. We were 5 under par which is the lowest number I will ever have. EVER.

It was a fabulous morning in so many ways. My grandpa would have loved every minute of it. I even wore one of his golf polos, hoping some of his skill would rub off. Unfortunately it didn't. But his memory was everywhere we looked. We only wish we would have done this with him instead of for him. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vacation Hangover

Peeps, I am experiencing a severe case of vacation hangover. Seriously. I feel like I was hit by a truck then it backed up and ran over me again. And don't get me started on my alarm clock. It's stupid. I hate it with every fiber of my being. However, the amount of fatigue I feel directly corresponds with the amount of fun that I had at our EPIC FAMILY REUNION OF ALL THINGS WONDERFUL AND DELICIOUS!

Last week my family and I trekked the 8 hours (or 10 hours if you are riding with a six year-old) to Oklahoma and experienced 112 degree temperatures and pina colada snow cones that could have actually been made in heaven. However, from the look of the lady's face who made my snow cone, I deduced that it was not heaven at all, rather a small shack in the middle of the prairie on the hottest day ever.

This reunion had been in the planning stages for months. My cuz Nathan (what up, cuz?) planned an amazing golf tournament with hamburgers and trophies. We also had a talent show that should have been its own reality TV episode and a few late-night card games that made all of my aunts cry with hysteria. I love hysterical aunts. They are the best.

We also spent four consecutive days at the Gage Beach. What? You didn't know there was a beach in northwest Oklahoma? Well there is. And it is glorious. And it is where I spent every afternoon trying my best to get as tan as possible while not eating every frozen Snickers available. It was really hard.

For those of you who love a history lesson, I have one for you. In 1918, during an attempt to find oil, an artesian lake was found just below the surface of the ground. So the people of Gage came up with a brilliant idea to help beat the heat in the long summer days: build a ginormous swimming pool. The sides are made of cement that are covered with moss and the bottom is full of sand. Everyday fresh artesian water is pumped into the pool and filtered out into surrounding ponds. It is ice cold but when the sidewalk feels like you are walking on the sun, it is perfect and refreshing.

Until the hypothermia sets in.

I have swum in this pool every year since I was born. I even see people there that I went to kindergarten with years ago. And you also see people there who wear basketball shorts, cut-off camouflage t-shirts with cowboy boots too. But that is besides the point. It is an amazing representation of humanity, cut-offs and all. And when all 32,892 cousins of mine show up, they make enough revenue to last them all year. It's just our little contribution to the economy.

The only bummer from the entire weekend was that fireworks were banned this year because of drought. I don't even know what to say about other than I found comfort in a bowl(s) of homemade strawberry ice cream. With fudge.

And maybe a brownie or nine.

Tomorrow I will highlight the golf tournament for you because it very well could have been the MOST FUN I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE EVER. Partially because I was with my family who I love and adore and partially because my team won. Take that, suckas.