Friday, June 26, 2009

Take me away

I will be on a blogging hiatus next week while at Holden Beach with my family. It has been awhile since I've taken a vacation - and in light of recent events at work, it will be nice to have some time away.

When Chad asked me what I want to do while at the beach, my response was "NOTHING!" It will be so nice to get away from all the hassles of everyday life and focus on nothing other than the book I'm reading and the ocean I'm staring at.

No laptop.

No BlackBerry.

No problems.

I hope to return rested and rejuvenated! Everyone have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Songs to Download

Not too sure what I want to blog about today. However, with the legendary Michael Jackson's death in my mind - I have music on the mind. As a dancer, MJ's songs and moves were something I grew up admiring. He was definitely an ... interesting .... character, but I don't think anyone can dispute the impact he had on the industry.

So here are my five must downloads for the week.

1. Death Cab for Cutie - Cath
2. Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 - Fly One Time
3. Ray Lamontagne - Be Here Now
4. Johnathan Rice - The Acrobat
5. Damien Rice (not related to the aforementioned Johnathan Rice) - Rootless Tree

Just a few of my faves - some older than new. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Can't Make This Stuff Up

So in my job, I receive a lot of random e-mails from people. Since I am listed as the media contact on many news releases, somehow my name, phone number and e-mail get associated with the material I write about.

This is an e-mail I received last week. I wrote an article months back about a researcher at NC State that tracks a rare species of beetle that is killing avocado trees (Holy Guacamole! article for those who keep up with my riveting work). I guess this person saw that story and assumed I was the person to answer the following e-mail. And to answer your question in advance - I did not just laugh and delete it. I tracked down the correct person at the university to answer this important question. So you're welcome taxpayers of NC, I make sure to do my part to support our mission as "The People's University."

Ms. Barnhill:

I was searching for a picture of what I believe to be a beetle that I encountered earlier this week and have had no success in locating a picture and was wondering if you could help me.

After visiting a friend in Cary at the intersection of Tryon Road and Cary Parkway, I entered my car and felt that something was on my right leg. I had not changed from work and had hose on that evening. It was dark in my car so I could not see anything. I used my left hand to swat whatever was on my leg away and to my surprise when I pulled my hand up it is was stinging and had a cut on my index finger.

I turned on the light of my car, reached down to get a napkin and saw the largest bug/beetle ever on my leg. It was about 2 to 2 1/2 inches in length and about 1/2 to 1 inch in width. The color was a brownish black and the back was spiney (I think that is what cut me) and it was trying to bite/sting me. I did have a small area on my leg that was bleeding.

I immediately got out of my car and wondered how on earth I was going to remove this beetle off of me so I flicked it 3 times with my finger and it finally let go of my hose and fell to the ground. I tried crushing it with my foot (sorry but I've never seen anything like it before) but it did not faze the creature. It's exterior was extremely hard. I am sorry that I did not pick it up but honestly it reminded my of a prehistoric beetle. I grew up in southern Louisiana and have seen many things but nothing like this and I am very curious as to what it could have been.

I have been searching for 2 days but to no avail.

Is there a specific site that I could search to learn what I beetle I may have encoutered?

Thank you for your help.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx
(name deleted to protect the innocent)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Busy Day!

Headed from a 4 hour media event into a 2 hour branding meeting.

However, in light of the SC gov's extramarital affair, my blog about commitment and faithfulness with soon be coming.

Keep you posted...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jon + 4, Kate + 4

I'm not going to lie - I've watched Jon and Kate + 8 since the beginning. I think those kids are so stinkin cute. I am horribly in love with them... particularly Leah, Alexis and Aaden. They are my favorite.

Now everyone and their brother knows about this show - through the rocky relationship of Jon and Kate. Part of me is super surprised they are divorcing... the other part of me isn't. They've always bickered on the show (well more Kate at Jon than at each other), but it seemed to work for them. She's high strung, he's easy going... but they both loved the kids - and for awhile they seemed to be a united front. They had tender moments between the two of them. There were episodes you could tell they loved being with each other.

I had always defended their decision to do the show. Chad thought they were exploiting the kids for free stuff and TLC paychecks. I saw it as, "Hey, they're able to provide for their children in a way they would not be able to do without support." And my bottom line was that the kids ALWAYS seemed happy, smart, well-adjusted, sweet to each other and loved their parents (and vise versa). If they were little brats, I'd think differently.

It all changed for me during the last season's season finale. Towards the end of the episode they said they were having a hard time. Kate said that Jon did not want to do the show any more and it was causing strife in the household, but she insisted they do it because it was their commitment (wrong commitment to be worried about, but I'll save that for another blog). Right then and there I said, "THEN QUIT DOING THE SHOW." The MOMENT they could tell problems were arising they should have gotten out then and there to work on their relationship.

As we all know, that didn't happen.
Unfortunately, Kate seems to be money hungry. It seems she thinks providing financially for her children (and quite possibly herself) has become priority over anything else. Now they are another broken family, left figuring out how to juggle eight young kids.

In the end, the Gosselins were focused on showering their family with freebies in hopes of showing their kids how much they love them. They should have remembered:

"The best way to show you love your children is by loving your spouse."

Will I continue to watch the show? When I get home this evening it will be deleted from my DVR list. I just can't in good faith continue to watch a show (providing advertising dollars) to fund a family who cares more about money than their commitment to love each other and their children.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

99 Balloons - Eliot's story

So my mom just sent me a video that I guess ran on Oprah the other day. I wept like a baby - be forewarned. You can watch it here.

The description of
the video:
Eliot was born wit
h an undeveloped lung, a heart with a hole in it and DNA that placed faulty information into each and every cell of his body. However, that could not stop the living God from proclaiming Himself through this boy who never uttered a word. In the midst of heartbreaking tragedy, the Mooney family found the presence of God strengthening, comforting, and guiding them. Their story reminds us to seek God and endure our struggles rather than blame Him for our hardships.

In the video, the dad of this sweet baby boy Eliot reads the letters he wrote for his son every day of the 99 days of his life. The baby wasn't even expected to make it through birth. Still, knowing they would eventually lose their firstborn, these young parents loved him, cared for him and celebrated his life every single day until God called him home.

I often see things like the "99 Balloons" story and tell myself that "I could never do that if I were in their shoes." We always have to remember that God gives us grace in perfect portion to what we need at that time. You don't have to look any further than the Mooney's for proof.

Little words... pretty flowers

I've told y'all about my fascination with weddings. I L-O-V-E them. I'd get married about 100 times if I could (only if it could be to Chad every time). Well my little loves Mike n' Molly are getting married in November. I'm so glad that Molly is patient with me that she lets me send her random ideas for their wedding (did someone say meddling sister-in-law?!) and pretends she's interested. ;)

Here are some beautiful flowers I saw on Southern Weddings the other day... simple, beautiful - aren't they stunning?

Maybe it's just me but there is something about a fresh bouquet of mixed white flowers.

And isn't this a cute idea for take-home gifts for your guests?
I could go on all day...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Warning: Helloooooooo Soapbox

If you don't want to listen to me rant about poor parenting, stop reading now.

If you're okay with it: please proceed.

I saw this article yesterday afternoon about two different girls (one age 8 and one age 10) who were put on the wrong flights while traveling ALONE. To read the full article, click here. A mother of one child was quoted saying: "I have never seen so much incompetence in all my life."

That's funny- me neither!

WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND PUTS THEIR LITTLE GIRL ON A PLANE BY HERSELF. And yes people, I know there are airline personnel responsible for watching these children... but would you put your child in the hands of a complete stranger?! If you want to ensure your child's protection - WATCH THEM YOURSELF. And if something goes wrong - in which you could have done something different to prevent it from happening - don't blame the airline... blame yourself.

If little Susie wants to go visit Grandma in Grand Rapids - either make it a family trip, or suck up the time/expenses and fly/drive with Susie and then come back.

With all of the lunatics in this world - why would you put a child... ESPECIALLY a little girl... on a plane alone and hope for the best. It's a mean world out there - and I'm not saying we should put our children in a bubble - but as a parent, you are solely responsible for protecting your child to the extent it is feasibly possible.

The other mother in this story was quoted saying, the number of people who failed to do their jobs is "mindboggling."

I hope she included herself in that number.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How do you spell...

As a writer, I pride myself on good grammar, an extensive vocabulary, an eye for editing, etc. However there are a couple words that for the life of me I can never remember how to spell.

The one that always tricks me: maintenance. Whew - I honestly spelled that right the first time I wrote it. But that is one of the words that I always have to think about. I often mangle it so badly that Microsoft Word doesn't even offer any suggestions!

So that reminded me of when I was a child and I'd ask my mom how to spell things.

This is how our conversation went EVERY time: why I continued to try who knows - maybe I hoped I'd catch her on a weak day and she'd give it up. No such luck.

Me: "Mom, how do you spell ______."
Her response (always): "Look it up."
Me (irritated and sassy... even as a wee little lass): "I CAN'T look it up if I don't KNOW how to spell it!"
Mom: "Sound it out."
Me (burst in to tears): "WHY WON'T YOU JUST TELL ME!?!?!"

I guess her method worked... as writing, spelling, etc. is now part of my job (and I'd like to think I'm pretty good at it... other than the occasional "maintenance.")

Point for Mom. I'll probably do the same thing with my kids one day.

So what about you? Any things your mom/dad would tell you as a child that you now realize you'll probably pass it on to your children?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cupid Shuffle

Wedding season continued this weekend with our second out of seven weddings between now and the end of the year. Now I love weddings - all sorts of weddings. Even weddings of people I don't even know (hence Southern Weddings being one of my favorite blogs.)

Well at a friend's wedding on Saturday, I encountered a first. A group dance that I had never - and I mean NEVER - heard of before.

They call it "The Cupid Shuffle."

This song started playing and folks of all ages - 5 to 55 - hit the dance floor moving in perfect synchronization. My first thought was, "Huh?!?!"

Never heard of this dance in my life. Never even heard the song. Knew not a thing about it. I know the line dances, I know the chicken dances - I can electric slide, cha cha slide and macarena with the best of 'em. But I was out of my element with the cupid shuffle.

And here was grandma and a snot-faced kid getting down with their bad selves.

I turned to Chad and hissed "Do you know anything about this?!?!"

Apparently so. He didn't know the moves (shocker) but had at least heard of the song and knew there was a dance involved. I felt so out of the loop I could have hid in shame.

Well I've made a vow. I'm getting Kelly to give me lessons. Or I'll watch videos on YouTube. But one thing's for certain... I will not be embarrassed on the dance floor again. The next wedding we attend, my Cupid Shuffle will put the rest of 'em to shame.

To the right, the right, the right, the right, the right
The left, the left, the left, the left, the left
Now kick, now kick, now kick, now kick
Now walk it by yourself, now walk it by yourself

Um, one last question: What does 'walk it by yourself' equate to in dance terminology?

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I really think of myself as an accepting, non-judgemental person. I get irritated by people that think they are better than others, and live their lives to show how superior they are. The way I see it - if you have to talk about how much money you have: 1) you are that desperate you must show your superiority, 2) your self esteem is so low that you hope you bank account can compenstate for it, or 3) you have no class.

But there are some times I catch myself being a snob. However, it's not towards people - its towards food! But since I'm in the marketing/advertising/PR arena - I'll call it a by another term: "BRAND LOYAL."

What kicked off this train of thought? I walked into our breakroom this morning and there is a canister of Kroger brand coffee with the note that says "For Sharing!"

My first (sarcastic) thought: "Wow, how generous of you."

Isn't that awful?!

But hear me out first. There are many things I can buy at the store and don't mind buying the store label, cheap knockoff version, etc. Flour? Harris Teeter brand works just as well as Pillsbury. Sugar: Who needs Domino? I can get Dixie! Cooking spray? Pam who? WalMart works fin
e. Dishwash detergent? Whatever lemon scent will do. I don't need Electrosol.

However there are certain items that I insist on buying the big daddy product (and price tag):

1. Laundry detergent: Must use Tide. No other will do.
2. Milk: Horizon Organic - 1%
3. Coffee: Millstone, Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts - or any specialty brand at Whole Foods/Trader Joes/Fresh Market
4. Ice Cream: B+J's, Haagen Dazs, Edy's - that's it! Blue Bunny??? - get outta here.
5. Canned Tomatoes: Hunt's
6. Italian cheese: Do people actually buy stuff in the Kraft green can? I'll spend the $11 on Locatelli Pecorino-Romano.

There are several others as well. Of course these products are great products - but as much as anything, I'm loyal to them. Why? MY MOM USES IT. Ask most women why they buy things they do, their answer will be because that's what their mom always used. Even if it makes no sense. Chad and I were at the store buying something (which I cannot recall at this time), but he asks why we can't buy the generic (couple dollars cheaper version) - my response, a snappy "BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT MY MOM USES!"

If I worked in the advertising space - I'd do a whole campaign around it. Tagline: Why? Because your Mama said so.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Visit to the dentist

I had a dentist appointment this morning. I'm glad that I don't have a dental phobia like some people - I actually like going to the dentist. It feels good to get deep cleanings every so often.

It helps that I have an awesome dental practice. Dr. Sawhney and her staff are so sweet. When I went for my cleaning a couple months after my wedding, they pounced on me to see pictures right away. I pulled them up on their receptionist's computer, and literally all the hygienists left their patients to come look. They are like little mother hens.

But today was my first semi-awkward dentist experience. I had finished my cleaning and was waiting to get the "all clear" from the dentist. She was in the room directly next to mine (and with no real walls between rooms, I could hear everything they were saying. ) The patient obviously had some teeth issues, and the dentist was talking to her about how she really needed to floss more, take better care of her teeth, etc. They were setting up times for root canals, fillings, etc. Well then the dentist walks into my room, and was like "What a BEAUTIFUL smile you have. Gorgeous teeth." She went onnnn and onnnn. I knew the women in the next room was still there hearing all of it. The dentist then said, "Well I guess I'll take a quick look, but I know you'll have no issues - your teeth are perfect."

Nice to hear, but I'm sure the woman next door was saying the "b" word as she walked out behind me.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Maryland Crabs

Growing up, we spent lots of time in Maryland... with family both in Annapolis and in Chesapeake Beach. Being a youngin' I learned how to crab (with pots and the ol' fashion 'chicken leg on a rope'), how to pick a crab, and how to enjoy eating them! My dad jokes that he made us learn early because "If you can't pick 'em, you can't eat 'em." If you've experienced crab picking, you understand why. It's a wholeeee lotta work for a little bit of meat.

Picking crabs is pretty gross too... you have to pick out their gills, the "yellowish stuff" that I'm not even sure what it is. You end up cutting yourself on their pinchers and get old bay and vinegar into your cuts.
It's not for the faint of heart. Chad laughs at me that raw chicken grosses me out, but I can pick through a crab without it bothering me in the slightest.

People have different styles - the "eat as you go" or "stockpile it and enjoy all at once." I prefer eating as I go, because people like my bro Mike (who stockpiles) usually ends up losing some in the process as people steal bites off his pile. If someone ever picks crabs for you and lets you eat the meat, it is true love.

I began thinking crabs because this weekend in Maryland, the family went to Mike's Bar & Crab Shack for dinner. It was funny because when Molly told Mike (who was on the way to the beach with friends) we were eating at a place called "Mike's" for dinner, his response was "Well, if we find a place called Molly's tonight, I'll make sure we eat there." I don't think he had such luck, because he was moping to Molly later in jealously that, "No fair... you got to eat crabs and I had a piece of tombstone pizza with the pepperoni picked off of it."

I was tempted to participate in the ordering of dozens of crabs and eating them the ol' fashioned way... but I had a bridal shower to attend the next day and couldn't risk cut up hands and chipped nail polish. Besides, in 2 weeks my family is heading to the NC coast - to a house with a dock where we can do our own crabbing. I ordered crab imperial - and it was delish. I've been thinking about it since.

So if you're ever headed to the Annapolis area, make sure to stop at Mike's! And if you need a crab picking instructor - let me know. But I won't pick 'em for you!

I don't have time to be sleepy

Whew - back blogging after a worldwind few days. The trip to Maryland was absolutely fabulous. The ladies all had a great time at my Aunt Sue's bridal shower. Just as nice - I got to spend lots of quality time with my mom and Molly. It's nice to get away with the girls sometimes.

We got back into town on Sunday, and within hours I was summoned to head to work for a crisis situation. I was at the office until about 1 a.m. that night... and if you know me, you know I do NOT stay up late. Add that to a few nights of sleeping in another bed, plus driving 5+ hours back from Maryland... I was exhausted to begin with. I'm blessed to have such a sweet brother Mike who told me to call him and talk to him on my drive home so I didn't fall asleep behind the wheel.

Yesterday continued to be crazy piled on top of crazy. About 3 p.m., as I'm sitting waiting for a press conference to start, my eyes literally starting closing on me. I had to go walk around the building a couple times to stay alert. That said, I was sure the moment I got home I'd hit the bed. I impressed myself with getting in a work out, bowl of cereal and a TV show before crashing.

The rest of this week promises to be just as crazy. I have our couple's Bible study tonight, my women's Bible study tomorrow, dinner with Chad's coworker and his wife on Thursday, and then a wedding this Saturday. And in between - hopefully doing some house hunting, as we are looking to sell our townhouse and buy a new home!

I'd say I wish there were a few more hours in the day to get things done, but at this point in time - the only thing I'd be doing in the extra hours is sleep.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

America's Sailing Capital

I'm heading to Annapolis, MD early tomorrow morning with my mom and soon-to-be sis-in-law Molly. Annapolis is probably my favorite place on earth - absolutely beautiful, lots of shopping, great history - and of course, my grandparents. It'll be nice to get a weekend away with the girls.

I'll be back blogging on Monday! Have a great weekend everyone.

An Ode to Hannah

One of my very best friends Hannah has a birthday tomorrow. Since I won't be able to see her on her special day (heading to Annapolis, MD tomorrow for a wedding shower), I thought I'd do a "Top Ten Things I Love About Hannah."

So let's get it started:

10) We share a love of cooking, and muse about being domestic women who stay at home and cook and bake all day. We often ask each other what we're eating for dinner for the week to get ideas for our own meals. She has shared with me her family chicken pastry recipe, and I've shared with her the recipe for the family pasta sauce. We also test out recipes and let the other know what is a keeper and what is not worth trying. Very helpful.

9) This is more-or-less about Hannah, but I love that my husband loves her husband - and vise versa. When you're married, and a lot of your friends are single, it is good to have a couple to double date with. Han and I can go into our own world, and know that our husbands can chat it up for hours.

8) We can gchat randomly throughout the day - no need to make explainations if you're running to a meeting, or just have nothing to say for a couple hours. We just type when we have something to share.

7) She has curly hair. And good curly hair. And I still laugh remembering her tell the story of a girl from her college that asked if she gets up and curls her hair every morning. Who does that?! But in all honestly, if Hannah had straight hair I don't know if I'd like her as much (kinda like Chad's dimples). She came over for dinner one night and her hair was stick straight - without giving me fair warning. I almost cried.

6) I can ask her advice/whine/share good news with her - and she's responds accordingly. I'm frustrated with someone - she's furious for me. I'm super excited about something good - she's genuinely happy for me.

5) She understands the difference between ziti, penne, fusilli, farfalle, etc. If I tell her I'm using campagnelle for my meal that evening - I don't have to explain what that is, and why you'd use that particular pasta.

4) That we had this conversation:
Me: "Hey, I found a website that actually tracks your fertility."
Han: "Wow, you're looking up fertility websites, and I'm checking out"

3) I pray for Hannah. Hannah prays for me. (And I remind Hannah what she needs prayer for.)

2) She Blackberry messages me with random things that confuse my husband. For example, the other night: (I'm pounding away on my BB and Chad asks who I'm talking to --- not that he doesn't already know the answer.) I tell him Hannah, and he asks what about. I told him she BBMed me to let me know that Locopops is selling strawberry balsamic again. Because only in our world would it be perfectly acceptable to let me know that at 9:00 on a Tuesday night.

1) We have different personalities, different ways of looking at things, but lots of respect for each other. She's an amazing friend with a great heart - and I love her so, so much.

Happy Birthday Curly!

Do You Love Me?

A few weeks back I was doing my normal "I'm a woman and need to know I am loved." Okay maybe that's a "me" thing and not a "woman" thing. I think most women probably try to pose little underhand questions at their husbands to try to get complimented. Chad doesn't read into questions like that and besides, I don't waste time trying to nudge him into an answer. If I want to know something, by golly I'll ask him.

Chad was sitting on the couch one evening, nice and relaxed. Probably watching "PTI" or something similar. Prime time for me to throw a crazy question at him.

Me: "Do you love me Chad?"

Chad: "Yes."

Me: "Do you love me a lot?"

Chad: "I married you didn't I?"

Me: "Yes. You did. I guess that means you love me a whole lot. So much that you wanted to spend every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day, of every month, of every year for the REST OF YOUR LIFE with ME."

I swear I saw him break into a cold sweat and struggle to swallow.

With that I sauntered out of the room. Sometimes I just like throwing him off his game.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Word verification

Do you know what really grinds my gears? Having to do word verification on websites. You know what I'm talking about. Where it has those letters and numbers written all crazy and you have to retype them to make sure you're human. At least that's what I think it's for.

Well I am human - but I still have to retry typing those half the time. Not because I'm a computer-gone-crazy trying to hack into various websites - but BECAUSE YOU CAN'T TELL WHAT IT IS. Crazy fonts, lines through the letters, twisted around into weird shapes. Help a sister out. I can't tell what they heck it says. Is that a g or a 3?

So I think I'm going to go on a crusade to end word verifications. Next time it prompts me to "Type the characters you see in the picture above" - I will type: NO THANK YOU. It'll be my way of stickin' it to the man.

And when it makes me retry, I'll give in and type the dang letters/numbers in... if I can figure it out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Meet Annabelle Elisabeth Arnold

Just got back from the hospital. No words yet- just pictures. One thing's for sure: Chad and I are madly in love with her already.

Dead Pigs and Bomb Squads

I've been in the public relations field for almost five years now. I love it. Every day is something new and different. PR is hard to explain to people because any given day we can be doing something completely different. Whether it's handling media at a press conference, calling a reporter to get them to write a story on something going on with your company/institution, planning a major event, writing an article, mitigating a crisis, preparing response statements - it runs the gamut.

Before working at NC State, I worked for one of the world's top PR firms. I had a wide variety of clients - from one of the world's most beloved doughnut brands, to the largest furniture store in the world, to a high-powered law firm, to a company marketing a procedure for metastatic liver cancer. When I left to try my hand at working for a single institution (as opposed to various clients) - I was a bit worried it would be stale. I was used to doing tons of different things every day.

Let me tell you, I was W-R-O-N-G.

NC State has different colleges - from textiles, to engineering, to education to agriculture. It's a little big of everything. So one day I could be pitching a fashion show and the next, talking about a blanket that could protect astronauts against space radiation. For a person who HATED science throughout my schooling, I sure talk (and write) a lot about it now!

So today is just a sample of the crazy things I get to do. This morning I met with NC State's Patrol Divison Commander to discuss an event in mid-June. State law enforcement - including the state's head of homeland security - are headed to our campus to conduct a full-scale exercise testing their response capabilities to a terrorist attempt on campus. They will go through an entire morning-long scenario where people will be playing terrorists. They will actually be deonating a small bomb and testing their response to it. It's going to be VERY intersting. My part is twofold - 1) Making sure the NC State/Raleigh community know that this is a DRILL so that students aren't calling their parents crying thinking there is a terrorist on campus. 2) Getting the local media out there to cover the drill, while also wrangling them so they don't get in harm's way. Nothing more I like more than a good reporter wrangling. ;)

And now - I'm about to head over to NC State's Lake Wheeler facility to prepare for a video segment I'm shooting tomorrow (I get to be the Ann Curry for NC State) about NC State's Forensic Science program. They are hosting a weeklong workshop for law enforcement personnel to hone their crime scene skills. To practice? They've buried dead pigs so that SBI agents can find them, dig them up, examine the crime scene and determine a cause of death. Pretty cool, huh?

In between I've been on the phone with a reporter at NPR to coordinate an expert for a segment she's working on about American-made products and helping prepare some responses to the state budget crisis.

See what I mean? Just a little of everything. Looking for an interesting career - consider public relations!

Splenda Sweet Tea

I grew up drinking unsweet tea - that's how it was made at my house. I love unsweet tea - it's very refreshing. However, living in the south, I have learned to love sweet tea as well. My mother-in-law's sweet tea is the hands-down best.

Chad says he doesn't like unsweet tea - but I'm not convinced because he does drink it unsweet some times at my parent's house. But whatever. I usually don't make tea at all because we can't seem to compromise. I like to wisely save my calories. I'd rather eat a piece of chocolate than waste 'em on a sugary beverage. And I'm sure not going to make SOME sweet tea and SOME unsweet. That's just wasteful. We don't drink it that much.

Well I thought we'd compromise and I would start making sweet tea with splenda. Unfortunately - poor timing on my part - I told Chad this in the middle of the g-store. He was not happy with me. I believe, "What are you trying to do to me?!?!" were his words. He was already mad I made him put back the Oreos. I prefer not to keep tempting snacks around the house. If you're craving a cookie, and you have no cookies, then you won't end up eating a box of cookies.

I had already made the mistake of allowing Chad to go to the g-store for me the previous week. He went rouge on my grocery list. He came home with two big bags of honey-dijon kettle chips, one bag of Oreos, one bag of Milanos (for me, he said), and a bag of peanut butter M&Ms. Needless to say, I kept a close eye on the cart after that.

So splenda sweet tea. I got home and made a big pitcher of it. He tastes a little bit and grimaces - soooo dramatic. It really didn't even taste that different. I thought it was good! However he said it is awful and nothing like regular sweet tea.

So then, as I like to do, I decide to goad him a bit and tell him that I was going to call his mother and tell her how much he loved the sweet tea with splenda and she should start making it that way too! Chad's mom is very health-conscience - and sweet tea is probably the only thing she makes that is "bad for you." She doesn't even drink it - she just has it on-hand when Chad and I come over.

Now Chad is not a violent man, but I thought he might tackle me then and there.

A haiku moral of the story:
Chad says no splenda
Only sugar in sweet tea

Leave my treats alone

Monday, June 1, 2009

Chad's blog

Kelly called me the other night to chat, and Chad overheard her saying something about my new blog. He loudly said, "I'm going to start a blog." I think Kel got a little excited (because Chad is hilarious and I think he'd have a great blog) - but I know he is a semi-social media phobe. The only thing he has is Facebook, and the only reason he even looks at his account is because it comes right to his Blackberry.

So then Kel/I (still on phone) ask Chad what he'd name his blog. He got angry and said he couldn't think of something like that in just a couple seconds. This is the time I should have put the phone on speakerphone because I was trying to repeat what Chad and Kelly were saying to the other. But it works out I didn't because that was about the end of Chad's blog conversation until the following morning.

We were in the bath
room getting ready for the day (me to head to work and Chad to run errands on his Friday off - and by run errands I mean go golfing at Keith Hills with my dad), and he asked if I'd be blogging today. I told him I probably would, and asked if he would ever want to guest blog on my site. He seemed interested, so I asked what he would blog about.

His answer "Twitter."

Now Chad doesn't even HAVE twitter. I told him he can't blog about that.

His next answer "Nuclear power."

I told him that was boring and no one would want to read about nuclear power - unless he talks about it in the way I envision him at work: Wearing a white lab coat, playing with beakers of brightly colored liquids, trying to steer clear of the "big red button" that if you press the whole place will blow up. Unfortunately - he doesn't wear a lab coat, there are beakers - but no colored liquids, and there is no big red button (unless he's lying to me).

So I'll have to keep him thinking about his potential guest blogs. I hope he does it though - because he is a very, very good writer. You wouldn't guess it coming from a science guy - but take my word for it.

So stay tuned!

PS: For those waiting with bated breath - little Annabelle Elizabeth Arnold was born at 4:59 a.m. this morning. Mom, dad and baby are well - albeit a bit sleepy. We're heading over to the hospital after work to meet the little one. Will hopefully post pictures tomorrow!

I'm too exciting to blog!

Today is a very exciting day. Two of our very best friends, David + Jamie, are expecting the arrival of their sweet baby Annabelle. We got the word yesterday morning she was in labor... and a few updates since, but no call that SHE'S HERE! So I'm waiting with my phone at my side for that phone call.

Waiting... waiting... waiting.

I know I'm not going to be able to focus until I hear the news. We've be there with D+J throughout the pregnancy journey... so we already love little Annabelle just as much as we'd love our own child. We cannot WAIT to meet her and smooch all over her face.

Still waiting...