Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pat Green With Envy

On Friday after work I joined some coworkers at Red's Ice House then we went over to try a new restaurant in Mt. Pleasant, Bambu.  The service was lacking, one of the entrees was cold, but I will try it again before I can give it a fair review.  But I digress.  Once we got to Bambu and were waiting on everyone to get there, my friend BSmith joined us.  While we were waiting he asked what time everyone was getting there.  Joking I asked him if he had better plans for the evening than hanging out with us.  Turns out he was going to the Pat Green concert at the Music Farm.  I said, "I just heard this week he was playing there.  I wish I could go."  BSmith reached in his pocket and handed me a ticket.  Yes. He. Did.  (Turns out my other friend had to go out of town, so I benefitted from his last minute work trip.  I hate it for him, but yeah for me!) (That sounded harsh, but he had been to a concert the night before so I think it was only fair.) So, anyone who knows me knows that I go to bed at 10:00 PM 90% of the time.  I require sleep and in order to get enough, 10:00 PM it is.  However, on Friday night I sacrificed so I could use my newly aquired ticket to see Pat Green perform.  And it was worth it.  The Music Farm is not what I would consider my ideal place to see a show as I am not a big fan of standing up since I am short and most people are tall and like to block my view.  But it was worth it.  It was a great show and I am so glad I got to go.  

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Refuse Anything But The Last

When it comes to relationships, maybe we're all in glass houses, and shouldn't throw stones. Because you can never really know. Some people are settling down, some people are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

And I Ran, I Ran So Far Away

Running is something I have turned to off and on for the last 14 or so years of my life.  I spent my senior year in high school getting in really good shape.  I still look back at the pictures of myself when I moved into the dorm freshman year and am in awe of that body.  I spent the 5 years of college pretty much ignoring all forms of working out except for the occasional trip to the gym or run around campus.  Dancing on Thursday night and Saturday night kept my metabolism up and my waistline down.  Then I graduated and took a desk job.  Running was pretty much non-existant for a couple of years.  Then I decided I could run a half marathon; I trained; I did it.  Then I did another one.  Then my running partner moved to Florida.  I would run off and on, but nothing serious.

So, here I am now.  30.  Chubby.  Living in a flat city.  Seriously, I lived on top a hill my entire life.  Do you know what that means?  That means that every. single. run. I went on ended with an uphill climb.  Not cool.  But I did it.  So now I have the ability to run without the incline.  So I have started running again.  And I forgot how much I enjoy it, most of the time.  I love that I am free of computers and cell phones and stupid questions inquisitive people.  I do not run with an iPod.  I do not carry my cell phone.  It's just me and nature, as God intended.  I love to listen to the sounds around me and for the only voices to be those in my head.  I love that I can either listen to the sounds of the praise music in my head or I can talk to God or I can listen to Him talk to me.  

And you want to know the irony of it all?  I run on the Ravenel Bridge once a week and I run better there than I do on the flat lands.  Go figure. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Reluctant Cowgirl

Actress Crytal McCord gave up the closeness of her big family in order to make a name for herself on the New York City stage. But when life in the Big Apple turns sour, she follows a country road back to her parents Arkansas ranch.

The last thing she expects to find in cowboy country is a new leading man. Still, she can't help but imagine handsome rancher Jeremy Buchanan in the role.

Unfortunately, Jeremy's been burned by Crystal's type before. Or has he? Every time he thinks he knows her, the multi-faceted woman surprises him. Will the reluctant pair allow their hearts to guide them, or will their common stubborn pride keep them miles apart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Reluctant Cowgirl, go HERE


I loved this book!  When I read Crystal's story I saw so many aspects of her life I could relate to (in a very round about way, of course.)  Most of us are guilty of going away and not realizing who we really are.  It's a great reminder of what is important in this world and the people who will truly be there for us in the long run.  

This would be a great read for a Summer vacation as it is light and enjoyable.  To purchase a copy for yourself go here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Secret

Almost no fiction book genre excites me more than when I get to read about Amish life. Now, based on this first sentence I do realize it is fiction, but there is something about me that loves to immerse myself in the culture of people who live their daily lives without the hustle and bustle that technology seems to bring to modern day America. Their modern day is not as vastly different as the modern day I know from my ancestors. To me reading about this brings a sense of comfort that I do not find in reading books set in today's times or even reading book set 100 years ago but about those people groups who were trying to modernize for their era. There is enough hustle, bustle in my own life that I like to escape to a world that does not contain the same obvious struggles.

Lucky for me, to quench this love of Amish fiction, I was able to read The Secret by Beverly Lewis last week. This is the first book in her new series "Seasons of Grace." The Secret tells the story of Grace Byler, a young Amish woman who feels trapped by many secrets around her. In the recent past her mother has begun distancing herself from the family. Her father seems to ignore what is happening. And her grandparents know something they aren't sharing either.

Intervowen into the story we meet Heather Nelson who is as modern a girl as we can imagine right down to the love of her iPhone. While a grad student at the College of William and Mary, Heather receives a diagnosis that changes her world. Not sure what to do, she seeks to return to Lancaster County, a place she and her mother visited.

I would encourage anyone who loves to read this genre of fiction to pick up this book. Read how Beverly Lewis interweaves the stories of these two families as they all search for God's hand in their personal lives and in the events going on around them.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Secret, go HERE

To pick up a copy of this book for yourself, click here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday Lunch Tears

How sad is my life that I went home at lunch and watched the season finale of Friday Night Lights and had myself a little cry.  As I've watched practically the whole third season the past two weekends I feel as if a part of me lives in Dillon, TX.  I can't wait for next January when season 4 comes on NBC.  From the highs and lows of the students basking in the glory of where they are going to college to the employment drama of the adults I felt connected.  

I think this means I need a life.  Don't judge.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I Promise I Don't Eat All The Time

However, if you ask some of my friends they think I'm at some fancy, schmancy restaurant every night.  Tell that to the gourmet bowl of cereal I've eaten twice in the last week made from emptying 2-4 almost empty boxes of cereal into to create a concoction only I would eat.  And yes, I always add at least 1 teaspoon of sugar to the top just to mask the odd flavors make it taste even more wonderful.

If given the opportunity I would move back to my Hometown, USA in a heartbeat.  But when it comes to the food I belong to this city and this city is mine.  I can take my new hammock with me if I move but the cuisine of Charleston would stay here and I would miss it.  So with that being said here is my latest restaurant review.

Work BFF and I knew we wanted to go somewhere fun last night where we could sit outside because the other wonderful thing about being here right now is the weather is perfect.  And sitting outside.  Also perfect.  So we decided on Chai's.  Chai's is a tapas restaurant that is next to Basil (another fave that I cannot believe I have not blogged about.  What have I been thinking?)

Anywho, we are focused on Chai's tonight because it was great food and a fun atmosphere.  There was a band playing on the patio but they were not too loud so you could enjoy their music and also enjoy the conversation at the table.  Work BFF and I dined on the following:
  • Crispy Salmon
  • Vegetable Pita
  • Shrimp and Grits
  • Veal Flank Steak
The great thing about this restaurant is you can get several mini plates to share and so you get to try a lot of food in small portions.  I would eat of these items again but am glad I have documented them here so I can know to order different things next time so I can enjoy even more goodness.  Then work BFF had the nerve to tell me this place used to have risotto balls.  Yeah, balls of risotto breaded and deep fried.  Be still my beating heart?  Why is this no longer on the menu?  I am going to have to stalk this place until they go back on the menu.  So I am places Chais among my top restaraunts in this city and looking forward to my next venture there.  Hopefully sooner rather than later.  

So, after all the goodness that was dinner at Chais we decided dessert was in order so we walked over one block to Paolo's Gelato.  Yes, I had a cup of gelato.  But we walked there.  So it doesn't count.  HA.  

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tuesday Tracking 'Til Tomorrow

Today I have been tracking the following through the genius that is Brookstone and UPS:

*** The guy is not included.  Dern. ***

Tomorrow it will arrive and I am super excited!  I have wanted a hammock for many, many, many years and tomorrow my dreams will finally be realized.  I foresee hours spent outside this Saturday reading books and enjoying this new purchase.  This may even require me to go to the store so I can have some Paula Deen Lemonade to make the day perfect.

Monday, April 06, 2009

I Am Tired

I am tired...of stress at work. I am only one person. The people I support are just one person each. And we are all overloaded. And so we take our stresses out on one another. We're learning to say to one another, "I can't." But that is not the answer management wants. So we stay tired.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

I am tired...of feeling so far away. I feel like I am so far away from everyone who has had such an impact on my life. I miss my family like mad. I miss my friends like mad. I think spending an extended weekend back home in "God's Country" has brought all of the homesickness back. Or maybe I never fully experienced the withdrawal when I moved and now the emotion gets to me. A lot lately.

I am tired...and that makes me grouchy. I wish I weren't grouchy. Just like I wish I weren't tired. But I find it hard to sleep some nights because I have all of these emotions rolling around in my head.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;

I am tired...of feeling like I don't give God what He deserves. I am failing Him miserably at this point in my life. And that exhausts me as well. I know I need to spend more time with Him. I know I need to petition Him to show me where I am to be serving Him now.

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;

I am tired...of being out of shape. I really need to work more on working out. Yes, it would benefit my physical body but it would also do wonders for my mental health as well.

they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31)

But of all these items only one is within my control completely. I can choose to find my rest in God. I can choose to turn to Him when the frustrations of life are getting me down. No matter where I live He is there with me. If it doesn't seem He is there, it's because I shut the door on Him. Not because He walked out on me. And my body is His temple. The church is not a building. The church is the people. And I am a person. And I am reminded again as we celebrate Easter that He would have sent His Son just for me. Just for me and my life drama. And I am thankful. So I will put my hope in the Lord. He will give me the rest and the strength to carry on. And if I focus on Him, these other items will lose importance and focus in my life. Because I will give them to Him. And He will hold them for me. And He will guide me through them. And He will give me rest.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

By Popular Demand

What's that? You didn't demand anything? Oh well. Keep reading and you'll wish you had. Or not. Who knows. But it's time for the big reveal. I have custom made curtains hanging in my "awkward nook that really doesn't have a name between the entry and the living room across from the kitchen." Whew!

Above is the awkward shot of the before. Sorry it's not clean but I don't roll that way. If you want clean you'll need to go visit a museum. Not the home of someone who works for a living. Thanks for being such undestanding blog readers and friends.

First I hung a curtain rod. Brilliant, I know, but that's just how I roll.

Note: It was daylight when I started, but it's now dark. This was obviously done a few days weeks ago before the beloved springing forward of my clock.
Tada! Curtains are occupying their appropriate place on my wall.

Below is the pattern. The khakis match my couch and the reds to with my accent pillows.

And speaking of accent pillows, I have two lovely ones in the matching fabric. Don't you just love how the pillow displayed itself so well in my Hollywood chair? (There's a story there for another post.)

Thanks for taking a tour of the transformation of "awkward nook that really doesn't have a name between the entry and the living room across from the kitchen." Eventually I hope to have a bench under the window to sit upon and tie my shoes/store awkward things/give the space a purpose.