Thursday, August 28, 2008


My parents, sisters, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and SO many friends live right in the projected path of Gustav. Please keep the people on the Gulf Coast in your prayers.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mama Africa

I'm a sucker for a bargain. Always have been - always will be. I have even been known to travel great distances for a good bargain. So when I heard about "Mama Africa" - I knew I had to go.

Saturday morning Beckster and I headed down to a part of town I don't frequent very often (Read: never) because we had heard there were bargains to be had. What kind of bargain would entice me to take my own life into my hands? Oh - I don't know. Say designer knock of bags for $25- $30? Yes, that kind of bargain.

I had no idea what to expect. I was told "get off the interstate, travel down 3rd street for about 8 -10 miles. It's at the "old drive-in" (if that doesn't sound shady, then you don't know Memphis!). You can't miss it - you will see these huge African paintings all over the side of the road." niiiiccee.

So now, without further adue, I give you Mama Africa

At Mama Africa you can find some things that look like "smelling salts", African carvings, and Pants. (Fuchsia was also available, but somehow those didn't make it in the picture)

Need tires for your car? No problem - you can find those here too! Although I'm not convinced they aren't hot. I bet a set of my tires was sitting over there. But that's another story for another day

If you get hungry while shopping at Mama Africa - have no fear! Chicken wings are near!

If you bring the kiddies along, and they are tired from all the shopping they can play a fun little game -

And if the men in your life can't handle the bargains - they can head across the street for a little action themselves!

But alas - great purses were to be found. Between Beckster and myself, we got 2 Prada bags, 1 Coach bag, and 1 Chanel bag. All for $100.00!

Ben gave me a good talkin to later that day about how 2 girls do not need to be venturing to that part of town alone. Clearly he doesn't understand that I can hold my own!

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's Friday night and I feel alright

G-round the grill master

Yes, this is what my friday night will consist of. Happy Friday Ya'll! Have a great weekend!

So Unique

I stole this from JKW'S blog - but I thought it was fun and interesting.

This is how many people in the U.S. have my name! I'm pretty special huh?
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

But this is how many people in the U.S. have the name that I will have if Ben and I are ever to get married:
LogoThere are
or fewer people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

That's right! I'd be THE ONLY ONE!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Um, Mindy? Where's the cheese?

So I'm a few days late on this post, but this past weekend was mine and Ben's 1 year anniversary. No, we aren't married. Yes, we're only dating. Yes, I know it's lame. Whatever - I do what I want. :)

Anyway - the whole weekend was a a blast. Friday night we decided to hang out with our friend G-round. Well having G-round over turned into having C-squared and her boy Jersey, Beckster, Roommate and his woman(I haven't come up with a name for her just yet), Lil Kinko, LeDouche, and our friends JHJ (Yes, I know.... you need a better name.) over as well. We had a blast. It rained all night so we just hung out at Ben's, ate too much, played some games and watched an amazing Michael Phelps race.

For quite sometime I've been wanting a bicycle, so Ben told me on Saturday morning that he was getting me a bicycle for our anniversary. I was beyond excited! We hit the road and headed to some bike shops. The first one was closed, and the second one was not helpful. We were in there for a good 15 mins and not one single person acknowledged we were there. Hi? Yes, I know I'm fat and I don't look like I belong on a bike! But I want a bike dangit! HELP ME!!

The unhelpful bike shop happened to be right across the street from the place I worked when I was in college.I'm still good friends with my boss from that job and Ben has never met her. So I grabbed Ben and we ran inside real quick so they could meet. Little did I know when I dragged my UT Vols fan boyfriend, who was obviously wearing a bright orange UT t-shirt, into a University of Memphis bookstore, that Joey Dorsey - the #1 player for the UofM basketball team (aka huge local celebrity) would be in there signing autographs. What happened when I went trapsing in with my obnoxiously orange boyfriend? Oh, Joey Dorsey asked him to leave. Ha! No joke! He said "Um, excuse me. You need to go." we laughed... Joey said "no, I'm not kidding. leave." Yes, it was awkward. No, we didn't leave.

Ok I'm getting on with it. I'm getting sidetracked - sorry. We finally left the bookstore where Ben was hated and made one last stop at a different bike shop in hopes of finding a bike. Ben had given me the lecture of "we don't have to buy something today. blah blah blah" yea, yea, I know.... let's get on with it. We finally found a helpful soal and he explained everything I would never need to know about a bike - and more. I "test drove" a few around the parking lot before finally decided on my beauty.

Here she is in all her glory.

Don't you just love her? I do.

I'm going to skip a good bit because I know I'm losing you. Sunday was our actual anniversary. We went and did a little shopping, had a delicious brunch, then went and had a little bike ride. It was so much fun. Sunday night Ben surprised me and took me to The Melting Pot. Yum! I love love that place! Ben had never been to a fondue restaurant, but he loved it too! Only thing was, he was soo confused when they brought out the meat part of the meal. They got the broth stuff cooking, and when the guy left Ben looked and me and said "where's the cheese?" With a confused look on my face I said "the cheese is only the 1st partof the meal. we already ate that." He then went on to explain that he though "fondue" meant "cheese" and cheese was a part of every course. really honey? You wanted to cook your steak in cheese? And what about the chocolate? Cheese and chocolate? I don't think so. It took him awhile to realize they weren't bringing us more cheese, but in the end I think he finally figured it out.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Workplace Wonders: You're showing your age there, sister!

Let me tell ya about a few of the folks I work with -

First we have Boss. Now, Boss isn't really the boss but she sure thinks she is! She is in her 40's and is on my sales team and has been here the longest of all the sales folks. She is very helpful when I need help or have questions, but everything goes to her head and she is ALWAYS RIGHT. Therefore she knows more than anyone else here, and should be the boss.

Next we have BikerBabe. BikerBabe is a 61 year old lady that is also on my sales team. She smokes like a chimney and always talks about going to Bike Night, and hanging out at the Bike Shop. She is something else I tell ya!

I sit between Boss and BikerBabe so I can hear pretty much everything they say and do - super exciting, I know. Anyway, I've been noticing lately the different ways all three of us go about doing things. For example - when one of us needs a phone number: I go to google it, Boss calls directory assistance, and BikerBabe looks it up in the phone book. If I need a file that BikerBabe has on her computer - she prints it out, goes to the copy machine and scans it in as a PDF then sends it to me. Of if she's in a hurry she just prints it out and lays it on my desk. Attaching it directly from her computer is not an option for BikerBabe (I've showed her numerous times but she never remembers that is an option).

Another example: Yesterday we all received updated and revised maintenance agreements that we are supposed to be using from here on out. Here is what we all did with them. Boss saved a copy, then printed out 25 so she could have them sitting in her file cabinet ready to be used (she will have to manually fill these out), BikerBabe asked me to help her print out 1 copy. She then took that one copy up to the copy machine and made 100 copies of it so that she could always have one available. What did I do? I just saved it to my computer. This way I can fill out all the information on the computer then print it out as needed.

I could go on and on - don't even get me started with how they manage PowerPoint and Excel. Oh, and checking their voicemail remotely - ha! What an ordeal!

I'm not saying that one of us is right and one is wrong - I'm simply pointing out the differences in which we all use technology. The thing that got me thinking most about this was the phone number thing - I'm sure by the time I'm 40, I will have children and they will be like "mom? you're using the INTERNET to look that up? Get with the times!" (I have no idea "what the times" will be - but I can only imagine!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Will they ever let me grow up?

So I'm going to grad school this fall- whoop whoop! I'm pretty excited. I'm going to get my masters in Elementary Education. My bachelors degree is in Elem. Education but I never got my license so I can't teach. Thank you No Child Left Behind.

Well as it turns out, I can't afford to just pay my tuition. Hello? Car Payment? Rent? Itty Bitty Salary? I've been looking for grants but the school I'm going to isn't "participating" with any of the grants that are available to me. lovely. I could get an assistantship which would pay for my tuition, but it pays even less than my joke of a salary and I would be without health insurance. That's not exactly a gamble I'm willing to take. My solution? Student loans.

Wouldn't ya know that my parents are making it very clear that I shouldn't take out any loans. "You already have debt: you just financed a car, and you have student loans that you haven't paid off from your undergrad." Oh really? And why do I have those loans? Oh that's right - cause you refused to pay for my 5th year of school. Now don't get me wrong - I'm very very appreciative that my parents paid for my first 4 years of school, and I did not mind AT ALL taking out the loans to cover my last year. It was my fault I was there 5 years - I accept the responsibility. But don't come telling me that I just should just suck it up and continue on in a job (I refuse to call it a career b/c I hate it so much) that I despise just because you feel that it's a bad idea to accrue more debt.

My mom actually made this statement about it "If you were going to Med School or something like that where you'd actually made a decent income one day that would be one thing. But taking a loans to become a teacher just isn't wise." Why are you homeschooling A & K this year mom? Because the schools SUCK and the teachers are horrible!?!? Wouldn't you be appreciative if someone had decided that teaching children and molding our future was more important that making a huge salary?

My dad calls tonight and goes into it all over again. I've been keeping the conversations about it short and sweet because I have this weird condition, that whenever I talk to my dad about subjects that we don't see eye-to-eye on I end up crying - and it makes him mad. But tonight it just couldn't be avoided. He discussed how me taking out loans was not a good idea, I cried and tried to explain why I wanted to do this, he said he doesn't know a single teacher that actually enjoys their job, I cry and tell him I know teachers that love their jobs....... on and on and on.

Please don't get me wrong on this. I love my parents and I understand their concern with me getting into more debt. But the debt I do have is student loans, and a car. I don't have credit card debt or anything like that. I guess sometimes I just wish they would be supportive of a decision I make and let me grow up and make my own mistakes and decisions without telling me how wrong I am and what a mistake I'm making before I even make it.

I've prayed and prayed about this decision and I truly feel that this is what the Lord wants me to do. I guess all I can do now is pray that He changes my parents heart as well.

Ideas? Suggestions?

My creativity is running low -

Ben's house is coming together nicely. We've got it looking like we want it..... all except one thing.

this big, blank wall space behind the couch. I hate it. Ben agrees that something needs to be there, but us agreeing on what it should be is another story. We went and looked around yesterday to see what we could find, and the only thing Ben even remotely liked was a picture of horses running through a field. My thoughts? NOPE! Not happening!

We have hung several iron pieces in other parts of the room so we need something else - something with color and interest. All of you are so creative I thought I'd see what ideas you had. Since it's Ben's house it needs to be something a male would be ok with.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Self Diagnosis

Ya know how some people are freckly, and some people just aren't? Well I'm one of the many that are blessed with "angel kisses" (as my mom used to call them). And as I've gotten older some are bigger than others - some resemble moles more than freckles.

too disgusting? Sorry - I have a point

For the past few years I've become very aware of my freckles and moles and I watch them constantly to make sure they aren't changing shape or color. Well that obviously leads to a paranoid state.

I've sent several of my friends over the past few years to the dermatologist because I was convinced they had skin cancer - so far none of them have. :) What can I say? I'm just looking out for my friends!

All of this rambling leads me to this point. Even though I've sent countless friends running to the doctor, I myself have never been to have any "suspicious" moles checked out. But I've had this one on my stomach that I've been watching for awhile, and after telling my dad about it - (he's a doctor) I've decided to go have to removed and looked at.

I'm not scared or anything - it's probably me just over reacting, but I will sleep better at night when I know for sure it's nothing.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm a runner wannabe

Well I'm doing it again! A half marathon that is.

Back in 2006 I had this wild hair that I wanted to run a marathon. Those of you that actually know me understand the hilarity of that, in that I am not a runner. at all. But I signed up with this organization called Team In Training and began training. I spent every Saturday morning at Shelby Farms learning how to be a runner, and every morning of the week running on my own. I ran through the heat of June, July, August, and September, and I ran through the cold of October, November, and December. I was loving it - I had never been able to call myself a runner, but all of the sudden I could. I was a fat runner - but I was a runner dang it!

So in December of 2006 we signed up to run the St. Jude 1/2 marathon as a training run. My full marathon wasn't until January. Somewhere along the way in that 1/2 marathon I hurt my foot/ankle. I went to several doctors and no one could give me a straight answer of what was wrong. It basically came down to this: it hurts to run, so don't run. walk. I was pretty upset about this because I had spent so much time learning to run and building the endurance to do so.

When January came, my team and I loaded the plan and headed to Phoenix, AZ for our marathon. I walked most of it, and ran what I could. It was the coldest it had been in 26 years. I was prepared for 70 degree weather. It was 23 degrees at the start. I had 13 blisters when it was all said and done, and I was absolutely miserable. I cried as my blisters popped while I was running/walking. I cried just about the entire last 3 miles. I cried as I crossed the finish line. I'm not a baby, but I was in pain. I decided that day that 26.2 miles and I were not friends and we would probably never learn to get along. I had completed a full marathon though. I have the medal to prove it!

A few weeks later I had forgotten how horrible the whole experience was, and I began to miss it. I signed up to run the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in Nashville - but in the end I had to walk it as well. I loved it. It was during this time of training that I met Becky. We quickly became friends and walking partners.

After completing that 1/2 marathon, I went on to coach the walking team for Team in Training and I completed the St. Jude half again. I was amazed with myself. In a 12 month period I had completed 1 full and 3 halfs in a 12 month period. Not bad for a fat, lazy girl huh?

I haven't done much of anything for the past year, but last week Becky and I decided to lace up our shoes once again and get our butts in gear! We are signing up to do another 1/2 in December. We started training last night and I'm getting excited.

I would promise to keep you updated but we know how good I've been about that lately! I will promise you this: I'll do my best.

Wish my luck!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

not dead yet

I'm still here. I've been crazy nutso busy so I haven't had much time to write.

Ben and I will have been together for a year next weekend, so I've been using all my spare time to make a little something something for that.

I promise to try to do better.