"I've discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it."
- William Faulkner

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"l" is for...

There are books out there that everyone needs to read - books with cultural benefits, some as examples of outstanding literature, some for sheer entertainment or some for educational purposes. There are books that are worth learning to read for and those that you wish you could remember you'd read. Some of you may not be "readers" out there, and I understand - I used to be fundamentally opposed to fiction because I couldn't get past the fake people with fake names and fake lives. I've gotten past that aversion, and in the process, I've read quite a few books that I'd recommend.

The Five Love Languages is an eye-opening study of the emotion and expression of love. For anyone who's ever wondered why your husband, wife, significant other or even your friends just don't "get" you, this book could lend some great insight into why. The author Gary Chapman (not Amy Grant's ex) explores the different ways we offer and expect love from those around us and why we don't feel loved if these needs aren't met. Chapman also covers how God has shown us he loves us through each of the love languages. Sometimes, people are able to identify their language upon first seeing the words whereas others may need a little more information. If you're curious, here they are, in no particular order:

1) Words of Affirmation
2) Physical Touch
3) Gift Giving
4) Quality Time
5) Acts of Service

I've tried getting Kell to read this book for years, but it just sits on his bedside table collecting dust. For anyone who's slightly more interested, this has my seal of approval!

OK, I love a Brit. Especially one that looks like Hugh Laurie. I have to admit, I wasn't familiar with the actor who plays the shockingly harsh and offensive title character on the FOX series House M.D. And as much as I love television, there are just a few shows that I watch intentionally, meaning I make a point to set the DVR to ensure I get every new episode. House is one. The actors are great (primarily Hugh), the music is great (Hugh is also a musician - he's in a band with Bachelor Bob!) and the story lines are fascinating. Also, Robert Sean Leonard from Dead Poets Society, an absolute favorite movie of mine, stars along side Hugh as House's best (and only) friend, oncologist James Wilson.

The Eton- and Cambridge-educated Laurie not only is a dramatic and comedic actor (he's well-known in Europe as one-half of the comedy team, Fry and Laurie), but he's also a best-selling author and screenwriter and is a world champion in rowing. Plus, his birthday is 5 days before mine (I share a birthday with his wife). Hugh is known to hit the streets of his home London on a motorcycle, favoring the anonymity the helmet offers him. I plan on meeting him on my next trip to the UK. I'm sure he's as wonderful as I think he is. I'll let you know.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"k" is for...

I met Kell one fateful night after a MSU football game. I'd had a less-than-desirable date, and I must have looked particularly cute that night because a hunky guy from The Delta swept me off my feet. At the time, I had no idea that he would be the man I would marry. After a few dates with other people and a few college parties, we became an item, and six years later, we tied the knot. We've learned a lot about each other and ourselves since we've been together, and I'm sure he would have some words to share on the subject, too.

And here's a little Q&A that I borrowed from Jenny to describe Kell:

1. Who is your man? Kell
2. How long have you been together? January 2000. Kell would know the exact date, but I can't remember. I'm terrible at numbers and math.
3. How long did you date? 6 years, baby.
4. How old is your man? 27. Our birthdays are 2 days apart, so we pretty much celebrate for 3 straight days.
5. Who eats more? Kell
6. Who said "I love you" first? Kell
7. Who is taller? Kell by about a foot
8. Who sings better? I sing GREAT in the shower and in the car. Kell doesn't sing except at church, and I can't hear him because it's so quiet. I always try to get him to sing the guy's part of "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" whenever it comes on the radio, but he's SO not into it.
9. Who is smarter? We have different smarts - Kell's very logical and is brilliant with college sports stats. You can clearly see his love for football by the glee in the photo above.
10. Whose temper is worse? Mine, I'm afraid. However, I am usually able to express myself verbally, and Kell gets his frustrations out by breaking tennis racquets or throwing golf clubs into lakes.
11. Who does the laundry? Both. I'm usually the only one that folds, and I am the better folder. But I HATE to put away.
12. Who takes out the garbage? Kell. And he is bad to not replace the garbage bag.
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I do, usually with Charlie. Kell and Olive sleep on the other side.
14. Who pays the bills? Kell physically writes the checks, but we both actually bring home the bacon.
15. Who is better with the computer? I think I am.
16. Who mows the lawn? no lawn to mow - one of the small beauties of an apartment.
17. Who cooks dinner? I do, but Kell is a mean griller.
18. Who drives when you are together? Kell - he cannot STAND to not be in control. He claims that's why he doesn't like to fly.
19. Who pays when you go out? I do usually.
20. Who is most stubborn? He may say otherwise, but we can both be pretty bull-headed.
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Kell, but I don't think he means it. He just wants the fight to be over.
22. Whose parents do you see the most? Both pretty equal, I think. Except football season when we're at my parents' house nearly every weekend.
23. Who kissed who first? That is up for discussion.
24. Who asked who out? Well, "asked" is not really applicable in this situation. Kell told me we were going to Homecoming together our freshman year.
25. Who proposed? Kell
26. Who is more sensitive? Me in the worst way.
27. Who has more friends? I would say we're both pretty friendly.
28. Who has more siblings? neither - we each have one. My sister Harris and his brother Peyton are the same age.

Hooray for Kell!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"j" is for...

Please tell me you watch this show. Heather, you should get cable anyway, but this is imperative. Jon and Kate + Eight is a TLC reality show that follows the life and times of the Gosselins, two parents who had twins and then sextuplets. I can see you do the counting in your head - yes, friends, that's 8 kids: 2 eight-year-olds and 6 four-year-olds. I'm exhausted just typing that.

I stumbled across this gem of a program when in Ottawa last fall. I was under the weather, and a Jon and Kate marathon pulled me through. It's truly a lesson in life, love, kids and marriage, and no matter how crazy my life seems to get, their's is always crazier. Who would have ever thought a reality show would keep you grounded?

Well, I've said many times that international travel is much more than sight-seeing and tasting interesting cuisine. And even though the bulk of my travel has been work-related, I still count it as life experience I may never have gotten otherwise. I traveled last week to Japan with Kristen, Mary-Kathryn and Neal McCoy (not the country musician) to promote tourism to Mississippi in Japan. My last visit resulted in a super-long post, and I'll refrain from that this time. But, here are some pictures from my trip:


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

"h" and "i" are for...

As it always seems to be, I'm prompted by a friend to get along with it and create my next post. Sorry to those of you desperately hopeful for a different sight when you stumble upon my blog. Forgive me, but I don't have access to good pictures for this post. You'll have to wait for my next letter to find out why!

I've been getting a lot of grief about this letter. I've got a lot of H's in my life, and I really hate to dissappoint them. As I've gotten older and marginally wiser, I've discovered that while we have quite a few differences, similarities in the personalities of my mom Harriet, my sister Harris and my dear friend Haley and me, seem to peek out now and again. These amazing ladies have taught me many lessons of life, and here are just a few:

1. It's ok if you don't clean your plate at every meal. And if you want ice cream for breakfast, it's your prerogative.
2. If you see something kinda cute at a store that only costs a few dollars, you pretty much have to get it. Even if you only wear it once.
3. If you have on an a couple of expensive pieces and you mix in a few cheap ones, everyone will think it's all expensive.
4. It's ok to be girly - to like makeup, jewelry, new clothes and to let a gentleman open the door for you.
5. Not everyone drinks coffee in the mornings. Some get their sunrise caffeine from Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke or Tab. And, hey, that's ok, too.
6. If you're inclined to dilly-dally after a meal, sometimes you just have to get up and move on immediately after the last bite.
7. Sometimes you will be the cutest one in the room, and sometimes you won't. If you are, work it.
8. Remember who (or whose) you are.
9. Let your friends and family help you. They want to no matter how hard you fight them.
10. You WILL eventually find yourself uttering the some of the same phrases and doing some of the same things as your mom. It happens, and when it does, it's not so bad.

We've all seen Meet the Parents, and horror stories about in-laws are around many a corner. Fortunately, I have no idea what these people are talking about. My husband's parents are an extension of my family, and not just since we've been married. Many of you know that Kell and I dated for years before he popped the question, and for these years I was welcomed only with open arms. They always want to make sure my steak is cooked enough, and even in a house full of boys, they still have a bar of nice, girly soap for me in the bathroom. I'm convinced few have it as good as I do. Oh, and Kell's in-laws aren't bad either.

Stay tuned for my next letter! Guess where I am...?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

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