Say Cheese!

Over the break, the Knight and I went to Tulsa, OK, to visit the fam.

Since I like to punish myself and enjoy everyone hating me, I decided to volunteer myself to be in charge of the belated holiday card family picture this year.

I pored over old copies of Good Housekeeping and Martha Stewart, trying to get some sort of inspiration. Finally, after flopping down on the couch in exasperation, and watching some old sitcom, I got it. The Brady Bunch.

See, my family is pretty big, especially considering current American standards. My parents are still together and I have 2 brothers and 1 sister. Plus with the Knight and our beloved family dog, Tootsie, we had 8 people (yes, Tootsie is a person in my book) to consider.

So, I worked up the poses, thought about the color scheme (blue and white and brown - perfect for the new year and friendly to most skin tones), set up the portrait studio in our gameroom, and begin shooting. It was, to say the least, interesting. But since I've never been one to just "say the least" I will instead give you a play-by-play of my family's photo shoot - 2006.

First, I had the opportunity to shoot Ron Burgundy, er, I mean my father. I mean look at the man - could he look anymore like a newscaster?

He does look adorable, though.

Dad is a college professor, but also has a huge passion for photography. Normally, he does the family photo shooting, but I think he has been burned by our bad attitudes in the past, so he happily let me be in charge this year. Dad, it was very big of you to allow me to take the photos this year, but yours are still much, much better.

Next was me. Dad took these, and you can already see his shooting is superior. He utilizes the natural light coming from a nearby window and has me tilt my head, which really adds an interesting angle to the shot.

Next, was mom. Doesn't she look darling? This month, she is turning the big 5-0, but I still can't believe it. She just doesn't look like she could possibly be that age. I sure hope I inherited those genes.

After mom, we had a l....o....n....g....pause. My big little brother (BLB) had to "get ready." He couldn't pull himself away from Guitar Hero II earlier, so now, we all just sat around waiting. And waiting. I swear, he took longer than I did when I was getting ready for prom. Diva.

After enduring me pacing back and forth in front of the bathroom reminding him it was time for his photo shoot, he decided to grace us with his presence. Despite my grumblings, his shoot was hilarious. Here are some of my favorites.

Thank dear brother for some interesting entertainment.

Next was my little sister. I guess it is unfair to tag BLB the Diva when she exists in our family. She really wins the title - she is a teenager and every day is a dramatic saga of the unjustices she has to face. Only use her cell phone after 7 except for emergencies? No boys in her bedroom? Must finish her homework before she can watch TV? I know, sweetie, the world is very, very cruel, with our parents being the grandmaster planners behind every unspeakable injustice, but just hold on to the freedom we call college. Unless you go to Lipscomb, of course. Then, still no boys in the bedroom.

Anyway, here she is in all her teen glory:

Next, came the baby of the family. He and I have always been close, primarily because by the time he was born, I was 13, and in the beginning, he almost seemed like a pseudo son of mine, rather than a brother. Yes, I got my sex education lessons at school and at home, and let me assure you - helping my mom out with him was lesson enough that I didn't want to have a baby any time soon. We developed a closeness that remains strong - even though I only see him a couple of times a year.

Unfortunately, on this particular day, our closeness was not enough to get him to work with me. You probably remember the age where smiling for pictures was the LAST thing you wanted to do. Lucky for me - he is at that age. Evidenced here.

So, I had to get creative. I tried tickling, reprimanding, telling jokes, and even feeding him pizza.

What? It works at the zoo. I thought it was worth a try. Thankfully, he gave us a couple of shots with which we could work.

After lil' bro, my true love and white shining Knight came onto the scene. Thankfully, he was happy to smile.

And smile.
And blow kisses.
And smile.

Finally, the star of the show was ready for her picture. Ms. Tootsie. We aren't really sure what kind of mix Tootsie, but ever since the day she came home with us (we found her in a trashcan at the movie theater), we have all loved her. She is a crazy mutt and as much a part of the family as anyone else. She is terrified of cowboy boots, loves popcorn and cheese, barks ferociously at every stranger, and can dance with the best of us. Photographing her involved lots of cheese, lots of "STAY" and a little bit of luck.

Here are some of her best shots:

Isn't she lovely?

Afterwords, BLB used his amazing photoshop powers to create the grid, touch up our photos, insert text, and generally make beautiful laptop love to our pictures.

Note the differences in some of our pictures above versus the pictures below - like the game we used to play in Highlights - pick out the differences. Note the wrinkles, the blemishes, the hair out of place. If only I could have Photoshop follow me around each and every day.

Anyway, here is the final product:


Sweeping, dusting, and mopping - a housekeeping post.

Helooo friends! I have so many things to tell you.

First of all, NYCWeboy asked me to participate in something a LONG time ago, and I did not discover it until last Friday - right before I stepped on a plane to Chicago. I know, HORRORS.
So, first of all, I am going to participate. Because there is nothing worse (besides terrorism, death, and perhaps wearing shoes two and 1/2 sizes too small) than ignoring someone's request for your input.

Artsy Fartsy's EXTREMELY BELATED Christmas MeMe.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate. I like egg nog, but something about its thickness gets to me.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Well, my Santa wraps them, but when I visit the Knight's family at Christmas, Santa doesn't wrap there. I guess he just likes my family more. :)

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? All white. Unless it is a family room tree and you have a fancy one somewhere else in the house. Otherwise, stick with white.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No but if you give me some, I'll definitely hang it. Perhaps in the shower.

5. When do you put your decorations up? This year, I put them up before Thanksgiving, and took them down around January 15th. But that was mainly due to the fact that I was away from my apartment during Christmas break for 3 weeks, and I really wanted to enjoy them. So, I did. In November and January.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Green bean casserole.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: 3 years old - Playing in my new Erikaboo sized doll-house - it was actually a cardboard box (fridge size) painted to look like a little cottage, but I loved that big box dearly.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't even remember. I think I still kind of believe in him. As long as I do, I have a reason to set out cookies and pretend that he, rather than me, actually ate them.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, growing up, we always opened one on Christmas Eve. Now that I'm married, it is almost guaranteed that 1/2 of my Christmas gifts are opened on Christmas Eve. And let me tell you - getting married has its drawbacks, but getting twice as many gifts at Christmastime is pretty freaking awesome.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Ribbon first, then balls - placed on in color groups to make sure that the color scheme is proper, and then our special ornaments. Each year, our collection grows. My personal favorites are the first ornament the Knight and I ever bought (a boy scoop and a girl scoop of ice cream in a little bowl) and all of the hallmark ornaments I have collected over the years.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?Adore it, but it is a tad inconvenient since TN people freak out when a snowflake even thinks about hitting the ground.

12. Can you ice skate? Yes, but I haven't in a long time. Sometimes, I can even spin. I should really do that more.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My new cowboy boots. They are just what I wanted and feel amazing.

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Pumpkin pie. I know it isn't a typical Christmas dessert, but I love it so much. I could eat it all year long.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Decorating the Christmas tree.

17. What tops your tree? A bronzey beaded star.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? I prefer giving - I enjoy the whole process; the shopping, the wrapping, and then seeing the person's face as they open my gifts. Of course, I'm not gonna lie - who doesn't love getting too?

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? I'm the Happiest Christmas Tree and O Holy Night.

20. Candy canes: Yes, please. Especially those thick long straight ones. Those remind me of my childhoodl.

21. Favorite Christmas movie? White Christmas. I watch it every year with my mom, and every time I leave wishing I too had a white fur muff and a red Mrs. Claus dress.

22. What do you leave for Santa? Cookies, of course.


Second, I just spend the most fun girls weekend in Chicago. For pictures, go here.

I experienced Chicago style pizza, bitterly cold winds, and the unending supply of northern men appreciating Southern beauty. Seriously, we got hit on so much. Now, I'm not going to play dumb; I recognize that my friends and I are generally considered somewhat attractive, but we go out often in Nashville and Knoxville, and never get much attention. Plus, we were bundled up the entire time - a much different attire than we normally don in the South. Why the change? If you have a theory, lemme know.

Okay, finally, I am on the hunt. The Knight and I have fallen in love with his cousin's little Yorkie-Poo. Here is all 6 and 1/2 pounds of Ms. Maclean:

We want one. And are furiously searching for the perfect one - I want a black little girl. Named Betty Rascal. Although, since I have been having the best "Dallas" marathon weekend ever, Lucy Ewing is a pretty cute name too.

Okay, that is all for know.

Artsy Fartsy goes great with Cheetos and milk.


Come in for a cup of coffee, a lazy afternoon, and good book.

See this picture? This is the spot in my apartment that makes me happiest.

For the longest time, the Knight and I had a futon handed down from his sister and her husband. While we were very thankful for their generosity, our tooshies were not. Sitting on that thing for more than 15 minutes caused an unusual numbness that could only be cured by standing up. Not really the type of feeling you want from one of the three pieces of furniture we own made for reclining (the other two being our bed and a chair).

But now? Now we have this beautiful down-filled, chenille covered sagey/minty/limey green couch which I love so much I actually slept on it last night.

Who knew that owning a couch could bring one girl so much giddy happiness?


News! News! News!

In case you hadn't gathered it from the title, I have news.

Lots of news. Very exciting news.

First of all, my best friend from college/kindred spirit and her boyfriend are ENGAGED! They got engaged on Christmas Eve and are getting married on 07/07/07. Here is the happy couple:

And here (what we all really care about) is the ROCK:

(Please disregard the that massive vaccum-like apparatus that appears to have been at one time my mouth)

Isn't it and she beautiful!?! I am so excited about being the matron of honor. I am a little apprehensive about being able to fully execute my matronly duties while studying for the bar, but I feel that I can step up to the white, fluffy, lacy and floral challenge.

Second, my couch is ready! After waiting so much time that I almost forgot I had ordered a couch, they finally call and tell me it is ready. So, if you are a reader and live in Knoxville, can I borrow your truck? Because I really need to go pick it up. Thanks.

Third (and this is really big) - the Knight found out that he has been picked to work in Memphis! Picked you say? What is he a fruit? A vegetable? Well, no, he is not, but if he was, I think he would be a tomato. Rosy and versatile. Or maybe a potato. For being so comforting and wholesome.

Okay, so instead of fantasizing about my husband being a tuber, let me tell you what he got picked for. Hi good grammar. That book learning did me good!

A long time ago, the Knight and I went to Lipscomb University. That is where we met. He graduated with a psychology degree and promptly put that degree to work by going into the construction industry. A year later, he got his private pilot's license and got the aviation bug. I think he already had the bug, but it was just intensified after he got up in the air all by his little handsome self.

He went back to school, got another degree in flight dispatch at MTSU, jumped through all kinds of fiery hoops, and has been waiting on the FAA to call him to be an air traffic controller ever since. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And finally, he talked to this nice lady today, and she told him that he had been picked for Memphis!

We are so excited. It will still probably be 6 months to a year before he is actually working as an air traffic controller, but knowing where we are going is a big drop in the FAA bucket. The Knight is one step closer to having his dream job and the stress of not being able to even look for my first big girl lawyer job is gone. Before, I had no clue where we would get sent, so I couldn't look for a job. Which made me really sad - because who doesn't love putting together resumes and writing cover letters? Not me. I live for sucking up to faceless names and bragging "I'm the best. Pick me!"

So, we are happy and full of big dreams and so in love. You can all go puke now and I'll just go on with my sappy self.


Going Postal

Today while paying for shipping at the post office:

(Postal Worker) I'm sorry ma'am, your card isn't working. I'll have to scan it again.

(Me) Okay. Here you go sir.

Hmmm. Still not working.

That's weird. I just used it at TJ Maxx and it worked fine there.

Wait a second, my screen says "Call 911 - Contact Police."


Do you have any warrants out for your arrest?

Uh. No.

Please let me see your driver's license.

Oh, okay. Here it is. I have no idea why your screen would say that. I have never been in trouble with the law. I've only received one speeding ticket in my entire life. Why could you possibly need to contact the police. (fumbling in my purse to look for my phone).

Uh, ma'am, could you please leave your hands in plain view? Please place them on the countertop. (Picks up phone and mutters "Yeah, we have a 322 here")

Uh. Oh my gosh. (places hands on counter as obediently as possible - also, profusely sweating now) Okay. Like this?

Yes. Now, do you have any weapons in your handbag?

No. The most deadly thing in my purse is hand sanitizer.

(A few seconds pass with the postal working looking at me sternly)

I'm just kidding. Ha ha ha! Your card worked fine. Please sign here.


Seriously? Seriously. Worst and best joke ever played on me.


Shopping malls are my friends :)

Hey everyone. Hope everyone is having a great new year! I haven't quit blogging - just took a couple of weeks off while I got sick, visited my parents, and then got sick again. So, I'm finally feeling back to my normal ole' self and should be posting in the next couple of days. But now? Well, right now I can't because I have lots of after Christmas shopping to do! Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale starts today! Woo Hoo!

See ya'll soon!

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