happy leap day!

Happy Leap Day! For those born on this day, a special Happy Birthday to you (x 3!). 
This March is looking to be very busy. First off, my best friend Katie Hume is getting married in April. She kindly asked me to be her Matron of Honor (why does matron make you sound 80 years old). She has three showers in March! My mom is having a luncheon at the Swan Coach house this Saturday, I am helping plan a girl's shower the next Saturday, and then the Bachelorette weekend at Lake Martin, AL is two weeks later. So excited about that one!! 

My good friend Sarah Jean is staying with me on the weekend of the 10th, and then my college friend Lauren is staying with me on the 31st. Matt and I are also going to visit my friend Jenny in Savannah over St. Patricks' Day. 

For those that don't know, St. Paddy's Day is always a big deal for me, coming from such an Irish family. Below is me in 3rd grade before going to school. Eat your hearts out.
Jenny, get ready for a fun time!


funny fridays-2.24, muggles

ME: do you have any blank CDs?
DAD: Maybe
DAD: Look around
DAD: That is so twentieth century

ME: I’m setting my alarm. what do you want your four digit passcode to be?
DAD: zumba

MOM: OMG. I’m at the store and there are pop tarts floating above a shelf!
ME: Are you sure they’re not just on clear shelves?
(2 minutes later)
MOM: Yup, you were right. They’re on clear shelves. LOL.

ME: Moms taking you to the store to get a vest?
DAD: I want to look like a backstreet boy…
ME: Oh my god please reconsider
DAD: Why…vests are in…with jeans


having no fear

There was a great article about the Mets Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter today. Carter, who recently died of a train tumor, was known for his no-shame Christian faith. His son DJ went to college with me. Although I didn't know his dad, I have heard nothing but great things about him, some referring to him as a Tim Tebow of an earlier generation. I am inspired by Gary Carter to speak about my faith proudly, and not be scared of "pushing people's buttons" by a too "in-your-face" mentality. 

A couple months ago I had the idea of giving the book, A Reason for God by Tim Keller to a friend at work who is not a Christian. Then something told me if was too much, I shouldn't do it. I told this to a friend of mine, and she said "That voice was just the devil trying to keep your mouth shut." I took her advice and gave him the book, and I have no regrets. The next time I feel at a crossroads on how I should handle a situation, I will try to think how Gary Carter thought, and have no fear.

Here is the article in case you wish to read it:

Gary Carter Showed Me How to Play the Game

I never met baseball Hall of Famer Gary "Kid" Carter, but his death last week from brain cancer at age 57 moved me deeply. Some 25 years ago, his life and his style of play spoke to me and inspired me in a moment of terrible need. It was an example of what celebrity can do when it's done well.
The second half of my life has been so bright with blessings that it's difficult for me to think back to the 1980s, when I could see no end to my emotional pain. Personal demons left me blind to the gifts that God had showered on me so generously. I began to think my beautiful wife and baby daughter would be better off without me.
I can't really say how serious I was when I began to contemplate suicide. But I remember one night, sitting alone in my room in darkness, smoking cigarette after cigarette as I considered the ways in which I might put an end to myself.
The radio was on, playing a Mets game. I'd been trying to listen before the dark thoughts took over. By the time the ninth inning came around, I wasn't paying attention at all.
One sentence ran through my mind again and again: "I don't know how I can live."
Before I knew it, the game had ended and Carter—who apparently had beaten out a grounder to reach first base—was giving a postgame interview. The interviewer asked him how he managed to outrun the throw when his knees were so bad from years of playing catcher, squatting behind home plate.
Associated Press
New York Mets player Gary Carter in 1985
Carter was a devout Christian with just the bright, inspiring Tim Tebow sort of personality our media can't stand. He was forever thanking Jesus Christ in postgame interviews. He once remarked that he could see the smiles curdle on the faces of unbelieving journalists when he did it, but he felt he had to tell the truth.
I was not a Christian then—not yet—and if Carter had preached religion at that moment, it would have gone right past me. But he didn't. He said something else, something much simpler but also true. I don't remember the words exactly but a fair translation would be this: "Sometimes you just have to play in pain."
Carter's words somehow broke through my self-pitying despair. "Play in pain?" I thought. "Hell, I can do that. That's one thing I actually know how to do."
I had been looking for answers but I didn't know the answers. I had been looking for solutions, but solutions were for another day. It hadn't occurred to me that maybe, for now at least, the only way to go on living was to do like the great athletes do and just tough it out.
I did tough it out, and I got therapeutic help, and I abandoned lifelong self-destructive habits and thoughts. And had I known in that moment how very close I was to genuine mental health and happiness, I would have slapped myself stupid for ever thinking to end it all.
Gary Carter didn't save my life. He was just a ballplayer I'd never met. He didn't have that power. But because he was how he was and played how he played and spoke with a brash, sunny optimism that made journalists hate him—well, let's say he lit a candle when a little bit of light made all the difference.
Celebrities don't owe us entry to their personal lives in payment for their fame. They have the same right to fail and sin and learn that the rest of us do. But when I see athletes behave like thugs on the field—when I hear pop stars romanticize alcohol and drugs and cheap sex with hummable tunes that make self-destruction palatable to the young, or when I see actors star in films that make recklessness and stupidity look cool and admirable—I think they are throwing away a precious opportunity to be something better than they are.
No one can demand that celebrities live well, but I don't think it's too much to ask them to behave well and be a little bit careful about what they say and represent. They are role models whether they like it or not. And someone might be listening to them in the dark.
So goodbye, Kid. And thanks. You did it the way it ought to be done.
Mr. Klavan is a novelist, screenwriter, and contributing editor to City Journal.



In an effort to save money, time, and eat better, Matt and I are starting E-Mealz next week. In case you don't already know what it is, E-Mealz is a weekly meal plan based on grocery store sales, seasonal discounts, and diet preferences. It simplifies the process of grocery shopping (which I hate), and helps you with your food budget. Financial guru Dave Ramsey recommends it, so you know that is something! It's only $5 a month, but there are usually sales on coupon websites such as Groupon where you can get it for cheaper. My friend Heather works there, and she lives by it.

Matt and I are going to do the Low Fat Meal for Two plan. There is no way we have time for all five meals, but I am hoping for maybe three. Here is an example of a weekly meal plan:

I will let you know in a few weeks how it's going!


i've got you covered

My friend Kelly told me about this band recently after they sang at her bank branch. I like how it sounds kinda doo-woppy. Hope everyone had a great weekend! Matt and I didn't' do much. I thought that maybe it would make the weekend seem longer, but nonetheless--it did not :-(.


funny fridays-2.17

MOM: I am a litte dRunk. I just tried to text you with the remote control.

MOM: Since ur out w/ a boy tn i suppose i shouldve had a chat w/u b4 u left about kissing. sometimes a boy will try 2 put his tongue in ur mouth, its called french kissing, its icky& u just need 2 explain that ur ‘Merican & if he wants 2do that international kinda kissing he’ll just have 2 find some unshaven french girl. then maybe sing or hum america the beautiful.

DAD: Somebody told me I remind them of Channing Tatum. ?????????????!!!!!!!!
ME: What? Lol really?
DAD: Yes. I said that facially I see no resemblance but our bodies are exactly alike.
DAD: Why the laughter???


bora bora...i'm bored

When it's gloomy and rainy outside, I like to look at pictures of where I would rather be and depress myself. This is the Hilton in Bora Bora. My friend Heather actually stayed here...and now I hate her.


can we change the name of the wife beater?

As soon as he walked onto the stage, my sister and I said the same thing: "Ugh." Chris Brown at the Grammys. I love how celebrities are put on a pedastool and it's so easy for society to forget about serious things that happened. But what bothers me more than him performing on stage and receiving a grammy just two years after he beat up his girlfriend, is what people are saying on Twitter:

When I hear the things that girls are tweeting, it makes me cringe. I feel like it takes us back to before the days of the women's rights movements. Females are treated like objects in the media, not only sexually but physically as well. By tweeting these thoughts, these girls are giving into a major societal falsehood: that women are inferior to men. If you think of yourself as someone who will just take a beating to be with a hot guy, then that is how guys will think of you...as a piece of garbage. Even if the girls sent these tweets out to be funny (which I'm sure they did), it is so disprectful to the actual victims of domestic violence. People just need to have more self worth.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made ~ Psalm 139:14

(a.k.a. Liz Lemon in this post)


trendy tuesday-2.14, grammys

Best dressed:

Worst dressed:

Happy Valentines Day! I hope you remember tho show those you love special attention today!


funny fridays-2.10

DAD: Do you watch jersey shore?
ME: No. Do you?
DAD: Well….
ME: You do?
DAD: When you watch JS you know your own world is better. I know I haven’t always made the best choices but at least they’re better than JS.

ME: I am missing my most favorite jeans. Can you look around the house and see if they are there?
MOM: They are not in the laundry, nor on my awesome body.

ME: Did you watch the puppy star wars commercial?
DAD: The VW one where they bark out the song?
ME: Yeah!
DAD: Yes, I sent them the idea.


stranger danger

I saw this video on CNN today. It's crazy how thirty seconds can change someone's life forever. This little girl was smart enough to remember what she probably learned in school or from her parents about Stranger Danger, in this attempted kidnapping. In a blink of an eye, things could have turned out so differently for this girl, and I'm sure her and her family will forever be grateful it did not.

I think schools should teach more about this type of thing. Even though these cases are very rare, the result can impact a community forever, and our kids need to be better informed on this type of thing.

Lately I have been thinking if I'm supposed to be doing something in criminal justice or crime prevention. I heard this organization talking on the radio, and I have realized I have a passion for it. I'm just not sure what the next step is. I don't want to go to law school or be a cop. I emailed Keep Georgia Safe to see if I could volunteer at any events, but they never got back to me.

Any suggestions??


baby news

Yesterday was such a special day. My sister had her baby!! On my birthday! I am beyond thrilled my day was trumped by the birth of this little one:

Myer Thomas Arnold:
Myer was my dad's nickname when he was in his twenties. It was based off a short lived 1960s sitcom Mack and Myer For Hire based on a tall skinny guy (Myer, my dad).

(I must say they are both so cute in this pic)

I can't wait to spoil him rotten.

In the words of Aunt Monica to her nephew Ben, "I will always have gum!"