Rabbit Rabbit

If the first words you say on the first of the month are “Rabbit Rabbit,” you’re supposed to have good luck all month long. And if you should happen to forget before you say your first words and end up mumbling something like “coffeeeeeee” or “one more snoooooooooze” instead, you’ve still got a shot. You can reverse the words and make the last thing you say before you fall asleep “tibbar tibbar” and score some good luck points as you drift into dreamland.

That’s my plan for the month. Rabbit Rabbit, a bit of luck, and all my dreams will come true. Because I’ve got big plans for November, just like I’ve got big plans every month…and clearly, I’m going to need a little luck to get this business taken care of.

So Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit.

What are my big plans for November? Well, we should start with the list I couldn’t manage to complete in October, shouldn’t we?

Lose 5 pounds
Paint something (I know I said my Bob Ross costume counts, but let’s be real. It doesn’t.)
Finish 100 Years of Solitude
Write 750 words every day (CREATIVE writing. SEPARATE from this blog. As a part of #NaNoWriMo, to be specific. Along with my friends Jo, Addie, Jamie, Blake, and Stutz. This is happening!)

In addition, I’m planning to

Train for and run the Turkey Trot 5k…in under 35 minutes
Audition for a musical at our local community theatre
Create and stick to an editorial calendar for this blog (Oh yes. Nitty gritty nerdy style. It had to be done.)

What do you think? Are you taking part in #NaNoWriMo this month? Did you make a list of goals that you’re going to need a little luck making good on? And did you SEE that Starbucks brought out the big guns, and by big guns I mean red cups and peppermint mochas?

I can feel it in my bones. November is going to be a great month.

Think Different.

On my computer monitor at work, there sticks a yellow Post-It note. It is held to the plastic with clear tape, because it has started to lose its stickiness. Written on it are two sentences. Two little sentences and a name. Six words total.

Six words that remind me every day to do what I love, to live the life I want for myself, to make it happen.

Stay hungry.
Stay foolish.

Steve Jobs 

When the day seems too long or I think I’m too tired or I start to feel like I can’t sit under the fluorescent lights for another second, I look at this sticky note and I feel better. I feel like I can do it. Like something great is just around the corner, and if I can just hold on, I’ll make it happen for myself.

I am so sad to hear about Steve Jobs. It is overwhelming to think of all that he managed to achieve in his short life - all the thoughts, the revolutionary ideas, the changes and innovations he brought on…

I don’t need to write about how he changed my life, how I write and listen to music and create and watch movies and basically spend my entire day looking at the screen of a device he is responsible for. What I will say is that tonight, I am more inspired than ever to stay hungry and stay foolish.

We can create remarkable things in our short time. We can be inspired by the giants who have gone before us, and we can make the most of these incredible machines by creating incredible things on them.

We can achieve greatness.

I often say that we live in the future - and we do! Look at how far we have come since the car phones in bags, the floppy discs, the VCRs and laser discs, the Walkmans and boom boxes. Steve Jobs was pivotal in getting us here, and I am thankful.

Life is short. Today’s loss was another reminder to make the most of the time, the brains, the creativity we’ve been given.

Stay hungry.
Stay foolish.

Eavesdropper

I’m sitting with Josh in our favorite coffee shop, and I can’t help but listen in on every conversation going on around me. I’m a Nosey Nancy and have been forever. It’s a fact…and a trait that comes in handy when you’re a writer who can’t seem to start writing.

When I was in college, I wrote constantly. I took a lot of pride in filling notebook after notebook with stories, conversations, comics, and ramblings. I would sit in the coffee shop for hours, writing on graph paper  until my hand cramped, my pen ran out of ink, or I was asked to buy something or leave.

I’ve always kept a journal, but I don’t think I really started writing until college. I took my first creative writing class freshman year, and one of our early assignments was to eavesdrop. Take someone else’s conversation and make it our story. So as I waited in the airport (one of my favorite places) waiting for a flight home to Indiana, I listened in on nearby conversations until I heard something I could build on.

That first story was pretty terrible - it was an assignment in writing Magical Realism, and my conversation spiraled into one of those terrible “you couldn’t have met Sandy, because she died five years ago ON THIS VERY NIGHT” stories…but it was a start. And I’ve been eavesdropping ever since.

As I approach this October with 750words.com, I’m trying to remember all the ways I used to find inspiration to write.

I have a few more inspirational tricks up my sleeve, but I would love to get your advice, too. Where do you turn for inspiration when you’re having trouble getting started?

This weekend was a doozy in a GREAT way.
Remember how I mentioned that I’ll be doing a 5K every month until the end of the year? Well, 5K number one happened bright and early Saturday morning, and it was fantastic. Fall was in the air, the weather was perfect and cool, the course was beautiful, and I got to run alongside my sweet mom (until she left me in her dust).

I can’t help but feel so proud of her for the way she has taken her running to the next level. She’s beat me in every race we’ve run, and I love it! She is a perfect example of how well you can do if you put your heart into it and really commit to running. I need to take a page from her book and get way more serious (and consistent) with my training - she’s proof that it pays off!
After the 5k, we hit an antique mall and then headed home to nap before our second adventure of the day…tattoos!

Believe it, friends! Mom and I have been talking for over a year about getting these tattoos, and on Saturday night, along with my little brother, we did it! The fantastic guys at Hot Stuff Tattoo in West Asheville were kind enough to work us into their schedule, and we are all thrilled with the results (although Mom was a little peeved that it hurt so much more than she expected…somebody told her it would feel like getting an itch scratched, which is obviously not true).
The anchor is in honor of my Grandaddy, my mom’s dad, who is a Navy vet. You can read more about him (and his wisdom) here. The daisy is in honor of my mom’s mom, Grandmother Daisy. You can read about her in this post from before my wedding.  Mom and I got the tattoo the exact same size in the exact same place - just above the right ankle. Daniel went all out and got the tattoo about 3x as big on his chest. I think it’s pretty special to share such a permanent “heirloom” with my mom and brother - and I think it says a lot about how fantastic my family is, if I do say so myself.
It was a fantastic, busy, exciting, and exhausting weekend spent with the family I know I am so blessed to have.
What did you do this weekend?
Original Article

This weekend was a doozy in a GREAT way.

Remember how I mentioned that I’ll be doing a 5K every month until the end of the year? Well, 5K number one happened bright and early Saturday morning, and it was fantastic. Fall was in the air, the weather was perfect and cool, the course was beautiful, and I got to run alongside my sweet mom (until she left me in her dust).

I can’t help but feel so proud of her for the way she has taken her running to the next level. She’s beat me in every race we’ve run, and I love it! She is a perfect example of how well you can do if you put your heart into it and really commit to running. I need to take a page from her book and get way more serious (and consistent) with my training - she’s proof that it pays off!

After the 5k, we hit an antique mall and then headed home to nap before our second adventure of the day…tattoos!

Believe it, friends! Mom and I have been talking for over a year about getting these tattoos, and on Saturday night, along with my little brother, we did it! The fantastic guys at Hot Stuff Tattoo in West Asheville were kind enough to work us into their schedule, and we are all thrilled with the results (although Mom was a little peeved that it hurt so much more than she expected…somebody told her it would feel like getting an itch scratched, which is obviously not true).

The anchor is in honor of my Grandaddy, my mom’s dad, who is a Navy vet. You can read more about him (and his wisdom) here. The daisy is in honor of my mom’s mom, Grandmother Daisy. You can read about her in this post from before my wedding.  Mom and I got the tattoo the exact same size in the exact same place - just above the right ankle. Daniel went all out and got the tattoo about 3x as big on his chest. I think it’s pretty special to share such a permanent “heirloom” with my mom and brother - and I think it says a lot about how fantastic my family is, if I do say so myself.

It was a fantastic, busy, exciting, and exhausting weekend spent with the family I know I am so blessed to have.

What did you do this weekend?

If you know me, you know it was a struggle not to name this post with a fair-related pun (like Fair Ball, Fair Enough, or even Fair is Fair). I love puns. Love them.
Almost as much as I love the fair.

Josh and I headed for the Mountain State Fair on Saturday night. We went last year, too - Josh isn’t a fan, but I look forward to the bright lights, slightly sketchy rides, and elephant ears every year. The Mountain State Fair does not disappoint (Unless you get the lemonade. Just skip the lemonade. Someday we’ll learn our lesson and stop ordering the lemonade.).

We rode the Tilt-A-Whirl, the Ferris Wheel, and the Flying Swings (always a slightly terrifying experience).

Josh said after we got off the swings that he spent half of the ride imagining where he would land if his chains were to snap and send him flying over the crowd. Such an optimist, my hubby.
Why do I like the fair? I love seeing all the bright lights and tacky colors and food vendors. I love taking the most colorful photos I’ll take all year. I love how everything looks like it’s a few decades behind the rest of the world. I love the games we play even though we know they’re rigged and the cheap prizes and the powdered sugar.

I love holding hands with my husband while we wait in line to ride the Ferris Wheel, and I love remembering what it was like to be 14 years old and nervous while I tried to find a way to sit next to my crush on the Scrambler. (Not the upside down ship. Never the upside down ship.)
The fair has been the same for as long as I can remember, and I love that. Everything else can keep up with the times and get all shiny and futuristic, but I hope the fair stays exactly as it is forever. Grimy, smelly, sticky, slightly dangerous, neon, greasy, dusty, and corny.
Perfect.
Click here to see the rest of this year’s Mountain State Fair photos on my flickr. 
Original Article

If you know me, you know it was a struggle not to name this post with a fair-related pun (like Fair Ball, Fair Enough, or even Fair is Fair). I love puns. Love them.

Almost as much as I love the fair.

Josh and I headed for the Mountain State Fair on Saturday night. We went last year, too - Josh isn’t a fan, but I look forward to the bright lights, slightly sketchy rides, and elephant ears every year. The Mountain State Fair does not disappoint (Unless you get the lemonade. Just skip the lemonade. Someday we’ll learn our lesson and stop ordering the lemonade.).

We rode the Tilt-A-Whirl, the Ferris Wheel, and the Flying Swings (always a slightly terrifying experience).

Josh said after we got off the swings that he spent half of the ride imagining where he would land if his chains were to snap and send him flying over the crowd. Such an optimist, my hubby.

Why do I like the fair? I love seeing all the bright lights and tacky colors and food vendors. I love taking the most colorful photos I’ll take all year. I love how everything looks like it’s a few decades behind the rest of the world. I love the games we play even though we know they’re rigged and the cheap prizes and the powdered sugar.

I love holding hands with my husband while we wait in line to ride the Ferris Wheel, and I love remembering what it was like to be 14 years old and nervous while I tried to find a way to sit next to my crush on the Scrambler. (Not the upside down ship. Never the upside down ship.)

The fair has been the same for as long as I can remember, and I love that. Everything else can keep up with the times and get all shiny and futuristic, but I hope the fair stays exactly as it is forever. Grimy, smelly, sticky, slightly dangerous, neon, greasy, dusty, and corny.

Perfect.

Click here to see the rest of this year’s Mountain State Fair photos on my flickr. 

Fall Food: Pumpkin Pistachio Bread

It’s pumpkin time! It’s pumpkin time!

Pumpkin season is a pretty big deal in our house. I happen to have married a serious pumpkin aficionado, and when autumn rolls around, we try to sneak pumpkin flavor into all the foods we love. So when I saw this recipe on himinthekitchen for sweet and salty pistachio pumpkin bread, I knew I had to make it this weekend.

It’s no secret that my husband does most of the cooking in this house. When I do head into the kitchen to make a mess, chances are it’s because I’m baking. This recipe was a little more complicated than the open-box-add-eggs batters I usually whip up, but I managed it just fine.

This pumpkin bread was a perfect mix of salty and sweet (and I’m sure it’s delicious with the honey butter included in the recipe, but we were too impatient to whip that together). It was nice to be a little more “hands on” in my baking this time, and I’m pretty sure Josh was impressed that I managed to make something so delicious on my own, no box mix necessary.

Click through to get the full recipe from himinthekitchen, and be sure to let me know what you think!

Beached

But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of ocean. 
H. P. Lovecraft

I know it was only weeks ago that I told you guys I was moving to Boston…but things have changed. My heart has a new song, and the chorus is “Southport.”

We spent Labor Day weekend in this beautiful, sleepy, historical town, and I pretty much fell in love. Josh isn’t sure he would like living on the water, but I’m sure enough for both of us. We spent Thursday night and Monday morning walking around the town (we even took a ghost tour), and with every historical house and spooky story I grew surer and surer…I belong in Southport.

All that’s left is to make my first million. Then, we’re going house hunting.

Weekend? More like whee-kend! (ha. ha. ha.)

I think I’m all the way recovered from my super-fun, slightly relaxing weekend.

On Friday, I said goodbye to a dear friend with silly masks and jargaritas.

On Saturday, I drove up the road to Boone for a little retail therapy, and I made a new friend along the way.

And on Sunday, we enjoyed some sunshine, some beer, and some peanuts at one of our favorite Asheville bars, The Wedge.

How was your weekend? Was the weather as beautiful where you are as it was here? Did you make the most of it?