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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter

Easter circa 1991
In the photo above is, my sister, Cortney, our friend Mitchell, Me and our friend Bethanye.  I asked my mom why I am making such a terrible face in the photo and she said it was because I didn't get any eggs.  Ha!  I suppose me not being able to hide my true feelings has been a lifelong issue gift.  I also love the expression on Bethanye's face!  Cortney looks triumphant and pretty pleased with herself so you can imagine how the egg hunt turned out for her.

My mom made our dresses....and matching baskets.  She's awesome like that.

The lady standing behind us is Margaret.  She was our children's church teacher and was soooooo good.  She had a true gift for working with littles.  And the guy with that awesome video camera is still a family friend.  The only thing better than this photo would be watching the video.

I know today is so much more than egg hunts and Easter dresses and I'm so thankful for that.  Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

24

My brother is 24 today!!  (And tomorrow is Easter AND my mom's birthday!)  We've always shared a similar sense of humor and have also always been pretty good at mocking things - like glamour shots.  Around the time I started getting interested in photography, he was more than willing to pose and be my "model" any time.  One year we did Easter glamor shots:

"Hold some eggs, Bubba!

"Now look up here!"

"Look surprised, Bubba!"
Funny story about where these were taken...This was our old house before our parents built a new one and we tore that one down.  The really fun part about that was we were actually the ones who tore it down and who doesn't love demo?!?  We had been tearing it down and finally all that was really left above foundation boards was the front wall and the front porch.  Mom and Bubba went to church and I stayed home to help dad.  Right before they got home, I got to take it all out with the tractor and when Bubba got home he was in shock and disbelief that he had missed out on all the fun.  To this day he is reminded how it was basically the funnest thing ever.

Happy Birthday, Brother Bear!  I love you more than you'll ever know.

See his birthday post from last year, HERE.

This was taken in downtown OKC, just for funnsies.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

March Favorite Things



No. 1:  Lucky Brand Emmie 2 Flats (in "brown")
Well, just in time for spring/summer (aka the most oppressive months of the year) because, well, I do not wear flip flops.  Each year I buy a new pair of black flats and each year I wear them out.  My pair from last year has holes in the heels.  This year I decided to go with these instead of standard plain black.  There are a lot of colors and I love the pattern.  In this style, there are actually about 12 different colors/patterns to choose from at Zappos.com, which is where I ordered these.  I liked a lot of the other options too.  The thing I like most about these is the cushioned sole.  They are comfortable and mine fit to size.  Some reviews on the site said they ran small.  But I usually wear a 7.5 and that's what I ordered and they fit perectly.  I also like that they have elastic around the top so they stay on my feet.  The pair I had last year would slide off my heels a little.

No. 2:  Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies
I'm not even mad about that little Thin Mint person thing.  Ok, I am a little.  What is she doing with her hand???  And why the soccer ball?  Not all people have to be into sports.  She could hold a book or magnifying glass or paint palette something.  I get that she's supposed to look like a girl scout with that sash, but why does it have a "1" ribbon on it?  So many unanswered questions!

I look forwad to these every year and my mom and dad usually give these to us as Valentine's Day gifts.  Yep, my parents still do Valentines for us.  Jealous much?  I got four boxes this year and they were gone in about that many days.  My friend Abby did help me though.  Thank you, Abby. 

Mark and I went to Wal-Mart one night and both of us notoriously never carry cash so when the table of littles in green at the door asked us to buy some I said, "Maybe on the way out." thinking I could get some cash while I was checking out.  But then we decided we probably didn't need to buy anymore.  They have so many calories!  On our way out we were both looking for them and thinking they were gone only to have them ambush us yelling, "YOU SAID YOU WOULD BUY SOME COOKIES!"  We almost ran from them.  Those girls are crazy and should not be underestimated.  Also, they do not forget - anything or anyone.  Now, we give them a definite "No" when they badger ask us on our way in to stores.  That way there's no confusion there.

No. 3:  She & Him: "Never Wanted Your Love"
I've mentioned this group a couple of times before.  I love their music.  Probably partly because I'm a big fan of Zooey Deschanel.  This is the one and only single resleased so far from Volume 3.  Yay!  The music is upbeat and perky, despite the kind of downer title.  The whole album will be released May 7 (May 13 for UK/Europe) but this single is available on iTunes, Amazon, etc or follow the link above and listen to it on their site.  You can pre-order Volume 3 by visiting their site HERE, Amazon HERE or on iTunes HERE. Cannot wait to have a listen to the whole thing!

No. 4:  Aquanet Hairspray
I know this stuff has been around since the 1950s but it's by far my favorite - especially here in Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains.  It provides awesome hold and when the wind does dent your do, it goes right back in to place.  I use the unscented kind because I can't stand the floral or sour grape or whatever the scent says it's supposed to be.  No thanks.  I also wear unscented deodorant.  The only "fragrance" I like to wear is my perfume.

No. 5:  Banana Joe
Banana Joe is Jovie's crush.  They are both Affenpinschers.  Banana Joe recently took the Best in Show honors at  the Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show.  So as far as dogs go, he's the rock star on posters in Jovie's bedroom.  Jovie and I watched him win and he has so many of the same mannerisms she does.  Such happy little gremlin dogs.  

No. 6:  Celestial Seasonings Antioxidant Green Tea with White Tea for a Smooth Taste
I like this one for several reasons.  I like green tea.  The white tea really does give it a smoother taste.  It's not at all bitter like some green tea can be.  It has an elephant on the box.  I also drink the "Sleepytime" version at night.  There's tons of research about hot green tea is really healthy for you and full of good stuff but mostly I just like the way it tastes and since I'm no longer drinking soda pop or regular sweet tea, it's a great alternative.

What are your favorite things at the moment???

Friday, March 22, 2013

Timmons Family Spring Break Vacation

During my senior year of college, my parents decided the five of us were going to take a spring break trip.  My sister was also in college and my brother was a senior in high school.  It was going to be a cruise.  It was all very exciting.  We would all get to be together (because we actually enjoy the family togetherness thing) and we hadn't all been on a vacation together in quite some time.  So this is the story of the Timmons family's big ship adventure.

The night before we left, my sister and I were packing and my dad was watching a special on the travel channel about cruises.  He assured us the ship would have bathrooms equipped with blow dryers, you know, like hotel rooms.  He had seen it on the show so it was sure to be true so we didn't pack one.  We did, however, pack one entire suitcase of nothing but shoes.  For a cruise of all places!

My mom booked the trip.  I don't know if it was last minute or if she wasn't aware that we could have gotten adjoining rooms, or if she wanted us to all be extra close or if there was a shortage or rooms --- I don't know.  What I do know is somehow all FIVE of us ended up in ONE, interior room.  And we're basically a family of giants.  My sister and I clock in around 5' 9" and our brother is a real whopper at 6' 5."  Our parents fall somewhere in between those sizes.  SO you get it - we're gigantors.  Our ship steward was a little hobbit-sized man and always seemed to be in awe of us. One of us would open the door and he'd gape and ooo and ahh at all of us crammed in one, tiny room.

This also meant one, tiny bathroom.  The bathroom bothered me on several levels. It was always wet. And the shower was practically over the toilet. Not to mention for a family of giants, it was like that scene in Elf when Buddy is trying to shower in the elf-size shower. Yeah, like that. Every time I went in there to brush my teeth, my toothbrush was already wet. Blah!

Also included in our clam-sized room was an itinerary that none of us bothered to read.  The first day was pretty basic - there's that safety thing everyone has to do so there's not a Titanic situation on their hands, then just walking around and getting ready for dinner.

We were all excited about dinner because we wanted to get dressed up.  I showered and then to my horror, couldn't find the blow dryer anywhere.  I'm not one of those girls who is blessed with that easy breezy all-American girl next door I-just-wash-my-hair-at-night-and-wake-up-looking-flawless-and-amazing kind of heads of hair.  A blow dryer is necessary for my not looking like a child-eating monster.  There was no blow dryer.  As it turns out, the ship we were on was on it's last voyage at sea before it was going to undergo a massive remodel.  I was so angry I didn't speak.  We all got ready in our fanciest of fancy duds and me with my fuzzy still wet and ugly hair...

Only to get to dinner and see that everyone else was still super beach casual.  Yep, had we read the itinerary, we would have seen that that night was a casual dining experience.  Everyone was looking at us with their mouths hanging open, doing double takes and then looking back at themselves.  For some people, it was almost like they thought they had it wrong.  Nope, that would be the family of giants traipsing through the dining room dressed better than everyone else....except for that one ugly duckling with the wet hair.  Yuck!

When we were mercifully seated at our table, we met our dining partners - another family of five.  The husband was a doctor and the wife worked in his office.  They had three kids but I think some of them were missing from that first dinner.  I was still irritated about my wet hair and the fact that we were overdressed so I didn't speak the entire meal.  I'm a real treat sometimes.

I think the whole next day we were on the ship.  My favorite place was the soft serve ice cream machine.  You could eat as much ice cream as you wanted and boy did I ever.  They also always had these ice cream dishes that looked like swans with cookie wings and heads.  Owned a few of those too.

Dinner went more according to plan the next night.  We went up to a deck with powerful wind to dry our hair and we were dressed appropriately for dinner.  I explained the whole hair fiasco to our dinner mates and they totally understood, having a daughter themselves.

My dad's eyes about popped out of his head when I said casually, "So how in the world did you two meet?"  Turns out, she was divorced and had taken her son to see the single older doctor gentleman.  Bam!  Instant love connection.

The next day at the Progresso port, my mom and brother, determined to go somewhere, got off the ship and were greeted by some AK-47 bearing Mexicans.  I don't know what my sister was doing but my dad and I stayed on the ship and pretty much had it to ourselves since everyone else was on an excursion.  We both fell asleep laying on a deck and both woke up scorched to the bone on the front side of our bodies.  Stupid stupid stupid.  That night, we couldn't take it anymore.  I went to the gift shop and purchased what may as well have been diamonds in a bottle mixed with lidocaine but it did the trick.

My brother and I made a game out of trying to "break" our super friendly, super professional waiter each night.  We'd decide exactly how he would say wrong what he was ordering in hopes that at the very least the waiter would help this poor Oklahoma boy called Bubba with the proper pronunciation.  He never did.  He just always said, "Very good, sir!  Very good, sir!" no matter how severely botched my brother said escargot.  The downside of this was that my brother had just ordered escargot or something similar.  He'll eat anything.  I also remember they had this amazing chocolate dessert and upon learning how much we loved it had some more for us the next night.

That night, things at sea got a little rough.  So rough that they blocked off our favorite deck: the one on top.  Where we could usually go at night when we were cruising at a pretty fast rate and between the door frames where the wind was rushing in, you could lean against it at a good 45 degree angle and it would hold you up.  It was awesome!

Then, BEACH PARTY the next day!  This was fun because everyone else who signed up for this "excursion" mostly just stood in a football field length line for drinks or got their hair braided.  The water was fun and there were these huge inflatables no one was strong enough to climb up on.  I found a pretty orange shell and we had beach food under a huge tent.  I love beaches.

Later when it was time to go home, I'm packed up my things and, miraculously finished before anyone else.  It's a gift, really.  All of the sudden my brother says, "Hey, who took my red toothbrush out of the bathroom?" "What?!" I say.  "My toothbrush is gone."  he responds.  "Well I'm packed already and mine is in my bag."  He opens his back pack and there is his, untouched for the entire trip.   He'd been using my toothbrush the whole time.  That's why it was always wet!  Gag.  Gag.  Gag.

Overall, it was one of the best trips ever.  We had a lot of fun and made many memories.  Some things to remember:  ALWAYS read the itinerary, take your own blow dryer just in case, smother yourself in sunscreen and make sure your brother unpacks and uses his own toothbrush.  I cannot wait until we go on an Alaskan cruise!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March Madness Magic

Ok, ladies (and the rando dude who reads or happens upon this blog) Mark has just let me in on a pretty  juicy man card tidbit for all this March Madness Mayhem - ok, ok I will stop with the alliteration.

And maybe you already know about this, but maybe you don't and you will be just as in awe and wonderment of it as I was and am.

Also, not that I would do this at work because first off, I actually can't.  Our firewall blocks "gaming" and "sports" and "fun in general."  But also, (and if you're a regular around here you will know) I don't really like sports.  Basketball is probably the best of all the sports because my sister and brother (and dad...not that I was around for that) played it.

P.S.  My lack of interest in actual sports doesn't ever keep me from participating in the family Bowl Pick 'Ems and March Madness Brackets.  I generally base my picks off one of the four following factors:  1)  Who has the prettiest colors/outfits?  I'm looking at your mint greens, Notre Dame.  And let's be real, I'm a graphic designer.  Of course I'm going to consider that.  2)  What is the mascot?  Is it something annoying?  Where does it rank on the food chain?  Like, is it a person or a starch or a mythical billiken?  3)  Did I go to or work at that school?  4)  Who looks like they want it more in the photo the NCAA (or Yahoo?) has provided?  Roll your eyes if you must but I've netted some pretty hefty victories strategizing this way...much to the chagrin of my brother-in-law.

ANYWAY, the NCAA, in all their infinite wisdom, has created what they call the "Boss Button."  And it goes a little something like this:

You're at work and don't want to miss any of the action so you pull up your bracket on your computer:


Yes, mine is called the Sugar Plum Fairies and no, I'm not doing so hot....but neither is anyone else who picked OSU.

Wait for it to load:


Then you'll see something that looks like this and you can choose which game you'd like to watch live:


Then it will play an ad.  If you're lucky, it will have Jack Donaghy from 30 Rock in it.  

When all of the sudden your boss is coming to stand behind you and tell you to make something in a logo black.  So you do and then he says, "Make it darker." And you're like, "Darker than black?!?!"  (That actually happened to me.)


Not to worry though, simply click on the "Boss Button" (the hot pink arrow is pointing to it in the photo above) and you'll get a screen that looks something like this: (!!!) 


It looks like a work email!  You can even close the one that looks like a new message (small box in photo above).  And what's even cooler is you can click on different emails in your impostor inbox.  Double bonus, it also pauses and silences (duh) the game automatically.


 Then when the coast is clear, click "Return" and it takes you back to the game.


Just hit play and you're good to go.


I love it when people other than me think of everything.  Nicely done, NCAA!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Photo Restoration

There are few artifacts more precious than family photos.  I love these photos of my grandparents.  Several years ago, I restored these and now they sit in my living room in romantically vintage oval frames.

As you can see, these photos had faded and yellowed with age.  The first two photos were still in great shape but the last one had some wear, cracks, folds, stains, etc.  

I think a common misconception of photo restoration is that the original could be harmed.  Others may have a different process, but as for me, I scan in the original and work on a digital copy.  The original is never touched other than being placed in the scanner and then back in it's envelope.

When these were finished, I printed off crisp, clean 8 x 10s.

Before and After - Grandma
Before and After - Papa
Before and After - The Happy Couple

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mom

My mom and dad like to ride 4-wheelers.  I've mentioned this before.  Sometimes they ride on the river.  When it's warmer and especially when it's hot and muggy, there are gnats everywhere.  Huge mass swarms of them.  I used to encounter gnats when I was running.  There's nothing like huffing and puffing and sucking down a throat full of bugs.  Or riding a 4-wheeler and getting nailed in the face by a swarm.

My mom was going to avoid this fate by any means necessary.  She happened to have a mesh gift bag in the truck so she wore it on her head so that she wouldn't get bugs in her mouth, nose, eyes, etc.

While riding at night, they happened upon some river people and decided to stop and chat.  Clearly they don't listen when I tell them not to talk to strangers.  Now, when I say river people I mean river people...similar to hill people,  moonshiners or good morning, Appalachia, have you counted your toes lately?  They live on the river, off the grid most of the time and you don't want to cross them.  They will make stew out of you.

So one guy standing there eating a can of Beanie Weanies, looks over at my mom and says:

I've never seen one in real life but this is how I imagine they [river people] look.

And I don't know why, but I basically think this is the funniest story ever.

Happy birthday, Mom!  I'm glad you weren't stew meat!  Also, my mom's birthday isn't until the end of the month but she wanted her birthday blog post up all month.  Someone is spoiled.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Little Story About Little Debbie



I was 10-ish.  I was at church camp.  And I was miserable.  I hated church camp.  Well, actually I hated being away from my mom and dad and they weren't at church camp so I hated church camp.  I was homesick. (Let's all keep in mind this was before the age of cellphones and tablets.)

My mom, being the wonderful mother she is, packed some snacks for me and I placed them right beside my bed on a shelf. 

I don't know why but during the day there was a nap time scheduled.  So I laid on my top bunk, homesick and staring at the box of oatmeal creme pies.  Slowly I reached over, quietly opened the box, pulled one out, opened it as quietly as I could and then ate it while staring at the ceiling.  Mmmmm, nothing helps a sad heart like an oatmeal cream pie.  I let the soft, chewy, creamy goodness wash over me....and then it was gone.  More sadness.

Until....

I reached over and pulled out another, opened it quietly and ate it, stuffing the wrappers in my pillow case.

I repeated this twelve times.  TWELVE!  During one naptime, I ate an entire box of oatmeal creme pies.  And I would have gotten away with it except another girl in another top bunk across the room laid there and watched me the whole time and then outed me at quiet time before chapel that night.  Thanks, random girl I didn't know.  The camp counselor chalked it up to me having hollow legs.  I didn't understand what she meant until I was older.  Also when I was older, I didn't go to church camp.

So there you have it.  Me + Little Debbie = BFFE....only I don't really eat oatmeal creme pies after that.