Stories

When your Apple Cider Vinegar shot goes “down” wrong…

Recently I held a Bridal Shower for a childhood bestie of mine. At it, her Grandma was wilin’! In the middle of spewing hilarious stories and one-liners, she shared with us how she’s been drinking Apple Cider Vinegar “with Mothers” for her metabolism and energy.

I’ve heard about this before and when my Mom jumped on board, I figured I’d follow suite.

My mom drinks it down in an 8oz. glass of water with a little honey. While I didn’t think that was the worst thing in the world, I prefer to just get it over with.

So, last Monday I started taking 1 tbs vinegar mixed with 1 tbs. warm water and a little honey, twice a day; throwing it back like a shot.

One evening I even managed to convince my poor sweet boyfriend to participate (why does he date me?!)…

Needless to say, he wasn’t thrilled and when I threw mine back without trouble, he reminded me that he’s a better person than I am (*my words, not his) and that I’ve had experience taking shots that burn your face. To which I say…

…touché.

Now for the terrible…

Just a couple days ago, I ran home from work for lunch realizing that I had forgotten to take my Apple Cider Vinegar morning dose. I whipped up my concoction, cheers-ed myself (as I always do because I’m that big of a nerd), and threw it back…

I very (very) quickly realized that it wasn’t tingling down my throat and settling into my stomach like it usually did …it felt like it was stuck somewhere in my face… like it detoured to that in-between place where your throat meets your nose. I struggled to find oxygen and my eyes began to burn with a fire I can’t even explain. After what felt like an eternity of drowning in Vinegar and at a loss of what else to do to survive, I leaned over the sink, begging every crevice in my face to let the devil juice out.

A sneeze saved me (or damned me) and it all came pouring out; out of my nose, out of my tear ducts, out of my pores, and out of my mouth.

Y’all, the pain was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It took me a few minutes to get my bearings and eyesight back and when I did, I had to run back to the office and carry on like I hadn’t just experienced something terribly life-changing.

For your pleasure (and because I knew that the people I love would love this story this way), I documented the whole experience and the hours following in real time below via SnapChat.

Just be careful, my friends. I started taking my shots again recently but they’re much smaller and I’m much less confident; no longer ignorantly cheers-ing myself like I’m a boss.

Until next horrific life event.

 

 

Uncategorized

#winning the wine game…

A week or so ago, I threw away my beloved wine bottle opener. It had seen better days, it was time; plus I had just opened a bottle and figured I’d buy another opener before I got through the new bottle.

…I severely underestimated myself… or overestimated myself…? Either way.

Last night, I found myself in my pajamas early, bottle of Barboursville Red in hand… without an opener.

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Panic immediately set in. Never mind the fact that I live two blocks from a grocery store where they sell both wine openers and screw-cap wine bottles (my personal favorite). I started digging through drawers, through bags, through shelves, through boxes and closets. Nothing.

I sat down in a chair for a self-pep-talk, “think… think, think, think! There has to be a way – there has to be!” All of a sudden, a video my cousin had posted on my Facebook wall popped into mind- link – simple enough, I had a shoe and I had a wall… I spent the next 5 minutes slamming said shoe against said wall without success.

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“Okay… okay, okay…think…”

Then it hit me — panic… desperation — but also… screw… screw driver… hammer… I lunged towards the tool box that my dad had given me (which hadn’t seen much use until now); SCREW! SCREWDRIVER! HAMMER! I put the bottle on the counter, stood over it basking in my own brilliance, screwed the screw into the cork, flipped the hammer around and started pulling. The screw popped right out… but the cork, ugh, the cork did not…

shit

The screw was too small, God bless it, the screw was too small.

Then delirium set in. I’m not ashamed of my actions, though I’m aware that I crossed over into to a place that I can never return from…

I went into my bedroom, removed a larger screw from a piece of furniture, dropped it into a pot of boiling water that I had on the stove intending to make noodles,  strained it, screwed that 4″ sucker into the cork, plopped down on the floor cross-legged with the bottle pinned between my bare feet, and used every ounce of strength I had to pull the screw AND CORK out with the backside of the hammer…

And hour after my original inkling for wine…

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Wine. Sweet victory. And neither had ever tasted so good.

For the record, this makes it official… I fully intend on ruling the world one day.

cheers-to-katherine

Have a great weekend!

Uncategorized

The Rice-Kid…

Sometimes in my adult life – living downtown, working where I work – I forget that kids exist. It sounds ignorant but kids and I don’t usually hang around the same places. I live in the middle of the city, I work at an ad agency, I shop at the downtown grocery store, I hang out at breweries/other non-kid-friendly places, etc.  We don’t really cross paths unless it’s intentional (like visiting my precious baby second cousin {or whatever the connection is… it doesn’t matter, he’s my baby… picture below} or it’s on one of the nights that I help with the church youth group but I digress…)

Today, in the middle of a work day, I spent over an hour waiting in line at the post office.

Already, I’m all like…

tenor

…because of my extreme lack of line-waiting-patience.

Then she came in. This (cute) perky little 8 year old and she took a mysterious and immediate liking to me…

I know the majority of people who read this don’t know me personally so I guess I should clarify that I’m “nice” – a compliment I don’t love but I suppose isn’t a bad thing – and “nice” I remained as this little girl tugged on my sleeve and spent 40+ minutes explaining to me 6,879 different ways to eat rice. Why rice, you ask? Why wasn’t this child in school, is the question I want answered!

…rice and broccoli, chicken and rice – with wild rice, not plain rice-, chicken fried rice, shrimp fried rice, mexican rice, beans and rice, rice and peas, rice casserole, cheesy rice, rice cakes, spanish rice, microwaveable rice, white rice, brown rice, red rice… and did you know that ice cream originated in China where it was originally a mixture of milk and… RICE.

At about the 45 minute mark of this madness, the little girl’s mother turned to me and said, “I know what you’re thinking. Try living with her.”

Respect. SO much respect.

I like to think that when you start considering being a parent, you’re automatically zapped with an extra dose of patience (because I do want to be a parent one day… I think…) and I have no doubt that when I was young (uh… maybe still?) I could also talk someone into insanity (Mom, I love you)… but phew…

respectto all you parents out there.

Now I want icecream. The American kind, not the Rice-Milk Chinese kind.


 

“My” baby:

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Life · Thoughts

A Eulogy…

I’ve let time pass again. I don’t know where it goes! It seems to just rip by me lately.

I recently came across this (beautiful) Eulogy written by Curtis Christiansen, whom I actually don’t know. We’re just barely connected, as he wrote the below about one of my sorority sister’s husbands who was recently called home.

It struck me.

I didn’t personally know Jimmy, only the beautiful soul he planned to share forever with, though reading about him the last few days, I wish I had gotten the chance.

Here’s some soul-food, some food for thought, and a continuous prayer request because there will surely be a void in many lives without this man in the world…

 

Later today we will celebrate the life of Jimmy McLaughlin.

But I would like to share with you now my favorite Jimmy story.

Most evenings when the weather is nice, you will find Kim and me out on our deck unwinding from the stress of the day and catching up with each other.  If you are not familiar with where we live, our yard backs right up to the Herndon High School athletic fields.   There is a fairly thick wooded area between our yard and the more elevated fields, which are enclosed by a chain link fence that is probably a good 7 or 8 feet tall.  Because of our close proximity, if we are on our deck, we are hearing whatever game, practice, or band event that is occurring on the fields.

On this particular evening, if I remember correctly, it was a Powder Puff game that was taking place.

So there we were, on the deck just talking and sitting at the table under the umbrella.  That’s when it happened.

All of a sudden there was this great commotion in woods behind our house.   We could hear bushes and leaves rustling loudly; branches snapping and cracking…..and I mean cracking, these were obviously no small branches being broken.

What the heck could it be?

We were startled…was it a huge deer?  A Big Foot?

What could possibly be snapping large branches like tooth picks and causing all that commotion?

Should we go to safety inside the house?

Seconds later, we saw it.

It wasn’t a giant deer.  No and it wasn’t Big Foot either.

It was a human.

It was a human wearing only a Speedo.

And it was Jimmy.

As Jimmy emerged from the trees and the underbrush he quickly bolted across our back yard.  As you would expect with Jimmy, he very respectfully acknowledged Kim and I on the deck with a greeting, never losing a step as he raced across the yard.  We watched in confusion and disbelief as Jimmy crossed the neighbor’s yard, then the common area, and finally disappeared around the tennis courts.

Later I would learn that in the moments  just before the commotion in the woods, Jimmy had streaked across the Powder Puff Game field and had a couple of adults in hot pursuit as he scaled and leaped the high chain link fence and went crashing through the woods.

For Kim and I, left looking at each other thinking what’s to disbelieve?

It was Jimmy in his Speedo crashing through the woods and running through the yard.

Why not?

And we laughed.

 

I recently read a book by Elizabeth Gilbert called Big Magic.  You might be familiar with Elizabeth Gilbert because she wrote Eat, Pray, Love; which was pretty popular.   In Big Magic, Gilbert introduces the concept that inspiration is a living thing.  And as a living thing, inspiration is constantly looking for a place to live, a place to develop.  Left idle, that inspiration would move on looking for someplace else, someone else, where it could continue to live and grow.

That may be hard to imagine, but I believe inspiration found a home in Jimmy.  Jimmy was inspired to do great things with his life.  After college something motivated him to leave his comfort zone and join the Navy.  But not just the Navy, he took on Navy Seal training and ultimately became a Medical Navy Diver graduating at the top of his class.

Something in Jimmy drove him to want to take on the most challenging and be the best at it.

And he succeeded.

I propose this to you, because I want you to consider that what if Ms. Gilbert’s theory has merit?  What if the inspiration that found its home in Jimmy, is now idle and looking for a place to live?

And wouldn’t it be an honor and a privilege if the inspiration that was alive in Jimmy, found its new home in one of us.

But maybe we think that is a bunch of crap and don’t believe that inspiration is a living thing looking for a place to grow.

Maybe we don’t need to.  Maybe we just need to consider Jimmy’s life…. not his death, but his life; and maybe that would be enough  to inspire one of us  to strive to do something we have never done before, something outside our comfort zone, and be the best at it.

And do it with the same good nature and passion that Jimmy would have done it with.

I think so.

And for Jimmy, who did all the hard work to provide that inspiration for us, that would be an honorable way to be remembered.

But for now Jimmy,  rest……. in peace.

 

Love out, prayers up.

 

Quick thoughts · Uncategorized

Adult temper tantrums.

Adults don’t throw temper tantrums.

At least not real ones. Not over simple things. It’s kind of the difference between being an adult and a child; that unconscious self-control that keeps you from freaking the “truck” out.

Apparently, according to my own standard, I’m not a real grown up. Lately, I’ve caught myself on the verge of very literal, very pathetic temper tantrums and I’ve had to very consciously reel myself myself back in – and a few times it hasn’t worked. Call it holiday stress?

…yesterday morning, it all happened too fast to reel in… I walked outside my apartment at 6:45am and noticed that the beer can that had been sitting upright in the parking space next to mine for the last 5 days was still upright. So I kicked it. I kicked it hard. Things in my life have changed in the last 5 days! It just wasn’t fair that it could sit there unchanged, mocking me.can2bcrush


…this morning, I couldn’t get the stupid sensor to work on the bathroom sink in my office. I stood there for a good 30 seconds flailing my arms around trying to catch the damn thing’s attention. I think I would have actually started screaming and pulled it out of the wall around the 31 second mark had it not happened.phoebe-yelling-judy-o


…sometimes, when I’m having a rough day, there’s a little corner underneath my desk that calls to me. I have to put my hands flat on the desk, take a few deep breaths, and say “You can’t lay down under there. You’re a grown-up now.” (…I started working on this post before writing yesterday’s post… another “unable to reel it in” moment… I did climb under my desk.)robin-crying-drunk-under-desk


…every now and then, when I think I’m extra on a roll in some way and no one’s seeming to notice, I really want to scream, “Pay attention to me damnit! Right here!”giphy1


…occasionally, when one of my friends is venting about something they’ve vented about 20 times before without taking my advice, I have to bite my tongue to keep from yelling, “Shut up! You’re stupid!” (Even though I’ll cry about something 50 times before I do anything about it. Thankfully, I have very patient friends.)tumblr_lny95pytai1qmt25uo1_400


…once in a blue moon, if I’ve spent a lot of time on a project at work that I’ve been excited about… and then the plan changes… it takes everything in me not to throw / slam / break things.tumblr_ml6ef4hvip1rs9keio1_400


…I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t aggressively thrown Pinterest-failed recipes into my kitchen sink before throwing myself to the ground to cry about it.
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…omg, and don’t even get me started on bra shopping. Like seriously. Don’t. even. get me started.friends-rachel-taking-off-bra


That’s it. I don’t really have a point here. Haha, just to praise those of you who are real grown-ups. I aspire to be like you one day.

Happy Friday.

Stories

Fireworks go boom.

Oh my gosh, the struggle is REAL today. How long has it been rainy? What does the sun even look like? Do stars really exist? Have my eyelids always been this heavy?

Anyways. I’ve been a slacker this past week and I owe a good story. So how about the time I fell off a boat in front of 300+ people, yes?11140025_10155709909135697_5486652291014298511_n

This past fourth of July, I drove down to Lake Gaston to meet my besties for a day of shenanigans and a night of fireworks (& more shenanigans). I desperately needed the getaway and I’m always happy to soak up time with good friends – these being a handful of my best friends. You know, like the TV show “Friends” – pretty literally our lives.

We soaked up the sun, road around on the boat, grilled out, played a few games, visited a few other friends’ lake houses, and then about 15 of us packed up a cooler and a trash bag full of snacks, piled onto a boat, and headed out to the middle of the lake with 50ish other boats where a veteran lights off (rumor has it) $20,000+ worth of Fireworks for everyone in the area.

11659238_10155709910630697_5811274490269758689_nTo understand the next part of this story, meet Steven and Corbin; two of my favorite men, two of the world’s greatest men, and by far two of my very bests. Some people think it’s weird that two of the people I spend the most time with and go to with most of the things on my heart are guys. They don’t understand it or trust it or “believe” in it. And that’s really too bad. I value these two for who they are in the world, who they are to me, who they help me to understand other people to be, and who they’ve helped me become …They also know me with a creepy sixth sense type of knowledge/understanding that this story supports entirely…11695010_10155712588735697_8311344767353737375_n (1)

I was on cloud nine that night, in the middle of the lake surrounded by amazing friends, looking out over 50+ boats of happy people, and excited to watch the sky light up (I love fireworks!). Before the sun set, a rainbow even showed itself across the sky. I was so happy and so at peace, and I know I prayed a prayer of thanks in the moments before the fireworks started.

If you know me, it goes without saying, and if you don’t, let me tell you that I’ve always been freakishly clumsy which you may have come to grasp in one of my last stories about burning myself. I can trip over air, I swear it.

I was standing at the back of the boat when the Fireworks started. I’m not sure where Corbin and Steven were at the time but they weren’t near me.

Everyone knows that fireworks are loud, it’s like 50% of what they are: loud and bright. Well, starry-eyed-at-peace-jean shorts-and-a-sweatshirt-me forgot that fact and was startled to hear a loud boom accompany them, jumping backwards, straight down the back of the boat, and into pitch-black water. I floundered around for a few seconds trying to determine which way was up and which way was down before I reached the surface and opened my eyes to Steven and Corbin, casual and unsurprised. They fished me out, wrapped me up, sat me down, gave me a few comforting “it’s okay girl, it happens” lines, patted my head, and we re-joined the party. They’ve hardly mentioned it since, except maybe in conversation with my parents.

While Corbin mysteriously appeared out of nowhere that night, I was later told that Steven was at the front of the boat in mid-conversation when everyone heard my splash and without turning his head or missing a beat, he said, “that was Leanne,” stood up and headed for the back of the boat. Sixth sense, I’m telling you.

I had actually injured myself pretty good that night – but I’ll save that portion of the story for another day (because actually, I’m at work right now, hehe).

For weeks though, everywhere I went, people I didn’t even know were at the lake that weekend stopped me, “Omg girl! I saw you fall off the boat last weekend, are you alright?!” and “Leanne! Did I hear that it was you that we saw fall off a boat at Lake Gaston 4th of July?!” and “Damn girl, you sure know how to command attention, bahaha.” and “Poor thing. Saw you crash at the lake. You okay?”

I was okay until the next day… I’ll tell you that part tomorrow…