Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blue Like Jazz

Check out my latest post on the Uncontainable Truth, in which I talk even more about Donald Miller and Blue Like Jazz!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Don't You Cry Tonight

Use Your Illusion I and II were released 20 years ago  tomorrow. Let's take a moment to honor GNR, a band I count among of my first musical loves. Axl may have caught a case of the crazies in recent years, but in the 90s, he was just enough crazy to entertain while also creating some truly great music. And let's face it - few guitarists compete with Slash's solos. Here are some of my favorites (from all their albums), which conjure up memories of friends with long, Axl-inspired  locks and grunge gear. Not to mention many an air guitar solo. I'll never forget first seeing the epic "November Rain" video on MTV...

Axl. (Sigh.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tennessee Sucks (in the Summer)

(That's a reference to a Ryan Adams song, by the way. It's hot here, but I love Tennessee, even in the summer.)

School definitely is in session. How do I know? Because my morning commute now involves being extra careful not to run over the influx of Vandy students walking about carelessly as I'm practically sleep-driving at 7:45 8:05 am. Kiddos, if Reese Witherspoon can get hit by a car while out jogging, you certainly can. So be careful, ya hear?

With last Monday's Day of Labor celebrations (which in my area meant not leaving your couch for fear of being waterlogged outside), summer is officially over. No more linen, no more white shoes, back to school, and back to work for my teacher friends (hate them from May until September). So what did I do with my summer? Well, thanks to Netflix...

I watched and fell in love with Friday Night Lights, which I'll tell you is absolutely one of the best shows I have ever seen in my life. It was an experience. And I know that sounds crazy, but I think I cried (happy and sad tears) at some point in every episode of the five seasons. It's truly a moving portrayal of family, of friends, of faith, and of life in the South. And football. And it had a GREAT soundtrack, with everything from the Avetts to Ryan to even some Bright Eyes on there. Here's a little preview for you (the ending of the Pilot):

Next, to ease my post-FNL depression, I watched Greek (thank you, Netflix)!

Greek is nothing like FNL... it is not to be taken too seriously. But it made me laugh, made me cry, made me wish to be in college again, and wish that my college Greek experience had been more serious/ridiculous. Sure, it taught me a few lessons, but it mostly left me with a substantial crush on one of the lead characters, Cappie.

And I read several books, of course (reviews to come). But no, I did not spend my entire summer watching TV and lounging, but when I did, it was for physical, emotional (and financial) recovery from one of the biggest events I've been honored to be a part of: My Best Friend's Wedding. (You may remember me referencing that there was a lot going on around me back in this post from earlier this year.) Over the course of 6 months, I took off nearly 40 hours of work and traveled out of town at least once each month for a party, shower, or event. And sure, it was exhausting, and I got VERY sick of being in the car... but there is nothing like being there and being a huge part of such a special day in someone's life who means the world to you. She was a gorgeous bride, and it was a perfect day.

Liz and Lauren

"The Group"

It was a family affair. Something I DIDN'T do this summer was successfully
diet like my sister, who has lost 30 pounds or so. That B.

Just Married

I also got to throw a baby shower for one of my best friends' first child (my first unofficial nephew), who was born last week.

Baby Hank

And in between, I did a lot of pooling/tanning, a lot of tennis playing (my definition of "a lot" is probably different from most there), some lakeing, and a whole lot of karaoking. I'm exhausted from just writing that out and reliving it in my mind. No wonder I slept through most of Labor Day weekend.

How was your summer?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dear Baby Hank

Baby Hank, who will truly be my first unofficial nephew, is on his way! One of my best friends just let me know she's been admitted to the hospital, so please say a prayer that all goes well!

Dearest Baby Hank,

We can't wait to meet you! Nanny Lala apologizes already for the cheek squeezes and moments of exasperation that are sure to come when you poop on her, but just know you are so loved already! Be sweet to your mom today, and don't make her regret this whole Hippie No Drugs thing.

Besides, you've already made her legs swell up like this:


And made her belly THIS BIG!
Our First Picture - best buds already
So just come on along and don't be difficult, ok? And come out knowing that I will always have your back and keep your secrets. But you have pretty cool parents, so that probably won't be an issue.

Love you, little buddy!

Nanny Lala

(In case you're wondering, I call my aunt "Nanny." It's a New Orleans family tradition, and one I hope to carry on with my nieces and nephews.)