Today I tried a class at the work gym. I’m not a huge class person and normally don’t really like working out with other people.

I think I’m hooked on CrossFit. For those of you who don’t know what it is, CrossFit is a core and strength training program, consisting of varying exercises that change every time.

It was hard. I was red-faced and sweaty before we even finished warm ups (seriously, when was the last time you jumped rope!?) but I loved every minute of it. I have a feeling I’m going to hate it tomorrow morning when I get up to swim, but it’s a great hurt!

Thanks to “Auntie M” for convincing me to go and for teaching me the exercises!

Daffodil Hill

Ever since I moved in with Mike I’ve wanted to visit Daffodil Hill in the spring. Each year, something has happened that has made that impossible – mainly, a brief period of warm weather followed by a cold snap and snow. The snow kills off the flowers for the year, so that pretty much ruins the trip. Today I headed over with Dad, Kati, Nate, and Chloe. According to their website, it’s estimated that Daffodil Hill is carpeted with over 300,000 bulbs when in full bloom. That’s pretty impressive! It was a beautiful day and it was really nice to walk through. They have a bunch of different varieties that I didn’t realize existed.

Daffodil Hill
Daffodil Hill

This was my favorite one:

Orange Daffodil!
Orange Daffodil!

This one was really pretty, too – I think it was more luck than skill, but the picture turned out really amazing!

Yellow & Orange Daffodil
Yellow & Orange Daffodil

When we got back to the house, Mike made some amazing burgers and then we hung out for a while. Chloe was such a good girl and even consented to hang out with Uncle Mike for a while!

Chloe & Uncle Mike
Chloe & Uncle Mike

I love that little girl so much… she’s getting so much more inquisitive and interactive!

The 20/20 Experience

FINALLY Justin Timberlake has come out with a new album, titled The 20/20 Experience. I was super excited to get tickets to see his show later this year (I’ve seen him in the past and he’s an amazing performer) and am now even more excited now that he has new material!

There are big chunks of this album that remind me of old school JT, and there are big chunks that are very Robin Thicke-esq. I love the mixture of the two. It definitely has a more R&B focused sound to it, which I think his voice fits perfectly into.

I don’t necessarily think that this album is as great as FutureSex/LoveSounds was, but it’s right up there. Can’t wait for the show!

The 20/20 Experience
The 20/20 Experience

Favorite Songs: “Let The Groove Get In”, “Mirrors“, and “Suit & Tie

Favorite Song Friday – “Crush”

This week’s favorite song Friday selection is in honor of one of my all time favorite bands, Dave Matthews Band. I’m super excited to announce that I’ve added another show to my 2013 concert calendar (click here for the Concert Calendar Page) – we’re going to see DMB (again!) with Sean and Erin in September.

Crush“, from the Before These Crowded Streets album, has always been my favorite DMB song – I love how mellow it is. The bass line is kick ass and I just absolutely love Dave’s voice. Can’t wait for the show!!!

Still Hate It

It’s official… I still hate corned beef. Mike made corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes (don’t forget the Guinness!) for dinner and, I’m not going to lie, it smelled delicious! He did it in the crock pot and the whole house smelled amazing. Here’s what I discovered: I like everything about corned beef…

… except the texture. The seasonings were delicious, the cabbage and potatoes were great. The meat has the consistency of fat. You know, that sort of rubbery feel. That’s not to say that Mike didn’t cook it well… It was the same consistency the last time I tried it.

All of that said, I ate my plate (that says a lot for someone who is as picky as I am) and enjoyed my Guinness.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Best Obituary Ever

I randomly found this article on CNN earlier this week. They do a weekly column titled “Apparently This Matters:” that talks about some pretty random stuff. This week’s column was about an obituary that has gone viral. Harry Stamps passed away on March 9th and his daughter sat down to write his obituary – having no idea that it would be such a big hit. I love the part about his irrational fear surrounding his funeral. Honestly, Harry sounds like a cool dude and I wish I could have known him!

Here is Harry’s obituary (from

Harry Weathersby Stamps
December 19, 1932 — March 9, 2013
Harry Weathersby Stamps, ladies’ man, foodie, natty dresser, and accomplished traveler, died on Saturday, March 9, 2013.
Harry was locally sourcing his food years before chefs in California starting using cilantro and arugula (both of which he hated). For his signature bacon and tomato sandwich, he procured 100% all white Bunny Bread from Georgia, Blue Plate mayonnaise from New Orleans, Sauer’s black pepper from Virginia, home-grown tomatoes from outside Oxford, and Tennessee’s Benton bacon from his bacon-of-the-month subscription. As a point of pride, he purported to remember every meal he had eaten in his 80 years of life.
The women in his life were numerous. He particularly fancied smart women. He loved his mom Wilma Hartzog (deceased), who with the help of her sisters and cousins in New Hebron reared Harry after his father Walter’s death when Harry was 12. He worshipped his older sister Lynn Stamps Garner (deceased), a character in her own right, and her daughter Lynda Lightsey of Hattiesburg. He married his main squeeze Ann Moore, a home economics teacher, almost 50 years ago, with whom they had two girls Amanda Lewis of Dallas, and Alison of Starkville. He taught them to fish, to select a quality hammer, to love nature, and to just be thankful. He took great pride in stocking their tool boxes. One of his regrets was not seeing his girl, Hillary Clinton, elected President.
He had a life-long love affair with deviled eggs, Lane cakes, boiled peanuts, Vienna [Vi-e-na] sausages on saltines, his homemade canned fig preserves, pork chops, turnip greens, and buttermilk served in martini glasses garnished with cornbread.
He excelled at growing camellias, rebuilding houses after hurricanes, rocking, eradicating mole crickets from his front yard, composting pine needles, living within his means, outsmarting squirrels, never losing a game of competitive sickness, and reading any history book he could get his hands on. He loved to use his oversized “old man” remote control, which thankfully survived Hurricane Katrina, to flip between watching The Barefoot Contessa and anything on The History Channel. He took extreme pride in his two grandchildren Harper Lewis (8) and William Stamps Lewis (6) of Dallas for whom he would crow like a rooster on their phone calls. As a former government and sociology professor for Gulf Coast Community College, Harry was thoroughly interested in politics and religion and enjoyed watching politicians act like preachers and preachers act like politicians. He was fond of saying a phrase he coined “I am not running for political office or trying to get married” when he was “speaking the truth.” He also took pride in his service during the Korean conflict, serving the rank of corporal–just like Napoleon, as he would say.
Harry took fashion cues from no one. His signature every day look was all his: a plain pocketed T-shirt designed by the fashion house Fruit of the Loom, his black-label elastic waist shorts worn above the navel and sold exclusively at the Sam’s on Highway 49, and a pair of old school Wallabees (who can even remember where he got those?) that were always paired with a grass-stained MSU baseball cap.
Harry traveled extensively. He only stayed in the finest quality AAA-rated campgrounds, his favorite being Indian Creek outside Cherokee, North Carolina. He always spent the extra money to upgrade to a creek view for his tent. Many years later he purchased a used pop-up camper for his family to travel in style, which spoiled his daughters for life.
He despised phonies, his 1969 Volvo (which he also loved), know-it-all Yankees, Southerners who used the words “veranda” and “porte cochere” to put on airs, eating grape leaves, Law and Order (all franchises), cats, and Martha Stewart. In reverse order. He particularly hated Day Light Saving Time, which he referred to as The Devil’s Time. It is not lost on his family that he died the very day that he would have had to spring his clock forward. This can only be viewed as his final protest.
Because of his irrational fear that his family would throw him a golf-themed funeral despite his hatred for the sport, his family will hold a private, family only service free of any type of “theme.” Visitation will be held at Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, 15th Street, Gulfport on Monday, March 11, 2013 from 6-8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (Jeff Davis Campus) for their library. Harry retired as Dean there and was very proud of his friends and the faculty. He taught thousands and thousands of Mississippians during his life. The family would also like to thank the Gulfport Railroad Center dialysis staff who took great care of him and his caretaker Jameka Stribling.
Finally, the family asks that in honor of Harry that you write your Congressman and ask for the repeal of Day Light Saving Time. Harry wanted everyone to get back on the Lord’s Time.

Habemus Papam!

I know, it’s a few days late, but it’s been a busy week! For those of you who don’t read Latin (and really, how many of us do?) the title of this post translates to “We have a pope!”, the declaration made by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran on Tuesday.

This was followed by Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio from Argentina stepping out onto the balcony. He had chosen the name Pope Francis, likely after St. Francis of Assisi, known for his work with the poor and his compassion for animals.

I love that Pope Francis is a man of firsts. The first Latin American pope – make that the first from the Americas. The first Jesuit. The first to choose the name Francis. More than the actual stats, he started of his papacy with a series of firsts. He refused to stand on the platform to elevate himself above those around him (a sign that he might think of himself more as the “pope of the people”?). In a very humble gesure, instead of offering his blessing on those gathered at the Vatican to celebrate, he asked that they bless him.

I’m excited to see what Pope Francis is able to do in his time as the Pope – I’m hoping that he can help to reinvigorate the church! He is an extremely intelligent man (he has a masters degree in chemistry!) and prides himself on living humbly and giving back to the people.


Favorite Song Friday – “I Will Wait”

This week’s favorite song Friday is a band that’s getting a lot of air time right now. Mumford & Sons is quickly becoming one of my favorite bands. I’ve seen them perform on TV a couple of times and am blown away at the sheer amount of talent these guys have. On SNL, Marcus Mumford was singing, playing guitar, and playing the drum with his foot. Those are some serious musical chops. You can tell by watching the band that they just FEEL the music… I love it!

I Will Wait” is the song that is all over the radio right now… and I love it! I really like the folk roots of this band and how honest their music is (and the banjos, and the harmonies, and well, you get it). Marcus Mumford has written most of their music. I seriously hope they go on tour sometime soon and that they come somewhere close to my town!


Meet Chip

Yesterday I needed to head to Petco to get some dog food and saw a really cute “indestructible” chipmunk that we named Chip. Or so the label said. We pretty much know that no toy is safe with Shadow, but I keep trying. I have visions of him snuggled up with his little *insert cute animal here*.

Shadow Meets Chip
Shadow Meets Chip

This was the longest one of these has lasted – it took about half an hour for him to get the stuffing (and squeaker) out. That really is some sort of record – normally it’s about 30 seconds before the stuffing is flying. Once all of the stuffing is out, he likes to move it around for a couple of days, tearing off a tail or an ear every now and then. He doesn’t eat any of it – just pulls and spits.

Don't Mess With My Chipmunk
Don’t Mess With My Chipmunk

Today he ate Chip’s face off. So much for that sweet dream.