Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love my country boy

As a teenager, I didn’t have enough dating experience to have a “type,” but I usually figured I’d end up with a clean-cut preppy guy like the ones I went to school with. The kind that wore a lot of polo shirts and spent summers relaxing by the pool.

Luckily, this was just a vague picture in my head and not a rigid requirement. If it had been, I would have missed out on the jackpot-winning lottery ticket that is my husband.

Matt and I were introduced through friends at K-State. I soon learned that relaxing during the summer was a foreign concept to him, since that was the peak season for his family’s vegetable farm, and his rusty, thundering old pickup would have raised some eyebrows in my high-school parking lot. In fact, I'm pretty sure Trace Adkins wrote that song “Ladies Love Country Boys" about us: city girl goes to college, meets “a wild-eyed boy with a farmer’s tan” and goes “riding in the middle of his pickup truck.” Check and check.

This camping, hunting, goatee’d guy was not the type I’d pictured falling for -- and, as he later told me, he hadn’t seen himself with “a sorority girl,” either. But we made each other laugh and loved being together.

That was in December 1998. Since then, we’ve moved to Texas and back, gotten pets, gotten married, bought two houses, had a baby, laughed, cried and driven each other crazy.

I could do an entire post of stories and examples of how great he is, and probably will someday. But for now, I'll just say that after 12 years, I still wouldn't trade my sweet, smart, selfless and scruffy guy for anything.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he looks damn good in a polo.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Down with chalkboards

As an HGTV junkie, I feel compelled to talk about a design trend that I don't get. Namely: chalkboard paint.

When it became popular a few years ago, I thought it was a neat idea. "Oh look! You can paint a little message board right on your kitchen wall! What a great place to write grocery lists!"

Adorable, right? From

That lasted about 30 seconds. Then I contemplated actually *writing* my grocery list on a chalkboard. Am I the only one who gets chills whenever I write on one? It's not worth the trip to Goosebump City when I just want to jot down that we're out of Diet Sunkist.

I'll admit, there are some cute applications for chalkboard paint out there. You could do a colorful chalkboard mural in a kid's room and let them draw on the walls, for instance, and I do kind of love the chalkboard globes I've seen. But as a public service to anyone contemplating one of the following projects, I'd like to point out some potential problems.

Chalkboard dressers and other storage pieces:

Again, adorable! From
It's not that these storage pieces aren't cute, because they really are! The problem is, every time I needed, say, some markers or stickers from this craft dresser, I'd reach for the drawer, brush one millimeter of a fingernail against the surface and OH GOD NO CRAFT TIME IS OVER.

Another version of this same problem? As soon as your kids figure out how annoying the nails-on-a-chalkboard sound is, scratching it just to drive each other (or you) crazy will be their new favorite game. So maybe that mural in their room isn't such a good idea after all.

On to lamps:
The whole point of the chalkboard paint trend is to write and draw on it. So why would you put this paint on a fragile object that will fall over as soon as you try to do that? This same issue goes for vases and wine bottles, which I've also seen.

And a personal note to whoever wrote this particular lamp message: You probably shouldn't encourage too much drinking and merry-making in a house with chalkboard lampshades. Before long, it'll be "Heyyy, wherezzzachalk? OK, lemme draw you a pisshure. Imma draw a pretty heyyy, whyzza lamp fall over? Izzat a fire?"

Kitchen cabinets and backsplashes:
Design Sponge
For the cabinets, the same "can't touch them without wanting to die" issues apply here, and that's a problem for cabinets that you touch 50 times a day. If I had to risk scraping a chalkboard every time I wanted a bowl for ice cream, I would weigh about 30 pounds less. Which... hm. Now I'm rethinking this.

For the backsplash: yes, it's customizable. Yes, it's easier to draw a new pattern than re-tile when you're tired of it. And yes, you will have chalk dust in ALL OF YOUR FOOD! Mmmm. 

I really do think chalkboard paint is a great *concept*, and I don't want to discourage anyone from being creative. In fact, if you've used it, please comment here and tell me how it went! I'd love to see photos... just as long as I don't have to actually inhale any chalk dust.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Spreading the love

My friend Mary recently gave me a great present: a Liebster Award! It's a way to recognize your favorite smaller blogs -- ones that you love to read but that currently have 300 or fewer followers. Thanks Mary!

Mary's online home is called The Tulip Patch, which I love because tulips are my favorite. She's a talented quilter who's been featured on Moda Bakeshop, and she's also one of the funniest people I know. So go check her out.

Now it's my turn to spread some blog love. I'd like to give a Liebster Award to...

Super-cute baby girl? Check. Funny and relatable stories? Check. What else could you need? Oh, and according to her bio, she spends her free time "napping & avoiding horror movies." So, yeah, I'm pretty sure we're twins. 

That's it for today. I promise I'm working on more posts, but scrapbooking is calling my name this evening.
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