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Laugh your way to a better marriage

Lawyer and I attended a marriage seminar last night at Buckhead church.  He signed us up and we made it a date night.  I got a shower, made myself cute and met him at a Mexican restaurant by the church.  

The speaker for the evening was Mark Gungor.  If you have not heard of him ... Google him.  He uses comedy and laughter to make some very simple but yet very strong points about successful marriages.   

The first thing he said was that if you ask a woman how she would like her husband to be different she will describe a woman.  She wants him to be more caring, complimentary and do the things she likes to do.  For the most part she just described her best friend.  We as women need to embrace the differences between us and the men we married.  They will never be more like a girl and we wouldn't like them much if they were!

The first session was about the brain.  The male brain vs. the female brain.  A mans brain is made up of boxes.  He has a box for every single thing he needs to worry about.  He only opens and thinks about one box at a time and when he is done he slides that box back into place without touching any other box he has.  He also has a nothing box.  He literally can sit and think about absolutely nothing.  When we see our husbands sitting and staring off into space and we lovingly sit next to them and ask them what they are thinking and they reply "nothing".  They aren't keeping their innermost thoughts to themselves.  They are telling the truth.  They are thinking about nothing!

A woman's brain is a superhighway.  It is made up of wires and each one connects to one or more wires.  We can think and talk about a number of things at once.  Notsomuch for a man.  He thinks and talks about one thing at a time and can not process us jumping all over the place.  If we want to communicate something to a man we must sit and have him looking at us when we talk about one subject and one subject only.  

Vision.  Men are binocular and women are wide angled lenses.  A man can stare directly at something and not see it.  A woman can see what he is looking at, what all three kids are doing and still know what the next door neighbor is wearing at the mailbox.  This doesn't make him dense ... it makes him different.

Stress.  Men process stress by pulling out their nothing box and clearing their minds.  They can watch TV, read or surf their iPhone for days to relieve stress.  They do not relieve stress by talking.  A woman can only relieve stress by talking it out.  When a man sees his woman stressed he suggests she do nothing to relax.  She needs to talk it out.  He loves her and is offering her his best recommendation to relax and regroup.  She wants to talk and gets offended.  A woman has two choices.  She can call her bestie and talk it out or she can remind him that to relieve her stress she needs to talk about it and he needs to sit there and listen without trying to fix it.   

Sex.  This session went on for an hour.  So freaking funny and so dead on point.  I could go on for post after post on this one but the one thing he said that sank in for me was this.  A woman needs to feel chosen every single day.  It is just like the middle school dance.  We stand against the wall waiting for the boy we think is cute to chose us.  When he does we are over the moon.  Marriage is not any different.  A man needs to express to his wife that he still chooses her many months and years later.  If the choice was given to him today he would still walk up and ask you and only you to dance.  We want to be special ... we want to be chosen.  

Last night as we were getting into our separate cars to come home Lawyer looked at me and kissed me and whispered ... "I choose you".  

Hours later I am still over the moon!



The order of the teenagers

There is clearly an unspoken order of teenager behavior.  Somewhere they read how to behave with other teenagers since they clearly all behave the exact same way.  Take, for instance, the bus stop.

Our teenager walks to the bus stop a half a block away.  He is the only person at that specific bus stop.  He simply walks up ... texts a few friends and waits on the bus to arrive.  If he is running a few minutes behind and is not confident that he will have this few minutes of down time waiting on the bus he asks me to drive him to another bus stop in the neighborhood. 

This bus stop is fascinating.  Without my teenager present it has three boys and one girl who consistently wait for the bus.  They have an order in which they stand and are very clear on who speaks to each other and who pretends the other does not exist.  

From left to right ... 

One girl
Large space ... and absolutely no interaction at all ... pretending the other is not even there
One boy ... friends with my son ... they talk and smile but no cutting up or crazy antics
My teenager
Small space but yet no interaction at all ... even though they know these boys
Two boys ... talking and laughing the entire time ... these two will definitely be voted class clowns

Today when I dropped off my son I said to him.  "You should make friends with that nice girl.  I know her mother and you would like her.  She is smart and funny.  I know her sisters name but I can't remember hers."  He looked at me and responded ... "I will not be speaking to her and I won't remember her name because I don't plan on asking her what it is."

There you go ... 

Clearly he does not subscribe to my philosophy of talking to trees if no one is around!  She and I would be friends by weeks end and I would have invited her to sleep over within a month!


ps ... in other news ... the Keurig lives another day.  She performed as expected this morning and was even void of her usual after brew spit.  Good girl!!!


Don't be a cranky coffee maker!

To my beloved Keurig:

I understand some days it is mundane to make coffee for me day after day.  I always brew the same kind of coffee.  It is usually the same cup with the same splash of cream that sits upon you waiting for the hot and steaming coffee.  There is never any variance and I am sure you are silently screaming ... "really Dark Magic again ... big shocker there!  And truly ... always in the exact same cup?"

However ... I would caution you against acting up!  I would remind you that you are in fact a coffee maker and when I appear promptly at 7 am eyes half open I expect you to brew said produced coffee in the boring same cup.  I would not act out like you did this morning refusing to brew my coffee.  

Otherwise I will have to replace you with this ...

Yes ... I just say the V word.  I have it on good authority from Paper Girl that this is the mac daddy of coffee makers.  It does not cop an attitude and brews perfect coffee.  I understand it will require more of my time and effort but be sure that I am willing to make the commitment just to have my steamy hot coffee in the am just the way I like it!

So consider your coffee making self warned.  I would straighten up and fly right so you will not be in the back of the Yukon on the way to the Good Will where bad coffee makers go to retire.  



The fair

The younger kids and I went to the fair on Saturday morning.  We had a blast.  We were lined up and ready when they opened the gates and we rode the rides free for an hour.  The weather was great and the people watching was at its best.  As Jeff Foxworthy says ... "if you want to feel good about your family go to a state fair.  You will look around for a while and then look at your own family and then think to yourself ... wow we look pretty good."  (I saw him in concert Thursday night at church ... he is absolutely hysterical!!!)  Lawyer wants to go back and I told him I would happily go.  I will just need to wear my Daisy Dukes, get some Camels to chain smoke and find a newborn to nurse.  Good times!

 The tea cups ... these make me so suck but those two little ones love it!!

The flying circus ... this one was so much fun!!!

Little Mister did not like the idea of this ride so he stayed behind and took photos ... and I think he took some good ones!  That is Baby Girl and I up in the air in the next photo ... pretty good photo taking ... right?

The giant slide ... they rode their fannies off on this one!

The little one screamed her head off all the way down each time and Little Mister tried to look cool on his ride down.  Hysterical ... absolutely hysterical!

Then there was the food.  Seriously ... anything you can imagined fried!  They had fried candy bars, fried oreos, fried brownies, fried Twinkies and fried banana pudding.  I just really wanted to see them fry banana pudding ... but that line was way too long!!!

I ate a turkey corn dog.  I made her show me the package to prove to me it was turkey.  She did and then I ordered it!  It was delicious!!!  The kids were so excited that I was eating a corn dog they insisted on taking a photo of me eating it ...

And then just kept taking photos of me ... it was so funny.  Every time I took a bite they laughed more and took more photos!

I could not leave without ordering a funnel cake.  
It was to die for!!!  

Baby Girl insisted she needed cotton candy and Little Mister wanted homemade ice cream.  


Four hours into the day Baby Girl had to ride the Flying Circus one more time before we left!!!  We had just enough tickets for her to ride alone ... which she did!  Clearly the baby is fearless!!!  

We had a blast ... truly so much fun!!!!
And the best part ... I get to cross the fair off the Fall bucket list!

Thank you Aunt Grits for suggesting we go!  You always have great ideas!!!  We love you to pieces!!!



Freedom at church

I love Buckhead Church.  I love Sunday mornings getting ready to go to church.  I love every single minute we are there and I love Sunday afternoons on the high of having attended church.  

I did not always feel this way.  As a child growing up in the Catholic Church I felt boxed in by rules and like I was spitting out all they gave me to say.  I felt almost dead inside but didn't understand what that was at all.  I just dreaded Church and CCD and mass at school.  When I got married I wasn't allowed to get married in the church because I was marrying a man who was divorced.  We got married in a country club by Lawyer's best friends father.  He was a Baptist minister I had met only once before.  I will never forget him saying to me.  It is much easier for you to go to church with your husband then to ask him to go to church with you.  I had no idea what it meant at the time.

When we had our first child we were still trying to get Lawyer's dispensation so we could all go to church together.  I finally got so frustrated I decided to let Lawyer chose the church.  He chose a great church and within six months I accepted Christ and became a Christian.  I absolutely loved my new relationship with Christ.  

As a new Christian I loved our church but it was always a chore to attend.  I have no idea why.  We attended a great church with an amazing pastor but something still was not a 100% for me.  We attended on and off for 13 years but never regularly and never every single Sunday.    

And then about a year and a half ago a dear friend invited me to attend her church.  Holy smokes ... I loved it from the minute we walked in the doors.  My kids loved it.  My 84 year old father in law loves it.  And that is saying a lot since the praise music is nothing less than a rock concert each and every Sunday.  

And then it occurred to me today why I love it.  

I feel free. 

I feel loved. 

I feel secure.

I can be me!

I am 100% content with my worship on Sunday.   I need to step up my bible study time (just joined one this fall) and my daily quiet time ... but my Sunday is perfect.  

As I sit here and blog about this I am 100% positive that this is the way my relationship with Jesus is supposed to me.  I am supposed to feel free and loved and secure in him.  I should feel like I can be me and not have to dress a certain way or act a certain way.  I can stand there in church and sing my heart out (I am sure out of tune) and act like a crazy girl in his name.  I can be me .. only the best part of me.  

I have the privilege of bringing up my kids with this same idea of faith.  I can only hope and pray it makes them feel as amazing as it makes me.  

And with the excitement on their faces every Sunday I think it just might!!!!



Leap Year

This is one of my favorite movies!  Its sweet and funny and all around makes me feel good!  I love Amy Adams.  She ranks right up there with Reece Witherspoon to me.  Always delivers a great movie!!!!

It's been a long couple of days ... and I couldn't think of a better way to spend a Friday night then to cozy up in my bed watching a feel good movie.  Baby Girl was invited out to a movie and dinner as a birthday present and  my sweet middle child and I are home alone.  

I recently purchased a Louis Vuitton and Lawyer has been calling him Louie.  Two of my kids either don't notice or could care less.  The middle child quickly picked up on it and asked why Daddy named my purse. Lawyer quickly responded ... ask Mommy to watch Leap Year with you.  When he asked this afternoon I immediately realized it would be the perfect end to a long week.

He thinks its hysterical and quickly picked up on the reference.  

We are headed to the fair and soccer tomorrow so this evening in sounds perfectly lovely!!!

My favorite part of the movie has yet to air ...

Wait a minute wheres Louis?'
'Louis I.... hes fine I strapped him to the roof'
'You strapped him to the roof? He'll get filthily up there'
'Dont worry well throw him in the wash, Hell be grand.'

Love it!!!  

I might need a glass of red wine to go with my pj pants and duvet snuggle!

Hope your evening is lovely ... from the O'Brady Callahans!


Fall TV ...

There are a lot of shows debuting this fall ... not all of which I am in to.  I am thrilled to see my favorites are back ... NCIS, Modern Family, Body of Proof and The Good Wife.  I have already set my DVR for these shows and will definitely be tuning in.  And then of course, The Rachel Zoe project.  This show is so fun and always sucks me in.  This is one show I will pause and re watch if any one interrupts me.  The fashion on the show is to die for .. I love each and every second!!!

I have been drawn to Castle and The Mentalist but have yet to watch a single episode.  Are they worth it?  Should I just jump in or catch up first and then move forward?  Thoughts?

And then I am already sucked into two shows this year ... one even more than the other.  Ringer on CW started last week and I loved it at first glance.  It has quite a few twists and turns and I am struggling a little to keep up.  I watched the Pilot twice and now I am caught up I think on all the happenings.  Each character has so much depth I love it!!!  I will say I think Henry is such much cuter then Andrew.  But that's just me ...  I adore Sarah Michelle Gellar.  She is adorable and her hair is amazing!  I love the clothes Siobhan wears.  I would love to be let loose in that closet!

And then there's Revenge.  Holy cow ... I love it!!!  First there is the Hamptons and the scenery.  Absolutely amazing.  I love the house she rents.  It has been a dream of mine for years to rent a beach house for the summer.  I have always thought I would rent in the south but after seeing her wearing sweaters at night it would be fabulous to sun and beach all day and be chilly around a fire at night.  The plot has great depth and the characters are fabulous.  I am loving each and every second!!!

What else should I be watching ... what are you loving this year?



Fall shopping list ...

I saw this list recently in Matchbook magazine and it got me thinking.  I know what I would like to have  ... but what do I really need for fall this year?  I am at the age when trendy doesn't always cut it.  I need to boost my wardrobe with some great pieces that I can use year after year.  That way when I add trendy each season I don't look like I am trying to dress beneath my age.  This is a true concern of mine.  

Ok ... if I look at the list above and check my closet ... what classics am I missing?

Shoes ... Riding boots
a classic black heel

Accessories ... opaque tights (need new ones for sure)
Black bikini ... notonyourlife!!

Baubles ... classic gold watch (would love a vintage one)

Tops ... long sleeve T (need 2 white and a black)
Silk blouse
Long wrap cardigan
Silk camisole

Pants ... all set!

Skirts and Dresses ... pencil skirt (or 2)

Outerwear ... Trench
Blazer (get season to pick one) 

Not so bad ... the classics are in this year so my list should not be so hard to complete!

What are you adding this year?


Happy Birthday baby girl!!!

My baby is 7 today ... it doesn't seem possible!

I love you baby girl!!

You are the peanut butter to my jelly ... the icing on my cupcake!

You inspire me!



Bike 1 ... Mini me 0

I was just getting settled at home yesterday afternoon when disaster struck ...

Baby girl was riding her bike and hit a trash can head on.  It was trash day so the can was full and didn't give any.  She flew into the air and landed on the concrete.  I was sure she had a concussion but when she finally calmed down she started making sense once again.

Bad, bad, bad!

We got her checked out at the emergency room.  She was bandaged and sent home.  

And that tough cookie got up this morning and headed off to school.  

She amazes me!


ps ... mental note ... no more flip flops on the bike!  It will be socks and tennies for us from now on!

Minneapolis and back ...

I flew out on Thursday morning to spend a long weekend with the BFF in her new house in Minneapolis.  Funny enough her husband was transferred within weeks of Lawyer telling me we were relocating to Kansas.  We spent the entire summer feeling each other's pain.  I am in limbo but still happy in Atlanta and she is settling into a new house, new state and new job.

Minneapolis is fabulous.  I love how artsy and fun the burbs are.  She lives in Eden Prarie and we spent time there as well as Edina.  I loved both of them.  So eclectic and cool ... very Virginia Highlands to me.  So much fun!

By far my favorite place we stopped was in Edina off of 50th and France.  Such a great area to shop and eat!!!  Have you ever been to Hunt and Gather?  I fell in love the minute I spotted it from the corner.  This is one amazing place!!!  The perfect combination of antiques and vintage pieces.  Kitschy and funky ... simple perfection!

Pieces of license plates ... you can spell anything!

Do you need a silver platter?  They have plenty!

Loved this dress ... I would wear the heck out of this during party season.  Too bad I am not a size super tiny!

Look at all of those scarves!  I love how they are displayed!

I am a sucker for an ugly chair ... just ask anyone!  I would have snatched this one up in a heartbeat if I hadn't flown!  Such good lines!

Great desk ... even love the color!

Great vintage panels ... I should have bought these!

I managed to check out with only a roll of vintage wallpaper ... so freaking cute and a bunch of vintage buttons.  I am thinking they will dress up some cardigans I am growing tired of wearing as is!

Great city ... can't wait until my next trip!  I should plan it before they get hit for winter!  I love snow but I am not sure I would do well in -10 degrees!


Hope you had a great weekend!!!


What is my accessorality?

(courtesy of mrs.lillien)

I love Mrs. Lillien.  I have gushed about her before!  She is edgy, fashionable and constantly the source of inspiration for me and I am sure many others. 

Last week she posted this photo and question ...

What is your accessorality?

I had to think ....

On most days (those days I actually get dressed in something other than a polo and khakis) I would say I lean toward the kitschy or the frisky.

I can also be prissy ... though it is not a favorite of mine!

During party season I am been known to be glitzy.  Maybe even during a girls night out, or two.

I would say I rarely am ritzy.  But Lawyer would disagree.

I am not sure I have even been bitchy.  

Maybe I should venture out more ... those shoes are to die for!!

What is your style?



My favorite place in the house ...

This post will sound superficial and retarded I am sure.  But if I am being truthful with myself and with you I will have to say my favorite place in the house is my closet.  It is not a large closet ... just a standard walk in.  

For being a standard size walk in ... it holds a lot of stuff!
It is like Carrie Bradshaw's closet ... endless storage in a tight space!

I would love to take everything out and paint it a fun color ...  but I probably should have done that when I organized it the last time.  Can't see that happening now.

And I am having a chandelier repainted to hang inside ... nothing fancy just black and adorable.

But it would make the space even more fun!  

Now that I look at the sweater section I could paint that part and wait on the walls for later.  

Oh the options ... pink, orange, yellow, turquoise, emerald green ...

I am sure loving green right now ... maybe green!



Happy little wii!

The second house we contracted in Kansas was a dream house for me.  She was an organizational genius.  Every single thing in the house has a home and was labeled.  I was in heaven!!!

When we had to let the contract go at the very last hour I was sad on many levels.  But I must say I was sad to see that organizational inspiration go.  Thank goodness I took photos and lots of them.

One of my favorite things she had in the house was a tower for the Wii and its accessories!  With a little research I was able to locate one on Ebay.  When it arrived I was way too giddy!  I no longer have the Wii stuff scattered in front of the tv and all over the floor after the kids play.  No more reminding them to put it all back into the Wii basket.  No more losing things and tangled cords.  Pure genius!!

Behold .. the Wii tower ...

Isn't it fabulous?



Which one of these is not like the others?

Lawyer and I have been married for 16 years.  For sixteen years we have had a house full of white linens. 

 White sheets for every room, white towels, white duvets, white coverlets.  

It is white on every single layer ...

... all the way down to the mattress pad!

The color comes into the beds with the dust ruffles, shams and decorator pillows.  I add color to the towels with the different monograms.  It has worked out great ... and no one has ever said a word about it  ... until now.

Lawyer came home from his five months in Kansas with colored sheets and towels.  It was like his bachelor days all over again.  Everything he unpacked was powder blue and grey.  I said very little ... just washed them and put them into the linen closet.  

But they wouldn't seem to stay there ...

It started with the random powder blue floor mat that appeared one afternoon ...   

... and then morphed into adding grey pillowcases into the mix.

And now there is just this one little lonely blue washcloth left in the linen closet.  

I am afraid to ask where he has incorporated the rest of the loot!



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