Monthly Archives: February 2012

MEK is 27!

Uncle Maffew,

HAPPY BIRFFDAY!  I think you’re a really good-looking and super smart uncle and I’m so proud that you’re mine.  I know that between you and Uncle Z-man, I will not only be prepared in the fields of ridiculous dance moves, witty comments, supreme athleticism, and insane intelligence – but general awesomeness.  Can’t wait to play with you in May!

I love you!
Sweet T

Matty Cakes,

Happy Birthday to my most favorite brother-in-law in the world.  No really, my one and only favorite.  Love you, man.

Hard to believe this was seven years ago when you were just 20 years old…. sheesh! 

Dearest Doh-Doh Bird,

Happy, happy birthday, sweet brover!  Wishing you an absolutely wonderful year full of love [with Amanda Bynes], laughter [with Tosh], tons of great concerts [with pretty girls], a million eggrolls [you can’t share this with anyone], and you being discovered as the hottest new back-up dancer [for Beyonce].  I love you so much and am so happy you’re the little brother I was never really stuck with… I’ve loved every second.

Always your Lil’ Elephante,

Time off

Like father….
Like mother…

Due to the insane amount of hours I’ve put in at work these past several weeks, I’ve finally taken some time to grab a few hours out of the office.  On Wednesday, I spent the most perfect late-afternoon, ever, riding my unicycle and relaxing in the grass at a somewhat-ghetto park – after I sat in the car and listened to some Josh Kelley, of course.  Yes, I unicycled in front of complete strangers who were definitely judging me, but I tell ya – it was fun!  Laying around in the grass was the best part… short-lived, and I’ll probably need eyeball replacements in 15 years, but I’m okay with it.  And I intend on doing it again… like, next week.

I’m looking forward to some more rewarding afternoons this coming week as I’m planning on taking a couple half-days.  As much as I’d love to say they will be productive, I have a feeling that, if the weather is as nice as it was on Wednesday, I’m going to end up sitting on a patio somewhere sipping on a margarita, reading People, and then writing in my journal.  But maybe, just maybe, I’ll go on a hike, sip a homemade margarita out of a thermos, read People at the top of the mountain, and then write in my journal while overlooking East Tennessee.  That’s productive, right?

Back to the main issue at hand… I unicycle… in public.  So what?  Circus freaks love me.


I wish I could say what you did, or will, witness above is the first time this has happened, but I have to admit… Teigan’s been caught practicing kissing several times now.  I think it’s absolutely adorable.  Ben thinks it’s unbelievably horrible.  

I mean, who doesn’t do this?  You can never have enough practice, right?  My fav spot is in the inside of my elbow.  What?  Wait… just me?

Thanks, M&D!

Ben and I are the luckiest people around.  No kidding.  We have the best families who love us, love each other, make us homemade eggrolls and dumplings on our birthdays, send us thoughtful and sometimes ridiculous gifts – ahem, Zach!, and fly across the country to take care of our children [Hoolie and Rica count, too!].  

G-Daddy, Teigan, and Grammy
We were so fortunate to have my parents in from Houston this past week to help take care of all three of our girls while Ben, his parents, and I were working at a weekend-long event.  I honestly have no idea what we would have done without them.  Such lifesavers… so thank you, Mom and Dad!  We can’t wait to have you here in KnoxVegas next year!

Matt and Zach, let us know when you’d like to move into the basement!  We swear, it only floods every-other bad storm…

¡Nueve Meses!

I know my days of saying that time is moving slowly is all but extinct, but it’s still just so hard to believe our Teig-ster is nine months old [plus a few days]!  We had her check-up this morning and, despite all of the weight-gaining-issues we had at the beginning, it’s obvious that we are right on track these days.  

Here are Teigan’s latest stats:
    Age: 280 days old
    Weight: 18 lbs.
    Height: 27 1/4″

    Head circumference: 17″

The doctors are thrilled with her progress physically and she’s showing signs of being way ahead of her time developmentally… not to brag… but I am.  I’m a mom now… it’s what I do.

Off to go practice my intrusive, annoying, and totally obnoxious sideline soccer mom yell…
Blaze out!

And I write…

So, I honestly had no idea how many people stalk this blog.  I mean, people have been crawling out from the woodworks these past couple of months to tell me how much they enjoy it and, I have to say, I love hearing that.  People I seriously didn’t even think knew my last name have made this part of their daily ritual.  So, I have to say a sincere thank you for reading.  I’m aware you most likely, don’t “follow” this, and you certainly have never left a comment, but I love that you’re reading.

What started out as a selfish act of replacing the dozens of emails I would inevitably feel responsible for passing around to various family members throughout Teigan’s first few months, has suddenly turned into some strange therapy for me.  I get to write about whatever the hell I want, I have fun, I’m not getting graded – and you enjoy.  Does it get any better than that?  Nope.

One of these stalkers I referred to informed me this week that I am a writer and I need to write.  Simply put, but it had a major effect on me.  I have never, ever considered myself a “writer” even though I have worked for corporations and non-profits, alike, doing just that for years.  I think I struggle with the difference between marketing/PR/communication and writing-from-my-heart-and-for-myself.  The latter is something I’m going to completely dive in to.  I just decided that this week and I started this morning in my beautiful, perfect, new little journal.

I’ve never been one to keep a diary, and I don’t intend this journal to be that, because then what would I write about on here?  I have to keep you coming back for more, obvi, so I’ll leave the witty comments, hilarious stories, and writing-like-I-talk-style here – just for you, my dear stalkers.  This journal will serve some other purpose.  I think I’ve convinced myself that I’m going to write just enough nonsense and ridiculousness in this journal that I’ll somehow become the next J.K. Rowling or Jack Kerouac.  Probably not, but you just never know what the future holds.  I suppose I can’t sit around relying on my soon-to-be-new-found-author-fortune-and-fame, but it’s fun to toy with the idea in the process.

And now, what you’re all really here for… pictures of my better looking other-third’s…

Eagerly awaiting nicer weather and the ability to take a day off, grab a blanket and a bottle of wine, and scout-out a large movie screen to lay around and watch something totally awesome [i.e. The Notebook] in the middle of the grass on a beautiful, sunny day… after I write in my journal, duh.


Hallmark’s favorite holiday, 2012 edition

I mean, really… how could you not just l-o-v-e this face?   

Ah, Valentine’s Day.  Hallmark’s infamous holiday that automatically = card + a little something sweet + some pseudo ridonkulous gift that was sooo last minute by the giver.  I mean, we all love feeling loved, and wanted, but is it a chocolate heart and sappy card that makes me feel it?  Without any hesitation, hell-to-the-no.

need the every day; the little things.  If you ask Ben, he would probably tell you that, for me, that means him opening up every single window in the house, making the bed, turning on some great tunes, sweeping the sunroom, and baking something oh-so-delish… any one of those – and all without any prompt or encouragement from me.  That makes me feel loved.  

I’m not sure how many of you have read The Five Love Languages, but lesbihonest, it’s phenomenal.  I’m, hands down, an Acts of Kindness kind of girl.  I love to do things for others, whether they realize I did it for them, or not.  It’s crazy how much a handwritten note, a clean load of laundry, or a really great massage [wink, wink, nudge, nudge] can make me feel loved.

So anyways, if you want to feed my soul, skip the card and chocolate heart…. just give me a call, send me an origami, or build something awesome.  But, now that I think about it, dark chocolate doesn’t hurt… and neither do York peppermint patties.

Tweet me [the latest Sweethearts candy saying addition],

PS – I still love Hallmark, Mom & Janine.  Promise.
PSS – Exhibit A to defend PS above… Ben and I totally exchanged Hallmark cards and indulged in some sweet nothing’s this morning.  His was definitely the sweetest card, ever, and Teigan’s wasn’t so bad, either.  ;c)

Rap love

So I woke up this morning with a little swagger in my step, a little attitude in my voice… all ready to hit the morning swingin’ and be productive.  Oh, I’ve been productive, but not in the manner I was planning on.  With Honey on TV – between the hip hop, Mekhi Phifer, and now Tupac playing on my computer – I’m getting nothing done.  Literally.  All I’m doing is rapping and dancing.  Maybe this is my me time?  I think so… and I like it.

So, you’d think that sitting around listening to Tupac would make you think of something other than your father, but me?  Nope.  All I’m thinking of is Dad.  For those of you know him, you know what a hilarious character he is.  The same guy who graduated West Point in stellar standing, speaks three languages fluently, is a Controller for ExxonMobil Chemical, and taught me the five ways to kill a man with your bare hands at the ripe age of five, is also the same guy that taught my brother and I how to move like we’re backup dancers, watches The Bachelor, rode around a crotch-rocket at the mature age of 55, and, as you could probably guess, loves Tupac.

There’s something about a father-daughter relationship… something that really can’t really be explained.  I’m so excited to see Ben and Teigan’s relationship grow.  There will be tough times [as much as we’d like to say there won’t be], but she’ll always come back and if she’s anything like me, Ben will remain one of the most important men in Teigan’s life.  I just hope Ben and I instill the kind of qualities in Teigan that our parents have instilled in us.  Times are changing and, while adaptation is part of the journey, we will do our very best to bring up a kind, respectful, loving, aware, independent young lady – who also happens to love ghetto rap music and playing in the dirt.

Our father-daughter dance?  Disco’s very own California Hustle.  Duh.
While my original intent of this blog certainly didn’t start off as affectionate, I suppose that’s where it landed.  I love you, Dad!
As my Dad ends every heartfelt moment in his life, whether it be one of his infamous letters, silly postcards, genius raps, or sentimental speeches-

May the road rise up to meet you, and may the wind always be at your back.  May the sun shine warm upon your face, and may the rains fall soft upon your fields.

Make ’em smile

A friendly wave to the man on the porch you jog by every morning.  A loving grip of the hand to someone in need.  Holding open a door for a stranger.  Kind eyes to someone clearly having a tough day.  Saying “I Love You”.  Sometimes I feel like people have become too distracted, too selfish, or too careless and they’ve forgotten just how important random, small acts of kindness are.  In this world of smart phones, robot vacuum’s, instant gratification, and voice-controlled-everything, I feel like we often move too fast to stop and smell the roses… and, in turn, neglect to share the same lovely smell with those surrounding us.

Taken from, I picked out a few of my favorite ways to make a stranger smile.  And honestly, I try and do the following frequently – like, all the time.  If you don’t, I encourage you to make a vested effort.  I promise, making someone else’s day really only makes your own.

Smile often.
Pay for the person in line behind you.
Send a hand-written thank you card.
Clean out all your old clothes and donate them to someone in need.
Give a compliment about a waiter, waitress, sales clerk, etc. to his or her manager.
Compliment a stranger’s appearance.
Help an elderly person carry something.
Appreciate people the way they are.
Share your lunch or a snack with someone who doesn’t have one.
Check up on someone who looks lonely.
Tip waiters and waitresses well.
Help bag your own groceries at the checkout counter.
Offer your seat to someone when there aren’t any left.
Stand up for someone and lend your voice to those who can’t use their own, for whatever reason.
Wave to a kid in the car next to you.
Spread good news.
Remember people’s names and address them accordingly.
When you make eye contact with someone, smile.
Share your umbrella on a rainy day.
Listen intently to people’s stories without trying to fix everything.
Dance with someone who hasn’t been asked.
Give words of encouragement toward someone’s dream, no matter how big or small it is.
Stop and buy a drink from a kid’s lemonade stand.
Help someone get your parking space in a crowded parking lot when you’re leaving.
Do a little something extra to make someone else’s life easier.
Listen to someone’s pain and help them find a path through it.
Give without expecting to get back.
Say “Please” and “Thank you.”
Don’t be so serious all the time.
Teach others how to make a difference by setting an example.
Lend your shoulder to cry on.
Offer encouragement after a failure.
Acknowledge people for a job well done.
Tell a good joke.
Let someone with only a few items cut you in line at the grocery store. 
Create a care package and send it to an active duty military unit.
Stop to help.
Put a small personal touch on everything you do.
Take the time to teach someone a skill you know.
Help someone get active.
Donate food to a charity.
If you see a couple taking a self-pic, offer to take the picture for them.
Make yourself available and approachable.
Be positive.
Treat every small interaction with another person as an opportunity to make a positive impact in both your lives.

It does a body good,
Nikita Blaze


I think something becoming wildly obvious these days is the fact that I’m wearing so many stinkin’ hats.  This isn’t anything new, but it seems to be hitting me harder than usual as of late.  I’m sure it’s that I’m working day and night and I know that won’t be stopping for about 13 weeks, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that I’m really starting to understand just how important me time is.  

I’ve never, ever in my life been one who needed me time [in fact, I kind of thought it was a cop-out], but I’m finding that I enjoy – and need – it.  I want to read.  I want to write.  I want to breathe.  I want to dream.  I want to listen to music [even if I do tend to play more 1990’s boy band ridiculousness than any reasonable person should – ever].  I want to figure out what my creative vent is.  I want to do a million sit-ups.  I want to learn how to french braid hair.  All of that is just the me hat that tends to get lost in the shuffled mess of my other sweet sombrero’s.  Ah, my everyday is a juggling act… an act I love and would never want to live without.  But, really… just a little slack?

And now, my little lovebug’s array of head-toppers from the last week or so… she’s so lucky her only metaphorical hat is being a baby.

Peace, Love, and Gardens without Walls…


February game night came and went last night, but boy, did we have fun!  With such a fantastic group of people surrounding me, I felt so lucky.  I was literally laughing, yelling, dancing, and owling the entire night.  Oh, and eating.  Lots and lots of eating.  Memories were made [albeit somewhat disturbing and scary] and we’re already stoked for the next one!  Until next time my spongy, veiny friends!

Team 1 for life!
All four of us ladies were excited for the hoedown to begin!
Burma chafe?  Ben workin’ getting Team 2 to the top!
Owling… we missed you, Sam!
Tucker’s first game of Catch Phrase… and he slept right through it
Muahaha!  Rachael getting… into it?

Reed & I decided we needed a post-game night date to Fountain City’s finest establishment, Jimmy’s, to catch up and dance the night away while listening to the worst karaoke, ever – and enjoying the best people watching, ever.  While I love Reed to pieces, I didn’t want the picture of him… it was of the awesome mullet duo behind him.  And as if the hair wasn’t enough, take a look at the she-mullet’s shirt.  Ahh-mazing!


Big day yesterday!  Our friends, Brosnan’s [they do have actual first names, Jim & Kate, but we mostly refer to them as just one plural person], welcomed Emma Scarlett to the world!  And seriously, Emma is one good lookin’ kid.  Good work, Brosnan’s, good work.  Obviously pictures will be posted soon.  Hopefully they won’t be of my daughter making out with her [see my facebook page if you’re confused]…

In other big news, Teigan is officially crawling!  She’s been taunting us with attempts, scooting backwards, and doing downward dogs these past few weeks, but Ben got her doing the real deal on video today.  So, it looks like all we’ll be doing for the next several months is hiding everything, child-proofing like it’s going out of style, and preparing for that first big fall.  Then CrossFit training starts with air squats, baby kettlebell swings, pull-ups, and toes-to-bar.  All before the age of two… boom!

Fist pump! Push up! Chapstick! Babies! Crawling! Swimming?