oh yeah, the other dog

Do you remember when I made such a big deal about getting our first dog Gabby's DNA results?

Then we got another pup and like most "second children," she never got quite the same level of attention as the first. Well we did do a DNA test for dog #2 (Jazz) but I never posted the results. Until now... [dramatic music swells]...

So she's basically a certified mutt. I feel that these inconclusive DNA results further prove my thesis that she is, in fact, a coydog. Pay no attention to the domesticated patriotic lei she's wearing in this photo—don't let it distract you from her clear coyote similarities.



humans of indianapolis

Have you heard of Humans of New York? Hands down, favorite blog. The founder flits about NYC taking pictures and interviewing perfect strangers. (Strange side note: after I'd been following this blog for months I read the photographer's bio and realized he went to the University of Georgia while I was there). 

I was so obsessed with this blog I decided to copy the idea. You can read about it here on my company's blog. We're hoping to interview and photograph 30 employees from all across the company. You can see our first post of the series (preview below) here.



I've not blogged since April for three reasons (cough::excuses).

1) The weather; if it's not raining, I feel like I'm wasting time being indoors. 

2) I've been a reading fiend; I have taken a timeout from my own personal writing, quit watching most TV, and am making a concerted effort to read as much as possible. 

3) My blog domain (slightobsessions.com) expired and I don't even want to tell you how many hours I spent on the phone with GoDaddy and Google to get it back online. But I'm back now.

Tonight I also opened my road trip memoir draft for the first time in months. It's the most daunting personal project I've ever taken on, but I know it has potential to be the most rewarding. Sharing a short excerpt below—FIRST draft, let's just put that out there—from the day my brothers and I arrived at the Grand Canyon. 
My copy of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die has begun to split its seam and, if dropped, falls directly to page 568—The Grand Canyon, Nature’s Masterpiece. It rests on my bare thighs, open, but I’m not reading anymore. I pull my vinyl lanyard pouch from the zippered pocket inside my purse, plucking our AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL annual pass from its safe place and handing it to Trey as we pass through the gate. It looks like a credit card, but instead of a bank logo in metallic colors stamped across the front, there’s a palm-sized photo of the Nankoweap Ruins at the Grand Canyon, a rust-red stonewall built into the sheer sides of the cliff, with the Colorado river winding along in the background. The south entrance of the park is thick with wide-eyed lanyard toters like us. We loop around the parking lot once before Trey makes his own spot, pulling off the pavement with two tires into the dirt. 
“So. Many. People.” I roll my eyes, because it really does bother me and at the same time I know I sound like my mother, who can’t stand to be among throngs of people for any purpose, state fair, Christmas shopping, or a vacation-destination grocery store the Saturday of timeshare check-in.  
The swirl of thoughts—of home, of Mom, of how much I’m becoming her—leaves my head abruptly. The sky opens up and out, enormous suddenly with nothing between me and it, no trees or buildings within my directly line of sight. We walk the dirt path toward the canyon, leaving the cars behind, and then I see it, like the mouth of Mother Earth split open, the canyon plummets downward as sharply as the sky above it swells. The enormity of the scale is too much, and I feel my brain flicker and falter, as though time slows down, and the light that filters through my cornea, processing and flipping this reflection of the world’s deepest gouge moves much slower than the speed of light. I slow my pace, instantly dizzy. Is this what vertigo feels like?
We are here. We are standing at the front door of the Grand Canyon, what John Muir described as “unearthly in color and grandeur and quantity of its architecture as if you had found it after death, on some other star.” It took the earth 2 billion years—summers, springs, falls, winters—to deliver this. I busy myself with taking pictures, standing just off the path, the tears rising hot and quick, feeling infantile and invisible next to this magnificent pit of wonder and latitude.  
It’s the same reaction I have when I stare at the stars too long or a handful of beach sand too closely. Beautiful things that will outlive me and everyone I love. And yet we’re here, day in and day out, caring about things—should I buy this shirt in blue or green, do I want an omelet or French Toast, should I marry him or join the Peace Corps—things that amount to less than a blink of an eye on the timeline of natural life, world life. Clouds dot the pale blue sky, casting wide gray shadows onto the floor of the canyon beneath us, adding another layer of complexity to the already jagged floor. 
“Masterpiece,” I breathe to no one, just to say it aloud, the words leaving my lips in a pouf of carbon monoxide, mingling with the same pool of air that flows down and across the canyon.


memoir update

Damn near forgot I had a blog... 

Update! March Memoir Madness was a success. I wrote for a half hour every day ::cough:: with a few exceptions—staying focused on Fridays is nearly impossible!

The best part about going through that exercise is it's breathed new life into old writing and—frankly—gotten me excited again about a project I'd fallen slightly out of love with: a memoir of the month-long cross-country road trip my brothers and I took in 2009. 

March 1 | 17,800 words
April 24 | 30,100 words 

That's about 115 pages. But in terms of storyline, I'm only this far... 

That puts us at the Grand Canyon, our 5th stop out of 16. So many more stories to tell...

The journey continues! 


march [memoir] madness

I may be mediocre at most things, but I'm spectacular at procrastinating.

The memoir I started writing last January has sat untouched in a Dropbox folder since—June? Pitiful.

As much as I love writing, I'm easily distracted by TV. By instagram. By the two needy puppies who are as annoying as they are cute.

In an effort to get off my lazy lump and make some writing progress, I've instituted #MarchMemoirMadness. 

On March 1, I wrote for 30 minutes. On March 2, I did it again. And today, yet again. 

I'm committing to this for one month, in the hopes that it will turn from a chore into a habit, from a habit into a hobby. 

17,800 words and counting...

P.S. You're welcome to steal this idea and customize, making it March [insert your goal here] Madness. 


new ways to sweat (1 of 5)

You know those people who make waaaaay too many New Year's resolutions and then have a hard time keeping them? Yeah, I'm one of them. But if I blog about my resolutions... will I feel more responsible for following through? It's worth a shot.

One of these resolutions is to try at least 5 different workouts that are out of my comfort zone.

First up: BODYPUMP
I saw a poster at the gym for a class called BODYPUMP and decided I would go. I knew very little about it, other than it had something to do with weights.

The most awkward part about attending a class for the first time is the set-up—those first 5 minutes when everyone is buzzing around the room collecting their gear and you're scanning the room to gather intel. She has four blocks. I go get four blocks. He has two dumbbells. I go get two two dumbbells.

I should've known I was in trouble when Irina, the short but super-fit instructor with a slight-Schwarzenegger accent, walked in the room and yelled, "Are you ready to pump, BODYPUMPERS?" 

1 hour and 800 repetitions later... did you read that? 800 REPS. In ONE HOUR. CAPITAL LETTERS are here to EMPHASIZE THE PAIN. Here's my review:

And while I'd be much too embarrassed to show you what I looked like during this class, here's a little YouTube promo video to give you an idea. Bet you wouldn't have guessed it, but my weights weren't as big as this guys'...

Stay tuned for the next challenge: BODYATTACK


MLK day 2013

"With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, 'My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.'"

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
August 28, 1963


alter ego

Is it weird that I look forward to (eventually) having less-than-perfect eyesight so I can geek out in glasses? I've been waiting since 4th grade, when American Girl Molly McIntire was my hero. I mean, the way she played capture the flag like a bad-ass and rocked those glasses. And the beret? Oh, the beret! She was fab.

In the meantime though, I bought these... zero prescription glasses. Just because I like them, and yes I know it's ridiculous. But LeBron James and Dwayne Wade do it. So what if I'm not an African-American male who makes millions in the NBA? What's your point?

I'm just practicing. Just prepping to embrace my future self.


'twas the month after christmas

It's January. I know it's January. But I still find myself humming Christmas carols.

I love how cozy the house felt with stockings hung by the chimney, family hand-me-down decorations hanging about, and the smell of evergreen.

So, please pardon the unseasonable post. I just needed an excuse to reflect.

An Annalee Advent calendar from my Mom. Annalee Dolls were
originally made in New Hampshire, my home state (pre-Georgia).
Our living room on "Family Movie Night,"
all pillows and blankets piled on the floor.

Nutcracker from my Mom's mom. Santa from my Dad's grandmother.


crafty balls

That's right. This is a post about crafty balls. Okay, okay—crafty Christmas ornaments to be precise.

When our dear friends Laura and Matt were married this summer, their wedding favors were jars of homemade blueberry jam. As delicious as it was cute.

I had the idea to keep the blueberry-print fabric and turn it into keepsake Christmas ornaments. Turned out to be pretty easy, even for the not-so-occasional crafter like me. Here's how I did it: