July 31, 2008

Joy to the world, all the boys and girls...

Or just the girlie girls.


See for yourself. Is anyone else silently clapping or squealing?

Daily Checks

A few blogs to read while I'm away - or any day, really. I have a number of blogs I check on a daily basis, so I'm going to add to this list as I think of them. I'd love to know what you read in the blogosphere!

Stuff Christians Like

Passive-Aggressive Notes
Entertainment Weekly's Pop Watch
Go Fug Yourself (adore these girls!)
Indexed
Freakonomics
Gawker
Jezebel

I also love looking at the beautiful shots on Brooke Turner Photography blog, and seeing cute pictures of Maggie always makes my day.

I also keep up with the stories of Katherine Wolf, a Southern girl in LA whose family is living a miracle, Angie Smith and her family in Nashville and our church's own little miracle, Cohen McGowan.

Of course, I also have to feed my advice column addiction. Beyond my daily Dear Abby, Annie's Mailbox and Carolyn Hax fixes, there's Miss Manners on Wednesday, plus the Advice Goddess and Dear Prudence every Thursday.

Yes, I know I have a problem. To be fair, I usually check the "daily" columns all at once on weekends. And, more than that, at least I never need advice! (Ha.)

Also: Coming up on CNN: a story about doga - yoga for dogs. Really, CNN?

But I digress. Let me know what you're reading, what I should be reading and what you're writing. If you have a blog, I'm dying to know!

I'm not aging.


Yesterday I was twenty-something; today I am twenty something-else. That's all.

Tonight the three of us are off to the lake for a long weekend to celebrate my non-aging. (And to soak up the sunshine in four long-awaited consecutive days off of work.) Blue will be sporting his new lifejacket and I'll be sure to take pictures.

Have a beautiful weekend, lovelies!! xoxo

July 25, 2008

You're pretty fabulous, no? Your life story would absolutely top the bestsellers list and then you're on the express train to Movie-ville. So now the key question... In the movie of your life, who would play you?

Remember - you are doing the casting. So, in theory, I could very well ask uber-blonde and far-from-Anne-like Cameron Diaz to emulate my every quirk and quip. But I won't.

(To give credit where it's due, Kristen gave me this idea...she'd cast Reese Witherspoon. I adore Reese and can see the physical likeness, but think my K. Jo has more sparkle to her. That's the problem. Who could really encapsulate all the fabulous characteristics of you ladies? Hmm.)

Below is a photo of me with my bridesmaids from just 52 short weeks ago...


From left to right, I would cast the following:

For my curly-haired faux sister, Emmy Rossum or Natalie Portman on stilts.

For our new International MBA, I'd pick Isla Fisher or Amy Adams.

For my fellow Mrs. Smith, Katherine Heigl or January Jones from Mad Men.
For Georgia's newest resident, Rachel McAdams or Mandy Moore

For the newlywed formerly known as K. Jo: Reese Witherspoon, just as she predicted, or Jessica Simpson circa 2004. With a little acting talent mixed in for the former Mrs. Lachey, bless her heart.

As for me? The only person I can come up with is Anne Hathaway, for obvious dark hair/dark eyes and insanely fair skin reasons. Also, I think she's all-around amazing. Any other suggestions?

Comment and I'll tell you who should play you...because I probably know best anyway. xo

Anne circa 1999 would be squealing right now

Stevie Nicks covers and pays tribute to a certain David John Matthews. Watch here.

July 24, 2008

What's that you say??


Many of you may not have been exposed to the sheer kinetic joy of graduate school ballet class and the accompanying addiction to the movie Center Stage, as my lovely friend Kristen and I were.

If not, you may not have been infected with delightful but relentless ear candy that is Jamiroquai's song. I'm not going to give you the title quite yet, because I want you to watch this clip with an open mind.

You've got what in your heels, Jamiroquai?? (Listen for yourself by skipping ahead to 6:40. Better yet, enjoy the whole performance but listen carefully towards the end.)

Center Stage - Final Dance Scene

So these gorgeous, talented and exuberant young dancers are expressing themselves onstage in a piece that represents the culmination of their rigorous years of training. The song suits the scene perfectly, and it's an iTunes favorite when I'm on the treadmill. (Or trying to get motivated to drive to the gym.)

In the years since I first bought a ticket to see this gem on the silver screen - the better part of decade for those who are counting - I have been singing the song with the wrong lyrics!

Last week this song was featured on my all-time favorite reality show, So You Think You Can Dance, which lists song titles and artists on-screen at the start of each routine. I was shocked to determine that Jamiroquai does not, as I had so long believed, have candy in his heels.
What does he have? Canned heat.

Every time I listen to it now, it becomes clearer and clearer. But for those ten thousand Center Stage viewings of old, I was singing the wrong words with more enthusiasm than I could muster for just about any movie or song these days. Kind of embarassing to think about.

Add in the leotards and tights we wore and the jelly beans we snacked on, and my co-ballet felon (thus named because we were known to skip class to watch this movie) Kristen and I were probably quite a sight. I still love us, though.

(Let me digress to say that I've got to find the pictures of us teaching Bradley the proper first, second and third positions at a cook-out in Columbia. The boy has awful turn-out, let me tell you - and I'm one to talk.)

I've heard examples of the "classic" misheard lyrics like there's a "bathroom on the right" instead of "bad moon on the rise" but I'm interested to see if y'all have any similarly embarassing slips you'd like to share.

The more public, the better - I just admitted that we wore black leotards and pink tights over the age of 21, y'all. (And I think even 8 is pushing the cute factor on that particular ensemble...)

Happy Thursday!

Summering en France


Six years ago this very month I was in Paris enjoying the festivities of Bastille Day, celebrating Lance Armstrong's Tour de France victory and reveling in the fabulousness of youth in general.

Alas, I will not be summering in Europe again any time soon.

I don't need an exotic or life-changing summer away to enjoy the year's warmer months. In truth, I'm just as happy under a beach umbrella or on a dock with a tall glass of something cool and delicious, a good book and some SPF 45.

Since I can't be in any of those places (or even in sunshine) at the moment, let's take a quick mental vacay...
What has been your favorite summer trip? Are you planning any for the remainder of this summer?

More to the point - can I join you?

Southern Belle becomes Broadway's Elle!


MTV's reality show search for a fresh face to play Elle Woods on Broadway has ended spectacularly! Hometown girl Bailey Hanks of Anderson is headlining Legally Blonde on Broadway after winning the part this spring. (The finale aired Monday, July 21st.) I have to say I have been rooting for her from week one and was over the moon to learn that she won!

Bailey's first show was a matinee yesterday, Wednesday the 23rd, and her reviews are trickling in. What's more - her first single on iTunes is a huge success on the charts and has caused a renewed interest in all things Legally Blonde.
For those of you who didn't DVR the musical when it aired on MTV and watch it ten thousand times, as I did, let me tell you that Ms. Hanks has big shoes to fill. Laura Bell Bundy (below) doesn't just have an adorable name - she is a triple-threat powerhouse of a leading lady. Tuesday's shows were her last with Legally Blonde, after 491 shows (8 a week!) since the show opened last spring. Laura Bell is now off to record another country album in Nashville. I expect big things from her in the very near future!


Bailey, in the meantime, may well be the happiest 20-year-old on Earth. The daughter of an Upstate pastor, she is a Westside High School graduate and former Coastal Carolina student. From the perfect hair and the pink VW Bug to the big voice and super-precise dance moves - Bailey's got it all.

For a taste of Bailey's personality and talents, take a peek at her Fox NY appearance this morning, where she performed "So Much Better", her skyrocketing single from the musical. See a few more pictures of her with Broadway's Bruiser and learn more about the competition here.

For those of you interested in what the three others (Lauren, Rhiannon and Autumn) in the competition's final round are up to, you can read more about their new Broadway roles here.

I hope I get a chance to see Bailey as Elle Woods myself! In the meantime, book your own trip and be proud of a Carolina girl. (And go listen to the music on iTunes - fight the urge to sing along!)

Apple and Moses have nothing on this one

New Zealand judge backs girl over 'embarassing name'

CNN) -- A New Zealand judge has made a 9-year-old girl a ward of the court so that her name can be changed from Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii, the country's national news agency reported Thursday.

Family Court Judge Rob Murfitt listed a series of unusual names that New Zealand parents had given their children, and said he was concerned that such strange monikers would create hurdles for them as they grew up.

"It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap," the New Zealand
Press Association quoted the judge as saying.

Among the names Murfitt cited: twins named Benson and Hedges -- after a brand of cigarettes; Violence; and Number 16 Bus Shelter.

Some parents had named children after six-cylinder Ford cars, the news agency reported.
The Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages said in a statement that it had rejected names including Fish and Chips, Yeah Detroit, Stallion, Twisty Poi -- a staple food in Polynesian cuisine -- and Sex Fruit.

A lawyer for Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii said the girl is so embarrassed by her name that friends know her as "K."

Last month, an judge in the U.S. state of Illinois allowed a school bus driver to legally change his first name to "In God" and his last name to "We Trust."

But an appeals court in the state of New Mexico ruled against a man -- named Variable -- who wanted to change his name to a two-word phrase that contains a four-letter expletive and expresses opposition to censorship.
(courtesy of CNN)


So what do we think? Where does one draw the line? Anne is as simple as they come, but we've all heard of Shythead (Shy-theed), Iwana Guess, Lemonjello and Orangejello, My'Angel My'Destiny, and the list goes on.

Should courts be allowed to censor parents' naming rights?

Silent? Who, me??

Sorry for the flat-line lately! I promise I'll be catching you up on all the craziness of the last week...

Posts to come:
-our first anniversary!!
-my upcoming birthday and lake weekend
-misheard lyrics (for yeeeears!)
-a Carolina girl goes to Broadway as Elle Woods!
-the unbearable whiteness of being (that's right - I'm excessively pale)
-dog friendly vacations
-I think I killed a squirrel!
-the blogs we visit daily

I promise to fill everyone in shortly...I've missed y'all!

In the meantime, go look at adorable Maggie. I dare you not to smile!

July 16, 2008

This woman will be 63 next weekend...


Holy gym membership, Helen Mirren!!

I can't even talk about it. I'm so flabbergasted that I'm turning off dinner and going to do a few thousand crunches.

In the meantime, enjoy some wise and witty commentary from the Fug girls as well as a British piece about Helen's bikini starting a revolution. Or at least changing the way we look at aging.

Two thumbs up for confidence... And big high fives to whomever gave the Oscar-winning Ms. Mirren her fantabulous genes.

Choreographer Mia Michaels would say this is banoodles - and she'd be right.

July 14, 2008

Brangelina's Brood Expands

Welcome to the world, Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline!

That brings the Jolie-Pitt brood to six children, split right down the middle by gender. According to CNN, the two most attractive actors on Earth, as voted recently in a People survey, have children of the following ages:

Maddox, 6
Pax, 4
Zahara, 3
Shiloh, 2
Knox and Vivienne - newborns

Wow. That's a lot of diapers, tiny socks, toys with itty-bitty parts and picky eaters. And I thought one laundry-hungry lab was a lot to handle!

Anyone want to estimate how much the golden twins' photos will garner? If memory serves, People got the rights to baby Shiloh's photos for a few million - all of which went to charity.

P.S. I got one out of four names right - wahoo for Marcheline! Sorry, Jennifer, but nary a GrapeNut in the bunch.

July 9, 2008

Thank you, Mr. Postman

I thought yesterday was a great mail day - and we all know how much I love mail. Seriously, it makes my life. Started in college, has grown into an obsession. I have to believe that's where my stationery and correspondence addiction is rooted: I send everyone cards for any conceivable number of reasons, all because I know how fabulous it feels to have something tumble out of the mailbox besides a bill.

Opening today's mailbox was like hitting the jackpot - and doing it all while on the phone with my adorable Erin after many missed calls was even better!

Contents of Anne's mailbox:
-Oprah magazine
-Charleston magazine
-Town and Country magazine
-Themis (What publication operates under such a trendy title? That would be Zeta's national magazine. ZLAM it up!)
-Nordstrom's sale catalog
-eBay package

Yesterday's adorable party invitation and love note from a friend pale in comparison to the fifteen pounds of pure love I carted up the driveway. Sigh. You know it's been a long week when it's only Wednesday and this is what thrills you!

Enough chatting - I'm off to write a thank you note.

July 7, 2008

Sunday, lovely Sunday...

Okay, that's not how the song goes - but for the sake of the latest celebrity baby, I am changing the lyrics for a moment. Nicole Kidman and her husband Keith Urban have just welcomed a baby girl who will be taunted enough on the playground without my virtual help.

Welcome to the world, little Sunday Rose Kidman Urban! My cube neighbor Jennifer believes you will undoubtedly be joined by a sister in the coming years to share your crazy name pattern. Tuesday Lily Kidman Urban has a lovely ring to it.

On that note, with Brangelina's babies on deck next, let's make some predictions.

Jennifer predicts Jacques Cousteau and Guadalajara Domingo. (Domingo is Sunday in Spanish.) She has reserved Panda GrapeNut for her own future offspring.

With siblings named Maddox Chivan, Pax Thien, Shiloh Nouvel and Zahara Marley, I predict the newest additions to the Jolie-Pitt brood will be Scheherazade Solstice and Marcheline Aurora. Marcheline was Angelina's mother, who passed away in recent years, though apparently she had changed her own name from Marcia Lynne to Marcheline. Way more cosmopolitan.

They should mix in another last name for these two as well - perhaps to reflect Angelina's birth name. (As the daughter of Jon Voight, she was born Angelina Jolie Voight.) So I'm putting my invisible money on Scheherazade Solstice Voight-Jolie-Pitt and Marcheline Aurora Voight-Jolie-Pitt.

If they're bright children and well-tutored, they should be able to spell their full names by sophomore year of college, for sure. Thank goodness they'll be gorgeous!

What are your predictions for the Brangelina babies?
(Ashlee Simpson Wentz is bound to make a timeless name choice as well. If only Paris Hilton would have a baby...wouldn't that be some tabloid name fodder?)

July 3, 2008

Fireworks and flags

Happy 4th of July, beautiful ladies!! (You too, Dad and Bradley.)

Please have a safe and fabulous holiday weekend and wave a sparkler for me. (I'm terrified of sparklers - fear of frying my fingers, I suppose. That's another story for another day...)

While we're on the subject, an expression I read once has stuck with me because it's so true: You're all sparkles in my life. No cheese - just fact. I appreciate the friendships you've given me this year and always. What would I without you?

I'll be thinking of everyone from the lake this weekend, where Bradley, Blue and I will be enjoying some family time and long-awaited R&R. The SPF is about all we've packed...and the most essential item besides my summer reading and my two guys.

Call me, text me, or leave a comment and tell me what you're up to for the 4th. Let's go celebrate our independence, y'all!

"It is for freedom that we have been set free."
-Galatians 5:1

xoxo,
A.

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