Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blog #72: Boys like Freckles: beauty and love advice from an 8 year old.

At the camp I helped at a couple weeks ago, I had this conversation with a little 8 year old girl. I'm not entirely sure how the subject came up, but the part I remember is the interesting part and the one most relevant anyway. She was talking about her many "boyfriends" and then said this: "boys like girls with freckles." I looked at this fair skinned, freckle-less, pretty little girl and said, "but YOU don't have freckles." She responded "I don't have any problem getting boyfriends."

(Note: she was speaking of whatever an 8 year old's notion of a boyfriend is... there was nothing age inappropriate going on.)

(Though, it still catches me off guard because I didn't even notice boys until I was about 10... and never called anyone boyfriend until well after high school. I'm what one might call a "late bloomer." I think I only stopped playing with Barbies because I thought the other high schoolers would make fun of me if they knew.)

Moving on.

She continued, "I have, like, 4 boyfriends." I responded, "Man, Jill*, I need you to give me dating advice." Her response? "Get a lot of freckles!" (I didn't start over with the "but you don't have freckles!" routine again. I could see it was a fruitless path.)

Life is simpler for an 8 year old, most of the time.

I'm just glad I'm starting to get more freckles.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Blog #71: Now I know my ABC's

It's Monday and I have very few creative juices running through my brain at the moment. So, I'm going to borrow a fun little alphabet quiz from one of my favorite blogs, Health For the Whole Self, and call it good.

A is for Age: I'm 26. I was very excited to turn 26 last year because it seemed like the perfect age to me. It's grown up to the point where I start being seen as more sophisticated and mature but still young enough to be cool. I'm not sure how I feel about #27 coming up in October.

B is for Bed Size: When I moved into my apartment last year I made the very grown up purchase of a queen sized pillow top bed. It is glorious. Before that I'd had the same twin size daybed since I was 12 and it was actually just 2 mattresses on my floor at my duplex because when I'd moved there my stepdad forgot to bring the whole frame.

C is for cookie. That's good enough for me. It's also for "Chores you hate": I hate pretty much every chore except for mopping. For some reason, I really don't mind mopping. My loathing of chores is evidenced by the current atrocious state of my apartment. I'll suck it up and get it done soon though. I hate doing chores, but I love a clean living space.

D is for Dad's name: This is fitting, as Fathers' Day was yesterday. I'm lucky enough to have 2 amazing fathers in my life. My dad's name is Tim & my step dad is Terry. I'm blessed to have each of them.

E is for essential start to your day: Coffee is cliche but that is my answer. I don't have any until I get to work and use the Keurig though. One might argue that even though I've been up until then, I'm not really awake.

F is for favorite actress or actor: My favorites shift depending on what shows and movies I've most recently seen or obsessed over. I spent the weekend watching a lot of Gilmore Girls so I'll go with Lauren Graham for actress.. As far as actors go, George Clooney is a good pick.

G is for Gold or Silver: I like white gold for my fine jewelry (like my opal ring and cross necklace) but I have fun with yellow gold for fashion.

H is for Height: I'm 5'4. Technically I'm 5'3 and like 3/4 inch but my doctor lets me round up at my annual appointment. I appreciate that.

I is for Instruments: I took violin and piano lessons growing up but I didn't listen to my mom and quit them both by 8th grade. I wish I hadn't, especially with piano. I was in choir too. I still love to sing and am not a great talent, but I'm okay at it.

J is for Job Title: Executive Assistant to the CEO, Student Therapist, and Commissioner of the Super Uber World Series of Shuffleboard (at the office.)

K is for kids: I have 3 nephews who I love so dearly. I will make a fool of myself without hesitation to make a baby smile or laugh. So, yes, someday I'd like some of my own.

L is for Living arrangements: 1 bedroom apartment for now. I'm considering moving to Austin after I graduate with my Masters at which point I will likely be with my parents for a bit and then with a roommate.

M is for Mom's name: just as I am doubly blessed in the father arena, I'm lucky to have to mother figures in my life as well. My mom is Kari and I've been told on numerous occasion that I am just like her. It's a compliment. My stepmom is Tricia.

N is for Nicknames: Riss, Rissy, Risser, Mariss, and my camp name: Myrtle

O is for overnight stays in the hospital other than birth: I was 6 weeks premature so I had to stay a week in an incubator but I've had no health or injury issues other than that. Lucky me!

P is for Pet Peeves: shorthand grammar, unnecessary repetitive noises (especially lip smacking, knuckle popping, drumming on surfaces, etc)

Q is for Quotes you like, "Someday you will miss today" (from Stuff No One Told Me)

R is for right or left handed: I've always been a righty, though my desire to be different makes me wish otherwise.

S is for Siblings: I have a bucketload. On mom's side: an older sister, 2 older brothers, and 2 younger sisters. On Dad's side: a younger brother and a younger sister. Peppered amongst those are a couple of sisters in law and a few nephews.

T is for Time you wake up: My alarm clock goes off at 5am on weekdays but I don't get out of bed until around 6. On weekends I get up around 8 or 8:30.

Apparently we're skipping U.

V is for vegetable you dislike: asparagus. and peas.

W is for ways you run late: I'm actually very rarely late. I'm sometimes later than I'd like to be but still early for work or class. If I'm running late I probably didn't want to get out of bed or couldn't find my car keys.

X is for X Rays you've had: I think just teeth.

Y is for yummy food you make: I think we all know that I am the queen of delicious cookies.

Z is for Zodiac: I'm a Libra, unless that thing from a few months ago means I'm a virgo or something. I don't know. I only ever read horoscopes when I would get my monthly fashion magazines... and now I barely even ever have time to read those.

That's a wrap, folks.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Blog #70: Some stuff I found

I think Fridays are always going to be link days. Because I can.

Audi over at Fashion for Nerds has a great post on her take on how the wives of high profile men are perceived in scandal.

Cake Wrecks makes me crinaugh. That's a combination of cringing and laughing.

Last night I discovered Stam Chocolaterie over at Zona Rosa in KC. Rich, fresh chocolate and tangy to-die-for pink grapefruit gelato, yes please.

I love groupon, and awhile back I got one for Old Navy. I used it on this dress which is only available in XL online. The store I got it at only had XS and L and I am typically a small... but thankfully ON runs a tad big and I was able to get it because I had been salivating over it for weeks and my groupon allowed me to pay $15 instead of $35 on it. Score! It was a great purchase too... resulting in 2 compliments at work, a huge smile/hello from a handsome young stranger on the street at Zona, and a random girl stopping me to tell me she thought I was really pretty. I'll be wearing it again SOON.

I feel like I need one more thing to make it a good solid 5. One of my favorite blogs lately has been Yes & Yes. It's all about lifestyle, culture, and travel. Plus, she posts the best links. Check it out.

Get down on Friday. And totes choose the front seat. It's obvi better than the back and safer than sitting on top of the seats of a convertible on the highway with your friend by your right.  Also, buckle up.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Blog #69: Don't be a perv.

Country music singers are the most classically physically attractive people in music.

Granted, I still have a huge thing for the bleeding heart, raw, intellectually driven lyrics sung by bands like Brand New, The Decemberists, and The  Airborne Toxic Event and the raw emotion and authenticity they reveal in performing those lyrics makes them hot enough for me to melt. They are bad boy hot, which let's be honest, I do have a weak spot for when it comes to celebrities and/or fictional characters. I was a HUGE Jess supporter back in the days of Gilmore Girls. If you don't get that reference, talk to me after you watch all 7 seasons. Or at least seasons 2 & 3.

However, when talking pure, physical, classic aesthetics? The rugged "this is 'Merica" look wins. Maybe they just seem more like real guys that I might run into in my day to day life. Maybe it's the huntin' fishin' manly man lifestyle. I don't know what it is, but something about the males in the country music industry is just really attractive to me. Let's just look at the men (because if I look at too many pictures of Carrie Underwood I'll lose hope for my future. Who is allowed to be that pretty AND that talented?)

Exhibit A: Josh Turner

Exhibit B: Billy Currington

Exhibit C: Chris Young

Exhibit D: Heck, even Tim McGraw

Exhibit E: Of course, no ode to the males of country music is complete without my first childhood crush who's mullet needs no introduction. (This is only half a joke. Hair is easily fixable.)

Fine. for any male that is still reading, I'll be fair. I present, Carrie Underwood.

Sigh. I rest my case.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blog #68: Starved for your attention

Okay, I just had this whole semi-whiny post written about how I feel like I need more friends around me and activities planned for the massive (and by massive I mean minimal) amount of downtime I have. But then, as I was playing a word on Hanging With Friends while simultaneously reading some of my favorite fashion blogs and updating my boss's calendar, I was suddenly struck with how much I love nachos.

Yes, nachos. Tortilla chips in all their cheesy, jalapeno, guacamole glory.  Weird, right? I just, really love nachos. I want some right now. It's now all I can think about. Why I can't be obsessed with something much healthier for me like carrots or bananas, I'll never know.  The google image search I did to be able to provide you with that photo only added gasoline to the fire that is this nacho craving. Now instead of feeling sorry for myself due to lack of social life, I feel sorry for myself due to lack of nachos.

Does anyone else have this problem? Just me?

photo via

Monday, June 13, 2011

Blog #67: Monday Adventures

This morning, after I  somehow some way managed to pry myself from my bed, I went into the bathroom to begin the process that is my morning grooming. I used an Oil of Olay face wipe because I was bad last night and didn't wash my face. After a once over, I was sure that I'd somehow streaked mascara or eyeliner under my eye. I wiped at it for a few seconds before I realized...

There wasn't anything on my face. My undereye circles have reached a new level of intensity. If at 26 I manage to look like someone punched me right in the face after a weekend of playing with kids and petting therapy dogs, I'm going to need to invest in some serious cucumber slices or I will look like the Angel of Death by the time I'm 40.

So this is the kind of Monday it's going to be.

I slept in too late to engage in any sort of hair washing or styling so I ran a brush through it and called it good. I wanted to wear jeans but I have clients after work so instead I grabbed a pair of drawstring corduroy cropped pants I've had since high school. They are technically too big for me. I can tell that it's a size issue and not just the way they're supposed to fit because I have to pull the drawstring to its tightest to get them to stay around my hips and the fabric gets all bunchy. It's incredibly sexy.

From bed to door this morning was right at about 15 minutes - and I didn't even have my outfit laid out in advance. That is, if you can call shapeless pants and a black tshirt an outfit. Thankfully red shoes are easy additions as well as my glasses, a bright cardigan and a necklace so I can kind of pretend that I'm very put together when really I know that I'm really just a slob today.Bonus, the glasses help cover up my death eyes. There's also  good chance that I still smell slightly like bug spray from the bath I took in it prior to my last day at Camp Erin yesterday. My diligence paid off. I had zero ticks and only one bug bite.

I have some random bruises on my legs causing me discomfort. One is a recurring bruise from when I reach into my car to get something from the passenger side and the door swings shut on my shin. This happens about once a week. The other bruise is on my ankle from when I dropped a jar of jalepenos on myself. There are several others that are unidentifiable. It's an occupational hazard of having a high tolerance for pain but being an easy bruiser. I suppose it's my cross to bear.

Look at me! Exhaustion, bruises, undereye circles. Pull yourself together, Marissa!

I know this already got really long and sounded like an old lady but I did want to very quickly mention that The King and I at Starlight was delightful! Ash & I had a delicious dinner with some yummy drinks (sangria for me, virgin sangria for her and little Smith), and great conversation. And I know you're all wondering, and yes, I did cry like a baby at the end of the show. It was a very emotional weekend. Oh, who am I kidding. I would have cried anyway.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Blog #66: One with lots of links.

It's Friday. (Couldn't resist. Sorry.)

It's a dreary and rainy morning and I FINALLY am listening to the new Bon Iver via NPR. Perfection. I will not go into too much depth for the following reasons: 1. I still have about 3 minutes to go before I finish the album for the first time and 2. I have only very recently showered rapturous praise on The Airborne Toxic Event (here and here)and I don't want you thinking that I'm easy to please.

(Sometimes I am.)

Suffice it to say that Bon Iver not only lived up the the beauty and excellence of his first album, he darn well may have surpassed it. I can't wait to purchase it when it comes out for real on June 21st so that I can listen to it in tandem with his first album in order to get a better overall conceptual picture of him as an artist. (Sorry if that made me sound insufferable.)

This weekend I'm headed to help out at Camp Erin in order to 1. give back to the community while 2. logging lots of Solace House internship hours. It's going to be emotionally and physically draining but I am rewarding myself by having a dinner & musical date Sunday with Ashleigh!

 I'm ridiculously excited for that because I haven't seen her in WAY too long. We'll be having our traditional GNO dinner (minus drinks because A. It's a Sunday evening outing and B. alcohol + pregnancy doesn't mix. Oh, and it's Ash that's preggers. Not me. Don't worry.) and then heading out to Starlight to see The King & I! It will be a perfect way to let loose a little and decompress after a demanding weekend so that this Monday doesn't end up like last Monday. I have season tickets to Starlight this summer - a Christmas gift from my boss. So, I'll get to see ALL of the musicals. I'm such a geek for that sort of thing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blog #65: Country Confession

It's definitely summer time. This is evidenced by my annual craving for country music and cold beer. I like country music just fine, but I never feel like listening to it until it gets good and hot outside. Then it's time to put on a pair of jean shorts, turn on "Fishin' In The Dark" by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (I DEFY you to name a more quintessential summer song), and crack open a cold Boulevard Wheat (Aw. I'll miss that about KC next year). The real start of summer is still a good 2 weeks away but Kansas City listens to no calendar. We didn't for Spring either. No sir, we carried winter through straight up until we were ready for it to be 95 degrees with a heat index of 100.

However, I am SO relieved to be done with the worst winter ever that I'm not even going to begin to whine about the heat. I am going to put on my green & white striped bikini and lay poolside with my iPod playing these country tunes and a cold beverage in my reach.*

Some Summer Country Tunes**
"Fishin' In The Dark" - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (again, will always be the quintessential summer song for me.)
"Wrong Baby Wrong Baby Wrong" - Martina Mcbride (need this right now.)
"Honeybee" - Blake Shelton (too sweet.)
"Hunt You Down" - JT Hodges (heard this for the first time on the radio today. way catchy.)
"Only Prettier" - Miranda Lambert (fun.)
"Six Pack Summer" - Phil Vassar (duh)
"Crazy Girl" - Eli Young Band (another sweet one.)
Pretty much anything by Zac Brown Band (my favorite country group due to their crazy talent and awesome lyrics) but for summer let's stick with "Toes", "Let it Go" and "Chicken Fried." Oh, and "As She's Walking Away." (though my 2 actual favorites by them are "Coldhearted" and "Colder Weather"
"Friends in Low Places" - Garth Brooks (only because they play it at pretty much every Royals game and what's more summer than going to a ball game?)
"Good Day to Run" - Darryl Worley
"Lover Lover" - Jarrod Nieman

Those are just some favorites, though I'm probably forgetting some. I go back and forth from my iPod to the XM country station right now.

That's all. Have a good Wednesday.

*That is, when I'm not working, spending weekends at my internship, or in weekend class, or helping out with other work/internship/family events. So basically, every now and then on a Sunday afternoon.

**You can judge me for liking a little country music all you want. I'm still going to like it WHILE loving Arcade Fire, The National, The  Airborne Toxic Event, Something Corporate, etc... I like what I like. Deal.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blog #64: on taking my own advice

I went home sad from work yesterday. Not sick, sad. Though, being sad is kind of like being sick. I'd rather not get into all the pieces of whatever it was that had me down. Suffice it to say that I'm GREAT at telling other people to work through their difficult emotions when they happen rather than distracting themselves thus causing a huge build up only to lead to an inevitable meltdown 4 months down the road but I am not so great at doing the same thing for myself. Yes, that was one very long sentence. I am basically a super ball. You know, those bouncy balls you got from the quarter machines at the pizza place. When I meltdown, it happens fast and I hit hard, but I bounce back super quickly only for gravity to take its toll again. I'm fine now.

The main culprit is all the time I had the last couple of weeks due to unexpected client cancellations every day. Thankfully, from this moment forward my time and brain energy are pretty much spoken for until... next weekend. Not this weekend. From Friday to Sunday this weekend I will be at Camp Erin for Solace House playing with kids and therapy dogs. Today is "cheer myself back up day" and started with a double dose of caffeine (thanks, Snapple Diet Iced Raspberry Tea AND my office Keurig coffee!) and then I had some powdered donettes. I didn't look at the nutrition facts because, well, it's better that way. I'm not even sure they are edible but man are they delicious.

Don't worry. I won't ignore my brain/body when it tells me I need to take a break to be sad anymore. I'll just do it in a way that doesn't involve needing to go home from work because I can't show up to my internship with swollen/puffy eyes because it's a grief counseling center and I'm supposed to be the one doing the counseling.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Blog #63: Free Food Friday

I haven't paid a dime yet for the special treats I've gotten to enjoy today, and it will only continue. By some stroke of luck, there were bagels being passed around the office right around brunch time, so my boss and I split one. I could have eaten a whole one on my own but we were going easy on it because it was almost time for our PIZZA lunch. My boss bought all of us in the management section pizza from D'Bronx and it was glorious. Later this evening the BFF and I are being treated to the Frank White Lounge at the Royals game (also c/o my boss) where food and drinks flow free and in abundance. We're talking some pretty delicious nachos. Plus, food ALWAYS tastes better when 1. someone else makes it and 2. you don't have to pay for it. Using that logic, today is delicious.

I had to go to pick up supplies today for our company softball team. I might occasionally go watch them play but I am refusing to pick up anymore consistent time obligations. Just say no, Marissa. Anyhow, so I go to Dick's because it seemed like the logical choice only to find that the cheapest adult slow pitch softball bat they carried was $90. Granted, it's not my money but keep in mind this is for a team that didn't win a single game last year. We're hardly serious enough about softball to spend $90 for a single bat. So, I left Dick's and faced the music.

 I was going to have to shop at Walmart.

Now, ordinarily I would just go to Target for this sort of thing, but I'd already taken the gamble to go the opposite direction to go to Dick's and now if I wanted to go to Target I would have to go all the way on the other side of the highway when there was a Walmart right on the way back to the office. I have been to this particular Walmart a few times, usually to pick up half and half on the way to work when we're running low. It's my unofficial duty. Every time, it's been an uncomfortable experience. I've found that there are exactly 3 Walmarts at which I've ever had a pleasant experience. The Walmart in Maryville, which duh - college town - was usually pretty hoppin' with my kind of people. The Walmart in Gardner was newer, clean, and very small town. Finally, the Walmart in Woodland Park, CO had just been built when I stayed out there in 2007 and it felt more like a Target to me. Compare that to the fact that I don't think there's a Target around at which I haven't had a positive experience. It's a completely different feel and clientele.

So there I am, at Walmart, picking out bats. There's this little girl yelling (literally, YELLING) "MAMMA! MAMMA! COME'ERE!" (disclaimer: this little girl was not lost. She knew where her mamma was. She wanted her to come see a toy she wanted.) Mamma did not respond. The little girl was persistent: "MAMMA! MAMMA! COME'ERE!" Then, her sister responded from the aisle "WHAT YOU WANT?" and the little girl adeptly answered "TELL MAMMA TO C'MERE!" Mamma was nearby the whole time and did nothing to respond to this situation.

 Now I practiced GREAT self restraint. There I was, right next to the baseball bats, holding one IN MY HANDS, but did I turn around and swing it full force at the little girl while yelling "SHUT UUUUUUUP!!!!"? No. Did I go on a hunt down the aisle that girls "mamma" was to give her a talking to about allowing her child to scream in public (while menacingly holding the baseball bat in a  threatening manner)? No. I simply got the softball supplies as quickly as I could and got the HELL out of there. I'm proud of myself.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blog #62: Gratuitous Adorableness

I'm fairly certain that everyone is tired of me showing off how cute my nephews are, but it's my blog and I'll brag if I want to. Let's start with the baby, because who doesn't want to look at pictures of an almost one year old cutie?

Oh,  Cole. This is from Monday. He was full of smiles for us, as evidenced by this picture and the one I posted on Tuesday of him being heart meltingly precious. In fact, all of the pictures I'm about to post of him are from Monday. What can I say? The camera loves him. What's that? You want to see more pictures of this adorable little guy? okay. I will glady appease your need.

This next one isn't the best shot of me but the baby is smiling and I am pretty proud of my floral shorts & striped top combination.
And now, not to neglect my other nephews, enjoy some more cuteness.
That's Ethan on the left and Nathan on the right. E is 10 and Naterator will be 7 this Saturday! We have good times.
This is me with Ethan on Mothers' Day. I don't get as many photo ops with him because he's usually out and about playing with Madi.
Here the boys are enjoying a walk and some sunflower seeds on one of the first nice days this spring.
Nathan has recently been visited by the tooth fairy, if you can't tell. Below is a picture of a bonus night I got to spend with him during the week (prebangs, obviously) when his brother was having some health problems.

And here is a really cute shot of me with the boys after church one Sunday. We'd been having a car dance party and then I got us all Sonic drinks.

Speaking of cute, and while I'm on a photo kick, enjoy some random shots from my iphone (some instagram app) with some of my favorite people. There are a couple of silly ones I took of myself because I just felt like it in the moment. Deal with it.

First, 3 fun pics of me with my BFF.

(St. Patrick's Day, if you couldn't tell by the green beer)

(Just a day out shopping)

(lunch for her last day of work)

Next, some family. I took my sister out for a special sister day a while back. We'd been to Granite City for brunch, then Charming Charlie and finally indulged in some Yogurtini. Good day!
Mother/daugher shot coming up!
(Mothers' Day Brunch)

And now a favorite cousin shot...

(Rachael... at my little sister's confirmation party)
Here's a pic from my visit to Washington to see my friend Amy!

My boss took me out for mexican and margaritas at lunch as an Adminstrative Professional's Day celebration. Who needs flowers when you have frozen strawberry margaritas and chips with salsa?
Next, you'll see me posing happily with my new iPad (and my "heartbreak dress" named so because of when I got it, although I do feel pretty fab and heartbreaker-esque when I wear it.)
I was trying to get a shot of the inside of the suite with me at a Royals game. No luck, but still fun. This was during the day on a Thursday. I love it when my job involves drinking free beer and eating free food in a luxury suite at a baseball game I got to go to for free.

And finally, this is fairly recent. After I first got my glasses I took a whole bunch of self portraits to get a feel for my look in them. On this day I was especially proud of my stripes/floral mix and accessorizing and I wanted to document it for posterity. Plus, I like to play with instagram when I get bored.

And that's all. Another long one but at least there were pictures, right?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blog #61: time after time

Sometimes I get frustrated that my internship takes so much of my time. Free time is not easy to come by for me these days and there are moments when I am pushed to the brink of tears because I want to go to a family gathering or spend time with friends but I can't because I have to see clients for my internship. Having so much of my time spoken for well in advance can be very discouraging at times. If this post were a drinking game, I'd take a shot every time (shot) I used the word time (shot). But it's not, because it's Wednesday  morning so settle down, you lush.

What I'm getting at here is that I made a commitment to getting my Master's degree that requires a sacrifice. For now it's not about what I want to do in the moment, but rather what I want to do with my life. I have to remind myself to think long term rather than short term. Even personal relationships must take a back seat to grad school, which I believe to be at least part of the factors in the loss of one of them. However, I am less than a year (7 months actually, if I were counting) from reaching my goal. Ultimately, that's what needs to be my priority right now. When I do graduate, I will get a whole new set of goals (licensure exam, move to Austin, job in the field, repay student loans) but for now I have one, and that is to graduate with a Master's degree and a cumulative 4.0 in graduate school.

This post was mostly a self reminder of why I do what I do. I'll come back and read it next time I have to turn down a weeknight or Saturday event because I'm working toward hours at my internship.