Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Ok, so I feel a little guilty posting about MY birthday, when I so conveniently skipped over Daron's birthday. I just had so much to post at that time, that it sort of slipped by. So yeah, yesterday was my birthday. I'm not going to tell you how old I am, because I feel practically decrepit. Here's a hint for you: My senior year of High School, the #1 song was "More Than Words" by Extreme. Yeah, go Google that. No, no... I'll wait...... So now that you know how old I am, I'll tell you that the birthday day was nothing special. Why? Because I did the grown-up thing, and went to work. Now, I know people that don't work on their birthday, and that's a personal choice. I just know that I need to save my days for really important things, like cross-country concerts, vacations, etc. I will tell you one thing that surprised me, and made me feel really good- the SHEER NUMBER of people that posted Birthday messages on my Facebook page. If you don't believe me, go check it out. But only if you're my friend and can see my page. If you're not my facebook friend, then it's a little awkward that you're reading this.

Here is a picture of my two very most favorite North Carolina nieces. The awesome Alexis, and the darling Olivia. See Olivia's face? She's still a little bummed because her campaign for an IPOD touch was (again) an epic failure. Her disappointment was apparent to everyone; even the soft red glow of the Target sign couldn't hide it. I tried to make her feel better by telling her that even with a full-time job, I couldn't afford the IPOD touch that I want, but it fell on deaf ears. I may not have gotten an IPOD touch, but that IS a fabulous new Coach bag on my arm. (Thanks for noticing!) My very generous husband and BFF/SIL Sherri, made sure that my birthday was a great one by giving me this lovely gem of a bag. Jealous much? You should be.

To cap off a lovely day, we met our friends at Coldstone for some birthday ice cream. Coldstone is as delicious as it is overpriced. Sort of like Coach bags, but whatever. Sarah and Jon, Rebecca and Mark, Daron, Sherri, Jenny, and Sofia were all there. It was a lovely night to sit out on the patio, and have a bunch of laughs with some really great friends. They even sang loudly enough to embarrass the crud out of me. Thanks for that, guys.

I guess the bottom line is this: Birthdays come and go. We get older, we get a little slower, the clothes fit a little tighter. But I've discovered that the friendships are sweeter, the laughs are deeper, and the memories are more precious. We appreciate more, we forgive easier, we love deeper. My 20's were more fun than I can ever tell you. My 30's have surpassed them, with fun to spare. Thank you to everyone, my friends and family, that have made each year better than the next!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Global Warming? ...Naaa, it's just the Barnes Family

Global warming has a devastating effect on marine life. But global warming is nothing compared to the crimes against nature that were committed at Shucker's Oyster Bar last night. The Barnes family descended on aforementioned oyster bar, and proceeded to decimate entire populations of shrimp, crabs, oysters, and calamari. (If there's a mini-corndog population out there, then the Barnes boys probably took care of that one as well...)
Daron and I had our 7th wedding anniversary yesterday, and the whole family helped us celebrate. People were surprised that we would have our entire family come eat dinner with us, but I think it's oddly appropriate. These are the people (along with MY family) that I will be spending eternity with, so I better like hanging out with them. When I married Daron, I married into the whole Barnes experience, and all the madness and calamity that comes with it. Needless to say, it's been the best (and most fun) 7 years of my whole life.

Let's get back to my favorite part: CRAB LEGS. I spend the better part of yesterday dreaming of crab legs, and waffling back and forth- should I get 1 lb? 1.5lbs? Start with two orders of .5lbs? Ask for another .5lb if I still have room? These are the important questions you MUST have ironed out ahead of time. Plus, I've got to support my boys on the Northwestern, so that they will continue to provide me many more seasons of Deadliest Catch entertainment.

If you don't think that I'm serious, this IS a photo of the Northwestern from one of my trips to Seattle. Yes, I saw it in person. And YES, it was awesome.

Ok, let's get back to the reason for this post. Our anniversary. We're not big on public displays, or general shmoopyness. But I will say this: Daron has made me laugh every single day of the last 7 years. He's my best friend, and the first one I want to tell everything to. Thanks for picking me out of a crowd of very lovely girls. As my old hairdresser "Big Rose" used to say... "you gotta take a CHANCE on love!" We sure did, and man did we hit the jackpot!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dog Ramblings

Dear Mom and Dad,

Just a quick post to let you know that I’m glad you let me come to live with you. Six years ago this summer I was born, and came to live at the Hacienda. You found me at the flea market, and Mom said I was the cutest one. I heard her say it! When Mom says that “puppy picked us,” it’s true. And Dad, I’ve heard you say that you got totally ripped off that day, but it’s not true! I was a total bargain. Think of all the love and home defense I’ve provided over the years. Yes, I know that I have my moments. I can’t help myself from eating the wild onions that grow in the backyard, and give me horrendous and uncontrollable gas. And you know that it’s my duty to bark, even though the doorbell is only on TV. Yes, I do know that I have a habit of “leaving my mark” on totally inappropriate places. (Like Dad’s garage). I only do it to teach you a lesson. The lesson that, “ I will not be ignored!” Wow, that was very Glenn Close/Fatal Attraction of me, but you know what I mean. I appreciate that mom leaves the TV on for me, so I don’t get lonely downstairs. I also know that the endless supply of cookies, and chewies, and snacks have made me obese, and that Mom loves me anyway. More belly to scratch, right? BTW, that wasn’t cool that the vet called me “Fatty McGee.” Not cool at all.

Dad, I know you care deep down. Every time you call me “Fats” or “Tubby” or “Stinkzor” that you really like me. You wouldn’t bounce that ball that practically gives me a seizure if you didn’t! Unless you ARE trying to give me a seizure… but I’m going to take the high road, and insist that both my parents love me. But most especially, mom. So thanks for all the good times…

Peace out people. These squirrels aren’t going to chase themselves.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Coldplay Concert.. (Or Wild Kingdom Part Two)

Last night Daron and I went to the Coldplay concert here in Raleigh. Let me just say that they were PHENOMENAL. I really love concerts, and really love music, and these guys are just almost at the top of my list for seeing live (RUSH and Pink Floyd have them beat, but that just goes without saying.) I LOVE LOVE LOVE Coldplay, and am silently wondering why I let myself be convinced that lawn seats would be ok. After all, when we saw them in 2005, we had lawn seats. We had a great time... That's where Daron's and my "song" became "our song." Great memories of that night. (No, I'm not telling you which song.)
So... that being said, how does this:

Become THIS:
An excellent question, and one I'm not able to answer. I suspect it involved large quantities of intoxicating substances, both imbibed and inhaled. The average demographic involved here was 21 (barely) and caucasian. I will say this though, everyone was having a ball. The crowd energy was fantastic. Everyone was dancing and singing, and just having a good time.

So yeah, while I love the crowd, it's getting a bit overwhelming. I think I'm going to spring for real seats when Coldplay comes back around again.

Because this:
...Is simply too far away!! One cool thing about the show, the band actually ventured out into the lawn seats, and played two songs! I'm sure the seat holders were cheesed, but it was cool for the rest of us. However, venturing out into the cheap seats is a sure-fire way to cause pandemonium and/or stampede. They got about a hundred feet away from our position, but we didn't dare move closer. It was just too crazy. So here what that looked like from our spot:

Pretty cool! So all in all, a great show. At the end, they were even gracious enough to give everyone a FREE CD when leaving the show. 20,000 people, and a free CD. It's 9 live songs taken from one of their previous Viva shows, and super cool. Man, I love these guys. If you haven't seen them live, GO!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wild Kingdom

Monday, 9:45PM: Sherri drops me off from an evening of important errands. TJMaxx, Ross, BedBathBeyond, etc. Got a cute apron (so domestic of me), a paper towel holder (really? I made it 36 years w/o a paper towel holder?), and this little metal thing that you wash your hands with that takes the garlic/fish/onion smells off your hands. (Pure genius!) But that’s another post. Or another blog. Maybe I need a shopping blog… But back to the story…

Monday, 10:00PM: Frantic call from Sherri.

“Daron, there is a BAT in my DINING ROOM, and you need to get over here NOWWW…” I asked her if she sang “Born Free” to it, but she didn’t think that was very funny. At all.

Monday, 10:15PM: Daron and I walk into Sherri’s living room with fishing net in hand. She’s perched on the couch, like the bat is going to nibble her toes or something, and has complete line-of-sight with the perpetrating bat in the dining room. She’s holding her defensive weapon of choice (broom),and is ready for combat. But only if assaulted.

“Daron, it only takes SEVEN minutes to get here on 540, and it took you TWELVE!! Where were you!!???” Daron shakes head. It takes inner strength to be brow-beaten by TWO bossy women in your life.

Daron and I head into the dining room, were we find the most adorable little brown bat all snuggled in for the night in Sherri’s curtains. I’m ready to take his close-up, when Daron informs me that he’s “had shots for this” and I hadn’t. Good point. I back off to a respectable distance, and begin to document the removal. Which took all of 3 minutes. A less competent Wildlife Biologist might have taken at least seven, but this man is an expert at his craft!

I always thought bats were squeakers, but this one was ANGRY. He sounded like hissing cat. I get crabby when people wake me up, and this bat was no exception. Daron expertly gets him out the front door, partially in a shoebox, where he intends to set him free to the night air. He’s intent on going, so I only had a split second to take his picture before he took flight.

The night wouldn’t have been complete without an exhaustive, but reassuring search through the attic, which thankfully and predictably produced nothing. Poor Sherri. She still didn’t sleep a wink that night…