Friday, September 30, 2011

Three Little Birds


Who really knows what events in life will change you forever and who will be there to help you through them; sometimes, more than once. 

We were seven years old, standing in a circle holding hands with a group of girls, each taking a turn introducing ourselves,
all the while wearing big smiles excited about the week ahead.

I met Katie Minzey McCormick for the first time at Camp Eberhart in Three Rivers, Michigan with my twin sister, Vanessa, over 33 years ago.  We were cabin mates and became fast friends known that week as the Three Musketeers.

Contrary to what most people think...good things happen in three's. 

At the time, my impressions of Katie were that I loved her smile and her infectious personality.  We wanted to be around her and were drawn to her spirit.  She was so much fun and she seemed to understand us.  Two shy girl’s who looked alike, dressed alike, had the same mannerisms and yet were and are very different people.  We were inseparable and she created the yin to our double yang.  That element of balance that evened out our 'sameness.' She knew her way around the camp as if it were her second home, taking us under her wing.  Vanessa and I gravitated toward her and are forever grateful for that little oasis nestled on Corey Lake. 

Years went by and we reconnected in high school.  Pool rats that spent countless hours in the water; we were swimmers while Katie a diver.  All too often, we were reprimanded for making signs to communicate to one another from pool to diving well.  Logging so much time in the water, we wore little makeup and continue to find that a bohemian, laid back, natural style suits us all. 

While Vanessa chose IU, Katie and I became roommates at Butler University.  The beginning of a life changing and difficult journey for me as I lost my shadow and was thrust into individuality.  We sacrificed the security of duality to find the inevitable lone wolf lurking within each of us.  It was no longer, the twins, but Melissa.  Katie boarded the express train of comfort during a difficult first week with me constantly in tears afraid to find the courage to stand alone.  She assumed the role without hesitation and picked me up and gave me the backbone to be myself. 
As odd as it sounds while I spell out my personal experience, she may be hearing my feelings told out loud for the first time now. 
We pledged the same sorority and found that similar college lifestyle so many students do.  Four years of adventures, rotating sweat pants, Greek lettered sweatshirts, jeans, little to no makeup, spring breaks at the beach and an unforgettable journey. 

Four years quickly passed and after college I began to lead the life of a rolling stone collecting no moss.  Taking one opportunity after another and leading me to over seven states and countless cities; losing touch over the course of 17 years.
I kept a natural look favoring a modern meets haute-hippie-style.  I gravitated towards simple, clean lines, jeans, layers, sundresses and lots of jewelry. 
Katie found love, married and now has two beautiful girls.  Her chaotic lifestyle begs for a relaxed, easy look and she favors an outdoorsy-style wardrobe and no makeup; she doesn’t need it. 

Facebook brought us all back together four years ago and we picked up, without skipping a beat, right where we left off.  In October, 2010 our father's health had declined.  I came back to Indiana for the month to care for him. 
I told Katie I was in town, we grabbed coffee and it was as if a day hadn't gone by. She was the same girl I remembered.  Naturally beautiful, wearing the same big smile.  Her simple, laid-back style reflects her easy going nature and positive attitude.  A genuine friend with one of the best laughs, ever.
The entire month, I sat vigil all day, every day.  She would text me encouraging thoughts and often came to get me for lunch.  We spent time reminiscing and talking about old times.  Good friends reminding each other of our past spent together.  Do you remember this...do you remember that? What a gift for me at a time when life seemed to be going black.

I won't forget it, lunch at The Vine two days before I was to head back to Utah. I told her I was scared. He told me he was ready.  I didn't want to think about life without my dad.  Yet, she reached for my hand...looked me in the eye and said no matter what happened...she would be there...to pick up the pieces of my heart that would undoubtedly be broken in a million pieces and slowly help me put it all back together.   And she has done more than that. 

When all was lost she helped me build a new life.  Create a stronger foundation and get a better sense of myself.  A friend, who is more like a sister, especially, without my twin nearby.  I love her zest for life.  Her sense of adventure.  Her constant quest for trying new things and insatiable appetite for fun.  She makes me laugh so hard I cry.  She reminds me often I'm so much prettier when I smile.  I love her for helping me discover all that isn't lost.  For all that I can remember and cherish.  I am so lucky to have gained so much at a time of such loss.

Life offers us a short journey to find and build relationships that help shape who we are and who we continue to become.  The three of us celebrated our milestone 40th birthday together this year.  We have an adventure already planned in Napa at the end of October to celebrate our dad.  We will not only celebrate his life; but our friendship.  A friendship that is stronger now than it ever was.

All three of us lean towards a natural, easy approach to makeup and style, yet are encouraged by our sense of selves.  Mixing confidence with simplicity creates our daily wear.  We are finding that at 40, we look complete, holding hands, wearing our big silly smiles and more often than not, laughing our big belly laughs until we cry.  

I can't wait for the next 40 years!  I can feel the wind beneath our wings.
 





Thursday, September 29, 2011

Semi-Finals

As you know, I’ve made it to round four of five in the Lucky Lifestyle Contributor Contest! 

The challenge is to write about someone from the past you’ve rediscovered after losing touch and how your looks have changed.  I have to share pictures (good grief I’ve had some awkward years) and talk about our style, personalities, etc. 

You would think it would be easy to write about someone that is close to you…but, lemme tell ya…it’s not.  I hope I even came close to expressing my love for her and how much she means to me. 

I may not have covered too much about style but it felt more important to share my journey of friendship than what we wear or the places we shop. 

Whether I make it to the finals or not, I promised myself I would do more things to keep challenged and continue to do things I enjoy even if it means I have to take risks and be open to criticism. 

I’ll post the full essay and pictures tomorrow.  Voting begins Monday!  I’ll be sure to remind you!

Thank you to everyone who continues to support me!

Btw, I'm gonna be writing about Katie Minzey McCormick! 

Yikes!  Look at my hair! Katie looks fabulous!! 


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Damn you sugah tooth...


I'm breaking the silence about what has become a morning ritual while I wait for my Starbucks. 
I’m tempted to send this letter out of hope they will find something else to do with the donettes.
Dear Martins,
Please stop the free donettes.  I have no self-control.  Almost every morning you have them out.  A few dayz old at least…all flavors mixed together…so I take one of each.  Powdered, cinnamon, chocolate, glazed…they are all there, sometimes even fake blueberry.  They really aren’t even THAT good.   It has become a terrible habit in more ways than one.
Best.
In reality, free food displayed like this grosses me out.  It’s a breeding ground for germs. But for some reason…I grab for them anyway.  I.must.stop.this.today!
I’m going to the dentist tomorrow…I bet this won’t be pretty.  I’ll totally blaming the donettes. ;/

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Red Arrow Highway

Do you recall me blogging about my friend’s amazing store, Sojourn?   The wonderful place that holds mid-century, vintage finds that make you want to completely redecorate? 

Saturday, I found myself in Michigan spending the day there.  Lucky me!  Stacia’s place simply gets better and better every time I go.  Each time, it is different.  I love that.  I filled in for her so I had all day to really check things out. 

My wish list grew and grew. 

I desperately need that lake or city house so I can fill it with her entire store.  Have you gone yet?  Check it off the list friends; it is so worth the effort to go.

Not only did I spend the day soaking up the treasures, I met some interesting people and got to spend the evening with Stacia and her wonderful family. 

We spent the cool evening out on the recently completed deck with a fire pit, lights and wine.  We all talked, laughed and had a great evening.  When the light rain started to come down…we just moved closer to the fire…staying outdoors enjoying the conversation and the company surrounding us. 

Thank you, Stacia and Jordan for the memories.  I’m so looking forward to our next visit.

Here are a few things I have my eye on.



All of my furniture is borrowed from friends.  Although my current space is temporary, I wouldn't mind adding this for the future.  I could find a spot for this anywhere.
I love these industrial looking carts to use as a coffee table.

I thought this sideboard would be cool to put my television on. 

Yes, please to the vintage military first aid flag and how fun are the 'Checagou' tables?

I love the color of these kelly green jars.  I can imagine them for a pop of color in a bathroom filled with cotton balls, swabs, etc.

I wouldn't mind using this steel multi-drawer thing to organize my scarves, gloves, tights, etc in my wardrobe room.  Believe me, I could fill this up!  I also love the color of the blue table it is sitting on.

A steel shelf from a shoe factory...again, for my wardrobe room...pile it with shoes, handbags, hats, etc.
Love this fire-stitch fabric which reminds me of the infamous zig zag, Missoni. 

Lots of unique things!
You can't really tell but this lamp is cork.  I loved it. The towels are a light, organic linen feel that add a simple element to a natural themed bathroom.

You want it all, don't you?

Sojourn is located on 12908 Red Arrow Highway in Sawyer, Michigan.  Due to the touristy nature of the town, hours are limited.  Please call 312.543.4240 for more information.
 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The best fish tacos...ever

Today I decided Lakeshore is the place to be for lunch in Elkhart.  Well, aside from the drive in that is closed for ‘winter.’  Yes, already.
The past couple of days the weather has practically begged me to be outside. There aren’t a whole lot of lunch spots near my office that have outdoor seating to enjoy the last few beautiful, breezy, sunny dayz.
But, Lakeshore has a three season porch and an open deck with seating.   I’ve been going here randomly for a couple of months now.  They always have a lunch special, the waitress knows me by name and I like the atmosphere…especially when we sit outside on the deck next to the water.  The hour always flies by.  I barely choke down my grub and we have to go.  I daydream the entire time I am there. 
Today the special was fish tacos.  They may very well be THE BEST fish tacos I have ever eaten.  I am not a fish taco connoisseur by any means but they were the best I’ve ever had.  I’m already planning to go again next week.  And every Thursday after that until I get sick of them.  I am like that.  I find something I like and I just keep eating it until I gross out. 
What I am trying to say here is…if you are in Elkhart on a Thursday go get some fish tacos.  You won’t be disappointed. 
The view from where I sat.
The fish tacos.  Seriously, go get some!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The final countdown...

I’m starting to feel like nine-tenths of the people who can’t start a conversation unless it’s to talk about the weather.  Seriously, though, who can help it?
The past two days have been gorgeous.  All afternoon yesterday I was itching at the bit to get outside.  The thought of going to body pump indoors was becoming non-existent.  How could I go spend more time inside when it is this beautiful out? 
I texted Lucinda…can we go play in the sunshine?  Blow off body pump and go to Bonneville Mill perhaps?  Find a trail or sit next to the water falling over the rocks…I just wanted to be out there.
So we did.  It was awesome.  I loved every minute of it. 
All of the leaves on the ground had turned one of those great autumn hues creating a colorful path.  It smelled like fall. It was perfect.  Thanks, sister…it made my day!
FYI, two dayz people…it will officially be fall in two dayz.    
My sister, Lucinda.
Me.

I could have sat here all evening...it was a perfect spot.

For more information on Bonneyville Mill visit:

http://www.elkhartcountyparks.org/properties_locations/bonneyville_mill_county_park.htm

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

All that you need...is in your soul

Vee shared a song with me last night, Simple Man by Shinedown.  I had never heard the song or of the band, but I loved it.  I found it to be soulful and I couldn’t stop hitting repeat.  Then, I Googled the lyrics:
Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son.
And listen closely to what I say,
And if you do this
It will help you some sunny day.
Take your time…don’t live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman and you will find love,
And don’t forget son,
There is someone up above.
(Chorus)
And be a simple kind of man
Be something you love and understand.
Be a simple kind of man.
Won’t you do this for me son,
If you can?
Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul,
And you can do this if you try.
All I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied
(Chorus)
Boy, don’t you worry…you’ll find yourself.
Follow your heart and nothing else.
And you can do this if you try
All I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

Wow…a few things resonated with me. 
Take your time…don’t live too fast.   Everyone is rushing about all of the time…doesn’t it seem so?  Life has become so reactionary because there isn’t any time to think and ponder.  You can’t escape.  People, they can find you, anywhere.  We really just need to back it all up…slow it way down…find the peaceful pace.  Aren’t you always thinking…jeesh, get in line.  I hate that.    
Be a simple kind of man.  Life has somehow become so complex…but don’t you crave the simple?  The uncomplicated easiness of the yesterday’s?  Sometimes, I can get caught up in it (Missoni Madness…remember) or you know…the wanting this….the wanting that…just wanting it all.  I have to remind myself; it’s just stuff.   I don’t need anything.  I remember when I dreamed of finding someone to run away with.  Just pack up whatever we could fit in the car and drive to the mountains or the ocean and get lost.  Not needing all kinds of crap.  A simple man and a simple woman…not so complicated…not so easily found. 
All that you need is in your soul.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this line and it goes right along with, be something you love and understand.  Definitely, my favorite.  I have to remind myself to listen…stop and really listen to myself.  Be quiet.  Enjoy myself...love myself and understand myself so others will enjoy, love and understand me too.  I need a lot of alone time.  I just do.  I have to recharge.  I like the quiet.  I like to find what is down in there and remind myself I deserve what I want, what I need and to go for it.  You do too; don’t forget.
Follow your heart and nothing else.  Yes, ‘tis true; makes me think of the word bliss.  When you follow your heart it feels blissful…like you are floating…like you don’t really ‘think’ about what you are doing you are acting...feeling and that seems ultimately how a good decision is made.
To be satisfied.  Have you ever really thought about whether you were satisfied or not?  Hmmm…am I satisfied…that means to me…I’m okay with it.  It could be better but it works…for now.  I guess, content.  Are we ever really satisfied?  I’m not really sure.  Am I satisfied now?  Yes, I think I’m content.    Is this all I am dreaming of…no. 
So, what now? 
Follow my heart…listen to my soul…take my time…and be a simple kind of woman…
See a video of Simple Man here -- worth the 6.5 minutes.  http://youtu.be/BIpswDbc7cA

Isn't this dreamy...it might be a good spot to go get lost in.  I took this picture in Lake Tahoe climbing my way into the mountains to meet Vee at an aid station. 

Reflecting.  Vee, Craig and I went mountain biking in Moab, Utah.  We took some time to enjoy the beauty. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Please VOTE for me!

As you know, I entered Lucky Magazine's Search for a New Lucky Lifestyle Contributor contest.  Where I originally thought the Lucky Staff helped make the decision, the third and fourth challanges are based all on the amount of votes you receive!   

I need you to support me and vote!  It looks like you are able to vote over the next four days. 

If you have a momemt please take a minute to follow the instructions below and vote on my most recent entry.  It quick, easy, and would mean the world to me!

http://contribute.luckymag.com/blog/entertaining_my_way-135/even_custer_had_a_plan-618

Click on "vote."

You will be redirected to a login page.  If you are already a member of Lucky online, enter your information.  If not, look under the section titled "new user" and click "register."  Its super simple, but you may receive some spam.

Once you register, go back to my entry and VOTE.  This time, the site will recognize you as an official Lucky user, and your vote will be officially recorded!  EASY!

I need your vote to get to the next round....please keep me in the game! 

PS: If you want to share this with friends and family or on your own blog, I would really appreciate it!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I love you because....


Momma…I  LOVE YOU!

I love that you live your life with grace
I love that you are not only my mother you are my friend
I love that you let me stumble along with all my crazy plans and continue to encourage and support me
I love that you are so thoughtful
I love that you are some kind of superwoman to raise five awesome children
I love that you always encouraged me to try new things
I love that you always tell me how much you love me
I love you for telling me I am special
For making me FEEL special
I love that you remind me I can do anything
I love how you listen
I love that you carry a purse inside of a purse
I love that you used to put notes in my lunch sack growing up
I love how you would  play monopoly and barbies with me and Vee whenever we asked you too
I love you for being at every single swim meet and yelling really loud for me
I love how you made my clothes
I absolutely LOVE twelve hugs plus one
I love how you let Vee and I sing “Chommy, Mommy” over and over again even though it was the dumbest song ever
I love you for letting me be silly
For putting me in sports
For throwing the best birthday parties for us growing up
For making me take piano lessons
For saying that the best job you ever had was, “raising your chickens”
For making home cooked meals every night – how did you come up with new ideas and have the energy
For building snowmen out in the cold
I love you for taking long walks with me sometimes in silence
I love that you still go to Curves and exercise
I love that you decorated to the nines every holiday and you created wonderful traditions
For taking care of me during my surgery
For letting me play cupid
For holding my hand all those years crossing the street
I love how strong you are
I love how you treat everyone with respect
How you are so dedicated to family
I love you for letting me make bad decisions and not saying “I told ya so”
I love you for encouraging me to spread my wings
How you always just go with the flow
I love how you always dress up even to run to the grocery store
How you love to nurture
How humble you are
I love that Lucinda saw a picture of me last night and said I looked just like you
For raising me with high morals
Your compassion and empathy
I love your smile
How you always made me take a ‘no thank you helping’ and more often than not, I ended up liking it
For praying for me
I love you for telling me I deserve everything I want and to go for it
I love you for always making two birthday cakes


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Even Custer had a plan....

Lucky Harvest

Imagine this…an outdoor dinner party to take place aside a serene pond nestled under a canopy of trees.  A harvest-themed feast catering to the impending cooler weather and inspired by all things fall.   Sounds inviting, doesn’t it?

Well, we all know that the best laid plans can often go awry, especially when celebrating outdoors.  My occasion masterminded down to the last detail and yet three hours before show time…it rains.  It doesn’t just sprinkle, it pours.  The weather forecast showed no signs of it but there it was.  I kept hoping it would blow over but there was no end in sight.  I had to make the call.  Do I send last minute texts not to worry about wearing their favorite fall sweaters but instead bring rain ponchos and make them sit in the downpour, determined to pull off the ultimate outdoor harvest?  As disappointing as it was, I shifted gears.  There was no plan B.  So, I created one.

Two hours later, my smaller indoor space was made cozy by candlelight and good friend’s laughter.  All would be fine.

Every face that entered expressed their, I’m sorry for the weather, but soon realized my good spirit that should have been clouded over was infectious and I was going to turn the outdoor harvest into an indoor celebration.

Wine and spirits accompanied an organic creamy butternut squash soup with creame fraiche and roasted pumpkin seeds.  An Artisan flatbread and sounds from my pre-planned mix of music eased us into the evening.

A roasted garlic and herb chicken served with blanched parmesan asparagus and a wild rice quinoa mix were great compliments to the smiles and laughter all around the table. 

Champagne bubbled over when the heated strawberry rhubarb pie melted the French vanilla bean ice cream nestled beside it. 

The ultimate theme comes down to good friends, fun stories; lots of laughter, all of which; makes everything else seem secondary.  The best compliment is seeing everyone smiling and enthusiastically wondering if we can do this all again next week. 
Organic creamy butternut squash soup with creame fraiche and roasted pumpkin seeds

Roasted garlic and herb chicken, blanched asparagus with rock salt and parmesan cheese and wild rice quinoa mix

It was delicous!

Of course my favorite part of the meal!  Strawberry rhubarb pie with French vanilla bean ice cream and champagne

My awesome friends! 

Seat marker and take home gift.




Wednesday, September 14, 2011

No bulls eye here...

I know you are all on pins and needles wondering what I scored at Target from the Missoni line.  What a bust.  Lame.  Disappointment.  I would have managed the whole launch differently.  And last night I considered writing to Target to let them know how it really should have gone off and they might have pleased more people.  I say this because all of the other ‘Mad for Missoni people,’ that could only make it on their lunch hour, felt the same way I did…I could see it in their faces. 
I have the worst luck.  I say that not only because I didn’t get any of the items I wanted but in my hasty quest for Missoni on lunch…I ran into my boss!  UGH…at Target…in a sea of women…really?  How did he spot me?! 
There I was grabbing at any size Medium left...throwing it into my guarded shopping cart to try on later (do you remember this plan from my prior post – although none of my girlfriends even responded to wanting to go – therefore I thought I may be the only person in Elkhart interested – I was wrong).  Anyway, I was so focused until I hear, “RAMEY!”  I’m like…is someone saying my name?  Who knows me…who would call me by my last name (apparently, my last name can be confused with a first name)?  But you know that all registers in a flash because I suddenly recognize the voice…the tone…the – what in the hell are you doing shopping on your lunch hour intonation?!  Jeesh, I could have thought the same thing back, right? 
Well, that was quickly followed up with, “What are you doing?!”  And just like that, I thrust the dress I was holding in his direction and I said, “I’M TRYING TO GET MY HANDS ON SOME OF THIS MISSONI!” 
How embarrassing!  Everyone looks at me.  This woman starts to laugh…she goes, “Is that your husband? He does not seem pleased about what you are doing.”  I just looked at her and wanted to say…well, what is your husband gonna say about your cart load of must haves? But I didn’t.
Instead, I continued to yell after Richard asking him if he picked up the item he wanted me to get at Walmart.  He looks back confused and I don’t even let him answer…I dart into the racks.  Then panic.  Ugh, now what?  I have to get out of here.  If I don’t get this now I’ll never get it!  So, I buy everything in my cart! (I figure I’ll just return it – this is my sister Lucinda’s moto and yesterday I embraced it-I NEVER shop like that). 
So, I bought nothing on my must have list…no bowl, no bike, no throw, no storage boxes for the wardrobe room.  It was all a cart full of frenzy…now I must sort, decide and most likely return it all.  A bust.  Lame.  Complete and total disappointment. 
To boot, the website was down and when I finally got on…everything was…yep, you guessed it…SOLD OUT!
Whatever.  I’m over it.  I think I got caught up in the typical American product over-hype.  One thing is certain...Target and Missoni together are good for the economy.  Perhaps Katie was onto something when she soothingly told me, “Maybe they will do another run of it.”
I’ll tell you what…they should.  It went like hot cakes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Zig Zag

No, not Charlie Brown – MISSONI!  The Bulls eye launched the Missoni for Target line today!  The best I could manage was to plan to hit the madness at lunch.  I can only hope everything on my list is still available because the website is, gasp, “temporarily not responding!”
Not only do I have Missoni on the brain…I have Lucky Harvest on my mind.  My submission entry for Lucky Magazine is to create, invite, plan and execute a themed dinner party with hors d’oeuvres, main course, dessert, invitations, fanfare, etc, etc.    
Given five days to do all of this, work my ‘real’ job and I was out of town for the weekend, you can only imagine I’ve been scrambling to get it all thrown together. 
I hesitate to remind you I have an event background for fear my friends will show up and be like…uh…haven’t you thrown events for a living?  And like I’m telling you…not dinner party’s people…big events…music festivals…parades…those kind of events…with massive amounts of people who WANTED to attend.  My friend’s have sort of been forced to come to this harvest dinner party. 
I do feel, however, the event, and it is turning into just that, is coming together.  I have to be honest; I have never thrown a dinner party this elaborate for anyone in this amount of time.  Having recently relocated to Elkhart, I really don’t have the ‘stuff’ to have a dinner party for five or six people.  Seriously, I have four wine glasses that match…I am borrowing two sauce pans and all of the dishes and serving platters have been offered up on loan.  I’m letting it go and being thankful for my friends who are helping me pull this off.
I am also relieved that these are my friends who are attending and not some Lucky Magazine Executives!  Can you imagine the ‘behind-the-scenes’ chaos that will be happening and won’t be noted?  Of course, I have recruited them to ‘come early’ and help.  My great idea of hosting the meal outdoors presents its own set of challenges since my kitchen is a football field away from the table.  No electricity so I’ll be running back and forth…who…do I wonder could I pay to dress up like a Butler and serve us?  See!  Not only do I barely know four people in Elkhart to beg to come to dinner last minute (the minimum requirement for the submission was to have four people to dinner) I don’t have the time to really do this right and find some tall…dark and handsome man all ‘tuxed’ up to serve us! 
We all know reality bites and unfortunately, the reality of it is that it will be me…running back and forth…most likely sloshing the organic, creamy butternut squash soup with creame fraiche and roasted pumpkin seeds with a side of Artisan parmesan flatbread, I’m not kidding, and hoping it all stays hot…or warm…or just chokable.
My sister keeps asking me why I am hosting this outside and to make it easier on myself but you all might like to remind her...like I did...that on my farewell to summer list I mentioned how I wanted to eat outside as much as I could before it got too cold.
So, with that…the event is being held outside…near a pond…very far away from my kitchen…but I think it will be awesome.  I wish you all could participate but I’ll take lots of pictures and the story that is gonna be told, at least to Lucky Magazine, is that all went off without a hitch. 
A sneak peek at the seat assignment markers doubling as a take home gift. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hand Jive

Did you see that sign near your place? ”We will move your house for free!”
OH.EM.GEE – Is that plane headed straight for us? 
I want a tee-shirt from Camp Eberhart.  Nah, you don’t, they’ve changed the logo.
Can you hit repeat on that song for the fifth time…I still haven’t heard the whole thing cause we keep talking.
Did you want Starbucks for a drink and Chipotle for the meal?  Perfect.  I love how we travel together.

Katie and I took another adventure this weekend.  Indy or BUST!  Maybe it sounds silly, but I really think if we just got in the car and drove three hours one way and turned around and came back we would still have a great time! 
But, I’m so thankful for all the fun that was socked in between the car ride.  What a blast!   
We arrived late Friday night and stopped by Some Guys Pizza – it’s like Elkhart’s version of Volcano. Not as good as Volcano’s (in my opinion-Katie disagreed) but it’s the ‘go to’ pizza in Indy. 
Saturday morning we went to the Penrod Art Festival.  Penrod is held at The Museum of Modern Art and is an annual event.  It is well run and was created to encourage and develop public interest in the arts.  There are over 300 artist’s who participate and the weather could not have been more perfect.  Katie and I went with Alli O.  She is awesome.  Seriously, I never stop laughing when I am around her.  
Here is an example. 
I have not known Alli very long.  With that being said; I would have never guessed she liked to shop or even had an affinity towards clothing or a particular designer.  Maybe we had never talked about it?  We entered the festival and we were all handed a program listing what artists were participating.  I barely hear Katie say, “Is that Ft. Wayne ar….” Alli chimes in before she finishes, “No.”  Following that up with, “I’m not buying A THING! Nothing.  Nada.”  I was like, “Really…you would set those kind of limitations on yourself? Give yourself $40 or something.”  But she seemed a little lost in thought…I don’t even know if she heard what I said? 
Off we went, Alli guiding us – go down left and up right.  We were aimlessly walking down what I was thinking had to be the last aisle.  I would have walked right by this booth.  It was packed.  Swarming actually and I was thinking to myself…wow, wonder what that is all about...but not caring enough to find out. 
When out of nowhere…a shriek…"IT’S…IT’S the clothing I love!!!!"  Her hands were up near her face smiling and jumping (I’m not kidding) – it all happened so fast, I was like, “What? WHO??”  What is going on?”  And then I hear, “It’s HAND JIVE!” and she was gone. 
Katie and I looked at each other...did she go in there? She did.  We feel compelled to go in but immediately my chest tightens.  I can barely find a place to stand to see what it’s all about.  I look at Katie and can tell she is feeling the same way.  We both just fall back out into the aisle.  We just stand there and I say, ”I can’t do it.” Katie agrees.  So we just look at everyone not saying anything to each other and stare into the feeding frenzy. 
I tell Katie I’m gonna take some pictures of this.  Next thing I know I turn around and she is gone!  "KATIE…KATIE!!"  I’m yelling this!  "KATIE!!!"  I feel like a lost child at Disney.  Then I see Alli…she pops her head out of the make-shift dressing room – it’s piled with clothes – "MEL!  Over here…we are over here!"  And…then… I see Katie’s hand frantically waving up above Alli’s dressing room – "MEL…I’m back here…IN THE BACK!!!"
I make my way slowly to them…and then…it happened…we got sucked in…I can’t even remember it.  The last thing I recall is watching a gal who worked there toss Katie a skirt and a dress to try on.  And then…we were all back out on the aisle staring at each other.  Everyone with bags. 
Did I really buy something?  Uh…yea… Good grief.  We leave.  Exhausted.  We all look at each other and just start laughing...laughing sooo hard (maybe you had to be there) but it was just so funny. I don't get it...I still don't.  But it WAS FUN!  Wish you could have been there. 
Anyway, we did more shopping, then back to Alli's to host more friends and have some drinks, dinner, dancing the night away at The Casba and then a drag show.  Wow.  Yes, we really did all that!
I got to see my other friend Allison, my girl Amy, her husband Kirk and their daughter Sydney; remember from the Ludington trip?  On the way home we had Chipotle and laughed about the weekend.  Oh what fun!  I love a good adventure. 
Before I close, I was over-joyed to find out that Alli O is a gourmet chef.  This was music to my ears since my next submission for the writing contest is to prepare a gourmet meal for four friends.  Yes, you know exactly what I was smiling and thinking?!  She literally created my “menu-ala-Martins” for the Lucky Magazine submission due on Thursday.  That translates to a meal that looks like I cooked it but I really bought it all and put it on fancy plates. It’s going to be amazing.  I am so excited.  She loaded Katie’s car with her burnt orange plates, place settings, serving dishes and a vase filled with greenery from her garden.  Where I was a little stressed trying to figure out how to get it all done by Wednesday night...I am now excited and looking forward to hosting my friends! Wish you could join us Alli! :o 
I'll tell you all about it on Thursday!  
The ticket. 
I am sure everyone has had their picture made next to this sign at the Museum...L O V E it!

The feeding frenzy...this picture doesn't do it justice...it was complete and utter madness!

Katie and I are Butler University Alumni.  Of course we stopped!

Katie and Alli O on campus!

How cute is this picture?  From left to right, Katie, Alli O, Me and Allison G.

The Hendrix clan.  From left to right, Amy, Sydney, Me and Kirk.

I had a wonderful, friend-filled weekend with so much laughter!  I hope you did too!