Best Birthday Weekend ~ Part 3

Hey Lovelies!

Can I just say that I don’t think I could have crammed another thing into my birthday weekend :) I’ve never done a whole weekend for myself before. It was really neat to actually do what I wanted to do for a whole weekend and not feel bad about it.

I had given RJ 2 tickets to the Carolina game at the Cup on Saturday. It was my congrats you survived another block gift :) He works so hard in school and doesn’t get a lot of time off. I really wanted him to enjoy his week off. We’re both Carolina baseball fans and I knew that he’d only been able to catch one or two games so far this season.

He asked me to tag along with him and I was more than happy to oblige.

I went to church Sunday morning. I can’t tell you how much this new church is blessing me! Y’all know I’ve been struggling the past few months with whether or not I was where God wanted me to be. I can tell you after attending this church for 4 weeks that it is indeed where I am supposed to be. I finally have a peace in my heart. We had a great Sunday school lesson. Ryan’s been going over God’s Challenge for your 20’s. I came in on week 5 of 9 so I’ve got to get the other weeks and catch up. It’s so awesome to be hanging out with other 20 somethings who are going through the same battles and struggles I am. They have made me feel more welcomed and included than I’ve ever felt at a church. I get up on Sunday excited because it’s church day. That hasn’t happened in a long, long time.

After church, I met RJ at Starbucks..we’re slightly addicted to Starbucks. I changed clothes super fast..yes it can be done! Then we were off to Columbia to watch the Gamecocks take on the Tennessee Vols.

It was a gorgeous day, so RJ opened the sunroof up and we enjoyed the sunshine.

It was a struggle to stay awake on the way :) RJ drives a BMW and it rides smoother than a Cadillac in my opinion. We both have quite diverse taste in music so we took turns choosing. I must say he was a trooper to humor my country music. He typically prefers rap. He gave me a rap education..and I discovered that I actually like rap! I guess when it’s not blaring into your ears and thumping under your rump (the only way my brother plays it) it’s actually alright.

I had been raving about eating at D’s in Columbia. Since I won the bet at the Carolina Cup, we decided we’d go there. BUT! Much to my dismay..D’s was closed. So we headed to a Chinese restaurant up the street. Lunch was so much fun. It was great to be able to catch up and hangout one-on-one. The Chinese restaurant is across the street from the stadium so we got to people watch a little bit before it was time to head into the stadium.

We got into the stadium a little early so we walked around and enjoyed the batting practice. I’m fortunate to split season tickets with one of my friends so I have the same seats each game. We settled into our seats and I crossed my fingers that there wouldn’t be any screaming children behind me. It was a really fun game! USC led the entire game and we didn’t switch pitchers until well into the 7th inning. Poor Tennessee didn’t score a single run..unlike Saturday’s game where USC barely beat them 9-6.

It was a little sunny and we might have forgotten to put sunscreen on. Thankfully RJ blocked most of the sun for me :) His poor face was a little pink when we left the game and needless to say by the time we got back home it was really red. (I felt super bad! I had sunscreen in my pocketbook the whole time.)

On the way home he introduced me to Juicy J and quite a variety of other rap artists. I introduced him to a few of my favorite songs..what does the fox say, I wanna marry my stalker and Everlast. It was fun! We talked and laughed. I think it’s probably one of the most fun weekends I’ve had in a long time.

We decided to stop for ice cream. Okay, I kind of asked if we could because I really, really wanted some chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (which I found out was RJ’s fav!). Needless to say, he was sweet enough to humor my random whim and we ended up at Sweet Frog. I introduced him to strawberry poppers. They are in my opinion the most amazing thing to put with froyo. Sadly, Sweet Frog no longer has my chocolate covered sunflower seeds, rice cakes or mango poppers. I was really disappointed. But my orchard cherry and NY cheesecake froyo was still good without them :) It was the perfect ending to a perfect day!

My sunburn is pretty mild compared to RJ’s. Just my right cheekbone is burnt :) But nothing a little makeup magic couldn’t cover. (Thank you stage makeup class!)

So my lovelies, I’m officially a year older and you know what? I’m perfectly okay with that!

Here’s to hoping this year is as amazing as this weekend was!

XoXo!

One Really Happy Lemon

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Best Birthday Weekend ~ Part 2

I woke up at 5am on Saturday. I have a really hard time sleeping when I’m excited about anything :) I finished baking the Key Lime and Pink Lemonade cookies and dad threw the bacon wrapped chicken together for me.

While that was cooking, I grabbed a quick shower..to tame this unruly crazy hair of mine. Needless to say the second I walked outside it went from perfectly straight right back to insanely frizzy. We loaded Charley Tango up with the table, tent, chairs and food coolers and I was off to grab my cousin. After a 30mt haul to pick her up, it was another 30mt haul to grab CB and off to Camden we went. It was raining really, really hard on the interstate. I still have some mild anxiety when driving from my accident. Thankfully CB & Shelley kept talking to me and it took my mind off the driving.

Despite the rain, we made good time. I endured a lot of ribbing about my “old lady” driving. Better to be slow and safe than fast and dead in my opinion. We stopped off in Lugoff to pick up one of my favorite boys! He’s on break from school this week and I am super glad his mom and dad let me borrow him for the day. I haven’t seen him since Christmas and it’s always a special treat to be able to hangout with him. How we managed to cram both guys in the backseat I’ll never know..but somehow we got them in there. The boys hit it off right away and I was relieved. In case you haven’t figured it out..Lemon kind of worries about stupid stuff sometimes..and she’s trying to learn not to worry about everyone else because she has no control over stuff like that.

It took us about 20 more minutes to get to Springdale. We really didn’t sit in traffic long at all. I was quite surprised. I found my parking space with little difficulty. The boys had everything set up within about 15mts. They were impressed at how prepared I was. We had our own tent, chairs, enough food for a small army and Birthday cake!

We got lucky. The parking spaces on both sides of mine were empty so we had a fair amount of space to ourselves :) Our neighbors were super awesome! To the right was a really sweet couple from Wisconsin. Sabrina and Dan are Army :) We talked shop for a bit as my uncle (Shelley’s Dad) is in the Army. They had brought a corn hole set and it wasn’t long before some good old fashioned smack talk ensued between RJ and Shellster. A game began and I must say RJ whipped Shells pretty bad..twice. Dan had an awesome grill that attached to the hitch of his truck.

I must say it was quite an impressive grill! He told us it was the Margaritaville Tailgating Grille. He has a very loving wife :) Sabrina gave it to him for his birthday a couple of years ago. That bad boy retails for $1,199 on eBay. The boys and I were curious so I looked it up online. Needless to say..at that price Lemon won’t be getting one after all :)

It was a bit overcast the beginning of the day..but as the day went on it began warming up and the sun finally peeked out! No rain :)

RJ and headed up to the paddock to see the horses. He’s so sweet to me :) There is a running joke at the cup..What horse? Most people go to the Cup to drink and never actually see the horses. I’m not one of those people. RJ and got to stand right at the paddock for the walk around. I was in heaven! I’ve dreamed of going to the Kentucky Derby and must sadly admit that I’ve never been able to go even when I lived in Kentucky. The Carolina Cup is basically a mini-derby :)

We scoped the horses out and made a little wager. The loser had to buy the winner lunch on Sunday :) RJ picked horse number 7 and picked 3. It’s probably not a smart idea to bet against a girl who’s shown horses her entire life. I know quarter horse and thoroughbred conformation like the back of my hand..but somethings you just don’t tell boys :) Needless to say, at the 1/4 mile mark my horse was 2.5 lengths ahead. By the time he hit the finish line he was 5 lengths ahead! Free lunch for me :) Poor #7 brought up the rear in 6th place out of 7. I ashamedly admit I might have given RJ a hard time about that for the rest of the day. He got me back in race #5 though because my horse scratched.

RJ and I walked around and scoped out the walk about hats and a few other vendors. I must say I thought my homemade hat was as cute as any pre-made ones that I saw. We spent the rest of the day talking, walking around, eating and playing corn hole. It began to look cloudy about 5pm and they were calling for rain so we decided to pack up and head home. I left CB at the races lol. He was hanging out with his fraternity brothers and wasn’t quite ready to leave.

Shelley and I dropped RJ off then made the hour drive home. It was really fun to have her to myself for a whole hour. We don’t get to spend a lot of time together because of work and our crazy lives. I enjoyed it! I finally dropped her off at her brother’s house. He’s just arrived home from his honeymoon :) I left the food at their house too! (win for me!) Their fridge was a little sparse so there were no complaints.

I headed home, unloaded my truck and Lemon went straight to bed..at 7:42pm. Yes, this little, old lady was quite exhausted :) No shame..none.

XoXo!

One Blissfully Exhausted Happy Lemon!

 

 

 

 

 

Playing Hooky :) Part 2

So I have another confession..I played hooky twice this weekend :) I’m guilty..

I enjoy being single. Because let’s face it..you can either be one of those miserable single people..or you can roll with it and do a ton of fun things. I’m fortunate to have best married friends with season tickets to University of South Carolina baseball, basketball and football games. Needless to say, whenever they can’t make a game I get first dibs on their tickets. It works out wonderfully for me :) This weekend I had 2 tickets to Sunday’s baseball game. One of the great things about the church I’m currently attending is the fact that they offer an 8:30am worship service. So I headed to church, enjoyed some great fellowship and an awesome service..then played hooky :) I skipped Sunday school. I know…I know..I’m a total little heathen this week. But eh…you’re only young once right?

I’d asked about 10 of my friends if anyone wanted to tag along and discovered that we have some very diligent students at my Alma Mater. 8 out of 10 had to “study” all day on Sunday for exams on Monday. I surely don’t miss those days :)

My friend Hannah shared a great thing with me a few years ago when we were both in the midst of singleness woes. It’s a poem by Tanya Davis called How to Be Alone. It goes a little something like this:

If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.

We can start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library, where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books; you’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there.

There is also the gym, if you’re shy, you can hang out with yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in. Then there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.

And there’s prayer and mediation, no one will think less if your hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation. Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on your avoid being alone principles. The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by chow-downers, employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town, and they, like you, will be alone. Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.

When you are comfortable with eat lunch and run, take yourself out for dinner; a restaurant with linen and Silverware. You’re no less an intriguing a person when you are eating solo dessert and cleaning the whipped cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.

Go to the movies. Where it’s dark and soothing, alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.

And then take yourself out dancing, to a club where no one knows you, stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching because they’re probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats, is after all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating. And beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things, down your back, like a book of blessings.

Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you. Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, they are always statues to talk to, and benches made for sitting gives strangers a shared existence if only for a minute, and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversation you get in by sitting alone on benches, might have never happened had you not been there by yourself.

Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after a while nobody is dating them.

But lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it. You can stand swathed by groups and mobs or hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company.

But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your thoughts an essence of them may be lost or perhaps it is just kept. Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those “sappy slogans” from preschool over to high school groaning, we’re tokens for holding the lonely at bay.

Cause if you’re happy in your head, then solitude is blessed, and alone is okay. It’s okay if no one believes like you, all experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relieved, keeps things interesting, life’s magic things in reach, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, and the community is not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it.

Take silence and respect it. If you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it, if your family doesn’t get you or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.

You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it. If your heart is bleeding, make the best of it. There is heat in freezing, be a testament.

I love it! Our society constantly tells us that we have to be connected..to Facebook, to Twitter, to Pinterest, to Google+, to Boys..but why can’t we be connected to our self for a bit?

I took off to Columbia with me, myself and I :) I listened to whatever I wanted to listen too on the radio, I rolled the windows down, I opened my sunroof, I let the sun shine on me and I ate where I wanted to eat. IT WAS AMAZING! No bending to anyone else’s wish, no playing hostess, no worry. I got to Columbia in time to catch warm-ups and batting practice. The sun was shining, it wasn’t freezing and it was GORGEOUS!

I LOVE BASEBALL! I am not to picky when it comes to sports..but there is just something about baseball that warms my heart. I enjoyed a leisurely walk up to the stadium and settled into my seat to people watch. I always enjoy watching crowd dynamics. My seats are just down 3rd base line so I have a great view of the boys.

Two young families were seated behind me and I thoroughly enjoyed the joy that they spread to their little ones. Never were they a bother or annoyance. The grandfather played pretty ponies and race cars not really caring that he wasn’t catching all of the game. Meanwhile, the mom in front of me wiped her children down every 3 seconds with baby wipes, wiped their seats, the rail and anything they touched down. I felt so sorry for her. She completely stressed herself out and didn’t seem to be enjoying the game. They had three little boys and the littlest one wanted to do nothing more than play on the seats instead of watch the game. Every 5 seconds they were trying to redirect his attention to the field instead of letting him enjoy some creative play time. Sometimes..you just need to let your kid..be a kid :)

The game was amazing! Multiple no hit innings! I felt rather bad for the Bucknell Bison : ( But! Carolina beat them out 12-0…it was pretty bad!

But there was one tiny little thing Lemon forgot…that even though it’s cold/windy..the sun still burns! I have a two-tone face at the moment : / Looking like a lobster isn’t really my style..so guess I’ll be buying some sunscreen this week :)

It was amusing to hear the people around me talking :) Sometimes sitting by yourself can be quite hilarious! But you know what? I wasn’t the only pretty single girl alone at the game..for lo and behold…at the end of my row sitting by herself was another girl who knows that it’s okay to be alone :)

To the single lovelies…I salute you! Don’t be afraid to be alone :)

XoXo!

One Hooky Playing Lemon