Imperfectly Nice

Archive for the month “January, 2014”

My To Do List for 2014

So, I am totally stealing this from my friend John, because I have never been good at, and have never liked, resolutions. I am always a tad down in January, and it is hard for me to work up the energy to make sweeping, life-changing decisions when it is cold and dark and too far from summer. Thank GOD I live in the South where it isn’t really that cold and summer temperatures aren’t really that far away. The thought of actually waiting for May or June for pretty weather and sunlight is exhausting. Anyway, John works at a co-op in Missouri and one of the operating principles of cooperatives is cooperation among cooperatives, so he is practically required to let me steal his idea. I am working in the principle that since working at a co-op is like working with family, this rule applies to our personal lives/blogs too and that it is fine with him if I steal or “creatively borrow,” as my friend Lorri likes to say, his idea. Also, Shia LaBeouf told me this was okay.

Instead of making a list of a few, BIG resolutions, John chose to make a list of lots of things he wants to accomplish in 2014. Some are big, some are simple. I don’t want to use the word small because they are not small. Taking your son to a ball game or taking your wife on a picnic are most certainly too important to be called small. I guess they are too important to be called simple, too, but in the end they are. They are simple gestures and actions that make the big picture better for us. Taking your wife, who homeschools your boys, on a date lets her know she is loved and appreciated and builds a better marriage. So see? Simple but not small. Anyway, enough about how John is going to rock the world in 2014 and on to my list. Although, are some similarities between the two lists, I promise that stealing isn’t intentional. These are things I really want to do. It may not rock your world, but I hope it will make me and those in my world a little happier and better when 2015 arrives.

My 2014 To Do List:

  1. Take Vaught to Disney World.
  2. Splurge while we are there. Yes, he needs to learn that you have to work hard to get things and not be spoiled, etc. But for the love of Mike, it’s Disney World. I want him to know that sometimes, things are just magical. Sometimes, you can have the toy in the store. I want to have enough saved that if he wants the $30 balloon; he gets the $30 balloon.
  3. Oh, and a pair of mouse ears with his name stitched on them.
  4. Capture as many moments on film as I can while there, but don’t forget to be IN the moment, too.
  5. Go to a parade.
  6. Go to bed at the same time Neil does. We miss out on a lot of time together when I fall asleep in Vaught’s room every night and stumble to our room in the wee small hours of the morning.
  7. Give more love and attention to this blog. Make it prettier.
  8. Post more. One that I am obviously failing miserably at right now.
  9. Celebrate Neil’s graduation with a surprise.
  10. Figure out what to do what Vaught’s college savings.
  11. Buy rain boots. I work at an electric co-op and live in a place where hurricanes happen. It is ridiculous that when I go take photos of crews working, I am wearing completely inappropriate footwear. I tromp through the muck so the guys working won’t think I can’t hack it, but it just looks silly. And not very credible. It is also dangerous and gross. And ruins my pretty, red nail polish.
  12. Read at least 40 books.
  13. Make sure some of these books are written by new or “new to me” writers.
  14. Make sure some are classics that I have somehow neglected to read because someone told me I had to.
  15. Read one of the above mentioned book by a pool. By myself.
  16. Start a collection of hard cover Harry Potter books.
  17. Make a photo book for the year.
  18. Try a new drink.
  19. Try a new food.
  20. Try at least three new restaurants.
  21. Make writing – and not just here – a priority. Which leads to …
  22. Researching the query process. But AFTER I write, not before. Cart and horse in the correct order!
  23. Make that cool Christmas present for Mom I’ve wanted to make for several years now.
  24. Go to Shaggy’s on a pretty day.
  25. Eat Oreo pie on my birthday.
  26. Get a tattoo. Or not. I want to be a bad ass, but I am scared of my Dad. Which proves that I am not, indeed, a bad ass and have no business getting a tattoo. Also, old and saggy tattoos? Not cool. Also, also Tina Fey says you shouldn’t get one and I pretty much do what Tina Fey tells me to do. Or not do as is the case here. So … yeah, jury is still out on this one. Maybe just make a decision about getting a tattoo?
  27. Go look at Christmas lights.
  28. Celebrate Christmas Eve at EFUMC.
  29. Blow bubbles.
  30. Play outside.
  31. Take walks in the woods. I grew up taking walks in the woods with my granddaddy, and they are still soothing to my soul. Bonus points if I can find an old stump where Vaught and I can sit and read books, just like my granddaddy used to do for me.
  32. Volunteer – something Vaught can do with us. I want him to know how good we have it. That the $30 Disney balloon is NOT reality for most people.
  33. Complete random acts of kindness.
  34. Go to at least one movie that is not a cartoon.
  35. Try to be less angry when football season arrives, and we don’t see much of Neil. (Notice I said “try” and “less angry.”)
  36. Get a cool lunchbox for Vaught’s first day of pre-school.
  37. Take an obnoxious amount of “first day of school” photos.
  38. Exercise. Regularly.
  39. Be in more pictures with my son, even if it means forcing my phone on someone and demanding they take one. Even if I don’t feel pretty. Even if I think my arm/leg/behind/earlobe looks fat.
  40. Hang photos in the bedroom.
  41. Get artwork for my office.
  42. Study, study, study.
  43. Get CCC certification.
  44. Go to a local festival. There are a TON, and we never go.
  45. Call and/or write my grandparents more often.
  46. Same for my sister.
  47. Cookie Day!
  48. Spend a night away with Neil. Just the two of us.
  49. Do something to honor Carrie.
  50. Write down my mission statement for my life. This is a big one, and one that our preacher has been talking about. I know that “finding the meaning of life” is a pretty big task, but I want to do it. In writing. Focus on that and don’t get caught up in the things that don’t support that. Easy, right? Ha!
  51. Make Vaught’s yearly video montage.
  52. Meet my deadlines.
  53. Stick to my social media editorial calendar.
  54. Spend a day in New Orleans.
  55. Get a new car. Sigh.
  56. Sell/donate stuff that is taking up space in the house.
  57. Spend as many days at the beach as possible.
  58. Dance until my legs are sore.
  59. Get a present for Vaught’s babysitter before he leaves for good in August.
  60. Go to the Justin Timberlake concert in August.
  61. Have at least two girls’ nights. Two – ambitious, I know!
  62. Buy something just for me that I normally wouldn’t.
  63. Buy something for Neil just because.
  64. Have a picnic.
  65. Camp out with my boys.
  66. Get a new pair of sunglasses.
  67. Read to Vaught every day.
  68. Visit Oxford at least once.
  69. Take pictures of Vaught in the Grove.
  70. Make sure there are at least a few pictures of me and Neil together, and more of the three of us.
  71. Slip and slide this summer.
  72. Have a “sleep over” in the living room with Vaught.
  73. Have at least four movie nights at home.
  74. Watch fireworks.
  75. Tell Neil and Vaught that I love them every day and kiss them both as much as I possibly can.

So, here’s to 2014 and all of the small, yet important, things that are going to make it great! 


Juan-uary – I can’t even with the convoluted spelling


Juan Pablo – Professional Latin Lover

I do not make any secret of the fact that I loves me some bad TV. I have several guilty pleasures including more than one Real Housewives of … series, “Dance Moms” and, what is probably my favorite, “The Bachelor.” This show, where 25 attention-seeking young ladies (?) with daddy issues parade themselves in front of the Bachelor in hopes of finding representation for their budding “independent film” career love, provides me entertainment each January and, as embarrassing as this may be to admit, helps me get over my seasonal depression. How can you not smile while these girls who have aged out of real pageants, enter this one? It’s not a pageant, you say? I beg to differ. There is evening gown (what they wear to the cocktail parties), interview (what they say, or slur, at the cocktail parties) and we all know and love the talent segment when 100-pound girls who have been fed nothing but a steady diet of champagne and squeezed into gowns made entirely of sequins with neck lines down to there and slits up to there try to dazzle the guy who is the prize with their operatic range, their ’06 cheer competition routine, a scrapbook page, a poem wherein the word heart is rhymed with approximately 67 words, and whatever other talent their mamas have lied to them about having. Now, I am not saying these girls don’t have talent, but what I am saying is that these talents don’t always translate to performance art that should be seen on national television. My mama loves me, y’all, and she loves me enough to tell me that maybe God did not bless me with a voice made for solos. Or duets. Or anything other than rocking out in my car. These girls’ mamas are either blinded by their love for their little precious ones, or they are sick and twisted women who enjoy watching their daughters embarrass themselves. I can only assume that there are at least a few who fall into the sick and twisted category and that is WHY little precious is dieting and waxing herself into oblivion for maximum camera time during the ever-present hot tub scenes.

Anyway, tonight, Juan Pablo takes the stage (or stone-paved driveway in this case) as our bachelor. I am not going to lie to you, folks – I am excited for this season. Besides being easy on the eyes and having a great accent, Juan Pablo is a former professional soccer player and World’s Greatest Padre (so says his coffee mug) to daughter Camilla. I may or may not (read: totally did) watch last night’s Juan Pablo preview on ABC and have a few observations:

1- I loved Juan Pablo when he appeared as a contestant on The Bachelorette. I don’t think one single person who watched that show understood why Des decided to send out Latin lover packing. We knew she was going to, but we don’t understand why. She instead chose the guy who didn’t want to choose her but oh wait now I totally love THAT guy because he is still here and already made the effort to put on the suit and all. But back to Juan Pablo … dashing, funny, self-deprecating, a good father and family man by all accounts, and the ONLY one to actually make the ridiculous spaghetti western episode work for him. (Again, she sent him home for the guy who sort of kind of looked like John Mayer used to before he started wearing that ridiculous hat who didn’t pick her. Gah, Des!) And last night, we saw much of the same. However, I couldn’t help but notice that there is something that is a touch smarmy about any bachelor they choose. I don’t care if this is the most awesome, down to earth guy ever in real life; there is something about becoming the bachelor that makes them a tad … cheesy. I think it is because of all of the contractually obligated scenes they have to film shirtless. (Except for Ben. Thank you, Chris Harrison, from everyone in – as you fondly call it – The Bachelor Nation, for NOT putting that clause in Ben’s contract.) And all of the contractually obligated scenes of said bachelor starting into the distance contemplating his future while his voiceover talks about “finding love” and “the journey” and, and and. Or maybe, MAYBE, it is because no guy most of us would actually choose in real life would sign up to be on a show where he is contractually obligated to take his shirt off 97 times a day while writing poetry.

2- Juan Pablo might be the Padre del Año but he is clueless about car seat safety. Seriously, I could pay no attention to anything else because Camilla’s chest restraint was somewhere around her belly button and her right arm strap kept falling off completely. You know her mother was mentally tightening those straps when she watched last night. And what of you, Bachelor producers, camera people, boom operators and mic folks? NONE of you have children and understand proper child restraint? I mean, kudos to Juan Pablo for keeping her in that five-point harness at her age and all, but I would feel less itchy if someone would tighten those straps for her.

## 3- In spite of the improperly restrained yet adorable daughter and my admission that, while I appreciated Juan Pablo’s shirtless Latin dance moves in a tunnel (Or was it a bridge? I can’t remember exactly, but there was traffic, I believe. It was odd.), I also found them a little, well, much, I will STILL watch this show. I will DVR it and love it and wait anxiously for [Lincee’s recaps.]( I will get mad at ABC for choose a group of 25 women who were NOT chosen for Juan Pablo as they claim, but because they will make “good” TV. I will watch because I am a romantic who believes that MAYBE just MAYBE two people can find love on what is essentially a ridiculous game show that sets totally unrealistic expectations in a very short period of time. I will make fun because I am a cynic and because come ON. You’ve got me ABC. I am part of “The Bachelor Nation.” I will read good books and listen to NPR and think deep thoughts tomorrow, but tonight, I will sit on my couch and watch “The Bachelor” and love every cheesy second of it.

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