On Turning 30

The husband turned 30 gracefully (men, am I right?) and without complaint.

I, however, spent the last month painstakingly counting down the last days of my 20s, as if on March 31 I would wake up an entirely different person. Last month of my 20s! 10 days left of my 20s! This time next week I’ll be 30! I’m so old. That rigmarole.

Today, I woke up as a 30 year old. The husband hugged me goodbye and called me the Birthday Girl, and then I threw on my Alabama hoodie, washed my face, and yanked on some pants. I let my dogs out. I drank a cup of coffee and watched them play in our front yard of the house we own. I put away some dishes, told the pups goodbye, and I got in my reliable car and drove to work.

As I was driving, I suddenly felt very calm about turning 30.

I’m not sure if it was my morning routine that did it, or that I was chatting with the sister on the phone, or that I had about 20 text messages already wishing me a Happy Birthday…. but I felt the anxiety slowly leak out of me. (For now… let’s be honest… it always comes back.)

30 seems like a big milestone because it is a big milestone. Especially when you’ve lost people along the way, people that never saw 30, or people who you’d love to get advice from about being 30, but they’ve passed on, too.

Whenever my birthday pops up I think of everyone who isn’t here anymore. It makes me uncharacteristically emotional. (My boss brought me cake pops and a Diet Coke this morning and I got choked up over it.) It’s actually only been since DJ died that I’ve done this — every year I get that he didn’t get takes away another tiny piece of my heart. I text his mom and (unfairly) lay my sadness on her and she makes me feel better. “Grief is a bitch!”  We agree on this sentiment.

Anyway, I spent this last month thinking about all the people I’ve been leading up to 30 – a rebel (so it seemed to me at the time), a bad-decision-maker, a bitch (still that, though), a selfish friend (sorry everyone that I’m so flaky and unreliable, I still love all of you), a heavy drinker (thanks, Statesboro), a bitter whiner (your family texts me on my birthday but you don’t…cool, dad)… and I wondered if all the good things I try to do now outweigh the bad.

I hope they do. All those people I was (and kind of still am) just mush together to make me…me. When I turned 20, I had zero respect for me. Turning 30… I think I’m pretty kickass.

Turns out I’ve got a real drive to help animals. I’m always open to donate to charities that benefit foster kids. I’m not as conservative as I once thought. I can run a 10K. I can set a goal and follow through. My best friends are my family, and I’m fine with that. I wrote a book (I mean, I’m not saying it’s good, but I did write it). I’d drop everything and do anything for the husband, who has the patience of a saint to deal with an anxious lunatic like me. My nieces and nephews bring my so much joy. (So do my dogs, obviously.) I take pride in my work. I’m more outspoken and steadfast in my opinions.

20-something me… 20-something me would never have been able to list anything positive about myself. 30 year old me is much more confident. Much more self-aware. Much more… happy.

None of this is mind blowing revolutionary writing. I know this.

But I think the point is that no matter what you’re doing, if you’re turning 30 or 50 or 22 or 86, if you’re actively working to be a better person and make the world a better place, I think you’re doing it right. All the ‘Do This Before You Turn ___ Age’ articles or all the posts from your friends about how their way of living is the best way… that’s all nonsense. Don’t let anyone make you feel like your life choices are less than theirs because you settled down, or you bought a house, or you don’t party until 3am anymore.

Just let yourself…. become yourself. And when you hit the next age milestone don’t let yourself down. Be better.

I spent 30 years semi-figuring out who I am, and I plan on spending the next 30 leaving a positive mark on this world using what I’ve got. You only get so many days. Do something meaningful while you can.

As always, I am forever grateful to the people who love me no matter what, and who have stuck with me through my 20s so that I can kill it in my 30s. I love you all.

Happy 30th Birthday to me! 30


When You Can’t Say Nothing

Man, there’s a lot of bad shit going on. (Understatement acknowledged.)

I try to stay off Facebook because I can’t stomach it but I keep going back and reading how my gay friends are scared and my black friends are scared and everyone is pissed at everyone else because of guns or #BlackLivesMatter or people just trying to use the freaking bathroom.

I want to comment and say something, anything, so that my friends will know I stand with them and so I think and type and erase and type again… but I end up saying nothing.

Because if you think I’m nice or that I’m a lunatic or that I’m racist or that I’m not a racist- it matters not at all. These struggles are not my personal struggles.  I can only watch and try to sympathize and try to help but oftentimes I think any comment I write would ultimately be dismissed. Not because people fighting inequality are dismissive of support but because I can’t add anything constructive to the conversation besides: I’m so sad for you. This is awful. I hope it gets better.

And while it’s nice to have someone say something nice, my “I’m sorry” sentiments aren’t helpful when two black men were just murdered… back-to-back… etc. (etc. because this isn’t an isolated incident.)

Now, does my recognition of this (larger and more systematic) inequality mean I haven’t faced discrimination or had issues because, say,  for example, I’m a woman? No. Of course not. Acknowledging another group’s (larger and more systematic) struggle doesn’t diminish your own struggle. It’s not either/or. You can care about yourself and your rights AND care about other people and their rights.

Still though, I just read and try to understand.

Because of this, I want to share something I read today and a comment that followed. Reading it literally stopped me in my tracks, like… Jesus. I can’t imagine feeling that way. (I only sort-of know the person who posted it, and I’m blurring out the names, because they might not want me throwing their opinion out there.)

And if you don’t agree with me, or them, then you are entitled to your own opinion. I’ve never understood why some people can’t figure out that the only person who agrees with you 100% of the time… is you.

But you really should try to keep learning and growing and understanding. I don’t say this to sound holier-than-thou or to insinuate you’re a bad person (whoever you may be.) I say this because we only have one life here. Just the one. If you’re not trying to become a better, well-rounded, informed, and all-around good person…what are you doing here?




I’m not going to offer any insight or words of wisdom (mostly because I’m not wise) but it does take everyone speaking out to cause change. I am not going to say nothing this time. And I hope that by speaking out this way, by sharing someone else’s heart-wrenching words… well, I just hope it makes someone else, at least one more person, really think about what’s going on in this country.




header image from here. 


Blame It All On My Roots.

On February 13, 2016 I crossed one MAJOR item off my bucket list.

I made a bucket list back in elementary school. It had a number of things on it: kiss a boy, write a book, meet Michael Jordan, hit a home run… things like that. (I was young. Don’t judge me.)

Since then I have updated and changed the bucket list but one item listed remained constant:

See Garth Brooks in Concert.

Y’all, I LOVE Garth Brooks. I always have. All through elementary school, middle school, high school, college, grad school, and post grad school I have listened to Garth Brooks. (So, all my life. Since I remember having the ability to remember.)

Sadly, Garth took a long hiatus from touring. I had to accept that it was very likely that I would never see him in concert.  I didn’t think he would ever tour again.


Then he started this tour. I wanted so badly to go when he was in Atlanta, but we couldn’t. I wanted so badly to drive to Tennessee or Florida but we just couldn’t. I let go of the dream. Even though thousands of folks were seeing him on stage I made myself accept I wouldn’t be able to go.

Then Garth Brooks added another stop on his tour. He added a stop in a state he hadn’t visited in around 17 years. MY STATE. SOUTH CAROLINA.

While I don’t know that the husband completely understands my love for Garth Brooks, he agreed we should try to get tickets. It was seriously *that* important to me.

Tickets went on sale and I spent…. an undisclosed amount of time at work hitting refresh. We didn’t get any. They sold so fast through TicketMaster and the ones on the other sites that buy all the tickets and resell them (bastards) were 3 or 4 times the original amount.

I felt devastated. I called the sister and I said to her, “I really thought this was something I was going to get to do.” My level of disappointment was semi-embarrassing.

I sighed and huffed and puffed and then got back to work. But something…something overcame me. I felt like… maybe I should try one more time to find us seats.

So I did. I checked one more time and WE GOT THE TICKETS.

“WE GOT F***ING GARTH BROOKS TICKETS!!!” is what I’m pretty sure my group text to the family said.

All this happened in December. Fast forward to February 12,2016.

The husband and I drove down to Charleston after work. We found and booked the cheapest hotel closest to the North Charleston Coliseum back in December so we felt like we were all set. The sister and her husband also booked a room there for one night; they were driving down on the day of the concert to go with us. All the hotels surrounding the Coliseum looked safe and clean and okay. So we didn’t feel super worried.

We drove the 3 long hours to Charleston and finally arrived at the Days Inn Charleston Airport hotel. I’m linking to the hotel because I need you to look at the hotel and see what you think. It seems like a lower-end but semi-decent hotel? Right? Kinda bad reviews but not the worst. Right.

So we arrived and right off the bat I’m like, crap. Crap. This…. this “hotel” looks like somewhere I might get murdered. But the husband stayed positive and kept reminding me we were here to see Garth Brooks and so we went and checked in at the front desk.

We sauntered off to the room and I swear I thought we might get knifed in the parking lot. It smelled like old garbage and smoke and there were sketchy folks meandering about but the husband was right – Garth Brooks.

The room key didn’t work in the door, so the husband kept trying the key and then turning the door handle and confusion set in. Did we have the right room? Yes. Every second that passed that we stood outside I expected to be punched in the back of the head by a stranger.

The husband finally stopped trying to force the door open and that’s when he saw the shadow of a person moving around in the room. Through the slight opening in the “curtain” on the window we saw luggage. Someone was already in that room.

We booked it back up to the check-in area and I tried to go inside. The front door was now locked and I had to talk to the lady through the small hole in the glass. That’s never good. Anyway, she apologized profusely and gave us another room and another room key.

We set off again and this time we had to walk all the way down to the back of the property, in the dark, through puddles of some foul-smelling substance and past a man walking around that looked like he may be talking to imaginary people.

Still, though. Garth Brooks.

So we make it to the second door, tucked away in a deep, dark crevice of the property, and the room key works! We open the door and immediately feel a blast of thick, hot, smoky air. As my eyes adjust I see a very dirty bowl on the nightstand and some knives spread out on the dresser. There is luggage in this room, too. Also, there is a person in there. Then, the room phone starts ringing – loud and shrill.

Am I describing a horror movie? No, no. This was our Friday night.

We slammed the door shut and scurried back to the car. At this point the husband’s positivity had run out. I locked the car once we were inside and I felt the tears coming. I think I murmured something like, “I just wanted to see Garth Brooks” as I put my head in my hands.

The husband took action and started searching for other hotels. He finally acquiesced that we could not stay in this murder hotel. Even if they gave us an empty room we ran the chance of having some other person getting our room key and walking in our room… like we just did to someone.

We checked for a hotel within an hour of the North Charleston Coliseum and we found that nowhere had an open room. I started calling all the hotels, choking back my tears, but everywhere was booked.

I called the Days Inn 1-800 number and explained what happened and begged for help. The lady that answered my pleading call was so nice…and so wonderful…because she found us an open room for the weekend in the Charleston Historic District for… an undisclosed amount of money.

After weighing our other options (sleep in the car or drive back home) we decided to pay for the hotel. (Thank you, tax return. Thank you.) We got the last available room and we left the murder hotel parking lot, a little shaken and in desperate need of a shower.

Just so you know that I’m not overselling the horror of this hotel for storytelling purposes, here’s some Google reviews (which I should have checked…I REALLY should have checked these) that prove my point:

review 1review 2


The hotel we ended up booking was a vacation changer because we were dead in the middle of historic Charleston. So on Saturday the husband and I woke up early and walked the entire day taking in the sights.

For the record, if you want to dress like someone from Charleston, here are your options:

  • A Patagonia Puff jacket (or similar variation).
  • Leggings as pants.
  • An expensive workout outfit (even though you aren’t at the gym and/or on a run).
  • Skinny jeans and brown riding boots.

THAT’S WHAT EVERYONE WAS WEARING. Except the husband and me.

We saw as many sights as we could before the concert. Once the sister and the sister’s husband arrived we went and had an early dinner at Fleet Landing Restaurant – incredible. So tasty.

And finally, finally, finally, it was time for the concert.

All I can say is that I think my head nearly exploded off my body from the amazingly awesome Garth Brooks performance. I screamed my face off. My throat hurt. My hands hurt from clapping so damn hard. I sang the lyrics (because, y’all, I knew them all) as loud as I could. Every time he finished a song he started another classic and I could hardly stand my excitement. It…it just rocked. It rocked so hard. I can’t even find the words.

February 13, 2016 = one of the best, most fun days of my life.






9 More Shows to Watch on Netflix Instead of Partying

Hopefully by now you have worked your way through 8 Shows to Watch on Netflix Instead of Partying. You’ve had an entire year. No excuses.

So, what now? Still feeling old and tired and don’t really want to be out on the town in the middle of the night?

Fear not! I’ve got 8 More Shows to Watch on Netflix Instead of Partying all ready for you.

I had to spend countless hours watching Netflix to formulate this list. What an awful research project for me! You’re welcome.

What Else to Watch on Netflix Instead of Partying Tonight:


1. The Great British Baking Show


Watch if: You enjoy the Brits, like cooking contest shows, and don’t want to think too hard about what you’re watching.

So the husband vetoed this one on my list, but it’s my list, so it stays. The sister-in-law actually suggested that I watch this and I literally binged it. Watched them all in the span of one day. First of all, the British humor is incredible. Second of all, please notice the polite, calm and respectful demeanor of the contestants. COMPLETELY different from our cooking contest shows. And thirdly, prepare yourself to want to bake after you’ve watched it. It can’t be that hard, right?

2. Bones


Watch if: You like crimey drama type shows (think Law & Order, NCIS, CSI) and you’re a fan of intelligent and interesting dialogue.

This show can be a little cheesy and a little over the top, but it’s a completely different take on the typical crime dramas that you’re used to watching. Bones is a forensic anthropologist and watching her work and transform and interact with others is incomparable to any other character on any other show like this. There are 10 seasons just waiting for you on Netflix. Perfect for a complete and total binge.

3. The Roosevelts (An Intimate History)


Watch if: You have even the tiniest bit of interest in history.

The husband and I very much enjoy a good documentary and The Roosevelts is top-notch. It’s captivating from the first minute and you will legitimately feel sad when it’s over. (And you will learn about what a bad-ass Eleanor Roosevelt was.) Even if the Roosevelts or US History isn’t your cup of tea you really should give this one a chance. The entire thing is on Netflix for your viewing pleasure.

4. Black Mirror

black mirror

Watch if: You want to spend hours in an existentialist frame of mind.

So, this show will get in your head.  I almost didn’t include it because it’s…different. The husband and I could only watch an episode every couple of days because it’s very deep and, at times, very dark. I suggest you watch it because 1. it’s always good to question things around you and 2. it’s incredibly interesting. Each episode is separate from the next; there is no linear progression. While I generally don’t enjoy shows like that I made an exception for Black Mirror and it was worth it. Warning: Be prepared for a small existentialist crisis after each episode.

5. Sherlock


Watch if: You don’t want to binge watch 4,000 episodes but you do like crime type shows that are extremely captivating.

So the problem with Sherlock is that each season is extremely short and we’ve been waiting around for another season for awhile. That’s the only problem. If you aren’t a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch then there is something seriously wrong with you. We are all somewhat knowledgeable about Sherlock Homes and Dr. Watson but this version of the classic takes the cake. (If you want to watch something about cake, though, then you’re looking for The Great British Baking Show.) Even if you know nothing about the characters and you’re a Sherlock newbie you should give this series a chance. It’s mentally stimulating and the dialogue is mind blowing. Enjoy.

6. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Watch if: You want to be surprised at how much you relate to someone who was saved from an underground bunker. ALSO BECAUSE IT’S DELIGHTFUL.

I’m a fan of Netflix originals (aren’t we all?) but Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt does a stellar job at presenting a character who appears from an underground bunker that I watch and think.. hmm.. that isn’t too far off from how I am as a person! The casting for this show must have been done by geniuses. Give it the first two episodes to get hooked. It’s a different, refreshing, and entertaining type of comedy.

7. Halt and Catch Fire


Watch if: You want a dramatic approach to the introduction of computers to the common people.

I wasn’t too keen to start watching this show.  The husband chose it and I assumed I would be bored to wits. It’s a little over the top at times, for me, especially in terms of the juxtaposition of stereotypical women. Besides that one complaint I must say the acting and writing are spot-on. Brilliant. It’s also NOT boring.Season 1 is on Netflix, Season 2 is not.

 8. Fringe


Watch ifYou like science fictioney, timey-wimey, weebly wobbly kind of stuff. Also: JOSHUA JACKSON.

So initially I wrote Joshua Jackson over and over here, because that should be enough of a reason for you to watch Fringe… but just in case you weren’t in love with Pacey Witter I’ll give you a tad bit more information. All the seasons of this show can be found on Netflix. It’s about fringe science (get it? Fringe?) so be prepared to expand your mind to accept things that you previously thought were impossible. The plot has a lot of twists and turns so you will never guess what’s coming next. Also, if you don’t love Walter Bishop you’re dead inside. (Also, Joshua Jackson.)

9. Daredevil


Watch if: You like the superhero type shows and are comfortable with a dark, gloomy, gritty show. 

I’ve made it clear that I am a fan of the Netflix originals, and while this isn’t one of my very favorites, it’s definitely worth a watch. It’s a darker show, so if you’re looking for something lighthearted then choose something else on this list. It also wasn’t too over-the-top superhero for me – the characters were somehow easy to relate to, which I appreciate.  Basically a blind guy is running around beating the tar out of the bad guys. Also, he’s a lawyer. Casting is pretty good. You’ll recognize some main characters. Season 1 is ready and waiting for you.


Hopefully at least one of these will get you through New Year’s Eve feeling entertained.



Happy New Year!