Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kindness and Causal Dresscode

Sorry, but this post will not be multi-media.  Just a quick blurb to report, because I want to publicly rejoice at many things.

1. I've started work.  Awesome.  Company culture seems really cool.  It's strange to walk among cubicles again, even stranger to wear heels to work.

Why did I get rid of all those fab heels again, can someone remind me?

2. The kindness of friends apparently knows no bounds:

I checked into my Extended Stay Sunday evening, intending to stay there for the month while Brendon and I wait to try to close on the house.  Gross grossness.  Skeezy dudes were all staring as I walking all the way down the open halls to my room and back to my car again.  They all seemed to be memorizing my room number. Ew.

And there was a full-scale Biblical plague happening in there.  Every time the rusty old air conditioner kicked on, crickets were blown out of it and they'd proceed to fly around the room.  And land on me.  And crawl into my toiletries bag.

I tried to ignore it all.  I told myself I was an adult and tried to pretend it was a hostel in a cool other country. A cricket blew out of the air again and landed on my bed...and somehow pushed me over the edge. In a tearful fit of anxiety I called Nichole and Clay and they welcomed me into their sweet home at the inappropriate hour of 10:15 on a Sunday night.  And for 2 days now they've sweetly let me crash in their non-buggy, pretty-paint-color, adorable-towels guest bedroom and bathroom.  They fed me last night.  They even let me walk their puppy.

So so so grateful.

3. Office dress is casual...I have visions of clothes from Anthro, of wearing jeans, of making cool outfits and funky hairstyles not based on exactly what the precipitation chances are outside or whether I am going to be walking through holes full of mud and gunite all day long.

4. Our house inspection has been done, and it doesn't have mystery tear-down problems (unlike the last one)!  We are proceeding with the attempted purchase.  There may be a Clark Household quite soon!  With a Clark Guesthouse/Bungalow to accept all the visitors we can possibly invite...I want to shower hospitality on all the sweet folks in our life and start to give back.

Anyway, I know it's brief and disjointed, but I just wanted to write down that I am giddy, happy, and thankful...I promise photos and videos soon!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

That Familiar Change

No more close calls with security.

Thanks to the persistence of very dear friends, I have obtained a job through the traditional means of a bona fide interview.  Scheduled and approved by the employer, I was expected and accepted on company grounds. 

They asked me questions like, "How did you get here?" but in the figurative rather than literal sense.  

"How soon can you start?" rather than how soon could I move my unemployed rear off the premises.  

It felt so nice.  I'd been so nervous getting dressed that morning, but in a strange way.  Blow-drying my hair, carefully applying not-too-much makeup, pinning my shirt to my underwear so as not to come untucked...it all felt just a little desperate.  

I know I shouldn't have felt that way.  But it was different from interviewing back at the end of school.  Back then, it was all just innocent hopefulness.  We were young, somewhat educated, and ready to attack the working world.  We didn't know anything, really, and companies knew that.

Interviewing after being in the workforce, now that's another animal.  The playing field is no longer level.  Suddenly I am nervous about my experience.  Yeah, I've learned tons.  But has it been the right stuff?  For 4.5 years now my peers have been accumulating work experience, too, and what if theirs is all the right stuff?  

What is causing the silence behind all of my resume submissions?  What is it about my experience that makes people so bored that they'll even turn down dozens of cookies and a big fat smile?

I know, I know, nobody wins with such a weenie, victim-like attitude.  I certainly didn't carry that into the interview room.  I just wanted to say it out loud this once, because I think it's a very real & pervasive experience.  

So yes, I felt nervous that morning, but there are no nerves allowed once those heels are put on. I grow several inches taller with those patent-leather beauties, and so does my ego.  Shoulders back, hair sprayed into place, I was a black & blue bastion of brilliance!

Beyond getting the job, our little trip to Austin was a satisfying one.  We stayed with Nichole and Clay, the same dear friends behind my getting the interview in the first place, and it was awesome.  Brendon and Clay worked on some suddenly needed plumbing repairs while Nichole and I sat outside on their back patio with a bit of Cabernet.  Well done, boys!

The enormous oaks in their back yard rustled a little as the breeze fluttered across the branches.  The sun slid down, and we could feel just the slightest twinge of temperature changes, that first peek into fall.  Maybe it's because we're September babies, maybe it's because we've begun so many semesters of school together, but we both love this time of year.  

I know all the seasons bring change, but the advent of autumn just seems to promise something sweeter and warmer.  Perhaps because pumpkin pie is on the back of everyone's mind!  Ha ha, no, I think it's a little more than that.  I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but as Brendon and I stood in the middle of that house on Tuesday and told our realtor that it was the one, I know we both felt it.  

Things are changing, life is moving forward, and soon everything will be just a little bit different.  We put on the same clothes but have a different experience.  We visit the same people and talk about new things.  We go through the seasons, and each time we"re a little older and hopefully a little more equipped for life.  

Life is change, and I do love it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I'd like to dedicate this post to my partner.

Maybe I'll get used to calling Brendon my husband at some point.  We both confessed to one another that referring to each other as, "my husband," or "my wife," feels slightly possessive and pretentious.

Certainly I've tried to say it this past week as situations required:

To the tailor, Mr. Swan:

"Can you sew a button into these pajama pants?  My boyf-, er, husband bought them and didn't notice that the crotch has nothing to fasten it closed." *fist in mouth to prevent giggling...perhaps due to recalling the funny dance Brendon did when he tried on the pants at home and discovered the fasten-less front to them.

To the guy at the shooting range when we went to try out our shotgun:

"No, I've never shot this before, it's a gift from my, um, this guy--my husband." *inarticulateness perhaps due to the 57 animal heads staring at me around Carter's Country and the occasional blast erupting from the range outside.

To the lady at Banana Republic, while I was looking at a purse: "Hang on, I've got to see what my...husband thinks of the fabric."  *no giggling, no terrible fumbling for words; Brendon is an expert shopper.

In fact, shopping was what kind of helped me get more used to saying it. Husband. This past week he's scoured the mall with me as I searched for a few gifts. He's offered all kinds of great feedback.

(In all the hubub of "eloping" and having a reception, there have been a few family members and friends who have just given a whole lot to us.  Encouragement, planning help, silverware...we so appreciate every generous act and thing thrown our way and want to give something back to say, "Oh wow, thank you!"  Hence the gift shopping.)

And he just really is a great shopper.  I've always known this, but I was really reminded of it as he stood in front of at least 10 purses and rejected all of them on the basis of color, texture, and size.  "No, that one's too busy/eh, I think that one's just too weird a shade of brown/definitely too small."  Over and over again, good reasons for passing up on the purchase.

"I think you really ought to go with the one at Banana Republic," he finally said.  "It even passes the Elbow Test."

Ladies, you know this one: can you pick up the bag and put it on your shoulder with the same hand?  Does the clearance between the purse opening and the top of the strap and the suppleness of the material allow your entire forearm to pass through without help from the other arm?

Don't laugh or scoff.  That is hands-down the most important question to ask before purchasing a handbag.  Unless it's truly meant to be an accessory. Lol. Now I'm scoffing. We all might buy a handbag at some point in our lives simply to compliment a look we're going for, but we also all know how deep in our closet that useless piece of whatever ends up.

Anyway, so we bought the sought-after gifts with great success, and I considered just how nice it was to shop with him.  And then again, to shoot guns with him (mentioned for all those concerned about his masculinity, because yes, he did also take me to the fabric store to pick out more lining for another jacket).

I know, I know, it's kind of cheesy.  But allow me this for heaven's sake!  I just married the guy, after all.  And I certainly didn't expect to upon first meeting him.  He says he knew pretty quickly, but I must admit that the tall gringo I met in that marketing class at Tec de Monterrey (see above photo of class; we're actually both in it if you look!) did not strike me as The Guy I'll Marry upon first meeting.

"I'm 27, I'm from New Mexico, and once while in the Navy I was in jail in Thailand."  These were the first things I knew about him as our professor randomly called on folks day 1 of class to give a quick intro of ourselves.

He called on me next, and I said, "Well, I'm Shannon, but I'm not going to go after him; there's no topping that story!"  The class laughed and the bell rang to signal the end of the period.  It was spring semester of my junior year of college, and I was spending my second term abroad in Monterrey, Mexico after a first term in Chile.

This was almost six years ago, when Monterrey was the bastion of safety in Mexico.  When car bombs only happened in the Middle East and walking the streets of Barrio Antiguo at 2am was probably safer than doing the same in Austin.

I was single, my worldview and many core beliefs were changing, everything was new and exciting.  I loved Spanish.  I loved being somewhere new.  I had learned to "survive" on my own in some ways and felt confidence that I'd never known before.  Chile had been fun, Mexico was going to be even better.

And I was going to date a Mexican! That's how you get really good at a language, according to all the exchange students.

Except I met Brendon.  He approached me after that first class and casually mentioned that he'd been in Monterrey the previous semester and roomed with a guy who'd taken this same class, so he had an extra textbook--did I want it?  I didn't really pay much attention, sure, yeah, the book would be great...the other foreign students were all kinda milling around in the halls there and we were all exchanging numbers.

I was focused on, well, myself really.  I wanted to travel, to know lots of people, and get really involved in my "internship" with the university (writing a kind of blog on the goings-on among the exchange students).

And then...he popped up again, giving me the promised book (I'd forgotten about it) at the computer lab the next day.  And again, inviting me to a soccer game, and again, asking if I'd be interested in a party.  I accepted a few of these invitations under the guise of Working Girl Needs to Be Where It's Happening to Report on Stuff.  Brendon knew everyone on campus it seemed, and if I was going to write about what was happening, guess I'd have to keep hanging out with him.

Weeks passed.  I turned down a couple of dates with Mexican boys.  I accepted a date with Brendon.  We planned trips with the other foreign students...and suddenly, we were hanging out all the time.

And we've been hanging out ever since.

The first thing I loved about him was how much fun I had with him.  He likes to do almost anything; I've climbed pyramids with him in Mexico, canoed at Barton Creek with him, shot semi-automatics in the Arizona desert with him, ridden bikes across the Golden Gate bridge with him, gambled in Vegas with him, eaten crawfish at a boil in east Texas with him...and at the same time, we've also sat and done absolutely nothing together.  All enjoyable.

We rode out a hurricane together.  We've sat in hospital waiting rooms together.  We've held new babies together and also very sadly experienced great loss together.

Over the years I've noticed that it's not even just me that enjoys talking to him; pretty much anyone with a minute or two in his presence will just spill their guts.

I think it's because he's really just kind at his core.  He likes listening to people and has taught me to try to do the same.  He'll gently remind me, "Shannon, people just want to be heard." Yeah, he definitely makes me a better version of me.

Whew, I'm getting just a little misty here.  Sorry, didn't mean to get so squishy.

I wanted to respond to the request that I explain how we met, and I thought that since he is such a great shopping partner, I could explain in this blog.

But it's not just shopping.  He's a great partner for everything.  He's...my husband.  My partner.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One Bad Apple Spoils the...Box of Cookies

Pencil skirt.  Blown-dry hair.  The power blue shirt.

Funky vest that says, "I'm creative, in a demure and appropriate way."

THE Coach heels.

Five lovely copies of the resume printed on perfectly crisp resume paper, safely tucked inside the portfolio.

A box of cookies, heavy with butter and promises of happiness.

I slipped a bobby pin right in at my ear to hold back all this hair I've been growing.  I know it's a natural reaction for ladies to grow their hair out for "getting married," but truthfully I'm not sure why I did it.  So I blame it on some unexplained instinct and just shrug it off.  Literally, because it's getting pretty long.

And then Brendon dropped me off at Apple's Austin offices, where I was to execute Stage II of my attack on their HR department.

Stage I occurred about 3 weeks ago when I first decided to apply for a position there.  You see, Brendon and I are moving to Austin (more on that in a bit) and I would enjoy some form of employment when we go.  I'm thinking I could be happy in a larger office again, and there are actually several positions at Apple that appeal to me.

My thinking was that one doesn't just apply to work for Apple.  They're different, creative, funky, and I want to show that I am those things, too.  So, I um, well, I made my resume rhyme and sent it to them with 7 dozen cookies from Tiff's Treats:

The Rhyme and Reason for Hiring Shannon Kelly
2007-present                                                                                                        Spring, TX                                                                                                     
Installations Manager: Mirror Lake Landscapes, Pools, & Waterfalls
I tell the foreman what to do and through him I direct the crew
Before breaking ground or laying block I match our needs ‘gainst what’s in stock
The architect reviews with me problems that we might foresee
I prep the site and prep the crew and prep the subs we contract to
I brief the client, schedule work, then order pavers, plants, and dirt
Efficient jobs are my intent to make above 30%
But a damaged name one can’t repair so I manage clients with great care
Problems? I attack with speed, both for our crew & clients’ need
Permits and inspections too are part of what I need to do
So to pass inspections rapidly I always let inspectors see
how much we value what they do (they want to feel important, too)
I negotiate bills with subs and vendors and collect from clients (sensitive spenders)
My organization, empathy, and Spanish-speaking ability
have helped improve the business here and see our most productive year
2006-2007                                                                                                                Roswell, GA
Customer Logistics Analyst: Kimberly-Clark Professional
I managed a portfolio of customers and had to know
Where all their orders were and when they phoned I’d always answer them
I saw proper delivery of all their orders with K-C
And often worked with Transportation to speed things up at their location
When prices changed I helped them test, then devised a way to save the rest           
a week of hours, and sometimes more; now the test’s not such a chore
Through careful research I was able to find some money on the table
we’d left with quite a hefty client who up ‘til then had been defiant
of our rebate policies; I showed the boss, and he was pleased
To network in the company I joined a group for Diversity
for which I recruited members new to encourage them to network, too
So my customers were happiest with order rates that were the best
they’d seen in years; so was my leader, for pinpointing that money-bleeder
And new folks in the company were glad to find a place to be
involved and grow and to reach out, which was what that group was all about

2006 BBA in Marketing, Minor in Spanish                                                     Austin, TX
The University of Texas McCombs School of Business
Classes during my 3rd year were taken far away from here:
In Chile and in Mexico, and taught in Spanish you should know                 

I wish that this was not a fact—I haven’t always used a Mac
I have one at my house, you see, but at work it’s always been PC
I know Office, Quickbooks too, and Photoshop I know some too
I’ve done some work in SAP, though Dreamweaver is more for me
My Spanish skills I’m daily using
I speak it well, it’s not confusing
As may likely be your preference, I can supply you with a reference

Of course I applied online, as they request, but I figured such a sweet accompaniment (times 7) couldn't hurt.  And frankly, this is the way I've always gotten things done: with cookies and a smile.  Successfully, by the way.

But no word from Apple in this last month, so yesterday when we were in town to look at houses I decided to stage the logical next step: personal cookie delivery.  Who says no to a smiling redhead in the power blue color?

And I was at first quite encouraged.  I walked in to the first building, where I only encountered a few of the security team for the complex.  I inquired where one might head if one happened to be overtly yet kindly offering something sweet along with a resume.  The guard laughed, told me he liked my style, and directed me to the next building with a good-natured "good luck!"

And those gorgeous Coach heels carried me across the baking parking lot.  Good purchase, good purchase!  Well, good use of the Ace in the Hole.

I counted my blessings that it was not raining and that I had worn that vest, which was effectively hiding what I'm sure was a ton of sweat down my back.  No matter.  I was confident, stocked with cookies, and carrying what I felt was a fabulous resume (a more professional, non-rhyming kind).

Two more attempts at entry, both at incorrect doors.  Kindly, hip-looking Apple folk directed me towards the next buildings, where I finally ended up at the wrong door again.  The signs I'd seen everywhere requesting that visitors use the main entrance were posted there, and I asked a lady where to find this elusive portal to their forward-thinking, trendy world.

She smiled and just told me to follow her in, which I at first tried to decline based on Security's request that strangers not "tailgate."

But I was sweating, perched in heels, and weighed down by some now rather heavy cookies.  She insisted I follow her, then showed me the proper doors and reception desk inside.  It was only a few yards away, and I thanked her as I made my way to the two ladies at the desk.

These ladies were just not the kind of folk I had run into so far at Apple.  Perhaps they didn't like vests.  Perhaps they had just eaten a bad lunch.  Possibly they just get irritated at flagrant dismissal of important rules, like "no tailgating."

But they did not smile at my requests.  They did not like that I had a resume with me.  And they certainly did not want my cookies.  My charms were wasted on them, and they stood almost immediately and began dialing what I instinctively felt must have been Security.

I tried to give them my cookies without the resume, the latter of which they coldly told me was only accepted electronically through Apple's website.  No, they did not want my cookies.

Of course not, they were probably full after eating their young.

I ran out the door before Security could show up.  I dispensed a few cookies among young gentlemen returning from lunch on my way to the car, none of whom, unfortunately, would take my resume.  Brendon collected me before anyone could hit me with a billy stick and we drove off.

So honestly I felt extremely discouraged in those first 5 minutes.  I was hot and overwhelmed and suddenly felt very stupid about my vest, the cookies, and my perfect shoes.

Then I changed back into comfy clothes at a coffee shop, sipped some iced tea with a very comforting hubby, and began to get the giggles as I thought of it all.

Brendon offered that getting near-escorted out by Security was probably the worst thing that could happen while looking for a job, and now I'd gotten that out of the way.  "It can only get better," he observed.

And he's right.  It can only get better.  And now I don't have any regrets.  I don't think I'd ever have felt that I did everything I could if I hadn't shown up in person with my signature box of baked goods.  I'd be sweeping the floors somewhere making 50 cents a day, wondering what ever would have happened if I'd only brought cookies to Apple back when I was a young married and full of hope.

And really, there was just too much to be excited about yesterday.  We found a house we love and put in an offer.  I must say that a year without shopping makes these crazy-huge purchases even more gratifying...almost like I've been preparing all this time to really spend some money.

And those moments sitting at a little cafe with a realtor, filling out documents and moving towards a place that we can call The Clarks' just feels really good.  Apple can't spoil that, even if they do reject my cookies.

Shannon Clark will work somewhere else, thanks very much.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Perfect Fit...Aw...

That's right, it zipped right on up.  No problem, no struggle.

And the NuBra performed beautifully.

I think he would have told me I looked beautiful even if I'd worn a trash bag, but I was glad The Dress worked.

We popped a cd full of Frank Sinatra and other mushy wedding songs, drove to Austin, made it legal, then hit the road again.  It was great.

I can't wait to be back there and put "The Clarks" on our very own mailbox!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Something Blue

I'm getting married.

I almost had an interview. 

I'm training 2 new people to take over my job.

We're looking for a house to buy.

These events fall among the Things I Failed To Anticipate List back when I began this little experiment.  Getting hitched, finding a new job, moving...luckily only 2 of those have major wardrobe requirements.

And I think I've managed to slide past them unscathed, at least where The Rules are concerned.  Well, sort of, and perhaps my karmic punishment for my slight indiscretions is the cancelled interview last week.

Okay, I'll come clean.  When it comes to the dress from Anthro for the actual wedding, I did use gift cards to get it...aaaaand Brendon.  The gift cards got me most of the way there, and then I placed the dress in his hands at the register and just said, "Please."  He forked over the rest of the cash to actually purchase the dress, all with a big grin on his handsome face.  Swoon, I will marry that man!

Then the interview shoes.  Earlier this week, I had an interview suddenly scheduled, and it dawned on me that these purging sessions with my closet have eradicated all semi-sensible black shoes from my life.  The totally sensible ones I still own, which function well in my current all-terrain work environment.  And then I have a few that even my dear grandmother calls "f-me" pumps.  But I didn't want totally sensible shoes in an interview, nor did I want Catwoman's footwear. 

I cursed the Closet Experiment, then remembered I still had that $100 Macy's card!  Yessss!  I was off to the mall Labor Day in search of some awesome black patent leather.  Which is how I ended up with these ridiculously gorgeous Coach heels.  

Seriously, is it not some rite of passage for a young lady to purchase her first pair of Coach shoes?  I kept waiting for music to play or for someone to come on to the intercom at Macy's to "say a few words."  Or maybe I'm just a little emotional in the midst of all these rites of passage I'm tackling these few months.  I mean, trying them on was like listening to harp music. Even the packaging was beautiful.  

The only thing that wasn't perfect was the price: $138.

So here's the thing--the sales lady got the price down to under $100 for me, but that was by opening a Macy's card, standing on my head, and breathing out of just one nostril.  Or something like that.  But it was all contingent on opening this card.  I just don't need any other credit inquiries while we're getting ready to buy a house.  

Argh, why am I doing so many big things at once?  Gotta get the shoes to get a job to afford the house, but can't get the shoes without sacrificing the credit just a smidgeon...and it's all so hard to think about because I'm just freakin' hungry, all because I need to fit in that doggone (yet very pretty) dress to get married!

This is when the harp music stopped.  The sales lady backed away as I'm sure smoke came out of my ears and tears welled up in my eyes, probably for the 57th time this week.  Most everything is an emotional experience these days.  I promise I'm trying to get more sleep and lay off the caffeine.

Wait a minute, wait a minute.  Take a breath.  These are the things that we don't want, that we don't need--stress over silly things.  These are exciting times, not times for anxiety.  One step at a time...

F it.  I bought the shoes, and yes, forked over the extra $38 and taxes.  And yes, then the interview was cancelled for some sort of internal reason at the company (or maybe they sensed the brief blip in my willpower radar and got disappointed, whatever).  And I was disappointed.  

But I did not return the shoes.  And I still had my suit jacket altered, which was looking huge since my days of hardcore working out and living without a tiny dress hanging in my room.  How did that thing ever fit my shoulders?  Was I really such a linebacker?  The sleeves were hanging past my knuckles when I tried it on again!  Mr. Swan actually laughed a little when I tried it on for him, and then he went to work pinning it up and back all over the place.  Now it looks like a proper jacket for a proper adult.

But then I had to address my other alterations issue, the one that's been making me dream about trans fat and super refined sugar every night: the dress that still would not fit as of this past Monday.  I took that tiny dress to my Aunt Sarah and Granny, who looked at me actually in it and determined the stupid zipper was messed up!  "It's not you, Shannon, it's that zipper!" They both declared that there was plenty of room for all of Shannon in it, and then Aunt Sarah worked on the zipper overnight...and now it fits!  

I zipped that sucker all the way up, finally wearing it for real for the first time, and it was just beautiful. No, I did not immediately indulge in a Hostess Cupcake to celebrate, figuring this would certainly be bad luck.  But I did consider it...and ate a carrot instead.  Wahh-waaah.

Now the issue of what sort of undergarments to wear under it.  Straps simply aren't an option, and I don't even want the bumps of a strapless bra under that lovely fabric.  I equipped myself with the following nifty little item: The NuBra. 

Please enoy this item for all that it is, its ridiculous little slogans, its pink packaging, its black-and-white photography a la the 60s.  And please fully appreciate the fact that it is simply a couple of weird little sticky cups to wear in the place of an actual bra.  It's A Softer, Lighter Definition of Freedom.  And apparently it offers the girl on the box a solution for backless fashion. 

Dude, really, if you can buy Freedom and Solutions in a little pink box at Macy's, I think they ought to up the advertising a little.  "People will most definitely come, Ray." 

And that's how I justified the outright purchase of this item: it's not a bra.  It's not even an accessory.  Nay, it's a solution and a freedom. 

And beyond that, it's pretty much just a couple of glorified bandaids. So no, I'm not going to feel bad about this one.  Not unless it just pops off randomly in the middle of a rather important moment with the judge today.  I guess we'll really see how my shopping karma is holding up with this little sticky cuppy thing. 

Thus ends the stress.  I am not going to worry about all these big things that are happening.  No more anxiety about whether I'm prepared or equipped or have the right pair of shoes. 

This is a very exciting time and I intend to fully enjoy every moment of it.  I confess that I've stretched The Rules ever-so-slightly with this wedding/new job stuff, but I don't think I went too far.  I also confess that I've let myself become a bit of the Something Blue that I'm supposed to wear today, and I am officially shrugging that mentality off.  No more blues; I'm excited and happy and grateful and hopeful. 

And I can't wait to report to you just how awesome those Coach beauties and that NuBra are, both in interviews and in the wedding. 

And by the way, I will be reporting it to you as Shannon Kelly Clark.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What Can I Say?

I've been blog-silent, and I have no good excuse.  Especially seeing as a dress is ruling my life at the moment.

Well, no, I don't like that kind of victim mentality.  I am allowing a size 6 to rule my life right now.  I have handed over the reigns to an article of clothing that takes issue with my 6th and 7th ribs, and such a thing deserves discussion on a clothes-related blog.

Fine, so I haven't written because I'm hungry.  I'm eating like a slightly carnivorous rabbit, which ought to make me feel healthy and awesome...and most of the time it does.

But it turns out I'm teetering on the edge of total insanity, because a tiny hiccup in my day sends me into a storm of either anger, tears, or total confusion.  I blame it on EDD (extreme donut deficiency).  There is not much official documentation of this condition, but most people have actually suffered from EDD at some point in their lives.  Later on, when I'm not so busy, I'll start a foundation and have a 5K or something.

But right now, I am all "eye on the prize."  And the prize is this lovely dress, made possible by Anthro Gift Cards given to me by some very sweet friends:

Thanks, Katie and Sarah!

Thanks, Char!

I had wanted this dress ever since the shopping excursion with Mom and Sarabeth a few weeks ago.  Yes, we found The Dress for the wedding reception on that trip, but I also tried this one on and briefly fantasized about wearing it when Brendon and I elope:

Mom and sister were nonplussed at the way the 8 kinda just hung on me, so we abandoned it at the store and I tried to quit thinking about it.

Then the Bachelorette Party happened (and man, did it happen!) What a fun night.  Sister and Buddies really went all out, from decorating my house (those photos unfortunately shouldn't be published on a public site, ha ha...) to bringing over-the-top sweet gifts and taking me out. Sarah and Katie and Char so thoughtfully gave me Anthro Gift Cards, making me suddenly think about that dress in perhaps more flattering size 6.  I did some recon and managed to track it down (these dresses were going fast!  They're not even available anymore).

And after finding it, I didn't mind that it didn't completely zip up.  I mean heck, I had just eaten a whole box of Shipley's as Bachelorette Hangover Breakfast the day before, so of course there was a little extra Shannon, right?

A night like this deserved Shipley's breakfast! Ah, the Prom Face...

And of course it would be easy to slim down over the course of a few weeks...I mean, it's not like I eat a box of donuts every day, right?  Ha ha ha! Ha ha. Ha...

Now here I am.

Imagine the theme music from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly playing as I stare down the dress.  In my hand is a stick of celery instead of a gun, my weapon against its evil zipper.  Carbs?  Never heard of 'em.  Donuts? Not even sure what they are.

The dress cackles at me, makes some comment about how this town ain't big enough for the both of them (reference again to my 6th and 7th ribs).

I take a step closer: Oh yeah? I've got an appointment this Saturday with His Honor Judge Herb Evans, and I intend to take you with me.  Even if I have to hold my breath the entire time.

The dress is quivering in fear.  Oh I'm going to win this one.  And in the meantime, no silly craving for a delicious piece of buttered toast is going to keep me from blogging.  Take that, zipper!