Funny Dreams

November 30, 2008

Mark woke up and said he had a dream last night that I just had to share. He said that we bought a talking hutch, but we didn’t know it talked until we got it home. And when it talked it sounded like Roseanne Barr. He said he found himself more worried that it wouldn’t talk to him than worrying it wouldn’t shut up.

That had us rolling in laughter before we got out of bed.

Mine not as good was about a party that I went to where we were all waiting to go to a KISS concert though I knew it wasn’t a concert for the real KISS but for a tribute band. My friends Chip and Marti were there though I didn’t know why since Stephen was my only friend I knew who liked KISS. I told everyone I was there since my brother, Rob, couldn’t be there. (Rob liked KISS when we were growing up, though I don’t think he likes them anymore.)

Yeah, see mine wasn’t as good as Mark’s. Though when he saw that I was writing about this, he said: “Oh, don’t write about that.” “Why?” I asked. “Because it is silly,” he said. And I hope you agree with me that THAT is the point!

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Kelly and Suzanne - post-single life!

Maybe it is because I am still somewhat of a newlywed (1 yr. 5 mths. 2 days as of today — OK 3 days since it is after midnight), but I really don’t miss much. I have quite a bit of freedom in my marriage, which is fabulous. I realized recently that I don’t just spend hours upon hours on the phone with friends like I used to. Mark told me today that he thinks I do just because I was on the phone with a friend for 30 minutes, but he really has NO idea!

Suzanne and I used to spend hours and hours on the phone especially when we were both single. We would even call each other in the middle of the night if we needed help or just to talk through a difficulty with a client, a boyfriend or just because. And I love those times on the phone. They were (and are still) very meaningful to one extent or another.

I am really trying to spend time with friends, but I enjoy being with Mark so much even if we aren’t doing anything special that I have to remind myself from time to time to just touch base with others. I love it that Mark loves all of my friends and that all of my friends love Mark too! So we enjoy having them over for dinner like we did last week with Sondra and Danielle.

But I might not get so much time with them one-on-one as I used to, but I have such an amazing family of friends that I know they are there for me just as I am there for them no matter how much time passes.

Mark and I went to New England last week without much planned or many expectations, which really worked out and made it so relaxing!

Tuesday night when we got in we just drove around downtown Boston a bit then drove right out north to Chelmsford where we were staying while Mark was working out there on Wednesday and Thursday. I worked on an event follow-ups on Wed morning. When Mark got off at 3, we drove down to Salem. Unfortunately, everything in NE seems to close around 5 pm, so we just had an hour. We spent that hour at the Salem Witch Museum and then walking around the homes and buildings from the 1600s-1850s.

Thursday I drove into Boston (well, Cambridge) while Mark worked, so that I could see the one museum I really wanted to see Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. This place is amazing and so inspiring to me and my love for art. I HIGHLY recommend it!! I walked around Harvard Medical School and Emmanuel College trying to find the museum. It was a cold day but I was so excited that I hardly felt it. I drove to pick up Mark from his last day of work and we decided to drive as far north as we possibly could.

We finally stopped in Brunswick, ME. We spent the night there and then drove back down south — taking the long way! We stopped in Freeport at the largest LL Bean store in the world. We found some cool stuff for Mark and both of our Moms. Then we drove down to Portland — saw the oldest lighthouse (commissioned by George Washington in 1791 — museum closed for the season). It was beautiful. There was an old fort in ruins nearby that we explored as much as we possibly could. It was FREEZING!!! And there were men in trucks with snow scooping things on the front of them out just waiting for the next snow storm — which was just about an hour away. We then went to downtown Portland and LOVED it!! We both agreed that we could both easily live there. We went to a Photo Gallery with Maine artists taking photos of Maine subjects that was preparing for an opening. It started to snow and rain pretty badly so we abandoned our plans to head to the Portland Museum of Art and find a hotel. So we stayed in for the day and ate at a local dive called, uh, Chili’s (it was close enough to run to from our hotel room!). It snowed a couple of inches an hour overnight, but with the shovel trucks and with the rising temperatures overnight it wasn’t really noticeable in the morning with the exceptions of all the hills of pure snow on all the parking lots and various places.

Actually there were remnants of snow everywhere we were the entire time!! It was wonderful to see!!

We left Portland the next morning (Saturday) and continued to drive. This time to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We were originally looking for Portsmith because that is how everyone seemed to be pronouncing it to our Southern ears! In Portsmouth, we found Strawbery (yes, just one “r”) Banke. A collection of houses and buildings from the 1630s. Of course, as was our experience the entire time, the museum was closed for the season, so we just explored around ourselves. We then continued south to Ipswich, Mass. There, we understood, was the largest collection of First Period houses (meaning, those built between 1625 and 1725) than any other community in America. But we actually spent quite a bit of time in a couple of antique shops.

With everything closing in Ipswich at 5 (and it gets dark at 5 too), we headed to Concord to spend Saturday night. I couldn’t believe how many people were friends who lived in Concord at the same time — Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Louisa May Alcott — mid-1800s!! PLUS, it was where Paul Revere’s ride took place and the 1st battle of the American Revolution. So we saw Walden Pond. And while Mark studied, I went through the Orchard House where Louisa May Alcott wrote “Little Women” and scores more books, poems and essays. I LOVED it!!!!

Because we drove around and around looking for the Concord Museum. We stumbled upon 1800s cemetery and we walked around there — I LOVE old cemeteries and had never walked around one with snow all over it, so we did! Mark FINALLY stopped at a gas station so we could ask directions and it was just around the corner we hadn’t tried yet. The streets aren’t marked very well and they change names quite often too making driving a challenge! We then went to the Concord Museum. Little, tiny Concord is just bursting with history!!!! It is truly amazing!! I told Mark that I just really love being so surrounded by history — it just invigorates me.

We then drove into Boston Sunday evening. We stayed at a 1800s hotel just on the corner of Boston Common. We got there while the city was bustling with excitement and loads and loads of people. We settled in to the hotel and then ventured out — walking around Boston Common, we ended up for dinner AND the Super Bowl (New England Patriots vs. New York Giants) at the bar that was the inspiration for Cheers!! It was originally called Bull & Finch, but they smartly changed the name to Cheers. We got a great table — had dinner and drinks and then walked back before 1/2 time. Walking back we were laughing about how deserted the city was. In the Boston Common, there is a huge ice rink. When we were walking to the bar, there were probably 100 people skating. When walking back, there were Three!!! It was funny!!

Back at the hotel, we watched the game, laughed at WHY they had Tom Petty for 1/2 time, and then had to rush out for a fire alarm (false alarm, thank goodness!!). We had a great time though!

Monday morning we were ready to head to the airport early and back to Dallas at 3 pm on Monday. It is good to be home, but what an incredible trip. And with not much planned (I wanted to see Salem, Concord, and lighthouses), we did and saw SOOOOO much!!

Sleeping Beauty, uh, BellaBaby Bella at 15


On Sept. 26, 2003, I made the crazy decision to actually adopt not 1 but 2 dogs who happened to be 11 years old at the time – Bella and Bunky. I got both of them because I was told that Bella, who had bad arthritis, would probably only live for another 6-9 months. Knowing that if I didn’t take her she would be put down, I decided to give her what good life I could during the short time she had left on this earth.

Bella and Bunky lived with a loving woman in a bad relationship. As I understand it, after she got these 2 Lhasa Apses, she decided to breed and show Pekinese. She said that at any one time, she had as many as 12 dogs and 6 cats living with her.

Bella was the ringleader for the entire bunch. And she had the kind of personality that reminded me of Lucy from the Peanuts comics (I would always say to her and Bunky: “Now, would Benji do that?”). While I have no doubt that this woman loved all of her animals very much, she got into a bad relationship that changed her life completely.

I won’t go into all of the details as I am sure that I don’t remember, or even know, them all completely, but in a nutshell, she hooked up with a very abusive guy. He apparently took his frustrations out on the animals and especially Bella because she desired (make that: “demanded”) so much attention. Because a baby on the way, her boyfriend made her get rid of all of the animals. Bella, Bunky and Bubba were the last I know of to go. (Bubba was adopted by my friend, Wendy. And luckily, the woman moved with her baby girl to the East Coast — getting as far away from Mr. Abuser as she could!!! Good for her!! I wish her and her baby all the happiness that they deserve.)

I was in a relationship that was going nowhere, but I had been slow to realize it. Bringing Bella and Bunky in to my life actually made it easier to see that as time went on. My boyfriend at the time didn’t like dogs and really resisted me getting them. I knew the relationship hadn’t been right since January, 2003, but I didn’t have the guts to break it off. Somehow the closer I got to the dogs, the fact that I was in a bad relations came to light more and more. I finally figured out that the path we were on wasn’t going anywhere where I actually wanted to be. So I broke it off with him on our 4th anniversary in June, 2004. (I told you I was slow to realize!)

I met my husband, Mark, November 12, 2005. And while Bella never really warmed up to him (probably because of the abuse from that other man), Mark worked hard at relating to Bella. Unfortunately, as she learned to accept him, she got very sick.

In August, 2007, Bella weighed 17 lbs. On December 22, I took her to the vet because she hadn’t eaten for 2 1/2 day (which was HIGHLY unusual since she would try to bully Bunky off his food unless I refereed), she weighed 13.6. Even though she kept dwindling away, her little spirit was still as strong as it had always been. I told the vet that if she could live on sheer will alone, she would be jumping off the couch right now. But on January 7, Mark and I took her in (she now weighed 10.2 lbs.) and we said our goodbyes. I told her to go find Bubba so she could boss him around again. It wasn’t a peaceful end, but she is at peace now.

Goodbye, Bella-baby, my Honey-B. Thank you for rescuing me!! I will see you in Heaven some day.

As Mark says, “It has been a great 6 months.”

I heard this a while back. Everyday find something you are grateful for — tell your partner, tell your kids, tell your friends — make it personal to them, you can never say it too much or too often. And here is the kicker — make it something different today than it was yesterday. The goal is to have a unique string that is never repeated. There is enough to go around — yes, we live in THAT much of an abundant world.

I believe the more you put gratitude out there, you will notice it coming back to you in droves.

Today, I am grateful for our troops. I am grateful for our Marines, Air Force, Soldiers, and Navy personnel. Our nation is blessed to have them on the job. If you went through the entire weekend without realizing that Nov. 11 is Veteran’s Day, it isn’t too late. Add a service man or woman to your gratitude list this week.

I am grateful to Mark for creating a salad that I actually LOVE and find completely satisfying. And THAT is really saying something in this picky-eater, salad-hating girl’s life. It is really going to help me in my continuing efforts to get to a healthy weight. YAY!

Have a great week!

Year: One

October 23, 2007

Yummy cake even after a year in the freezer!

Yesterday was my and Mark’s first anniversary. We reflected on the past year with awe and amazement of what all we had gone through. Instead of doing anything fancy, we just lounged around at home as a cold front blew in and ate our year old wedding cake (by Adam Corolla!! and it was Quite good!!! Amazingly enough!!)

We talked about what our “anniversary resolution” should be. I came up with eating together at the table instead of in front of the TV so we could talk while we eat. That is one of my main reasons that I love to go out to eat because we are focused on each other and have great conversations. So I will let you know how that turns out.

Love is a powerful thing. And I thank God for Mark and his love every day!

What an amazing adventurous dining experience I had tonight!! And I am the furthest thing from an adventurous eater — that is Mark’s role in the family.

Mark and I were invited to a dinner that was celebrating the film: 30 DAYS IN DARKNESS. And that was exactly where we were — in total and complete darkness. I thought I had been in total darkness before, but now I know that I never have. It was almost inky deep — it had a thickness to it that you simply have to experience to fully understand.

We were lead in 10 at a time by blind waiters. (After all, aren’t they pros at getting around and eating in the dark?) They weaved us (hands on the shoulders of the person walking in front of us) around a few partitions that lead you inside the room. The room was never lit for us so we could get our bearings or anything like that.

Once seated, our waiter, Kathy, direct us in how to find our water, bread basket and napkins. Then we proceeded to have a yummy salad (and I hate salad), a chicken and mushroom entree, and a poached pear in cognac for dessert. Although I knew what the food was in general, but I was never really sure what I was putting in my mouth. And that took a lot of bravery on the part of this picky-eater extraordinaire.

The absolute greatest thing about the whole experience (besides Mark’s occasional naughtiness!) was getting to know the other people at the table. We had 8 at our table because 1 woman freaked out literally 30 seconds after we were in the door. Out of those 8 people, I knew Mark and one other couple (Kathy and Julius G.). I sat next to Karyn and her date Marcel and next to them were Rita and Russell.

Well, come to find out I DID know them. Karyn asked me my last name — when I said, “Kitchens,” she said: “I knew it!! Kelly J Kitchens!” I was amazed. I had been sending her press releases for years. Karyn works for the Tom Joyner Show!! And that got me thinking — Rita and Russell…. I asked them “Cook and Dandridge??” and they said: “Yes!”

Turns out that here was a group of people who I had email relationships with due to the fact that I am a publicist and they are all in the media. I got to see Karyn’s beautiful face, but unfortunately, Rita and Russell left before I was able to see them actually face-to-face. But we all have this amazing experience, which we laughingly shared. I was impacted by this 2 hours in the inky darkness more than I ever thought I would be.

Thank you, Roderick and Moroch for this incredible opportunity!

Bang it all out!

October 8, 2007

Mark and I saw Blue Man Group last night! WOW!! What fun! I was amazed at the extensive display of emotion on their blue faces. Mark, of course, noticed their massive production crew.

Another cool thing was how many families were there enjoying the show together. We were sitting in between a single dad and his 13-year old son and a single mom and her 11-year old son. When I was 12 (I think), my Mom took me to see John Denver perform with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. While it was fun and I am glad that I saw him perform, I just couldn’t imagine my Mom taking me to Blue Man Group — my Dad, maybe. I think he would have loved the innovative way they played the tubes, sticks and even the piano.

And aaaawwwaaayyyy we go!

September 30, 2007

I am so excited about my new blog. This will not only reflect what I am working on in my business, but you will also get to know me and the rest of my life here as well.

Just let me start out by saying that Mark and I will be celebrating our 1st anniversary on October 22!! This has been quite a year for us as newlyweds — miscarriage, blood transfusions, softball-sized tumor removed (Thank God; it was benign!!), bi-weekly Iron IVs (and that was just me!) and a 2 1/2 month lay-off (that one was Mark). But through it all we have remained strong, generous, caring, playful, loving, humorous, and sane. God sure did know what he was doing when he put our lives together. And I am so looking forward to the rest of it with Mark and, indeed, with all my friends and family.

So have a great night! I will be back with you as soon as I figure more of this out.