it runs in the family.

Growing up, my dad's side of the family was small. There were twelve of us total, and compared with my mother's side of the family which boasted at least forty-five, our family get-togethers seemed tiny. But, what we lacked in size was made up for in decibel. My grandmother loudly reading the menu to my grandfather, my aunt bellowing at misbehaving children and my father shouting, "That's enough!" towards my sis and I as we slyly kicked each other's shins under the table. And then there were the enormous laughs. In my prepubescent awkwardness, I found the din of our crew to be oh-so-embarrassing.

Now that I'm grown, I love that noise. Noise that has switched from parental guidance prompts to even more sweet, sweet laughter. When we're together, usually at my parent's bitty ranch-style home, we rattle the rafters with our giggles...laughing at each other, at inside jokes and at my mom and aunt's strange affinity for boxed wine. Some nights we sit out around a small bonfire, harassing the neighborhood with our howling laughter til all hours...or at least until we run out of S'mores ingredients.

Last night was no exception. When I asked my father and grandfather to snap a photo with me in honor of Father's Day, I got more than I bargained for: they were both more than happy to show off their AARP-inspired footwear. Sitting out on the front step, we couldn't control the giggles! Well, at least I know from whom I inherited my size 10 feet...but the fashion sense? Oh my. I hope that's not hereditary.


a little cheetah goes a long way.

(Helllllooo, airbrushed-skin!)

I've always been wary of animal prints...undecided on whether they were too Sex and the City or too southern-Florida-grandmother for my understated and simple wardrobe. One evening a few weeks ago, this little Target cutie snagged my attention, and after the sweet input I received on my LBD dilemma I was feeling a bit more fashion confident. So I leaped out of my comfort zone, and gave this baby a test drive while out for drinks with the girls.

Apparently this tiny shot of cheetah gave me a venti boost of confidence...I was uncharacteristically flirty with our waiter, Peter. Or maybe that was the two Tuscan Pears I drank in the matter of half an hour...regardless, my cousin thought Peter was interested. Meow.

So, I have become a tiny believer in small pieces of animal print. I mean, you won't see this girl rocking a cheetah-print Snuggie any time soon. (I already own one in blue. Two would be plain greedy.)

Your turn: Are animal prints a "do" or a "don't" in your wardrobe?


the best gifts in life are books.

I've received two books in the past week...absolutely the best gifts. Wouldn't you agree? They're the most intellectually intimate of gifts--almost daring in a way. You have to truly know someone's mind and psyche to sucessfully select a winning book for them. That task has proven to be too daunting for me...the only book I've gifted was a teasing copy of Why Do Men Have Nipples?. For real.

The best book I've received to date was a copy of my favorite read, The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. It was from a boy who must have searched endlessly for it, as I believe it was out of print at the time. However, it came to me as a Christmas gift with the sweetest note penciled inside the front page. It still sits on my bookshelf, and from time to time I pull it from the shelf to reread the slightly-crooked, yet endearing boyish handwriting. Such a thoughtful and attentive gift, one which only a boy who knew my heart and mind would have remembered. It still gives me warm fuzzies. :)

How about you, sweet readers? Has anyone ever gifted you a perfect read? Or...a hilariously imperfect read?


little indulgences.

In high school, my sophmore year English teacher was a hoot. Affectionately named "Sully", he would pounce on the seats of empty desks, screeching literary references while his weighty warden-worthy keychain jingled endlessly on his belt loop. Once, he claimed to have not eaten ice cream in years. He said he had done so as he feared losing control...one bowl would lead to another, which would lead to an entire quart. At fifteen, I thought this theory was crazy.

But, now I see the wisdom in that statement.

Ice cream, in all forms, is my crack. This weekend I bought a box of fat free ice cream sandwiches, and I swear to you, they call to me. Night and day. Um, literally. One night, I woke up at 2am to eat one. Hence the reason I've had to hang the reminder on my freezer.

So, I've decided to replace ice cream with frosty raspberries in the prettiest bowls I can muster. Thankfully, last week my sis gifted me the sweetest set of mistmatched floral bowls. Talk about perfect timing. :)


one. three. five.

I'll admit it: I'm a fridge lurker. Even though I live alone and am perfectly aware of my grocery purchases, every few hours I saunter towards the fridge and stand, entranced by the yellowy, chilly glow...as if somehow within the past two hours a chocolate-chocolate cake has appeared. YES. A chocolate-chocolate cake. 

Now, I realize this sounds ludicrous, but at 9pm on a Friday night, it seems plausible.

I'd comfortably fallen into my new lower weight and bi-hourly dates with my icebox, that foxy thing, until I had dinner with an old friend last week. We sat, catching up and discovering that we were close in weight--both hovering just above a goal we'd wanted to reach for some time. Although we live thousands of miles apart, we excitedly committed to being each other's accountability partners...e-mailing nightly to list our food choices, exercise efforts and weekly, a weight update.

In nine weeks, I'll see my friend again...and more than anything I want to hit that blessed one thirty-five. Originally, I began nearly 60 pounds away from my goal weight. (Do the math, but it's not pretty!) And today, here I sit just 14 pounds away.

So, as tough as it was, I had to break up with my icebox. And, lest I revert to my hot late-night dates with him, I crafted this framed numerical reminder, and hung it right at eye level...


i'm old: put another candle on the cake.

I remember my older sister theorizing that turning twenty-four was frightening, because there is no denying it: you're officially in your mid-twenties. You're supposed to have your proverbial crap figured out. I planned to be struck by the wave of "unfinished business" upon entering year twenty-four, but so far no such tsunami has struck, and I've spent my moments looking back with a smile.

Twenty-three was such a bittersweet year. But even in the "bitter" moments, I now find long term sweetness. Sweetness that comes from growth through mistakes, and sweetness found in those that surround me...the people that loved me through those silly, ridiculous stumbles that filled my twenty-third year. Truly, I might look similar to freshly twenty-three year old Bethany who awoke in this same apartment in 2009, but I think on the inside...twenty-four year old Bethany is a whole new girl. Her heart has been changed because of the lessons woven throughout the past 365 days. Lessons like:
Someone once told me that twenty-three is the best year of your twenties. And to date, it has been. But, I have a sneaking suspicion that my twenty-fourth year is about to take the cake.

Bring it, on twenty-four. Bring it on. :)


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