Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just where exactly is home?

You know how I got back from Spain about a month and a half ago?  I promise promise PROMISE you'll see pictures of this amazing adventure AND hear all the stories (the ones I still remember, anyway...geez).  But you know what?  Ever since I got back, life has been slightly bonkers.  At least on the travel side of things.  Oh, and possibly the "what am I doing with my life and how am I doing it and just WHAT the heck is going on?" side of things as well.  Which leaves little time for editing and captioning photos, much less compiling them in any sort of witty form.  Therefore, I present to you my travel schedule.

At the beginning of October, I went to Dallas for new manager training...

...and then went back home for a little while, feeling pretty distraught about things...

...and then almost went to Chicago for training and then Dallas but ended up just coming to Dallas a day early so I could be here for something much more important than instructor development training...

...and then went back home for a little while...

...and then went to Boston...

...and then went back home for a little while...

...and then went to Durham for the weekend to hang out with my fabulous sissy AND my wonderful mommy, all while introducing them to that boy I happen to be dating (oh, and for those of you who aren't aware of the boy...well, there it is! updates available upon specific request given my general propensity to not be a great personal sharer, although I think I've done much better in the last month or so)...

...and then went back home for a little while...

...and then went to New York for yet MORE training, which happened to be accompanied by a fun night in the city...

...and then went home for a little while, where there was a Friday night dinner involving the parents of aforementioned boy, which may or may not have contributed to some degree of stress in my life given everything else that stresses me...

...and now I'm in Dallas for a full week actually TEACHING training, which is going really well, but also happens to coincide with my dear friend Dana's last week in the DC office, which means I'm going back to a work land filled with ZERO I-can-tell-you-anything kind of people...but at least I'm spending some exceptionally good time with my wonderful people here...

...and then I'll go back home for more than just a little while.  With weekend visitors lined up for the next two weekends, which I'm MORE than excited about.  Probably because they know how important sleeping in is to me.

So, that's a little bit of the reason why you haven't heard about Spain yet.  But you will.  And Darcy, I PROMISE those pictures will head your way...definitely before Christmas.  This is ridiculous.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Deep fried goodness

Last weekend I was in Dallas for a number of reasons...and yes, one of those happened to be fried food.  And a football game.  How much more Texas do you get?

Reporting from the State Fair of Texas, fried food capital of the entire universe.  Prepare for spikes in cholesterol levels coupled with extreme levels of taste bud joy.  Well, mostly joy...

First bite at approximately 9:30 AM...breakfast of champions...the classic Fletcher's corn (I refuse to call it "corny") dog...

100% delicious, as always.  There's something to be said for the classics.

Round two was a halftime break (thank goodness the Red Raiders only screwed up the game just enough to win - I swear, I don't know what these boys are thinking) and consisted of chicken fried bacon and the single non-fried item of the day, Polish sausage on a stick.

My dining companion rejected the dipping sauces for the chicken fried bacon, which I happen to think greatly enhanced the chicken fried baconness when I tried it a few years ago.  I think a little ranch and/or honey mustard could have lifted the experience just a touch, but it was still crispy deliciousness.  And truly, it's hard to go wrong with meat on a stick.

You have to follow that up with dessert, right?  And not just any dessert, DEEP-FRIED dessert.  How convenient that we were in the general vicinity of an impulse purchase and what turned out to be my winner of the day....the deep-fried s'mores Pop-Tart.

It was delicious and amazing in every way.  Just the right amount of melty whipped cream (obviously sprayed from a can, which is really the only way to do it when you're complementing a deep-fried breakfast pastry) and drizzle of chocolate syrup and dabbling of chocolate sprinkles.  Super yum.

It's a good thing I fell in love with the Pop-Tart, because the next fried adventure was a complete and utter bust.

Deep fried beer.  Truly one of the most disgusting things I've ever tasted.  It may have been one of the most creative food offerings at the fair, but it certainly wasn't the most delicious.  Basically a concentrated beer syrup in a ravioli-like encasement with plenty of flaky salt on top, served by screaming ladies insisting that you put the entire thing in your mouth and just chew.  You know, so hot beer won't gush out and spew on you.  GROSS.

We both tried one, then handed the remainder of our portion of off to these guys...

...who echoed our sentiments exactly.  We told them to save their coupons for an actual beer.

Moving on to one of the most anticipated items of the day, and the WINNER of best fried amazingness at the fair this year according to the powers that be...deep fried Frito pie.

I don't know if it was worth the wait (40 MINUTES!! ridiculous!), but it was pretty tasty, especially with a little salsa and sour cream smeared across each bite.

Probably not the best idea to get my annual physical while these culinary delights are working their way through my arteries...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Welcome to the world, Grace Elizabeth!

The last few days, I've had a lot on my mind.  And even though I'm sure she didn't know it, a sweet little girl showed up just when I really needed her.  Thank goodness this child worked things out so that I'd have just enough time to swing by the hospital on my way to the airport for a flight back to DC on Sunday afternoon.  She pleased her aunt so much with this fortuitous arrival that of course I showered her with gifts immediately upon my arrival.  This bodes well for you, Gracie girl, it really does.

Grace Elizabeth Vaughn (formerly known as Peanut!  we know she's a she now!) made her way into the world on October 3 at 8:51 AM, all 8 lbs, 14 oz, and 21.25 inches of her.  I don't understand why they don't have a line on all of her identifying information to include the word "perfect."  Get with the program, every medical center everywhere in the world.

Congratulations on the new arrival, Diana and Trinity!

Sweet Grace taking a rest on her mommy

Just look at that face - the cuteness is too much
All the Vaughns!

I happen to think they already make a pretty awesome family

Grace, you are simply too cute for words

SO GLAD I got to meet you on your birthday, Grace!
No excessive pictures for this one (?!?), but here's the Picasa link to check out my short glimpse into the early hours of Gracie's life.

Welcome to the world, Grace Elizabeth!  We're awfully glad you're here.

Monday, October 4, 2010


I'm grateful we were able to spend parts of that day together, and I don't know if I've ever been so glad that I often hug people goodbye.  I'm grateful that I have such wonderful friends, and I don't know if I've ever been so glad to just be able to sit and be silent with one another, knowing we're there for each other.  Yesterday a dear friend left us, but I was fortunate enough to also welcome a blessed new life into the world. 

You meant so much to so many, and we're lucky to have had you in our lives.  Even in leaving this world, you helped others.  Lauren, you will be missed.