December 20, 2011

#reverbbroads11 Day 20 -- After the Storm

Today's Reverb Broads prompt could not be more perfect and necessary for me after the day I had yesterday.  Because of some personal (some private and some of which will be blogged about later) issues, yesterday was just a shitty day.  I was on the verge of tears (and succumbed to them more than once) all day long and just in a craptastic frame of mind. 

This morning brought with it not only some much needed sunshine, but also a much better mood and a determination to do the things in my power (because those things are always there) to change the course of my week. 

So without further ado, here's today's prompt:

Life is a work of art, or so they say.  What beauty do you regularly appreciate/revere in your life? from Neha

For me, it's the sky.

I love sunsets, sunrises, beautiful cloud formations, light rays peeking through the clouds after a storm, or even just a perfectly clear, blue sky on a sunny day. 

Every time I see the beauty of the sky, I feel small compared to the magnitude of the sky, the universe, and the God who created it all. 

Small...but not insignificant.

I feel peaceful and grateful that we have such beauty around us at all times if we would just open our eyes and look up from our phones (which, admittedly, I used to snap the next two photos...) for a moment to see it.

A storm brewing.  No editing was done to this photo.

An absolutely magnificent sunset after yesterday's thunderstorms.

Thank you, Neha, for today's prompt.  It further reminded me that some of the most perfect beauty can come after a storm.

I’m taking part in a blogging group called Reverb Broads that will be suggesting daily blogging prompts this December. If you want to join in, feel free! Go here or here to learn more!

December 19, 2011

#reverbbroads11 Day 19 AND Friend Makin' Monday

It's a double post day!  Sort of.  I'm just combining two things on which I've fallen shamefully behind:  Reverb Broads posting and Friend Makin' Monday participation.  So here goes!

FMM: Have You Ever?

1. …traveled outside of your home country? If so, where? I've only been to Mexico.  Twice.  Once was in the 6th grade, and it was a mission trip with my church.  The second time was to Cancun when I was 17.  But I went with my mom and my little brother, so no big crazy Cancun Senior Trip stories here!  Lame. I REALLY need to travel more...

2. …performed on stage in front of at least 1,000 people? If so, share some details! Not 1,000 people in the same place, no.  Not yet anyway.  I've been onstage TONS of times, though, but just not for houses or theatres that large!

3. …watched an episode of Jersey Shore? I can proudly answer "No" to this one.

4. …baked a cake from scratch? I have not!  BUT, I have made sugar cookies from scratch, iced with homemade buttercream frosting.  I just started those last Christmas, so this year was my second year to make them both. 

5. …worked in a grocery store? I have not. I feel like I've done just about every other "first job," but never made it into the grocery world. 

6. …dated someone who was your best friend first? No.  Michael and I were very good friends before we started dating, but we weren't BEST friends.  I was, however, madly in love with my best friend in high school...and introduced him to his girlfriend.  "le sigh."

7. …made a difference in someone’s life during Christmas? Oh man...I sure do hope so.  And not just at Christmas time. 

8. …been on TV? Yeah!

9. …had cosmetic surgery? Nope. But it's something I sometimes think about.  I'll most likely never do it.

10. …learned a second language? I'm not disciplined enough to do this.  I took Spanish in high school, and four semesters of it in college, and retained pretty much NADA.  (See what I did there?)

And now for today's Reverb Broads post:

Self-Portrait: Post a picture of you that you like, write about yourself, post a video - what do you want your self-portrait to say about you? from Kristen 

Wow.  What a day to ask me something like this.  Normally, as you may well have noticed, I'd jump at the chance to be narcissistic and post a photo or video of myself. 

Today, however, I'm feeling kind of down and blue and a little weepy.  Maybe it's the holidays.  Maybe it's the cloudy weather.  But my emotions are very close to the surface today, so perhaps it's best that I pull out this one again:

Just me. 

No makeup. 

No perfectly angled camera position. 

Natural light.

I hope that photos of me show that I'm happy.  Happy in that moment and happy with who I am as a person, how I look and feel, where I am in my life...Most often I'm smiling in photos...but today I feel a little more like the photo above.  Quiet and contemplative.  But it's still me.  Maybe it's more me. 

This is way too deep for me today.  I'll come back tomorrow more like myself, I hope.

I’m taking part in a blogging group called Reverb Broads that will be suggesting daily blogging prompts this December. If you want to join in, feel free! Go here or here to learn more!

December 13, 2011

#reverbbroads11 Day 13 -- Well if you're asking me to brag...

Happy Tuesday, lovelies!  On with the prompt for today! Today's prompt comes from the lovely Catie, whom I know from the 7 Days group on Flickr:

What are three things you are better at than most people?

Well if this prompt isn't just asking me to brag about myself, I suppose I don't mind doing that! 

1) Singing

I guess this is the obvious one.  Though, I don't think that I'm "better than most people."  I think I'm good...I think there are songs/roles I do better than others.  But, I have a strong belief that anyone can be taught to sing. It's harder to teach musicianship than actual technique, which is a conversation I have with my opera singer/voice teacher husband all the time. 

But I'm happy to have had the training I have had...and I'd love to take more lessons and get better.  But since it's just a hobby of mine, it sadly falls to the wayside and I only get to sing at the occasional cabaret (like in the clip below) or if I audition for and get cast in a show.  More clips are here (if I weren't a shameless self-promoter, I'd be nothing). 

2) Empathy

I wear my heart on my sleeve...I mean why not?  It goes with just about all of my outfits. 

No, but seriously...I'm a very emotional person and it's hard for me not to feel things strongly when they are affecting those that I love or care about.  Hell, even when I watch certain movies/t.v. shows/theatre pieces, I find myself emotionally invested to sometimes extreme levels.  (Example: when we saw Ragtime on Broadway in December of 2008, I was WEEPING after the Act I much so that when the lights came up and the woman next to me saw me sobbing, she couldn't get out of the aisle quickly enough.  Ha!)

Sometimes I curse myself for being so emotionally aware...but I think it makes me a better friend, wife, listener, audience member, what have you.  Now when it makes me get all teary-eyed in a meeting or something, that's not so fun...

3) .......


I'm starting to be uncomfortable with this topic...


Being Photographed

I've always been told that I'm very photogenic.  I think this is to make up for the fact that I'm only 5'3", I have thick legs and a round butt and ZERO waistline...and flat feet.  I mean I got all the "wrong" qualities from the "wrong" parents.  My mom's legs and my dad's butt (this is getting weird) would've been better than the other way 'round. 


I've got really decent skin (read: great, actually. I rarely break out...too badly.) and great hair!

And I've learned how to find my good side in photos and angle my face so as to minimize the double chin, how to turn my body so that it appears as though I have a waist, get the idea.  I also kind of think I have a great smile.  So that helps. 

Photo by Lindsay

All natural.  A photo I did for the 7 Days fall cycle.

 Okay okay stop making me talk about myself!  I'm gonna go read other people's blogs on this prompt and go tell them how awesome they are to balance out the karma of bragging.

I’m taking part in a blogging group called Reverb Broads that will be suggesting daily blogging prompts this December. If you want to join in, feel free! Go here or here to learn more!

December 12, 2011

#reverbbroads11 Day 12: Guilty Pleasures

Well, so I'm not so good at the blogging over the weekend...I'm okay with that.  So without further ado, here's today's prompt from Neha:

Name and explain the one guilty pleasure you can't live without.  ie: that cupcake shop you visit weekly, a book you repeatedly read to find solace in, etc).  Then explore the idea of how you would feel if you gave that thing up for a year.

Hmm....well, I guess the idea of this is that it should be something I feel guilty about or, at the very least, embarrassed to admit to people...and I am kind of known for owning up to my quirks proudly and loudly. 

This is tough!

I suppose if I had to choose, it'd be coffee/caffeine.  I love coffee so much that it's bordering on obsession.  When I was in Seattle and Portland last week, I felt like I had arrived on the MOTHER SHIP of coffee obsession.  The original Starbucks.  Stumptown.  Tully's.  Home-brewed and ground coffee that my friends made.  COFFEE COFFEE EVERYWHERE.

So. Many. Profile pictures of me drinking coffee. 

So...yeah.  I know that it's not good to have too much caffeine. It'll stunt my growth (at 5'3" I'm not too fussed about that).  It'll stain my teeth.  Blah blah blah.  But I love it.  I love the comfort of the warm mug.  I love the way it smells.  I love the different ways it can be brewed and flavored.  I love the conversation that happens across the tops of two steaming cups between friends. 

If I had to give it up for a WHOLE YEAR?  I'd be very very very sad, and I'd try to find a loophole.  Can I have decaf? Can I have TEA?  It would be a very sad year, indeed.
I’m taking part in a blogging group called Reverb Broads that will be suggesting daily blogging prompts this December. If you want to join in, feel free! Go here or here to learn more!

December 9, 2011

#reverbbroads11 Day 9 -- Wombat Stew

Today's prompt comes from Niki from, and the prompt is:

What is your favorite children's book?

Well, this is the easiest one yet!

 My VERY FAVORITE book as a kid was Wombat Stew by Marcia K. Vaughan.  I used to go over to my friend Whitney's house to sleepover and her mother was this total hippie who would let us sleep on the screened in back porch, and we'd have nachos (you know, tortilla chips with grated cheese on top and stuck in the oven for a few minutes) and ice cream soup (ice cream stirred and stirred til it was soupy and with sprinkles on top) and read Wombat Stew

I didn't see this book again for years.  Then, in 2001 I was dating a guy named Kevin that I'd met online (yeah yeah, I was on a matchmaking site for a while) and it was going really well.  I mentioned on our first date, during the "getting to know you" part of the evening, that this had been my favorite children's book.  A few weeks later he showed up unannounced at my house to take me on a surprise date, and when I got in the car, this book was on my seat with a flower and a card.  He'd searched HIGH AND LOW for this book, because it's pretty elusive now, apparently. 

Things didn't work out with Kevin, but we remained friends and eventually lost touch with each other...but this remains one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever been given.  I am very grateful to him for finding this book for me, and I look forward to reading it to my niece and eventually to my own child some day. 


I’m taking part in a blogging group called Reverb Broads that will be suggesting daily blogging prompts this December. If you want to join in, feel free! Go here or here to learn more!

December 8, 2011

#reverbbroads11 -- Catching Up! Days 3–8

Since I am SO BEHIND on posting based on the prompts...due to my AMAZING Pacific Northwest vacation, about which I will blog at another time...I decided to just answer all the missing prompts via VIDEO BLOG!  Enjoy, and I hope to be back to blogging normally tomorrow!

December 2, 2011

#reverbbroads11 Day 2 -- Stupid

Wow, what a great response yesterday's post got!  My blog stats SPIKED yesterday, and since I'm a total narcissist, I'm inspired to keep this thing up as much as I can!  I'll be traveling tomorrow through Wednesday of next week, but perhaps I can write a post or two from my fancy iPhone while I'm gone...and if I don't keep up-to-date with the commenting, know that I'm going to do my VERY BEST to read all of your posts!

So on to today's prompt:

"What is the stupidest thing you did this year? What about in your whole life?"

Oh geez.

I mean....I do a lot of stupid things.  I'm human, and I make mistakes...ranging in severity from choosing McDonald's coffee over Starbucks to...well, some bigger ones.  But in the interest if keeping you here, I'll try to keep it short and sweet.

This Year:

I've really been thinking about this, so much so that I was laying in bed last night thinking of this year from month-to-month and trying to remember epically stupid things I may have done.  Two came to mind:

1. Getting really stupid drunk on Memorial Day. I know, lots of people get drunk on holidays.  You're out, you're grilling by the pool, you're drinking beer.  It happens.  But this was probably the most drunk I have ever been around my FAMILY.  Yeah.  We're all just hanging out and it's a balmy 105 degrees outside (more on that later) and I'm drinking sangria like it's a JUICE BOX.

It was bad. The last thing I remember was talking with my uncle and my grandma and then apparently I just went upstairs to my mom's couch and fell asleep.  Then my husband took my drunk ass home (I cried the whole way home b/c I was feeling so terrible) and I went to bed and woke up at midnight completely hungover.  AWFUL.  I AM TOO OLD FOR THAT.

Luckily my family thought it was pretty hilarious.  Now at every family event, if I even reach for a beer, my uncle gives this huge frat-boy yell and says "Mandy's drinkin', the party can staaaaaaaaaaaart!"  Haha.  Jerk.

2. Not getting my car's a/c checked and fixed during the hottest summer on record.  No but SERIOUSLY.  With the exception of three years spent in Boston, MA, I have lived in Texas my entire life and never experienced a summer like this past one.  And of course that's the summer that the a/c stops being cold in my car.  My husband is a teacher, so summers can be really tight for us financially, and I was deathly afraid of it being something more than just "low freon," so I refused to let him take the car in to get checked.  I only work 5 miles from home, so I just put up with it every day.  When he FINALLY took it in in late August, it turns out it was just freon after all, and it only cost $90 to fix.  Stupid.  Could've been a lot less miserable all summer.


This one is tougher, because I have to choose one of the many stupid things I've done in 30 years on this planet.  There's an incident that definitely comes to mind....and it would take paragraphs and paragraphs (perhaps even multiple blog posts) to get into fully, but I'll give the very smallest nutshell version:

In the summer of 2002, before cyber-dating and matchmaking was as normal as it is today, but after it was completely creepy and judged, I got involved in an online relationship.  It was emotionally and mentally abusive and it led to depression and an eating disorder for me, both of which are much less severe repercussions than some online horror stories have, I know...and at the end of the day I met and started dating my husband that same summer at the end of that particular nightmare.  So at least something good came of it.

So there ya go!  Day 2, done!  Now, off to see how out of control my Google Reader subscription for this group has gotten...

December 1, 2011

#reverbbroads11 Day 1 - To My Younger Self: Be Kind

With everything I had going on in November, there was no way in hell I was going to be able to participate in NaBloPoMo (I get irrationally angry at that acronym, by the just upsets me), but one of the gals I met through the Flickr "7 Days" project, Kassie, has helped to start up a cool blogging prompt thingy (like my technical term?) for the month of December. It's called the Reverb Project, and we shall thus be called the Reverb Broads. Woo hoo! The daily prompts are selected by the bloggers, and we can participate...or not!

My kinda project.

Anywho, today's prompt just happened to be PERFECT, considering the events of last night. Here is the prompt:

"If the you of today could go back in time and give advice to any of the previous yous, which age would you visit and what would you tell them?"

Well, let me get to that in a second.  But first...

Last night, as I posted about the other day, I went with the Denton Women's Collective to Flower Mound High School to help host a screening of the documentary Finding Kind. We invited girls ages 5th grade and up, their mothers, teachers, counselors...any female who wanted to attend.  We hoped for a good turnout...

Over 500 people showed up.  Yep, we were completely overwhelmed (in a good way!).  The girls watched the 77-minute documentary with rapt attention, and afterwards we DWC members and the HS counselors facilitated a discussion, during which SO MANY brave young girls participated, shared their stories, cried, hugged each other, applauded each other...

It was, in a word, incredibly moving.  Okay so that's two words.  But seriously. 

The girls filled out 3 sheets of paper: a Kind Pledge, a Kind Card, and a Kind Apology, which they could deliver themselves to the apology recipient or have the counselors deliver for them.  The Kind Cards and Kind Pledges will be put up on a "Kind Wall" at the school so that the girls and the other students can see it every day and be reminded of their pledges to be kind.

During the discussion portion of the evening, which I helped facilitate, one little girl stood up in front of these 500 other girls and said (not verbatim), "Girls at school will tell me that I'm ugly or fat, and I hate that I start to believe it. When I look in the mirror sometimes, I just start crying.  This has to stop." 

The tears came faster than I could stop them, and my throat was immediately constricted with emotion as I suddenly saw my younger self standing in the audience with a microphone. 

And it wasn't just the students.  During the portion of the evening while we were filling out cards, I had several mothers ask me, with tears in their eyes, for a few apology cards they could fill out.

Only recently, at age 30, have I come to fully realize that no matter my background, no matter how much I weigh or what brand of clothing I wear, no matter my hair color or how "pretty" I am...what matters is that I am kind.  To others and to myself.  That's the legacy that matters.  The kindness in my heart will show as beauty in my face and in my actions, and that's what people will remember.  I hope.


I would go back to that just-before-middle-school-aged-Mandy and tell her the following:

"Look, the next few years are going to be hard.  People are going to be mean, and some days you might cry or feel badly about yourself.  But what you have to remember is this: people hurt others because they hurt.  Love them. Be kind to them, no matter what they do or say to you.  It won't be easy, but I know you can do it.  Also, don't be so quick to judge others.  You'll think it makes you feel better about yourself to find something wrong with other people, especially girls...but really it will just make you feel bad and really guilty later on. 

And, sweet girl...if you ever look into the mirror and cry, I want it to be because you are completely and utterly overwhelmed with the blessings and the love you have in your life. 

You can do it.  Be kind."

Last night I filled out my own Kind Pledge. It says, "I KINDly pledge to find something beautiful about everyone, and tell them about it at every opportunity."  There is something beautiful about everyone...the trick is taking the time and caring enough to find it.  And it may be something that person has never been told, so tell them.

Final Note: This morning my little brother and sister-in-law went to the doctor for a 16-week sonogram and called me to tell me that they're having a girl!  I'm overjoyed, naturally.  But it made me stop and think...I pray that I will be a good role model and Aunt to my 11-year-old niece and my yet-to-be-born niece, and if I have a daughter some day, to her as well.  Girl-on-girl "crime" and gossip and manipulation and cattiness and has to stop.  I pray that these little girls in my life will be daily aware of how special and loved and wonderful they are.

It starts with me.  It starts with you. 

What would your Kind Pledge say?  Is there anyone you feel needs or deserves a Kind Apology from you?

November 30, 2011

To-Do List

Because I wanted an easy blog to post today, and because I do what I'm told....

I got this from Jared, who got it from Tyler.  What's on YOUR to-do list?

November 29, 2011

Be Kind

Hey, remember back in July (when I was a blog-posting FOOL, yo) when I wrote this guest post over on Laura's blog?

Since that post, the Denton Women's Collective has been VERY busy with lots of activities, including but not limited to being featured on the Operation Beautiful web site:

...having a clothing swap (with all not-taken clothes being donated to a women's shelter), educating ourselves (well...themselves, since I've not been to a meeting in 2 months because of the show) by watching other documentaries, and sponsoring a sweet, beautiful little girl in India.

Wow.  I just got goosebumps thinking about all of that, so let me just take a little side path here to say something...

I've found in recent months that I am at my best when I focus on one thing (outside of my family and my job, of course) at a time.  When I was involved with Café des Artistes, it pretty much consumed me.  With the very nature of what that show was about, I think that's okay...and even necessary.  But if you're used to a lifetime of never being able to say "no" and loading your proverbial plate so full that you can't carry it anymore, it's hard not to feel guilty about not being able to handle many different activities/commitments.

The last few days, I've felt so much contentment and relaxation.  The show ended (very successfully), I had a wonderful holiday and 4-day weekend with my friends, family and, most importantly, my hubby and puppy, and I feel like I'm ready to pick back up on a few things, such as working out (no REALLY) and the DWC activities.  Luckily, this group is run by some INCREDIBLE, dedicated females who have kept all the juggling balls in the air and have been patient and loving with my inability to handle the stress of participating.  To them, I say a heartfelt "thank you."

So, what better way to get back into the swing of things than with a public screening of the documentary Finding Kind! I can't WAIT to participate with these girls during the screening(s) and I am praying that the girls, their mothers, and the administrators will view this with open hearts and minds and make active changes in their schools and communities to stop girl-on-girl crime. 

Here are the details:

Wednesday, November 30th at 6:30pm
Thursday, December 1st at 4:30pm

Flower Mound High School
3411 Peters Colony Road
Flower Mound, TX 75022

I can't wait to see what comes from this, and I'm so thankful and grateful to know such amazing young women who care so much about these issues...enough to organize and collaborate with FMHS and the PTA to make this happen.

We may not all be smart...we may not all be beautiful...we may not all be talented...but we CAN all be kind.

November 28, 2011


I really love Thanksgiving. I daresay it's my favorite holiday. I mean, I do LOVE Christmas, but because Thanksgiving is kind of the redheaded stepchild of holidays (in that it gets so quickly and carelessly passed over in favor of Christmas), I feel a connection to it. Also, I cook a lot more for Thanksgiving and am much more involved in planning and organizing than I am at Christmastime (when I'm usually just a pawn in the family plans and just wait to be told where to go and when).

Every year I cook the same couple of things: homemade cranberry sauce (none of that gelatinous canned crap for me, thankyouverymuch), corn casserole, and a ham. Yes, a ham.  We have turkey AND ham at Thanksgiving dinner because...well, that's just how we roll. 

Get it?? ROLL?!  Ahahahahahaha.


Anywho, this year was no different. I woke up at 6am on Thanksgiving morning, made a pot of coffee, and preheated the oven for the ham and started my mother-in-law's cranberry sauce recipe (one of two batches...for I had TWO events to go to that day...more on that later).

I listened to the radio that morning rather than holiday music...because it's Thanksgiving, not Christmas, so it was perfectly acceptable in my opinion to be listening to City and Colour, the Foo Fighters and the like as I cooked.

I turned on the Macy's parade at some point, showered, and tried to time out all the food, while my two sweethearts snored in the bedroom.  By the way...these two darlings below?  So thankful for them.  They make my life so special every day.

Around 10am, I packed all the food into a couple of boxes and bags and loaded up the car and headed to my dad's church...the church where I grew up and was baptized and which is just around the corner from my house.

This year, we did something that we have only done one other time for Thanksgiving.  See, with all the marriages, divorces, remarriages and such, we "kids" usually have to try to squeeze 2-3 Thanksgivings into ONE day, and it's stressful and chaotic and awful.  So, in 2008 we thought we'd try something new.  We invited the entire, really...the entire my dad's church fellowship hall to celebrate and be thankful together.

Even with the inlaws and outlaws, the new and ex-spouses, the children and the family friends...everyone gets along and respects and loves each other.  I KNOW, RIGHT?!  AMAZING. I mean, we wouldn't want to all vacation together or anything, but for one day in the fall...we can all be together and be grateful that we all have each other.

So for Thanksgiving 2011, we thought we'd try it again.  And once again, it was very special and wonderful.  There were, sadly, a few missing people this year...but they were there in our hearts.  The church was decorated, thanks to my dad and stepmother, and we had tons of food.

Dad carved the turkey...I'll make lots of things and try just about any recipe, but I dread the day when I might be responsible for the main course.  Let the Master handle that:

I kinda love this "little" brother.  I think we look alike! 

Those are my sisters-in-law up there ^^.  Aren't they lovely?  The one on the right is just starting to show her baby bump, and I can't wait to find out this Thursday if it's my niece or nephew in there!

SO, the family Thanskgiving was a huge success.  I was home for just a few hours, during which time I really wanted to nap, but I had to make another corn casserole and some stuffing for what is affectionately (or hatefully?) called "Hatesgiving" with some theatre friends, hosted and created by my friend (and the director of my recent show), Tashina.  This was a much more grown-up (and not in the "responsible, some of us have to work tomorrow" way) celebration, but I was seriously proud of all of us and our cooking (and drinking) skills:

With the exception of a couple of almost disasters (mac-and-cheese that wasn't thickening and an incident in which the turkey ALMOST didn't make it from the oven to the counter but since Tashina is a ninja and saved it and suffered burns in the process, all was well), the food was AMAZING.  The Hatesgiving Punch (1 part rum to 2 parts cider, plus some cinnamon sticks, heated on the stove) and the viewing of the horribly awesome film Thankskilling and the time with hilarious and awesome friends made it the perfect end to the holiday.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!  I've seen several posts on my Google Reader feed this morning that indicates the affirmative, and I've loved reading everyone's stories.

Now, onto Christmas! The tree at my house is up and the Indie Holiday station on Pandora is playing in my ears right now as I type.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Monday!

November 11, 2011

Café des Artistes
November 10-12th, 17th-20th -- All shows at 8pm
Greenspace Arts Collective Denton, Texas

Photo by Tiffany Hillan
"I look into your eyes. I see EVERYTHING. When I see EVERYTHING, I feel good. It feels so good when I see EVERYTHING"

Photo by Tiffany Hillan
"I am surrounded by distraction. Even the blood in my veins is a distraction. Who knows why, but it is"

Photo by Tiffany Hillan
"I don't know if anyone can plan to have a life like this."

Photo by Tiffany Hillan
"To be able to write while being observed-- seems to me an important test"

November 7, 2011

Friend Makin' Mondays -- On Dating

I haven't participated in a Friend Makin' Mondays blog in a LONG time...but to be fair, I haven't really been good about blogging in general, so I don't feel too guilty.  But, I'm caught up on work for the moment and thought I'd play along today.  If you want to play along on your blog, make sure you go over to Kenlie's blog and post in the comments with your link!

Just a fair warning...I've been told that women hit their sexual peak starting in their 30s so if I seem a little....whatever...well, remember which birthday I just had.

FMM: Dating

What is your current relationship status? (Be as specific as you’d like to be!) Married.  Just celebrated the 3-year annivesary of our wedding in September.  We've been together for almost 9 years total, though. 

List a few qualities that you look for in a significant other. A sense of humor, talent (and this is very broad...I just prefer a man who has a hobby that's important to him, and maybe even that he is able to make his career!), compassion for others, a penis.
If you could choose to date one character in TV or film, who would you choose? And which characteristics are most appealing? Just one?!  You're killin' me, Smalls.  Hmmmm...honestly I'd pick Jim Halpert from The Office.  I. Love. Him. He's tall, he's laid-back, he's funny, he's adorable...what's not to like?

How long should you date before becoming exclusive? That is completely up to the couple. 

What are your thoughts on public displays of affection? As long as it's just AFFECTION, I don't mind it at all.  I really like seeing couples be affectionate and considerate of each other. Holding hands, a little tiny kiss here and there, a man letting a woman go through the door in front of him, his hand on the small of her back.  Those things make me smile.  Dry humping and making out hardcore?  Keep it in your bedroom.  Or living room.  Or backseat.  Or...

Do you kiss on the first date? Oh if only you knew who you were talking to.  I love kissing so much.  Sometimes I didn't even wait til the first date, but then again, you're looking at the erstwhile Makeout Queen of North Texas.  Sometimes I wish we could make NCMOs a thing (non-committal makeouts) in this society. I love kissing my husband, but man oh man do I miss that feeling of kissing a new person. 

Biggest turn-off? Smelling bad.  I just can't get past it.  Breath, body,'s not THAT hard to shower and clean yourself. 

What’s the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? That it's a man.  Hey, judge me if you want...I have no type.  Men are awesome. 

How long do you/did you wait before becoming intimate? Again, that's something that each person and each couple has to decide individually (or as a couple, would hope it'd be a mutual decision).  I waited until I fell in love and then I married that man.  Now I just have the occasional awesome (Ryan Reynolds) or awkward (people I work with, former bosses) sexy dream. If (GOD FORBID) anything were to ever happen with us, I can't honestly say how long I'd wait. 

Describe your dream date. I have always hated this question.  If the person with whom I'm on the date is awesome, chances are the date is gonna be awesome.  And if he's REALLY awesome?  I'm known to make the first move and kiss him.  Maybe that's emasculating to some men, but most guys I know would probably think that was pretty awesome.  Chime in, guys, am I right??