Tuesday, July 23, 2013

10 Things That I Think Are Sexy

So, a few things prompted this post.

A. We went to an EPIC concert this weekend. I will let Thing 1 tell you all about it. We are big fans of the person who performed as well as one of her three opening acts. When one of the musicians was grabbing his guitar, this post probably began to form in my mind (as do many, many posts I hardly ever get to - I am always blogging in my head).

B. Mark and I have started watching "New Girl" with Zooey Deschanel (how freaking adorable is she?!?) and her endearing, yet awkward mannerisms fed this post idea a bit more.

C. One of her roommates in the show is a temperamental guy who is sweet at heart. While he is fairly average and even a bit nondescript; to me, he is very good looking. More fuel for this post fire.

So here goes - 10 items or characteristics that I find sexy:

1. A guitar - there is something about a guy holding a guitar, carrying a guitar, playing a guitar . . . I don't care if it's cliché, it's sexy just the same. 


2. A loosened tie -this one has always done something for me. I don't know why, but it does.

3. Geeky awkwardness - a touch of this, in any person - male or female, makes them that much more attractive to me. I love it on Zooey, Adam Levine (yes, he has a smidge of this quality along with his smoking hot looks), Taylor Swift . . . the list goes on and on. I don't know quite how to describe it. I'm not talking poindexter and pocket protectors. I'm talking just a smidge of dorkiness, enough to endear. I love it.

4. Smarts - Mmmmmm, yes. This one really should top this list. Book smarts? Intelligence? Intellect? It makes me swoon. A Renaissance man? Oh yeah. Nothing sexier than a guy who is smart, creative, cooks, writes, cleans, is kind and thoughtful, reads, knows current events, works out, builds, has a career, is musical . . . I love that I'm married to a Renaissance Man. Anything less would be boring. Bonus that my husband is not status quo. What I mean is, he isn't afraid to think outside the box. He isn't stereotypical (yet he doesn't go out of his way to be "different."). He simply is who he is - someone who isn't afraid to not live in a subdivision, not have a typical job, not conform to what's expected if it isn't true to him or his values. I love that.

5. Witty banter - This is sexy and fun. I like wit. I like when someone is witty in writing, in speaking, in instant messaging, in email, in texts. I like to laugh and I like keeping things light and not getting too heavy or dramatic. I like being with someone who makes me laugh and who makes me feel like joking around and being sarcastic and feisty. I like feeling that way, so it stands to reason that I like being with someone who helps me feel that way. I do my best writing when I feel that way, too, so this may even qualify as a "need." :P

6. Laugh Lines - Some people call them "crow's feet," but that sounds ugly. And they're just not. They're adorable and attractive. My dad had the best laugh lines. When he would smile and laugh, his whole face would light up, his eyes would scrunch up small, and laugh lines would appear and deepen all around the corners of his eyes. It's one of the many things I miss about him. Laugh lines were attractive to me as a little girl. They are attractive to me now.

7. Kindness - SO attractive. I do not get it when people think they're so funny or manly or tough when they're getting their jollies at another's expense, pitching a fit, yelling, throwing things, being mean to people, etc. That's more like a list of turn offs. An angry temper? Not generally my thing (though I suppose there is a time and a place - and when appropriate, yes, it can be attractive - assertiveness is sexy). Seeing someone roll around and play on the floor with his or her kids, a thoughtful good deed, an emotional, tender side . . . those things are more attractive than smug, angry, tough guy characteristics. Balance is key on this one - swinging too much to either side of the spectrum is not cool.

8. A messenger bag or backpack - It's simple, but it works for me. 


9. British accent - Oh *swoon!* Okay, so this is the only thing on this list that my husband doesn't have (though, 'ay, we could bloody well pretend!), but I must admit, it makes me a bit weak in the knees. And I know I'm not alone in this. 

10. Emotion/Passion/Confidence - Talk about a triple threat. For me, a man comfortable enough in his own masculinity to talk about attractive people, whether male or female, has that confidence. Someone who carries him or herself with poise and grace and integrity - that is sexy. Someone who cares about important issues like equal rights and general morality, who educates himself on those topics and uses logic, reason, and empathy to come to conclusions - attractive, attractive, attractive. Someone passionate enough to get up and dance, fight for what's right, make bold moves in career and life - yowza. Someone who knows what he values and lives his life accordingly - yes, please. Authenticity. Someone who knows that crying isn't a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength. Someone who doesn't care what others think, who knows that what matters is living true to yourself and your family. It's qualities like these that add actual physical attractiveness to a person.

What items or characteristics do you find sexy and attractive?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Father's Day

Along the lines of "things that happened a while ago, but we wanted to share," we had a really nice Father's Day last month.

It started on Saturday night with a daddy-daughter dance. A parks and rec department from one of the townships hosted it and opened it up to the whole community. Thing 1 and I got dressed up and spend a very nice evening together. They had live music, mostly classics and standards, and Thing 1 didn't miss a chance to dance. I think we danced every song we were there, except for the one during which we ate. There was also a photographer there taking pictures of everyone. I think it turned out nicely.

Yes, that is a Gryffindor tie. What else could I wear on a date with Thing 1?

When we first got there, it looked like she was going to be the oldest one there, which she was for a while. It was really cute to see all the dads with their little girls dancing their hearts out. Toward the end of the dance I noticed an elderly man there with his adult daughter. I saw them posing for their picture and thought it was one of the sweetest things I saw that night. (I don't want to dwell on it too much, but my thoughts did go to Stacy and how Parkinson's robbed her of her father way too soon. It's something never far from my mind each Father's Day.) 

We've been talking a lot about how our little girl is growing up so quickly, and she really is, but for a couple of hours that night it felt like time was frozen for just a little bit.

Sunday morning I was greeted with a pile of people (and a dog) happy to see me and wish me a happy Father's Day.

We had a light breakfast, got ready, and headed out to Outback for a wonderful lunch. We're not huge beef people, but a steak there is great. Plus, they have this new things where you can get your steak divided into three little pieces, each with a different sauce. That is exactly the kind of thing Stacy loves--small bites, lots of things to taste! We all ate a little too much, but had a great time.

Next, we went to a paint-it-yourself pottery studio for some relaxing art time. I got to paint for free since it was Father's Day, and Stacy thought this sounded like a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon as a family, and I have to agree with her. Each person picks out an unpainted piece of pottery like a mug, or figurine, and then paints it however he or she wants. They then glaze and bake them and you pick them up the next week.

I picked out a big mug, Thing 1 did an owl-themed mug, and Thing 2 did a gnome. He loves gnomes. It's his race of choice when he plays Dungeons and Dragons. He likes to use them in the stories he makes up. They frequently appear in the games he creates. His biggest decision that day was which gnome to paint. I think he picked well.

Stacy felt like she already has a lot of mugs, so she did a treat jar for Scout. It's super cute and Scout already loves hearing the lid rattling. It took her like 3 seconds to realize what's in the jar. The jar is now in the hutch, safely out of sight, but not out of mind.

Here we are, about a week later with our finished products. I think they all look really nice. Besides that, I got to spend a day with my favorite people in the world. I'm really lucky to have a great wife, great kids, a great (and beautifully untrained and mischievous) dog, and a great life.

Thank you, Stacy, for a wonderful Father's Day!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Father's Day Interviews

I started this almost a month ago on 6/17. I suck at keeping up on things. But it's a cute idea, so here goes.
1. What is something Daddy always says to you?

THING 2 - I love you.
THING 1 - I love you.

2. What makes Daddy happy? 

THING 2 - I don't know.
THING 1 - Being together as a family.

3. What makes Daddy sad? 

THING 2 - Sad movies.
THING 1 - Sad movies.

4. How does Daddy make you laugh?

THING 2 - When he uses sarcasm.
THING 1 -With impersonations and when he quotes things from TV shows.

5. What was Daddy like when he was a little boy?

THING 2 - I don't know.
THING 1 - I don't know because I wasn't alive to see it.

6. How old is Daddy?

THING 2 - 38.
THING 1 – 38

7. How tall is Daddy?

THING 2 - 6 foot 4.
THING 1 – 6 foot 1.

8. What is his favorite thing to watch on TV?

THING 2 - Big Bang Theory
THING 1 – Big Bang Theory

9. What does Daddy do when you're not around?

THING 2 - Cleans the house and does stuff for us.
THING 1 - Different things, depending on his mood.

10. What is Daddy really good at?

THING 2 - Cooking.
THING 1 - Being a good Daddy.

11. What is Daddy not very good at?

THING 2 - Tag.
THING 1 - I can't think of anything.

12. What does Daddy do for his job?

THING 2 - He's an Acupuncturist.
THING 1 - Acupuncturist.

13. What is Daddy's favorite food?

THING 2 - Sushi?
THING 1 - Mexican.

14. What makes you proud of Daddy?

THING 2 - When I'm scared, he comes up and helps and that makes me feel not scared.
THING 1 - When he does thoughtful things for us.

15. If Daddy were a cartoon character, who would he be?

THING 2 - Daffy Duck.
THING 1 - I don't know.

16. What do you and Daddy do together?

THING 2 - We play card games and board games and we watch Merlin.
THING 1 - Play games.

17. How are you and Daddy the same? 

THING 2 - We look the same a little bit, some people say.
THING 1 - We like the same sort of books and TV shows.

18. How are you and Daddy different?

THING 2 - We don't like all the same things.
THING 1 - He's a boy and I'm a girl.

19. How do you know Daddy loves you?

THING 2 - He shows it through hugs, words, and actions.
THING 1 - When he says, "I love you."

20. What does Daddy like most about your Mommy? 

THING 2 - I don't know.
THING 1 - Everything.

21. Where is Daddy's favorite place to go? 

THING 2 - I don't know.
THING 1 - I think he likes our house best.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Books to Read This Summer

I am on a GREAT reading run. You know the kind where you're reading book after book after book and every one of them is a winner? I love that!

So I thought I'd share - I'd love to hear if you've read any of these, your thoughts about them, what you're enjoying, what you're enjoying, what you're hoping to read this summer, etc.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio is one of the best books I've read since Harry Potter. The story is nothing like Harry Potter, but it is powerful, captivating, wonderful book. I wrote an entire dedicated review of it a couple of months ago. Since that time, multiple friends of mine have read the book and all of them have raved about it. This is one I do not risk overselling or overhyping. Get it. Read it with your kids. You will laugh. You will cry. It will move and forever affect you, in a very, very good way. Wonder has over 1300 5-star reviews on Amazon. That is well deserved. Only twice have I ever written an author to rave about her book. This was one of those times. I feel lucky she wrote back, because she has been inundated with praise and correspondence.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? is a hilarious, fun, and smart book. It is written by Maria Semple, who has also written for TV shows like "Arrested Development" and "Mad About You!" She is snarky and sarcastic and I laughed out loud reading this book. It is the story of Bernadette Fox, a woman who moves to Seattle with her Microsoft guru husband, and becomes so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India runs her most basic errands. She disappears and her 15-year-old daughter Bee pieces together clues from emails and faxes to figure out what happened. Great, fun read. I just checked and it has over 1,000 reviews and a 4.3 star rating.

I wasn't going to read this book, because when I saw the topic, I thought it would be too sad. Oh, don't get me wrong. I cried in public as I read it, but I'm so glad I read it anyway (and for the record, I laughed out loud, too). I have discovered an incredible writing talent in John Green. He writes YA (young adult) fiction and I was so impressed with his style and voice and talent that I bought another book by him before I'd even finished this one. I want more John Green! I have a feeling he's the biggest new thing in the YA genre, because many other books have him front and center as endorsing their own. He's a gem - get something by him and read it. This one in particular is being made into a film (get your tissues). He had me from page 1. Get this book and fall in love with Hazel and Augustus. Even I had a bit of a crush on Augustus by the time I'd read less than half this book. Beautiful book, phenomenal writing.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz isn't as much of a favorite of mine as the others listed so far, but it is another YA book that I just finished yesterday, and I'm glad I did. I discovered this local author in an indie book shop in a nearby town - the title and cover caught my eye, and the worker in the book store told me all about her and he was clearly impressed. When I looked her up, I was impressed with what I saw - she looks interesting, fun, and dynamic. She does a lot of workshops and multiple speaking engagements. Her books and topics all look so intriguing. I chose this one in particular because she'd won a Printz Honor for it, so I figured it would be a good place to start. It was fun to see all the local references scattered throughout the book. She covered some pretty heavy topics, and did it pretty well. I would be interested to read something else by her. I hear Ask the Passengers is a good one.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is what I'm currently reading. I am a visual person, so often a book cover will grab me before I even read what the book is about. This cover is one such example (I'm a sucker for cartoon-y drawings). I had seen this book, months ago, listed as one of the top books to read this year and wrote it on my list of book ideas (the one to which I refer when I'm in a reading slump) and from then on, I saw it listed on several different lists, in Amazon emails, and online. I've read multiple reviews of it and have been intrigued by every one. I keep checking our library system and they don't have it. I knew I wanted to read it anyway and figured I'd just wait for our library to get it, but Nevillegirl's review pushed me to break down and buy it (in hardback!) and get started. I was hooked from the first page on this one, too. I am really enjoying this read. Bonus: it's set in the 80s and the music and movie/TV references are plentiful and fun!

So, my next reads are as follows (in no particular order, other than I probably will go straight to John Green, because I think he's supremely talented and it's calling to me):

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green - how great of a title is that?

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes - because I haven't ever read it.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli - because I'm seeing Spinelli's name everywhere and want to see what all the fuss is about!

 The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman - because I've wanted to read that for years now, so it's in the pile!

The Fantasya Treasury - because my daughter wrote it and it's one of her absolute favorite creations; I've read the first book and now would like to read part two. This is the book/manuscript she is currently shopping around to various agents.

So apparently I'm on a (great) YA kick. How about you?  
Have you read any of these?
 Are you curious to try any of them?
What are you reading this summer?