Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The final chapter

Hello, blogland.

Thank you for your prayers, your concerns, and your e-mails regarding Mary Margaret Storey. Unfortunately, Mary Margaret was found today, and she was not alive.

(For full story, click here or here).

Pray for the family, pray for her friends, her colleagues, and all the other many lives she touched. She was so cheerful, so generous, so kind. My heart is breaking.

I had convinced myself she was alive. I had convinced myself -- and others, I suppose -- that she was in hiding, for various reasons that probably don't need to be detailed here. I heard rumors, reports, and seeming confirmations, and I hoped for a bright future for her.

My hope is that our old "paper" family can get together and mourn together next week. There's a large group of us who used to work at the newspaper, and while most of us don't work there anymore, it would be nice for us all to get together during this time.

Thanks again for your prayers for everyone who knew her, especially her family. I believe in the power of prayer, and I know that God hears us.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Five days and counting...down

Last night was mine and Rindy's six-month anniversary of running.

Six months since I convinced her, "Hey, let's sign up for a half marathon!"

Six months since I thought running four miles was hard.

Six months since I actually picked up a pair of running shoes and kept the pace.

What a fabulous six months.

Rindy and I have already thought about what to do after the halfie is over. I think we're going to take up mountain biking. I'm going to start training for a mini-trialthon (400-m swim, 5k, 11 mile bike ride) coming up in April, but I'm very excited about the biking part. We both want to keep up the high exercise pace, but both of us need a running break, ha!

FYI, I have not lost ONE POUND since I started running. I've gone down two dress sizes but still weigh the same (and, YES, will STILL not tell it, lol!!!). My calves are the size of boulders (as are my hips, come to think about it, hehe). My waist is small, and my thighs have stopped jiggling (so much). I sleep awesome after runs, but I've noticed that I'm having to run more and more to wear me out. After four miles last night, I STILL woke up with "panic attacks." (I'm an Olympic champ when it comes to worrying, and, before I started running, I'd wake myself up in the middle of the night anxious about all the stuff I have to do. After a long run, though, I sleep like a log. But that run's getting longer and longer...)

My toes and bottoms of my feet look rough, even after a pedicure. Two of my toes have huge calluses on the tops. Rindy has a black toe. She called me while she was getting a pedi to tell me this because, as she put it, she didn't want the lady doing her nails to think it was a fungus. LOL.

Running has been so much fun for me, and I'm so thankful to know so many friends and bloggers out there, particularly Misti, Brooke, and Kelsey, who have encouraged me along this way. This stuff has been hard. I know I couldn't have done it without Rindy, without my sweet husband, and without friends.

That saying...our halfie is in five days. I've considered training for a full marathon and probably will compete in one before I'm 30. But with grad school and work and all sorts of other craziness going on, I need to wait until at least 2011 before I start training for that.

Five days, y'all. Sunday is calling. At 7:30 a.m. CST, I will be running. And around 10 a.m., I will be eating beignets at Cafe du Monde.

Life is good.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Grading finals

Thoughts that run through my head as I grade my students’ final columns…

Seriously? Do you REALLY think I’m going to believe that you just “forgot” to attach it?

So you were “sick,” were you? Hungover from Mardi Gras, as YOU stated on Facebook, does not count as being “sick.”

Why are you not citing information? Don’t you know that’s plagiarism?

Pretending that your final assignment doesn’t exist will not make your zero will disappear.

What the heck? Did you take a dumb pill when you wrote this?

Wow. Someone’s bitter about his ex-girlfriend (as noted from the multiple, “She’ll always cheat on you” and “Girls are players” that he wrote).

Is this another made up story?

What, did this final paper surprise you? Yes, I suppose receiving three e-mails about it and voting about it in class, seeing it on the syllabus AND the fact that I gave you seven extra days to work on it would come as a surprise.

I need a diet coke.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Epic WIN

The last few weeks have been fairly exciting for Louisianans.

The Saints won the Super Bowl. That's national news -- for a good reason.

We had Mardi Gras. Big party, big parades, big beads.

And I won a giveaway on Mama Belle's blog.

It's been a fairly successful month. =)

The king cake and the coffee actually came in the day we headed to SEJC. My students have never been happier...though I didn't share much.

Seriously. I probably ate 3/4 of that king cake. By. Myself. That's no exaggeration.

Turns out king cake is even more yummy when you heat it up in the microwave for 20 seconds and drink it with a cup of coffee.

And, if you want a second piece...well, if no one's at home to see you...

As part of the giveaway, I also received a Saints National Championship shirt from The Hat Chick.

I wish I had taken a picture of Superman's face when I showed him the shirt. Mouth dropped. Eyes wide. Oh, yeah. He was jealous, haha!!

The shirt was waiting for me in the mailbox Saturday evening when we returned from SEJC, and I've already worn it twice.

And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn't share pictures of my valentine gift from my hubby -- my favorite flower, tulips!!

Aren't they beautiful? =)

Snow in Hammond, La. 02.12.10

Wednesday, February 17, 2010



My students did AWESOME at the Southeast Journalism Conference this year. We had three first places and a handful of second and third places. We also received third in on-site competitions (meaning we had lots of winners!). Also, as no one was arrested and we didn't get thrown out of the hotel, I consider the trip a success.

My husband sent my favorite flower – tulips – to my office for an early Valentine's Day gift. I was so surprised that when they brought flowers into my office, I asked, "Oh, wow! Who got flowers?"

I received a king cake and Community coffee, and a New Orleans Saints Championship shirt from Mama Belle and the Hat Chick, respectively. More about that tomorrow when I have pictures (but I will spare you the pictures of the spare tire I now have after eating said king was very good!).

I spent two lazy days at home for Mardi Gras drinking coffee and watching the Steve Wilkos show...Quite an experience.

No news on Mary Margaret. Thank you for your prayers and concerns. One of my students’ bosses went missing last week as well. She received a text Friday evening saying he committed suicide, so please be in prayer for his new wife, friends, and family.

I made a new friend, Kelli, through Exemplify Online. Wait til you see the interview column I wrote profiling her volunteer work with prison ministry. She’s quite awesome.

Eleven more days before the half-marathon. I'm planning on making a ten mile run Thursday afternoon (SURPRISE, Rindy! LOL).

Husband made sushi last night. Needless to say, I ate a lot. (Eating seems to have been the theme over the past few days...)

Saw lots of friends over the weekend. It's hard to beat having a weekend with good food and great friends. Just saying.

Met up with my aunt and grandmother yesterday. =) We had a great time, though it was short. And we made the vital exchange: I handed over the earrings my dad got my mom for V-Day that I had been hoarding (and wanting to wear...) and she gave me a super awesome jacket for Superman and an Easter dress she bought for me. Husband was extra excited to dress up all snazzy this morning to go to work.

And, while I didn't wear my Easter dress to work (obviously), I did actually dress up. I figured I needed to after wearing Saints attire two weeks out of the last three...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Have you seen this woman?

Since I’m in the journalism business, it’s not odd for me to see friends or colleagues on the news. I graduated with some of the newscasters on the 10 o’clock news, went to parties with the guys on the radio, and worked with the newspaper industry. But it’s a whole new ballgame to see one of those colleagues on TV as the subject of a missing woman report.

My friends and this small college town are all abuzz with one question: Where is Mary Margaret?

No, bloggyland, this is no joke nor fictional story. My former co-worker has been missing since Sunday. The police say she was on her way to interview a guy for a magazine article but never showed up to the man’s house or back to her own home. The man she claimed she was interviewing said he knew of no such story that she intended to write.

Superman and I watched on TV as the anchor, a graduate from my college, described Mary Margaret and her car – a black 2009 Toyota Camry with Louisiana plates – and stated that no one had seen her since Sunday morning, and no one had heard of her since Sunday afternoon about 1:30 p.m.

I ask for your prayers for Mary Margaret and for you to keep an eye out for her. She’s 62 years old, and if you see her, please call the police. It’s a long shot that one of you would see her, I know, but who would have thought she would go missing?

She has a daughter in Seattle. Maybe she’s on her way to visit her. That’s my hope.

She mentioned to her brother around 1:30 p.m. Sunday that she was having car problems. Maybe she is waiting for someone to rescue her.

The town is abuzz with the same fears and desperate hopes.

Where is Mary Margaret?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pigs have flown...

They won.

And then they won again.

We spent Super Bowl with friends -- seven people, five dogs. It was a true Super Bowl party. I draped gold beads around Superdog's neck -- her good luck charm. I screamed at the boys to quit celebrating after a good play and move out of the way of the TV. We ate all day long. And, at the end, we were jubliant.

We second lined around the neighborhood...yelled "WHO DAT" at the top of our lungs and to the neighbors half a block down, who happily yelled it back...watched fireworks explode in city limits for our victory. We watched Tom hand the Lombardi trophy to Coach Payton, who handed it to the game's (and, he said, the LEAGUE'S) MVP, Drew Brees. And we celebrated some more.

I have a deep respect for the entire Colts team. They played hard, and, most of all, they did exactly what Drew told them to do: they finished strong.

Happy Super Bowl Day to New Orleans, to Louisiana, to the out-of-state fans, to the fans who remember when the Saints became a franchise, to the fans who were 'Aints, to the bandwagon fans, and to the fans who grew up loving this city, loving this team. This win is for all of us.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Black and gold Superbowl

I cannot write words to describe how on the edge of my seat I am right now.

I tried to hold back earlier this week. Tried not to get too excited, because waiting for this monumental event would last too long. But it's Thursday. And the Saints are going to win the Superbowl on Sunday.

I can't hold back any longer.

WHO DAT!! (That's right, NFL, I said "Who dat" in reference to the Saints. I have a shirt that has the first two letters of my name and "dat" on it, too. Wanna say that's illegal? Boo on you. Seriously.)

I'm dizzy with anticipation.

Peyton, I wish you almost all of the best. I'll wish you all the best after this season. But Sunday night, I wish you ALMOST all the best. Because all my best wishes are going to Drew and Jeremy and Reggie (You BETTER do good, Reg -- I got a jersey with your number on it!) and Sean and all the other Saints.

And all you Saints fans who are going to be near a national TV camera? Let's try not to get so drunk as you stumble over or have a wardrobe malfunction. Please brush your hair (and your teeth) and represent Louisiana well. Let's remember, this is the Superbowl. Let's have some class.

(Seriously, why does every national TV outlet find the one uber-redneck in the crowd and focus in on him/her? REALLY?)

And, btw, if anyone knows Bobby J's number, give our ol' governor a call and tell him (and our university president) that everyone's either going to be euphoric or despondant on Monday, so we don't need to go to school or work Feb. 8. Why bother? Half of Louisiana's going to be "sick" anyway -- and that includes about half my students.

I wish I had taken a picture of all the Saints signs I've seen over the past few weeks. Restaurants, oil change places, billboards -- we're all cheering for the Saints. I almost feel sorry for Manning & Co. It's hard to go against the team that everyone wants to win.

(Almost feel sorry for them. But almost really doesn't count.)

We're in Miami. We're in the Superbowl.

Let the nailbiting begin!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Geez, Louise, WHAT?!!!

So as I flipped my calendar to February, I realized something monumental:

My half-marathon is in 28 days.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathebreathebreathe.

This realization resulted in my training buddy receiving about a dozen IMs and regular messages from me detailing tentative running schedules, goals we need to achieve, etc. I'm sure she was thankful when I got off Facebook. ;)

This month, we have to be diligent.

This month, we have to make all of our runs.

This month, somehow, we still have to get enough sleep to survive.

This month, we cannot get injured. (Seriously, do you know how royally TICKED I would be if I twisted my ankle or something at this point in the game??)

If anyone else there is running/exercising, join up at the DailyMile. It's a cool little feature I just discovered, and Brooke uses it, too.

Oh, and one last thing: Apparently, I fixed the coffee maker. Don't know how, but now it gives me coffee with one gentle push. With one hand. Totally the opposite of how it acted the first time. Go figure. I'm just happy I (*cough* well, the hubby) don't have to stand in line and return it. I have no patience for lines.

Tonight: Three (or five?) miles!!!