Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Dustin

After my brother's accident (on April 15, 2002) my family started a tradition of sending him skymail for both his earthly and heavenly birthdays. We all write him a letter, tie the letters to a bundle of balloons, and send them to heaven...

I've never shown my skymail letters to anyone, but this year I decided to share a letter with all of you. The reasoning behind this is not to make you sad or to make you feel bad for anyone in my family!!! It's more of reminder that life is short and the importance of finding true perspective in the short, earthly lifetimes we are given is very, very real.

Dearest Dustin,

It’s still incredibly hard for me to accept the fact that the last time we were able to celebrate a birthday with you (in person) was your 19th. I remember that night like it was yesterday... We met you and Gregg Stone at the Angus Barn in Raleigh. You kept making fun of my “gimpy” walk; I had hurt my knee playing flag football at school. And you begged me to order the biggest steak on the menu, even though I was a vegetarian, so that you could take it back to your dorm room to eat later. You were exhausted from all of your late-night partying. You complained about midterm exams. You seemed so grown up, yet so young at the same time.

Six and a half years later, I still struggle with the fairness (or lack thereof) in having to celebrate birthdays in your absence. You should be here with us. You should be ridiculously excited over eating a big dinner. You should be telling stories about your fraternity brothers, laughing to the point that your face is beat-red and the words coming out of your mouth are completely incomprehensible. I want to hear you call me “Ashtone” and Mal “Birdillion.” (Wherever did you get those crazy nicknames from anyway?) I want to watch as she mom tries to sneak in a hug or, if she’s lucky, a kiss and then hear her little, motherly squeal as you remind her that grown men are embarrassed by public displays of affection (especially “MPDA”). Most of all, on your 26th birthday, I wish I could see Dad in his eternal pride. I’d love to watch as he lives vicariously through your 20-something life stories, bonding over things like business, golf, music and girls.

Despite being so far away, I hope you can see us celebrating your spirit on this forever-special day. I hope you can feel us loving you from afar. And even though I trust you are in a much better place, I hope you know, selfishly, we wish you would come back, even for a minute, so our family could be whole again.

I miss you and love you endlessly little brother. Happy 26th Birthday.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Long Week

I am waiting in the San Fran airport for a flight to Charlotte. I got to the airport an hour and a half early (and for those of you who know me, that is completely unheard of). I am that excited to get home. I want to go play golf with Mike, take Addie on a walk and sleep in my own bed!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cute, Funny, True

Do you have feelings of inadequacy?

Do you suffer from shyness?

Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Chardonnay.Chardonnay is the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. Chardonnay can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of Chardonnay almost immediately and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with Chardonnay.

Chardonnay may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Chardonnay. However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration, erotic lustfulness, loss of motor control, loss of clothing, loss of money, loss of virginity, delusions of grandeur, table dancing, headache, dehydration, dry mouth, and a desire to sing Karaoke and play all-night rounds of Strip Poker, Truth Or Dare, and Naked Twister.

* The consumption of Chardonnay may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may cause you to think you can sing.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

Now Just Imagine What You Could Achieve With a Good Dry Red!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stream of Conscience

I am all finally feeling better, yay!

We went to the Greenbrier for the weekend with McKinsey and I played a full round of corporate golf. This may sound trite to some of you, but I felt it was a tremendous accomplishment.

I went wine shopping yesterday and Mike and I shared a bottle of Vignabaldo's Sangiovese Umbria last night. Very good!

Addie has a mystery allergy. We are trying the process of elimination approach at finding a cure. Step 1, no back yard at the box.

I'm off to San Fran on Saturday for a week-long conference. Just thinking about it makes me already start to miss M & A.

Fall feels close. Hip, Hip, Hooray. This is my favorite time of year.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Poor me...

I have a miserable cold. (Hypothesize that it was picked up at Roxy's wedding during a flip cup tournament. I knew I was too old to be playing drinking games.) Anyway, trying to work but feel like my head is going to explode... Have been on Google looking for home remedies and found the following.

- Drink hot tea
- Overload on Vitamin C
- Cut several onions in half and place them around your home
- Eat 5 to 6 raw cloves of garlic a day
- Avoid dairy
- Gargle with warm salt water
- Gargle with hydrogen peroxide
- Sip on vodka miked with water tabasco and lemon juice

So, if anyone calls or stops by to find me tipsy with garlic breath and living in a "box" that smells like onions you will know why.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Our "Rox-star" Bride

We made it through the wedding in Corolla, NC this weekend... an absolute miracle considering Hurricane Hannah was charging up the east coast, headed straight towards the Outer Banks!

The bride... a true "Rox-star" in every meaning of the word. Despite having spent the past 14 months planning a spectacular outdoor wedding, my dear friend managed to re-plan both her ceremony and her reception in less than 2 days. The ceremony was moved to a small church on the water and the reception landed in a local tavern-turned-wonderland in town. Roxy may have lost her outdoor dream but she definitely did not give up any of the spectacular.

To all of our "old" friends who were part of the weekend, it was a blast! I cherish every moment we have to spend together. To all of our new friends (Ryan and Maria, in particular) Mike and I are still laughing over flip-cup tournaments, celebrity nights, late-night grilled cheeses and the infamous James.

P.S. My photojournalism skills did not surface this weekend, however; I will be sure to steal a friend's work and post pictures shortly.
P.S.S. Photo above was taken by James Christianson (