Monday, October 31, 2005

Reason #3,434

Reason #3,434 Why I Love Ryan Illingworth:

Because when I asked him to pose for a photo with his mom, he did this:

Ryan and Dawn

A man after my own always-makes-a-crazy-face-in-photos heart. Our children will be ruined.

Ryan's sister Leslie got married this weekend to the Great Shawn Hogle. She was gorgeous and effervescent as always - and we all cried and laughed and had huge fun. Those Illingworths.....are awesome. To see some of the merriment, click here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Boo Bunco

Stick 'em up

Boo Bunco was a party. A wild party. There were candy cigarettes and a Black Bird. There were Jack-o-Lantern Pizzas and Boo Cups for all. If you missed Boo Bunco, you suck.

Click here to see what you missed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday: Happy

SPT: Happy

1. I'm working a half day today
2. I'm hosting Boo Bunco tonight
3. I'm going to Louisville Thursday for my Sister-in-law's wedding
4. The Cheesecake Factory is open

I'm happy.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Ok - so I turned on word verification for my comments. Has the world really come to this?

P.S. Lean Cuisine Chicken Fettuccini is so good - I could roll naked in it (after a sufficient cooling period.)

P.S. I went to Ross Dress for Less on my lunch break. There were two Hispanic young men buying red dresses, three that I could see (dresses, not young men). They made what I can only imagine to be lurid comments in my direction. There were also two blonde ladies who appeared German and spoke German sounding words. There was also a tall dark haired shouting something that sounded Russian to his wife three aisles over. I think there's a quick witted joke here that would involve something about the "Ross United Nations Dress for Less" or something, but I'm not sure what it is.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Today we slept in, carved pumpkins and killed a black widow spider INSIDE our house. Aren't Saturdays the best ever?


To see the entire pumpkin extravaganza, clickhere.

To see the hideous spider that could have harmed and maimed - close your eyes and take a deep breath and.....well ok, yeah, it's right here.


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Reason #5

Reason #5 Why I Love Ryan Illingworth:

Because I'm going through something hard. Something that's frustrating and makes me cry and is painful. Something confusing. Something that seems totally unfair. Something that can sometimes feel like an undeserved punishment. Here's the good part: When I cry and wail and shout that it isn't fair and generally overreact and freak out, Ryan takes my face in his hands and looks deep into me, deep into the secret parts of me that are torn and bleeding, and he tells me that I'm beautiful. Tells me that he loves me. Tells me that it's going to be ok. And he means it.

Such a man should only exist in Jane Austen novels. But such a man I have.


I Gots Needs

I saw this on Joy's site and did it for myself. SO FUNNY. DO IT RIGHT NOW. Go to Google and put in: "your name" needs.

Here is what I need:

JoAnna needs tuning
JoAnna needs to go see her loan manager
JoAnna needs your help with outfits
JoAnna needs a break
JoAnna needs to find herself
JoAnna needs to postpone her upcoming album
JoAnna needs more practice in argument
JoAnna needs help
JoAnna needs a cool head and a steady trigger finger
JoAnna needs money

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Don't Breathe On My Tots

My personal space got invaded at lunch today.

Perfect Ryan just started a new job down the road, so I asked him if he wanted to meet for lunch. We decided on Sonic for burgers and kisses and Cherry Limeades for all. I got there first and parked in the shade. Even though it’s October 19th, the temperature in Nashville is EIGHTY EIGHT HOT DEGREES so I had my windows down and my sunroof open, enjoying the sunshine and listening to the radio. After about two minutes of my relaxed state, a creepy alley-dweller pulled up next to me in a tricked out white Buick with his stereo BLARING nasty hip hop (the kind without the words bleeped out). He stared at me for exactly 30 seconds too long, then hopped out of his car to order, stereo still blaring. I had to roll up my windows and shut my sunroof just to hear my phone ring. The thing that bothered me most about this was the scores of empty parking spaces – but yet he chose to park right next to me. And stare at me. And be loud and obnoxious and annoying. And stare at me. I had parked in that particular spot because no one was around and I could enjoy the quiet. Why would he chose to park his Hip Hop Heap six inches away from me? I’m certain that if we were at a half-empty movie theater, he would sit down right next to me, not leaving the obligatory empty-seat-between-us. If we were waiting in line at the bank he would stand too close, breathing on me.

Thankfully, he got his Sonic Tots to go.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Being Known: Part One

It's an interesting thing, being known. Especially being known by strangers. I spent my entire childhood trying to be seen and heard. Dancing and chattering and interrupting. Trying to establish myself as someone worthy and desired. Someone with an identity, someone wanted. And now I've found myself full circle.
In my first book, I told the whole world my deepest darkest journal bound secrets. The kind of secrets a sane person would go to great lengths to hide, stashing the incriminating thoughts under boards in the floor and then putting a piano over the top. Not me. I took those secrets and published them for anyone to see including crazy relatives and long lost friends whom I had hoped would remain long lost. I spilled them without a full understanding of what might come next. Strangers knowing my details. My idiosyncrasies. My weirdness that used to belong only to me.
Since the release of the book, I've had a few crazies contact me (and some really cool people too). Sometimes I feel flattered. Sometimes exuberant. And sometimes a little creeped out. People I've never met saying things like “we are so much alike” or “my best friend is just like you” or making sweeping comments about how I handled the breakup. It feels like starting in the middle of a conversation I just joined. Feels like someone's been digging through my trash. Feels a little unnerving. I don't know how people like do it. She gets more readers in one day than I've had with a nationally published book. In her blog, she exposes (in graphic details) her bathroom troubles and fights with her husband and the truth about how hard it is to raise a baby. How sometimes she wants to scream and run.
Seems like lately, anyone who's anyone has a blog. Many of my friends have blogs. Zach Braff has a blog. Even Dan Miller from Channel 4 news has a blog. There are blogging groups to join and even blogger conferences where people congregate to talk about blogs. A person could easily spend days on end reading other people's thoughts and opinions. Personal journals by friends and strangers posted to the public. A cathartic, anonymous space for a person to get things off her chest. A post to confess or pass judgment or be the person you can't be in reality. And this popular self-publishing phenomenon has caught on quickly. The personal online journal is the new black...or something.
I'm relatively new to the blog world, but I've stumbled across a few people that I find infinitely interesting - like Dooce. People whose words touch me and move me and inspire. Because of their candid stories, I sometimes feel like I know them. Like we're friends. Because I know intimate details of their lives, I feel a connection. Because I know their hurts and their struggles. Because I've seen their pictures. But in most cases, I don't even know their real names. Some of these bloggers are anonymous or use only a nickname. And yet they put their thoughts - deeply personal thoughts - online for anyone to read. For me to read. And I wonder...what is it about an online journal that makes a person free to be. Free to confess. Divulge.
I wonder if it's the desire to be known. The desire to feel liked. Loved. Understood. Publishing a blog is an easy way to say what you think without facing criticism or judgment. And while people can comment on your post or send you an email, there's always the option to turn off comments or refuse to provide an email address. It's intoxicating, being able to say absolutely whatever you want (anything from what you had for lunch to why you ended your marriage) without any confrontations or obvious consequences. Telling your secrets, even anonymously, can be freeing. I've even seen one woman's blog where she posts a naked photo of herself every Friday. Self revelation at its height.
And I get it. Telling someone a secret about yourself in person can be risky. Confrontational. But posting it on your blog gives you the control. No one can interrupt or give you “the look” or shake their head in shame. You can say it fully, in one breath. You can blather on about boring life details (my particular brand of blogging) without seeing the boredom on your listener's (reader's) face. You can be known - be yourself - without the messiness of relationship.

To be continued...

Friday, October 14, 2005

Reason #2130

Reason #2130 Why I Love Ryan Illingworth:

Because for the past week, he's gotten up at 5am to take Foxy the Dog out to pee.

Foxy the Dog

Of course, would YOU be able to resist that face?

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Things I would have been doing today if my numbers had been the right numbers:
-Still sleeping
-Going to a movie in the middle of the day
-Buying a calculator that goes to $240,000,000
-Writing checks to Citibank and MBNA
-Writing checks to family members and adding lots of zeros
-Hiring someone to manage our millions so Ryan and I could think about other things
-Packing for our make-up honeymoon
-Donating, donating, donating
-Thinking about fun ways to give large cash to friends - anonymously
-Changing my phone number
-Buying new pants...ok buying all new clothes from top to bottom

Things I am doing today since my numbers weren't the right numbers:
-Working at my J-O-B...otherwise known as staring into the abyss
-Having lunch with the fabulous Lori Jones
-Walking Foxy the Dog when I get off work
-Wearing my favorite shoes
-Kissing Perfect Ryan

All in all, not too bad.

Update on Harriet:

Here's the word from my friend Englert:

Harriet is better, she was moved out of the ICU to my friend's floor on the hospital. (Englert is a nurse.) She had a bad day yesterday, had fluid overload and some respitory distress but is feeling better today. Thanks for all your prayers!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Welcome to my Sassiness

Guess what? Jo's got a brand new blog (drumroll) WITH LINKS. All Hail Cool Meridith for helping me accomplish my dream. Ok, maybe it wasn't my dream, but I am quite excited.

Update on Harriet: I haven't heard any word yet. I've left a message with Englert and if I hear from her, I will post news. Thanks to all of you who are praying.

Shameless Plug: I wrote a book, and I think you should read it. Click the link (THE LINK!!) and enjoy. Makes a great gift!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday: OK

SPT - hand

Please Pray

Calling all friends/lurkers/anyone who reads this:

My dear friend Heather very unexpectedly and tragically lost her father last summer. She was very close to him - and the loss was quite difficult to deal with (still is...). She is also very close to her mother - and the two of them have pretty much been there for each other during this hard time. I found out this morning that Heather's mother is in the ICU from a bite from a brown recluse spider. She was bitten Friday while out in the yard, thought she had a stomach virus, and by Saturday morning she went into septic shock and was rushed to the ER with a BP of 60/30. She is in the medical intensive care - her kidneys shut down at one point and her respitory status is not good. PLEASE PRAY for her. Her name is Harriet Englert and my friend's name is Heather Davis. Thank you.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Dad's 55 Today

Wedding 105

Happy Birthday Old Man. You are now officially 55. Only five more years until your birthday is 10-10-10. I don't know why I always thought of that as a child. Maybe because 2010 seemed like a year out of a sci-fi movie. Maybe because I couldn't imagine you being 55, let alone 60 years old. Maybe because your briefcase combination was always 10-10-50 - your birthday - and I wanted the numbers to match. Maybe I was trying to prove that I'm a math whiz - but we all know the truth. (Hey, you're no math whiz either!)
If I were going to write a proper tribute about you it would be long and thoughtful and would bring everyone to tears talking about how you've always been there for me and always loved me like no other. But I'm not usually proper - which is a trait I inherited from you. I'm usually silly rather than serious. I look for the laughs in every situation. I'd rather watch a comedy than a documentary. I'd rather make up a song than learn a new one. These things (and many more) make me your daughter. Your puddin. Your Girl.
You're one of the few people I know who truly lives out their faith. You love Jesus with your life, always have. Even in the hard times. Even in the HARD times. I've never had one moment when I wasn't proud of who my father was, when I wouldn't point to you in a crowd and say "that's my dad".
You've been a dream father, truly. I think I've always known that, even when I was a little girl and you took me on dates to McDonalds. Even when we made forts in the living room out of blankets and encyclodpedias. Even when we sang together at those tiny country churches in the sticks. Even when we watched Home Alone and laughed ourselves silly. Even when we worked together at Chick-fil-A yelling "hot fries!" Even when you married me to the love of my life.

I love you Dad. More than you know. More than I let on. More than some silly blog could convey. (Especially since you don't know what a "blog" is and have never seen this one. Maybe I'll print this out for you so you can read it with your reading glasses that you wear as real glasses and chuckle the way only you can and then drown me in a Dad hug. I would like that.)

Friday, October 07, 2005


Ryan loves monkeys and Ryan loves pugs. Guess what Ryan's getting for Christmas?


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Oh Vile Hunger!

I’ve been doing so well. Eating less than my weight per day. I’ve now exercised 3 days in a row, and plan to again tonight. I’ve had 8oz. of carrot juice four days in a row. (If you know me at all, please re-read that last sentence and offer up a Hoorah for me and my carrot-juice-drinking-awesomeness.) I haven’t eaten chips in over a week. People, I’m even drinking water. Water. I. Am. Drinking. Water. I’ve limited my beloved Diet Coke to one, maybe two per day. All in all, I am a champ. A Do-Gooder. An amazing example of strength and determination. But the hunger. It gnaws at me with multiple rows of tiny sharp teeth. Ordering me to find some Reese’s Peanut Butter cups if I know what’s good for me for crying out loud.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


I would like to add links to other blogs - but I do not know how to do this. Can someone help?

Things you should know before helping me:
1. I do not know HTML
2. I can only manipulate this blog because it's easy and foolproof and just short of coloring by numbers
3. You will have to dumb it down
4. See #3

The Number

If you follow the show Lost, even slightly, you know there’s a current debacle involving a series of mysterious numbers. Chat rooms are all aflutter with theories and hypotheses and screen shots from the show that are analyzed and re-analyzed. Serious Lost fans are obsessed with these numbers and what they might mean. How these numbers might affect the characters and their outcome. And even though I love the show Lost, it’s a different series of numbers that I obsess about.

Now that I’m 31 (Can you hear the echo…31…31…31…) I no longer obsess about turning 30. There’s a new number that haunts my dreams. A number that shouts its defiance in a loud, mocking tone that sends shivers down my spine. And like the crash survivors and their deviant digits, The Number shows itself at the exact moment I’ve almost forgotten about it.

My Number? My debt.

I think about it every day. The Number. I think about how and when I can pay it off. How it got here in the first place. How I can mask it or avoid it or burn it at the stake. I think about The Number when I buy groceries and when I pump gas. When I watch TV and when I pop my Pop-Tarts. My number makes me grouchy and irritable. And poor.

Even though I know it’s not entirely true, there are large parts of me that believe getting rid of The Number would fill my life with infinite and permanent bliss. That I would suddenly be the perfect weight and have straight teeth and shiny hair that’s constantly blowing in a cool breeze. The perfect, glittery Number-free life.

The Number could also be how many pounds you want to lose, feeling sure that life will be perfect if you just lose 12 more pounds. Or The Number is years of school left until the doctorate is earned. Or miles on the odometer before the car finally dies. Or doses left until you’re well again. Or weeks left before giving birth.

So. What’s The Number for you? And what will happen if you achieve it?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday: Angry Toe

Angry Toe - SPT

If you do it with your foot, is it still a vulgar gesture?

Monday, October 03, 2005


I think I may have discovered the Suburban Housewife Hideout. I went to Target on my lunch break to try and find some gifts for Boo Bunco.

Sidebar: Bunco is a dice game that I play once a month with eleven hilarious women. Every woman in the group hosts – and this month is my turn. And it’s Halloween. So it’s Boo Bunco. And if you haven’t played Boo Bunco, you haven’t lived.

So, when I turned into the back of the Target parking lot, I noticed about six different cars with about six different women sitting in them. Doing nothing. Just sitting. They were kind of scattered in different spaces, way in the back. I thought maybe they all just like parking in the back for the exercise. But when I came back out, they were all still there. Still sitting. What were they doing, all these women, sitting in cars in the back of the Target parking lot at 12:36pm on a Monday in October. Meeting a lover? Hiding out? Escaping from work? Feeling fat? Listening to Dave Ramsey on talk radio? Contemplating their wasted youth? Calculating their next move? Crying? Enjoying the silence for once?

The world may never know.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Reason #112

Reason #112 Why I Love Ryan Illingworth:

Because he took me to eat this.....


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Happy October 1st!

Today is the first day of my very very very favorite month - OCTOBER!!!! YAY!!!!!
Last night Ryan informed me that he made reservations for us at the Melting Pot for tonight!!!! I said, WHY did you do this? He said - to celebrate October!!!! THIS IS WHY I LOVE HIM!!! THIS IS WHY I AM USING EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!! I LOVE OCTOBER AND I LOVE FONDUE AND I LOVE MY HUSBAND!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, to celebrate, I'm finally cleaning the office in our house - after five months. Here is my progress after two and a half hours. Can you see why I put it off for five months? Ryan gets home from work in three and half hours - my goal is to be finished by then.