Tuesday, May 24, 2011

plum lovely.

Listening To: Tongue Tied by The Apache Relay
Line Obsession: September smoothed the lap of her now-wrinkled and rumpled orange dress. She liked anything orange: leaves; some moons; marigolds, chrysanthemums; cheese, pumpkin, both in pie and out; orange juice; marmalade. Orange is bright and demanding. You can't ignore orange things. She once saw an orange parrot in the pet store and never wanted anything so much in her life. She would have named it Halloween and fed it butterscotch. Her mother said butterscotch would make a bird sick and, besides, the dog would certainly eat it up. September never spoke to the dog again -- on principle. - from Catherynne M. Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Gorgeous story.)

Happy Tuesday beauties (& beastlies)! (A note to our 3.5 male readers: this is a very girly post coming up ;)

I hope your weekend was lovely. And peaceful. The world is in such a psycho-mess right now, isn't it? I'm praying especially for you Missouri girls today. This is a light-hearted post coming up. Mostly, this blog is more about celebrating bright places - stories that make me laugh, or think, or live better. That said, I'm certainly not game for ignoring all the tragedy happening in the world. Ignorance is never bliss. If you've been hit by these storms, and you feel like sharing, will you let us know how we can pray for you down in the comments? Also, big hugs to you girls who are donating your weekends (and weekdays) volunteering and coordinating fundraisers. You people know how to shine, and that's a fact.

With all the sad happening around us, I thought today would be a good day for some happy. Specifically, I think it's high time we talk weddings.

I'll start local. I've got a wedding to attend this weekend and I'm looking forward to it so much. My fam is tight with the bride's fam (our mothers are bff, in fact). This bride is gorgeous. Like, the girl is Pantene-commercial stunning day-to-day. I can't even imagine how she'll rock it down the aisle. (Not to be confused with "rocket down the aisle". Though I'm all for that. Most brides saunter. I like it when the bride takes one look at her handsome groom and decides to haul it ;). I have a feeling that this wedding will be sweet and sacred and all that good stuff. And then the reception will be 100% party time. But that's just my prediction. I'm still in a tizzy over what to wear. Is that super girly of me?

Before we talk about royals, it's also fair to mention Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert's wedding. I've been suspecting this impending event for years. A few years back, Blake and Miranda did a duet of my most favorite songs. "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma" is a perfect country ditty. Lonesome. Winsome. Kinda folk-y. I'm obsessed with this lyric: "All the cowboys out on the Sunset Strip/ they're wishing they could be like you ..."


In case the song hasn't been played a thousand+ times on your iTunes, I'll give you a synopsis. The song is about a girl who leaves Oklahoma for the bright lights of Hollywood. But she's missing her cowboy back home something fierce. And the cowboy back home can only think about his girl out in Hollywood. And because I like to add way more to the story than is necessary, I always imagine it like this: She wanted to go, but she would have stayed for him. Knowing she wouldn't go unless he was out of the picture, he faked like he didn't love her anymore. So she left. (That's not in the song, btw. That's just me being dumb.) The vibe you do get from the song is that neither of them have the life they wanted. They mostly just have regrets and what-ifs to keep them company. I like to think they end up together though. I'm a sucker for happy endings.

You don't get one in the song, but it's still lovely. A story-teller song. If you haven't seen Blake and Miranda singing it, you'll squeal:

That was quite a hair-do he was rocking back then. :) I can't get over how he acts around her in that video. He's so totally smitten with her. (Seriously, if you didn't watch it, at least go back and watch around the 2:30 - 3:10. You'll love it.)

I seriously wish their wedding was televised. I think they're the cutest couple. They make me laugh. Also, I think they're crazy enough to throw a FUN party. Did you know she shot the deer they served reception guests? (That is what reality television should be! Weddings! Venison! Exclamation Points!)

And thirdly, now that the Wedding of the Century has passed, I think it's high time we talk about the Royals. Mostly, I want to talk about hats. The Hat.

And why I 100% loved The Hat. We'll get there.

But first, I feel like I should confess the fact that I most definitely did roll out of bed at the unsightly hour of 5AM to watch people I do not know get married. I almost did not watch the wedding, on account of the earliness. (What's up with the House of Windsor not consulting with me on the best time? ;) Of course, I wanted to watch it. But I figured it would be replayed all day long, for days, anyhow. I don't particularly enjoy getting up early for anything. That's why I'm a Christmas Eve kinda girl. Christmas Morning? Is a jolly time for sleeping in. (I'm fun that way.)
I'm pretty sure I wouldn't even get up at 5AM for my wedding. I can promise you, when such occasion arises, that topic will not even come up for discussion. If I got married in the morning, the ceremony would be a trainwreck. The following is an illustration of what could happen if I got married before lunch:

Minister: "Do you take this man to be your husband?"
Me: *startles awake* " .... These are not the droids you're looking for."

I won't be having a morning wedding.

But I'm also guessing I won't be able to wear my old frayed flannel shirt to my wedding. Or eat Cheerios. Or drink coffee from my Union Jack mug. (Cheers!)

And, on a serious-somewhat-corny note, I thought it would be sweet to watch something historic happen live that was good, and not tragic. How often do millions of people watch the same historic event on TV when the event is good? My guess is not often (Smallville finale not withstanding). This year has been heavy on the tragedy. I think we all needed a fairy-tale, even if it only lasted a few hours. So I set my alarm and shuffled through the house at an ungodly hour to watch the Royals get down with their wedding vows.

I thought it was all quite lovely. Not to be a total girly-girl or anything, but one of my favorite parts was William's voice when he said his vows. What is it about a British accent? I have a feeling, when I talk, guys never say, "Wow. Her voice ..." as though it is a good thing. My voice is not so much mesmerizing as it is ... special.
My siren's call is a yee-haw twang, I'm afraid.

My other favorite part of the ceremony was when The Archbishop of Canterbury (who, according to People, is "a published poet and a fan of The Simpsons") quoted Catherine of Siena saying: Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.

I'm obsessed with that quote. Obsessed.

I should note that Biscuit wasn't down with wedding watching.
I woke up and said:


Then I took my mouthguard out and tried again. "Biscuit! Let's go watch the Windsor-Whatevers get hitched!"

Biscuit lifted her head. She looked at me, like I was a total moron.

Then she rolled over and went back to sleep.
About the time Posh and Becks walked into the Abbey, Biscuit staggered into the living room. She carried her stuffed toy in her mouth. She glared up at me.

"I didn't plan it this early!" I said.

Biscuit jumped on the couch beside me, curled up with her toy and fell asleep again. It was pretty cute.

And maybe because I had my faithful furball cuddled up beside me, or because it was all dark and quiet here, or because it was a very elegant event (I'm not into wedding froof ... but the sacredness gets to me) ... it resonated more deeply than it probably should have.

This may come off way corny, but I'm going to say this anyway (cause it's my blog and I can!).

I hope you know that God sees you that way; gorgeous and regal and breathtaking and stunning. I think fairy-tale days stir up something in our hearts for a reason. I think it has to do with the reminder that - despite all the bad days, despite all the storms and sorrow and suck-awful goodbyes - love still saves the day. There's a real forever-after at the end of this story. And there are lots of amazing parts of the story we're just not to yet. (Or maybe we've got some troublesome waters to cross over before we get to those parts.) Love is still worth waiting for, still capable of out-shining all the bad stuff. And it is worth celebrating major. (May-jah, as Posh would say.)

Sometimes it takes a wedding to jolt my heart awake to this truth: love is the very best beginning, and middle, and end. If you've got love (not just romantic love, either) at any point in this lifetime, you've got a good story. A best story, in fact. Froof may not be your thang either, but there's a certain hope attached to happily-ever-afters that settles me down.

Also, I think it's the sweetest when you can tell a girl knows she's loved and beautiful. A wedding day seems to be a given for that kind of feeling. But I think it can happen whether you're walking down the aisle of Westminster Abbey or walking down the dog food aisle at Target. You're gorgeous and picked and purposed - no matter where you are, or what you do, or what you wear.

White dress made of lace.
Old flannel shirt, frayed along the edges.
You're plum gorgeous, regardless.

("Plum" was a word my Granny added to words to give them extra emphasis. It means you are A WHOLE LOTTA something. Plum pretty. Plum crazy. Plum funny. You get the idea ;)

Watching all that celebration go down makes a person want to live a little bit braver too. Dance a little harder. Fall in love. Be fearless.
Drive an Aston Martin. With balloons and streamers on it. (How fab was that?! That was my most favorite part.)

Wear a funky fascinator.

I noticed so much hate on Facebook for the hats worn by the Royal-types.

Can I be honest with you? I love the hats.

I think the wild and weird ones are the raddest and baddest. Granted, if fascinators were in fashion here in the states, I would still play it low-key. I'd go subtle. But I would covet the ones with feathers and flowers. The last time I wore a hat with a feather was in elementary school, when I dressed up as Peter Pan for Halloween. (Except I was a little bit chubby and looked more like one of the French Peas from Veggie Tales ;)

Funny tangent: my bffSarah's college professor was covering dress code issues with the class. He reminded them that girls could not wear hats unless their hats had "feathers and flowers." Except he pronounced "flowers," like, "flares." He flattened the vowels, mashed them together like we're wont to do here in Tennessee. I kept thinking about that while I watched the wedding - about hats with "feathers and flares."

"I want me a hat with feathers and flares!" I declared to Biscuit. "Also, a Sorting Hat."

She blinked at me.

I raised my coffee mug. "God save the Queen!"

She rolled over and huffed a dramatic sigh.

(Sometimes you gotta make your own fun ...)

Because I'm only 4'11", I'm fairly certain a hat full of feathers and flares would make me look like Daisy Head Maisy. You remember her? From Dr. Suess? 

I'd be way too much of a wimp to bust out the wild hats; like the hat Princess Beatrice wore. I found another one on GoogleImages too - with butterflies. Gusty.

Bravo to Fergie's girls, I say. I know people are hating on the hats. And I get that. I'm not denying that the hats were ugly and strange.

And I am no fashionista. I mostly like to wear some very inspired combination of dark denim and black. So the following statement probably means nothing.

I think those girls knew they were wearing hats that were ugly and strange. I don't think they picked them because they wanted people to rave about their prettiness, or their fashion prowess, or any of that. Just in general, I don't see many fascinators that are "pretty." (I saw a blue one that looked like a taco.) (Or maybe I was just craving tacos at 5AM and so everything looked that way ...) I think, ultimately, the purpose of a fascinator is two-fold: having fun and getting noticed. It's like you're having a costume party, but just on your head.

I love fascinators for the same reason I love cactus flowers (there's a humdinger of a quote! :). A cactus? Is rarely the flower people rave about. A cactus is green. And warty. And weird looking. And yet, it blooms the cutest and funkiest little flowers. It is as if the cactus is saying, "Yes. I get that I'm warty and wonky and weird. But dagnabit, I know how to party."

The fact remains that our British sisters are not warty, wonky, or weird. They're quite gorgeous. Especially Beatrice and Euginie. I think they're adorable girls. British girls (not just royals) seem to have such a cool fashionability. They know how to be understated. They know how to rock out. But I like that, despite being perceived as a bit more prickly, stoic, and refined than we tend to be ... they still know how to party.

Stiff upper lip. Hats festooned with feathers, antlers, flowers, and all manner of crazy. I dig it.

Here's what I like most about fascinators (and girls who wear them): they remind me that fashion can be about having fun; not being stuffy. I like fashion. I like to read about it. I like to think about it. Ever so often, I put actual thought into what I'm wearing. I think investing in clothes with the right fit and proportion (thank you, Tim Gunn!) is fab thing, and a total confidence booster.

But I don't think style and fashion are always the same.

I think style is more of an attitude. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if your clothes came from a sale rack at Target (holla!) or an upscale boutique on High Street. Clothes are just fabric and thread. Nothing so magical there. What matters is how you wear your clothes. What matters is that the clothes become a mere enhancement for the confident girl who happens to be rocking them. What matters is how aware you are of the quirk and smarts and imagination and compassion that makes you so stinking awesome. I don't think style has much to do with what a girl is wearing. Style has to do with the girl.

Fascinators? If they had googley eyes and talked (and some of them probably do...) I think they would say this: This sassy girl whose head I sit atop? Take a look. Cause she deserves to be noticed.

You deserve to be noticed. You don't need a fascinator, of course. You can just kick around in your Cons and Toms and jeans and t-shirts. You still have a heap-load of creativity that needs to be shared and love that needs to be doled out. I hope you walk with the confidence of a girl who knows she's loved and gorgeous and capable. You're plum fabulous. And if you decide to rock a hat with feathers and flares, I say BRAVO to that too. ;)

Don't be afraid to shine today. You were made to set the world on fire.

Okay folks! I would love to hear your favorite parts of the wedding! I'll try to keep checking back in down in the comments so we can gush together. Till then, here's to happily ever afters! ;)


  1. Loved hearing about your opinions on the wedding! I blogged about it too.

    Since I live in Europe, I thankfully did not have to get up at 5 in the morning! In fact, I ate lunch watching. My family was at a conference so I had to sit in a cramped room full of women straining to see William and Kate on a fuzzy screen with German commentators. I still loved it though and my heart jumped once or twice. It was all so romantic and perfect. Though my heart did ache a little knowing that I'll (probably) never ride a carriage down the streets of London for my wedding. It did remind me though that I'm a princess of the King of Kings and I'm definitely living the real fairytale! :) I really hope Will and Kate stay together unlike his parents. They seem so sweet and in love.

    I agree, the hats were crazy fun! I wish we were hats like that all the time. This pic did make me laugh though: http://thebigfatindianwedding.com/2011/the-royal-wedding-in-numbers/cinderella-wedding-kate-william-spoof/

    Thanks for sharing your royal thoughts, it was fun to read! :) And that pic of Biscuit was precious!

  2. Oh, and I definitely agree with you on the accents! While I'm partial to a southern accent, British accents are simply beautiful. I melt when I hear them (and I pretty much just immediately disintegrate when I hear southern accents) :)

  3. I went all out for the royal wedding, and enjoyed every minute of it! The night before I made blueberry muffins and set up camp in our basement (as to not disturb the rest of the sleeping household) with a little tv and a cardboard table with a placesetting of our good china. I then set my alarm for 4am (central) and went to bed with visons of princes and princesses dancing in my head. In the morning I sipped my English tea and scarffed probably 50 muffins while watching the wedding. I felt like a giddy, little girl the entire time! I swooned over William's Brittish accent (who didn't?!) and Kate's dress, which in my opinion was absolutely stunning, and I have to admit that I got a little teary a time or two. It was quite an adventure, and one I hope to tell my grandchildren about someday!

  4. Lovely post!

    I tuned in somewhere right before the vows, but I caught the beginning of it later on. I don't know what it is about British accents, but I'm afraid that, given the chance, I would fall for just about any British guy simply for his voice. :) I notice voices a lot-mostly guys' voices, but sometimes girls' too (Myrna Loy has one of my most favorite speaking voices ever).

    The wedding was really pretty and I enjoyed watching it, though I don't know too much about Will and Kate themselves. I hope everything will work out for them, and I will say that they always seem super comfortable around each other. One of my favorite parts was how enthusiastic the British people were! :) I also loved the trees in the cathedral. It kind of made me think that if Kate wasn't marrying a royal in a historical church, she would be the kind of girl who would have an outdoors wedding.

    As a classic movie fan and lover of all things 1930s-50s, I totally believe that we ladies should bring back the hat-wearing fashion. :) I was definitely not a fan of the octopus-shaped fascinator, but I do realize that it would take some serious confidence to wear it.


  5. I loved when William and Harry (who, for the record, grew up very nicely) were standing at the altar as Kate walked up the aisle. There was that special little moment when Harry turned around, and whispered to Will, "wait until you see her."

    I love that. I love the camaraderie between the brothers, the sense that Harry is reassuring Will (not that he needed any reassurance) and telling him that yes, he did fall in love with a beautiful, perfect-for-him woman.

    My other favorite part was the carriage ride back to Buckingham Palace. Will and Kate kept sneaking these love-filled side glances at each other. It was very special.

  6. Smile. I was so happy when I logged onto my Google Reader and I saw this post! I got my royal wedding fix for the day!

    I got up at 1 AM. One of the joys of being a West Coast girl! My mom woke up at 3 to watch the actual ceremony and fell asleep promptly afterward. :) I fell asleep around 5 and had to go to school at 8 that morning...it was a long day!

    My faves from the wedding:

    The moment when the car pulled out of the gates of Clarence House and we got put first glimpse of the princes. I love how the crowd in London went wild!

    The way William and Kate looks at each other. So sweet and so romantic. Made me want my own William! :)

    When Kate and William rode in the carriage back to Buckingham Palace. That was a true fairytale moment. I truly felt like I was watching a Disney movie!

  7. I have ALWAYS loved that song. I remember watching that duet show, remember that moment. Rock that mullet, Blake.

  8. I want a Sorting Hat too!

    I looooooved Kate's dress! Absolutely loved it. I gasped, out loud, when I saw her step out of the car. She looked gorgeous. And I know what you mean about the accent. It's swoon-worthy. Their day was so beautiful but the thing I loved most was how "them" they kept it. Like driving their own car, Kate doing her own make-up, giving the people not one, but two public kisses :) They made the day special to them, despite all the regal-ness. I watched the wedding all weekend. Tucker got really sick of the British accents after a while. So he went and played Black Ops, while I watched it with his sister. :)

    Love your post!!!


  9. the best part of the wedding was the dresses. her dress and pippa's. i personally would rather get married in something more like pippa. the whole thing was awesome. i loved how stunning kate looked even more stunning on her wedding day, she looked like a disney princess.

  10. I definitely got up at 2:30 to watch it. Craziest thing I've ever done :P
    My favorite parts were when she stepped out of the car and showed off her dress for the first time (gorgeous btw!!!) and when one of the priests prayed the prayer that they wrote, I thought that was really cool and special. The kiss was also very very very cute! I love how she blushed (: