Friday, December 31, 2010

ringing out the old

i'm not going to lie, twenty ten was a tough year for me. many, MANY valleys, not a ton of peaks... i'm not a huge fan of making a big deal about "New Years," but I'd really like to commit this one to memory, and move on. if you know what i mean ;)

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before? ran a trail run with Tony Hawk!
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? i don't think i made any, and i didn't choose a word. and honestly, i really feel like i've been treading water and drifting away from the shoreline without one.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? my nephew, Milo, was born on February 1st. he is the smilingest baby you have ever met, and hanging with him has soothed me many times this past year.
4. Did anyone close to you die? not this year.
5. What countries did you visit? right...
6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010? a passport. i'm not kidding.
7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? the month of April. it was embarassing and painful.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? speaking on stage in front of over 2,000 people. it, pretty much, ROCKED MY SOCKS OFF!! more, please! also, appearing in an article about journaling in USA Today was amazing.
9. What was your biggest failure? see #7.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? no, and i am exceedingly thankful.
11. What was the best thing you bought? my iPhone4. oh, and the Victoria Secret faux wrap long sleeve tee. if you are tall, with long arms, you will love this shirt!
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? i've got to toss this one to Jack, my xBox addicted skate punk 9 year old - light and love of my life
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? the Westboro Baptist Church. anyone and EVERYONE who bullied, teased or made negative statements about another human. The United States Congress.
14. Where did most of your money go? to the essentials. not a lot of mad money this year.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? a trip to Dallas (visited a high school friend and attended Hampton conference);my bowling birthday party; taking Jack to his first NHL game
16. What song will always remind you of 2010? I Gotta Feeling (Black Eyed Peas); Raise Your Glass (Pink), Colors (Crossfade)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer? A bit sadder, a bit fatter, a bit poorer. Moving on...
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? things that make my family smile
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? turned to my gadgets instead of being 'in the moment' with my family and friends
20. Did you fall in love in 2010? i fell out. a little bit. i'm working on it.
21. What was your favorite TV program? Glee
22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I have some negative feelings that I'm trying to put into perspective.
23. What was the best book you read? I did not read one single book in 2010. fact.
24. What was your greatest musical discovery? Michael Franti and Spearhead, live at House of Blues
25. What did you want and get? a popcorn popper and a percolator :)
26. What did you want and not get? that special feeling
27. What was your favorite film of this year? The Social Network - the first movie my husband and I have been to as "just us" since 2000.
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? i turned 41 in 2010, and killed it during Cosmic Bowling with some good friends
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? meeting you
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010? boring
31. What kept you sane? social media - facebooking and tweeting and texting and scheduled conference calls with friends

2010... Out.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

self-portrait tuesday

because Crystal recently called me out on my As Seen on TV collection (please, PLEASE know that I came by these gifts quite innocently...):

please note, for entertainment purposes only. the owner of this blog is not endorsing any of these products. especially *that* one...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


my favorite month is wrapping the last of its autumn colored hours around my heart tonight. once again i wish i could rewind a few weeks and spend more time with you, november. but before you go...

thank you for a Thanksgiving birthday. thank you for special dishes and special notes from my son;

thank you for delicious pumpkin spice coffee from my birthday twin, Crystal (which i did NOT share with jack). thank you for #TdayBday and #BHSchallenge (follow me on Twitter! @lelly28461)

thank you for three uninterrupted hours of watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while knitting with fabulously lime yarn.

and thank you for snuggies and red knitting needles.

thank you for the salad that i cannot stop eating: spinach, chopped apples, pecans, blue cheese crumbles and Mat-made pomegranate vinaigrette,

thank you for a 9 1/2 year old who understands the value of "making an appearance."

thank you for a Grampie to carve the turkey.

thank you for a fantastic grown up bowling party with grown up friends. thank you for letting me bowl a strike with my very first ball (even IF i did bowl out of turn and inadvertently give the "X" to my husband!)

thank you for then (senior portrait, 1987)

thank you for now (november 2010)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

self-portrait Tuesday

Lucy van Pelt: [holding football] Charlie Brown! Oh, Charlie Brown!
Charlie Brown: I can't believe it. She must think I'm the most stupid person alive.
Lucy van Pelt: Come on, Charlie Brown. I'll hold the ball and you kick it.
Charlie Brown: Hold it? Ha! You'll pull it away and I'll land flat on my back and kill myself.
Lucy van Pelt: But Charlie Brown, it's Thanksgiving.
Charlie Brown: What's that got to do with anything?
Lucy van Pelt: Well, one of the greatest traditions we have is the Thanksgiving Day football game. And the biggest, most important tradition of all is the kicking off of the football.
Charlie Brown: Is that right?
Lucy van Pelt: Absolutely. Come on, Charlie Brown. It's a big honor for you.
Charlie Brown: Well, if it's that important, a person should never turn down a big honor. Maybe I *should* do it. Besides, she wouldn't try to trick me on a traditional holiday. This time I'm gonna kick that football clear to the moon!
[he runs to kick the ball, but Lucy pulls it away]
Charlie Brown: Aaauuugh!
[falls flat on his back]
Lucy van Pelt: Isn't it peculiar, Charlie Brown, how some traditions just slowly fade away?

isn't it peculiar? some traditions do just slowly fade away. when i was growing up in a household of six, with one or more grandparent always within an easy trip, Thanksgiving had different traditions for me. i was fortunate to grow up in a house with formal dining room, and for Thanksgiving, it was set with my parent's wedding china and dishes overflowing with the "standard" dishes. we even had a swinging door that led to the kitchen, which made a pleasant *wooshing* sound as dinner plates were replaced with dessert. seated around the table were often friends mixed in with family, and cousins wearing plaid skirts and mary janes.

every once in a while, we traveled up to Connecticut to visit Grammie (who actually lived in a condominium!!) we even had our own version of "Over the River..." (Around the corner, and through the trees, and here we are at Gramm-eeees!)

and some years, Grabbie and Pop-Pop hosted the big meal. and there was always a plate with a stack of white bread on it for Uncle Bob. memories. i cherish every one of them.

it's different now. some traditions have faded away (i can't imagine putting a stack of white bread on the dinner table). but new ones are growing in their place. even as i sit here remembering my Norman Rockwell-esque childhood holiday, i am smiling about more recent memories - those i've created over the past ten years with my family of three.

erickson Thanksgiving table, c. 2008

Happy Thanksgiving week to you and yours!! may your life be filled with an endless abundance of traditions!

with Grabbie, c. 1974

Thursday, November 04, 2010

i've run out of doors

so, recently, i made this wreath and this wreath and i thought about making this wreath. but then, i realized, i've run out of space to hang all of them!

so instead, i made a tree.

and, yes, it was so easy... lelly could do it!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

four years ago

four years ago, i began compiling my thoughts about the "little things" in life. four years ago, i had a 5 1/2 year old who still wore homemade Hallowe'en costumes.

today, he makes his own (this year, a "spy")

four years ago, i was ruminating about split pea soup and beautiful food.

today, i have perfected our traditional Mummy sandwich

and whipped up a batch of "bloodworms"

four years ago, i embarked on this blogging journey.

today, i am amazed at all that it has given back to me.

thank you for spending the last four years with me! i'm looking forward to so many, many more!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


i'm not a flowers-in-her-hair kind of gal. but some days...

it's production week (or "hell week" as we fondly call it) for my theatre's production of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." so i've packed away some freezer meals and kissed my boys good-bye for a few days. trying to remember my lines and songs is grueling enough. now it's time to put it all together, with musicians, costumes, lights, sound effects, etc.

i'm playing the role of Rona Lisa Peretti and having a lot of fun with her. this show involves audience participation, and i'm really looking forward to poking fun at some (good-natured, i hope) volunteers!

this is the perfect week for me to break into song spontaneously! (oh, wait, i do that already...)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

ain't no mountain high enough

on saturday, jack and i climbed a mountain.

we were in atlanta on a sunny saturday. Stone Mountain beckoned, it's one mile(ish) "hike" to the top of the monadnock was brimming with families and scouts and "breast friends for life" teams. i love october.

the morning was cool enough for sweatshirts and we were full of enthusiasm. we could see our destination. folks young and old were already making their way across the pocked granite surface. we climbed and talked. and visited with a friend i hadn't seen in 26 years. we ate cereal bars and looked at trees covered with gum (yuck!) we sat in a shaded pavilion and watched a man stroll by, strumming his guitar.

and then, a mere 50 yards from the summit, we broke through the tree line. we turned around and took in the sites of Atlanta. we caught our breath. i pointed to the places where i had lived. and then i noticed: jack was done.

we were no longer on our destination UP. he was ready to go DOWN, and not even sure he could make it. something about the unfettered 360 views of Atlanta, the 1,600+ feet between us and sea level, the feeling of smallness. it proved to much for my little mountain climber.

we took one last look toward the summit. i summoned a few pep talks. but it was clear we were meant to go back down. step by "treacherous" step. incantations of "you can do it, jack" (all uttered by jack.) hand over hand, inch by inch. down we went.

and then, once more to the perceived safety below the treeline. surer footsteps and boundless enthusiasm. hand holding and laughing and patience. our feet never reached the top, but our hearts were in the clouds.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

rain, rain down on me now

it's been pretty damp around here the past few days. 20+" of rain in four days... that's a lot to absorb. literally. our roads are overflowing!!

made a new friend via Twitter. what do you think?

JimCantore @lelly28461 Not that easy to get around in middle of night. would be happy to share damage reports for you. just send them along
about 2 hours ago via web in reply to lelly28461

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

spt - Q.E.D.

i've never really been a fan of any sort of mathematics (well, except for geometry, because that was more like puzzle-solving to me. and i LOVE puzzles!) math and i really parted ways during the "pre-calculus" era, and we have never been able to reconcile our differences.

numbers don't "click" in my head. it doesn't matter if i am adding them, squaring them, forecasting them, plotting them on an axis or budgeting them (a-hem.) anything involving numbers tends to stress me out. i am most easily distracted when i am working on a numbers project. therefore, anything involving math takes three times as long for me to complete as it should.

something is out of whack with my month-to-date occupancy numbers at the hotel. it's a fairly small number. 25. or 26. (well, truthfully, one time i added it up and it was 28, so there you go...) regardless, it has to be fixed, and it has to be fixed before midnight on the 30th. it seems as if three days is plenty of time to figure it all out. but these 25 (or 26, or 28) "mystery rooms" have plagued me for four days already!!

and, yet, here i am. blogging. distracted. hoping someone else will figure it out for me.

are you a numbers person? are you easily distracted from accomplishing things that don't come naturally to you? is your stress level ever reflected in your hairstyle???

Sunday, September 26, 2010

today, i...

drank three (or four) cups of pumpkin spice coffee,
baked a loaf of banana bread,

did the weekly shopping,
washed, folded and PUT AWAY all of the laundry,
spent 45 minutes at the playground with jack,

made a roast turkey dinner (pesto turkey, rosemary polenta and squash),
took a plate of dinner to my grandfather,
remembered to help jack print out his homework,
baked a second loaf of banana bread,
made tomorrow night's dinner,
wrote good mail cards.

today, i feel amazing.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


i am wearing shoes with socks today, willing Mother Earth to make it *feel* like Autumn.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

self portrait tuesday

i've been doing the things that make me feel better:
singing and acting,

(and listening to the new Sarah Bareilles.)

thank you all for your kind comments. what i wouldn't give for one afternoon in a coffeeshop with all of you!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

wishful thinking

i wish i was inspired to create new things from my old things.

i wish i felt like i was on top of this mother/corporate life.

i wish it was 15 degrees cooler.

i wish the dog hadn't slipped out this morning.

i wish i felt excited for something. anything.

i wish i had a girls trip on the horizon.

i wish i could love the things i have.

i wish i knew what to make for dinner tonight.

i wish "the homework hour" wasn't so painful.

i wish i wasn't plagued by OCD'isms.

i wish i didn't suffer from depression.

i wish i could sleep.

i wish i had new music on my MP3 player.

i wish it was easier.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Thursday, September 02, 2010

a near miss

fortunately, that monster of a hurricane will miss us. we will have some wind and rain, but it looks like that will be about it. (see that spec of blue near the NC/SC border? the southernmost tip of that blue line is Southport, in Brunswick County. the Tropical Storm watch does not technically include us.)

it'll most likely be a soggy night, but i'm thinking a certain fourth grader better prepare for his spelling test tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

tales of a fourth grade EVERYTHING!!

we are back to school. this little man, my constant companion this summer (innkeeper in the making!) hurried off to a new school year with more confidence than i ever remember having at that age. i absolutely love the ohmygoshyouaretakingANOTHERpicture expression on his face!
i remember feeling pretty old when i was in the fourth grade. i can't imagine he is that age. i also remember that my fourth grade teacher was an unmarried 300-year-old woman who wore polyester pansuits and disliked my "bubbly" cursive handwriting. so, there you go.
Happy School Year, everyone!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pop-pop, Grabbie and family, 2005
"Old Dan Tucker" is 99 today...
Happy birthday, Pop-pop!!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

august has a hold of me

i've been thinking a lot about apples.

which is to say, i'm ready for Fall. i'm ready for school buses and sharpened pencils. i'm ready for pots of soup and pumpkin spice candles. college football and knitting needles.

i am ready.

i am an Autumn soul who lives in a Summer town. i live in a constant state of flux with the rhythm of the beach goers and the sun worshippers. i work when others are at their leisure. it is the way of life here on the coast.

in my business, July is the longest month. from about the 24th or 25th of the month, i wake up every morning and think, "how can it possibly still be July?!?" i stare at the calendar with half-lidded eyes over a cup of reheated coffee, willing the pages to turn to August. to September. just NOT july. anything but july. then i prepare myself for another nine or ten hour work day, armed with my Julie McCoy mentality (a bit of false bravado on a clipboard). just ask me what to do with yourselves when it's raining at the beach and your kids are literally climbing the walls of your hotel room. go ahead and ask me. i dare you...)

but on august first, i breathe deeply and know that a sense of normalcy is right around the corner. the sunlight casts longer shadows (if i squint my eyes just right) and it's not as humid when i take the dog for a walk (if we're out before 7 a.m.) but still.

in the past week, this first week of august, i have roasted chicken and enjoyed a pot of chili and planned a getaway for Fall Break. i have gotten stirred up by talk of SEC football, and started browsing patterns to cast on my knitting needles.

there are still weeks of "summer" yet to come. i am making the most of every single day with jack (another post to come on how-jack-and-i-spent-our-summer in this, the year he refused to go to day camp.) i'm still wearing sandals and staying up way too late watching ridiculous reality television. heck, i'm still sitting in "beach traffic" every afternoon. but this too, shall pass.

i haven't lit the pumpkin spice candle.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010


i've been working on a project. not quite ready to share (but trust me, when i do, it will be on a pretty big scale...) but it's had me reading words. lots and lots of words. twenty-seven years worth of words.

if you've read my blog at all, you know how i love words. i could eat them for dinner, a savory fritatta of expressions and emotions. yum-O! for this project, however, i've had to let someone else choose most of the words for me. and *this* has made me incredibly nervous.

oh words,don't fail me now...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

whirlwind of good, part 4

(july 20, 2010)

my whirlwind updates are hopelessly out of order, but this news was just too good to pass up!!

today was our bi-annual Quality Assurance inspection at the hotel. we scored an Outstanding, which is our 13th Outstanding in a row!! (For those of you keeping track, that equals 13 inspections since I've been the General Manager, and ALL of thoe inspections have scored Outstandings). (I'm definitely keeping track!)

there is no way i could share this great news with the blogosphere without thanking my AMAZING team - the folks who get it done day after day after day.

and thanks to all of you who have continued to travel, even as the pursestrings cinched tighter and tighter. you make every day worth it!

Friday, July 16, 2010

whirlwind of good, part 3

(june 29 and july 5, 2010)

on june 29, Hampton Inn Southport celebrated her 10th anniversary. and less than a week later, i celebrated my own 10 year anniversary of employment. it's hard to believe i've been at one company for a decade. (there was a period of time shortly after college when i truly believed that a 2 year tenure at any job would be my max.)

wasn't i cute? the summer of 2000 was such a great time - i was newly married, new in town, working at a new hotel and about to find out there was a new baby on the way...

that "new baby" has since spent a lot of time at the Hampton Inn!

i've worked my way up from "guest service representative" to General Manager, and i've learned a lot about myself along the way. i've made reservations and made beds. i've hired many and have had to fire a few. i've crawled through a dumpster in the middle of the night, and climbed up on stage in front of thousands.

i can't help but wonder what's in store for the next ten!