Blanket full of memories.

I've been collecting t-shirts for years now. Most of my shirts pre-high school are donated or long gone, but most shirts I've acquired since 2001 are still in my possession. I wasn't sure what I'd do with them, but I'd been mulling the idea of a t-shirt blanket for years now. I just never got around to finding a company that could do it [and don't even mention the idea of me doing it myself - i'll laugh so hard, milk will shoot out my nose].

One day in May 2010 though, I was on Groupon and found Campus Quilt, a company that does just what I was looking for. I bought two Groupons and, true to my procrastinator form, didn't use them for almost a year. The day they were set to expire, I finally ordered my kit and got down to business.

With Campus Quilt, it's simple: they send you a kit; you decide what kind of quilt you want and if you want any extras with it; you pick out your shirts and put stickers on them to indicate which shirts/sides you want on your quilt; package it all up; drop it off at UPS; and impatiently wait for the finished product. It took a month for me to get the shirts all picked and washed, and about 3 weeks for the shirts to be turned into a quilt and sent back to me. But let me tell you, I'm in love.

They did such an amazing job - I mean, look at it! I ordered a stadium quilt and used 15 shirts for 16 squares. This blanket covers a good like, seven or eight years of my life. The first square? Senior Week shirt. The one underneath it? Shirt from my junior year volleyball team, when we made it out of area to regionals. A majority of the shirts are from my college years [the Stout Spring preview shirt was so special to me, i had both the front AND back featured on the quilt], and I even included a shirt from my sister's campus and my love of my OKC Thunder.

This quilt is more than just shirts though. This quilt represents a big part of my life, especially my college years. Each shirt holds a special meaning to me, and each shirt carries its own set of memories that are near and dear to my heart. Years from now, I look forward to sharing this with my kids and sharing the stories of these shirts. I plan on getting at least one more t-shirt quilt made, and I'll probably have one made for each of my kiddos [how ever many kiddos come after JJ] as graduation presents. JJ may already have claim on this one though.

So thanks, Campus Quilt, for doing such an amazing job preserving memories that are the most precious things I have made out of cotton [and combinations of other materials with cotton]. I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but this definitely beat my expectations. It definitely brought a smile to my face.


My thoughts on the Casey Anthony trial. Mine. No one else's.

As a mother, I'm always on edge. From the day I found out I was pregnant, I went from sorta laid back to full-on panicky. If I didn't feel JJ move when he was supposed to be, I would freak out and drink apple juice to make him move. If his heartbeat didn't catch on the monitor while I was in labor, I'd freak out and hold my breath until the nurse found it. His cries make me drop everything, I don't sleep well at night because I'm afraid he might stop breathing [yes, even though he's now 2 1/2]...I'm telling you. Full-on panic mode, right here. It only switches off when JJ's with my mom, to be quite honest.

So, as a mother, I've been interested in the Casey Anthony trial since all this started going down...man, I can't even remember when this all started. I didn't watch most of the trial, but I kept up with it through news reports and friends who were watching it. As the evidence started coming out, my mind started ticking. What kind of parent doesn't report his/her child missing or - if the case arose - hurt right after it happens? Who does that? If anything happened to JJ, you best believe I'd be on the phone, at the police station, all over town trying to find him and figure out what was going on. My biggest, biggest fear is that something will happen to him and he won't come home ever again. It genuinely scares me.

I'm not saying that Casey Anthony was guilty or not guilty - I wasn't a part of that jury, I didn't hear or see all the evidence, so it's not my place to say if they made the right decision or not. Am I shocked that she was only found guilty of lying to police? A little, yes. A part of me thinks she may have done it, but that's just my personal feelings based on what I've heard and seen, not anything really concrete. All I'm saying is, as a mom, my child's well-being comes first. There are a lot of holes in this case, a lot of unanswered questions that makes me wonder. I think I'll always question if she really did it or not, to be quite honest. I just hope that she, as a person, can put this chapter behind her and learn from it.

As for Caylee...I feel so, so bad for that poor little girl. What happened to her? Was she murdered? She was an absolutely innocent 2-year-old who died under unusual circumstances. Can NOBODY not tell the world what happened to her, why she was buried, if she really died or not? Has this society seriously come down to "Well, if I tell a good enough lie and the truth doesn't have enough evidence, I'll get away with it"? Someone out there knows what happened to her and isn't telling, and THAT is the true tragedy here. No one gets to pay for what happened to that little girl, but Caylee is no longer here. It would kill me to not know what happened to my own child in a situation like this - why isn't Casey herself going after the answers? Does she know something we don't, and she's lying?

Like I said - I'm pretty sure I'll question this trial for the rest of my life. It makes me sick to my stomach to know that somebody out there got away with what they did to Caylee, and it may never come out. I continue to hope that, one day, the truth will come out - only the truth will truly put this, and Caylee, to rest.


What an awesome weekend so far.

My sister is a huge Musiq Soulchild fan. Like, huge - Musiq for her = Justin Timberlake for me [well, close, anyway]. So when she found out he was going to be at House of Blues Dallas yesterday, she told me I was going, and I happily obliged. I'm not a huge Musiq fan, but I was excited to go. And, it's been awhile since my sister and I had time together like that...so, she bought our GA tickets Friday, and we drove down yesterday afternoon.

I've been to House of Blues in Las Vegas - and the food was awesome there. The food at this one [I just got a salad] was awesome, too. I was a little disappointed in the chocolate cake though - it's not that it was bad; it just wasn't a cake I liked a lot. I probably should've gotten the swamp cookie...next time.

zThe highlight of the food part was...well, the drinks. The featured liquor was 901 - Justin Timberlake's tequila. Our waiter had me at "Justin Timberlake", so of course I had to have a drink featuring it.

We got a Blue Cadillac [blue mason jar] and a Memphis Lemonade [clear mason jar] - I was a much bigger fan of the Memphis Lemonade, so I claimed that one. It was so, SO good. I hope it's still around when we go to Vegas, because I want another one. And, I got to keep the mason jar! Sweet! We also had Blue Skittle shots...which seriously tasted like Skittles. I was very, very impressed.

We met up with some friends before the show and acted a fool in the restaurant, then my sister and I headed down with our two friends who went with us to the concert hall, which was below the restaurant. It was SO cool down there...there was an upstairs and downstairs, and we just got GA tickets since they were cheaper and the only ones available. It felt really intimate in the GA area - we couldn't even see any of the upstairs people, so it felt like we were the only ones in the entire place. It was pretty cool.

The opening act was supposed to be Bobby Valentino, which made me super excited...but then, he didn't come. So, Charlie B opened for him - a tweeny [one of the first things he said was that he was on RadioDisney] poppy artist who should've opened for Justin Bieber or Willow Smith. It wasn't that he was bad...he really had a good voice...but I'm almost positive no one under 21 was in the GA area, and I'm sure the crowd upstairs wasn't all that different. It was just the wrong demographic for the kid, so most of us spent his entire set looking at each other and wondering how we could relate to his songs when we were a good 10+ years older than him. Sigh.

A few minutes after he finished his set, Musiq hit the stage. Like I said before - my sister's a much bigger fan of his, so she was absolutely ecstatic. The man put on an amazing show, though, that's for sure. He sounded just as good live as I thought he would [possibly even better], and it made me a bigger fan of him than I was before the show. I only really know the first album, but I've heard some songs from his other releases and liked them. The show, though...it was so soulful. So genuine. It was like he was grateful to be there and to have all those fans, even though he's been in the business for years now. It was fun to be a part of that type of crowd, to unwind for nearly three hours and just enjoy a stripped-down show. I definitely plan on seeing him again if the opportunity arises.

We met up some the same friends from dinner afterward and went to this whack club where Big Sean was [and absolutely not impressed], then ate at IHOP and crashed out. The highlight of the entire night - and weekend [besides sleeping in and spending time at home] - was the show. I'm so glad we went. I totally plan on catching another show there when I can.


Another book down. Sweet.

I'm telling you - I'm on a book roll right now. In the span of a week, I've finished THREE books. And, I'm about to start a fourth that I hope to get through fairly quickly. I can't believe it. I might actually get my 25 books read - wow.

So my next book was recommended by one of my friends who is a pretty avid reader: Anna and the French Kiss.
The story follows Anna, a high school senior whose cheesy author dad sends her to boarding school in Paris. What seems like a completely unfair and selfish move on behalf of her disconnected dad turns into one of the most memorable years ever for Anna, who learns how to let go in more ways than one. I honestly thought it would be stupid cheesy, but nope - it was well-written, extremely descriptive and ridiculously cute. It made me want to study in Paris for a year, find my own Etienne St. Clair and fall head over heels for him [as a 17-year-old single girl, of course].  The author, Stephanie Perkins, is coming out with another book in September...I totally can't wait to read it.

The next book I'm going to start is an historical fiction piece on Madame Tussaud [yes, the wax museum person]. It was another one that came recommended by the same person who recommended Anna and the French Kiss, so I'm sure I'll enjoy it. I probably won't get it started until Sunday, but I'll have plenty of time to read during the last part of this weekend and on Tuesday. I love that I'm back into books and can focus on reading again. I've missed books.

Anyway. I'm so glad it's the weekend. Yesterday was rough enrollment-wise, and this week seemed to draaaaaaaaaaaag on. I can't believe the 4th of July is already here; where has the summer gone? We're already halfway through it! One of my friends posted on a national board I visit that there are only 64 more days until OSU college football tips off...seriously? I remember when the days were in the 80s. I can't believe it'll be here before we know it. I need some college football in my life...the NBA locked on yesterday, and it makes me sad. The sides are so far apart that no telling how long they'll negotiate or if we'll even have a season. Sigh. I don't get al these contract things, but I wish they'd be resolved quickly without much damage.

But the sports talk is for another day. I really just wanted to come talk abotu the book, since I've read three since last Friday. I'm totally excited about books again!