September 30, 2011

A Little Housekeeping..

A Little Housekeeping for this Ole Blog of Mine:

1)  I'm new to Twitter and if you want to see me say things that are very average and not at all clever or witty, you can follow me here:

2) If you're a pinterest fan, or a pinterest lurker... 
You can look at what I'm pinning here:

3) Keep your responses to my HONESTY post flowing in.  I've got some great, hilarious, heart-warming, humiliating stories coming in my inbox.  I want yours!
You can send your stories to 

They will be posted next week, but don't worry, your identity will be kept a secret :)
As Dolly (from Hello Dolly) says, "Life's full of secrets and I keep them!"
Unless of course you're in danger, in which case, I'll go to my parents and say, "I have this friend who has a problem..."  Of course, they'll think it's me, but it'll actually be you. And then it'll be weird b/c they'll think your secret is my secret.  And we won't look each other in the eye for a few weeks. But I'm willing to take one for the team, because I like you that much.

(Thanks Full House for that awesome lesson in friendship)

Alright, enough awkwardness?
Send me those stories.
See you on Monday! 

September 29, 2011

Welcome to the World!

The Insogna's had their baby yesterday. Sean and I woke up to a text saying "We're at the hospital." We squealed like kids, hopped out of bed, grabbed some McDonald's coffee, and ran to the hospital.  I believe saying something like, "They left a family of two, they'll return a family of three" through comically pitiful tears on the way there... 
Have I mentioned I'm really excited about this baby?

It was a miraculous day and one we will always remember.  Sean and I were sooooo, sooooo, soooooo grateful that little Miss Preston decided to come when we were both in town! (After all, this day was really about us.) It would have been absolute torture if Sean was halfway across the country. Watching Jon walk out in the hall after Preston was born was one of the sweetest moments I've ever witnessed. 

Elizabeth was beautiful (as always), Preston is absolutely gorgeous, both momma and baby are healthy and it was pretty much the best day ever.

Welcome to the world Preston Adeline Insogna!  
You're so loved, so beautiful, and so absolutely perfect!

September 27, 2011

Let's Get Real

According to a number of “How to Blog” articles I’ve read, a blogger should blog even when they think they have nothing to say, even when they know they have nothing to say, and even when they really don’t want to say anything at all… I of course was thrilled by this advice, realizing that perhaps it won’t make me look weird, creepy, or unproductive to blog once a day. Some articles even suggest posting multiple times a day… I immediately took this as an open invitation to blog about the organic pop-tarts I just bought, the way my dog snores when he’s on his back, and how much I love the heart-rate app on my phone. But then I thought, “Before I start writing more, I better read what other people are writing, so I can copy learn from them.”

So… I’ve been putting in my blogging research hours.  I’ve been ignoring the TV at night (with the exception of one very weird 80’s movie and Modern Family) and reading blogs, blogs, and more blogs.  After hours upon hours of awesome DIY projects, funny family photos, humiliating stories, and heart-wrenching confessions, I realized the blogs I love the most, share one quality: Honesty.

They are honest, they are real, and they are refreshing.  This week I’ve seen one woman speak candidly about her miscarriage, another speak about cleaning puke out of her cleavage (still not sure whose puke she was referring to), another discuss how she had to take a last minute solo-trip to NY city as a last ditch effort to save her family by “saving Mommy” first, and another speak about the jiggle on her hind-hump that won’t go away.

Basically, it was refreshing reading all that well-written juicy, honesty.  I felt like I’d been at coffee with a group of really great girlfriends… the kind where you lean in, tell a secret, sit back and giggle, and then hit the table quietly and say things like, “You’re so bad.”
Me neither.

Anywhoo, it encouraged me to get more honest, be more real, and embarrass myself a little more.  Perhaps there’s freedom to be had and followers to obtain J

So, here we go.  Ten HONEST things about me…

1)  I’m a sucker for a good infomercial.  Although I roll my eyes and laugh at first, by the end I’m like “Yeah… my pasta really does get stuck in the holes on my strainer… I waste so much time getting those noodles out.”  “That one towel soaks up that much water?!? I’d be an idiot not to invest.” I’ve bought 3 items off the TV in moments of fatigue and confusion.  Two involve makeup (which I actually enjoyed) and one involves a “Best-of” record of a white family singing gospel that I had never heard of 5 minutes before I picked up the phone.  But, for the record, they are amazing… and… I’ve never even opened the CD. Lesson learned.

2)When I was teaching middle school a parent came in unexpectedly one morning and demanded to see my team of teachers.  Unfortunately, this was 80’s day and we had to sit across from a well-dressed business woman and combat her frank rudeness while wearing sparkly eye shadow, teased pony tails sitting on the very tops of our heads, and the wardrobe of Punky Brewster.  We remained firm and stood our ground, but showing up in a suit on a dress-up day was a sly move.  She’s lucky she didn’t show up this day:

I promised my kids I’d come to school dressed as a chicken if they met a certain academic goal. Pretty innocent bribe, right? The best part is that this suit was so huge I had to inflate it once I was in a room. If that parent had come that day, I promise I would have deflated the suit, walked in, and then stood five minutes in silence as it re-inflated and then sat down and said, “What seems to be the problem?”

3) I keep tags on home décor for a year or longer… just in case I want to take it back. I have a candle holder whose tag I still neatly tuck back under when I dust. I bought it in 2009 for $4.99.  But who knows when I’ll need that five dollars.

4)  On my last 17 hour van-ride I woke up a little disheveled and suffering from a disastrous mood.  I marched into McDonald’s and ordered a biscuit. The lady laughed a little, realized I didn’t think it was funny, and then told me very seriously that they weren’t serving breakfast anymore.  I gave her a look like, “typical… five minutes late and now you don’t have a single hot biscuit… unbelievable.”  I complimented this look with a dose of teenage boy shoulder shrug and said, “I don’t know… how about chicken tenders?”  When I got back in the van I realized it was 1:45 in the afternoon.  Oops.  I’m sorry McDonald’s cashier for being annoying and I hope you made fun of me when I left.  I deserved it.

5) When I was 18 I ran into a gas station and dramatically proclaimed to the clerk and line of customers that “the station is out of gas!”  With a look of initial panic the clerk ran to some computer screen and then bewilderedly looked at my car. I immediately start making plans and cutting others in line, “So… my credit card information has already been given. You’ll cancel that for me?”  He interrupted me and said “Ma’am. Lift the lever.”  Ohhh. Riighttt.  I had a feeling I was jumping the gun on that one…

6) If I gained the courage I’d get a huge tattoo stretching across my back.  I LOVE girls with sleeves, but I don’t think I’m cool enough to pull it off. Plus, some family members would cry and I’d always have to wear sweaters at holiday gatherings. (Which come to think of it, I do anyways… sleeves it is.)

7) When I go shopping I put things I like in my cart, and then as I decide what I’m actually going to purchase, I one-by-one drop them off in other parts of the store. Some might call this inconsiderate, but I call it considerate. When I worked retail it was the surprise tie in the women’s lingerie section or the home décor sitting beside girls’ dresses that broke the monotony and got me through the day.

8)  When I first started dating Sean, I lied stretched the truth and told him I loved movies and artists that I knew he loved. I didn’t just tell him that though, I analyzed them, put them on repeat in my car, and went on and on about how moving they were. Two years into marriage I was like, “Oh that guy? Naaahh… not my taste.” “That movie?  Yea, it sucks.”

9) When I was a kid I’d spend hours in my friend Ashley’s bedroom calling the operator and making prank phone calls.  I told some adult about this hilarious past-time and they told me, “You’re the reason our taxes go up.”  I was shocked by my unknown power, ridden with guilt, and sent into a tail-spin of confusion.  If I had unknowingly raised everyone’s taxes what else was I capable of, and what havoc had already ensued? 

10) Way back in my lineage I’m related to Pocahontas. (That is true.)  I found this out about 2 years before the Disney movie came out.  I got free tickets and a small royalty for my connection (that’s a lie) but what is true is that for months I’d wander off into the woods by myself, sing “The Colors of the Wind” at the top of my lungs, spread my arms out in a gesture of gratitude towards the trees, and then spin around and throw my fists against my heart. I felt that it was my God-given privilege to truly connect with my roots.

So there you go.  We’re better friends already.  Send me something honest about yourself and I’ll post it anonymously next week… Or better yet, I’ll give you a really great pseudonym like “Fanny” or “Roxanne” For real, let’s do this.

Last Week in a Nutshell

Last week I worked from here:

It was an amazing cabin, on a picturesque property, and the perfect place to dig our heels in and complete an absolutely monstrous grant. During a break, we went on a hike.  From inside the cabin it looked cold and rainy.  Turned out it was 70 degrees outside and my scarf, boots, and sweatshirt choice was a bit ambitious.  

Here I am in my Olan Mills "I'm in the country on a swing" shot.

This farm is also a venue for weddings.  Can you imagine a bridal party riding through these trees on horseback?? Unbelievable.

The morning after I returned from the cabin, Sean, and our friend Lindsay, and I hopped in the car and drove to our friends' wedding in Atlanta.  We went to the rehearsal and dined like kings and queens at the City Club of Buckhead. It was a magical night and my cheeks are still sore from laughing at all the great toasts.  Afterwards, we crashed with our fantastic and wonderful friends, whom we see way too little of, Ashley and Burch.

The next day we hung out with good friends, caught up over coffee, enjoyed the perfect weather, and then headed to the wedding.  The ceremony was absolutely amazing and afterwards I ate great food, marveled at the amazing funk band's back-up singers, and danced a lot with this guy:

(He trimmed his beard for this occassion.  It is super burly right now and unbelievably awesome.) 
After the reception, we hit the road and got back into Nashville in the early morn. When we arrived I was wide awake, and decided to surf the net for a while before going to bed. I miraculously stumbled upon this video of Barbra Streisand from her 1965 "My Name is Barbra" TV special. I've watched it 10 times since then. The woman is simply not human.

I particularly love the moments beginning at 1:21 and 1:51. My gosh, she's got it all.

Happy Tuesday!
Mary Susan