Lot 48 and the Onstage Awkwardness of Kissing

Today I am happy to hand over the reigns of Love the Here and Now to one of my sponsors,  Lauren from Lot 48.   It's all yours Lauren!

did i ever tell you i used to be a performer? well, i was.  i did a ton of shows.  and i was good. i made money off it.  my plan was to be a performer forever.  but life got in the way.  and i also realized i didn't want to live that lifestyle.  my major freshman year was theater but when i transferred to a bigger school i was wait listed for the theater program.  then i got interested in screenwriting and decided to major in communications and marketing.  so there ya go, my college story. 

one of the shows i did was little women.  i was meg.  you can see me, in the circle.  the boy in the circle is the guy i had to kiss. in the various shows i have been in, i have had a total of 3 stage kisses.   and let me tell you.  they are AWK-WARD.

first of all, this particular circumstance was awkward because the boy and i liked each other.  oh dear i hope he doesn't find this blog or this blog post.  his name was kaden.  oh dear i hope he never finds this.  come on kaden, we both knew we liked each other.  you told my best friend and you asked me out when you got home from your lds mission.  a date we never went on, might i add.  

but anyway!

another reason it was awkward is because i didn't get kissed outside of a play until i was 19.  i stopped performing when i was 18.  so therefore the first time i kissed a boy ever was in front of dozens of people.  and i had absolutely no idea what i was doing.  and i was terrified of boys at this point in life. TERRIFIED.  

well, you know the song that meg and her husband sing when they get engaged? there is a kiss after it. in rehearsals, the director told us to "practice."  did i mention this was high school?? i had already had two stage kisses by this point but since i like the guy, i was sooooo nervous.  we went into the girl's dressing room to "practice."  are you cringing yet from the awkwardness of this situation?? 

okay, guys, this is how bad i was at kissing.  i didn't know i was supposed to kiss the boy back.  that just didn't occur to me.  like i said, i had no idea what i was doing.  so we are in the girl's dressing room and we are all nervous and then i just barked at him "just do it" and he kissed me but my awkward self didn't kiss him back so he asks "are you okay?" and then i'm like yes, fine.  and then a girl in our cast knocks on the door and i'm like "sammy come back! we're practicing!" and then he kissed me again and i still had no idea what to do.  

and that wasn't even the worst part of it!! now comes the rehearsals where you are kissing in front of dozens of people.  and the techies, the behind the scenes people, the cast, friends of the cast, is all standing there staring at you while you try to kiss so it looks convincing and like you're in love.  ah! so awkward!! i am cringing just writing this! ah! 

i was so nervous about these scenes that i always felt nauseated before the scene and so terrified it was like i was walking into the gallows.  it took five times (yes, i counted) of me kissing this boy in front of dozens of people before i figured out how to kiss him back and before it stopped being so terrifying.  by the time the show ran, it was no big deal.  

Ember Grey
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The Ring

When my husband and I got married I decided that I wanted to have a diamond band on either side of my wedding ring.  The jeweler soldered the bands together and my engagement ring fit perfectly between the two rings.  Way back in April my bands started to come apart where they had been soldered.  A few months ago while attempting to finish my never-ending list of errands, I decided to stop at the jewelers where my husband and I had purchased our wedding bands.

I walked in the jeweler's expecting a quick fix.  I was wrong.

I handed over my rings to show the salesman what needed to be done.  He quickly pointed out the things he saw wrong with my ring.  A diamond here needed to be reset, the soldering needed to be done, and two other things needed to be repaired.  He was quick to point out that nothing was loose but if he were to fix the soldering he would be more than happy to take care of everything all at once. He left me quickly to get an estimate.

While I was waiting, a woman came in.   She quickly went up to the saleslady at the counter and told them she was here for her weekly cleaning of her rings.  She had gotten married about two months prior to this.  The ring was beautiful, a large stone with a unique setting.  The saleslady remarked that her husband had done such a great job picking out the ring and that she must have been pleased.  The woman replied that she was and he had known exactly what she wanted because they had shopped around together before he proposed.

Meanwhile, my salesman came back with an estimate of $375 to get my ring back in tip-top shape. My jaw dropped.  Keep in mind that he said nothing was actually loose or in danger of falling out.

I quickly thanked the man and told him I would have to think about it.

And I did.  I thought about my ring quite a bit.

You see, my husband and I have been together since we were 16 years old.  We graduated from high school and even attended the same college.  Despite the warnings we received that this was a bad idea and that we would surely not last, we have.

Christmas Eve of our freshman year at 11:58 pm he asked if he could give me the first Christmas present that year.  At midnight, he proposed with a ring that he had saved for himself and pick out himself.

When I look at the ring on my finger, I see a gift that was chosen 22 years ago by a teenager.  I don't see the imperfections that the jeweler did.

My ring isn't sparkly and clean like it once was.  It's been worn and it's been loved for so many years. It represents the ups and downs that all marriages have and will continue to have.

I could fix it and have it perfect.  But why?  The money is better used elsewhere, with a family of 5 it seems that the money is constantly going somewhere and needed elsewhere.  Better off it goes to my children and their activities.

To be honest, I like the way it is now.  Aren't our rings a symbol of our love?  Ours is far from perfect like everyone else's.

And I'm ok with that.

Today I am linking up with Ember Grey for Grateful Heart Monday.   I am grateful for the years that I have had with my husband, from our teenage years to our present years.  I can not wait to see what the future brings.

To sweeten your Monday I also have a giveaway for you!  Join me in wishing Ashley a Happy Birthday!

I have teamed up with 5 other amazing bloggers to bring you this giveaway.
One lucky winner will be getting $50 to Enjoy Essential
This website has the cutest quote tees for adults & the littles, & more. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ember Grey

Ember Grey
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Some of My Favorites

Each Friday I participate in Blogger Love Friday Favorites with Meagan from All The Joys.  Today is extra special because I am co-hosting the link up with her. Please be sure to linkup with us and share the posts that caught your eye this week.  It's a great way to applaud the bloggers that inspire us and an even better way to find some new blogs to follow!

Fall in Love with Yourself First by The Rachael Way.  I loved this post because it serves as a reminder to me to embrace myself, flaws and all.  It's okay to just enjoy my own company and accept myself as I am.  It's easy to get down on ourselves; it's a trap I fall into way too easily.

Who am I Now....? by The Adventures of Bug and Boo.  It's so easy to define ourselves based on relationships (wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend etc) and to lose sight of everything else that we embody.  Love this post by Rebecca for the sheer fact that it made me think of everything else that I am; not just who I am to others.

My Favorite Quotes by Lot 48.  Need some inspiration this week?  Be sure to check out Lauren's post.  Love all of the quotes she's listed.  

To Amanda Bynes by Our Nashville Life.  Amanda Bynes was back in the news this week.  Driving to work one morning 2 DJs on a local radio station were talking about her and laughing about her most recent situation and making a joke of it.  It left me with a pit in my stomach.  Later on that day, I read Jackie's post.  Nobody chooses mental disease and it's exactly that....a disease.  Nobody should judge those living with it, and most definitely should not be making fun of it.

Breaking the Blogging Mold by She is Fierce.  Ever been asked to describe your blog or to share what it's about in 3 sentences?  To me that is the toughest question out there.  How do you it?  In a world full of bloggers and their blogs it's not easy to stand out.  The key is to stay true to yourself and write things that reflect who you are and what you enjoy.  As long as you do that you can break free from the blogging mold.  

What posts caught your eye this week?  Link up with Meagan and I and share the Blogger Love!

All The Joys Friday Favorites

Ember Grey
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Not Your Typical Pumpkin Decorating

My oldest daughter is allergic to pumpkin; specifically the insides of pumpkins.  Each year we would carve pumpkins and she would break out on her hands and arms with blotchy, red spots that itched.  It is only a skin allergy.  Each year, by her choice, she would carve away.

This year though she proposed the idea of decorating her pumpkins in a new way.  One that used one of my favorite craft supplies.....spray paint.

And to make it even better, she chose colors near and dear to my heart, mint, gold, and white/cream. Doesn't scream Fall I know, but that's ok.  She's not itchy and blotchy so all is good in our world.

If you own a Sharpie, this pumpkin is for you.  Decorate any spray painted (or bare) pumpkin with your favorite color Sharpie.

Who doesn't love chalk board spray paint?  And even better, who knew it would work on pumpkins? Guess what....it does!

Can't come up with something cute to write on your pumpkin?  Why not use washi tape to decorate it instead?  

Have any extra stickers around the house?  Perfect for decorating pumpkins!

A little gold pumpkin never hurt anybody right?

I have to admit, decorating the pumpkins this way was much easier and less messy.  All you need is spray paint, a nice day to use it (or a well ventilated space) and some creativity and you are good to go.

The down side?  No baked pumpkin seeds.

How do you like to decorate your pumpkins?

Linking up with The Grits Blog and Treasure Tromp.

Ember Grey
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My family loves New York City.  We have been there so many times over the years.  We have seen a few movie sets yet we have never seen anyone famous.   Until one year....

We had met friends of ours in the City and had gone over to their hotel to visit with them.  They happened to be staying at the Mandarin Hotel.  After a nice visit we decided it was time to move on to our next destination.  We gathered our girls (at that point they were 12, 9, and 6) and headed out into the hallway to wait patiently for the elevator.  It finally came and we stepped inside.  I then quickly picked my jaw up off the floor.

I was sharing an elevator with Sir Paul McCartney.  

And his adorable daughter Beatrice.

Yes.  The Beatle.

My daughters were clueless to the fact that they were sharing an elevator with one of the most well known musicians ever.  

My husband and I were speechless.  

Beatrice, who was perhaps 3 or 4, was having a grand old time attempting to press every button for every floor.  (As a side note, I am a sucker for British accents.  I love them.  Imagine one on a child the size of a peanut...so adorable!!)  Sir Paul tried to get her to stop and quickly apologized to us.  He was so sweet and so kind and it was wonderful to see him as a father.

We did not ask Sir Paul for an autograph.   He was concerned with parenting and for us to ask didn't seem right.  

The ride soon ended and when the doors opened Beatrice shot off the elevator and ran straight for the exit door of the hotel.  Her father was quickly running after her.

When we got outside we had lost sight of them and quickly explained to our daughters that they just had a brush with one of the Beatles.  My oldest was the only one that knew who they were.  The younger two had no clue.

I'm not sure we will ever be able to top that experience....being so close to someone so famous.  It's definitely a memory that neither my husband nor I will ever forget!

My wish for today is that even though there are so many people that we idolize and look up to, that we see them as they truly are; regular people just like you and I.  We tend to put celebrities up on pedestals.  Yes they are famous, and yes they are so successful, but they are human.

Have you ever had a starstruck moment?

What are you wishing for today?  Link up and tell me!

Love the Here and Now

Ember Grey
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A Pairin' O' Fonts 2: The Halloween Version

Ashley from The Grits Blog and I are back for our second installment of A Pairin' o' Fonts.  I can not tell you how fun these posts are to do; it gives me a great excuse to look for more fonts and to experiment with them.  Adding a theme makes it even more fun.  

First up are the fonts I chose.

click here for Halloween fonts
Ghosts (Gluten) and Goblins (Silverfake)
Pumpkin (Things We Said) Carving (Witches Magic)
Fright (Parseltongue) Night (LBSweetie)
Happy (Orniste) Halloween (Harman Deco Inline)
Trick or (Anywhere But Home) Treat (Dead Hardy)

And now for Ashley's choices.

//  Black Widow and Lionwrite  //
//  Harry P and Windsong  //

Hope you enjoyed the fonts that we have found.  We will be back again next month (the 2nd Tuesday of each month) with another set of fonts for you.

Since we are both avid collectors of fonts, please be sure to comment below with your favorite fonts so that we can add them to our collections!

Ember Grey
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GHM and Knock on Wood

Today does not seem like a Monday.  Everyone in my house, with the exception of me, has the day off.  I'm a bit bummed about that but what can you do?  Not a thing.


Being that it's Monday, better known as Grateful Heart Monday (thanks to Emily from Ember Grey) I like to start my week off with an attitude of gratitude.  Today, I am grateful for something that is so minor in the grand scheme of things but nonetheless I am so grateful for it.

What is it? you may ask.


I am not a fan of TV.  I rarely watch it at all.  Having said that, there are 3 shows that I have been watching.  Of course I have shown up late to the TV party and missed a few seasons.

This is where Netflix saves the day.

I have caught up on 3 seasons of Revenge and I am also current to date with Scandal.  The beauty of Netflix?  I can watch it on my iPad (laying in bed, in the bathtub, or while sitting at my desk) or on my TV though Apple TV.  No commercials, no ads, just 43 minutes of a continuous show.  It's a beautiful thing.

The downside of stalker-watching (or I guess it's called binge watching) a show?  Being caught up and then realizing now you have to sit in front of the TV, when the show is actually aired and sit through the whole hour (commercials and all).

I think I'm getting ahead of myself though.  I think I'm on to another Grateful Heart Monday post idea: the DVR edition.

Another thing that I am always grateful for?  Love the Here and Now's sponsors!  Today I'd like to introduce you to Amanda.

Knock on Wood has evolved a bit since it's beginning.  When I first started blogging I remember following Amanda when her blog had a different name, Peaches in Missouri.  Through Amanda's blog we are given glimpses of her life in Missouri and her relationship with her husband.  One of the things I like most about Amanda and Knock on Wood is the genuineness.  She is someone you can relate to and would gladly count as a friend.

What prompted you to start blogging?
Honestly, I was bored.  But really, I have always loved to write.  My mom always said I express myself better with words on paper, so I decided that sharing my story via blogging would be both a release for myself, and entertainment for others.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
England (again).  I love English history, the monarchy, the architecture, the tea, and of course the accent.  I watch all the documentaries about the castles and the estates, the monarchies, the history (#nerdalert).  I visited London a few years ago and ever since then I have been dying to go back.  

How did you come up with your blog name?
When I first started blogging I had just moved form Georgia to Missouri, so I came up with the name Peaches in Missouri.  Ever since my husband and I got married and I have really started to settle in here, Missouri feels more like home to me.  One day it just hit me, Knock on Wood.  It represents two things for us:  Good luck ion our marriage/life and our last name.

What is your favorite season and your favorite holiday?  Why?
My favorite seasons are Fall and Winter.  I love sweaters, boots, and scarves.  Also, Christmas and Thanksgiving are in those seasons.  But if I really have to choose it's Winter and Christmas.  Three reasons: 1.  All the people in my family get together for this holiday and it's so nice to see everyone I love in the same place.  2.  I LOVE decorating.  Lights, candles, trees, wreaths, stars, EVERYTHING!  3.  FOOD!  Who doesn't love all the food during the holidays?  I mean besides my hips and thighs being at war with my jeans, the food is pretty much the best part.  Amiright?

What is the best advice you could give to a new blogger?
Comment, comment, comment.  Seriously, this is the best way to start networking and to get traffic to a new blog.  It also helps you find blogs to read and influences your blogging style.  By visiting other blogs you can experience ideas, plug-ins, features, and design elements that you may want to include on your own blog.   You can also make some pretty awesome friends that way as well.

Just another reason to love Amanda...our shared love of Christmas (decorating and food!  And yes my body wages the same war with jeans).

You can follow Amanda on Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin', and Instagram.

What are you grateful for today?  Link up for Grateful Heart Monday!

Ember Grey: Grateful Heart

Ember Grey
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