Sunday, September 26, 2010

That Time of Year...

It's almost here and I can barely contain my enthusiasm.  It is the only time that is my time and I can hardly wait.

10 girls...
1 destination...
4 days...
God I need it...



expectation or hope

It seems every year, it becomes more necessary.  SS11 is fastly approaching and the "expectation and hope" are oozing out of my skin. Girls, get your goods and meet me on the porch.


Nashville Streets

I dropped Saturday's word right in the middle of the street. 

Dinner with Bobo and Iggs...
Walking and talking...
Not looking...
Right in the middle of the street...



awkward in movement or action; without skill or grace

I just busted it right outside the San Antonio Taco Company.  Fell right to my knees and couldn't get back up.  Reminds me of a commercial in the late 80s.



I wasn't sure what Friday's word would look like.  I was hoping for the best, but anticipating the worst.  And then my word fell on me with such a beautiful peace that I claimed it and wore it all day long.

Alma Mater...
Press Toward the Mark...
Thankful Hymns...
Inspiring Words...



to praise widely or to present to widespread and favorable public notice

I love Lee University.  It is a place that completely changed my life year's ago.  So Friday, as I gathered to celebrate its growth, it snuck right in and changed me again.  As I sat in chapel, listening to my favorite speaker, I was consumed.  Consumed by God's love, mercy, and absolute grace on my life. I am not allowed to ask "Why me?" so I simply whisper the words, "Thank you.  Thank you for a life that I do not deserve."


Most Days...

Most days, I float.  I know it sounds strange, but I really do spend most of my days in a state of utter weightlessness.  Not Thursday.  Thursday was a day that was completely unfamiliar.

Burdened Freedom...
Collaborative Isolation....
Uncertain Clarity...



unnaturally or painfully exposed

I have always been amazed that in those "unnatural" moments, there is always something that is sustainable.  Support reveals itself in all forms;  a comfortable silence, a hug from your child, a song, or a moment of prayer.  Just in the knick of time...

Front Row

My word changed numerous times throughout the day on Wednesday.  I spent the day doing the "work" that is less than inspiring.  Across town, however, there was a new wind coming through.

At-risk students...
Out of school...
Making life's choices...


~verb (used with object)

to pledge (oneself) to a position on an issue or question; express (one's intention, feeling, etc.)

I wasn't able to leave campus to meet them at the retreat, but I did get to sit in on their final pep talk.  I found that I was the one in need of a pep talk.  I was reminded that its (life) has never been easy and I've always had to work hard and stay focused.  That hasn't changed.  And so I commit...I commit to focus, drive and integrity.  Not an easy plan, but a worthy one.


Get out the Map

While organizing the house, I found my beloved box of cds containing my girls' weekend music from the past 10 years.  Tuesday, I was in need of some strategic re-focus, so I pulled one out and of course, it didn't fail to deliver.

Collection of Melodies...
Windows Down...
Top of my Lungs...


~adjective Also, lyr·i·cal.

characterized by or expressing spontaneous, direct feeling

I'm gonna clear my head...I'm gonna drink the sun...

There's something about music that sustains me.  I guess its my love for the creative use of words.  But Tuesday, driving down the road in my Ford Taurus X, I was transported to that place...where your finger lands on the map and your troubles leave you by simply singing a familiar song.   

Bed Head

It doesn't happen often, but when it happens, I hve no choice but to surrender.  Last Monday, I tried my best to ignore my word...

I worked...
I smiled...
I tried...
And then I...


to cease moving, proceeding, speaking, acting, operating, etc.; to pause; desist.
I was sent to the bed, sick as a dog.  Nothing too serious, just a headcold and a tired, weary lady in need of sleep.  I needed to cease...cease talking, cease thinking, cease feeling...for just a time so my body could re-boot...just in time for a busy, relentless Homecoming Week.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Move that Bus...

Well maybe its not that dramatic, but its a pretty big deal at the O'Bryan house.  After six months, the remodel is officially done.  The word is easy and it is the most important word in my life.



the place in which one's domestic affections are centered.

A project six months in the making...



It took us awhile to pick out the paint color, but we love the way it turned out (and apparently so do many of our neighbors, as they have stopped to comment).  Through these doors, is a place that has transformed to everything we could ask for...

The biggest change in the house is the wall we've torn down between the kitchen and living space.  This single change has not just been structural, but has made a big difference in the function of our family.



My dad always told me "attention is in the detail".  Robbie and I quickly realized it wasn't about how much money you spent, but rather about how much time we spent to find what we wanted. 

The lamp over the island is an example of something we hunted for until we found the one that was just right...

I found this little "under the counter thingie" at IKEA earlier this year and all I could envision were different colored beans.  Never expected it to look this cool!

And of course there's this little guy sitting on my island shelf...

This next picture is something I have dreamed of for most of my life.  When I was a little girl, I always loved dinner at Grandma Dee's because of her HUGE dining room table for our family dinners.  After 10 years of hunting, I finally found my very own "Table for 12"...



The thing I love about my new kitchen is the view...



I spend my Saturday afternoons watching Food Network and cooking in my kitchen.  What more could a girl want?

Another one of my favorite spots is just around the corner in our extended breezeway...
Otherwise known as "Mom's Nook", its the perfect place to hang your bags and get organized...
And of course, a little detail in the corner...
Through the kitchen and you head into our master bedroom.  When Robbie and I first got married, we picked out bedroom furniture that I knew would last a lifetime.  When we moved it into our new room last month, I felt the same way about it that I felt ten years ago...


And my writing chair...
Next in to the Master Bath and Closet...
Sure do love our new shower...
Let's not forget our detail in here...this sweet picture of my Lily standing in front of my grandparents outhouse...
And what more could a girl want than a closet like this???
Throw in two more bathroom remodels and a new laundry room and our house now fits our lifestyle perfectly...
And of course...the details...a wooden hanger from Grandpa Ike and Grandma Dee's Honeymoon and Grandma Mooney's washboard...
Our engagement picture drawn by one of my softball players, hung at the top of the stairs...
And one small detail that makes a big doorknobs and hinges on every door!!!!
And of course I saved the best for last...Robbie's new outdoor den.  To say this was our greatest investment is an understatement.  We absolutely love it!


It's good to be...
Can't wait for you to visit...


Today's word just knocked me off my feet.  It came out of the blue and like a punch to the gut, I was forced to stop what I was doing and take a deep breath.

Little girl...
In my arms...
Quiet words...
Hold me...



firmly or closely fixed in place; not easily moved; secure

I love that last word...SECURE.  Actually it was, "Mommy, hold me tight so I don't fall." 

I will do just that, baby girl...for you are my free spirit and I know you won't let me do it for long.  And when you "fall", I will pick you up, wipe your tears, and put you right back where you belong...boldly stepping through this life with that "Lily Charm" that we have all grown to love.

Point taken...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Raider Rumble

It's Friday night and with that comes some football. My word changed dramatically in the last few minutes of the game...

Crowd rallies...
Winning drive...
Quarterback scores...



a success or triumph over an enemy in battle or war.

The Raiders pulled away with a 29-22 win. Makes for a great weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I love days when I feel efficient.  Well maybe efficient is not the word...productive.  Yep, thats it.  (Quite interesting that I am arguing over words on my "Journey of Words).  Anyway, today was one of those days.

New Gadget
Classroom Observations
There's an APP for that...
Wow...that's cool!



the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment

I spent the day in my favorite place...the classroom...using my favorite new IPAD.  I completed double the observations in half the amount of time.  And the teacher's really loved the instant feedback.  I'm sold on the "Words with Friends".  What a fun way to pass time at the doctor's office!!!!



Not many people get excited about canisters.  I don't think its something you "grow" into.  I remember my mom's old tupperware canisters.  I was fascinated with them.  I would use her tablespoon measure to scoop and then spill and then scoop and spill.  My professional organizers, DDK and Non, came over to help me find yesterday's word.

Boxes Unpacked
Lined Shelves
Silverware Holder
Organized Pantry



to place in a desired state or in order

Every thing is placed in its perfect home just waiting for me to use it.  I would love to show you pictures, but the camera battery is dead.   So, you will have to stay tuned...tuned in for the most dramatic reveal in the history of this blog (I'll give you a hint...the word of the day will be "home").  Can't wait for you to see it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sweet Dreams

I can't say much about today, mostly because I am just plain exhausted. I put the kids to bed at 7:30 and crawled under the covers.  It was there I found my word.

Down Comforter.
Cozy Pillows.
Fan Humming.
Cuddly Hubby.



snugly warm and comfortable
Bed Bugs...Here I come...

El Meson

Yesterday was an interesting day.  I went from happy to mad in a matter of seconds (thanks to a couple of 15 year olds) and then right back down to happy again.  Of course, it always helps when you have something to look forward to.  I found my word "South of the Border".

Seven Girls.
Former School.
Lots of Laughs.



a very thin slice or small piece of food, candy, etc.: potato chips.


Mexican Cookery . a sauce, esp. a hot sauce containing chilies

Those Red Bank girls always make me smile.  Not to mention some queso dip, tortillas and four men singing spanish love songs. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Doc Martens

My mother will tell you that fashion has never been my thing.  In fact, I spent most of my adolescence with no makeup, wearing Doc Martens, and vintage tshirts and frayed jeans from the local goodwill.  Coincidently, my faithful 15 year old Doc Martens took their final step the year I turned 30.  This was probably not such a bad thing since it was the year I had my first child and started on this administrative career of mine.  It has made me grow up a bit and re-create my look.  Yesterday's word is a classic example that you can find meaning anywhere...which is where I found it...right smack there in aisle 13 at Target.

Pink Boots...
Gotta Have...
Sassy Stance...
Here I Am...


a mode of fashion, as in dress, esp. good or approved fashion; elegance; smartness.

I'm not sure where she gets it, but that girl has got it in a big way!  God help us all...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bean and Fred

My daughter and her dear friend are spending the day at cheer camp.  They were so excited to spend the day together doing something they both love.  I snapped this picture on their way in the doors.

I have a Fred.  We've been friends since we were 10.  We are always super excited when we get to spend the day together too (especially now that she lives 800 miles away).

Finger Lakes
REO Concert
Old Friends
New Memories
What a Night



a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

18 years ago last month, I moved to Tennessee.  The night before I left we went to the REO concert as my farewell gathering with my nearest and dearest, including my Fred (aka Kelly).  A few weeks ago, it was REO again.  Older, wiser, but still two girls who love to spend the day together.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bald Headed Bistro

When I got home from work today, I found my favorite black dress, put in some sassy earrings, and swept my hair back in a clip.  I had a date. 

My honey.
Good friends.
Dim lights.
Background music.
Heavenly dessert.



 Slang . liveliness; spirit; excitement.

It was a contained excitement, but it was a great way to spend some adult time.  6th anniversary of BHB and I fell in love all over again...with my hubby...with good conversation...with great music and with a divine piece of heath bar ice cream pie.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Magic Eight Ball

I always loved a magic eight ball but not for the same reasons everyone else does.  I'm not a big fan of predicting the future...I kind of take things as they come.  I'm not interested in shaking the ebony sphere and waiting to find out my "destiny".  The moment that I love doesn't have anything to do with the question or the answer.  It's that moment right before the answer rises to the surface.  Distant...blurry...and the bam...there it is.

Night's Sleep
Silent Prayer
Encouraging Words
Deep Breath



free from darkness, obscurity, or cloudiness

It is amazing what a good night's sleep will do.  I thank the Lord today for discernment when I needed it most.  It's good to be on his team.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Stop reading if you would like to feel inspired or enlightened.  This post is not going to fill your soul or swell your heart.  In fact, you might need a good cry.  Well, now maybe I'm exaggerating, but today...I am a crochety old woman who didn't like the word I found.  I have decided that tomorrow's word will be much better.

Sick Boy
Miss New York
Unresolved Conflict
No Apology Necessary



of unsound physical or mental health; unwell; sick:

I like this one better...



evil; wicked; bad
Yes, that was me in the starring role...evil...wicked...bad.  I'm hoping my mood shifts tomorrow.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Base

When I played softball, I was often referred to as "stretch".  I don't think this had as much to do with my height, as my pure skill.  You see, whenever someone would throw the ball to me at first base, I would reach out and extend myself to the ball.  I'm not sure if it made much difference, but I always felt like I was doing everything in my power to make the play. 

Parent Meeting
Schedule Conflict
Business Lunch
Student Concerns
Tate Doctor


–verb (used with object)

to draw out or extend (oneself, a body, limbs, wings, etc.) to the full length or extent
Stretched to my full extent, but I don't consider that a bad thing.  I believe when you are stretched, you grow.  I'll consider that while I nurse my strep throat patient tomorrow.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Today was anything but par.  Not average, not normal, not standard, not ordinary.  There are days when I have to grasp for my strength.  Today was not one of those for I had strength around every corner and there was my word...

Snacks packed...
Clubs loaded...
Cart driven...
Four For Fore...


a cardinal number, three plus one.



with the object or purpose of



used as a cry of warning to persons on a course who are in danger of being struck by the ball

Man do I love a good play on words almost as much as I love a good play on the greens.  Three day weekend achieved.  Work week here I come.


P.S.  If you see my son over the next few days, you must mention his 70 foot loft shot.  Yep, you read it right.  He shot better than his mama today.  Sad day for mama!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Word Wall

My favorite blogger (and friend) KMAC is having a 30 day journey of words. Since writing is one of my passions, I was quick to jump on board.  So this is how it works...every word that inspires you, motivates you, moves you to do something so amazing that it completely changes your perspective for that day...week...month...maybe even your life.

I apologize in advance for not posting daily...I will try to do better.  And now...join me on my "Journey of Words"...they may not mean much to anyone else, but to me, they gave me a moment of "Pause" which is hard to come by these days. 

I found my first word on Wednesday.  Robbie and I were sitting in the park watching the kids play and chatting about our weeks.  This was a rare opportunity since the start of school, but one I inhaled and savored for every second.

Wind Blow...
Kids Chase...
Thoughts Twirl...
Heart Swell...
Time Stopped...

For a moment...and then, a laugh with my mate as we observed our two engaged in the act...


–verb (used without object)

to wave, flap, or toss about
Anyone who knows my kids, knows they are in a constant state of "flutter".  It's that moment before spoken words where their actions speak volumes.  For Lily, its a sway of her hips and a shrug of her shoulders.  For Tate, its the swipe of his hair from his forehead.  As a mother, I absolutely love these moment with my kids.  And sitting there in the park, with all my loves, I found myself in my own state of flutter.
Thank god for that moment, for I found myself using that inner strength to get through the next day.  It took me longer to find my word on Thursday, but the last moments of the day...I found it.
Cool Temps
Starry Night
No Agenda
True Friend

unreserved, candid, or frank
Friends...they are the food for my soul.  And when I don't have them, I starve.  The beauty of friendship for me is the absence of effort, or the ability to just "be".  I love that moment when I can just sit with a dear friend and not say a word.  It is then that I know I am in the presence of a "soul sister" of which I am blessed. 
The flutter and freedom of my soul, carried me straight in to Friday.  I woke up and my word smacked me right in the face.  It was so intense, that I made a game plan change on the way to work.
Drums Tap
Band Plays
Students Cheer
Team Pride
an attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action
And my Lily girl played hookie and got to experience the day.  School spirit ran with reckless inhibition through the halls of my school and ended with the sweet taste of victory.  A moment that lifted my spirits to a new height.  One from which I shall not descend for quite some time.
Saturday, I woke up with one thing on my mind.  After some distractions and a few preparations, I found myself exactly where I wanted to be.

Apron Tie
Spices Blend
Veggies Chop
Table Set



a method to attain a desired end

My new kitchen is like one of those fluffy, white robes that you never want to take off.  From the moment I stepped behind my new cooktop, there was an instant connection.  Of course, I loved these moments of culinary solitude, but my true euphoria only comes when that beautiful sanctuary is filled with "soulfood", those beautiful souls I'm blessed to call friends.  So, as the definition says..."my desired end"...I cooked, I laughed, I cried, and I ate a whole lot of food.  My kinda night...

So today, I lathered up with my word.  I wore it like a cheap suit and shouted it from the rooftop of my soul.

Nap Time...
Movie Watch...
Curled Up...
Barely Asleep...



refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor

I have only moved once from my seat and that was to locate my laptop and start the blogging.  Sometimes you just have to shut it down and shut it down, I did...