• November 2011 Archive •

Love Notes

The August sun had clocked out as the full moon started its shift.  We were celebrating the five months we had spent together drenched in laughter and learning about love.  We only had two weeks left before he’d leave me and our sleepy small town for college.  He was chasing a dream and I was chasing him.

On an ordinary night, an ordinary boy made an ordinary girl feel more extraordinary than anyone had before.  A chair sat centered in front of a keyboard, surrounded by candlelight and beneath a canopy of dancing summer stars.  A suburban backyard had been transformed into a stage for an audience of one and I was front and center.  I can’t remember the lyrics or recite the melody but I’ll never forget the way he looked at me while he poured out his heart with each chord.  Even though the ending wasn’t happily ever after and the memory has faded from color to black and white, it’s a chapter from my past that will always make me smile like opening an Hallmark card with sound.

The truth is, I was always attracted to guys that were attracted to music.  It was my vice.  If they could pick a string or carry a tune, I was hooked.  Music was my drug of choice and there’s a list of boyfriends who were addicts just like me.  Sure we had other similarities, but music bonded us.  The vain part of me enjoyed being their muse.

I haven’t shared this bond with just past suitors.  My cousin Matt and I would spend hours on the phone in middle school singing duets.  We would giggle each time Matt would change the lyrics to make a song silly or quite frequently to make a song dirty.  Our pre-teen song selections varied from R. Kelly to Alabama.  Top favorite?  Richard Marx and Donnas Lewis with “At the Beginning.”  Thank goodness our taste has improved.

I was fortunate to spend two uninterrupted hours with Matt this past weekend at the park in my hometown.  We did what most normal 27-year-olds do – we hit up the playground and put on a concert for Redwood Park.  We introduced each other to new artists, we sang some of our all-time favorites at the top of our lungs and we even resurrected songs we hadn’t heard since 8th grade.  He was just as infatuated as me with the way words and notes mesh together to form a time machine that transports you to a place in your past.

As I was swinging back and forth in the sunlight with someone I dearly love next to me, I felt carefree.  I know our shadows in the gravel were those of adults, but I swear the time I spent with Matt on the playground made me feel like a child.  And just like how hearing Howie Day will put me on a train in Paris or how listening to Blue Merle will place me dancing on Bourbon Street, I now have another special moment in time that will immediately come to mind when I hear a certain song.  I’m one lucky grown-up kid!

P.S. – Matt still changes lyrics to make songs dirty. It’s still funny.

P.S.S. – Yes, that is my apple bottom in the first picture. I have no shame.

xoxo, Priscilla
The Hardest Conversation I’ve Never Had

I’m like a volcano.  I’ve been lying dormant for years.  Three years to be exact.  Despite my lack of outward emotion, I’m consumed inside.  In fact, I think I’ve reached my tipping point.  If I don’t initiate this conversation, I’ll choke on the words I haven’t said.

Although I’m an eternal optimist, I’m well aware this is not going to be easy.  The dialogue is going to sting.  The reaction is going to be unpredictable.  The outcome uncertain.  It will probably go nothing like how I have it playing out in my mind.  It may be worse or if I’m lucky, it could be the very thing the recipient has been waiting to hear.  The only thing I’m confident about is that we can’t keep ignoring the elephant that joins us every time we’re together.

All of our closets are full of skeletons.  It just so happens that I opened the door and their bag of bones came crashing down around me.  The moment I vaulted the secret was the very day I buried someone without them actually being dead.  I’ve had to compartmentalize them into two categories and force myself to remember the million perfect moments we shared together before June tasted so bitter.  Although the selfishness within me would like to think the truth is a lie, I’m far more concerned about their happiness.  It’s been an exhausting silent struggle to watch as they battle to cope with their identity when I know exactly who they are.

I’m not a therapist.  I have zero training in this sort of thing.  I’m just a girl trying to make sense of this life I’ve been given and I have an open heart that’s willing to accept someone just as they are.  The specifics for the conversation haven’t been determined.  I don’t know when or where.  I only know it will be soon.  I’m confident in my decision to end the charade, prepared for the consequences and praying for the best.

If I’m able to convey only one message after the shock has subsided and the tears have dried, I hope they realize I’ll never not love them.  My motives are pure.  I’ll never be judgmental.  They will always have a place in my life even if we have to wiggle and squeeze the pieces to make them fit.  I’ll always think they hung the moon.

xoxo, Priscilla
Easy Chicken Crunch Recipe

I ran across this recipe a few weeks ago on my quest for a quick and easy, yet ridiculously delicious chicken dish.  It’s an oven-baked chicken pretending to be fried.  It’s loaded with a flavorful crunch and totes a creamy gravy that is reminiscent of Sunday dinners at my grandma’s house.

Had I not been sportin’ an oversized sweatshirt and Pink sweatpants that made me look like a 12-year-old wearing Depends, I would have totally posted a picture of me prepping this dish.  Chase is so lucky to come home to someone dressed so sexily.  Of course, considering our thermostat remains set at 63 in an effort to preserve energy and save money, layers are required in order to avoid hypothermia.  Point of that tangent – the picture below is iPhone quality so don’t judge.  You can totally judge the bakeware because I know it rocks.  If you haven’t invested in the Rachael Ray Bubble & Brown Bakeware, you’re really missing out.  Despite being hip because it’s a burst of color in a boring collection of black and silver pots and pans, it’s so practical because you can bake in it, serve in it and then toss it in the dishwasher.

I varied the recipe only slightly by sprinkling the chicken with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning before taking it on a dip through the flour, soup and stuffing.  It’s a fabulous dish that’s easy to prepare and received the stamp of approval from the hubs and the four-legged sous chef.  I’d love to hear about your experience making or tweaking the recipe!

Easy Chicken Crunch

Ingredients

1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

1/2 Cup Milk 4 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts (Tenderloins work too!)

2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour 1 1/2 Cups Pepperidge Farm® Herb Seasoned Stuffing, Finely Crushed

2 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine, Melted

Directions

1. Mix 1/3 cup soup and 1/4 cup milk in shallow dish.  Coat chicken with flour.  Dip into soup mixture.  Coat with stuffing.

2. Place chicken on baking sheet.  Drizzle with butter.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until done.

3. Mix remaining soup and milk in saucepan. Heat through. Serve with chicken.

 

xoxo, Priscilla
Birthday Blessings

This past weekend I celebrated the 27th anniversary of my birth.  Even though it’s not a significantly important age in the scheme of birthday milestones, I can’t recollect a birthday that has ever been more meaningful to me.

I grew up on Goody Two-Shoes Lane.  Okay, really it was Mountain View Circle and Lee Pearson Road but you get the idea.  Chase often jokes that while he was out partying and experiencing life, I was out Christmas caroling.  It’s true.  I caroled at nursing homes and even in the back of a hay-filled trailer around neighborhoods.  When I wasn’t caroling, I was at school.  When I wasn’t studying, I was at cheerleading practice.  When I wasn’t cheering, I was at church.  I lived a sheltered and predictable life until I left for college and even then it took me a few years to jump off of the bridge just because everyone was doing it.  In some ways I miss that innocent, Christmas tune carrying girl.  She was so convicted.  Undeniably committed.  Her priorities were perfectly aligned.

I’m not going to lie, year 26 was a doosey.  When I think back on where I was last year at this time and where I am today, it’s almost as if over the last 365 days I invaded and inhabited a new planet.  It’s been a year flooded with tough decisions, tight finances, pleasant surprises and breaking boundaries.  My hair is back blonde and I can add guacamole to the list of foods I like.  I traded the job that required working in collared shirts and pleated pants for a job that allows me to work in pajamas.  I’m still stubborn and insistently independent.

I have felt like a huge disappointment recently and especially over the last month.  It’s been a tough realization for someone who has always tried so hard to be perfect.  I’ve given my best but at times it hasn’t even been good.  Despite the fact that I’ve let people down by not meeting expectations or by not being present for family dinners, I am still in awe at the outpouring of love and support from this past weekend.

I felt incredibly blessed as I looked around the dinner table at the people that came together to celebrate the start of a new year and a new chapter.  They will never completely understand what it meant that they drove four hours to be there or that they brought a bottle of my favorite wine or that they baked 48 cupcakes or that they tied balloons to my mailbox or that they encouraged my Forever 21 addiction.  Their words, their hugs, their simple presence made me extremely excited for year 27 and beyond grateful for their place in my life.  So this is my thank you to the smiling faces that indulged in some Italian food with me on Friday, to the ones that sent their love from afar and to the couple that presented me with a birthday cake and song at their wedding.  I’m so excited about the next year and even more so that I’ll be sharing it with each of you.  You’ve saved me from myself.

 

 

xoxo, Priscilla