Friday, September 6, 2013

Moving On....

I have had so much fun living life as the CHICKEN WING, and it's crazy to think that this wee blog started back in September 2008 - that's literally six years ago!!!!  It's incredible and has been an amazing journey to say the least.

It is with that journey in mind that this post comes to fruition - in 2008, I was a 23 year-old woman trying to get over her almost quarter-life crisis.  There were posts that were really popular, posts that made me laugh, posts that made me sad, and posts that were just silly.

Now, I'm a 29 year-old woman who is married, so much further along in her career and faith, and life is just different.  It's even more amazing, and there are so many opportunities out there!  I'm so excited about the future and I can't wait to see how God's plan for my life pans out.  It seems that He makes me wait and then slowly, when I get impatient or when I get discouraged, He reveals a little glimpse of His plan to me - it's as if He's giving me a gentle and subtle reminder that He's got this!

I will not take this blog down because the traffic reports show me that people do still check in here to see what's going on.  This blog became a labor of love not just for me, but for my faithful followers.  I cannot begin to express my gratitude and the overwhelming humbleness I feel when I see the traffic reports - for some reason, you all support me and you all care about what I have to say.  Thank you.  Thank you.  A million times, thank you!

This will be the last post in The Blog of the Chicken Wing, but if you do enjoy my posts and you want to continue this blog follower relationship, you can catch me over at my new digs, {DUSTYRibs}.

Join me, won't you?

This new blog has become a more accurate representation of my life these days, and I would LOVE to have you follow me over there.  Now that technology has come so far, you can even get your {DUSTYRibs} fix in a   m  u  l  t  i  t  u  d  e    of ways.  Don't believe me????  Make my day! (And follow me everywhere!)


So, I guess this is it.  I sincerely hope you'll follow me in the new leg of the journey of my life.  With bittersweet emotions, for the last time here, I'll say....

Until next time,

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby

"....right round, like a record baby, right round round round."

Okay, I have to disagree wholeheartedly!  I'd change Dead or Alive's lyrics to, "You spin me round and I hate it baby."  I know that may sound funny, and it is meant to be, but I do mean what I said in all seriousness.  To completely understand what in the world I'm talking about, let's start at the beginning.

A few weeks ago, I experienced these really weird dizzy spells.  I really don't have much experience with dizzyness aside from the occasional merry-go-round, or you know, my beloved Teacups ride at Disney.  Either way, it's been years since I've done either of those things, so I really don't have much personal experience to go on.  The first time, it was like a constant state of semi-dizzyness and I chocked it up to allergy season being newly upon us.  Hey, I did have pretty strong sinus pressure in my forehead, so I thought that simply must be it.  The only thing that concerned me was that I'd never experienced dizzyness with allergies before, and it got so sketchy once that day while driving that I felt it best to pull over.

Then, I was good for awhile.  A week or so later, it happened again, only this time was much more scary!  I literally got so dizzy that I almost passed out, and again I was in the car and had to pull over.  I got so shaky and I tried to drink water and eat the chocolate that I just so happened to have in my car, and that did help after about 20 minutes.  By this time, though, I was convinced I had some sort of crazy brain tumor that was affecting my world!  I did the best thing I could think of and called my doctor - I had to have an appointment that day!

The only way I could describe this dizzy feeling I was getting is this:

Yes, that is your Chicken Wing (and the mandatory "We got cows." graphic) in a tornado.

Ridiculous, yes.  As accurate as I can be without actually having ever been in a tornado, also yes.  After several tests at the doctor's office, it was determined that I was suffering from BPPV, or Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.  We call it just vertigo around these parts, to keep it short.  Basically, it's an inner-ear issue that can pretty much pop up and affect anyone. 

There are calcium crystals in your inner ear that dislodge from their normal places and begin floating through your ear canals (you have three in your ear, and they're called the Labyrinth).  While you always have fluid in these canals, the crystals aren't supposed to be floating along, too.  Ultimately, the example my doctor gave me was this:  In a normal circumstance, if I turn my head to the left, fluid flows through the canals and hits the little fibers in the canal.  This sends a message to my brain that says, "Hey, guy, I just turned my head to the left.  In case you needed to know."  (Or something like that).  In BPPV, the crystals slam into the little fibers, and the vibrations that causes are so intense that too many signals get sent to your brain at one time, and your brain has no idea what you just did.  So, you get really dizzy until your brain can figure it out. 

Is this fun?  No.  Does it make you nauseus?  Um, yeah.  Did I find myself army crawling across my bedroom floor at certain points?  You betcha, Sir!  I had to miss two days of work!  That's how you know how terrible it is!  My treatment period of crystal-moving exercises and anti-motion-sickness medication is two weeks, and I'm hoping that I'll be back to 100% after that!  I surely would love it!  The only bad thing about vertigo is that it can reccur later, and there's really no way to know that it's going to hit.  :(  I guess the silver lining, though, is that at least I should know what it is next time, and I won't go straight to panic and fear!

So this has been my journey with something totally random that simultaneously scared me to death and made me feel like a completely crazy person.  I've been shocked at how many people have reached out to me who have also experienced vertigo!  Some folks had mild cases, others had it so bad they couldn't drive for a MONTH, but everyone could easily agree that it's miserable and horrible. 

My PSA to all of you readers out there:  If you're feeling any of the symptoms I did (and am), please make an appointment with your doctor to get checked out.  Then, do the exercises and take the medicine as directed, and please, don't try to be a hero!  Pull over your car if you feel like this!  My doctor said he was so proud of me for not risking my life and the lives of others because your vision and ability to adjust to your surroundings are severely compromised with vertigo!

Have a happy and healthy week!

Until next time,

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back To The Present?

As I look at the calendar, I am amazed.  Simply amazed, y'all.  I can't believe how much time has gone by since my last post.  While I am shocked that we will be entering the month of March at the end of this week, I am also saddened to face the realization of how far removed I have been from my blog.

I've tried to look inward on this, because I used to enjoy blogging so very much!  It tickled me to death and simultaneously blew my mind that people actually cared what I had to say.  At times, I would try to find content to make all of the readers happy because I love the fact that my little blog could provide comic relief, current event "watercooler" dialogue, encouragement, or sheer entertainment - a mental break from their stressful days.  In fact, I must admit that I was filled with emotion - both happiness and sadness - when I logged into this blog today and saw my analytics.  I was overcome with how many pageviews my little blog had seen every day in my was as if my faithful followers were missing me.  I liken it to a puppy that waits for your return from work every single day.  The minutes feel like hours, and the hours feel like days and they simply wonder if they've done something bad that made you go away.  Then, when you pull into the driveway, the puppy becomes overjoyed and it's as if the absence never occured at all!

That's how my relationship is with a lot of my dear friends who live in areas that are geographically challenging for me.  While we don't see each other (or even talk on the phone) as much as I'd like, and sometimes I get really sad and wonder if we're still as close as I dreamed we'd be for the rest of our lives, as soon as we do talk, everything returns to the way it was!  They were just as busy as I was and they felt the same way about me!  I wasn't absent from their thoughts and prayers, and they weren't absent from mine.

Another reason that my absence from blogging hangs heavy on my heart is that I've always particularly enjoyed writing.  I love the power that words can have and I love how it feels to type furiously on the keyboard and see my thoughts become tangible.  They become something - you can read them or you could print them and carry them with you.  It's a strange sensation, but an awesome one, too.  My husband's response the first time he ever read my blog was to exclaim, "Babe, you should write a book!  Seriously, you have an incredible way with words."  His second reaction was to pass my blog around to a friend of his who loves to read.  (Are there really any better compliments in the world?)  I've always been somewhat of an open book, and my life has had major struggles and major victories, just like everyone else's.  I've always been open to sharing difficult parts of my story because I've always been of the belief that stories have the opportunity to save people...stories remind you that you're not alone. 

In conclusion, here's my challenge to myself.  I'd really like to devote more of my time to my blog - to bring it back to life again.  I want to use this blog as a vehicle in which to inspire people and to make them laugh.  (I'm nothing if not a the loony bin!)  I want to share my big wins and big losses and I want to encourage those in my realm of influence to journey onward, no matter how hard the trip becomes.

So that's that.  Stay tuned, folks! 

PS - I'm still rocking the red...and loving it!  ;)

Until next time,

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Prest-o, Change-Whoa!!!!

They say the only thing that's constant is change, right?  Well, let's just say that I'm a firm believer of that!  I happen to be one of those people who used to fear, not just a little, either.  I just wanted to hang on to things just as they were, and when anything threatened the security in that, I would pretty much have an anxiety attack merely thinking of it.

Well, it's been a goal of mine to overcome that fear of change, to let go and let God.  I'm a work in progress, but I'm getting better at it.  I also have decided to baby step it.  Where did I start first?  Well, at the top of my head, of course!

My beloved hairdresser (who has got to be some sort of MacGyver/ninja/Jedi/wizard type of woman) has been one of the biggest forces in my life to challenge me and help me get past this fear of change.  She talked me into the bangs I actually loved (although that did take her a full twelve months of campaigning).  I know, the shame.  It's only hair.  I'm finally getting to that place, and my how liberating that is!  It's phenomenal actually.

I must digress to really show off my hairdresser's work because she is AH-MAZING.  She came up with this for my wedding ceremony:

Photo Credit: CGS
...and then she expertly turned my hair into this for the reception.  With no help.  In the backseat of a limo.  While the car was moving.  With no mirrors available.  Without me seeing it.  (How did I know it was okay???  When my brand new husband said, "Wow, baby, that's perfect!")

Photo Credit: Official Entertainment

So, when this incredible woman took on the challenge of another change-up for me, I actually did pretty well jumping off the edge - it's shocking, but I did it!

Are you ready for this, world????  Well, buckle up, because Chicken Wing's fiery spirit is now showcased firmly on her head!

Ermagersh, I'm ginger!

Now, I realize that photo looks like I have taken on a lifetime role of Ariel in The Little Mermaid but my hair isn't that red all the time!  It is, however, when I stand in front of a deep turquoise wall.  So, if you see me in the Bahamas with that turquoise water, don't be afraid - as far as I know, mer-people aren't real.  Here's another view (please excuse the cell phone quality) to show you how it photographs differently depending a) on what I'm wearing and b) what color I'm standing in front of!

So, it's a big change for me, but to be completely candid, I am digging it!  I've been blonde for so long and in this case, I am thrilled with the change.  I love how it brings out my eyes, and even does wonders for my typical winter pasty complexion.

If the only thing that's constant is change, count me in!

Until next time,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Falling In Love With Fall

Do you know what I love?  I'm sure you're smart enough to read the title of this post, and if you were, then you know I'm talking about the sensational season of FALL.

There's something so romantic about fall.  The crisp air, the changing and falling leaves, pumpkins, mums, the promise of a bonfire and snuggling in a warm blanket with someone you love so dearly - I sincerely can't say enough about this season.

It makes me want to hike awesome trails, cheer on my favorite football team (GO REDSKINS AND RGIII), roast marshmallows and make s'mores.  It makes me want to decorate my home in the colors of autumn.  Fall has a magical way of making you want to dream again after a summer of wanting to do nothing but relax and have fun.

Want to know another thing I absolutely love?

For reals, y'all.

The best thing about Pinterest is that I can link multiple loves together.  For example, I love fall.  I love decorating.  I love decorating my home with fall things.  Pinterest gives me ideas and tutorials on how to do that.

Another example, you say???  Well get ready, because here it comes!  Let's say I wanted to decorate with pumpkins but in a new and exciting way.  Hit up Pinterest and......................GO!

Love this lady's creation, which I found on Pinterest,
and she created based on inspiration she found on Pinterest!
And who thought panty hose + pumpkin would = love?

How chic!

Maybe home decor isn't your jam, and that's okay. Pinterest has something for everyone.  Maybe you are the next Rachael Ray or Bobby Flay.  In your case, you might enjoy these scrumptious findings:

Buffalo chicken dip?  Makes me wanna cuddle up...with some Tostitos.
Sweet potato casserole = all kinds of good!

Okay, let's just say you're an uber-grouch and don't like decor or food.  Well, that leaves you with these guys.

Oh em gee.

If you don't like those adorable babies, I personally have a problem with you and your state of mind.  Get a therapist.  Get medicated.  Find the Lord.  Do what you gotta do to get right!

Happy Fall, y'all!

Until next time,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Remember

I remember the horror that swept the nation 11 years ago today. I remember watching with my classmates at Governor's School in the breakroom.  I remember the shock.  I remember the tears. I remember each of us holding onto one another as if we, too, could be taken from one another at any moment.  It was heartbreaking.

Seeing this now sends chills down my spine.
I remember the extensive news coverage that seemingly could only get worse.  I remember the timeline.  I remember seeing the unthinkable - a plane flying into a building and the explosion that followed.  I remember connecting the dots that there were people inside - human lives were being lost in front of my eyes.

I remember the smoke billowing out of each of the Twin Towers, as dark as the hearts that caused this situation. 
I remember thinking, " I can't believe they attacked the Twin Towers."  A symbol of American prosperity and success.

I remember thinking, "I can't believe they attacked the Pentagon!  The PENTAGON!"  A symbol of American strength and security. 

And then there was United Airlines Flight 93.  This plane was also hijacked, but the outcome was not what they wanted.  There, the terrorists took on the American spirit.  There, even though good and innocent people did not make it out alive, the terrorists lost.

It's so easy to turn to depression or grieving when you think about that day.  It is so easy to let the darkness overtake the light.  It's easy to get angry.  It's easy to forget the blessings of life.  Instead of doing that, though, I am going to take a different path - a less traveled one.  This choice is one that I haven't always made - mainly because the other path is so much easier and it's a natural reaction.  Instead of choosing fear, sadness, and darkness, I am choosing faith.

Here's what I know. I know that God is good.  I know that He loves us and wants us to be happy.  I know that He made the ultimate sacrifice for each and every one of us.  I know that God is love.  I pray for all of the people who were touched by 9/11.  I pray for peace and I pray that God wraps His arms around us all because we really could use more of Him in our world and in our lives.

Here's some encouragement, folks.  Hold on to the people you love.  Tell them how much they mean to you.  Put down whatever you're tangled up in at work and wrap your arms around your loved ones.  Make that phone call you've been putting off for any number of unimportant reasons.  Put your heart on the line for someone else.  Lift your neighbors up in prayer.  Lift the world up in prayer.  Hold tight to your faith and if you have no faith, find some.  If you feel that's not possible, please come see me - I can help you with that.

I leave you with this.  May it bring peace to your hearts and minds today.  It surely did for me this morning.


Love always,

Sunday, August 26, 2012

That Time Of Year

Okay, I guess it's time to accept the fact that I'm getting older.  It's self-admittedly pretty bad when you forget that your own birthday is a few days away.  I guess that's what I get for being so busy, yeah?  Oh wells, life goes on.  Today is the day we celebrate my birth.  I, for one, am glad I've been given this many years to live and I hope God grants me many more!  I am more blessed than I ever imagined!

I've been trying to reflect on the past year so that I could leave you all with some pearls of wisdom - wisdom is what you're supposed to look forward to with age, isn't it?  I find this assignment to be challenging, since who knows if there is anything that I have learned this year that would apply to your lives, but here goes nothing!

1.  If you're going to have long hair, for the love of everything, attempt to style it!  (I am as guilty as they come of rocking the "hey, check out my hair as it literally just hangs on either side of my face day after day" look.  But we have to focus - Pinterest has changed the game, y'all.  There is no excuse for not at least TRYING the tutorials for cute styles that you've pinned.)

2.  That brings me to the next thing I've learned - when you put your mind to something, eight times out of ten, you can accomplish it!  The project isn't going to complete itself, folks!  For example, if you stumble across a craft project and accompanying tutorial - if you think you can make it cheaper than you can buy it, give it a shot!  I wanted to use fabric flowers as accents in my wedding.  Did I know how to do it?  Heck to the no!  Did I find a tutorial and have the materials?  You betcha!  Could I really justify spending $10 PER FLOWER when I felt capable of doing it myself for $10 or less TOTAL?  You have lost your mind!  Did I finally work up the courage to try?  Yes sir, yes ma'am.  And I'm so glad I did!

Proud crafty mama, I am!  Can't wait to share professional pictures of these bad boys in use!

3.  Sometimes, letting go is a part of growing up.  Over the past year, several people I had invested a lot of time and energy in let me down.  Not just once - more like continuously.  I have finally gotten to the point in my life where I am okay with letting go of relationships that make me sad more than they make me happy.  If someone constantly uses me, they're gone.  If they lie to me, they're gone.  If they only exist for the sole purpose of starting or continuing drama, they're gone.  As much as I've tried to complicate it over the years, it really is as simple as that.  Pray for them, bless their hearts, and move on.

4.  In the same vein as number 3, make it a PRIORITY to surround yourself with good, positive, challenging people.  I promise you, it will become one of your proudest accomplishments.

5.  Spend less time posting on facebook and other social media sites and live your life.  Wow this took a lot of time to put into action, because let's face it - we all love a good timesuck or two.  For example, I actually had someone say to me, "I can't believe you didn't post pictures while on your trip this week!"  Newsflash:  I was enjoying my HONEYMOON.  The only honeymoon I'll ever get.  I didn't want to spend my precious week off putting pictures or statuses on facebook about how much I enjoyed engorging myself with crab legs, hush puppies, and honey butter (rest assured, I did.  A lot.).  I wanted to spend my precious week off from work with my brand new, super sexy, uber fun, hunk of a husband.  [Sidebar:  I did take pictures.  I will post them when I get some time.  Pinky promise.]

6.  Magic Mike was an awesome movie, and not for the plotline.

7.  Getting organized is hard.  Staying organized is harder.  This is a work in progress for me because I'm not a natural organizer where everything has it's place.  Or, I'm not that way about everything - I am about some things and I wish I was about everything.  I'm a clutterbug.  My husband is somewhat of a clutterbug.  Two clutterbugs living in Casa De Clutterbug equals chaos on most days.  We're working on it.  If organization is a challenge for you, too, all I can say is keep going and don't give up! 

8.  When all else fails you, simply say a prayer.  God hears everything you tell Him.  He is always faithful.

9.  When you constantly have prayed for something (that promotion at work, the guy/girl to take things to the next level, to win the lottery, to find someone to be with, or to make pain go away in some form) and nothing changes, the right move is not to curse God.  It's not to blame Him, call Him a meanie or some other terrible name, or swear off believing in Him altogether.  The correct move is to take a long hard look in the mirror, buck up a bit, and realize that maybe God isn't ignoring you...maybe God is simply telling you, "No."  Guess what, it happens.

10.  Finally, one last nugget of wisdom (you like how I word played on a form of chicken???) for you that I've learned in the past year is marry someone who turns you into a team.  Marry someone you genuinely want to do life with.  Marry someone who you can successfully have difficult discussions with.  Marry someone who makes the world a better place.  Marry someone who takes time for the little things.  Marry someone who makes you laugh.  Marry someone who knows what to do when you cry.  Marry someone who knows how to say the words, "I'm sorry."  Marry someone who wants to marry you.  Marry the person who does all these things for you.  Trust me, it rocks the most.

From me, on my birthday, to all of you - thanks for being in my life and for constantly lifting me up.  I hope I can do the same for all of you!

Until next time,

Monday, August 13, 2012

I Don't Even Know My Own Name!

Well, hello, dah-lings!

It is I, your beloved Chicken Wing, and I am as upside down as I've ever been!  Things are a little cray cray insane right now and I'm doing my best to love every single second of it.

Let me set the scene for you.  I'm sure for most of you, much like myself, work is pretty much always crazy.  There are always a million things to do and your most important responsibility is to never ever screw up on anything.  Ever.  Seriously.  I'm sure for a lot of you, also much like myself, your home life is also crazy.  Clean this, organize that, wash this dish, fold those clothes, and don't ever stop sweeping up CiCi fur.  Ever.  Seriously.

Every now and again, you get a sweet vacation planned and boy do you look forward to it.  The beach is always a safe haven for me - I feel my most beautiful when I've got my toes in the sand, and I'm looking much less Twilight than I normally do. 

Speaking of this, I must digress - WHY did this cheating scandal happen and completely rock my world?  On a serious note, I do feel for them.  People make mistakes every day, and unfortunately for these two young folks, a bad situation got a whole lot worse with the entire world watching.  I guess whatever will be will be and I wish nothing but the best for them.  The one good hilarious thing to come out of this breakup???

Anywho, back to the topic at hand, which is basically that when you take a vacation that you've been really looking forward to because work is killing you, you have that moment while on said vacation when you realize that the day you go back to work, you are really going to regret taking that vacation.  Nine times out of ten, that does happen to me, with the exception of this year.  Don't get me wrong - I have been so crazy nuts looney busy for the past few months, I don't even know my own name.

You think that's funny, do you?  Well, I really don't even know my own name because this time, it's gone and changed on me!  :)  You may recall a certain hunk of a man named Comanche - there have been many wonderful stories about him around these parts, and stay tuned, because there will be many more!  Well, he stole my heart, so I stole his last name!

Miss Chicken Wing is now Mrs. Chicken Wing, y'all!!!!!!!!

Love this man so much (and my hair stylist and my uplighting and my DJ, who took this picture)!
Photo Credit:  Official Entertainment

He's mine, he's mine, he's MINE!!!!
Photo Credit:  Official Entertainment

And for those of you smart cookies that put 2 and 2 together, the reason I had no regrets about this vacation is because it was my honeymoon!  We had a wonderful first week of being married, and we've gotten back to half-way regular life now - working hard at our jobs and at making our house a home.

I genuinely can't describe how blessed we were throughout the wedding planning process and the wedding  itself.  We're some lucky loves, let me tell you!  I can't wait to share more about the big day with all of you, and I will definitely do that once I get my official wedding photos back. Then, I can brag about all the amazing vendors we used and hopefully make each and every one of you feel like you were there. 

Bottom line:  Hi, my name is MRS. Chicken Wing.  I don't even know my own name, and I couldn't be happier about it!

Until next time,
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