Monthly Archives of: November 2010


Aspire or Expire

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Seriously, what is my problem?  I can not sit still.  I have Larry Dolly syndrome (my dad).    Maybe I’m starting to feel time ticking.  I can’t stand the thought of growing older ungracefully, or not having done the things I’ve always wanted to do.  I definitely don’t want to die with any regrets.

It was weird, today on Facebook, via my iphone, I kept seeing posts to a guy named Matt, who had passed away.  He was someone that I was “friends” with, but I didn’t know him from Adam.  It was so bizarre!  Everyone was still posting on his wall after they found out he had died.  There were posts like R.I.P. Matt, we will miss you Matt, your mother will miss you, etc.  It was heart wrenching and I wanted to type something, but I didn’t.  I was so bothered by the whole thing, but just felt better about not typing anything at all.  He looked liked he was in his 40’s maybe, and it sounded unexpected.  For some reason it really struck me hard.  I just sat in my car and digested it all for a few minutes after coming across the posts.

I know I’m healthy, but honestly I could get hit by a truck and killed tomorrow.  That’s morbid, but we all know it’s true.  At what point do you just go all balls out and do that thing that’s been scratching at you, or when do you decide to just let it go.  I’m definitely not old enough yet to let anything go physically, but I will be one day.  Tick.  Tock.

Reading things like that just motivate me even more to keep on keepin’ on, and to take things head on.  Whether they be mental, physical, or emotional, or a totally new venture, or something I didn’t do so great the first time around.

What is that one thing that you’ve always wanted to do?  The thing that’s eating away at you?  The thing that makes you feel alive but you haven’t taken the time to explore?  I’ve heard so many people say they wish they would have written a book, taken private dance lessons, played piano, studied this or that in school, traveled more, learned a second language, etc. etc. etc.  It’s somewhat offends my inner Pisces.  “Hey, you’re still alive,” I wanna yell.  But I don’t.  Unless your eighty and using a walker, you’ve got no excuses.  At least that’s how I feel.  We only live once.  And it’s your life, to design and create as you wish.  Don’t let others’ ideas of what your life should be like influence whether or not you go after what it is you want.  Believe in yourself, whether your task be big or small.  Are you going to aspire?  Or will you expire?

I’d love to hear your story if you have gone after the thing that you most wanted, after society’s expiration date.  What makes you tick?


Starbucks: Myth or Mouthgasm?


I have to write this right now, because it’s skinny-vanilla-latte-therapy for me.  I keep breaking up with Starbucks and then keep taking it back.  I NEED HELP!  Or do I?  Is this such a bad addiction, an ongoing affair, that me and the rest of America have?  I may sound like a crack addict, and I am.  I don’t drink these beverages, I slam them.

Five minutes ago I had packed up my laptop, etc and was headed out the door of my home away from home, when the tall clear to-go cup with the peppermint straw caught my attention.  I had to have it!!  Someone stole my last one, and this one was even more delightful.  So I found myself back in line, ordering another decaf (no latte), water and buying that damn cup.   So far today my Starbucks bill is $26.37.  Not good.  I’m a walking Starbucks commercial.   Some of you reading this right now and are shaking your head in total agreement, I know.  I hear ya sister!

I pretend like I can get over it, and move on, but who’s kidding?  I love the music, the coffee, the people, and the barista know how to put a smile on my face almost every single time.  And there isn’t a better atmosphere for writing, people are getting stuff done in here!  It’s total motivation.  God, they should just hire me for PR.  Although, I think they’ve got that covered.

Last night on Facebook I posted this:

Shannon Dolly Coombs:  I’m hating that I ended my love affair with Cappuccino’s, the break up is killing me….I miss my hot, steamy, foamy friend….

Here were the responses:

Jen B: Oh, take ’em back!! I couldn’t live without mine!! 😉

Susan: But why’d you do it?

Jen K: Don’t drink your calories!!!!

Susan: Duplicate using fat-free, zero calorie and skim stuff! An imposter cappuccino will fool you into thinking it’s the real thing if well-made I bet. Will be in touch…

Tim: Your ass could use a few calories. Drink up and enjoy!

Karen: Coffee is GOOD for you girl!! Slap in a splenda and some skim and keep movin!!!

My husband: I thought I was your hot, steamy friend (and yes, sometimes foamy). I am not gone, I just went to work early!

Me: I was doing skinny Capps and skinny sugar-free vanilla lattes…the problem is that I was drinking 3 a day! That’s 300 extra cals a day if you’re drinking a latte.(100 per each)..& 180 extra for 3 skinny Capps…(80 per each) oh yeah and a $18/day habit..oh my…maybe I’ll just cut back to one lol

Then my friend wrote on my wall later:

Heidi:  I need to say goodbye to Chai Lattes. You know it is time when a grande is not enough!

When I walked into Starbucks this morning and saw Heidi, I think there was a moment there when we both felt embarrassed.  It was the feeling you get when you run into your preacher after not being at church for a year.  But we got over it quickly, laughed and moved on about our conversations.

Starbucks, here’s to you, and your next ten million frothy capps you serve!  Keep ‘em coming…time for a third…

ME: Did I really just see you at Starbucks! We are completely lying to ourselves!! LOL!!


Lost in D.C.

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.07 miles is what my iPhone read when it told me how long it would take me to walk back to my hotel.  It was wrong.  Try like 1.5 miles.  I’d told my partner to head back to the hotel, she was tired and I needed to go upstairs in the restaurant we were in to meet some old friends.  These were friends that I had sold my former home to, that had since then resold it and moved to Capitol Hill to chase their political dream jobs.

Thank God my walk was in the best part of Washington D.C. a girl could ask for.  When I took a left out of Marvin, I didn’t think twice.  I couldn’t find my wallet, which is why I couldn’t go upstairs to meet my friend who was having his 37th birthday party.  I had no ID and no cash.  So I put my poker face on and walked like I owned the place.  Typically, I would’ve been a bit scared, but it was a clean well-lit area with pubs, restaurants and perfect little stores.  There were pedestrians everywhere, walking their Scotties and Yorkies in their converses and Lacoste Coats.  So I felt pretty comfortable and quite enjoyed getting lost in both my mind and my direction.

When a little fear entered, I tried calling my husband, thinking he could protect me via cell phone if anyone jumped me.  But he didn’t answer.  So I called my friend Cookie, and she said if I veered two blocks over I could be stabbed to death.  After my two glasses of wine, that only made me laugh.  But only for a minute.  I suddenly remembered the story my dad had told me about twenty years ago.  He was driving through a bad part of DC and was at a red light and some guys walked up to his car, pulled a gun on him, and took all his money and his tools.   But I was walking past a store called Reincarnations, with modern furniture and funky pillows, how could anything possibly go wrong?  The cute little boutique restaurants were just begging for me to come in, and every other store was a home décor place or a Starbucks.  And then I passed the chocolatier.  I had died and gone to heaven.

These are things that I miss living in a small town.  I love to just get lost somewhere, and wander aimlessly.  Yes, I know, at ten o’clock at night in a big metropolis probably isn’t the ideal locale for that, but it was what it was, and it left me feeling braver and bolder than before.  Some of you may laugh when reading about my big event for the night, but to a small town girl, it was an adventure…and I’m all about adventure, whether they be big or small.




I do, I do!!

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Well, it was a hit!  I’m talking about the 10-year-surprise-marriage-celebration that I threw for my husband a few weeks ago.   It was the grand finale to the surprise he threw me on our actual 10th anniversary date, June 23, 2010.  We were on Cape Cod, in Hyannisport, right by the Kennedy Compound.  We visit there that same week in the summer, thanks to a good friend allowing us to crash his pad for free before his summer renters arrive.   When I woke up that day in June, my friends, Joy and Brian Bell, were already gone for coffee.  Which I thought was odd because they had just bought five pounds of coffee at Trader Joe’s to use on the trip.  Davey, my handsome groom, asked me if I would like to take a morning walk.  The avid exerciser that I am, I was dressed in my yoga pants and tennis shoes and ready to walk out the door in less than five minutes.

We walked our favorite route along the beach, which was about a mile from the house.  It was windy and overcast, but it was a perfect morning along the water.  We were chatting about Maria Shriever’s house, that we were passing at the time, when a strange man drove by slowly.  I was sure he was a CIA agent, but he kept on going toward the housing development up ahead.  A few minutes later he drove back toward us.  He pulled over alongside the dirt road, that’s when I figured out what was going on.

Our friends had snuck out that morning to set up a makeshift tulle canopy, and a heart made out of seashells, as our standing place to renew our vowels.  I was really surprised, and really happy, but, oh yes, there’s a but, I was wearing yoga pants.  It wasn’t exactly how I had envisioned the big party we had talked about throwing for the past three years.  But it was real, and it was raw, and it was just us (and the CIA guy.)  It was one of our most precious and special moments that I will cherish forever.  But no pictures please, lol.

So with that said, 5 ½ weeks ago, mid flight to southern California, I decided I would throw a surprise reception/party to show Davey just how much I love him.   I actually planned the whole gig in about 4 days.  All the guests, but about ten, thought they were coming to a black and white surprise 45th birthday party for Davey, which made the whole event even more special.  This was a surprise for everyone.  (And no I didn’t know J. Lo threw a surprise wedding until after I had this planned.   Too funny.)

When Davey woke up Saturday morning, he thought we were going to brunch with friends.  However, at 10:30 the doorbell rang, and his friend Rob showed up with an envelope with the #1 on it.  He opened it and it read, “You’re not going to brunch, instead, you are about to embark on a scavenger hunt.  Have fun with the boys today.”  He looked at me and said, “this is odd, but okay,” kissed me and said he’d see me later.  I’m pretty spontaneous so this isn’t out of character for me.

His “hunt” took him to a five-star resort for lunch, then to the shooting range, then to a tavern, then back to the Bell’s house, where the last letter and his new Hugo Boss suit awaited him.  It read, “Put your James Bond suit on, and your James Bond attitude, sit back and have a glass of wine with your partner in crime (Brian Bell), and wait for further instructions.”  At this point he thought he was coming to meet the ladies, and then out to dinner at a nice restaurant.  I had bought him the suit three weeks before as his birthday gift, knowing this was in the works.

At 6:30, Brian looked at Davey and said, “Let’s go.”  Without any hesitation, Davey followed Brian for two blocks by foot and he led him around to the back of our house, where the party awaited.   The kids and I watched from above through my bathroom window.  Ten minutes before Davey had arrived, my friend, Jennifer, announced to the crowd that this was actually a celebration of marriage, not a birthday party.  It was well received, and made the air of the party change to beyond special.

Even though the cake had fallen over in my friends car on the trip down (it had to be taken back to Pitt for repairs, and we did lose a tier), and my flowers came in green and mushy, the event was stellar.  The paper lanterns and use of white and black fabric turned our simple backyard into a magical scene.  I had one friend come up to us and say the evening and the toast Davey and I made to each other inspired him to put more effort and time into his marriage.  That was one of my biggest hopes for the night, to show our love and affection, and really share that with everyone.  A lot of marriages go through a lot of changes, and if you don’t nuture and grow as a person and as a spouse, it’s a lot tougher to have a successful marriage.  I truly have the man of my dreams, he’s always stepping up to the plate, in full suit.  We’ve taken our marriage to newer heights this past year, but we are constantly putting into it.

The love and warmth that night from my friends will never be forgotten.  So many of my neighbors and good friends pitched in to truly make it feel like it was my original wedding day all over again. So props to my  A-team:  Joy, Rachel, Jen, George, Brian, Rob, Belenda, Joe, Heather, Courtney, Julie, Carlee, and Kyle.  I couldn’t have done it without you.    Davey, I love you now and forever…..