Sweet-T & Dr. Pepper

…after all it’s a great big world…

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

As a regular viewer of all things HGTV, I have noticed the increased use of roses to brighten up a room or make a space more welcoming for guests. I have used roses in my own home once or twice. I try to use other flowers besides roses when trying to “brighten” or “welcome.”

Roses are sentimental to me. I have only received roses a handful of times in my twenty-six years and they were all very special moments. My first dozen was white. I took six years of choir, 7th through 12th grade, in school. During my high school years, we put on a musical every spring that usually lasted 2 ½ to 3 hours. It was a big deal; we all felt like stars when it was over. I will never forget performing “The Lion King,” “Oliver,” or doing a chair dance to “Fever.” There are so many more I could mention, but you don’t have the time to listen…or read. On one of my last nights of my “musical career,” I went backstage to check out the deliveries. There were tables and tables lined with good luck gifts and flowers. And there it was…a big, beautiful vase of white roses with MY name on it. Cue the glorious music.

Cut to May 17, 2008. My second dozen was orange. My small, hometown church was adorned in simple decorations awaiting the marriage of a city girl and a country boy. My husband-to-be was stationed elsewhere so we wouldn’t see each other before the wedding. I was sick, deathly ill to be exact, but I was going to walk down that aisle no matter how many meds and tablespoons of cough syrup I had to swallow. Our wedding was in the evening, so I had all day to get ready. I went to the church to drop off the programs late that morning. My dad was busy in the kitchen, helping the ladies get the food ready for the wedding. When I went to give him a hug, he motioned over to a table in the corner. On this table sat the most beautiful dozen of orange roses I have ever seen. (My wedding colors were tangerine and apple green). How thoughtful! How sweet! I almost cried, but I was too drugged up to shed any tears. They were just for me on my special day from the man I loved most, my daddy.

Moving forward to May 17, 2009. My third dozen was pink. May is a crazy month for me. Camp starts in June; May consists of frantically pulling everything together you have been working on since August for staff training, orientation, camper pre-orders, and so many other things to make your head spin. It’s worth it. All of it. Well, in the midst of the craziness, our 1-year anniversary showed up on Sunday, May 17. Travis didn’t have to work on Sundays, yet, so we were going to go to dinner later that evening when I got home from camp. During the day, I kept noticing people asking me about my anniversary. People I didn’t expect to ask me about my anniversary. I grew suspicious. After eating lunch, someone asked me if anyone had told me I had something waiting for me in the office. I walked (ran) to the office to see what surprise awaited me! As soon as I opened the door, I saw them. The most beautiful dozen of pink roses, light pink with dark pink tips. My card described me as “the best wife.” Apparently, he didn’t notice all the laundry that needed to be done that day. Ha! After dinner that night, we enjoyed a defrosted piece of the top of our wedding cake. It was still delicious and I was still married to the most wonderful man in the world, or should I say the best husband.

Remember the special gifts that you have received. Remember the special people who gave them to you. Remember the roses in your own life and be confident that you are the kind of person that deserved them.


Jon & Kate, Give Me a Break!

Say I if you religiously watch Jon & Kate Plus 8. I. Say I if you have personally purchased both books that Kate Gosselin has written. I. Say I if you get depressed with every current episode and suffer through re-runs. I.

I was a BIG fan of Jon & Kate Plus 8. It was fun and interesting to see how a large family worked and lived their day-to-day life. The show grew in popularity; thus, the family started earning more money. Once they moved into their new, million dollar home, things started going downhill. Now, I guess you could say I am only a fan of the “Plus 8.” I am so disappointed with how quickly and how badly things have turned out for this family. Jon Gosselin has regressed in age and maturity. As much as I now despise Jon, I know that Kate is not innocent in this situation. As a family on television that prided themselves on Christian values, it saddens me to see how this all turned out.

However, my DVR is set to record every new episode without fail. It will continue to do so. Those eight kids make my day. They each have such defining personalities that are fun to watch. I have heard rumors that the November 2 premiere of “Kate Plus 8” could be on hold until the whole “Jon emptied the joint account and now Kate can’t pay the bills” situation is resolved. Ahhhh, the pain of reality television!

Can you imagine your life played out on tv? What would it be called? I really don’t even want to think about it. I enjoy leading a simple life where I am not followed by paparazzi everywhere I go. People following me to the grocery store for a picture would just be too much for me.

In closing, I hope Jon and Kate can work things out amicably. If this means stopping production on the show, I am in full support of that decision. I can think of a few shows to take its place, “Travis & Alana Plus…” Oh wait, that’s right, NOTHING rhymes with Alana. I guess I’ll have to find the spotlight elsewhere; any openings on Glee?

Victory and Memory

Did you watch the Razorback game today? Wow! It didn’t even look like our team out there. They really stepped it up today and brought their “A” game to the early-morning-shootout! I am proud of them. I will be even more proud if they bring this same intensity to the field next Saturday against Florida. Root Hog!

I started going to Razorback football games with my dad when I was very young. Everything was so loud and exciting. The pre-game show was my favorite part: the band, the cheerleaders, calling the Hogs and watching them run through the “Big A.” When that was over and the game was about to start, I would poke my dad and tell him I was ready to go. However, through my dad’s popcorn and cotton candy purchases, I was able to stay. As I got older, I started to pay attention to the game and really enjoyed it. I was even brave enough to start high-fiving people I did not even know! My dad would always take my brother and me to Shoney’s after the game. This was always my favorite part of the night because he let us order off of the adult menu! Sitting with my dad late on a Saturday night discussing football over a huge cheeseburger has always been a great childhood memory. My dad still swears that we only went to the game for that late-night dinner at Shoney’s and I think he might be right.

 Last weekend I went to the mecca of football stadiums, Cowboys Stadium, to watch the Razorbacks play the Aggies. As I sat in my seat with amazement at this beautiful stadium (and my OWN cup holder), I realized that I still felt the same excitement at age 26 as I did at age 5. My husband, my brother, my great friend, Chris Ann, and I took in what was now the modern age of spectating: cupholders, gigantic screens, lots of sparkly objects, a shop for fans that looked trendier than the GAP and even MORE expensive food! I thought of my dad when I saw the cotton candy man and knew he was at home cheering just as hard as I was in that moment.

Here’s to dads who take their little girls to football games! They will never forget it (just make sure to have cash for the cotton candy man)!

Now I Ain’t Sayin’ She A Gold Digger

As I told you yesterday, Travis and I had the day off today. It was cold and rainy when we left for Hot Springs this morning, but ended up being a sunny, hot day this afternoon! So, I left the dermatologist with not one, not two, but THREE prescriptions! Travis and I headed over to San Francisco Bread Company (SFBC) for lunch while Wal-Mart pharmacy got my medicine together.

 Travis dropped me off at the door to pick up our prescriptions. He stayed in the car to catch up on work emails and other important events going on in the world. When I turned the corner, I saw that I was going to be the last person in the very long prescription pick-up line. I moved one step forward every five minutes. It seemed like a lifetime. There were five elderly people between me and clear skin! When I finally got to the counter, they told me it wasn’t ready. So, two hours later we finally got our prescriptions and headed home.

 For those of you who do not know, my husband and I work together. Everyday. We eat lunch together. Everyday. So, our rides home from Hot Springs can sometimes be a bit on the boring side: not a lot of talking and a lot of radio-listening. Today was different. We were halfway home when we heard Jamie Fox’s familiar acapella beginning to a little ditty I like to call “Gold Digger.” Now, the Tarkinton household pretty much despises Kanye West, but today we set aside our anger and sang our hearts out. For four minutes we were rap stars; we were backup singers; we were probably scaring those driving in front of and behind us. I wish you could have been there. There’s always next time.

 Things I was thankful for today:

 My husband

My husband’s singing voice

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Dr. Pepper

Doughnuts, Details and the Dermatologist

You know those mornings when you are on your way to work and realize you are STARVING? I totally had that kind of morning. However, I found out about thirty minutes after arriving at work that one of my co-workers, Kristi, brought fresh doughnuts from the bakery for everyone. REJOICE! I wouldn’t have to eat a healthy breakfast which would consist of a NutriGrain bar.

 After enjoying half of a blueberry doughnut and sneaking another half of a chocolate-covered Bavarian crème doughnut, I was set to have a great day! Work was slow, but consumed with store planning for next summer.

 Travis and I are taking the day off tomorrow to go to some doctors’ appointments, including the dermatologist. I have been to two different dermatologists in my life and both prescribed medications that severely dried my face out. I even tried the miracle solution, Proactiv, per Jessica Simpson…still no luck. I was also relieved to learn that your skin condition is not dependent upon what you eat or drink. I mean, if you do not know me, you may not know that I am addicted to a sugary, caffeinated, delicious drink: Dr. Pepper. I guess we’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

 Things I was thankful for today:

People who bring doughnuts to work (and share them)

Microsoft Excel

Dr. Pepper

Copy Machines that have a “scan” function


Love & Blessings!

Long Time, No See

Well, I guess you have already noticed that posts have been non-existent since January 25. Wow! Has it really been almost a year since I last posted? Well, this post is dedicated to catching you up on our lives. Obviously, the best way to do this would be a bullet-point list. Enjoy:


  • Organized the 1st Store Sista Reunion at Mississippi State! We surprised Joy for her birthday! Lots of fun and lots of laughs! I love those girls! (January)
  • Went to Dallas for Travis’s birthday with Jeffrey and Brooke; Ate great food, shopped and saw the King Tut exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art…very cool (February)
  • Attended the annual Valentine’s Banquet with my mom, dad and beautiful Grandma at my hometown church (February)
  • Our friends Sarah and Robert had their first baby, Benjamin Andrew Bibles!!!!
  • Took a Sunday drive to Mount Magazine (March)
  • We attended our first NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway in April. Jen, Cody and Jen’s dad went with us. It was amazing, including the tar that was splattered on our faces! (April)
  • Celebrated Brad’s birthday at Cajun’s Wharf (April)
  • Poured new driveway and sidewalk at our house (April)
  • Camped at Lake Ouachita with Jason, Mandy, Jeffrey and Brooke. This was our first camping trip together. We only stayed one night and survived!
  • Lynn and Nathan got married!!!!!!!!!!! (May)
  • May-August: CAMP! Enough said.
  • Took a mini-vacation to Eureka Springs after camp was over (August)
  • Road trip to Destin with great friends! (September)
  • Back to Dallas to watch the Hogs DEFEAT Texas A&M at the new Cowboys Stadium (October)
  • Getting ready to go to the Dominican Republic with Robert and Sarah in November!!!


So, do you feel caught up now? Whew…that was a lot of work! Travis’s mom is bringing us pie (be jealous), so I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Sunday & Science

Sunday is almost my favorite day ranking right behind Friday. It is a day of total relaxation where your options are limitless. You can choose to stay at home and do nothing but eat, drink coffee, read the newspaper, take a nap and watch an ungodly amount of television. You can also choose to do something spontaneous: take a short road trip, try a new restaurant, go on a shopping spree or attend the 30th Anniversary of the Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

We started the day off right with coffee, breakfast casserole and watched an episode of “Barefoot Contessa.” For those of you with blank looks on your faces, I am an enormous fan of Ina Garten, who has her own show, “Barefoot Contessa,” on the Food Network. Her cooking and entertaining style is simple, classic and elegant. http://www.barefootcontessa.com/

While watching an episode about different types of cheeses (I know you are laughing at me at this moment), we learned that today was the 30th Anniversary of the Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs. They were only charging $2.50 for admission in honor of their anniversary. After discussing our field trips we took to this museum as elementary-age children, Travis and I decided we had to go check it out. Let me remind you at this point that “elementary-age” means I was 7-years old the last time I stepped foot into this place. I called my mother-in-law and she was up for joining us on the trip.

We arrived at the museum, paid our admission (including an extra $3.00 for a ride in the Visual Simulator and admission to the 20-minute Laser Show) and were ready to explore! There were a lot of things that had not changed since I had been there 19 years ago and then there were new exhibits that everyone seemed to enjoy. It was great to walk around and see so many families enjoying their Sunday afternoon together. http://www.midamericamuseum.org/

After a short car ride home, we made taco salads for dinner and snuggled in for a night of television!

“Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week.”
Joseph Addison