Archive for July, 2010

My Radio Boyfriend

So, remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you guys that I got invited to be the token chick on the Homecoming Radio Show with Bill Gaither, Kevin Williams, Mark Lowry and Phil Brower? I’ve been sitting on some great photos I took during my two day stint, but I needed to wait until  published my piece on it first before I blogged about it. Well, they did, so now I am free to tell you the REAL dirt from behind the scenes– which basically, is the torrid love story of me and Mark Lowry, my radio boyfriend.

OK, not really.

Don’t get me wrong, I am indeed crazy-go-nuts over Mark, I think he is one of the funniest people on the planet. He’s also an amazingly deep spiritual thinker and just an all around sweetheart of a guy.  However, since Russ loves him at least as much as I do AND he’s kind of like my dorky twin brother, trust me, romance is most definitely never in the air. But I did have such a ball sitting next to him during the taping– and I got a close-up view of the fact that he’s totally not kidding with all of those ADD jokes he makes about himself! It’s not that he’s antsy or can’t keep still, it’s more like he just needs to keep his brain occupied at all times so he won’t get bored.

So, he doodles. Mostly weird cartoons of what appears to be a Mark Lowry-like creature of some kind in concert. On acid.   Exhibit A:

**And Exhibit B:  (Wanna hazard a guess at who that other guy is….?)

**Here’s what he looks like while he’s doodling:

**Of course while he was doing that, Tori the Newbie was nervously trying to figure out how to put these bad boys on without wrecking my ‘do:

**And trying to remember to lean in a little bit when I spoke into this thing, keeping the spitting to a minimum whilst pronouncing hard consonants:

**And also seeing if I could read from this and somehow make it sound all natural and spontaneous like I WASN’T READING AT ALL:

**Of course Kevin and Bill are old hands at this whole radio thing, so they were totally relaxed:

**And unflappable Phil runs the whole show, making sure everything is timed just right and flows smoothly:

**Meanwhile, Mark was doing a lot of this:

**And this: (Well, to be fair we DID do 15 shows!)

But the main thing Mark was doing was making me feel comfortable, encouraging me, making sure I was included, pointing to his lines in the script and gesturing for me to take them– in general, just being a generous, loving friend.

And I had so much fun! They ALL could not have been nicer to me, and you wanna know the best part? It looks like they’re asking me back to do it again in November! I felt like I was back in grade school and the cool kids asked me to join their club! I have a feeling Mark put in a good word for me, which is why at the end of the day, I had no choice but to interrupt his doodling long enough to slide this note over to him:

(Come on. Can you blame me?)

We birthdayed. A lot.

Charlotte turned 14 on July 17th. We had a little family party to celebrate before Russ left for that weekend’s concerts, and then Char also made plans to have two of her best friends from grade school, Bethany and Jess (aka “jd2008″ when he comments on here!) come over for a little party last Friday night.

The original idea was to head to Watertown and go to the Stardust Drive-in, which is one of our favorite things to do– however, we failed to factor in two important issues: 1) they CHANGE the movies on Friday, so the one we had planned on seeing was no longer showing and 2) it was about a frillion stinkin’ degrees that day, with about a 1000% humidity and the heat index of… hell. Not the optimum conditions for watching a movie while sitting in your car OUTSIDE.

I briefly scrambled around trying to quickly come up with a Plan B, and then I realized that the three amigos were actually perfectly happy just hanging out here. So I made a quick grocery run and loaded up on a staggeringly ridiculous array of snack food, picked up some take-out food from Charlotte’s favorite place, Pei Wei, and got them all settled in for the evening. No outdoor movie. Bullet dodged.

They had so much fun! It’s been a while since they have been together because they are all going to different schools now, but back at good ol’ St. Paul Christian Academy they were inseparable. It was great to watch them — after just a couple of minutes of understandably age-appropriate awkwardness, they basically took up where they left off.

Here’s a couple of shots from Hour #1:

Hour #2 involved a lot of eating. Loads of lo mein and then a virtual avalanche of rice krispie treats, white cheddar popcorn, sparkling grape juice, chex mix and… well, I kinda lost count at that point. Teenagers can flat put it away.

But here’s the best part: Why hello there, CUPCAKES!!!

Prepare yourself for the glory that is Naticakes…

And yes, they were TOTALLY as good as they look!

(This is a great bakery– it’s located in the heart of historic downtown Franklin, Tn, which is only about 15 minutes from my house, and there’s a real heartwarming story behind the name “naticakes.” Check it out, it’s worth it.)

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