Sunday, December 5, 2010

Keely Less

Ever since I was a little girl, I always knew I would eventually drop my last name when I got married. In fact, I would often substitute a cute guy's last name after Keely just to see how it flowed. Clearly the guy is not going to be right for me if his last name doesn't sound like it's meant to follow the name Keely, right? It turns out many women keep their names even after getting married. This was such a foreign thought to me. I don't know a single woman that didn't adopt her husband's name after the wedding.

Watching an episode of Gilmore Girls with my mom, Loralei Gilmore, one of the main characters, was about to get married and said she was definitely going to keep her own last name. She said that if she wasn't Loralei Gilmore, she might as well be Loralei Gil-LESS! I giggled at the little pun, but I really started considering the idea of losing my last name. I love my last name, and I'm proud of it! When I was campaigning for school elections in the past, it always provided me with excellent slogans: "Me for Moore," "For S'Moore Leadership, Keely for President." I even use it in everyday jokes, as lame as that is. One day my manager at work continued to preach about how "less is more!" I finally said, "No Heath, Moore is more" :)

Even more than my last name, I love my middle name! It's Ranae. I love it because Ray is my dad's, brother's, and both of my nephews' middle name. It turns out when you get married your maiden name essentially replaces your middle name. For the first time, I'm really hesitant about the whole name change issue upon marriage. My husband is going to have to be pretty darn special for me to take his name because at this point in my life, it seems like no matter what, I'll be Keely Less.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

So Thankful

Every year at this time I start really thinking about exactly what I am thankful for in my life. I thought I would share them with you:

1. I am extremely thankful for my family. I know I am biased, but I really do think I have the best family I have ever met. My mom loves unconditionally and happens to be the best hostess of all time. My dad is the most generous and understanding father and friend. I have a brother that has a sense of humor to liven any crowd; he got dealt the hand of two sisters and still smiles! My sister is forever young and has somehow managed to stop time. Her figure and dance moves put me to shame! Finally, I am so lucky to have two nephews that I adore. Being an aunt is quite possibly the best gift I have ever been given.

2. When people find out I have been to eleven schools, they always say they are so sorry. Even my mom has said she hopes I forgive her for having to change environments so often during my childhood. The ironic thing is, I wouldn't change it for the world. I have more true friends than anyone I know. Because I moved so often, I was able to make a couple of quality friends in each place. I am so thankful that I moved frequently and was given the opportunity the meet truly special people in each city and school that will be in my life forever.

3. I am thankful for my health, education, and being from the South. Seriously. Not only did I win the lottery by being born healthy and in the United States, but even more so by being born in Tennessee. I have had the luxury of being raised in an area that promotes friendliness, hospitality, traditions, football, fried food, and cowboy boots. Southern charm has been part of my life from the beginning, and I couldn't have asked for anything better.

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Stick To Your Roots

"No one comes from the earth like grass...we come like trees...we all have roots"

This is one of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou. When I recently saw the movie, Everything is Fine, I was reminded of it. In the movie, Robert DeNiro plays a father that has four children all located across the country. Although I felt so sorry for him in the movie because he was so lonely and never got to see his children, I didn't think this was a very plausible situation. It turns out it is. Everywhere but here.

Honestly, the thought of being more than 3 hours away from my parents is almost unacceptable. I can't even imagine living states away. I know I am just naturally extremely family-oriented, but I think it's more than that. It's being raised in an area that believes in sticking to your roots.

I'm not saying I'm scared to branch out or feel obligated to stay close to my family. If I moved far from my family to try and learn and grow into a a better person for life or work or whatever, I firmly believe I would be going backwards rather than forwards. I can't get better as an individual when I'm missing a huge part of who I am--that's my family.

I did come like trees. My roots run deep.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's Fall, Y'all!

I have lived in Tennessee all my life, (except for about 8 months in Georgia when I was a senior in high school) so I realize people could think I am biased when I say how much I love it. The thing is though, I have traveled to numerous states and I find something I love in all of them. Omaha, Nebraska was especially a surprise! Everyone should visit the downtown area and stay at the DoubleTree if cookies ever! I have even visited some states where I believe I could live and be very happy: Georgia, Indiana, Texas. I'm sure there are many more. The thing is though, around the beautiful months of October and November I realize I will never love any state like I love Tennessee.

If you haven't been to Tennessee, come. Now. Tennessee is beautiful throughout the year, but I realize that is only my opinion. Saying Tennessee is beautiful in the fall, however, is a fact. I love coming home from classes these days just to have the opportunity to drive under the breathtaking colors and interlocking trees that provide a canopy over the road before you reach my apartment. The air is crisp, the mountains are overlooking, each tree is in competition trying to outshine the other. It's hard to imagine anyone luckier than those who have the opportunity to live in Tennessee in the fall.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Speak Now

In case you don't know, Taylor Swift's third album, Speak Now, was released today. I am always amazed at how many people criticize her and her previous albums. I know she isn't the best singer ever recorded, but why can't people just be proud of her and the success she has solely created? She writes all her songs, is willing to put her private life in the limelight and face ridicule, while still maintaining a classy, positive image in Hollywood which is clearly hard to do--just look at Britney, Lindsey, Paris, etc.

Her newest album has a few songs that I especially love and think you should check out: Never Grow Up, Mine, Enchanted, Ours, If This Was A Movie, and Superman. Although, you can't really go wrong with any of the songs.

Taylor is a strong, successful Tennessee girl and I love supporting someone like that. You should go buy her CD at Target (they have a couple exclusive great songs) like I did! :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Off-Weekend Wedding

Sorry I have not had any new posts in the past few weeks. I have been a bit busy with school, concerts, weddings, etc. Speaking of weddings, I love them. It seems like I would be a nightmare for a guy, but it's not that I'm obsessed with getting married myself. I love other people's weddings! I would go to wedding if I didn't know a single person there. I just think a wedding is the most romantic, long-lived tradition still in practice. Poetry, Shakespeare and "courting" are all gone. A wedding is the one day when it is still commonplace to witness the kind of love and emotions great authors once wrote about. What could be better than getting to see two people share the same vows as our ancestors?

Because I love weddings so much, I would be willing to miss most any event to attend one. I realize most do not feel this way which is why I love the date my cousin, Hannah, set for her wedding. Down South, we love our football. Hannah knows this, which is why she specifically set her wedding date a year in advance based on the football schedule of the Vols! October 16, 2010, UT had its off-weekend. On that Saturday, Hannah officially became Mrs. Christopher Strong. No Southern girl would want to have to choose between cheering on her team and exchanging vows. Hannah certainly got the best of both worlds.

By the way, it was the best wedding I've been to yet. Just look how beautiful she is!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I was raised under the impression that a guy is interested in you if he takes you on dates, calls you, surprises you, uses respectful language around you, etc. I hate to break it to my parents, but I don't know any guys like this. My friend told me the other day, "Keely, you just have to understand guys. They don't go on dates in college and they never call you." That's unbelievable to me.

Southern gentleman? I realize it's hard to be a gentleman in a country where the f word has become so ordinary that it is showing up in magazine articles, texting is quick, easy, and extremely popular, and where the need for men to appear "manly" is so important.

I have never heard my dad cuss around a lady--and he loves to cuss, mind you. He still takes my mom on weekly dates after 26 years of marriage. He does this while still being the toughest man I know. I know my friends will continue to tell me to just cope with the fact that guys are different in this generation and that chivalry is dead. That's just not good enough. Guys, pick up the phone and ask a girl on a date, so I can stop hearing and believing we have seen the end of a true Southern gentleman.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You Might Be a Redneck If...

Check out this link to see a list of 300 reasons why you might be a redneck:

Obviously these are exaggerated, but so many of them are not too far from the truth. For some reason I got to thinking about these little jokes and it reminded me of when my cousin, Hannah, made up one of these jokes a few winters ago.

My family was celebrating Christmas at my grandparents' house a few years ago and Hannah happened to notice the decor in the basement. My grandparents had recently bought a new, fancy television, and instead of discarding the old, wooden paneled tv, they simply plopped the new one on top of the old one.

Hannah laughed and said, "You might be a redneck if your tv stand-- is a tv!" This was three years ago, and nothing has changed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Steel Magnolias

My best friend asked me the other day what was my favorite flower. I told her, "I don't have a favorite flower. If anyone ever brought me flowers, the gesture alone is enough. I don't care what kind they are." Although this was my initial reaction, I actually do have a favorite flower. I have been thinking about it a lot and the answer is so obvious. Magnolia.

For starters, what flower is more symbolic of the South than a magnolia? More than that, I was in the play Steel Magnolias when I was a senior in high school, and it has always been one of my favorite movies of all time (that's saying something because I love movies!). Guess when the movie was first released? 1989. My birth year. I mean, this is MY flower. We even have magnolias on the Christmas tree at my home. How could I have ever said I didn't know what my favorite flower was?

When I researched the magnolia, its petals are abnormally strong to resist being eaten by beetles, and it says its symbolism is recognized for nobility, dignity and perseverance. While these are wonderful traits, the magnolia to me represents the strong, beautiful Southern woman, a true steel magnolia.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


When I went home recently, my dad told me a story about my neighbor that I have to share. Emma, the neighbor, just recently started kindergarten and brought a new friend over to my house from school to say hello. After she and her friend looked around my house, Emma said, "Wow, we sure are thirsty!" My dad said he wasn't sure he had anything they would enjoy. When he went to the refrigerator to look, he noticed a couple of Yoo-Hoos my mom had purchased a little while back. He asked if they would like one and they both said they would love one. After they finished their drinks, Emma's friend shook his head and said, "I never get those. You guys must be rich!!"

Yoo-Hoos: the South's finest dairy, without much dairy at all, beverage! :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Much, Much Better Than Your Average Joe

I have never experienced losing someone in my family. This changed as of yesterday. My mom's uncle, and in all regards mine as well, passed away. Whenever I think of Joe, I immediately think of laughter. He was always the one telling a joke and if his after-retirement job doesn't express the kind of person he was, nothing will--he was a substitute for kindergarten classes.

All of this has caused me to really think about how people in the South handle death. Nothing can represent the experience, in my mind, more than the movie Elizabethtown. If you haven't seen it, it's a must. The movie shows how all family members congregate in one house with tons of baked dishes and reminisce. That is so accurate. I am traveling home this weekend to personally participate in my own family's version.

I love that in the South, death is more than one hour devoted to a funeral. Here, it's much more. My next couple days will be spent celebrating the life Joe led and the legacy he left through his daughter and grandchildren. If the South does anything right, it's deal with the loss of a good, fellow member. Joe was much better than good, he was a great person and will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Recently I met a couple of guys majoring in Finance here at UT. After talking with them for a few minutes, I playfully asked them why they kept pronouncing the word finance as f-uh-nance. I have always grown up pronouncing the word as f-III-nance. After a few jokes back and forth between us where I said they sounded pretentious and they said I sounded ignorant, I really began to wonder if they were right.

Despite being driven, highly educated, and prepared, would I really be laughed out of an interview if I pronounce the word the way I have always been taught? Would a Fortune 500 company really believe I was ignorant and unqualified for a job? I have always been proud to be from the South and take it as a compliment when people say I have an accent.

To succeed in the business world, will I have to lose my roots to get wings?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Insect Invasion

I have always heard that the South is known for its annoying, pesky insects. I, however, have never had much first hand experience with them because mosquitos, the most infamous Southern bird, never bite me. Having recently moved back to Knoxville to start classes, my roommate and I have added approximately forty other living companions. Flies!

The picture to the left is one of four of the hanging, sticky traps designed to snag the fly out of thin air. It's too bad the only thing it keeps grabbing out of thin air is my hair every time I walk past it! Fly hair count: around 25. Because these have not been as successful as we hoped, we also went and bought four clear strips to be placed on windows. These have been somewhat more successful with each housing around five flies.

Does anyone know of any other way to get rid of them?? I suppose flies are the price you pay when you want to live in an apartment complex called The Woodlands. I would just love to get back to the nights when I fall asleep to the peaceful sound of nothing--not buzzing.