Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ok, so I am feeling a little verklempt. The lovely and talented (and wonderful friend all the way over in Denmark) Julie of Moments of Perfect Clarity won some awards and she has so kindly passed them on to me. I have been mulling over what I want to say in my acceptance speech, so here goes:

Ladies and gentlemen (if there are any of you out there reading), it wouldn't be appropriate for me to accept these awards without first thanking God (otherwise known as Scented Glossy Magazines). She (god is a female in my world) got me started on this whole blog thing, way back in February of 2008. I have come such a long way because of her, and I can't thank her enough.

Second, I need to thank my very first blog friend, Jessie of The Lucky Stone. Jessie and I have chatted for many hours know because of our blogs. Now that she is back in the world of the employed, we don't get to chat nearly enough, but she's only a few hours away from me, so we WILL get together again soon.

Third, I need to thank my friends here at home who don't have their own blog ( know who you are!) but read about my escapades faithfully. One of them has finally learned how to comment, so maybe, just maybe we will get her to start writing too!

Fourth, I would like to thank one of my new blog crushes, Mary at The Eleventh. I am loving getting to know her thru her blog, and as a fellow Midwesterner, I can just tell we'll be fast friends!

And finally, I need to thank Julie. She has become a fast friend, and if she ever comes back to the states, I will do everything I can to meet her in person.

The Superior Scribbler Award

Love Your Blog Award

I am honored to accept these awards, and it is my pleasure to pass them on to those above who have so influenced me. SGM, Jessie and Mary, come get your awards, and pass them on.

PS: The rules are simple. Link back to this post and then pass 'em on!

PPS: Julie, you too would get one of these, had you not already been bestowed one!

Dear Todd

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Thanks for asking me daily if I am running or training today. Your asking tells me that you support me and are encouraging me to get out there and run. Thank you for not making it a big deal to get my exercise in after work and between basketball practice, dinner preparation, and various kids things.

With your help, I will get this training done and finish the damn race!


thoughts after christmas

So you might be wondering (or not) how, after this post, Christmas went in our house. If you're not wondering, stop reading here. I'm currently at home alone with a glass of wine and this delicious Spaghetti Squash with Lemon and Capers cooking away, and I thought I would fill you in while I had the time.

So, Christmas was actually ok. I know that is anti-climactic, but oh well. As far as the gifts go, I did all of the shopping (excepting a few gifts for grandfathers purchased on Christmas Eve). I did all of the wrapping, and all of the stocking stuffing. However, I did not feel one ounce of guilt when I wrote "From Mom" on every gift to my kids. Christmas was as much of a surprise to Todd as it was to the kids. Although I don't like it like that (remember how I want Todd to want to help with the shopping and wrapping?), I didn't ask for any help, and none was offered up, other than the obligatory "do you need any help?" I think the kids liked their gifts, and I am happy to say that we didn't go overboard with presents this year.

Now, as I said earlier, Todd likes the idea of staying at home and not going anywhere during Christmas. Although we had invitations to attend my mom's family Christmas as well as my dad's side, I didn't force the issue. Todd had originally made plans to go to Kansas City to watch the Chiefs play on Sunday the 21st (why? He HATES the Chiefs), but he decided to stay home and go to my mom's family Christmas. I in no way made him feel guilty about this except to confirm that my mom had sent an email in November about the date and time, so he couldn't use the excuse that he didn't know when it was going to be. We didn't go to my dad's family Christmas on Christmas Eve. But we did go to church with the kids, came home and ate enchiladas and watched the old Parent Trap. We then drove around and looked at Christmas lights. It was nice, and I didn't miss seeing family too much.

Christmas Day was fun too. We got up and opened presents in our PJs. Just our little family of 4. We hung around and ate Lucky Charms and then got around to starting lunch for our guests. My folks arrived with gifts at noon and Todd's folks at 1, with Great Aunt Helen in tow. We had a wonderful meal and lots of great conversation and puzzle-putting-together. The kids played with their new things, and the men took naps on the couch in front of football and the fire. Everyone left about 5:30, just as the kids were saying "what's for dinner?" (what's that about? We just ate, 4 hours ago, a ginormous meal, and they are asking for food!)

So, I must say, that all-in-all, Christmas was fun. I mostly kept my mouth shut (which is a real exercise for me sometimes) and just enjoyed things the way they turned out. It is a lesson for me that my expectations are not always the only way things can be. Others in this family are allowed to have opinions and to have those opinions respected. I learned a lot about myself this Holiday. I know Christmas won't be easy each year for me, but maybe it will get easier each year. Here's hoping, anyhow!

You are what you eat

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I don't know about you, but for me Christmas is all about the food. I love it. I love whatever anyone wants to make. Since this Christmas was a little different for us (we didn't travel anywhere...not even up the street to my parents or down the hill to Todd's parents) we had a little bit of non-traditional food on Christmas Eve, and a more traditional meal on Christmas Day. For your pleasure, our menus:

Christmas Eve:

  • beef enchiladas (with enchilada sauce and nacho cheese right out of the jar, Pace brand)

  • Spanish rice (out of the box)

  • refried beans (straight from the can, but for fancyness, we warmed them on the stove top, instead of in the microwave)

  • beer leftover from the party on Monday night

Christmas day:


  • Lucky Charms (only because I forgot to buy sausage so we couldn't make the overnight egg casserole. The only way my kids would have even eaten egg casserole is if it had sausage in it to distract from the eggs.)

Late Lunch:

  • Prime Rib (it was so yummy, Todd did an excellent job thanks to his talking thermometer/remote thingy he got for Christmas last year that told him while we were opening gifts that the meat was finished)

  • Horseradish Potato Gratin (recipe from Real was the first time I made it and it was delish!)

  • Brussels Sprouts with Bacon (yes, they are from Rachel Ray, but really, they ARE delicious!)

  • Rhodes rolls (I even cut them up and made Cloverleaf style)

  • Texas Potatoes (for the kiddos. If you don't make these, you need to. Hash brown shreds, sour cream, cream of mushroom soup, onion, sour cream...HEAVENLY!)

  • Delicious cherry chocolate brownie cheesecake stuff....mmmmm.

  • Home made pumpkin pie with real whipped cream

For a late snack while we were working on the Christmas puzzle, we had coffee with these Rolo thingies. It was the perfect end to a great day! (Until the kids asked what was for dinner at 5:30!)

After Christmas Shopping for my Friends

Saturday, December 27, 2008

For Julie:

By Etsy seller dottieangel; nellie gets known vintage butterfly drapes

(I have a feeling you could find some place wonderful for these in your home)

for tangobaby:

By Etsy seller amerimagesbytim; As Far as the Eye can See

(I hope one day you can come to Kansas and take beautiful pictures)

for Steph:By Etsy seller FuzzyBrat, Marathon Runner Finisher Time Hand Stamped Charm Gift Necklace

(I'll buy it for you when you run with me in OKC in April!)

For Leslie: By Etsy seller johnwgolden

(We all need reminding from time to time, huh?)

For SGM:

By Etsy seller Clevergirl, Word Balloon Set of 2 Moleskine notebooks

(for all those notes you take during your tv viewing)

For Jozette:

By Etsy seller threeredtrees; dogs in bad sweaters note card set

(dogs and bad sweaters in the same place...awesome!)

I've got a lot more reading to do!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Guess what my mom got me for Christmas? An Amazon Kindle! It is the most awesome thing evah! How did she know that I would want that? Maybe it was the 3 stinking library books I took with me on vacation to Florida (which put me over the weight limit on my bag I am sure). Maybe it was the fact that both my kids got ipods and Todd got a Garmin for his car, so I needed something cool and techie too. Whatever, I love it!

Who knows, but I plan on spending ALL weekend (after I go to work today) fiddling around with it (and after I load up my kids ipods with appropriate music!).

Here's to a wonderful weekend full of reading!

Merry Christmas to You (and me too)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Hope this finds all of you sufficiently stuffed and enjoying whatever holiday(s) you do this time of year.

For Christmas this year I gave myself an entry into the Oklahoma City marathon. Actually, the 1/2 marathon, but whatever. A few girls and I are going to enter and train and then go together come April 26th. Why do you care? Well, because this is my way of being accountable for what I commit to. It seems that if I tell all of you (and post training progress on my blog's side bar) I might actually do it.

So far this week, I have followed this training schedule to the letter (I know, it' s only Thursday, but still!) My dog comes with me on each run and she loves it too. I forget how good it feels to get out there and run. I used to hate running. I couldn't even go a block. My longest run ever was something like 7 miles. If I can do this, it will certainly be an accomplishment. I could use some accomplishment in my life.

So, for now, that is my gift to myself. And until I can be less tired and more able to write coherently...merry and happy!

What the Fuck Wednesday

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

tongue mohawk
from here
what the fuck?


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last night my friend and I hosted a cocktail party. I was going to invite you all, but I forgot, and besides, most of you would have to travel a long way to get here!

So anyhow, the invitations (which were sent via evite, which is awesome) said Christmas Cocktails and Contributions. We invited over 100 of our friends. I don't say that to sound all cool and like "we have over 100 friends, we're so cool..." but because of what we wanted our friends to do. We asked everyone to bring a donation for the local Emergency Aid Food Bank. Yeah, like doing something nice for those less fortunate during this time of year.

So many wonderful things happened as a result of the party. First, the comments on the RSVPs were so touching. "...what a wonderful idea..." "...this is a great thing to do this time of year..." " two are so creative to think of doing this..." Just reading those made it worth while. When you call or write someone to RSVP, a little note or compliment goes such a long way.

Second, around 4:30 (1.5 hours before the party) a kid from one of the beer distributors showed up with 2 ginormous coolers and 2 more cases of beer for the party. One of our invited guests is "friendly" with the owner and wanted to send over beverages for the party. My friend and I almost cried. Seriously, how generous is that?

Third, the donations, holy cow for the donations! When I called the food bank to ask them what they were needing, the gal said flour, rice and noodles. So naturally, we put that on our invitation. Man did our friends show up with donations. We parked a van in the driveway with the back doors bedecked with red ribbons, and left them wide open. This way our guests were able to just leave their donation in the van before coming in the house. You can see below how generous our friends were. There were so many donations from guests who couldn't even come to the party. There were HUGE, industrial bags of noodles, cases of minute rice, and 25 pound bags of flour. See for yourself!

I think our party was a huge hit. Of course there were those who didn't come. Those who are never seen in charitable capacities, those who don't give of their time to not-for-profit boards, those who generally think they are above this kind of thing, but I am not going to let them get me down. Next year we will not invite them, and invite some others who will want to come and have the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life.

I think each and every one of you should have a party like this next year. Do something good for your community. It doesn't matter if you invite 100 or 5, the organizations you choose to support will be so grateful, and you will feel pretty darn good yourself...after you have loaded the dishwasher, taken your shoes off and had a drink yourself!

What the Fuck Wednesday on Friday this week

Friday, December 19, 2008

I have been feeling a bit "down" due to the holiday (and due to the 400 plus posts I feel like I should look at in my reader since I was gone for 2 weeks). But this caught my eye today:

image from here of course

There are a whole bunch of people who failed English in elementary school apparently. There are so many signs, publications etc. with fucking stupid errors!


I would live to invent a group of about 7-10 red staples at the end of each "strip" of staples. That way when you are stapling away, you have a little warning that you are about to run out.

Anyone have any ins at the US patent office?

thoughts on christmas

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas has become a hard time for me. I don't know why, really. Well, maybe I do. Over the past few years, Christmas has become a real sticking point in our marriage. Last year, things came to a head, and I can honestly say that it was the worst Christmas on my life. So this year, I have been thinking about that and what I/we can do to change that; starting with identifying the issues.

My issues:

1. Why am I the only one who does all of the "thinking" (and buying) about the gifts? Granted, we don't go overboard and we don't exchange gifts with our siblings, but there are the kids and nieces and nephews. Christmas is really about those kids, and to see them open what Santa brought them (we still believe around here) is a joy. I just want Todd to want to be involved and think of fun, meaningful gifts for the children in our lives. I want him to want to help me wrap and decorate for the fun of it.

2. Am I the only one in the world who loves to get holiday cards? Especially the ones with the photos of the kids and families on them. One of the things I do love to do during the holidays is to design our holiday card. It is the one really creative thing that I can do. I don't use a service, or a printer, I do them all myself. I get compliments on them every year. But when they are done, I would like a little help. This year, they all were printed and addressed before I left for my trip to Georgia. The only instruction was to seal them, stamp them and mail them. Guess what? Wasn't done. I could use a little help here, and I know there were plenty of hours spent sitting on the couch while I was gone...

Does this sound like a Todd tirade? It really isn't, it is more of a vent about Christmas as a whole.

3. Family. Oh, dear family. This is the hardest thing about the holidays. I love going from place to place to see all of the family and friends who are in town and who we haven't seen in the past year. My dear spouse, however, hates that. Christmas to him should be staying at home in your robe all night Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and eating when you feel like it. He wants a fire in the fireplace, a glass of wine in hand, and a long, relaxing day on the couch.

It's hard, you know, this holiday. For all we have done to pare down and make it a meaningful holiday, there are still core issues that we (and every family, dare I say?) all have to deal with at some level. Throw children into the mix, and there are a whole new set of issues that come up.

Do you enjoy the holidays? What are your issues? Any advice?


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

As I was working this morning (and reading blogs) I heard in a whisper from down the hall:

"awesome...spsh sppe cool, do you think...look, pshch spsh..."

We had several inches of beautiful snow overnight.

I love children.


Monday, December 15, 2008

This was heard coming out of my mouth mere seconds ago:

"What!?! It's 12:11 already? What have I been doing all morning?"

As you can see, it's been that kind of day already. Hope to be back later with stories about this weekend!

What the Fuck Wednesday

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What if this was on the table at your company holiday party? WTF?
It's from here.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Cool image of the paths of air traffic visualized in color and form from here.

No, I am not missing in action. I have been around the world and back (or so it seems.)

We left beautiful Captiva Island, FL on Friday morning and flew thru Atlanta to Wichita. This weekend, I was really productive, including getting the Christmas tree up and decorated (actually I let the kiddos put all of the ornaments on this year, and it was so much fun just watching them. I didn't move one ornament!) We got all of our decorations out, baked some cookies, and went to church. I spent several hours at the office on both Saturday and Sunday.

Today I drove back to Wichita, got on another plane and flew thru Memphis to Jacksonville, FL. After a little shopping and dinner, I drove on up to Waycross, GA to settle in for a week of work here.

Phew! I will not be in my office for 2 weeks straight. It is a little bit of a strange feeling, almost like I don't really work anymore. I kinda like that feeling. Except for the airplane air, missing my family, and rough hotel sheets, I could get used to this. Not really.

I caught one!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Yesterday's excitement was catching fish. Both Carson and Molly caught fish off the T-dock. We used shrimp as bait, and both kids actually were patient and caught a fish! Hooray!

We Interrupt this Vacation for an Important Confession

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I just have to tell you this: My daughter Molly is about the hardest person to like right now. Don't get me wrong, I love her...I really love her. But right now? I want to pinch her head right off. She is so selfish, self centered, whiny, a complainer, and pretty much no fun at all. Is this what having a daughter is all about? Because if so, I need to rewind this life and go back to nap time on St. Patrick's Day, 2001 and un-conceive her. Yeah, she was a mistake; unplanned pregnancy; already had a 9-month old napping in the other room . I'm WHAT?

Molly is everything a middle child is purported to be. You see, however, she is NOT a middle child. I always wanted 3 kids, but that was not something that was going to fly with Todd. He was dead set on having only 2, and was visibly and physically relieved when the sonogram showed that Molly was going to be a girl (besides that, we didn't agree on any other boy names.) A friend of mine once said that it had to be a 2-person decision. I like that. Having kids has to be a 2-person decision. But right now, I kinda wish we hadn't made that mistake-decision. Not really, but you know what I mean?

But, back to the confession. I threatened Molly at the beginning of this trip that her first warning meant that she was going to come back to the room and go to bed early (which we have done each night but one.) The second warning meant she was going to have a babysitter while we all went to dinner or some other fun thing. The third warning meant that we would figure out how to get her home alone (back to Kansas, that is) on the airplane and her dad would pick her up at the airport and her vacation would be over. I know, I know. Why threaten with something that I would never do? But you don't get it. I would have done it. I so would have done it. If we weren't getting on a plane to go home on Friday anyhow, I would have sent her home today. My parents would have had to put me in a straight jacket after, but it would have happened.

THIS MORNING I TOLD MY KID TO SHUT UP. There it is. I said it. It's out there now. I don't get her. She right now is so frustrating to me, that I had to do something to surprise her into being quiet. It worked for about 15 minutes.

No teacher at school, no friend's mom, no athletic activity coach has ever told me anything but good things about her and her behavior. So, my question is: WHY ME? Why does she feel that she needs to have these fits, whine, and just be awful to me? She gets something in her head about how it should be, and by god, if it doesn't happen that out! Just last night she had a 20-minute fit in her bed because it didn't look like she wanted it to. Seriously, she did.

So, to God, and my 6 readers out there, and Molly. I am sorry. I am sorry for yelling at you, I am sorry for saying that to you, and I am sorry that for some reason you are going thru this phase.

Please God, help me to get thru this phase. Please give me patience to get thru this phase. Please help me be more loving towards Molly and help her to figure out what we need in this phase. Medication? The Chiropractor? Mommy to retire? What ever it is, reveal it to me. PPPPLLLLEEEEAAAAASSSSSSSSEEEEEE???

Cold and Windy

Yesterday at the tip of the island, it was cold and windy. My parents took all 4 grandkids (ages 8, 7, 2.5, and 8 months) to Chuck E. Cheese and the Children's Museum in Ft. Meyers. My sister-in-law and I did this:

Today we are off to the pool, then a little fishing off the dock this afternoon...ta ta!

yesterday at the marina

Monday, December 1, 2008

I had a little time to myself yesterday to read (Portrait of a Marriage by Nigel Nicholson) so I went to a table by the marina. The weather yesterday was pretty windy, and overcast with a shower or two (one as we were getting ready to leave the pool...we got SOAKED!). The sun peeped thru a few times, and we had a great time flying kites by the ocean.