Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011!

If I wasn't in love with Joseph Gordon-Levitt before, I cerainly am now!  (But I will admit that as adorable as I think Zooey Deschanel is, I could take or leave her singing.)  I know I've been fairly quiet this week, but I just really needed a blog break.  Actually, I needed a break in general and I've really enjoyed myself.  And now, all of a sudden, we are at the end of 2011.  This year, like most, was a real mixed bag. 

Some really wonderful things happened, like these sweet babies coming into the world:

Amber and I were lucky enough to spend another wonderful road trip at the beach.  (I'm always missing the sand this time of year!)

I got to mark another concert I want to go to off my list (and it was SOOO worth it)!

And this whole thing happened, with every single moment of awesomeness!

But more than anything, 2011 was a year of change for me and for many of the people I love.  And change is hard, even when it's for the best.  It was a year of great happiness and many tears.  Even so, I don't know that I would change a thing.  I believe that each and every thing that happens has a purpose, whether it feels like it or not at the time.  That said, I am ready for a fresh start, a new year.  Auld Lang Syne, my friends.  See you in 2012.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 12/28

1. Share something you loved about your Christmas Day.

Something I loved about my Christmas Day, aside from the family time, was my new Rachael Ray lasagna pan and pots and pans!  I can't wait to start cooking!

2. You get to put five items in a time capsule to be opened in 100 years, what items would you choose and why?

I have absolutely no clue on this one!   I thought about some examples of technology (iPod, smart phone) because in 100 years they will be so obsolete and funny to look at.  Then, I thought about some pictures or something from my blog.  Basically, everything I pick just seems like something everyone else would pick and today I feel like being an original.  This is too hard for this early in the morning, Joyce!

3. What do you like on a cracker?

I like crackers.  Lately, I've been eating a lot of cheese balls on crackers.  But I am always up for marshmallows and peanut butter, too. 

4. Do you make resolutions at the start of a new year? How'd that work out for you this past year?

I don't really make resolutions, because I never keep them.  Instead, I try to focus on goals, asking what I would like to accomplish by the end of the next year, and do what it takes to make those goals.  Though one of those is always lose weight and I rarely make the kind of progress I want to make on that front.

5. What's a song or song lyric you'll associate with 2011?

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end..." -Semisonic.  Okay, so that's not a new song or anything, but thanks to the movie Friends With Benefits and the fact that this was a year of endings and new beginnings for just about everyone in my life, it fits. 

6. How will you ring in the new year?

I'm not 100% sure, but I am guaranteed dinner for my brother's birthday at my parents' and then I think I am going to hear a band play with Amber maybe.  My NYE is usually pretty low key, and that's perfectly fine with me.

7. What is something you look forward to in 2012?

Assuming she waits until 2012 (which at this point it looks like she will), the thing I am most looking forward to is meeting my niece, The Divine Miss M.  The doctor told my SIL that at this point, because of M's size, if she goes into labor they won't do anything to stop her, but either way she will be here before the end of January.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Today is my little sister's 21st birthday!  There will be a celebratory post to follow, but I just don't think I can mention it enough!  Happy Birthday, LuLu!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas weekend!  (I did!)  Regularly scheduled programming resumes tomorrow!  But today, I am definitely spending today in my pajamas hanging out with my family eating leftovers!

Until then, my friends---

Friday, December 23, 2011

Crank Up The Christmas Music!

I'm one of those people who actually like Christmas music, but even I can't settle for the traditional.  I mean, the staples of Christmas are great, but I am always looking for fun covers or cute new songs and since I haven't done a music post in forever, and Christmas weekend is upon us, I thought I would list a few of my favorites, old and new. (In my usual "song" - artist - album format.)

  • "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" - Sufjan Stevens - Songs For Christmas - Okay, this is technically not a Christmas song, but it is on a Christmas album and I would gladly listen to this version every single day all year long.
  • "All Alone On Christmas" - Darlene Love - Underground Garage Presents: Christmas A Go-Go - I remember hearing this song from the Home Alone 2 and immediately loved it.  I think I even sang it in choir in high school one time. 
  • "You're All I Want For Christmas" - Bing Crosby - The Voice of Christmas - Bing is known for his Christmas classics, but there's something wonderfully sweet about this lesser known cut.
  • "Very Merry Christmas" - Dave Barnes - Very Merry Christmas - Love Dave Barnes.  This song feels like Christmas with the family and it is a new favorite.  (I think I downloaded it for free from iTunes last year, in fact!)
  • "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep" - Diana Krall - Christmas Songs - I love the Rosemary Clooney version from White Christmas, too, but there's something special about this version.  It sounds like a warm winter blanket feels.
  • "Jingle Bells" and "Sleigh Ride" - Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas - What's not to love about Ella and Christmas classics? 
  • "Naughty Naughty Children (Better Start Actin' Nice) - Grace Potter - Christmas with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - Just downloaded this song this week and it completely cracked me up!  Love Grace Potter all year long, but this song is just too much fun!
  • Any song - James Taylor - At Christmas - I tried to pick, people, but this is my favorite Christmas album ever.  His version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" is my absolute favorite, but they are all so good!  As far as less common covers, I like "Some Children See Him" and "Go Tell It On The Mountain."  And "Auld Lang Syne" makes me tear up every time.  Just go but this whole album and you will see what I mean!
  • "Santa Claus Is Back In Town" - Jonny Lang - A Very Special Christmas, Volume 3 - Jonny Lang is underrated as an artist on the whole.  I have several of his tracks, but I really like this one.  It's him doing what he does best.
  • "The Man With The Bag," "Baby It's Cold Outside" and "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" -Lee Ann WomackThe Season For Romance - Again, this whole album is great!  She's known as a country single, but does most of this album uses a more traditional Big Band sound, and I love it!  Listen to it every year!
  • "Jesus Born On This Day" and "Jesus Oh What A Wonderful Child" - Mariah Carey - Merry Christmas - These are not the most famous songs from the well-played Christmas album, but they are totally my favorites.  I think that Mariah is best singing with the full choir in the gospel style.  (Not going to catch me listening to much Mariah Carey otherwise!)
  • "Peace" - Norah Jones - A Very Special Acoustic Christmas - This would be perfect for a cozy night in.
  • "Snowed In With You" - Over The Rhine - Snow Angels - I found this on a recommendation from Jaime, who has guest blogged here before.  She's a big Over the Rhine fan, and this song doesn't disappoint. 
  • "Covered In Snow" - William Fitzsimmons - Covered In Snow (Single) - I love the imagery in this song and there's something about his voice that is just so calming and sweet.
  • "O Holy Night" - Glee Cast ft. Lea Michele - Glee: The Music - The Christmas Album - Say what you want about Glee, there are certainly talented singers on the show, none more so than Lea Michele.  I'm a sucker for enunciation and good diction and she manages to do this in a way that is not annoying, so even better.  You can tell she's a Broadway girl.
  • "Christmas This Year" - TobyMac ft. Leigh Nash - Christmas This Year (Single) - Leigh Nash is not my favorite, but I do like her with TobyMac on this song.  This just kind of makes me want to dance around and sing along.
  • "The Heart Of Christmas" - Matthew West - The Heart Of Christmas - Matthew West rarely disappoints, and this song certainly doesn't.  Through all the insanity let us not forget the real heart of Christmas, the birth of the Savior.
  • "I Want a Hippotamus For Christmas" - Gayla Peevey - Vintage Children's Favourites - It's not Christmas until I have heard this song.  And I realize that's kind of crazy, but such is life.  I don't really want a hippo, though.  I'd rather have a giraffe!  :)
There you have the not-so short list of some of my favorites!  I probably won't post until next week, so Merry Christmas to each of you!  Can't wait to hear about your Christmas weekend adventures!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I finally feel like I am on Christmas break.  And to celebrate, I am going to do as little as possible today.  The last three days have been full of meetings and negotiations and signing things (so many things), but I am finally the proud owner of a new-to-me vehicle!  And I love it!  (Now, she just needs a name...)

It's gloomy outside here, making it the ideal day to just stay in and do laundry.  I need to make a WalMart run (or at least a grocery run) but I just haven't been able to make myself do it.  I think today has movies and pajamas and book reading written all over it!  In all the hussle and the craziness of the holidays, I hope you all find your pj and movie moments, too.  We all deserve a few!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 12/21

I'm still finalizing this whole car thing (though I have put my down payment on one), so I didn't get to blog yesterday.  But I couldn't miss the Hodgepodge!!

1. Are you cooking Christmas dinner? How many will be round your table this year? What are we having?
I think we have firmly established that I don't really cook independently.  However, I am trying to fix that.  I will not be fixing it via a major event, like Christmas, though.  For Christmas Eve, we all go to my mom's side of the family and have lots of finger foods and goodies (including my grandma's German potato salad), and there could be 30 to 35 people there.  We will have dinner with my dad's side Christmas Day at my parents' house and I will probably help Mom put some things together.  We are having a more traditional meal (turkey and all the fixings) then.

2. What is one must-have Christmas cookie in your house?
Russian Tea Cakes (some people call them Mexican Wedding Cakes).  But no matter what you call them, they are basically butter pecan cookie balls rolled in powdered sugar.  How could you have Christmas without that??

3. Santa likes a glass of milk with his cookies. Do you? What kind of milk is on tap at your house-skim? almond? soy? full fat (Gasp!)
I am a skim or 1% kind of girl.  I don't care for soy or almond milk and thankfully don't have any issues with dairy, so I don't have to drink them! 

4. Time magazine recently named their 'Person of the Year' for 2011. This is the person the editors believe had the greatest impact, for better or worse, in the past year. This year they chose 'The Protester'. Your thoughts? Who would you name Person of the Year for 2011?
This selection annoyed me.  I do believe that the protests in various countries (including our own) have had an impact, but is that impact really greater than that of someone like Steve Jobs?  I don't know.  It's really hard to tell.  I think my person of the year would have been Gabrielle Giffords.  Her story is about taking something that could have been completely earth-shattering and not letting that moment rob you of the rest of your life.  She is an inspiration, and I always prefer the positive to the negative.

5. December 21st is National Flashlight Day... when was the last time you needed a flashlight and did you know right where to find one?
I have two flashlights stashed at my house and I do know exactly where they are.  The last time I needed one was last month when a sudden stormed knocked the power out for a couple of hours.

6. candy canes...yum or yuck?
Yum!  But it has to be a real peppermint kind and not one of the weird flavors.  (Those are totally yuck!)

7. What Christmas carol lyric means the most to you?
I've been singing a lot of Christmas lyrics lately, so I had to really think about it.  I mean, obviously, the ones focusing on the birth of Christ would be the most signifcant to me, but I think the lyric that I think of the most is "Have yourself a merry little Christmas, let your heart be light..."   I love this because, to me, it's about the choice.  The holidays can be a hard or stressful time, but I don't think that's how it would be if we allowed our hearts to do the choosing.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I will feel so much better when all this car stuff is over.  I am thrilled to have a car, but this whole thing has completely stressed me out and put a real dent in my Christmas break plans! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Streak Continues

Let's start with the good news.  My washer and dryer are working again!!  As it turns out, the unit, which is one of those stacked numbers, had been slowly coming unplugged.  So, as soon as Dad got it plugged in, it went back to working.  In addition, while "fixing" them, Dad realized that my dryer vent thingy needed to be replaced, so he did that, too.  And mopped my floor.  And fixed my vacuum.  (Seriously, Santa is going to be very, very good to him!)

Now, to the slightly less than great news.  This happened on Saturday night:

That, my people, is what happens when you hit a big buck (deer) on the interstate at 65 mph.  And I was very blessed, because it could have been so much worse.  The deer didn't fly up and hit my windshield and the airbag didn't deploy.  There weren't cars near me, so there wasn't a secondary crash.  I was able to drive almost ten miles to a safe place off the interstate.  The state police officer who happened by was a family friend who stayed with me until the wrecker and my parents got there.  So, guess who is going to check out new cars this week? 

Was your weekend as exciting?  I'm dying to hear all about it in the comments!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Strawberry Slush Punch

Joyce's Wednesday Hodgepodge asked about our favorite punch recipe, and I had to dig a little for mine.  This makes an unreal amount of punch.  I mean, the last time that I made it, it served forty 8th graders and all of the adults.  But it is so yummy (almost a dessert of its own), and could easily be made into cocktails with the addition of your favorite adult beverage!  I plan to make some over Christmas break, so I thought I'd share so maybe you could, too!

Strawberry Slush Punch

Step 1:  9 cups water
            3 small packages of Strawberry Jello

Boil water.  When at a rolling boil, add Jello packets.  Remove from heat and stir, making sure Jello is dissolved.

Step 2:  4 cups warm water
            4 cups sugar

Add sugar to water.  Dissolve and bring to a boil, making a simple syrup.

Add Step 1 mixture to Step 2 mixture.  Let cool.

Step 3:  2 cans of unsweetened pineapple juice (46oz total)
            2 cups Real Lemon

Pour into mixture.  Freeze.  To serve, take from freezer, let thaw.  Add ginger ale.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Baby Shower!

Almost two weeks ago, we had a shower for my SIL, Melissa, and my niece, who I will calling the Divine Miss M (for now, at least) in the blogosphere!  Nothing like being prompt and on top of things, right?  I say "we" had a shower, but it's more like we atended one, because Mel's mom did a beautiful job throwing it.  Everything was just gorgeous and oh so pink! 

This table was set up so the guests could write sweet messages and advice for the new parents.  I love the idea an the Pinterest topiary Mel made!  (I have the craftiest SIL ever!)

A close-up of the ribbon topiary...
And the food!  There was so much and it was just awesome!  It was a sugar coma waiting to happen an everyone in attendance as happy to indulge...
This is one of my aunties and her grandbaby, who was the youngest (and one of the cutest) attendees.  Don't you just want to squeeze those sweet chubby cheeks!  Miss M and this sweetie will be very close in age and I have no doubt keep us all entertained at family gatherings in the future!
Mel and Miss M got some of the best goodies! 

I would carry this bag myself.  I love the polka dots and color combo!
And no girl's wardrobe is complete without an outfit to wear when she's cheering on the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals with her daddy!
Mel's college friend was able to make it in for the shower and was also able to be here for the wedding!  I loved that she was able to be with us to celebrate!   Here's Mel and Kate...
Mel said she never would have agreed to this picture under normal circumstances.  Katie is half the reason that Matt and Mel met, and Mel's BFF.  She also looks like a supermodel and is always impeccably dressed.  (Good thing she's as sweet as can be or it would be real easy to hate her! :)
And here's Mel her mom and my mom, the future grandmas! 
It may have been raining outside, but it was a wonderful day full of family and friends inside!  Now all we have to do is wait on Miss M to get here!  (And we all know how I am about patience!)
Mom and Dad to-be

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 12/14

1. Do you put Christmas decorations in every room of your house? If not every room, what rooms do you decorate?

No, I don't.  In fact, I don't put up many decorations on the whole.  I'm not a Scrooge, I promise.  But, between things at school and the fact that I am usually the only one here, I just don't really see the point in it.  I do put wreaths up and a few other goodies, mostly in my dining room/living room/office.

2. If you could visit one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) which one would you choose and why?

I have absolutely no idea.  I think I would probably pick Sweden, but I have no good answer as to why. 

3. What does the word faith mean to you?

The word faith means living your life beyond the visible.  I don't have to see God to know He is there and believe His promises.  Faith is saying that even when you don't feel it, or see proof, you believe in a God who sees and knows and is working out His plan for you.

4. You can go back to your childhood for one day...what day and age would you choose?

I think I would choose when I was eight or nine, and the day would be one of the days when I was in the local theater productions.  I love the purity of being on the stage then.  I wasn't jaded or worried about anything else and I wasn't old enough to get the politics of it all.  Those were sweet days.

5. When did you last have 'punch'? If it's not too much trouble share your favorite punch recipe.

I've been to a lot of showers recently, which means I've been drinking lots of punch.  My favorite recipe is Strawberry Slush punch.   I don't have the recipe with me, but will try to put it up later this week.  (It's one of those that my grandma got from another church lady who got it from another church lady things.)

6. Do you fill stockings at your house? Are stockings opened before or after the bigger gifts?

Stockings are definitely filled at my parents' house.  They are opened very early on Christmas morning and then again once everyone gets up for breakfast (to review) and are filled with any number of awesome things! (Because my mom absolutely loves little surprises!)

7. What takes your breath away?

I'm easily amazed, so the list might include: sunsets, sunrises, the beach, a piece of art or a photograph, and most recently, this picture of my niece, the Divine Miss M, who will be here soon-ish!
8. Insert your own random thought here.

I can't believe this is my last week of work for 2011!  I'm certainly ready for it, but I can't believe that it's come so quickly either.  This school year has definitely flown by so far!  But, I can't say that I am really that sad to see 2011 come to a close for the most part.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2 on Tuesday: My Favorite Christmas Songs and Movies

2 on Tuesday

This week, Andrea wants to know:

What are your two favorite Christmas songs? What is your favorite Christmas movie?

Picking my favorite Christmas songs was pretty easy.  My all-time favorite Christmas song is "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas."  I have downloaded enough versions of that song to just listen to it all of the time.  My favorite cover of that song is James Taylor's.  (His whole Christmas album is pretty awesome.  You should totally check it out if you don't have it.)   My second favorite song is "White Christmas."  I guess I just have a thing for the sort of melancholy Christmas numbers.  An honorable mention goes to "Go Tell It On The Mountain," and again James Taylor's version is pretty much my standard.  (Meanwhile, did you all check out the Annie Moses Band?  Because I am a little bit obsessed with their Christmas stuff too.  There are a ton of clips on YouTube!)

My favorite classic Christmas movie is White Christmas, hands down. (You can read more about that here.)  Picking my favorite newer movie is a little more difficult.  I think I would go with The Holiday, with Love Actually coming in a close second.  While they are not completely Christmas-themed, like National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (which is hilarious), they totally give me the warm fuzzies. 

I can't believe that Christmas is so close!  I can't wait to hear what everyone else's favorite Christmas songs and movies.  As always, you can leave yours in the comments or go and link up with the fun at Andrea's blog.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Night Randoms...

  • Add my washer to the list of broken things at my house.  That means I now have two washers, neither of which are in working order.  Seriously, I am just about over this crap.
  • Meanwhile, my father recently called my attention to The Annie Moses Band and I feel like I must share them with everyone I know immediately.  They are that good.
  • I spent most of my weekend watching movies and television and I totally don't care what that says about me.  In fact, I sort of dare someone to say something.  Because I am filled with the rage over how things keep breaking!
  • Maybe I should watch more videos.  They take me to my happy place.  Excuse me...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Ugly Sweater Party (I'm Only A Week Behind...)

 Someone had her 26th birthday party last weekend.  And insisted we wear ugly sweaters. Who could tell this face no?
 Certainly not Casey, who brought it with not just an ugly sweater, but an embroidered demin shirt to match!
 Here we all in all our glory at the winery.  The most fun part of the night was watching other people react to us.  Some people got it and immediately called us out ("Ugly Sweater Party!  Fun!").  Others didn't know what to make of us.  Not that I can blame them.  We hit up a local winery, then had cake and pizza (in that order) and finally stopped off at our favorite local watering hole.  We actually called it a night pretty early because the birthday girl insisted she was old now, and just couldn't stay out all night like she used to. 
 My friend, Michelle, who made the Gir cake last year, made us this ugly sweater cake for the event.  She said her husband was really confused while she was working on it and just kept asking if she meant for it to look like that. 
And here's the close-up...
 Even the resident boys were good sports and went all out with their sweaters.  Why yes, those are from the ladies section.  That only makes them more awesome...
 Amber's ready for her Coach ad.  We had a great night, and I firmly believe that your 26th year will be your best yet, my dear friend!
Check in tomorrow for the baby shower pictures!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The X Factor

Okay, so I don't watch this show often.  I actually only caught the end of it tonight because Bones was on.  But let me give you a brief overview of the five minutes I saw.  The announcer guy makes Ryan Seacrest look cuddly, or at the least like less of a robot created to fill the gap in entertainment left by the retirement of  Dick Clark.  After the two finalist performed, the jerkface announcer begins to ask (which I realize is part of the job) each of the judges to openly say who they want to send home, making sure to reiterate that they would be sending one performer on to the finals while another's dream was crushed.  This led to eventually making a child (I'm not sure how old she is, but she's barely a teen if at all) sob as she wasn't chosen live on national television while they made sure to get the best angles for America's viewing pleasure.  It was one of the saddest things I've ever seen.  It made me a little sick to my stomach, and I had to turn away.  Let's just say this is why I don't watch most reality shows.


I owe you all better than what you are going to get today.  I've been up since four with what is turning out to be the sinus infection from the depths of hell.  It's nothing that a long nap and a medicinal shot of something strong won't cure, but until then I am not really stringing the thoughts together with great clarity. 

Of course, blogging isn't the only area where I am slacking.  I am also apparently terrrible pet parent because when I realized I was out of cat food last night at 8:30, I didn't change into "real clothes" from my pjs and drive the 30-minutes to the only open grocery store and get some.  Instead, I poured a pan of milk and cooked some chicken, only to have the only cat in the world who prefers crunchies to people food.  Needless to say, a trip to WalMart is in my immediate future.

One of these days, I will get my act together.  I just wouldn't hold my breath until then!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 12/7

1. Will you be hosting any house guests between now and the end of December? Does that thought make you happy or crazy? Do you do anything special for your guests to make them feel at home? How long should a house guest stay?

Short of a sleepover or two, I don't know that I will be hosting any official houseguests.  But the idea of company is fun, at least for a day or two.  However, I totally need to do some cleaning if that's the case.

2. Walter Elias Disney was born this week (December 5) back in 1905 ...what's your all time favorite Disney movie? Here's a list in case you're struggling...and yes, you have to pick one.

It's hard to pick just one, but I am going to have to go with Finding Nemo.  Between Dori, the sea turtles, and the story in general, it just makes me smile.

3. What was the last thing you purchased that you realized was a mistake after the fact?

Oh, I am an impulse buyer, so this happens more than I would like to admit.  I bought a pair of jeans last week that didn't fit.  Good news is that it was supposed to serve as inspiration and I am wearing them right now, so maybe it wasn't that big of a mistake after all!

4. What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done online?

This year, probably about 35%.  I usually do more, but I was able to get a lot of things at the local craft fair this year, so I didn't need to get as much online.  I did get my dad's and my brother's stuff online though.  (Really excited about my dad's gift!)

5. Amaryllis-snowdrop-poinsettia...your favorite winter blossom?

I like them all, but nothing says Christmas to me like the poinsettia.  I especially like the ones that are white with swirls of pink.

6. What is one thing on your personal Christmas wish list? I think we all want peace on earth so let's make this answer an actual item.

I want pots and pans with lids that actually match.  I've been making do with what I have of my grandmother's and that's been fine, but it's time to do some replacing.  Hoping to pick one out at Macy's today, in fact!

7. If you could only use one word today what would it be?

Blessed.  I am trying to let go of the things that I cannot control, and just relax a little more.  This time of year does not always make it easy. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Today, I am going to "see" my niece for the first time via the "4D" ultrasound, and it's totally better than Christmas!  I can't wait to see her little face!  The only day better will be the day she is born.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Hero Of This Story

Yes, you still don't have pictures, but have mercy on me.  Last night, we sold almost $1000 worth of concessions.  That's a lot of M&M's and processed nacho cheese, ya'll!  And it was only the first night.  It's going to be a long week. 

But on to what I intended to talk about today.  One of the most annoying parts of being single is that I don't know how to fix things.  And in the last six months, it seems everything I touch breaks.   Don't believe me.  Here's the list:
  • washer valve (flooding basement)
  • basement pipes (meaning no running water for two days)
  • garbage disposal (oh, the stink!)
  • upstairs dryer (mostly just inconvient)
  • oven (I can now cook anything using a stovetop and a microwave)
  • car (twice, including Sunday when I broke a key off in the lock)
  • furnace (which even my dad couldn't fix and eventually cost me a lot of money)
It annoys me not just because things are breaking but because I have to bother my dad with them.  And, while he always comes through, I hate that I have to depend on him all the time to fix my messes.  However, I am a poorish, middle school teacher, so the idea of having to call a real repairman isn't doing much for me either.  I know those of you who are married are laughing at the idea that having a husband around to fix things is such a luxury, but when you are a single girl, it kind of is.  I mean, even if he threw screwdrivers or I had to remind him a dozen times, it would be nice for it to be our problem, and it would be nice to not have to burden someone else with it.  Or better yet, to have any mechanical understanding or skill to take care of it myself. (Google can't save me there.)

There's a line from a Regina Spektor song that goes, "I am the hero of this story, I don't need to be saved." and it would be nice to feel like that every once in a while.  I want to be the hero, not the damsel in distress.  And none of this may make a lick of sense to you, but it's the thing that's been on my mind constantly.  Oh, the glamourous life of the single girl...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Big Fun, But No Proof

I had a big weekend.  So big, I lost most of my voice and went to bed at 6:00 last night and slept more or less straight through until morning.  This means that you aren't getting the pictures of us in ugly Christmas sweaters or pictures of all the baby shower goodness.  And you won't get them tonight either, because I am working basketball games until Santa comes.  But I can't wait to show them to you!

In other news, this week I am going to "meet" my niece via the wonders of the 4-D ultrasound (on that note:  anyone know why they call it 4-D when it's not even really in what we call 3-D.  Don't get me started.)  Anyway, the moral of that story is that we will be able to see what she looks like.  And this auntie is so excited she can hardly stand it!  I'm so ready to meet Miss M, but I want her to wait until she's fully cooked to make her arrival.  (The only drama around her birth should be which outfit she's going to wear home!)

In other words, you have a lot to look forward to.  You try to keep the excitement up and I promise to try to actually post this stuff before next December!  :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Well, Hello Friday!

It's time for a list of random things I have been thinking about this week:
  • I bought a new fancy shampoo and conditioner.  So far, I like it, but I'm fickle.  And so is my hair.
  • I also bought a new moisturizer.  That's right, I'm living on the edge over here.  I know you must be jealous!
  • I am still not sure which ugly sweater I will be wearing to Amber's party this weekend.  I have one on reserve from Mom's closet, but I may check out Annie Laurie's and see what wonders await.  Don't want to settle when the ugliest sweater might be out there for me!
  • These nail polishes are next on my "must-have" list!  Two of my favorite things:  The Muppets and OPI.
  • The part is in for my oven!  I can't wait for it to be installed so I can go back to attempting to cook!  I have all these baking ideas pinned on Pinterest and I'm ready to give them a try. 
  • Speaking of, I've decided that during my first week of break I am going to have a craft making party with things I have pinned.  If any of them turn out, people may be getting some bonus Christmas presents.  Or I might just keep them for myself.  We'll see...
  • I had the weirdest set of dreams last night.  I keep dreaming about babies or people being pregnant, but I can't ever remember enough of the dream to make sense of it.  (Though last night was probably connected with me borrowing a co-workers baby to cuddle at the ballgame.)
  • I don't really have anything else to say, but I didn't want to end the list on a weird dream note.  Got a busy weekend planned and can't wait to share it next week!
What are your weekend plans?  Got anything especially Christmas-y or just plain awesome?  Tell me all about it in the comments!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Amber!!!

To Amber, on your 26th birthday:

Settle in, this is going to be a long one.  I am bad about sending real birthday cards in the mail.  But this was going to be the year I finally did it.  And then I sorta lost the card I was going to send.  And I realized I don't actually have your new address.  The best laid plans and all that.  But then I remembered I have a blog.  So, I can harness all the power of the interwebs (thank you, Al Gore) to wish you a happy birthday.

Twenty-five was a heck of a year, my friend.  What can I say?  At least it's over sounds too pessimistic.  It was character building?  A little too self-help aisle.  I don't really know what this year was all about, but for every blow it gave you, you gave one right back.  Twenty-five didn't know what it was getting into.  At the end of the day, you were kind of a rock star. 

But this year wasn't all about the crazy.  Let's review, shall we?  We went back to the Gulf for our 4th Annual Road Trip.  Nothing like the beach and some boiled peanuts to say vacation.  Traveling together is the true test of a friendship.  I'd say that we did okay.  I mean, no one actually ended up kicked out on the side of the road, right?  (And I'm including DOTTY in that!)  We may eat dinner with the geriatrics, sing Mandy Moore on repeat and spend our nights watching Bravo, but there's nothing as much fun as vacation. 

 In other news, you totally won the best present at the baby shower award.  Gold star!  And you even held Macy Jane without freaking out.  I'd call that progress...

 And we were finally able to reinstate Tuesday pool days.  (Nothing goes with gossip like nachos and chlorine!)  We never used enough sunscreen (and there was that whole wasp thing), but those hours were some of the best of this summer...
 Well, with the exception of this movie (Ryan Gosling shirtless--hello!)...
 And this night (hello, Captain!).
 There aren't enough hats in the world to hold in all the awesome that is you.  (But we can keep trying.) 
 Of course, since we've been friends for 100 years now, I knew this year wasn't going to keep you down for long.  And I think twenty-six stands to be the best year yet.  Dare I say, super...
 And if all else fails, we can totally run away to the beach and never come back.  (But we'd have to take Butters and Lilah and while we are complementary travel companions, I can't say the same for them.)
 You are the best kind of friend a girl can ask for.  You have excellent taste in music,  have watched every episode of Gilmore Girls and you believe we are just as funny as I do.  And so today, I wish you a very happy birthday!  And I can't wait to do it again on Saturday in our ugly Christmas sweaters!  I love ya more than my luggage!
 P.S.  Maybe 26 & 30 will be the years we finally figure out the art of the self-potrait!  Ha!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 11/30

1. Do you send Christmas cards? If so about how many will you send this year? How do you display the cards you receive? Or don't you? (gasp!)

I don't send Christmas cards.  I know that's probably horrible, but it's just me and I don't have a lot of far-flung family and friends.  Plus, besides the cat, what would it be a picture of, because it's certainly not going to be of me!  I do put up the cards I receive, though, which aren't really all that many.  Perhaps I've discovered why the post office has so many issues...

2. When do kids become adults?

Kids become adults when they are responsible enough to make their own decisions.  For some people, that's earlier than for others.  For most people, I would say when they are an upperclassmen in high school or when they have started college, but I have known some people who weren't really ready at that goal line.  However, if your child is 20 and you still pack their bags for an overnight trip, you may have a problem.

3. Does your 'beauty regimen' change with the seasons?

Yep.  My skin is an issue all of the time, but winter is especially bad.  I have to use thicker moisturizers and better quality products in general to make it through.  I also have to change my hair products because something that works in the winter may not be okay with the summer's humidity.

4. What's something you like to eat that might cause another person to turn up their nose?

When I was a kid, my grandma used to make MP crackers.  You take a saltine and put a marshmallow on it and stick it in the oven until it starts to melt, then top it with another saltine with peanut butter on it.  It's one of my favorite things, but I know some people who think it's kind of weird.  I also really like to eat a still-frozen french fry or five.  (I know, there's something wrong with that.  That's not breaking news, trust me!)

5. Gloves or mittens?

Gloves, when I remember to actually wear them.

6. What's the longest queue you've ever been in? Was it worth it? Queue=line but doesn't queue sound nicer?

I like queue, as well!  Anyway, I really had to think about this one.  I don't stand in line that often.  It would probably be at DisneyWorld for one of the rides.  In which case, it was totally worth it!

7. Besides Christmas, what is one thing you are looking forward to in the month of December?
December is full of all kinds of fun things other than Christmas.  Here's a list (because I love them!):
  • Amber's Ugly Christmas Sweater Birthday Wine Trail Event
  • Mel (and Miss M's) baby shower
  • The Pink Out (our district puts on a special event to raise money for a scholarship for a teacher who lost her battle with breast cancer last year)
  • Lulu's 21st Birthday Party
  • New Year's Eve/Matt's Birthday

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I have such a fun weekend coming up!  A little shopping Friday night, birthday party for Amber Saturday and baby shower on Sunday---I can hardly wait!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2 On Tuesday: Christmas Traditions

2 on Tuesday

This week Andrea wants to know about our Christmas traditions.  I've been up since 3:30 AM for no apparent reason, so I figured now's as good a time as any, right?

My family is big on tradition, and my little sister is responsible for making sure that we don't miss a single one.  (She will remind us if we do, trust me.  But that in itself has become a Christmas tradition.)  On Christmas Eve, we go to my mom's side of the family and have Christmas.  It's always a little insane because that's the big side of my family so, depending on which kids, grandkids and great-grandkids are home it can be as many as 35 or so people.  We always bring lots of appetizers and desserts and the kids open presents and everybody visits and drinks the newest homemade wine.

When we leave, we go to my parents, where we open the presents from Mom and Dad.  This is usually two things, one of which will be pajamas.  This is also when my parents open their gifts from us.  Then, we go into the family room and stay up to mock the local choirs on TV (which may not sound festive, but totally is) and then wait for Mom to put out the stuff from Santa.  Yes, we are all in our 20s or now 30s (yikes!), but Mom loves surprising us with goodies.

Christmas Day, my dad's side comes over to my parents' and we do the whole thing over again.  And then, I usually go and visit Crys and now Sheena's family because Crystal's parents' house is where everyone who has come in for the holidays seems to congregate after their family stuff is over.

What are your family's traditions?  Leave a comment or join us over at Andrea's blog!