Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness- The Final Week

Saturday, November 26- Today I am thankful for quiet.  With all of the hustle and bustle of the last few days, it was wonderful to be able to spend a quiet day with the family.  Today was one of those days where we stayed in our jammies a little too long, and didn't do much besides a little swinging at the park and movie watching on the couch.  Bliss.
Sunday, November 27- I am thankful today for Santa Claus, and all of the magic that he brings to the Christmas season.  Today we took the nugget to get his picture taken with Old Saint Nick.  Can you say precious?
Monday, November 28- Today I am thankful for all of my fellow teachers, and the dedication and inspiration they bring to the profession.
Tuesday, November 29- I am thankful this evening for a warm bubble bath and my Kindle.  One of my favorite ways to end a stressful day!
Wednesday, November 30- I started the month being thankful for my hubby, and I am ending the month being thankful for him, too.  He works so hard to provide for our family, and Gabe and I are so lucky to have him.

I truly do have so much to be thankful for.  What a wonderful month it has been.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Review: The Hangman's Daughter

macabre [muh-kah-bruh]
1. gruesome and horrifying; ghastly; horrifying
2. of, pertaining to, dealing with, or representing death, especially its grimmer or uglier aspect.
3. of or suggestive of the allegorical dance of death.

Let me start by saying that the only reason I chose this book is beacuse I'm a sucker for a deal.

I get approximately a million "Deal of the Day" emails each morning.  And one day, Amazon's deal was this Kindle download for 99 cents.  I thought, "Sure, why not?" and bought the deal.

I believe that technically, The Hangman's Daughter could fall into the historical fiction genre.  It takes place in the mid-17th century in Germany.  (This is actually a translated version of the originally German text.)  At this time, executioner was a profession in each town.  The hangman was looked upon as the lowest member of society, as were his kin. 

This particular hangman, Jacob Kuisl, happened to be a very good man, even though he was dismissed by all of society.

The story is a mystery.  A group of orphans is being killed off one by one.  On the back of each dead child is found a "witches mark" (or the circle and cross symbol that we now recognize as "female").  The town midwife was immediately blamed, and the town began to call for her to burn at the stake.

The hangman, believing in her innocence, sets out to discover who the real killer is.  He is aided by his daughter, as well as the town physician, who does not care that the townspeople mock him for his association with the executioner.

All in all, the mystery portion of this book was quite good.  I was very engaged in finding out which of the respected townsmen was actually responsible for setting a man known as "The Devil" on a rampage that involved murder and a treasure hunt. 

The murders, executions, and torture, however, were at times a little hard to stomach.  Macabre is truly the best descriptor of this book that I could come up with.

I will say that for 99 cents, this was a worthwhile purchase.  I will say that overall, I enjoyed this book, as I love a good mystery.  I will also say that this is not a book for the faint of heart. 

A mix of murder mystery, suspense, history, with a touch of romance, The Hangman's Daughter is worthy of 3.75 stars out of 5.

I am nothing if not precise.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Exceptional Eats: Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites

Holy wow, are these things good.

I made them as my one pre-dinner snack on Thanksgiving.  Since people were drifting in at different times, some coming from one celebration to the next, some arriving utterly starving, I wanted to have a little snack available for those who needed one.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and when I saw the pin, I knew I had to attempt these.  Aren't they just so pretty?
I'm quite sure the Martha would be totally amazed at my mad skillz if she saw these.

Turns out, they are also delicious.

Neither J nor I had ever actually eaten a fresh cranberry.  So when I brought them home from the store, I was  anxious (and scared!) to try one.  I made J eat one first.  And even though he made a scrunched up, unhappy face and declared that they tasted like something you're not supposed to eat, I tried one as well.  Turns out, he was right.  Fresh cranberries are not good.

But then, following the recipe, I sweetened them up.  And suddenly they tasted magical.

Pairing them up with crackers and Brie made for a delightful little appetizer.  (I also put the leftover sugared cranberries out in a silver bowl, and I seriously couldn't stop eating them.  Like candy, I tell you.)

Try these.  For real.

Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites
makes about 16

Sugared Cranberries:
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup good maple syrup
1 cup granulated sugar

Rinse cranberries and place in a medium bowl.  Heat syrup in small sauce pan just until warm.  Pour over cranberries when syrup is warm, not hot, or cranberries may pop.  Cool, cover, and let soak in the refrigerator overnight.

Drain cranberries in a colander.  Place sugar in a large bowl or baking dish.  Add cranberries in two batches and roll around until lightly coated in sugar.  Place on a baking sheet until dry, about one hour.

16 crackers
8 oz. Brie cheese
cranberry chutney or relish
fresh mint for garnish

Assemble crackers with one slice of Brie, a light layer of cranberry relish, and three or four sugared cranberries.  Garnish with fresh mint.

Friday, November 25, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness- Week 4

Saturday, November 19-  I am thankful today for a beautiful, healthy, 9-month old baby boy.  I realize that I've already expressed my thankfulness for the nugget, but today, on his nine month birthday, it feels appropriate to say it again.  I am so thankful for my baby, and the gift of motherhood that he brings.
Sunday, November 20- Today I am thankful for my home.  I may complain about this house a little (okay, a lot), but in reality, the house itself is not what's important.  It's the home that you choose to make that counts.  This is what I will try to remember this week as we gather round the table and host friends for the holiday.
Monday, November 21- I am thankful today that this Monday is really my Thursday!  A two day work week means five days straight at home with my boys.
Tuesday, November 22- Today I am thankful for the end of ear drops and antibiotics, and a return to good health!  It appears as though the ear infection that I have not been able to kick for the past two months may have finally disappeared.
Wednesday, November 23- I am thankful today for help around the house.  My wonderful hubby took the day off of work to help me with holiday preparations.  It is nice to work side by side with the one I love, even if it is time spent dusting and vacuuming.
Thursday, November 24- Today I give thanks for all of the wonderful people in our lives.  Spending the holiday with some of our dearest friends makes me appreciate the extended family that they have become.  It was once said that friends are the family we choose for ourselves.  This is truth, indeed.
Friday, November 25- I am thankful today for family time spent together putting up the Christmas tree.  It is something that I look forward to every year, and it is made even more special this year by the fact that we are  starting a tradition with our newest addition.  We are so very lucky to have a third stocking to hang this Christmas!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I like to make lists.  I like to write down things that I need to get done.  It helps me to stay organized and on top of my game.   

And the very best thing about making lists?  I get to cross items off once they've been completed.

There are not many feelings better than that in this wide world.  Of course, all the mushy gushy feelings are wonderful, but crossing items off of my "To Do" list gives me a sense of accomplishment.  I like feeling accomplished.

Folks, I'm working on a mega list these next few days.  There are many things to be done leading up to Turkey Day.  (Have I told you all yet that the crazy everynookandcrannyofhousemustbeclean thing that came over me during pregnancy never went away?  I dusted the vacuum cleaner last week, people.)

There is much cleaning to be done.  There is much food to be prepared.  There is decorating to do, playlists to be created, linens to be laundered, errands to be run, dogs to be trained not to go ape shit crazy when guests arrive (a girl can dream, right?). 

Point?  I'll be one busy lady these next few days.  So forgive me if the blog is lacking.

I love the ole' blog, but alas, it did not make the 'To Do" list for the remainder of the week.

Monday, November 21, 2011

'Tis the Year of Cotton

Disclaimer: Before I begin, let me just say that I'm weird and I know it.  I'm sure no one else really cares about the following.

There is a large plot of farmland next to my neighborhood.  And farmland all around my town.  Most years, all summer long we can watch the tobacco grow in all of these fields.  It gets taller and leafier, and leafier and taller, then eventually starts to yellow and wither and dry out, meaning it's ready for harvest. 

But not this year.

Nowhere have I seen any tobacco.  Not on any of the farmland in my town, or in the neighboring town, for that matter.

Where has it gone?

J assures me that farmers rotate their crops from year to year.  This, I knew.  But how is it that all of the farmers everywhere knew that this was not a tobacco year?  And how is it that they all seem to have planted the same crop in its place?

For months, I was going crazy with wonder, trying to figure out what was growing in that field next to my neighborhood.  I drive past it every single day.  Each and every day, I tried to guess what was growing.  I knew very early that it wasn't tobacco.  My mom guessed that maybe it was peanuts, but I looked up some pictures of peanut plants and ruled that out.  I've seen lots of soybeans growing around here, and knew that wasn't right.

Then I saw these pretty pink buds popping out of all the green, and I was driven even more mad.
Eventually, these pretty flowers started to puff, the green leaves began to fall off, and I finally knew what I was driving past every day.

Crappy phone pic of the view through my car window on my way home.  All the puffy cotton.
So I return to my original questions: what happened to the tobacco?  And how did all of the farmers know to grow cotton in its place this year?

I'm intrigued by the ways of the farmers.  And like I said, yes, I know I'm weird.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gabe- Nine Months

My precious boy,

Today, you are nine months old.  That's three-quarters of the way of the way to your first birthday!  What a sweet nine months these have been for us.  Your daddy and I have loved watching you grow and change day by day.

Lately, it seems like you are turning into such a big boy!  You are no longer content to be down on the floor.  You prefer to look at the world from your feet.  You pull up on everything, and have even started experimenting with letting go.  You can only stand on your own for a few seconds before plopping down on your diaper, but that doesn't deter you from trying again and again.  It's only a matter of time before you find your balance, and then I believe you'll be a walker!

Your mouth is filling up with teeth!  You have four on the bottom now, and four more breaking through on the top.  Your poor gums look so painful right now, but you are a trooper.  You chew, chew, chew on anything you can find, but you don't complain too much.  

When those top teeth find their way in, you'll be so much better at chewing food!  I'm excited for you to start trying more of what we are eating!  I sometimes call you my baby bird, because you'll watch what I am eating with your mouth open expectantly, waiting for me to drop in some morsel of yumminess.

And speaking of that mouth- you have learned how to give kisses.  Giant, sloppy, open-mouthed kisses.  If I lean over to kiss your face, you open your mouth wide and lean toward me.  I love this.  One day these kisses won't be so wet, but until then, I don't really mind your slobber on my face. 

You are starting to learn how to wave!  Right now, you only wave at yourself.  You open and close your little fist, right in front of your face, and you laugh a little.  This is adorable.

And that laugh- it is quite simply the most amazing sound I have ever heard.  You are ticklish, and you laugh when daddy slides his fingers up your back or gives raspberries on your belly.  You laugh when I suddenly look at you and gasp as if in shock from your cuteness.  You laugh when we throw you up in the air and catch you (carefully!).  You laugh when you get to splash water in the bathtub.  You are such a happy baby.

My sweet Gabriel Clark, the nine months that it took for you to grow in my belly were magical.  But they've got nothin' on these past nine months that we've had you with us.

I'll love you forever,

Friday, November 18, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness- Week 3

Saturday, November 12- J is home!  J is home!  J is home!  So thankful to have our little family reunited.
Sunday, November 13- Today I am thankful for sleeping in.  I haven't gotten to do this in quite awhile!  J got to spend some quality time with his son, and Mama got to spend some quality time in her comfy bed.
Monday, November 14- Today I am thankful for the beautiful weather.  The sun was shining, the temperature was a balmy 75 degrees, and the sky was full of puffy, cotton ball clouds.  My boy and I got to spend some time outside.  Glorious.
Tuesday, November 15- Today I am thankful for music.  It has the ability to turn my mood around.  It may not yet be Thanksgiving (but we have passed Veteran's Day!), but listening to holiday music each morning on my way to work can truly turn my frown upside down.
Wednesday, November 16- Today I am thankful for the kindness of strangers.  It is so refreshing when someone does something nice for another human being, just because.
Thursday, November 17- I am thankful today for our babysitter.  She really and truly loves our boy.  It is so nice to know that if I must leave my little man each morning, I am leaving him in the caring hands of one who loves him. 
Friday, November 18- Today I am thankful for my pets.  Pains in the rear though they sometimes may be, they do love unconditionally.  And seriously, no one else is EVER that excited to see me.  Ever. 

Hope you all had lots to be thankful for this week, too.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Five Stars, Baby

Yesterday, Forbes Travel Guide came out with its annual list of Five Star hotels, restaurants, and spas.

Guess who made the list?

That's right.  The beautiful spot where J and I were married.  The Umstead Hotel & Spa.  This year, the on-site restaurant, Herons, also received a Five Star rating.

We might move in there if they'd let us.  But since I'm guessing we can't afford it, we'll have to settle for visits on our anniversary. 

See the article with full list of Five Star establishments here.

Things I Heart: The Southern Disposition

Have I mentioned lately how much I love living in the south?

Yesterday, at the grocery store, the nugget was LOUD.  He was riding in the cart, chewing on a teething toy, and yelling.  Happily yelling, but yelling nonetheless.  Loud and constant.

This bothered no one.  People were smiling at my boy and talking back to him as we passed them in the aisles.

Distracted by the yelling, I almost ran into one older man with my cart at one point.  I apologized, to which he responded "Don't you worry!  You two are having fun!"  And he meant it.

Then, in the parking lot, I had just finished loading my bags into the car, and was hauling my 25-pounder out of the cart.  Another older gentleman was walking past, and noticed that I had my hands full of baby.  He asked if I was through with my cart, and when I said that I was, he returned it to the corral for me.

I love it when people are kind to one another.  It just makes my day.  I heart southern manners.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Not To Stir The Pot

Although I'm about to post some CRAZY hot topics, I promise, I am not trying to drum up drama! 

Today's news featured two articles that were of interest to me (notice how non-judgey that is?).

Here's the first:

And here's the second:

Regarding the first- I am curious about your reactions to this ad?  I look at it and think that if it helps reduce the occurrence of SIDS in any way, I am okay with it, regardless of its shock value.  And this comes from a mom who swore she would never co-sleep (because I want my bed to belong to me and J, and not the tiny humans) and then ended up with a baby in her bed.  If you remember correctly, little man slept best cuddled next to me in my bed, and so there he remained for the first three weeks of his life.  I then wept as I moved him into his own crib in his own room.  And he loved it there.  He continues to sleep safely and soundly on his own, however, I have no regrets about starting him off in our bed.  It was either everyone slept in our bed, or no one slept anywhere.  A no-brainer when you read it like that, eh? 

And regarding the second- Do you feel that it's your body, your baby, and your right to schedule an elective c-section when you're ready to be "done" with pregnancy?  I've gotta say, I felt r.e.a.d.y. at 36 weeks.  And I can't say with certainty that I wouldn't have jumped at the chance to deliver my wee one a little early.  But to choose a c-section for no valid medical reason- and before 39 weeks at that- seems a little selfish to me.  (Okay, apparently I am a little judgey about this one.  I'm glad to see this choice being taken away.)

Anyone care to weigh in? 


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Watch Girl

I think I've become a watch wearer.

I haven't always worn a watch.  In fact, I've gone through several watch-wearing phases, but I've never stuck with it.  But for over a year now, I rarely leave the house without my watch.

My watch, although it looks fashionable, is a cheapie purchased from New York & Co. a few years back.  It's started to look a little rough.  The glass on the face is scratched, the band is a mess, and I feel like there's crud in all the nooks and crannies.  (Gross, I know.)

So I've started looking at some other watches that I like.  Awhile back I found this one, which is the real, nice, non-faux-diamoned version of the cheapie that I have.
And today I came across this one, which I love, but don't think I could wear every day.  (Some days, gold just won't do, and silver is a necessity.  And could I really wear a brown watch if I'm wearing a black outfit?  I think not.)
Yep, you read that right...I want both.  As a matter of fact, I've put them both on my Amazon Wish List.

Thoughts from any other watch wearers out there?

And in conclusion, here is an interesting tidbit for you.  Although I am right handed, I do not wear my watch on my left hand.  It just seems more natural for me to glance at my right wrist for the time.  Also, I have wrists the size of a man's, so any watch I end up with must have extra links.

And now you know.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I really have to exercise restraint this time of year.  You see, I love Christmas.  It is such a happy time of year.  I love the family gatherings, the exchanging of gifts, the meals prepared with love, the decorations, the beautiful lights, the movies, the music...

Clearly, there's not much about Christmas that I don't like.

I could easily get wrapped up in my holiday revelry around Labor Day if I'm not careful.

I've always had a hard and fast rule with myself: Christmas celebrating does not begin until after Thanksgiving.  This means no music, no tree, no watching of all of the movies.  No lights, no wreaths, no nothin'.

It appears I may have broken my rule.

In my defense, it was completely on accident.  You see, the radio station that I regularly listen to pulled a fast one on me, and switched their normal classic rock playlist to one of holiday joy.  They have never done this in years past!  Usually, the day after Thanksgiving, I switch the radio in my car to the Christmas music station.  This year, I got in the car innocently enough, expecting to hear my norm.  I was shocked and amazed by what I heard- but I didn't change the station.

'Tis true.  The music makes me happy.  And now that I've heard it, I'm hooked.  I will not be changing the station.

Also, I've officially amended my hard and fast rule: Christmas revelry may now begin anytime after Veteran's Day.  ;)

Friday, November 11, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness- Week 2

Saturday, November 5- Even though he got a special shout out yesterday, today he gets another.  I am thankful for my brother Scott.  He took over the "man duties" of the house this weekend, mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, and climbing the ladder to change air filters.  What a guy.

Sunday, November 6-I am thankful for a safe flight overseas, and the pilots who made it happen.  I'm not one to be a nervous flyer, but it felt a little different yesterday, putting a father on a transatlantic flight away from his wife and baby.  We are so grateful to find out this morning that he made it to Madrid without a hitch.

Monday, November 7- Today I am thankful for the ability to work part-time.  Coming home to my boy each afternoon is a blessing.  So are afternoon naps on days when I'm not sleeping so well.  ;)

Tuesday, November 8- I am thankful for my dear friends and neighbors, the V's.  Knowing that I'm all alone this week, they invited me and the nugget over for dinner and drinks tonight.  (Beer for me, formula for the nugget.)  I feel so lucky to have such amazing friends in the neighborhood!  And I can't wait for our baby boys (born seven weeks apart) to grow up together.

Wednesday, November 9- Today I am thankful for technology.  Even with hubby an entire ocean away, we've been able to keep in contact through free text messaging and Skype.  I'm grateful to hear his voice when I miss him so.  

Thursday, November 10-I am thankful for my Mimi.  My aunt arrived to visit with me and the nugget today.  She is just the kind of aunt that everyone wishes they had growing up- the cool aunt who always gave you gum and never told your parents that you stayed up way past your bedtime.  Now, as adults, I am thankful to call her friend.

Friday, November 11- Today I am thankful for all of the veterans who have proudly served our country.  Thank you for making the world a better and safer place for my children to grow up in.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


There are two reasons for today's reflections.  One, I don't have much to say today.  And two, I'm dying to see how pictures taken with my new iPhone look on the blog.

And by the way, by reflections, I mean pictures of the wee one checking out his reflection in the dishwasher.

Upon reflection, I believe that these pictures are quite a bit clearer than those pictures taken on my old iPhone.  Also, my kid is cute.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sheer and Utter Madness

The Duggars?  They so crazy.  Michelle, push the guy off of you once in awhile.  And on a side note, ditch the hairdo from 1986.
If her uterus doesn't just fall right out after this one, I'll be shocked.

Movie Review: Easy A

With J out of town, I've been able to watch Sex and the City, Beverly Hills, 90210, and The Nanny reruns to my heart's content.  But with my brother around this past weekend, I figured I'd cut the guy a break and we'd choose a movie from our ever-expanding collection.

We chose Easy A, starring the trendy and popular Emma Stone.
Let me start by saying that this movie was not at all what I thought it would be.  I was expecting a comedy of the raunchy variety.  Not so much.  It's more of a dialogue on what it means to be popular and accepted in the cruel world of high school.

Let me follow up by saying that this movie was actually pretty good.

The story is about a high school virgin nobody, who inadvertently starts a rumor that she slept with a college man.  Word spreads like wildfire, and before you know it, she is on the map, and with a reputation as a Grade A slut to boot. 

Although Emma Stone is very good in her role, the supporting characters were fantastic.  Her kooky parents, played by Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci, added a zaniness that was just the right amount of comic relief.  And Amanda Bynes played her judgemental-religious-zealot-Jesus-freak with such gusto that she actually made my skin crawl.  Well done.

The movie had a nice balance of serious moments, funny one-liners, and of course, the obligatory romance (although not of the chick-flick variety). 

Overall, while this may not have been A+ entertainment, I'll give it a solid B-.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Feel Naked

I left the house without my phone this morning.  It's like I left an appendage behind.

Of course, it could be worse.  A co-worker informed me this morning that her nightmare of 25 years came true today, when she left the house and got halfway to school before she realized she hadn't put on a bra.

My guess is she feels more naked than I do.

Clock Woes

I used to be a big fan of the end of Daylight Savings Time.  The whole "fall back" and get an extra hour of sleep phenomenon was amazing.  An extra hour of sleep?  Who doesn't want that?

Then I got dogs.  Then I had a baby.  The extra hour of sleep no longer exists.

Believe it or not, the dogs are much worse than the baby.  Since we set the clocks back on Saturday bedtime, Delilah cannot get it together.  For some reason, she has been waking up, shaking her collar, and pacing the room starting around 4:30am.  I'm not sure how this worked out, because we never got up at 5:30 before the time change.  6:30 was the earliest we'd rise. 

I have been waking insanely early, too (no thanks to the hound).  And today, even Gabe joined in on the fun and woke at 5:50.  Ugh.

I cannot wait until we are all well adjusted to the new time.  I DO, however, enjoy the sunlight in the mornings.  I have a hard enough time getting out of bed each day- add darkness to this equation, and it's nearly impossible for me to get going.

And as if the clock and I weren't already fighting- apparently the battery in my classroom clock is in need of replacement.  I kept checking the clock during a lesson, surprised that I had so much time left.  It certainly seemed like time was dragging!  I then realized that it had been 9:38 for a good ten minutes, and that my time with that group had long since run out.

Stupid clocks.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Note on Codependency

I've got it.

This is a little surprising, seeing as how I used to be fiercely independent.  I took a job in a state away from all of my family and friends, and packed up and moved to North Carolina knowing virtually no one.  I got myself set up in my first apartment, started my job, and made friends.  A few years down the road, I bought my own house and got myself a dog. 

Of course, there were times when I was lonely.  If you've read this blog long enough, you'll know by now that all I ever wanted out of life was to be a wife and mother.  But I waited for those things to come along, while in the meantime I paid my own bills, kept up the maintenance on my house and car, got a Master's degree, excelled at my career, and kept up a fantastic social life.  I even attended many weddings without a date.  I didn't need one.  I had a great time on my own.

And then J came along...

You should know that we've lived together for more than three years now, and I still can't wait for him to get home from work every night.  I literally am so excited to hang out with my husband at the end of the day, every day.  Around 4:00 each afternoon, I start to get antsy, waiting for his message that he's on his way home. 

Well this week, J is on a business trip.  His first business trip since starting to work for this company.  And it's a doozy.  He's in SPAIN.  Across the ocean and six time zones away from me.  And this will be the longest we've been apart, ever, since we met.

It's only a week.  And I know many wives wouldn't even bat an eye about this.  But it's not my favorite thing.

J and I are together all the time.  We rarely do things without the other.  Not because we hold each other back, but because we just don't really want to.  We truly prefer to spend our time together.  Don't get me wrong, we are not permanently joined at the hip- J has his bi-monthly Dorkapalooza (Dungeons and Dragons group) and I have the occasional girl's night out.  But for the most part, we stick together.

So I scratch my head and ask myself how one who was once so independent has become the girl who cries when her husband leaves for a week?  Maybe it's because I waited so long to find the right one that I just don't like to let him go?  And the same goes for him?  I really don't know.

What I do know is that suddenly, noises in my house scare me.  I triple check that the doors are locked before bed, and I regret that I never learned how to shoot that gun that I was so upset about J bringing into the house in the first place.  I don't sleep well, because the bed just feels weird when I have it all to myself.  I have completely forgotten how to cook for one, and find myself eating cereal for dinner.

So I have come to the realization that I've caught codependency.  I like knowing that I can depend on my husband, and that he depends on me right back.  I don't regret the loss of my independence, because I feel like this is so much better.

Yep, I've caught codependency.  And you know what?  It doesn't bother me. 

Except for when J is on a business trip...

Friday, November 4, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness

There's a lot of this going around on Facebook and in the Blogosphere.  I thought I'd participate, but in a less-than-daily format.  This month, each Friday I will post about things that I have been thankful for during that week.  I think this is such a nice way to remember what this time of year is all about- presents.

Just kidding.  Of course, it's about the love of family and friends, and celebration of all the good in our lives. 

So here goes!

Tuesday, November 1- On the first day of the month, I am thankful for my husband.  He is truly my best friend and partner in all that I do.  Also, he has already given me the greatest gift in the world, which leads me to...

Wednesday, November 2- I am thankful for my beautiful, funny, perfect baby boy.  He has brought such joy to my life.  Each and every moment of mommyhood has been precious to me.

Thursday, November 3- I am thankful for the medical professionals of the world.  My nugget has not been well (nor has his mommy), and thanks to some great doctors and nurses, it looks like everyone is finally on the mend.

Friday, November 4- I am thankful for my family.  They are really so much fun.  I am so grateful that I have the kind of family who I actually want to be around, and look forward to spending time with.  (Even as a teenager, I could say this about my parents- crazy, huh?)  A special shout out to my brother Scott, who tonight will be babysitting so that J and I can have dinner together before he leaves for a business trip tomorrow.

Project Runway Wrap-Up

WARNING:  If you are really behind, like, more behind than me, stop reading now, as I am about to reveal the winner of Project Runway.

Yes, friends, I am behind.  Behind on both watching the finale of my beloved show, and behind on posting about it.

But it was worth the wait.  I am a happy girl.

Well, mostly happy.  The downside of not having cable is that I have to wait until after the show has aired for J to be able to download it, then wait another day or two for him to get it added to our system to be viewed.  While in the midst of this waiting game, I accidentally broke my own rule about opening the People app on my phone, and saw a headline and photo revealing the winner before I had a chance to watch.  If you could have seen the fit I threw, you would have giggled for sure.  I'm talking actual fit, complete with feet kicking and expletives flowing.  I was pretty upset.

But I digress.

J happened to be around while I was watching the finale, part one.  I told him that I would actually, truly, and for reals die if Anya didn't win this season.

I don't recall another season when I felt so strongly about one designer winning over another.  I am usually so impressed with all of the finalists that I find myself hard pressed to choose a favorite.  ( I can, however, usually choose a least favorite, but this usually has more to do with bitchiness than design.  Except for this year- I just don't get that Joshua McKinley's style.)

This season, it just HAD to be Anya.  She was, in my opinion, so far and away the best designer of the bunch.  From the very beginning, she just exhibited such fantastic style.  I really loved the vibe of her final collection.  This is a girl who knows herself, knows her aesthetic, knows her customer, knows fashion.

And for those that question her sewing ability, to you I say pish posh.  She won't have to do all of the actual sewing of her designs, anyway.  She can hire people to do that. 

Here are some of my favorite Anya designs this season.
Want. This. Jumpsuit.

So beachy and flowy, with a fabulous neckline.

Love the print, love the single sleeve.  Just love.
Honorable mention shout out to Viktor Luna.  I think he got a little lost with his final collection, but overall, I believe is a fabulous designer.  Also, if he would like to send me the white jacket from his final look, pleaseandthankyou, I would be a happy girl.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I stumbled across this news story this morning, and I am utterly horrified. 

Let me sum it up for you.  A pregnant mother eats a sandwich as she grocery shops, saves the wrapper to pay for said sandwich when she checks out, but leaves the store, forgetting to pay for her snack.  She and her husband are then arrested, and their two year old daughter taken into custody by Child Protective Services.


The couple made an honest mistake, and upon realization of what had happened, immediately offered to pay the less than $5 for the sandwiches.  The store wouldn't allow it.  They were arrested for shoplifting, separated from their daughter overnight for the first time ever, and humiliated beyond belief.

I cannot believe that something like this was ever allowed to happen.  Let me be the first to say that this could easily have been me.  There was more than one occasion where my pregnant self openly snacked on items at the grocery store before paying for them.  Hey, when you're pregnant, sometimes eating is a necessity rightthisverysecond.  It's either that, or hurl all over the floor.

I sincerely hope that this couple sues Safeway and makes a bundle. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


My work computer was just re-imaged.  I've been "upgraded" to an inferior web browser and slower speeds.  Awesome.  Way to keep up with the times, WCPSS.  Bravo. 

My Guilty Pleasure Gone Wrong

'Tis true.  I am obsessed with all things Kardashian.  (And I may occasionally watch The Real Housewives of insert city here.) 

Just two weeks ago, I was after J nonstop to download the fairy tale wedding extravaganza of Kim and Kris.  I couldn't wait to see the over-the-top glamour that this wedding would most certainly be.  And I was not disappointed.
**Well, okay, maybe I was a titch disappointed.  I was not a fan of Kim's (3!) dresses, or the crazy diamond headpiece she wore during the ceremony.**

I was uber excited to watch this two part E! special.  And now, a mere 72 days after this fabulous wedding took place, Kimmie has filed for divorce.


Only not really.  It seemed on the show that the two didn't know each other that well.  They may have moved too fast.  (And this, coming from someone who got engaged a mere five months after meeting the guy.)  They spent much of their courtship, if you will, on opposite coasts.

And now that they're married, word on the street is that Kris isn't dealing well with the constant presence of camera crews, and Kim thought he knew what he was signing on for.  Kris wants to retire to the midwest and raise a family, while Kim wants to be in the constant limelight of celebrity.

Warning: A tiny rant to follow.

Why on earth would someone give up the marriage instead of the reality show?!?!  This only shows that the sacredness of marriage means nothing to my dearest Kardashian.  The vows that she took clearly meant nothing to her compared to her beloved "brand."  Marriage means "'til death do us part," not "'til this rough patch cramps my style."

End rant.

Word on the street also has it that poor Kris was blindsided by the divorce filing, saying that he loves Kim and would do anything to save their union.  Apparently, he learned about the divorce from Ryan Seacrest, just like the rest of us.


I suppose now I have no choice but to continue to watch the saga unfold on reality TV. 

For shame. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


With all the talk of (non)scary movies, I got to thinking about movie villains.  J and I were talking about this this weekend, as we watched the Harry Potter channel.  (Yep, when you make your own TV, you can do stuff like have a Harry Potter channel.)

I believe that the character of Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter movies is perhaps my most hated movie villain of all time.
Don't let her stupid smile, her cup of tea, or her love of kittens fool you.  This bitch is pure evil.

Every time she clears her throat with her teeny, tiny "ahem", I get so enraged that I want to kick her in her stupid face.

A little overboard?  Perhaps.  But not really.

Seriously, the filmmakers of this series did such an incredible job of making her so very hateable that it is almost painful to watch the movies.  Almost.

And the kicker here?  She's not even really the bad guy (although she is certainly not a good guy)!  Clearly, Lord Voldemort is the ultimate villain in the world of Harry Potter.  And yet I don't have the same physical, clenchy reaction when he is onscreen. 

So BRAVO, makers of the Harry Potter films.  I hate Dolores Umbridge the most.  Movie villainy at its finest.


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