Monday, November 28, 2011

as it turns out, the letter h only sustained a superficial wound. it looks like h has made a full recovery with only minor scarring. wish away, friends...

and on a side note, when i downloaded this picture, someone (who shall remain nameless) got totally red-handed busted. compliments of previous dropping deaths, my camera is seriously and strictly off limits (because if it breaks, angels cry). apparently we need to review this rule.

immediately. :)

and on a side note, isn't that the most beautifully painted pink room you've ever seen?

and on a separate side note, i feel like i may have created a bit too much rivalry in my attempt to challenge the girls to be 'the first one to find jerry' each morning. oooops.



Saturday, November 26, 2011

the tree is up, my halls are decked, and i'm a pretty happy camper right now. i feel like i should have made a to-do list during this break so that i could step back and admire everything i would have been able to check off of it.

in the last week, i have accomplished the following: celebrated cee's birthday, breezed through 'the hunger games', painted both girls' bedrooms (i was finally able to emerge from an abyss of pink yesterday afternoon), devoured 'catching fire', cooked the entire thanksgiving dinner, cried my way through 'mockingjay', put away all my fall decorations, completed two assignments for grad school, welcomed christmas to our home, and ate pancakes (twice).


i have a fabulous dilemma to deal with. my stocking hangers spell 'wish' which seemed fun and whimsical three years ago, but now i don't really get it. wish what? and why?

when i pulled them out today, i realized the 'h' broke while stuffed in storage and i've tried super gluing it, but it's not looking good. right now my mantle looks like this:

my first thought was that maybe nobody would notice...but i would know. i realized that surely i could find a lonely 'h' somewhere. but then i remembered that 'wish' is kind of random and i could use a change.

next, i thought i could probably find a 'peace' set which would give me options. i could have 'peace' or 'wisp' or 'wise' or 'wasp' or 'spew'. finally, the best idea of all came to me. i realized that i could probably do even better...with the more logical purchase of 'noel' (fyi this picture is not my mantle).

click here to steal my awesome idea

combining 'wis' and 'noel' would give me so many options: wine. wines. wino. winos. lows. lowes. slow. swine.

i'm so excited!

jerry's back and up to his usual antics (i think he loves the kennedys as much as i do), and the girls have been texting me for pictures of him each day (they get back tomorrow).

so all in all, i'd have to say it's shaping up to be a pretty spectacular holiday season. i've already watched elf, miracle on 34th street, christmas vacation, the holiday, and you've got mail. christmas music plays nonstop on 99.5, and my christmas cards came in today.

yes i am a dork...but i seriously love christmas!!! happy saturday everybody!

thankful thoughts

Thursday, November 24, 2011

hands down, this is the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year. i always feel like buddy the elf when i make fluffy, dreamy proclamations like that (erring on the side of annoyingly optimistic), but it's really how i feel.

time to count our blessings. extra time to spend with family and loved ones. time for lots of my favorite movies. time for jerry to make his much-anticipated return. time for christmas cards, cheesy christmas commercials, and christmas music. time to breathe and remember what "it" is really all about.

i started reading 'the hunger games' friday. i finished it sunday evening, and i started the second book in the series, 'catching fire' tuesday and finished it last night. i can't wait to dive into 'mockingjay'.

reading 'the hunger games' has made me realize that i really have a lot to be thankful for and that i take a lot of things for granted. sometimes a minor shift in thought can unearth a new perspective on life for me, and this series has done exactly that. timing is everything, right?

the series definitely reminded me to slow down and appreciate all of my blessings.

i hope you and your families have an incredible day, stuff yourselves absolutely silly, force yourselves into a turkey-induced coma, rinse and repeat...and take time to count your blessings.

in the meantime, wish me luck with today's main course. the cornish game hens are nestled (in a coat of butter and pancetta) all snug in their beds...while visions of roasting juices dance in their heads. i've never done them this way before, but whenever a recipe calls for pancetta and butter stirred together and coated on a tiny bird, i feel inclined to simply say amen.

it seems like the right thing to do.


p.s. - 2:57 pm update...they were delicious!


Monday, November 21, 2011

nine years ago today, my life was changed forever...

that was the day i became a mom. i will never forget the amazing feeling of holding cee for the first time and thinking that i might not ever let her go. for the next eight weeks of her life, i kind of didn't.

it was cold that year (much colder than this year), and i held her warm little body in my arms as much as i possibly could. she was like a little heater who smiled at me and needed me, and i needed her, too. her eyes were as deep and mysterious then as they are now.

she has blossomed into something i could have never imagined. she has qualities that i always hoped she'd acquire and qualities i never dreamed she'd gain. she is simply incredible to me.

her smile can light up an entire room, and she's gotten really good at using that to her advantage. :)

i love watching her wheels spin and churn as she figures out the ways of the world. i love watching her think of stories. i love how she loves school and soccer so much and i love how she loves family even more than school and soccer. and i love how she's picked up on some of my more desirable bad habits instead of the less desirable ones.

and no matter how much i have thoroughly loved every single moment of watching her bloom, this birthday is a little bittersweet for me. for all practical purposes, i've already used up half of my time raising her under my roof. i am pretty sure the next half will go by much quicker than the first, and that thought leaves me with a huge lump in my throat.

i hope i make the most of every moment of the next nine years of her life. there really isn't a minute i want to miss, and i feel like i'm suddenly running a race against time.

she's been keeping a detailed list of all the things i've told her she can start doing...when she's nine. i don't remember all of these, but she's done a great job of marking my words. this year will, apparently, be filled with ironing, cell phones, itouches, and redecorating her room. time for me to pay up on those promises!

this morning, she crawled into my lap, looked at me with those big brown eyes, gave me that winning smile, and wrapped her long arms around my neck to remind me how much she still needs me. and i need her more than ever.

happy birthday to the most incredible nine year old i've ever met!!!


and check!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

another year of christmas pictures are over and done! the girls did a fabulous job, the cards are ordered, and i even managed a 25% discount. score!

this picture was my favorite...

and this picture was their favorite...

and then the three of us agreed on an entirely different picture to use for our card.

when i was fixing their hair for one of the shots, i found a mini-colony of glitter stuck to jay's scalp. not only is it everywhere, it follows us.

cee's birthday is on monday, and we've got lots of good stuff to take care of this weekend (and next week). being a teacher rocks during the holidays: no work until nov. 28...woo hoo!

i cannot wait to drag out my christmas fanfare - by this time next week, my halls will be completely decked!

okay, i'm feeling way too exclamation marky right now. gotta get it back together.

in the meantime, if you'd like a good read about perserverance, i double dog dare you to read this. he's my fantasy football namesake. :)

peace and portraits...

fashion faux pas

Thursday, November 17, 2011

there is really no way to adequately describe the feeling you get when you're a single mom and your children stayed with their dad the night before and when you pick them up from school the next day, you realize they are dressed like orphans.

i won't even attempt to define the precise level of my mortification, but let me set the scene for you. it was 42 degrees this morning. it is november, exactly a week before thanksgiving. it is after labor day. easter is at least five months away, and any self-respecting southern girl knows you just can't wear white after labor day or before easter. and boots never, ever go with soccer shorts.

i'm pretty sure emily post has written about this.

so you can imagine my horror when i picked up these cutie pies from school this afternoon.

and the kicker is that i'm no fashionista myself, so i am certain there are other fashion laws that we've undoubtedly violated. can you find them? (hint: jay's pants aren't buttoned)

i know i shouldn't worry about what other people think, but i do. i have to think that somewhere throughout the day, someone saw my children, wondered if i was drunk when i dropped them off at school, and had no idea that i knew nothing about their outfits until the bitter, heartless end.

when i asked her about the clothing selection, cee simply replied, 'i wanted to play soccer and wear cute shoes. and my shoes match my shirt! isn't it the greatest?'

well, it's something...

my punched-in-the-gut feeling was something, too. although i can't pinpoint the 'how', it parallels in magnitude to the day i picked jay up from daycare (under similar single-mom circumstances) and cringed at her 'ho ho ho' santa shirt. it was may. her shirt was red, her pants were purple. yet somehow, today was distinctly and measurably worse.

i love my sweet baby girls to pieces. absolutely love them from head to toe. matching or not, they are my world.

the exciting news is that we are doing our christmas pictures in t-minus 48 hours. and i promise not to post anymore mismatched photos between now and then. deal?

good. :)


a glittery resignation

Saturday, November 12, 2011

i am waving my white (sparkly) flag. i have resigned myself to accept the fact that my house will be gently dusted in glitter until sometime in the latter part of february.

it all started around halloween when cee painted a pumpkin for a class project and left a trail of glitter where ever she went. it was followed by shirts they both received as gifts that are covered in glitter (we love them, mimi) and paints that are glitter-based.

i can vacuum and sweep on a daily basis and still, at the end of the day, i will find glitter in weird places...on their bedroom floors; in their bathroom sink; on browning's tail; on me; on the piano keys. you get the idea.

it's everywhere!

in a couple of weeks, we'll be dragging out the christmas decorations (i can hardly wait!!!) which will infest our humble abode with yet another layer of glittery awesomeness.

new years naturally lends itself to more glitter, and just when i have all of our holiday decorations tucked away, it's time for valentines.

and that's where i draw the line in my five-month war on glitter. there will be no glitter for st. patricks day. or easter. or the 4th of july. none. do you hear me, glittter fairy? i said none!!

then again, we are a house of three girls (two little, one not)...glitter is part of our daily's part of what makes us tick, and it's part of what makes our lives a little more sparkly. without glitter, our home wouldn't be quite the same...and home is what it's all about.

i hope you have a sparkling, glittery, fabulous weekend. :)

peace and pizazz...

a smattering of things

Thursday, November 10, 2011

1. i have been wanting a nook for quite awhile...namely since the metaphorical death of my local borders (moment of silence, please. and thank you.). i'm still working my way through the loss, and tonight things got a little easier.

2. i got a nook! a nook color to be specific...i feel like a technological genius right now and i am truly, madly, and deeply in l-o-v-e with it! isn't it cute?

in addition to its wicked cuteness, it has angry birds on it (which will stifle my iphone urge for at least a few months)!  i am a little worried that i'm not going to be smart enough to figure out how everything works, but i'm looking forward to trying.

3. my class started analogies this week. i love analogies. they fuel my nerdy soul. did you know that?

4. much like the chicken and the egg, i'm not sure of the exact order in which the next series of events unfolded. i've had 'the world is your oyster' on my mind a lot lately. i've also noticed that browning drinks out of the toilet more than normal lately. it doesn't matter if i put the lid down or not. he can lift the lid with his nose, and then the toilet becomes his proverbial oyster. see? which came first...

5. i've been rereading my favorite david sedaris goodies since my rollicking night in san antonio last week and i am so excited to get them on my nook. as a result, i feel like i've been laughing more than usual, and my stomach muscles are finally adjusting to it all.

6. something odd happened two and a half weeks ago. i'm sure it happens to a lot of bloggers. even though i like to think the people who read my blog are primarily people i know, i obviously keep myself moderately anonymous because i realize there are people who read my blog who i don't actually know. this has always been an intriguing element of blogging to me.

i've always been a very private person, and i have surprised myself with some of the things i've written on here. being a private person and harboring a love for writing about life made me realize that if i really wanted to blog, i would have to find a way to protect myself. since writing about my life is what i'm best at, the option of blogging anonymously seemed like the best place to hitch my wagon.

the quandary of blogging and knowing people who read my blog is that i don't always say everything i would if i was 100% anonymous. the counterpoint of the dilemma is that i don't always say everything i would if was 100% identifiable. so to an extent, i guess i censor myself...which is what happens when you allow a very private person the opportunity to share from the safety and protection of a dark, webbed veil.

it's also why i'm gingerly tiptoeing around what i'm trying to say. isn't this a fun little dance we're doing? :) i know it's annoying. i'm sorry.

7. the girls and i were standing in line at target two and a half weeks ago and i heard two people behind me discussing 'the two little girls from figment soup.'

not even kidding.

i slowly turned my head, and they were looking at cee and jay...smiling at them. my girls had no idea why they were being gawked at and went on about their business of being themselves. cee and jay weren't talking loudly enough that i worried they would say each other's names, but i had an 'oh my gosh...' moment that i really can't even begin to describe.

it ranged from 'please don't say your sister's name right now...(cee and jay aren't their real names in case you worried my children were actually  named after letters of the alphabet. that really only works for kay. and jay...)' to 'am i buying anything embarrassing?' to 'do i remember where i parked (because sometimes i forget - and a big part of me wanted to grab the girls up and just bolt and run far away, and bolting tends to work best if you know exactly where to run in a crowded parking lot)?' and a million others in between.

i'm serious. and i know that sounds weird, but that's never happened to me before. it was freaky (in a complimentary and unnerving sort of way).

8. i got a nook!!!

9. i've been tossing the same set of questions around in my head every since the girls were recognized. is being mostly anonymous the right thing to do, or would it be better to forego the facade? do i want my girls to be known as 'the figment soup girls'? is it fair to them? do i share too much? should i share more? do you want to play 20 questions? why is the sky blue? where is my nook? why am i still writing about this? why is the sweet genius guy creepy? did i set the alarm? did i lock the front door? is the toilet lid closed (and does it matter?)?

10. sometimes i feel like i ramble and don't make any sense. when it comes down to it, though, i started this blog (almost three years ago!!) as a way to capture my girls' lives as they blossom and grow, as a way to capture the random thoughts that fly around in my head (blogging them makes the flying around part stop), and as a way to stake my claim on the way i view, appreciate, and live my life.

there are lots of things i write that don't end up on here...until i hit 'publish post', though, those other ideas continue to flit around in my head until something bigger takes them over and demolishes their imputable existence.

11. enough of the wishy washy shenanigans...i think it's time to get back to sedaris (on my nook!!). let's call it a night, okay?

12. now that i got all of that off my chest, i think i'll be able to write more. it's really been bugging me. ahhhhh.....i feel much, much better!! thanks for listening. :)

peace and privacy ponderings...

v 37.0 (beta)

Friday, November 4, 2011

what an amazing day.

i am truly and abundantly blessed to have such incredible people in my life!!

from start to (almost) finish, i couldn't have dreamed up a better day.

the girls spoiled me completely rotten, justin bieber sang me happy birthday, jay offered to light a gummy product on fire for me, and my cake was double chocolate and laced with hersheys, twix, and a ridiculous amount of flames.

good grief, i love those girls.

cee had a horrible nightmare last night. she crawled into bed with me at 3 am, and i didn't ask her then what it was about....i wanted her to be able to sleep and not dwell on the horrors that were pushing her buttons (translation: i needed to sleep).

she told me all about it as soon as she opened her eyes this morning. i am happy to tell you that her nightmare ("the worst one of my entire life") involved copious amounts of....

queso garnished with a chiffonade of basil.

nevermind that i took them trick-or-treating in mexico...we had queso!! with basil!!

and that was the beginning of one of the best days ever. :)

thanks so much to everyone who made it special and fabulous.



party of five

Thursday, November 3, 2011

i know you've heard the scenario...'name the four famous people (living or otherwise) in history, you would love to have sitting around your table.'

usually i think it's more than four, but i prefer smaller groups...

i've never been able to adequately answer this question, but through the years i have carefully compiled, added to (and subtracted from) my list. my attention to detail in this matter is impeccable. trust me.

i have left no proverbial stones (or deserving guests) unturned.

and in my quest to assemble my dream team dinner party, i've always ended up with a party of four (including myself) instead of the magic number (five).

i will go ahead and tell you that my children did not make the list. and jesus didn't either (no offense intended at all - i think he's been to more than his fair share of these and is probably happy to be able to send his regrets).

so here it dream team dinner party.

1. princess diana: lovely and fair, kind-hearted and tenacious, public yet stealth, regal and humble, she was a woman of opposite extremes. i'm not sure we would have agreed on what to order or where to go, but i think i could have talked her into walking on the wild side...for at least a block or two. decent chance she could have taught me a few things, too.

2. jfk, jr: because let's be honest...he got the best of the genes from the kennedy crew and the bouvier brood. he was rebellious, but raised well. he was adventurous and liberal, yet refined and restrained. educated, but not boxed in. i cried the day his plane went down...i could still to this day pick his brain with millions of questions over a lovely plate of lobster rolls somewhere in tribeca.

3. nora ephron: what an incredible woman. hysterically funny, brilliant, and witty. a renownded playwright and author. she gave a new name to 'essayist' and had some fabulous experiences along the way. i just need to know more about the ganz collection @ the wynn and about why the wrinkles on her neck are so personally distressing. i'm sure she wouldn't mind shooting the breeze with me...i feel confident that she'd have a glass of vino while we chit chatted.

i have, for years, stumbled here, primarily because i am very aware of gender. i've always wondered how my final participant would factor in to my epic feast. would it contribute towards a testosterone imbalance? would it be female dominated? or a could it be...a perfect balance?

well, i only want five people at my dinner i guess that will automatically skew things slightly....

4. last night i got the proper answer to the question that has been plaguing me for the last seventeen years of my life (although i'm not entirely sure it's been quite that long or quite that short). i went with one of my faves to see david sedaris.

holy sweet jesus...if you've never seen him, you need to. and if you've seen him, you need to see him again. he is incredible and outrageously funny, and i laughed until i cried...five different times.

my blood pressure lowered decisively from the time i was waiting for the doors to open until the time i was waiting to get my car out of the lopsided parking lot at the end of the night.

i'm pretty sure medical doctors should prescribe 'him' as opposed to other more invasive interventions to counter-act life's daily toll.

he rocks. and he is part of my own personalized health plan from here on out.

and he can pick the place...i trust his taste.

so there you have dream team dinner of five.

and on the eve of my 37th, with a year full of very few notable accomplishments, i have to tell you something: it feels good to finally have my dream team assembled.

really, really good!

another item to check off my 'to-do list' in life.

who would you invite to your party?

peace and ponderings...

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