Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving


I am sure you all are expecting this super downer post about how I hate The Holidays, and honestly, I have spent the entire week in a funk about how much I absolutely cannot stand The Holidays, but I have decided to change my attitude starting now! No more complaining about how there is too much to do and about how I can't stand being around XYZ. Here's the thing, each year, I will be thankful that I am still here to be around the people I love, and the people I can't really stand. It makes for some funny stories, and when I look back on The Holidays, I never remember hating every single moment of them, so why should I spend the next six weeks dreading every second. The thing is, we are REALLY lucky. How many people can still spend The Holidays with their grandparents?
I dread the day when I can't spend The Holidays with my grandparents. Sure, my Grandpa might be REALLY into finances right now, and he might ask what everyone makes and how much something cost, but that's where he is at in his life. They are retired and trying to make money stretch is tough, so I get it, and I am thankful that Jackson and I inherited all of our math smarts from him. My grandma, oh my gosh, will I be sad when she is gone because it means I am going to have to cook, my mom offered to cook, but no one would want to eat that meal (LOVE YOU MOM!)! She manages to have all of the courses out at the same time, she looks forward to it, loves it, and can't wait for Thanksgiving every year. She makes the best of every situation, has the biggest heart, and would do anything for anyone.
We don't get to see everyone on the Holidays, and I am certain that is soooooooo hard for some of the family because I would like DIE, D.I.E! if I couldn't see my kids on a Holiday, and I now appreciate so much more what certain family members have sacrificed so that we don't have to run around like crazy people on Thanksgiving going from house to house to house and eating from house to house to house. It is just too much, and I hope that when I am older and my kids have their own families I get over my fear of DYING and celebrate The Holidays in a way that is meaningful to us. Thanksgiving is just a day, but any day can really be Thanksgiving.
So, this Thanksgiving, as you sit around the table with some you love, and some you really can't stand and probably wouldn't talk to if they weren't related to you. Think about how lucky you are to be sitting at that table. Think about how blessed you really are, and think each and every day how you are going to make it a great day!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday!

1. Tyler's very last Fun Run was last weekend. She had a blast. She was super excited that Rylee was able to participate in a different division. They have so much fun together, and I am so happy they are growing up to be such great friends.

2. I attempted to take some candid shots of Jackson this morning before he went to school: (1) because I don't want to take the time or money to go see a professional photographer (2) because I have social anxiety and these types of experiences make me sweat (3) because I am lazy and try not to leave the house if at all possible. When you see the photos I took of him below, you will see (1) the time and money may be worth it (2) why I end up sweating because I have to perform circus tricks to get him not to smile like The Joker (3) I would rather stay home and drink wine.







3. What do you guys do if you have a neighbor that has crossed the line? I know I have to live next to them for at least the next ten years, so I can't totally go off on them, but I have to say something (I struggle with this middle ground-I either love everyone or hate them, need to work on my middle ground tolerance). You know how I hate when people ring my doorbell or knock on my door. The fear of that occuring has now multiplied by ten. All I want for Christmas is a security door and my doorbell disconnected.

4. I got Jackson signed up for a soccer team. He is soooooooooo excited. I am hoping that Tyler will play t-ball again this Spring, which will make for an incredibly busy sports season.

5. I am seriously struggling to get past number 4, I feel now that things have settled down for a hot moment, I don't do anything but laundry and dishes while the kids are at school, and nothing really exciting happens each and every day.

6. Jackson's class is going on a Field Trip. There isn't a lot of space, so you had to turn your name in if you wanted to go. I didn't want to go, but I figured I would turn my paper in, not get selected, but Jackson would still believe I wanted to go. UM...what would you know-I got selected. Jackson is super excited, but I struggle being around children I don't have an authority over. When I taught, it was MY CLASS, MY RULES, MY WHATEVER. When I am with my kids, it is the same thing. I can discipline them as I see fit, and for the most part they listen. The kids that go on these Field Trips have a tendency to be ape shit bonkers, and if they don't listen, what am I going to say, "Stop It Right Now, or I am going to tell the teacher!?" I sound like a first grader myself!

7. Made Baked Ziti for dinner tonight, and it is so nice to get it done while the kids are at school. Then, I can answer the first question they both ask when I pick them up, "What's for Dinner?"

8. This is usually followed by cheers or groans.

9. This has taken me over an hour to write because I keep thinking of something, googling it, and finding myself on a different website!

10. Anyone else OBSESSED with Revenge!? Best new show on television for sure!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fabulous Friday

OK, here it is, the long awaited blog post. . .sometimes after it has been so long since my last post, I get overwhelmed and keep putting it off, but today, blogging is on my to do list.

1. Tyler is now FIVE! How is she five?? You know that car commercial, where the little girl is in the driver's seat, and she is talking to her dad, and when they flashback it is actually a teenage girl sitting in the driver's seat. Something about Tyler makes me think I will feel this way about her forever! She is such a tiny little thing, and she DESPERATELY wants to be big, but she will always be my baby!

2. We had a little surprise party for Tyler the day before her birthday. She loved it, she was shocked. She kept coming over, giving me hugs and kisses and telling me she loved me! MELT MY HEART!








3. Jackson and Tyler LOVE Halloween. I guess what kid doesn't, but they LOVE IT! We had a little potluck with the neighbors. It was interesting to say the least. I missed our annual potluck with people I have more in common with, but we couldn't be the people on the street that didn't go, AND our house just isn't anywhere near ready for a lot of people or kids to be over! Jackson was Spiderman (thank you half off at the Disney store a week before Halloween-JACKPOT!) and Tyler was whatever the Barbie's name is in Barbie Princess Charm School, and since I don't know her name, I just called her Barbie Princess Charm School.




4. About a week ago, Pat received a LARGE envelope in the mail from Pepperdine Law School. I think I had a momentary panic attack when I saw it. I am VERY familiar with such envelopes, and knew exactly what it was. I tore into it and saw a letter that said, "Dear Mr. Howell, Thank you for your interest in our law program!" My heart damn near stopped. I was like, not only is a law school sending him something- HE REQUESTED IT! I was for certain in was for a doctorate in law, that doesn't even make sense, but there is such a thing. I don't know what to call it, since technically attorneys are doctors, but whatever, it is the next level. I was like, NO WAY IN FREAKING HELL am I surviving through that. And where are we getting the money to move to CALIFORNIA, please dream come true, but does he have an off shore bank account I don't know about. Anyway, turns out all these thoughts were for nothing, Pepperdine offers a one week seminar on becoming a mediator, which Pat would like to be, blah blah blah-I am a drama queen!

5. Jackson has been playing basketball and LOVING IT! It is fun to see how much the kids have improved throughout the season. This Saturday is his last game. While I think watching the games is fun and what not. I will be very happy to have my Saturdays back. Especially now that the weather is nicer, and we can hit up the North Central Farmers' Market! I am obsessed with finding random things and coming home to see what I can find to make with it. THANK YOU PINTEREST!

6. "Pinterest: where a person never has to have an original idea again in their life!" That's my motto for it!

7. Thanksgiving is coming up-it is my favorite holiday! It won't be when my grandparents die, and I have to cook!

8. Went to Z'Tejas 20th Anniversary Party last night-it was lots of fun, but I didn't get home until like 10, and then after talking with Pat for awhile, I couldn't wind down until almost 1. Needless to say I am really tired today!

9. Andrea and I are to make a balloon arch tomorrow morning for the preschool Fun Run. I have to be there at 7:30-it is supposed to be cold, and neither of us have ever made a balloon arch. How do I get myself into these things??? I have gotten so much better at saying no, but somehow. . .STILL A SUCKER!

10. OK seriously, Justin Bieber fathering a child! I still can't even imagine he has the parts needed to father a child, he looks EIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's all I am going to say about that.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Calling All the Monsters!

I might be just a little bit obsessed with this song and video! Thank you Disney Channel! I am so happy it is October. . .here's hoping it cools off soon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ten on Tuesday-The Master Bathroom Edition

1. This house is turning me into a crazy person (well technically I already was, but more so than ever)!

2. Before writing this post I was googling shower heads and sink fixtures. I have NEVER EVER EVER walked into a house and looked at any one's shower head, I have never thought about shower heads, but now I have to choose one from the 80 million styles available, and that is overwhelming to me because I want someone to choose for me, but it doesn't seem that anyone is willing to do that.

3. I haven't actually stepped into a tile store yet BECAUSE I am afraid. I am afraid I will see something I really want, and then it will be too expensive, and then I will be stuck with something for the next 30 years because that's how long it will be until I even think about redoing the shower again. I have tears in my eyes thinking about this because I don't like doing any of this.

4. There is this girl who has a blog I look at occasionally, and she is just SOOOOOO EXCITED about redoing her house, and gets really into things like shower heads and faucets, but I just can't bring myself to do it. How long do people actually spend in their bathroom that they care about it?

5. One of the men who came to give me an estimate looked in the shower and said, "Are you using this?" To which I replied, "No, we haven't used it since we moved in!" What I really wanted to say was, "It doesn't have a freaking shower head and it is covered in mold/mildew, what kind of moron do I look like!" He followed up my answer with, "Good because that is all mold in there." DUH!

6. And can I tell you the range of prices I have received to redo JUST THE SHOWER, anywhere from 1550 plus the cost of all the fixtures, door and tile, 3250 plus the cost of all the fixtures, door and tile, all the way up to 7600 which includes everything.

7. The 7600 shower better shave my legs for me, that's all I am going to say about that!

8. Do you know I don't even know how much tile is? I am sure there is some GIGANTIC range on that too.

9. I remember the days when my life didn't revolve around sitting at home waiting for some 4 hour window to expire and hoping that I don't get stood up. . .again!

10. Pinterest is going to be the death of me regarding shower tile because once I find one I think I really like in the deep dark land of the Internet (so I don't actually have to commit), I decide on a different one, and it is just a terrible cycle. I am loyal, but I have commitment issues, it is weird!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Fiesta

If I took two recipes away from Texas with me when we lived there, it was Dorito Casserole and "The Punch". I don't know if the punch has a name, if someone else knows about it, whatever, these are my favorite two things, and anytime someone asked me what I wanted (we worked at a school, we were big into pot lucks for baby showers, birthdays, etc.) I would say Dorito Casserole and "The Punch"! They can be made separately, but they are also so good together! The recipes are as follows:

Dorito Casserole

Take one bag of Doritos and crush them along the bottom of a 10x13 casserole dish (or whatever size dish you normally make a casserole in)

Brown 1-1.5 lbs of ground beef, seasoned with salt and pepper.

While that is cooking combine one can cream of chicken, one can cream of celery, half a package of taco seasoning, one can of Rotel and a dash or two of PET milk in a saucepan and warm through.

When the beef is done, drain the grease and pour on top of the chips. Take sauce mixture and pour on top of beef. Cover with shredded cheddar. Put in the oven and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, just watch it, you will know when it is done.

Really yummy served with corn casserole and refried beans. Or if you know how to make AUTHENTIC Mexican rice, but I don't like the faux stuff from a bag.


"The Punch"

2L of ginger ale (Do you know in TX, they don't sell 2L, only 3L-EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN TEXAS!)
1 frozen concentrate of limeade
1 frozen concentrate of fruit punch
1 container of frozen sliced strawberries defrosted.

MIX ALL TOGETHER IN A BOWL OVER ICE! If you want to have a bottle of Bacardi Limon on the side of the bowl, you can, I prefer it that way! :-)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ten on...What Day Is It?

1. Seriously, I thought with the kids in school so much I would have so much free time and be bored. I can't even find time to do laundry! I have to say no because I have to do laundry. I am going to start using that as a real excuse for why I can't do things. "Sorry, I have to do laundry might come out of my mouth really soon!"

2. As if I didn't have a million and one other things to buy for our Money Pit. I really think I need a new dryer, and if I get a new dryer, I am getting a whole new set (washer and dryer)! I have to run everything through twice, which might also be contributing to my $657.99 electric bill! *MIGHT*

3. I am pretty sure it is the air conditioning causing me the pain and suffering regarding my electric bill. I want a new one desperately. We were told to wait until Spring because they are cheaper to install BEFORE the 117 degree temperatures hit. Happy Tax Return to me! Y'all want to come over and watch it happen. My kids are probably gonna go ape sh** with the crane and what not!

4. I am in shower planning mode. I have LOTS of fun ideas on pinterest, but I don't know who to show these ideas to. I need an architect or something. I don't know, I am just confused all the time. Here are some of the things I love, obviously not all together, but just a general idea!



THIS Decorative Pebble Shower Floor-SWOON!

We don't have wood floors in there, so it probably wouldn't look as cool, but bricks are my FAVE, as long as they are the right color, the front of my house, NOT THE RIGHT COLOR!



And I love this one!



5. We don't have closet doors, someone was supposed to come give me a quote today, but they stood me up, I HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS! Sat here all day for nothing (well, I got a LOT done, but UGH!)

6. Made Buffalo Chicken Wraps for Dinner (buffalo chicken, carrots, celery, spinach, tomatoes, cheese) dip them in Ranch, HEAVENLY! I made them this morning, wrapped them up, put them in the fridge, READY FOR DINNER!

7. I miss my friend, Shannon. We are going to lunch tomorrow! 2 hours will not be enough.

8. We are having sushi for lunch tomorrow. I can't wait.

9. Did I show y'all the cool art I made for the office. It really goes well with our San Antoino FIESTA art, and I may have blown wax all over the freshly painted dining room walls and tile, BUT you know what, it was worth it! SO EASY!




10. Jackson's dead tooth is hanging by a thread, but refusing to fall out. It is pure torture! I want to cry everytime I see it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

1. How can a mole possibly appear on your face and no one can tell you whether or not it was there before? Does no one ever look at me? :-p

2. My sister has a new weird mole on her BACK, and I can tell her that it wasn't there before. HER BACK people!

3. Tyler started school last week, she is having a great time, it is weird having her gone five days a week. I don't know what I am going to do next year when she is gone ALL DAY!





4. The guest bathroom toilet is running, won't stop, and I have no idea what to do with it because it isn't your traditional toilet where you can jiggle the handle. Toilets have become my WORST freaking nightmare, seriously!

5. Phoenix Cooks! was amazing! Pat was a total lightweight and totally didn't take advantage of all the amazing free food you can stuff your belly with before drinking: wine, beer, gin, vodka, mai tais and pina coladas, so he wasn't feeling so hot in the evening, but it gets better every year. I seriously had the best time!

6. Tyler had this Mean Girl in her class two years ago, and they are in class together again, and she is still a Mean Girl. These are the stories I hear: "So and so isn't my friend because Mean Girl says she can't be!" WTF? "Mean Girl gets cotton candy every day and seven desserts tomorrow!" (That one is just stupid and annoying!) I must say, "Don't listen to the Mean Girl!" about a million and one times a week. Followed by, "Did you tell your teacher!?" OMG!

7. Do you ever think you are so much smarter than everyone you encounter throughout the day!?? I have been having that feeling lately! It is just a phase, something will happen soon that will knock me right off my high horse.

8. I really want a new car, instead tomorrow, I am going to sit at the service station to have an alignment and oil change, GAG! What a waste of time without kids!

9. We are having sandwiches for dinner all week because I refuse to cook.

10. Jackson's dead tooth is loose, I want it out so badly! Not only is it dead, but now it is dead and wiggly and just looks disgusting.

Monday, August 29, 2011

What We Have Been Up To!

1. Well, if you follow me on twitter or facebook, you know that we have had some DISASTERS occur around the house lately. One morning, over two weeks ago, I woke up, went to the bathroom, flushed the toilet and SH**, literally SH**, started coming up the shower drain. It was the most disgusting thing I have ever dealt with. We called our warranty company, and they sent someone out to fix it around 11 am. The guy took the toilet off, without draining it, and SH** water gushed everywhere, and I was running around collecting towels to clean it up and keep it from going on our brand new carpet. Well, I stopped it from going on the carpet, but the snake that they used to try and get the blockage out caused a great deal of damage to the carpet. It still has not been taken care of, and needless to say, I am not very happy about this. We also had extensive damage to our freshly painted walls and this has not been fixed yet either. The plumber that the warranty company sent was scandalous, ABC PLUMBING tried to tell us that our warranty was not covering the removal and installation of removed toilet and that it would cost us $800 to put in a new clean out, and blah blah blah. They wouldn't tell any of this to me, and they made me call Pat home from work, it was INSANE. They left, and we called out our own plumber, who had the clog unblocked in less than 15 minutes, including set up, and tried to clean up some of the mess the other people had made. He also only charged us $135 dollars for all of this. Why are good people so hard to find these days?

2. The blinds and shutters came in, and they look AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! Totally reasonably priced, Boyds Blinds and Drapes, was FANTASTIC, their service and waiting time, totally reasonable, and I would use them for everything around the home if possible. I called this morning to see if he did closet doors, he doesn't but I wish he did. Class Act and Fast!

3. Tyler starts "Kindergarten" on Wednesday. While it is technically a certified Kindergarten class, she will be going to Kindergarten next year, and hopefully having the lovely Mrs. Rogers as soon as I figure out how to request her. We met Tyler's teachers last week, and they are really lovely, so I hope that my opinion of them continues throughout the year.

4. Curriculum night at Jackson's school was slightly disappointing. But, I am trying to remain optimistic that his teacher was passive aggressive to the point of rude only to get the point across to the idiot parents, and that she is much nicer than that as a whole.

5. If you went to Xavier, most likely you had a Van Sickle, Mr or Mrs, for PE. Their daughter is in Jackson's class. What a small freaking world!

6. I am obsessed with pinterest. And I finally showed it to Patrick, and I think he might be a tiny bit obsessed with it himself, because all the things I have done from it so far are soooooo useful, affordable and fun! Lucky for me his closet and my computer share a room, sooooooo I just sneak in and show him things when he is changing, works out brilliantly!

7. Phoenix Cooks is this weekend, and we are going to brunch at the Phoenician on Sunday. I ate a lot this past weekend in the hopes that I will be able to throw down this coming weekend. I really cannot eat large amounts, otherwise I start to feel really sick, but eating smaller portions at the two above named events seems like a GIGANTIC WASTE!

8. Had a staycation with a few friends Saturday night. Made me realize how much I do miss my kids and husband when they aren't around. Did just what it was supposed to do. Gotta love those little breaks!

9. I hoard magazines, I think it comes from being a teacher, and basically magazines are literature and like books, I can't throw them away. So, Pat told me it was time to do something with them, so I started putting them in storage tubs to put in the shed, to which he looked at me like I was crazy, so last week, I went through every magazine, ripped out all the recipes I wanted and filed them away, followed by throwing away the actual magazines in the recycling bin. Well, while flipping through the magazines, I found two pages that talked about Mai Tais. For those of you that don't know, I often call Tyler Mai Tai, so I ripped them out, framed them and hung them over her bed. My own little project that I didn't need to use pinterest to come up with, I am so proud.




10. Does anyone else think that the pink paint Tyler picked out is ridiculously bright? It glows down the hallway. But she is happy, and you only get to be a four (ALMOST FIVE) year old little girl for a short time!

Monday, August 15, 2011

FIRST GRADE!

How did this happen? How is it possible that Jackson is in first grade!? I remember my first day of 1st grade like it was yesterday! I was over going to school for a half day and couldn't wait to go all day. My first grade teacher is my friend on facebook! She was the most wonderful, amazing, special woman EVER! Jackson's teacher seems nice enough. I am hesitant about this year because I am not certain whether or not anyone will EVER compare to Mrs. Rogers. I don't think any of the teachers at the school I taught at in San Antonio compared to Mrs Rogers. But, I am trying to remain open minded and love this teacher just as much!

Here's a few pictures from this morning, though I don't know how much longer I will be able to get a picture of him in front of his "class sign" because he rolled his eyes about twelve thousand times before I snapped a quick one. To me, it is pretty amazing that only two other students from his class last year are in his class, and they clung to one another pretty quickly once they were to find a place on the carpet. I was not particularly excited about walking this morning, but we wanted to see his class and walk him in, so this morning we walked, from here on out, I will go back to taking him through the drop off line in my pajamas. The real torture will be pick up when I have to walk to get him every day in the HEAT! I am hoping that the pounds will just shed off from sweating and walking! :-)




Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fox Restaurants

We are a house divided. I LOVE Sam Fox Restaurants. Patrick hates them. He thinks they are pretentious, over priced and not very good. Whenever given a chance, and I get to pick the restaurant, I will usually try to pick a Fox Restaurant. Olive and Ivy, LOVE! True Food, LOVE! Sauce, LOVE! Blanco, NOT A HUGE FAN! Bloom, YUM! The Greene House, HUGE FAN! Granted, Pat isn't as adventerous as I am when it comes to food. I like trendy food, fully admit it. I like sweet and savory combined. I like cupcakes. I like seeing what chefs can come up with!

Today, I met the Fox Restaurant I wouldn't return to! Zinburger was an incredibly overpriced, disgusting experience. The burger I had was flavorless, except for the salt lick bacon they put on top of it. It was SERIOUSLY hurting my mouth it was so salty, and I like salt. Usually Pat is the one that complains about it being too salty. Paired with the Cheddar Cheese, it was disgusting. The zucchini fries I got were soggy. I ate one and didn't touch another. Wouldn't you ask if something was wrong with an item if someone didn't touch it while it was in front of them? The regular home cut fries were burnt, and tasted more like potato chips they were so hard and crunchy. When I took Tyler to the bathroom, we were unable to rinse all the soap off of our hands because the water was SCALDING our hands. Pat said he had the same problem in the men's bathroom. I understand warm, I don't understand BOILING! When I asked for a comment card on the way out, I was told that they don't have those? WHAT????

The only redeeming quality was the Butterfinger milkshake, which was incredible, but I will do without having another one because I have no desire to step foot in there again. This time, Pat wins, Zinburger is overpriced, pretentious and hazardous to my children's hands!

Needless to say, I am now in a terrible mood because nothing bothers me more than a bad restaurant experience.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Random Monday

1. I really need to bite the bullet and buy a camera. I wouldn't want to read this blog because it is super boring with no pictures.

2. My sister, Katie, had her baby on August 4th. Alexander James (Baby Bud) was 9 lbs 14 oz and 22 inches long. He is precious, and I could hold him all day long! Hopefully this will inspire her to write a new blog so you guys can all see some pictures over there!

3. I have so many thoughts all of the time, and I want to write them down, but I forget, and then when I sit to write a blog, nothing comes out.

4. We watched The Roommate this weekend, I found it mildly entertaining, Pat didn't like it at all.

5. I hate cooking in the summer, nothing sounds good, and it is too hot to eat hot food. I would eat a salad every single day, but my family doesn't really like that idea, soooooooooo we eat out A LOT!

6. When we don't eat out, I am trying out a lot of Deceptively Delicious recipes, by Jessica Seinfeld. As long as the puree is mixed in, I can't tell it is there, but when there is a layer of "hidden" puree on something, it makes me feel like I am eating baby food, and I don't like it.

7. Apparently The Pioneer Woman is coming out with another cookbook, I will not be cooking my way through it, but I will buy it.

8. The Bachelor Pad premeries tonight. This day has been crawling by because I seriously cannot think of anyone else.

9. It is amazing how giddy I get about not having to share the pool with anyone. What would be nice is if it didn't consure a million and one hours of Pat's time throughout the week.

10. I started off thinking we had a lot of cabinet space and there was no way we would fill it all. I was wrong, I am out of space.

11. I think I am going to go into the tree trimming business, those people charge a FORTUNE!

12. Jackson's room is decorated now, and other than a closet door and some electrical outlet covers, it is done. I can't post a picture of his actual room because I don't have a camera, but these are the wall stickers and pillowcases I ordered, and I did an amazing job of putting them up, if I do say so myself.

13. I cannot go to Target without spending over $100, it just is not possible. Speaking of Target, their Champion tennis shoes are buy one get one half off this week, I bought Jackson the same pair in the next two sizes he will need. CLASSY!

14. Pat got me a Diet Coke from McDonalds at 6am, and I am still drinking it. It didn't have enough ice in it, so I didn't really like it, but I need the caffeine today!

15. Pat made me dinner last weekend, and it was a Paris theme. He got music, made French recipes, it was all so wonderful, and we were stuffed. Seriously, he made brie wrapped in puff pastry with apricot jam inside, OMG, that could have been dinner by itself, it was HEAVENLY! He made steak with a cream sauce and these green beans that were to die for. VERY FUN! I am going to go next, and I want to do a Carribean theme!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Season of Life

I have been thinking a lot lately that I am not in a season of "having fun"! Being an adult is not all that it is cracked up to be. In fact, I tried to explain this to my kids the other day. It is rare that I laugh until my stomach hurts, I have so much to do, and I look around at all the boxes and everything I need to buy to make our house "liveable", and it is overwhelming. Back in the day, I laughed all the time, I laughed and laughed and laughed, people would always comment on my laugh, but I think the times have changed. I miss laughing, but I realize now that my life is much fuller without all the laughter. When I do laugh now, it is a meaningful laugh, one that is brought on by people I love. My kids come up and hug me a million and one times a day, tell me they love me, and give me lots of hugs and kisses. While this doesn't make me laugh, it makes my heart smile for sure. I think my definition of fun has just changed. Being alone in my house, that is fun. Having a pajama party with friends, that is fun. Playing board games or going swimming, taking a road trip, heading to Disneyland, while these may not scream laugh until your stomach hurts fun, they are good for my soul, so instead of focusing on how I don't laugh as much anymore. I am going to focus on the good that I do have, and how it is all just a little bit different. Especially how much more fun I do have in my life because of these two:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Happy 60th Birthday to my MIL! Hope she is having a wonderful day and eating lots of great food.

2. I have an excruciating headache today, it started as a stomach ache this morning, but has remained in my head and face the rest of the day. I have tried to suck it up and took the kids swimming, but mostly I unpacked my five boxes and tried to lie down as much as possible.

3. My goal is to unpack five boxes a day until they are all unpacked. So far this week I am two for two. YAY!

4. I tried to reimburse my mom for letting us stay with her while we were homeless because I would crank the air down, the water we used was much more than she normally does, etc. What does she do? She took the money and spent it on things we need around here. Some things never change-love my mom!

5. My sister and I took the kids to Cinnabon for a "snack" yesterday. While Tyler may not eat much on a daily basis, that girl will THROW DOWN dessert. She ate a large majority of the regular size cinnamon roll with me sneaking an occasional bite or two.

6. I am contemplating lying my head down on the desk and taking a break while writing this. OMG! It hurts so bad, and if it is a migraine, I will have to go sit in the gross doctor's office to get a prescription. I was holding my ice water cup to my head for awhile, it didn't help much.

7. Pat didn't get home until 10 last night, I love our security system, it makes me feel safe when I hear weird noises alone here at night.

8. I tweeted about how I cannot imagine sleeping with my bedroom door open, but it looks like I will be starting to do just that because I think the air flow will be better, and it will be cooler in there.

9. Fantasy Football will be starting again soon! YAY! So glad the lock out is over!

10. Our thermostat is on the same wall as our oven. Can someone? anyone? explain to me who thought that was a good idea. The second I turn the oven on the temperature spikes about six degrees and continues to go up! UGH!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

This week's edition is brought to you by some of the things I have spent money on recently.

1. $350 for two new tires.

2. $7.99 for a temporary shower rod at Target.

3. $12 for an in air snack when heading home from Seattle-really worth every penny because it entertained a whiny, crying Tyler for a little bit of time.

4. $40.11 at Macayo's last Sunday. It was seriously the best meal and I scarfed it down. It seemed like it took FOREVER for us to actually GET to the restaurant, BUT once we got there, YUM YUM!

5. Haven't spent the money yet, but I lost my camera in Seattle, so I will have to get a new one, BOO!

6. $1300 for a new refrigerator, and worth every single penny. Once Pat and I figured out we had to put the filter in so that the water would stop tasting like a**, it made every penny worth it.

7. $874 on new carpet for the bedrooms. Shout out to Avilez Carpet and Tile. Seriously the only thing that has gone smoothly in this entire housing fiasco.

8. $55 to repair my leaking toilet so that we can go back to the land of two toilets again because one just isn't cutting it.

9. $480 for a home warranty, best money ever spent.

10. $117 for a new cell phone because the battery on my old one kept dying, not surprising, I don't think it was the phone, I think it is the amount I use it because the new one dies just as quickly!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Timeline

I think everyone knows that when someone is given a closing date, it is pretty arbitrary! Yes, you might not close on time. Yes, it may be a week later. Yes, things may go wrong. But, I don't think anyone ever thinks it is going to happen to them.

I was skeptical from the start. I didn't really think we would close on the 28th. The issue with closing on time for us stemmed from the fact that we had to move out of our house on the 30th, AND there was a $100 a day penalty that we incurred if we didn't close on time. These two factors caused me to lose A LOT of sleep over the past two months. Pat wanted to discuss schedules, buy refrigerators, set up deliveries, painters, carpet, etc. I just kept telling him that I would plan for it once we closed on the house, or got some sort of confirmation we were going to close. The Friday before we were set to close (closing was on a Tuesday), we were still waiting on the inspection report to come in. As of Friday evening, the inspection wasn't in, but according to Eddy at compASS bank, if it came in Monday morning, we could still close on Tuesday. BIG FAT LIE!

Once the inspection came in late Monday afternoon, it wasn't reviewed until Tuesday (THE DAY WE WERE SET TO CLOSE!). It was determined that we needed to put additional money down because the house was in a declining market (WHAT HOUSE ISN'T these days), and we had to put money in escrow for carpet, a window and an interior door. ONE the window had already been replaced and documentation had been sent, two the amount they were estimating carpet to be was ludicrous (HELLO Avilez Carpet and Tile), and three we planned on replacing the interior door because it had a hole in it, but isn't that cosmetic and up to me whether or not we want to freaking replace the door?

We agreed to all of these items because let's face it. We didn't have any options, and we needed somewhere to live, and we needed to close FAST! So, it was said by Eddy that we should close Wed or Thursday. On Wednesday, we were still getting no answers, so Pat found a random number on the inspection report and called it. This lady at compASS bank, is seriously the only good thing I can say about the bank. She told Pat that on June 17th she emailed Eddy and told him that we weren't going to be able to close on the 28th, and that our new closing date was to be July 13th. She never heard back from Eddy (WHO PAT CALLED EVERY SINGLE DAY!), and so she assumed the new closing date was fine.

This lady, Margie or Martie, I can't remember her name was an ANGEL! She pushed everything through so quickly, she gave Pat her own personal cell number, she got it done. And her supervisor, equally as helpful. If anyone deserves a gift basket, it is this woman. It was in final review by Thursday, and she got it done.

We are now up to Friday, Pat went to the Title office and sat there ALL DAY. The title company wasn't going to look at it on Friday because they assumed we knew that it would be 48 hours from the time it got to their office. Pat explained to her the situation, and she literally did everything in her power to get it done on Friday. She also deserves a smaller gift basket because she wasn't very nice about all of it, but she still did it. My next post will be about the phone call I got while I was in my bathing suit at the Pointe stating that I needed to get to the title company as fast as possible (picture AMAZING RACE!). We signed the papers on Friday, but the seller didn't sign them in time, so we had to wait to close until Tuesday.

When Pat met the realtor at the home to unload the U-Haul on Tuesday evening, the lock box wasn't working, so they couldn't get the keys out. Once again, the phone calls started and it was a little dramatic. Thankfully Pat's dad, Jim, had some tools in his truck, they CUT the lock box off and smashed it to get into the house. Nothing says, "Welcome Home!" like smashing a box to get the keys. They managed to get everything into the garage before the Haboob hit (a whole other posted is needed about this word too!)

So now, it is all about finding everything that is wrong, getting it painted, carpeted, and unpacking to find the stuff we need for Seattle. But, the kids and I are at my mom's house until Saturday, and we are pretending we are jet setting celebrities that pop in and out and take off on trips on a whim. I bought a whole new wardrobe at Old Navy yesterday because I seriously have NO IDEA where all my clothes are, storage unit or garage? It has been such a disaster, but I wouldn't have wanted to do it with anyone other than Pat. He has been such a trooper, and he has shown that no matter what happens, he will always take care of us!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I still haven't taken one picture of anything. So uninspired.

2. If I don't see another box for the rest of my life, I would be thoroughly happy!

3. We are not closing today, maybe tomorrow, maybe Thursday, maybe Friday! Who knows.

4. Mini ice cream cones from Trader Joe's are the perfect size summer time treat!

5. If I hear, "Mommy, can we have a snack?" from either of my children one more time today, I am going to scream. It isn't even 9am yet. I just lost my mind on them.

6. Pat spent two hours yesterday washing his car and cleaning it out because he had to pick up his client today for a mediation, they are then going to dinner and the baseball game. I asked if he was going to open the door for him too because he's never spent any amount of time cleaning his car for me other than tossing the stuff that's on the passenger seat to the back seat! CLASSY!

7. It is so hard not to be bitter right now. I had a much better attitude about it last week, but this week, I am struggling. I was the one last week telling Pat that it would all be fine, but this week, I just don't know.

8. Excited to hang out with Rylee if even just for a little bit tomorrow. She makes me laugh. I don't think I appreciated her age when my own kids were that old because I was either pregnant, tired, or overwhelmed at that time in my life.

9. Did you know Pat thought Alfredo was a type of cheese? I still laugh when I think about this. In one of the cookbooks we have, it has pictures of all the different types of cheeses, and Pat drew in a picture of cheese and labeled it alfredo after I made fun of him and used it as my evidence that alfredo is not a cheese, it is a sauce!

10. I like Olive Garden fettucine alfredo the best. I am certain that it is not authentic in any way, shape or form, but it is my FAVORITE!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

What's going on?

1. We close in a week on our house, that is IF the bank can get their act together. I feel like every single day it is some new stress, and I can't handle it. My back/stomach pain had been kept to such a minimum lately because I had been trying to just stay calm and not stress out, but the closer it gets the more crippling the pain is. UGH!

2. I am well aware that moving into a new house and going on a week long vacation are luxuries, and I know that I am truly blessed, but it is incredibly overwhelming, and it is my reality right now, and this is MY blog, so I get to vent. Don't like it, don't read it.

3. My sister and I are OBSESSED with reading blogs about moms in the South. I wouldn't fit in there for a hot minute, but they make some of the best food. I am not sure how all the moms weigh 50 pounds soaking wet and eat crap all day (cake pops, sno cones, cake, cookies, cupcakes, etc.), but I made these S'mores Bars for Pat for Father's Day, and they were HEAVENLY!

4. I will happily recommend restaurants for someone, and if they hate it, I take full responsibility because I know I have researched the crap out of it, read all the reviews, etc. BUT ask me to choose a paint color, NO FREAKING CLUE!

5. The day our house is supposed to close Pat has an all day mediation and then has to entertain a client all night. Maybe I will just take the kids over to the house and toast them with Apple Cider or something. Kind of anti-climatic after all the stress and work that Pat has gone through to make sure the house closes on time.

6. Currently we are like two ships passing in the night. When an attorney goes on vacation, he has to make up all his billable hours. So, in my opinion it isn't really a vacation because it is more work before and after we vacation because he works longer and longer hours.

7. I am obsessed with Lifetime Movies. I think it is the only think that is going to get me through the summer.

8. Children's Place at Desert Ridge is having a big shoe sale. Apparently they are getting rid of all their shoes in boxes, so any shoe in a box is $7.99. I don't know what sizes or what not are available, but if you are in need of dress shoes, sandals, etc. It might be worth the trip.

9. I cannot keep food in this house. If it comes in, someone eats it up immediately. The summer grocery bill is killing me.

10. The Bachelorette. Can I just say that I am an evil person who thinks Bentley is HYSTERICAL, and I love that he proved what everyone was thinking all along. . .how do you know these people are telling the truth? He totally pulled the wool over Ashley's eyes, and I think it added a whole new twist to the show. I am a fan. Don't hate!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

A few of my favorite things. . .

1. Magnum Double Caramel Ice Cream Bars



2. The Pioneer Woman Sux Blog. Seriously, I don't think she is promoting her blog to be any sort of diet blog, so to watch them rip her to shreds is kind of funny. I also like that they think she is always writing drunk, I don't know it makes me laugh! I hope The ACTUAL Pioneer Woman takes it with a grain of salt.

3. Luigi's Deli just recently opened, and they have this sandwich with cream cheese, bacon, avocado, turkey, etc, and it is SOOOOOOOOOO YUMMY!

4. We go through sunscreen like it is water. I love the spray. I am sure it is chalk full of chemicals and horrible for you and what not, but OMG, we recently ran out, and I have been applying lotion-MAKES YOU APPRECIATE THE SPRAY!




5. Wii Bowling. Tyler is kicking every one's butt, and I like that it is a game we can all compete at and have fun!!!!!!!!!!

6. Corn on the cob with lots of butter and salt. Also movie theater popcorn every single Friday. It's really not surprising that I can't lose weight-I love food!




7. POGO! I get sucked into playing when I am stressed out. And I am way beyond stressed right now! Hey, it could be worse!

8. Our soon to be new refrigerator. HONESTLY, Pat and I have never had a brand new fridge, and I am giddy about the water and ice in the door after being without it for soooooooo long!




9. Purex After the Rain Laundry Detergent, I think it smells soooooooooo good!




10. That we will be HERE in less than a month!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

In My Favor!

I don't know what is going on lately, but the stars have aligned, and things seem to work out perfectly. This morning, my car battery died. Usually, it would be a big tragedy, but we just switched the car seats to Pat's car, and headed off to continue on with our plans for the day. We remembered that Pat's dad was in the area, actually he was at OUR new house mapping out the location of the pool fence, and apparently you need some "SPECIAL" tool to get the battery out of my car, and Pat being as "handy" as he is, doesn't have this tool and can't get the battery out. So, he called his dad, asked him to go over to our house and see if he could get it out because Pat's dad IS HANDY (no quotes) and has tools in his car and what not. His dad headed over, not only got the battery out, took it back to the place we got it from two years ago, got one for free because it was under warranty and put it in my car, so that when we arrived back home the car started right up! SERIOUSLY! How awesome is that. Usually it is this big drama, and it was LITERALLY drama free. The kids and I were seriously standing in the drive way cheering with excitement because it started. I am sure we looked ridiculous to our neighbors, but HEY, we won't live here much longer, right!?

After we brought all of our stuff in from the car, Pat says, "Is this what it's like to be rich, you just call someone, they come fix it, and when you get home it is as good as new!?" SERIOUSLY! It was amazing, and so completely WONDERFUL that his dad did this for us. THANK YOU JIM! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

I bet Jaclyn could have figured out how to change the battery herself, but that's a whole post for a different day! :-)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. We are under contract on a house. Way too much to think about. I am not FASCINATED by the whole house concept, but it will be nice to have somewhere to call my own that I don't have to worry about leaving or getting kicked out of. I wish I had a decorating gene in my body, but I walk into Jaclyn's house and wonder how she came up with this or that, she is so talented! I need an interior decorator! STAT!




2. Organizing my children's schedule is a full time job. Add in any family plans we might have, and I am pretty dang sure I need a full time assistant!

3. We are going to spend A LOT of time in the pool this month because most of the kid's toys are packed, and they are a bundle of energy the sun and water tire them out nicely, and then when we come back inside and throw them in front of a movie, I don't feel so bad!

4. Meatless Monday is starting to be a REAL DRAG, especially when it falls on a Holiday!

5. I think I need to eat a steak or something. I am so tired all of the time. I took two naps yesterday, went to bed at 9:30, and some how I still woke up tired.

6. Tyler is getting better about moving, she was having a REALLY hard time for awhile. She still has her moments where I think it all just doesn't make sense in her head, but we are working on it.

7. My grocery store bill is going to sky rocket now that the kids are home for the summer, they can really throw down!

8. Drew got a heart. You can continue to follow the journey HERE!

9. I often eat lunch for breakfast and breakfast for lunch.

10. Dropped Jackson off at his Summer School this morning, and I had to laugh because I am so clearly a dork because all the parents of the other "gifted" children were complete and total dorks, and that's so judgmental, I KNOW, so I decided that I couldn't possibly be the only "cool" parent there, so I have accepted the fact that I am a dork. I would rather be a dork than the possessed parent in the parking lot SCREAMING at her child that she was going to give him a spanking. I turned to Jackson and Tyler and quietly said, "Isn't it like 7:30 AM, why is this person already screaming?" GOOD TIMES AT THE SUMMER SCHOOL DROP OFF!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Prayers Please


It's things like this that remind us all of what is important. Pat's office manager at his old law firm has a darling little boy, Drew, that is in desperate need of your prayers. You can follow along with their journey. . .here! Some of you may know her as Boedie's Boys, if you played Fantasy Football with us.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. EIGHT YEARS! The only man I can say I truly trust with my heart (other than my grandpa because I know he would do anything for me)! I don't have a lot of faith in men, but this one is a keeper! Happy Anniversary, Patrick!

2. I would love to write a book. I don't know what I would write about (LIE: Why I Don't Leave the House would be the title, and I would write about all the crazy things I have encountered since becoming the wife of an attorney.)

3. Pat worked until 10 last night, BOO! I slept through him coming home, heating up dinner, etc. That scares me, and that's why I don't really like to be asleep when the kids are here. I could sleep through it, or I could wake up every five minutes, it is TERRIBLE!

4. I am having lunch with a friend tomorrow, and I cannot WAIT!!! It has been a really long time since I had lunch with a friend.

5. I am trying not to eat as much cheese because I don't think my stomach can tolerate it. I do really well, and then I totally fail!

6. Pat and Paul went and fixed my grandparent's roof on Saturday morning. Pat nor Paul know anything about fixing a roof, but they got it done. AND THEN, while they were doing it, the neighbor asked if they would come over and look at her roof. I think they could start up a side business.

7. My little Calli Rose Parise graduated from high school this weekend. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!? She was six months old when I started watching her, and she would cry her little eyes out the entire time her mom was gone. I don't know why I went back. It was torture, but I credit her with allowing me the luxury of having my kids cry it out! It doesn't phase me because she would cry no matter what!

8. Both my kids went to their first "drop off" birthday party this weekend, and it was luxuriouis and stressful at the same time. I hoped and prayed that they were given the tools needed to be polite and wonderful in that situation, and I loved the peace and quiet I was able to have while enjoying Calli's grad party (though Pat and I both scarfed our food down like the kids were still there!)!

9. I hate James Frey on Oprah. I don't like him. Having him on for TWO hours is ridiculous. Unless of course, he wants to publish my novel, then I will love him!

10. At what point would it be beneficial to have Tyler start watching 16 and Pregnant. It never ends well, and it is a horrible situation for EVERYONE, and I want her to realize just how CRAPPY it would be!!!! FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I have started a million and one posts, and they are all me complaining about how we have to move AGAIN! I don't feel anyone wants to listen to that, so I tweet about it and get my frustrations out that way!

2. I would really like to just move into a resort for the summer while Pat and I find a house to buy, but I am afraid my bill at the pool with the pool boys would be excessive.

3. When my dad found out we had to move and didn't have anywhere to go, he said that we could live in his RV on his driveway, as long as we emptied the sewer container. There are so many things wrong with this but mainly, he has like a 3000 square foot house, why can't we sleep in the house and use the bathroom.

4. My mom's friends from Brophy keep delivering boxes to my doorstep. It is so kind and heartwarming.

5. I am so excited for The Good Wife tonight.

6. Jackson's Celebration of Learning is tonight. I have to miss it because Tyler isn't feeling well. Such is life as the parent of two munchkins.

7. We went to Tucson two weekends ago, and I didn't take a single picture. We ate at Eegee's twice. We also ate at El Charro Cafe which was AMAZING! I highly recommend it.

8. I am making Eggs Benedict for my grandma's birthday this weekend, I cannot stop thinking about them. I love that Tyler loves them as much as I do.

9. I made mini meat loaves for dinner this morning when kids were at school. Now, I don't really feel like meat loaf, and I have to lie to the kids and say they are meat balls because otherwise they won't eat them, it is just a whole ordeal, and I am not in the mood for it now!

10. In the end, it doesn't matter where we end up, as long as we are together, memories can be made and magic will happen. We've made the right decisions so far when it comes to the whole entire housing situation, and I hope that we make another good one.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Family Friday

Focusing on what's important!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Field Day with Jackson today was hard for me. I LOVED Field Day. It was my most favorite day at school. There were three of us that would alternate as fastest every year. Niccole Villa, Kim Gwaltney, and I. The fact that Kim isn't here anymore, and that maybe one of the kids racing today wouldn't be here in the future tore at my heart strings.

2. Jackson's class came in 2nd on the relay race. He was one of six boys chosen from his class to race based on speed. I am so proud. He did a great job!

3. Tyler's teacher told me today that she was more animated and confident than she has ever been, almost like she was on drugs. UM, OK!? What does one say to that? Other than. . .I totally know what you mean!

4. I don't ever want to live in Troon North. Pat has been trying to get home from there for over and hour, and I can't imagine what it would be like trying to get there from downtown! SERENITY NOW!

5. My MIL found me a bottle of SkinnyGirl Margaritas. I can't wait to get my hands on it and taste the goodness that is Bethenny! I love her, love the show, love her husband, love her baby, love it all!

6. I have mentioned Joe's Diner before, but we have since gone back, and I love it even more, so I want to give it a shout out again.

7. If you played Fantasy Football with us ever, you may remember Boedie's Boys. Her son is in desperate need of your prayers, so if you are the praying type and could send them, it would be greatly appreciated.

8. I am addicted to Target!

9. Rylee calls Jackson, "Jack-Jean", it is so cute, I don't want to forget it.

10. We were in the Dillard's shoe department getting Jackson some new shoes, and Pat decided to let Tyler try on the display shoes, (something that drives my grandma crazy because I still do it until this day, I pick up the size 5 and shove my size 8.5 foot in there seeing if I "like" it!) well Rylee was watching it all, and we asked her what Tyler was doing, to which she replies, "Dress Up!" Even the two year old knows that the shoes they are trying to pass off as children's shoes look more like dress up shoes!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Drunken Spaghetti

Some of you may or may not know that we do Meatless Monday in our house now, and it is really hard to find REALLY good meatless recipes. I am also not a fan of spaghetti sauce UNLESS your name is Karen Parise, I just don't think it has a lot of flavor, but this recipe was SURPRISINGLY good. SHOCKINGLY GOOD actually. Just thought I would share in case you were looking for a few good ways to incorporate Meatless Monday into your life.

It is a three part sauce from Skinny Italian. . .

BASIC TOMATO SAUCE

1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 28 oz can imported Italian plum tomatoes, broken up, with their juices
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 T chopped fresh basil

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and their juices and the tomato paste. Bring just to a boil.
2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the basil. Simmer to blend the flavors, about 10 minutes.

MILANIA'S MARINARA SAUCE

1 T extra virgin olive oil
12 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/2 cups BASIC TOMATO SAUCE (see above-recipe makes 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup hearty red wine
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper or crushed hot red pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Move the mushrooms to one side of the saucepan. Add the onion to the empty side of the saucepan and cook, stirring the onion occasionally, until it softens, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, stir everything together and cook until the onion is tender about 2 minutes more.
2. Stir in the tomato sauce, wine, oregano, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and well-flavored, at least 30 minutes and up to four hours, but the longer the better! If the sauce gets too thick, add a little water.

DRUNKEN SPAGHETTI

MILANIA'S MARINARA SAUCE
One 750 ml bottle Chardonnay
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

1. Bring the marinara and 1 cup of wine to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, pour the remaining wine into a large pot, and 3 1/2 quarts lightly salted water, and bring to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the package directions until al dente.
3. Drain the spaghetti and return to the pot. Add the sauce and mix well. Serve hot, with the cheese passed on the side.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I want to go back to being blonde. I miss it. Blondes definitely have more fun.

2. I like wine.

3. The kids have not stopped talking about ice blocking. It is funny what they hold on to in their minds. The first thing out of Ty's mouth to her teachers this morning was, "We went ice blocking!" I kind of feel the same as her. So much fun. I want to have everyone I know over to do it with us because it is seriously SO MUCH FUN!

4. Those of you who know me, know I like doing things in the morning during the summer, not as much in the afternoon. So Jackson gets to go to a "special" summer school since he is gifted and all, and it is in the morning. I am already worrying about whether or not Tyler will be gifted because I want her to go to summer school in the morning too. The "other kids" (OMG, how terrible does that sound, but I don't know how else to phrase it) can participate in summer school in the afternoon. I like my afternoons to be free. Mainly so I can have friends over and drink wine (See #2)!

5. Summer school had such a stigma in the past, now summer school is all about fun and games, not so much about remediation and catching up.

6. There are a few houses in my neighborhood I love. I think I am going to start taking pictures as I walk by them so that when I have a house I am interested in remodeling I will know what I want it to look like.

7. I would FREAK OUT if some crazy lady was standing outside of my house taking pictures of my house.

8. I don't carry my credit card in my wallet, it sits on my desk, right next to my computer so that I can buy things online, usually things found on Groupon, Doozy of a Deal, Enamor, Living Social, etc.

9. I NEED A SMALL BLACK PURSE! Ever since Katie took the one back she was letting me borrow, I am at a loss every time I go out. I am seriously considering splurging on a really nice one because I would use it ALL THE TIME!

10. All of us went to a Suns game last week except Tyler. She is going to grow up and have serious issues when she is older unless we take her to a game soon. We try and keep her away from the game because she would probably run on to the court and try to join the Suns Dance Team. They also don't wear very many clothes, and we like to encourage her to wear clothes seeing as how I already call her Striperella behind her back!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ice Blocking

Some of my best ideas come from reality television. In one episode of Sister Wives this season, they went ice blocking, and I was convinced this family needed to do it. Over an hour of fun was had participating in this fun event. Surprisingly I was quite skilled at this task, and we all had a great time. I will let the pictures tell the complete story! Please excuse our clothing. Everyone was dressed in clothes that could be completely ruined so that I could join in the fun without worrying about what was getting stained!










Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chronic Pain

For over two years now, I have been dealing with the same back pain, side pain, all around right side of the body pain. Some days are better than others, it is always there, my right side never feels one hundred percent. I don't know what it is going to be like when I wake up, the pain can vary in degrees from moment to moment.

I am not myself anymore. I stray away from having people over or hanging out because I don't know if I will feel alright, and the idea of having to have my house ready for people to come over is exhausting. I don't think I am the best mom I can be to my kids. I am irritable all the time due to (1) the pain (2) not knowing what it is and wondering what it is. I don't think I am the best wife. Some days my mind gets the best of me, and I am convinced that I am slowly dying. I am the first to say yes to a glass or two of wine because it takes the edge off if even just for a moment. I just don't like the person I have become.

I have made a conscious effort to avoid doctors at all costs because of the cost and it's not how I want to spend my days when my kids are at school. I persued many invasive procedures a year ago, and they didn't find anything, so I have decided that I must be insane. I don't talk about the pain often since I don't go to doctors I don't really think I have the right to complain, so I am sure people forget, but I feel like it is five hundred times harder for me to do everything. I am constantly tired, but when people ask me how I am feeling, I just say fine. I mean, do you really want to be friends with someone who complains all the time? I would do just about anything to make the pain go away. I am so very tired.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I could have on a potato sack, but as long as it looks like a dress, Tyler will tell me I look beautiful. Maybe I should invest in some mumus! HA!

2. I cannot believe Jackson will be in first grade next year. That is so old! I feel old.

3. I am a sucker for infomercials. I bought the Kettle Worx, workout program because it is sold as 20 minutes 3 times a week! #1 HARDEST TWENTY MINUTES EVER #2 IN PAIN FOR A WEEK after doing it once #3 doesn't motivate me to want to do it at all. I also purchase Turbo Jam two years ago, I would recommend that over Kettle Worx, seriously it is so hard.

4. What would you eat as your last meal? I can't choose! Seriously, I cannot imagine choosing.

5. I am terrible at returning emails, but I get frustrated when people don't return mine. HYPOCRITE MUCH?

6. DYING FOR A DIET COKE!

7. Kind of think all the hype behind the Royal Wedding is ridiculous, but at the same time it might be jealousy because I will never be royalty.

8. I would like to go on The Biggest Loser. I feel like I have zero motivation to get up and do anything, but with Bob or Jillian screaming in my face, it would be just the motivation I need.

9. Someone come hang some clothes up for me, PLEASE?

10. Did someone say Diet Coke????????????

BONUS-Joe's Diner on 16th Street between Camelback and Indian School is AMAZING. Cutest little place, food is DELICIOUS and INCREDIBLY CHEAP! Hurry there today!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Out Like a Light!

I am JEALOUS of these people I am related to. Jealous because they have the ability to fall asleep with a live band playing right outside our window.

OK, so right outside is a little dramatic, but let me explain.

Last night we had a family slumber party in our family room. We pulled out all the mattresses and set up camp. As Jaclyn pointed out on Saturday, it's as close to camping as I get.




It was fun, I think we started a little too early in the afternoon, and we were all a little aggravated with one another by about five. We all "went to sleep" around eight, it was a little warm with all four of us in one room, so we opened the back door, and a wonderful breeze was coming through the room. It was FANTASTIC, until the live band started playing at the Country Club, maybe 100 yds away. I am not kidding that we were singing along with the music, and all of a sudden the other three people in the room, OUT LIKE LIGHTS, snoring and all. I am like, "What the heck, there's a BAND playing people?" I stayed in bed for about an hour listening to it, until I heard the band leader say that they were going to take a little break and be right back. I was not sticking around to listen to them cover Journey as they announced they would be doing. I went in our bedroom and sat down on the futon, watched some tv, and eventually ended up falling asleep there. FAR FROM THE LIVE BAND. We woke up this morning and had doughnuts, and the kids had a blast, but Pat told me I need to contact the Country Club next time I suggest a family sleepover.

I am INCREDIBLY, INCREDIBLY jealous of people who can sleep through noise. As anyone who has been "lucky" enough to live with me knows, I need complete silence to fall asleep, the tiniest noise wakes me up, I rarely sleep through the whole night, and I cannot go to sleep until everyone who is supposed to be at home in bed is at home in bed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I love going to watch Tyler play tball. Seriously, it puts a smile on my face every time, and I think about all the cute and funny things the kids do the entire day.

2. Our street is being repaved this week, apparently they do it every four years. Some streets don't get repaved every fourteen years, but this neighborhood is full of elderly, retired people that have nothing better to do, so we must remove our cars from our house by 7 Thursday morning, and they can't come back until 7 Saturday morning. If you see above, the elderly, retired people probably don't have to leave their homes, so it is not a big deal. I will have to lug my sh** and my kids to and from the house to the Country Club parking lot every time I want to go somewhere. UGH! Frustrated to the max.

3. Ate at Beckett's Table. AMAZING. I love short ribs. His were AMAZING. I can't wait to go back. They also have Bacon Cheddar Biscuits-need I say more. The dessert we had was Chocolate Covered Bacon, Graham Crackers, PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE, homemade marshmallows, drizzled with caramel-YUM!

4. Also ate at Bobby Q's. I have wanted to go for awhile, but honestly, the location is a little sketchy for me, but we braved it Saturday, and it was delicious. They start you out with these corn bread cakes, and when you are leaving, they give you donuts. Everything in between was wonderful as well: pulled pork, mac and cheese, burger, fries, YUM!

5. After reading the previous two, I should really just be happy that I don't weigh 300 lbs instead of always being so down on myself for my current weight! HA!

6. Tyler had to make a favorite things bag for school, in it she included: a pink ponytail holder because pink is her favorite color, a picture of fruit because that's her favorite food, a picture of Ellie the elephant because she doesn't go anywhere without her, a Hannah Montana necklace, and a picture of James. Jackson says, "Why didn't she put a picture of me in there? I should be one of her favorite things!" My response, "Daddy and I didn't make the cut either dude!"

7. I have been obsessed with House Hunters lately, and seriously I SCREAM at the television when they pick the wrong house. OMG, it frustrates me to the end of the world and back. I would not sacrifice living on a quiet street for a view, and you won't either when you have those kids you want in about two years! OMG!

8. I have only had one amazing massage in my life. It was at a chiropractic office, where I went for a consultation and what not, but I never went back for the recommended treatment, so I am afraid to call and make an appointment just for another massage, but it hurt oh so good. She was amazing.

9. We are going to Tucson in a month, and my mouth is already salivating when I think of Eegee's.

10. Pat LOVES LOVES LOVES his new job, and he is much happier, which in turn makes us all happier.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Jodi Picoult Does It Again!

Sing You Home, is another FABULOUS novel that addresses the issues at hand today. I don't like knowing anything about a book before I read it, I don't even read the book jacket before reading a book, so I am not going to discuss the book's plot. What I will say is that Picoult is the most forward thinking author of our time. There are references and mentions in the book of things that are happening NOW! I like that if my kids ever decide to read her books in the future they will know what was going on at this very moment.

This book made me incredibly sad! Most of her books make me cry uncontrollably, this one made me ashamed of the human race. One day...one day, people will realize that their prejudice ways and judgmental behavior are not what the Bible is referring to. I don't know when, and I don't know how, but one day. I am certain that if I was alive during slavery or segregation, I wouldn't have been ok with that either. It probably would have been my "cause". I just wish that everyone could get along. Honestly, Pat's job depends on the fact that people won't, and our livelihood depends on the fact that people don't, BUT I would give it all up to live and let live!

"But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force." -Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream 1963

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tball Goddess

Since the term "goddess" is all the rage these days thanks to a certain Two and a Half Men star. I thought it was only appropriate to describe my daughter as a tball goddess. I don't think I have ever been prouder than Friday night when she took to tball like a miniature Olympian. She paid such close attention to the ball and where it was at all times. I am certain no one ever told her anything about ready position, and she was constantly at the ready. And, her mom has obviously watched A League of Their Own a few too many times because when she wanted to wear a skirt and knee socks, I didn't even blink an eye. She was confident and it showed. Here are a few pictures from her debut performance!





Monday, February 28, 2011

Just Another Manic Monday

1. I cannot remember the last time I was as sick as I was last week. Pat cannot remember a time I have EVER been that sick. Each and every day, I would be convinced that the next day I would feel better, and I just never got better. It was devastating. Usually I bounce back from an illness or injury pretty quickly. I thought I was going to be heading to the hospital if I couldn't get the shivering under control. I had the flu at the beginning of the week, and then at the end of the week, I had a sinus infection and bronchitis.

2. I was wearing two pair of pajama pants at most times next week because I was SO COLD! So cold, I would take shower after shower after shower trying to warm up, it was the only five minutes of the day I was actually warm.

3. Bless Patrick's heart, he was a lot of help during all this, and he had a lot on his plate as well. I think he is ready to run away for awhile. I don't think he is interested in being a stay at home dad.

4. I need to go replenish my medicine supply at Costco this week. I refuse to buy ibuprofen or Tylenol anywhere else because you get a million and one pills for next to nothing at Costco, compared to other places. I also feel this way about trash bags. I always hate spending like 17 dollars up front for trash bags, but OMG, I don't have to buy them again for MONTHS, and I would spend WAY more than that other places.

5. I am WEAK today. I feel like I was hit by a bus, and I am finally learning to stand up again. I have ZERO energy. I think the small amount of muscle I have atrophied.

6. I watched a lot of Real Housewives of Orange County when I was in bed, a city of Real Housewives that I haven't watched in the past, and OMG, where do these women come from? I have to say I had many feverish thoughts about dumping Patrick and running away to the OC to find one of these men who would lavish me with diamonds and probably have a house cleaner come in to take care of the house (ESPECIALLY WHEN I AM SICK), but none the less, I am still here cleaning up after the madness that was last week. Such is life! :-)

7. The Pioneer Woman didn't tweet me after my success of cooking my way through her cookbook. I am kind of mad at her right now, but it will pass soon!

8. My kids are in a HUGE talking back phase, I think a Costco size bottle of Dial soap needs to make the list. Seriously, how do I break this? It is making Pat and I crazy.

9. I am desperate to see the Charlie Sheen interview this morning on the Today Show. You KNOW it is going to come on when I take Jackson to school. Murphy's Law!

10. Gas-HOLY GAS PRICES PEOPLE! If there was ever a reason to home school, it is that I am sick of paying an arm and a leg to fill up my car! Did that just make you all laugh, me. . .homeschooling!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I DID IT!

One year ago today, I received The Pioneer Woman Cookbook for my birthday, and I vowed to cook my way through the whole cookbook in one year. It was a challenge, and I don't follow through on many things, but I stuck to it, and I learned so much about myself along the way. While I am not feeling very well today, I am content in knowing that I completed something great during my 30th year of life. Here's my review of all the recipes!

STARTERS
*BBQ Jalapeno Poppers- not a huge fan
*Pico de Gallo-I would use less onion and more than 1/2 of a lime
*Guacamole-Best Guac recipe ever, I always add more salt, taste, add salt, etc.
*PW'S Potato Skins-The most wonderful thing I have ever eaten-BEST Potato Skins EVER!
*Katie's Roasted Corn Salad-Soooooooo much flavor
*Hot Artichoke Dip-Always a Crowd Pleaser

IN THE MORNING
*Cinnamon Rolls-delicious but LOTS of work
*Iny's Prune Cake with Buttermilk Icing-surprisingly good, kids loved, tastes like coffee cake
*Buttermilk Biscuits-would be really good for Biscuits and Gravy
*Egg-In-The-Hole-a staple in this house now
*Basic Breakfast Potatoes-SOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!
*PW Breakfast Burritos-a lot of flavor, love the chives
*Breakfast Bowls-a real treat!
*Marmalade Muffins-heavenly!
*Migas-has WAY TOO MANY PEPPERS in my personal opinion, but I am a little sensitive to that!
*French Breakfast Puffs-better than donuts
*Maple Pecan Scones-my sister called them Pancake Scones, so buttery and full of maple flavor, SO GOOD!
*Huevos Hyacinth-I love any excuse to use a ramekin
*Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes-very unique flavor, good change up on the standard pancake

DINNER (Translation:Lunch)
*Simple, Perfect Chili-OK, not a lot of flavor
*Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich-top with mozzarella cheese-wonderful
*Onion Strings-could be a meal alone for me-DELICIOUS
*Spicy Pulled Pork-Not worth spending 6-7 hours cooking, but good
*Macaroni and Cheese-I love her recipe, Pat and the kids didn't, give it a try and let me know what you think
*Beans and Cornbread-beans DELICIOUS, cornbread NOT SO MUCH
*Sherried Tomato Soup-Best Tomato Soup I have ever had that is not from La Madeleine
*Pizza Crust-AMAZING!
*Potato-Leek Pizza-I seriously cannot describe in words how super fantastic this pizza is! You just have to try it yourself.
*Cowboy Calzone-like an enchilada in a pizza pocket-YUM

SUNDAY DINNER
*Perfect Pot Roast-I don't like Pot Roast, I liked this one
*Chicken Pot Pie-totally worth all the work that goes into it
*Perfect Pie Crust-yummy, but I don't think pie crusts are my specialty
*Chicken Spaghetti-this recipe will serve like 20 people, I divide it into two pans and freeze one, reheats beautifully!

SUPPER (Translation:Dinner)
*Chicken Fried Steak-it was ok, but the gravy was really good
*PW's Creamy Mashed Potatoes-BEST MASHED POTATOES ANYWHERE-this woman knows potatoes
*Meatloaf-meatloaf part was good, I didn't care for the bacon and sauce so much, you know it isn't great if I don't like the bacon part :-)
*Twice Baked Potatoes-again, really good potato, these freeze perfectly
*Fried Chicken-I don't fry things in my house, I would fry this again
*Braised Beef Brisket-it was ok, but I lived in TX for quite some time, I like Rudy's brisket
*Cheese Grits-I am a potato girl, I would have potatoes in place of these any day of the week
*Rib-Eye Steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce-The sauce is the best thing I have ever put on a steak-incredible
*Homemade Ranch with Iceberg Wedge-I didn't even know I liked an iceberg wedge until I got to put this wonderful dressing on it, beats anything from a bottle
*Comfort Meatballs-good
*Simple, Perfect Enchiladas-I like Katie's better
*Linguine With Clam Sauce-not a fan, but others liked
*Lasagna-LOVE
*Penne Alla Betsy-blah

COWGIRL DINNER PARTY
*Sangria-AWESOME
*Roasted Beef Tenderloin-YUM
*Burgundy Mushrooms-anything that simmers in wine for nine hours, will be amazing
*Creamy Rosemary Potatoes-anyone who likes rosemary want to move in with me? so good
*Olive Cheese Bread-if you like olives, really good
*Creme Brulee-I like my recipe better

SWEETS
*Patsy's Blackberry Cobbler-frozen fruit works great
*Flat Apple Pie-hard to make, add caramel sauce
*Chocolate Sheet Cake-great to feed to a large crowd
*Mocha Brownies-really "coffeeish"
*Oatmeal Crispies-add white chocolate chips and cranberries-absolutely fabulous
*Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (In An Iron Skillet)-LOVE
*Peach Crisp With Maple Cream Sauce-heavenly
*Red Velvet Cake-didn't care too much for cake part, LOVED frosting
*Angel Sugar Cookies-delightful