Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's with a side of Christmas

I have been lucky enough to always live pretty close to my family. Even when I was away at school I could afford to come home for a few days to celebrate with everyone. I have NO idea how people do this away from their crazy families!

It is a long story, but basically I came home with all of my Christmas presents still wrapped on the 25th. When I got home from Mom’s to unwrap my gifts alone, I burst into tears! I was super upset when I left her house, and all I really wanted was a hug, but when I got home the thought of it was just BAD!

I called Sis crying and told her how terribly lonely it was to sit all by myself and open presents with my dog. She said she had the same feeling and put all of her gifts in the closet. I am currently staring at mine, all wrapped, under the tree. So tonight, I think we are having Christmas part three.

We will probably open up a little of the gift that A got me, too. It is a HUGE basket of beverages. It has a little of everything! (Sorry, my camera is not working to show you. ☹)

Mumm Sparkling wine, Absolut Mandarin, a Riesling, a Spanish red, Cava, Pellegrino, Pomegranate Soda, Blood Orange Martini mix, and a good mix of beer from “around the world” (from Modelo to Carlsberg to Red Stripe, Harp and Corona just to name a few)

Here is wishing all of you a GREAT time tonight and a HAPPY 2009!!  Have fun and be safe!

Bound to happen

While hanging out with the extended family this week, they found out that I had a blog.  It has been mentioned several times before but, as is typical in our house, it fell on deaf ears.  No one ever did the "WHAT?" head pop of shock, asked what the address was, or read it.  EVER!  Well, let me just tell you that it flew over like a lead zeppelin this week.  

I never really cared because the only people that really "followed" it were my friends that were scattered around the country/world, or former students that have freakish google searching powers.  Now I am beginning to realize that I have people that read it and are just RUDE and never leave comments!  ;) That includes you, my friend!

All of that being said, there will be some changes to the little site in the coming new year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Just random and fun

After a crazy week, I am really not in the mood to post anything thoughtful or witty or entertaining. Sorry! So, in my lack of motivation, this is what you get. Again, I am sorry that I am suddenly this crappy, slacker blog poster girl.

You Are a Yellow Crayon

Your world is colored with happy, warm, fun colors.

You have a thoughtful and wise way about you. Some people might even consider you a genius.

Charming and eloquent, you are able to get people to do things your way.

While you seem spontaneous and free wheeling, you are calculating to the extreme.

Your color wheel opposite is purple. You both are charismatic leaders, but purple people act like you have no depth.

"Genius" HA! That one actually made me laugh out loud. While I think/hope that most of this is true, I found it interesting when I went back and changed one of my answers. There was one that I was teetering between two choices and when I switched them, it said that I was purple. Which is the exact opposite! I guess that since I laughed at "genius", I think I have "no depth". Oh well.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Who is Murphy?

Updated at the bottom

I got a bone to pick with him and his law!

So last night (read early this morning) as the evil West Texas wind began to blow a monsoon into the city, Ashley and I left Club Overrated. We did our best to walk to the cars against the wind. Easier said than done considering I am the short one of the group standing at 5’11” and we had consumed more wine than ever necessary and Ash’s favorite champagne. I have no idea what she was celebrating. Life, maybe? Thankfully we are all skinny and pretty aerodynamic. We make it to the car and she is fumbling for her keys because mama brought her big purse. I roll down the window to ask if she is good to go, and POP! My window is stuck. Down. CRAP! All I am really worried about is getting home before the rain. I do. It is all good. I wait this morning for the rain to pass and take my car to the shop to get an estimate.

$750!! POOP!

You may remember that I paid off my car in October, got in an accident a week later, paid $500 deductible, blew a tire Sunday night coming home from Christmas at Dad’s, bought two new tires on Monday, and now this. So, by my calculations, since I paid off my car, I have made the equivalent of 3.4 car payments in repair bills.

Seriously, where is this Murphy guy!

Update: I have learned a couple of things tonight. One, it is freaking COLD to drive with your window down! Now, it is not a tundra down here in the south, and as mentioned, I was never great at physics, but driving 80 MPH in wind gusts up to 43 MPH creates a wind chill of like -40 degrees. GOOD GOD!

Two, it is not a good idea to go to a concert and park in a shady place with Lock, Take, Hide signs with your window rolled down. Nothing was taken, but how bad is it that I did not even think about it until I came out of the concert? Oops!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Here's to everyone

And whatever you may celebrate during this time of year. Here is a picture I took of my church after Christmas Eve service. This is where I "grew up" so to speak.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Take my girl card and youth card

No, seriously. Here, have them. Keep them. They are all yours. There are few things that make me “girly”. I do not craft; I build. I do not shop; I shoot. I would prefer a college football game to a craft show any day. I do not complain about my weight and I can literally get ready in 10 minutes. It is a plus when you do not wear makeup and your wardrobe consists of jeans, Chuck Taylors, and anything that is ironed.

As mentioned here before, I do not enjoy shopping. I shop like men…go, get in, get it, and get out. (That sounds far dirtier than intended by the way.) Well, I realized today that Christmas is tomorrow, and I needed shoes to wear to church. All I need is a new pair of black peep-toe heels. My old ones have been resoled twice and will not withstand a third go at the cobbler. I knew it would be tough given “‘tis the season”, but really?!

I went to the fancy mall three miles from my house because fancy people go there. By no means do I fit into this category, but I knew it would be less crowded than the malls with stores like The Gap and Dillard’s. (Nothing wrong with those places, I shop at them, but Fancy Land has Barney’s, Neiman’s, and 7 diamond stores. Enough said)

It was not horribly crowded, but I had a crazy hard time finding a pair of shoes. Why are all the heels out there now like 5 inches high? And platform? I do not swing on a pole for a living! I am sure they look cute on some people, but my chicken legs are not the target audience for this look. Long story short on the shoes is that I settled for a pair that works for work and I am going to try to “dress them up” for Jesus’ birthday.

My shopping trip was capped off with a feeling of “GEEZ! I am old. And not girly”. You see, the very kind gentleman that owns/manages Fancy Land often shuts down stores so that celebrities can shop in peace. It is really nice of him to do, and means a lot to the honored guest. Often times these are only mildly important local athletes or the occasional “B” lister, but today. TODAY! It was…brace yourself ladies…


I know. Right.

I heard a mumble or two about these guys as I was power walking from one store of hooker heels to the next. Normally it would not have fazed me, but today I overheard GROWN MEN talking about them. Weird. As I walk into a store, I see a blond blur rushing toward me. She stops and calls my name startled. It is a young girl I know from my teaching era. She is near tears because (imagine a slight valley accent and over dramatics) “her friends A and B had just met the Jonas Brothers and now she will NEVER meet them”. I kinda giggled, offered the best support I knew how, and backed away slowly.

As I begin my next power walk, a crowd of people slows me up. They are gathered outside of a nice jewelry store that is being blocked by a LARGE cop. Not security guard. COP! I glance over my right shoulder and OMG! There they are! All three of them. In all their skinny jeaned glory. THE JONAS BROTHERS! Performing my caring adult duty, I rush back to the store, find the blond blur and notify her of their whereabouts. Off she went. The blur returns.

I then realized I suck at shopping. I never liked boy bands. New Kids, N’Sync, Backstreet, none of them. I cried when I saw Limp Bizkit in concert. Does that count? I also look at the Jonas boys and think “what nice young men”. But yet, I was slightly annoyed that they thought it a good idea to go shopping in the middle of the day, two days before Christmas, at a busy mall where they knew stores would have to be shut down.

Anyway, I got my shoes, made a young girl’s Christmas wish come true, and came out alive. Minus my girl card, youth card, and 2 hours of my life.

Just a side my research for this post, I found out that the Jonas Brothers have 1,110,000 friends on MySpace. Do you feel lonely and friendless now? And who still uses MySpace?!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

End of year... personally

Pretty basic. Pretty simple.
Took a job doing something I NEVER imagined I would do in life.

Paid off my car, paid off the kitchen remodel (in less than a year!), and managed to save a little money.

Took a summer off for the first time in 10 years (odd since I was a teacher) and traveled a bit.

Reconnected with old friends and got to know my family better.

Witnessed loved ones accomplish some big life goals (Bro) and others put themselves on good paths in life (Eb).

I was blessed with a few amazing friends that have taught me that there is good in people and encourage me to focus on the positive (Robyn, Julie, & CL). I used to only do this with one person in my life (you know who you are).

One of the best parts of the year was witnessing and taking part in history with the election season. It did not hit me what a big deal it was until that day, but I am so glad I am here to witness it all.

In the end, 2008 was a success! It can all be summed up with one lyric…I won some and learned some.

And because I forgot to add it to the post yesterday...

Happy Birthday Scott!
Thanks for being around. I know that it is sporadic and honestly, I completely understand. You are a great friend and I really enjoy our dinners out and the times we hang out and watch terrible TV. ;) Here’s to you. Have a great time in the new decade, you old man!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

End of the year... work wise

Well, yesterday was the first official day of my two-week vacation. I cannot believe it is already over. It seems like yesterday was my first day at the new job, but it has been almost 5 months! Usually at this time of year I wipe my tears and sink into my couch in a deep depression because of the fact that I have to go back. This year? I already miss it. After a job where I cried literally EVERY SINGLE DAY, I realize I only cried once these past 5 months. I used to become physically ill from my job and had limb-numbing migraines that would force me to have MRIs. These past few months? I had one. (And it was more from a lack of stress management than from the job itself.)

This new job has allowed me to see the best in people. It has taught me that you can be a leader and be positive. What a novel concept! It has reignited my desire to work hard and continue to learn. I so appreciate both the people I work for and the people I work with…for the first time in years.

Given the economic situation, I am not sure what the future holds for me at the company, but no matter what happens it has been the most fantastic year! I could not be more grateful or feel more blessed!

Now I am off to celebrate!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

All four in one week

Sat Sun

75 69 36 40

51 55 28 22

Here is the forecast for the next four days. I bought a sweater on Tuesday to wear this weekend, but it will not be making a showing until Sunday. It should be noted that I had a half day on Tuesday because of snow that morning. CRAZY, and I love it!

So sorry to all of yall that are buried under 2 feet or more of snow. If you need me, I will be at the pool.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Only missing the cookies

Much debate went into whether or not the decorations would go up this year. It is so much work for a single gal. It is not like my little girl cares if the house is festive. She is a dog for cryin’ out loud! The conclusion was to put up enough to bring in a bit of Christmas cheer, but there is still a box that will not come out this year. My house will serve as a bed and breakfast for the week after Christmas and I want it to look at least a little seasonal. Oh man, which reminds me…some serious cleaning needs to be done before my mom’s side of the fam descend upon the great Lone Star State.

Anywho…here is the tree. Tall, skinny, and overly accessorized with 535 lights. This tree took 3 hours and a dozen 4 letter words to assemble and decorate.

The tablescape…this tree took 3 minutes to assemble and decorate. Hey, it was good enough for Charlie.

Entry table…I cleaned off the mail and three sets of keys for the photo shoot. You're welcome.

Stockings are hung…I am sure Santa will be able to find the armoire. Yes, my dog’s stocking is better than mine, I know. I made it as practice just in case I ever have children.

Top of the armoire…I got all three hurricanes for $6 at an estate sale. God, I love those sales!! That picture to the right is from Christmas last year. My aunt was hell bent and determined to come from MI and surprise my mom at church on Christmas Eve. I think deep down she knew it would be her last trip to see us. Love ya, miss ya Aunt Pat.

The presents are all wrapped and ready to go to their new owners. Except one. Dang it, Eb!

Coffee table…these were a gift from someone I work for this year. They are not really my style and I would have never picked them out, but they are gorgeous when lit and smell delicious.

Oh, and who can forget McSanta O’Claus? He comes bearing shamrocks, blarney, a pot o’ gold, Guinness, and Jameson. No, he is not a crackhead, but he does stay out until March 17th.
So there it is...the casa de cheer. Hope yall got all your decorations out and up despite the 70 degree weather.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Purses, Pizza, and Auctions...Oh My!

Friday night Julie, the Mr., and the Young ‘un came up to visit. We wii-ed. We shopped. We ate. It was great!

The young ‘un and I played Wii Friday night while the Mr. organized his sinister plan for Saturday, and Julie laughed at the ridiculousness around her. I cannot really blame her.

The Mr. headed out early Saturday morning for an auction and the rest of us took our time getting ready. We went to the Land of Handbags & Cheap Jewelry and bought both. We went to Bro’s restaurant and put the Young ‘un to work with the dishes in the kitchen. Not kidding. Bro is so good with kids, he can convince them to bus their own table. Then we went to the town square and craft stores.

Just when we thought the day was done...

We get the call to head to the auction. And pick up a U-haul on the way. WHAT?! Evidently it went well. I will admit that I was a little jealous of the loot the Mr. came away with that day. Not that I was in the market for any of his purchases, but MAN! This guy got a bargain. B-A-R GAIN!

After a U-haul debacle, the trailer was picked up today amidst a marathon, and everyone and everything got home in one piece.

It had been a long day and there were no U-hauls to be found!It was so great to see yall and we need to do it again! Blogher '09?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Which way to confession

Lord forgive me. I have committed a sin for which I know better. Maybe not a sin according to the church, but it is one for this recovering Catholic.

I went to Target. Tired and hungry.

It could have been ugly. But my Target is GHETTO!! There was a list involved, but it did little good.

The first stop was to the seasonal section. WHAT WAS I THINKING?! I wasn’t. Thank God when I got to the grocery side of the store it was as if people were preparing for Y2K again. Seriously, look at this!
Is there a natural disaster I am unaware of here?

The only stuff on sale is still on the shelf!

Did I mention that I was in a time crunch? Basically, it turned into a game of Supermarket Sweep. The prize at the end? Well, this week’s dinner menus consist of Princess fruit snacks, spaghetti o’s with beef franks, goldfish, and generic hot chocolate. But man! My tablescape will look super cute with the new ornaments. It took 15 minutes to decide which ones to finally buy.

P.S. -- This was not the 100th post I was hoping for, so I am going to wait until the 100th post of 2008. I think I can make it before New Year's Eve...stay tuned!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Attention Black Friday Shoppers

Hello fellow midnight madness shopper! It was great getting to know the back of your car, oh you back there, and your headlights shining into my car, too. Did you know that your brights were on, cause I sure did. Well, after staring at your bumper to avoid going into a seizure because of your brights in my rearview, I am glad that the hour plus of literally inching into the parking lot is done. We have all three found a spot. It is 1:15 in the morning. Let the shopping commence! Lovely not chatting with you one because we were in separate cars and two I do not speak Korean. Have fun!

On to meet new friends. Why hello crazy ass that drove no less than three hours to get a plain green sweater on sale for 20% off. It is so good to see you spending your hard earned money in my state. How about those low gas prices? Great, huh? You enjoy that sweater with a little Ralph Lauren polo horse monogrammed on it. Well, see you in forty-five minutes when I will walk past this store and you will still be in line. Have fun!

Oh look, an adorable child in a stroller. WAIT! IT IS 2 AM! WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR KID DOING SHOPPING?! Is 40% off really that big of a deal? Please take her home and her eight or nine year old brother too. Please stop chastising them and asking him to stop crying. Just imagine you are an eight-year-old boy and your mom wants you to try on clothes at 2 am! Nothing says fun like that scenario. GO HOME!

Thank you kind Banana Republic employees. You truly were a delight to work with this morning. You have been nothing less than efficient and accommodating. Seriously. Your sale was enjoyable as well. Thank you for $658 worth of clothes for $312.

Hey mother nature, turn off the faucet! The 3 AM downpour was not cool, but thank God I did not park in the field across the street. Sucks to be impatient.

Hey, real life friends that I have not seen in months. Fancy meeting you here at this ungodly hour of the morning. Don’t you worry. I looked past the pajama bottoms and sweatshirt. To be honest, I was a little jealous of your comfy attire.

4:30 am trip to Wal-mart? Why of course! I would give a shout out to my new friends that came in the dark and left in the early morning mist, but to be honest, you people were on a mission. Your motivation brought the whole extended family and spread it out around the store to get everything from electronics to clothes to toys. I envy your drive and efficiency!

Shout out to the three other people that were with me at Old Navy. Thanks for helping me pick out colors for my two new cashmere sweaters for a cool $20. ‘preciate it!

I hope that you all know that I say this with love. YOU ARE CRAZY! Yes, I am among you, but I am healthy glass a day crazy. You, with the kids, are straight up crazy. You, the urban camper, who has been outside of Best Buy for 36 hours, are crazy on the rocks. And you? The guy that took a gun to the toy store or got pissed when they closed the store because there was a fatally injured person in the entranceway? Well, I just do not know what to say about you.

Until next year, yall! It was lovely seeing you, do not call me, I will call you, and lets keep the kiddies tucked in next year.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Could Wii talk?

Day 4

Thanksgiving day was pretty normal. Ya know, breakfast donuts, parade, set table, appetizers, football, turkey, Black Friday ads, dessert, nap, evening munchies, and all the regular stuff. It was just the girls this year. Bro’s new restaurant happens to be about 3 miles from mom’s house so there was no why-does-my-son-not-love-me-he-never-calls guilt trip to get him to show up for the holiday. Mom gave him an out to stay home and sleep because she can pop in on him regularly. Long story short – he has been in the restaurant industry for 10 yrs and usually provides thanksgiving meals to people so we only really see him at Christmas.

Because it was just the girls, and one can only go through the ads to plan their Black Friday attack so many times, I took the new Wii up to mom’s house. People, I missed my calling! I should sell these things! I have not seen my family laugh so hard together in a long time. Even Bea got into it and was adamant that everyone took their turn. We played all the basic games, trained, and figured out everyone’s Wii fit age. Sorry Sis, it must suck to be 68. HA! I think the highlight was when I switched to the boxing game for Sis to get some cardio. You may be laughing right now, but it kicks your butt if you go more than 4 rounds. Her first opponent? Another Wii character that coincidentally had the same name as her ex-husband. Let’s just say he went down FAST! 

Once the Wii dust cleared I can honestly say that I pulled something, and mom and Sis both bought one the next day.

Among the many, many things I am thankful for this year, I am most grateful for my family because they stick with me and always make me laugh. We truly do put the fun in dysfunctional.  

Mom floatin' like a butterfly  
Sis having way too much fun boxing

Friday, December 5, 2008

Middle of the break

Day 2 = unproductive; cannot remember what I did. I thought about working, but did nothing.

Day 3 = cleaned, laundry, wrapped gifts, worked a bit, dry cleaning, Disney on Ice (see post below)

Wednesday was a bit of a long day. On my way home from Disney, I got a phone call. You see I have this friend that pops in and out of my life when they feel so inclined. The timing does not always work well with my life, but I am always there for them. To be honest I do not remember what the point of the phone call was, but I ended up heading over to their house after about 3 months of not talking.

We had a great time together. We always do. Even in the worst of times; deaths, births, divorces, moves, crappy relationships, car accidents, family drama, tears, and laughs, we always come out on top. Through it all we simply share a quick glance, smile, and feel good about the moment. Knowing that in the end the lesson will be learned, a memory made, and hopefully a bit of a laugh.

That night we played Wii. I am improving and have rediscovered the original Mario Bros. I also found a ridiculous amount of joy from some random game on PS3. You get to design your own character and then take the cute little nugget to these different worlds. I was repeatedly told, “it is all about physics, Colleen”, but you know what? I cheated in physics. I do not have a damn clue how to do real life physics let alone video game science. But it cracked me up to try.

We ended the night with a little Generation Kill. Such a great show! (Side note: I should really start to take pictures of my life to post in these things.)

It was a lot of fun. It will be a lot of fun the next time I get a phone call. In the end, it is always a good time!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

So behind

So behind on the posting because let’s be honest, I am boring. Regardless, here is a Thanksgiving recap…

I am one of those lucky, lucky few that are given an entire week off for Thanksgiving. This is the first year that I have been giving this little treat and let me tell you; it is lovely! The weekend before the break is posted below and that brings us to Monday.

I decided to give Sis a bit of a break and voluntarily took Bea Christmas shopping. This is a big deal because Bea and I fight like siblings most of the time, and she is a bit moody. You never really know if she is going to want to hang out with you. I risked it. Luckily she was in a good mood so we headed out to the mall close to Bea’s house.

Another reason this was a big deal is because I am NOT a shopper. I figured that if anyone was going to get a Christmas present this year it needed to be picked up during the day, thus Monday afternoon. Bea and I went through the ENTIRE mall! She was great. The only time she complained was really because of me. We were in Restoration Hardware and I asked her if some pillows would look good on my couch. She scrunched her nose and said, “Aunt Coz, we are not looking for you. I want to go.” She was right. We left. After 3 hours of bonding at the mall and some dinner, I had all but two gifts done. Go us!

Day 1 = productive

Monday, December 1, 2008

I finally found him

That is right. I was beginning to give up. As Charlotte York McDougal Goldenblatt once said, “I’ve been dating since I was 15. Where is he? I’m exhausted!” Well, I found Mr. Incredible! No, Eb, I did not meet him in 9th grade, Mr. Funny pants.

Okay, okay…so it was really just my mom dressed as Mr. Incredible…

We went with Bea and Sis to Disney on Ice last Wednesday. I have to admit that I absolutely LOVE these things. This was the fourth one we went to, and every time we walk out we all agree it was the best one yet. Although, looking back, I have to say Nemo on Ice is the best. Only two drawbacks… 1. There is A TON of kids at these things (go figure), and I do not really enjoy the company of children. 2. The marketing for crazy overpriced crap is amazing. There is no t-shirt less than $18, no princess wand less than $15, and Bea’s choice of a spinning light up Cinderella thing for $20. I selected a fine dining meal of a hot dog, pretzel, Dr. Pepper, and of course, cotton candy for a cool $21. Yep, you read that right, 21 BUCKS! Honestly, it is so worth it to see Bea light up and yell “take my picture” every time a new character came on the ice. Oh, and meeting Mr. Incredible was fun, too.