Monday, December 14, 2009

A year full of thanks

Okay, so I've been behind, which is clear by my month overview that was supposed to catch me up in the blog world, but the truth is, I never did a "what I have to be thankful for" post. Now, I'm an avid fan of giving thanks on more than one day a year, so here goes my year of thanks, not on Thanksgiving, but on my own late terms.

The truth is that I have so much to be thankful for that it's almost ridiculous to me that I am this blessed. So, here goes another bullet pointed list.

  • My husband was laid off from his job in the spring of this year. I am grateful for a lot of things that occurred because of this development in our lives. First off, the day it happened, we did not panic, we sat down that evening and calmly discussed what things we could live without and things we could scale back on. I am thankful that we remained calm and that I have a marriage so strong that a stressful incident of that magnitude did not come close to disrupting our happiness and did not make us once direct the stress at each other. Secondly, my husband no longer enjoyed that job. In fact, he pretty much hated it and was in a bad spot. I think a power higher stepped in because he would have never quit that job because it was financially great and his work ethic is strong. Lastly, I am thankful for a new, supposedly temporary job, that came along a month later and is still going strong and makes him happy to get out of bed and go to ever day. This situation showed me that we can handle pretty much anything, as long as we are together and money truly does not buy happiness and, if you stop and pay attention to where the money is going, you'll find that you don't need most of it. Most of us live well beyond our means and when you cut back on things, like eating out or going to Target four days a week, you won't even miss them and you'll wonder why you ever did those things.

  • I'm a nurse! I am very thankful for this. It was hard and there was doubt, but I graduated, passed my boards, and am now doing something that makes my soul feel satisfied. I only wish that everyone was as lucky as I am.

  • I am thankful for our ever changing house guests and for the things I have learned because of them. I am gaining parenting skills, great conservations, more appreciation of my relationship with Aaron, gratefulness for a beautiful home that is so much more than just a house, and much respect for the parents out there. It seriously is a hard job.

  • Odds and Ends things: my health, always having food in our pantry and heat in the cold and air in the heat, that our families have made it through the tough recession fairly unscathed, for all the hugs, kisses, and well wishes I have received all year long (I was blessed without a lot of these), friends to make me laugh, a full calendar, though tiring, full of social events, an obscene amount of clothing and shoes in my closet, and enough love in my heart for me to share.

This has been an unbelievable year, even with the bumps along the way. I can't wait until next year to see what is in store for us, possibly the pitter-patter of little feet or at least the anticipation of hearing them. (Don't worry, B. I'll give you a heads up!) If you're reading this, then thank you for being in my life. I couldn't image my life without any of the people in it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A day late...make that a month!

Okay, so it's harder than I thought to keep up with reading blogs, writing this blog, facebook, and basically, anything involving the computer, when I'm not sitting in front of it five days a week and prefer face-to-face contact when I'm given a few free moments. I'm trying to find a new and better juggling act because the one I have been using has left many things laying on the ground around me. When did we all become so busy? Those moments of stopping and taking a breath are few and far between. With that being said, I'm going to try to do better with the blog because I actually enjoy writing it and it is a way of stopping and taking a breath for me. So let's rewind a month and I'll fill you in on what I've been doing. I know, you've all (all five or six of you) been anxiously awaiting my return.

One Month Recap

  • I started one of the jobs of my dreams (Yes, I have many dream jobs). It has been eye-opening to say the least. I spent the first week and a half, terrified and feeling as if I was only in the way, since I am a new nurse in a very, very busy atmosphere with many experienced nurses. I'm getting into the swing of things now. I actually had three rooms by myself all day on Saturday. I've learned I'm much slower than everyone else, but when I voiced my concern, I was told it would be at least six months before I had a routine down and a year before I felt really comfortable. Highlights (good and bad) on the job have included seeing a chest tube put in someone with a pneumothorax, an NG tube put into some one's stomach, getting fetal heart tones on a pregnant patient, seeing two patients code and be shocked and brought back to life, being taught by someone who could have cared less, being taught by experienced people who gave me tips that I will use to make things go more smoothly for myself in the future, numerous ivs (both successful and unsuccessful), seeing a patient being intubated, being hit on by two of my patients (this falls into the bad category), being told at least ten times that I look either 22 or 23 or 19 or 20 (this falls in the good category), having a 7 month old take a flu swab better than a grown man, and many, many other things. It's crazy how fast the day goes. It's a blur and I love that. I love how I go to one room and it could be a fractured bone, then another room with a patient with chest pain, and then to another with kidney stones. Working in the ER takes every bit of what we learned in school and then some. I thought I would be wide awake when I got home from a 12-hour shift, possibly on an adrenaline rush, but instead, I'm usually exhausted, so sleeping hasn't been an issue. I've been working 7am-7pm, but this week, I start on 12pm-12am. We'll see how that goes. All in all, it's been everything I thought it would be and I'm excited to see and do more. I'm sure there will be many posts about it in the future.
  • I hosted another successful Thanksgiving for the O family, thanks to help from my wonderful husband and sister-in-law, who did a lot of prepping and cooking the day before, since I had to work. The menu consisted of apple cider brined turkey, cornbread, toasted pecan, and apple dressing, cranberry salsa, gravy, roasted carrots and parsnips, green beans with a mustard vinegar glaze, roasted brussel sprouts with apples and bacon, mashed potatoes, corn salad, spinach salad with warm dressing, toasted bread, pecan pie, carrot cake, and spicy oatmeal cookies. Now the food was delicious, but what's Thanksgiving without family drama, which was also served to us. Ugh. Can't everyone just get along on a day to be thankful for what you have? We had full bellies, good company, and a warm house to celebrate in. That's plenty to be grateful for and enough to keep most people thankful. I digress. It really was a great day.
  • I also had a great Thanksgiving with my family. We ate well, played games, laughed a lot, and stayed later than I planned to, but I didn't want to leave the fun. No one should have to work the day after Thanksgiving!
  • Other random things that happened, I had a sinus infection and got over it, have started putting up Christmas decorations and after the tree is up tonight, will be finished, had family pictures taken, finished over half of my Christmas shopping, went to a baby shower, savored every moment with Aaron, since we didn't get too many moments, and enjoyed many days going from pajamas to shower to clean pajamas.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bon Appetit!

I've had a gift card to the Viking Cooking School for a year and a half, thanks to some lovely friends (shout out to Ashley!). Things like school and other things got in the way of me using it. Also, I never really saw a class that I loved. However, when I saw the Julia Child class, I knew that was the one!

We made beef bourguignon, souffle, and poached eggs, among other things. All things that I had never tried, but wanted to know how to do. I learned more from the chef teaching the class, than hours and hours of watching food based shows. We laughed, spilled, learned, cooked, ate and had a lovely evening. I highly recommend taking a class, if you're able too. I definitely plan on taking another one.

"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all." Harriet Van Horne

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A new chapter begins...

After years of doubting myself and working in jobs that left me less than fulfilled, I have finally attained my dream of working in the medical field. Now, I didn't quite imagine myself working as a nurse, and though the ER seemed really interesting, I never imagined that is where I would be when dream became reality. You see, when the dream began, age 3 or 4, I wanted to be a doctor. Now I have wanted to do other things (dancer, artist, designer), but the one thing that has maintained consistent is that I wanted to be a doctor. Not just any doctor, a pediatric oncologist. I know in my heart that I'm supposed to work in oncology. I can't tell you why or explain it, but it's what I'm supposed to do. Call it my calling, call it a random hunch, or call it crazy. It is what is and I'll fulfill at least part of it in the future. Who knows, maybe I'll be on the team that cures cancer?

What I do know is that tomorrow I will enter the medical workforce. I have a week of orientation before I put on my newly purchased scrubs and walk confidently (bravado, much?) into the ER where I will finally start my nursing career. I am positively elated and am surprisingly not nervous, but I'm sure nerves may follow. What is important though is that I have started on the path of the dream of all dreams. Now, there are many layers and I'm not quite sure how they will unfold, but I'm proud of myself for not letting go of dream, even when it was just a glimmer buried behind piles of memories and mundane daily happenings. It will all come to fruition one day and when it does, whether it be a monumental breakthrough that everyone will hear about or just a job that I wake up and happily go to every day, I know my soul will be contented and my inner 3 or 4 year old will be positively delighted.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Random Tuesdays

  • I am in love with the song “These Days” by Nico. When I hear the music a smile comes across my whole body from my feet up.
  • I took my social security card out of my wallet, so that I wouldn’t lose it and because it’s frowned upon to carry it around on you now. Well, by taking it out, I lost it! Seriously. Ugh. I need it for Thursday when I go fill out paperwork for my new job. That’s right, new job! There will be more to come on that.
  • Why can’t Ani Difranco play a show here? I’m really sorry that I missed you last time you were here, Ani. Don’t hold that against me and come back sooner rather than later. I could use a good show.
  • I found some pretty awesome finds at Goodwill today, including a Jesus painting that invoked weird stares from Mr. O and his sister. All I know is the lady that checked me out at Goodwill said, "Well, I knew he wouldn't last long." I will definitely post them later, which reminds me that I really should add some photos here. I know you want more from me than just words.

Falling for you all over again..

As I was walking from work to my car yesterday, I got caught in a swirl of falling leaves and I was delighted. The leaves are changing and falling gracefully to cover the ground in most brilliantly hued coat. I love Fall!

"It is not everyone," said Elinor, "who has your passion for dead leaves." -Sense and Sensibility

Monday, October 26, 2009

10 things I love...

I hate leaving the house when it’s still dark outside and the stars have forgotten that it is morning and they should be slumbering instead of showing off all their bedazzled glory. In order to make myself feel better about, not only having to get myself up at 5:15 on a cold Monday morning, but also having to step out into the darkness to leave for work, I decided to make a list of 10 things that I love, just to cheer me up. I know someone that carries around a notebook for the purpose of writing down things that they love whenever they are exposed to one. I think this is a lovely idea and may start doing it myself or I may start making this a weekly or monthly blog entry. What better way to cheer yourself up, than a reminder of all things that bring a smile to face and to your heart.

10 things I love…

1. Having a slow-paced morning with no rush and still getting to work on time
2. Baking a pie from scratch and having it come out perfectly in all its scrumptious wonder
3. Days where I go from pajamas to shower to clean pajamas
4. Wrapping up in a blanket and sipping hot chocolate on cold nights
5. Fall clothes with all their delicious layers
6. Learning some new tidbit/tip that I can apply in my life
7. Scrabble games with the ones that I love
8. Music that instantly brightens my mood
9. Bike rides with good friends that include picnics in far-from-travelled spots
10. Thrift store and garage sale finds

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mystic Pizza

I made the most delicious pizza last night. I thought I would share the recipe, partly to let you all experience the wonderfulness and partly so that I remember what I did to accomplish its deliciousness. In hindsight, I would have probably added fresh garlic and basil. I think they both would be good additions to the recipe.

Before I share the recipe and because we are on the subject of food, I’m sure most of you have heard that Gourmet magazine has folded. I found out today that the recipes that are on website are going to be up for a limited time, but once the Gourmet website shuts down, then the recipes will no longer be available. You better believe that I have been copying recipes today. Good recipes should not be wasted. Now for pizza!

Veggie-full pizza

1 store bought refrigerated pizza dough (I used Pillsbury)
Store bought pizza sauce (I would have gone with making my own, if I had the time)
5 or 6 stalks of (thin) asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
A handful of baby portabella mushrooms (a ¼ of a container, maybe), cut in thin slices
½ a small red onion, thinly sliced into rings
1 cup of fresh spinach (though I would probably use more next time)
½ to 1 cup of canned quartered artichokes
½ cup roasted red peppers
Rotisserie chicken, as much or little as you want (I had leftover chicken)
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
Shredded mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray pizza pan with nonstick spray. Roll out the dough into about 13-14 inches, a little less than the size of a pizza pan. Add as much sauce as desired. Layer some of the vegetables and chicken. Add ½ cup of mozzarella. Add the remaining vegetables (asparagus-roasted red peppers) and chicken. Top with tomatoes. End with the desired amount of cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Good luck with your demands!

Toddlers are terrorists. There is no negotiating with them. I mean, they can even bring grown men to their knees. I happen to live with the most adorable little pig-tailed wearing, cherub like two year-old. Over the past month or so, things have slowly started to change and the pendulum is swinging in her favor. I can’t get over how smart she is or the ways that she gets out of things. It’s mind-blowing. Not only can I learn a thing or two, but I’m pretty sure the CIA or any con artist/thief could benefit and take some notes.

Ways to get out of a situation or get your way, Ava style!

  1. Don’t like what is put in front of you to eat, merely act like your chewing or drinking. If questioned or asked, state that you are chewing and can’t take another bite or hold your drink in your mouth, so it’s slightly tilted, so that no one will notice that you aren’t actually eating or drinking anything. Most importantly, move the food around on your plate to hide the evidence. In another tactic, if asked if you want a bite, hold up your hand and shake your head, while slightly turned and say, “No, I’m fine. I’m fine,” or stating that you’re “too full” (This one had us all turning our heads, so not to be seen laughing, so that the tactic wouldn’t be considered cute or successful, in hopes that it wouldn’t be used often.)
  2. If you want to dance and the person you want to dance with doesn’t want too, then first state,” I want to dance,” while smiling. If the person doesn’t except, raise your voice one to two octaves, decreasing the smile and repeat the offer to dance. If the person declines again, state, “But I want to dance,” while looking forlorn, let tears well-up slightly, but not too much, in your eyes, and look like all your hopes and dreams have been crushed with that one decline. You’ll get the dance. You will definitely get it.
  3. If you want to thoroughly do some damage to ones ego, spend time with them all day, laughing at their jokes and asking them to hold you. Just when you have them in the palm of your hand, tell them to “Go away!” with disgust and, if they proceed to advance toward you or get in your way, push past them, while telling them to move and get into your (play) car and smile at them as you drive away. It’s crushing. Don’t do it too often though because they will eventually catch on, but if you’re cute enough, it won’t matter. They will fall for it every time.
  4. If reprimanded, told no, or on the verge of being put (into a corner) out, then cry and cry a lot. Cry like you’re heart has been shattered into a million pieces. Let your tears be monstrous in size and every once in a while say the name of the person that did the reprimanding in a pitiful, apologetic and pleading way. Once they finally give in and console you, don’t let them see the smile come across your face, the instant stop of the tears, or the way your voice sounds remarkably unaffected.

Those are just a few. I won’t divulge any more out of respect for Ava’s talent. I thought the teenaged years were going to be the hardest parenting years, but I definitely have been corrected and have started taking notes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Those were the days

Isn't it amazing how a song can take you right back to the past, so much so that you can feel the cool air or hear the conversation as if you were living it all over again? I just had that moment. I'm not embarrassed to admit it was to Candlbox's "You" (Thank you, Jango. If you don't know what Jango is, check it out. It's pretty rockin'.). I could have sworn I was back in August of '95 in B's car heading to the Gallatin Fair. I can even remember part of my outfit and could almost feel the cool air. Yes, we were cool enough to make an appearance at the fair. Everyone was doing it. Ah, but we had alternative motives, involving our "secret" (I use this term loosely, since I'm pretty sure a lot of people knew mine and, if you continue to read, you'll know why.) crushes and hopes of seeing them. It was the two of us, a cool August night, windows partly down, and Candlebox on the radio heading to what we hoped would be our destined lover's arms. The song brought back how much fun we had that night, how much fun we had together back in the day. DT1 and DT2 taking the night and living large. Highlights of that night, including me yelling my crush's name from the top of the ferris wheel, as if he wouldn't think to look up to where the voice was coming from (his friend did and had an amused, you're-an-idiot look on his face), walking by the grav-a-tron and distinctly hearing my sister's voice yell, "Raaallllpphhh!", and having many a laugh with B. Good times.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bringing Sunday dinners back

I’ve been caught in a cloud of nostalgia lately. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve thinking a lot of the past and times with the people that I love most. Most of these memories stem around food. Maybe that’s the real reason that I love food so much. It really does bring people together.

One of the memories that I find myself thinking about frequently lately is going to my grandmother’s house for Sunday dinners. Now they weren’t always elaborate meals, but it was quality time spent with grandmother. I think that’s what Sunday dinners are about, spending time with the people that you love.

In an effort to preserve these memories and to begin new traditions that my children can reflect back on fondly, I am bringing Sunday dinners back to the O Family, and then, hopefully, to my family. Once a month, we have vowed to get together at one of our houses, alternating hosts, to enjoy a late lunch/early dinner and some quality time with each other on a Sunday afternoon. It all begins at our house on November 8.

I’m excited, not only, for the family time, but for the resurrection of a tradition that I loved so much. My heart wells up with joy every time I think of grandmother. She was an amazing woman who touched my life in a profound way. I only wish she was here to enjoy the dinners with us. I’ll have to write about her here on day. She deserves, not to be thrown in with other topics, but to be the center of attention.

Eating with the Oldies may be next

Plans are springing up all over October. I’m excited and, also, tired just thinking about them. Could it really be that I’m not as young as I used to be? I don’t feel old, but I’m oh so tired on most days. I think I need a supplement or a natural source of energy. Maybe it’s time to give up caffeine? How could I do that to my beloved coffee? It would miss me too much. Any suggestions on finding a wealth of energy without coming crashing down in a blaze of caffeine glory?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This apple looks good enough to eat

There is no question, from the people who love me, that I love food and cooking. It’s funny, as I’ve previously written in this blog, I always told my dad that I would hire a chef because I would be too busy to worry about things like cooking my own food or even learning how to do so. What a funny little teenager!

Now we, food and I, haven’t always gotten along this harmoniously. There was a rough sketchy period between ages 14 and 22 were I would have told you that we were sworn enemies, but I have since put down my weapons, waved my white flag and openly embraced everything there is about food.

I love, not just eating and cooking, but the thrill of walking through the farmer’s market and seeing all the gorgeous produce, flipping endlessly and reading through cookbooks, and the discovery of a new found recipe. I also read plenty of food blogs and love to discover delicious dishes at restaurants, so that I can race home and try to imitate or, perhaps even, make them better. What can I say; I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of food.

Now that fall is here and winter is close on its heels, I am once again embracing my favorite time of year to cook. I love stews, winter squashes, soups, and hearty meals that warm you from the inside out. Who needs a coat when eating meatloaf and mashed potatoes or North woods bean soup? My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

In honor of my love of this time, I am once again making a meal plan and trying to stick to it. This is not a tedious task for me, I thoroughly enjoy rummaging through my notebook of “pulled” (from magazines, blogs, or cooking websites) recipes or opening up and flipping through one of my many, many cookbooks to find a new, and yet undiscovered recipe. In mixing the new with the tried-and-true recipes, I have made a menu for the entire month of October.

I won’t bore you with all of it. I will tell you what’s on the menu for this week at the O home. I do this in hopes that this might inspire someone to pick up a cookbook or ask a friend for a new recipe. I heard recently that most of the at-home chefs only have a repertoire of ten recipes. This is disheartening to me. Now, I know, time is the issue for some and others may consider cooking a chore, but there are too many good foods and recipes out there to limit yourself to ten, even if the ten you make are fantastic. Pick a day a week and try something new. Your stomach will thank you!

On our menu this week:

Monday: Honey-roasted chicken with parsnip fries and mixed green salad with pears, cranberries, and toasted cinnamon and sugar pecans.

Tuesday: Butternut squash soup and chicken salad (made from leftover honey chicken) sandwiches

Wednesday: Leftovers (If there are any!)

Thursday: Sweet Potato and Hominy stew (this has beef in it and it was supposed to be Lebanese Stuffed Eggplants, but my menu got off and I had to adjust)

Friday: A piled high veggie pizza (I plan to use artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, and any other fresh ingredient that I can get my hands on)

Saturday: We’re going out to a friend’s graduation party

Sunday: Chicken confetti casserole, green beans, and rolls

Friction, Baby

After witnessing several different people at my work half-heartedly wash their hands after using the restroom, not only was I appalled, but I thought, “This is an opportunity for teaching.” What is the most important thing about the process of washing your hands? Is it the soap? Is it warm water? No, my friends, it is actually the friction, so dousing your hands under the water without even rubbing them together, isn’t doing much. In this season most dominantly controlled by the flu and its different variations, please don’t be afraid to let your hands get to know each other by feeling each other up as you are washing them. My non-diseased ears, nose, lungs, and throat all thank you.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blue light special..aisle everywhere

Today was the day of deals! It started at Goodwill. Now I've been a visitor of Goodwill for along time. Recently though, I've been going a lot. There are several reasons why.

First off, you can't beat the price. Secondly, lovely vintage finds that no one else will have. Who wants to be wearing the same thing as someone else? Also, for the sheer delight of finding (like I did today) red pleather pants, a 1980's color block sweater and a spandex tie-dyed turtle neck. I like to think that all those items could tell you one hell of a story, if they could talk, and if I purchase an item, then its story continues.

Now I don't understand why you wouldn't want to help out your community, have a one of a kind item, and spend little and get a lot. I get the germ thing to a certain extent, but that's what hand-sanitizer and washing machines are for, to get out other people's funk. Of course, I was much more of a germ-a-phobe before becoming an RN. I guess you have to get over it when you're cleaning up poop. Now I'm going to tell you my motto for fashion. You know, I love me some fashion! Never, ever rule out a place, regardless of what you think they may have or any stereotypes out there. If you don't go in, then someone else will end up looking cute in something you would have bought had you gone into the store. I go everywhere and anywhere. Go to Goodwill. I digress now.

Okay, so what did I find, you ask? Well, let's see. I got a vintage pair of black boots that rock, Jiffy Cooking cookbook from Better Homes and Gardens, circa 1967, with a lovely message from Staci to Nannie on her 81st birthday (yes, I had to buy it after reading that), an awesome plaid shirt with slightly puffed sleeves from who knows when, a perfect-fit, minus the slightly too short sleeves, black blazer that I have been looking forward to finding, so that I can wear it with a t-shirt and jeans, and a tobacco brown suede belt with a large gold buckle. Grand total, $15.10. It doesn't get much better than that, folks.

I continued my journey onto Big Lots. I won't bore you with the mundane snacks or lotion I picked up, but I will say I picked up the large bamboo bowl that I eyed about two months ago, which was marked down from $30 to $9. Shut your mouth, it's the truth! Next, I went to Ross where I walked away with a short pair of black cowboy looking boots for $9.99. I'm sure Ms. Cheap wishes we were blood-related now.

I swear, I get high off of deals. I felt euphoric in Ross. I almost couldn't concentrate. I found myself aimlessly walking around in a haze. It's pretty amazing to save that much money and to get nice things. Of course, when you have 69 pairs of shoes, how much money are you really saving? All I know is that the shopping gods were smiling on me today, and I'm not coming down for a while.

P.S. I don't want to overwhelm you, but I saved $92 at Kroger yesterday too.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Innocence is the brightest thing

I just read a blog entry about the love between two five year olds. It was absolutely the sweetest thing. My heart almost burst. What I wouldn’t give to trust unconditionally, walk around at recess holding hands and to truly live in each moment without a thousand thoughts in your head. Ah, to be five again, if just for a day.

Ode to Mr. O

Aaron and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary on September 28. It blows my mind that we’ve been married that long. It’s even more mind-blowing that I love him so much still, not that you don’t expect, years down the road, to love someone after you marry them, but I see enough bad relationships around me that I very much appreciate what I have and am grateful for it. We’ve been together almost nine years. That’s almost a decade, people! Reasons that he sends my heart a flutter:
  1. We make up songs and sing everything. Don’t ask me how it started, but we do it without thinking about it. Hayden picked it up from us and started doing it when he lived with us. Everything can be turned into a song!
  2. We are dorks at heart. It’s the truth. We cover up our dorkiness around others, but at home, it all hangs out. The crazy thing is we say the same things. It will be dorky and random, yet we’re saying the same thing. That, in its self, is awe inspiring to us sometimes. We just stop and look at each other like, “Wow. Really?”
  3. I’ll catch him staring at me across the room sometimes and when I look at him, he’ll smile and say, “I love you.” That makes a girl feel pretty special.
  4. He tolerates the following things because he loves me: horror films, my full on ADD energy that will come out at any moment, soup in hot weather, two blankets on the bed during winter, extremely hot showers, indie films, my clothes and shoe obsessions, my love of cooking and attempts at all new recipes, pumpkin spice coffee, my cold feet on his legs at night, my obsession with Christmas and all holidays and birthdays, my never-ending questions about everything at inopportune times, like when he’s in the bathroom, walking the dogs late at night, and my multi-tasking during tv and movie watching. I’m sure there are a ton more, but he loves me for me and that means all my little quirks.
  5. The fact that he’s going to be a great dad. Our nephews, nieces, and friend’s kids all love him. He’ll be right on the ground playing with them. That’s how a good dad should be. He really loves kids and everyone can tell.

No one should settle for someone that doesn't make them utterly happy. I know I'm looking forward to the next seven years and hopefully many more after that.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

And another thing or two

To add to yesterday’s post.

11. Sleeping in just underwear and a tank. Pretty soon, I’ll be bundled from head to toe.
12. Ice cream. I still plan on eating it year round, but it’s so refreshing on a hot day.

Houston, we have lift off

Now, I don’t want to jinx myself, but I have a job interview tomorrow. Yes, your prayers, spells, and meditation have seemed to work. Plus, I’ve been sending the message that, “You will send me the job that I want,” out into the universe. The universe seemed to have answered back with a, “For you, Renee. Yes, I will.” I’m a happy girl. More details to follow.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Summer, don't leave me

It's funny. I’ve never really been a Summer person. I don’t like the heat and I hate the lack of clothing. I love clothes, so the more the merrier. I like layering and being wrapped in a cozy sweater. I love the smell of Fall, anything pumpkin, hot cocoa, boots and the first cold nights. What can I say, I’m a Fall girl at heart. Now, I never thought I’d say this, but I’m going the miss the summer. I’m slightly heartbroken that it’s over.

Things I’ll miss most:
  1. I’m sun-kissed and it’s starting to fade. It makes me sad. Not that I’m an avid tanner, but what’s a little glow from the sun? I will not use the evil that is the tanning bed.
  2. Gladiator sandals
  3. The smell of sunscreen and my summery perfumes.
  4. My new bathing suit with its skull and crossbones because I’m so Rock-n-Roll.
  5. The beach, that I didn’t even get to go to this year, and now as the weather gets cooler, I know that I've almost missed my chance for the year.
  6. Summer nights, whether it be beer in hand, Scrabble on the back deck, riding with windows down, etc. I'll miss it all.
  7. The Summer sun. All the days of rain, made me appreciate the brightest and even the heat.
  8. Being barefoot
  9. Summer foods, though I welcome chili and soups with open arms
  10. Outdoor shows

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Random Thursdays

The following are thoughts that entered my head today at work.

Does anyone else ever smell hand sanitizer and instantly get taken back to unfortunate nights from their late teens/early twenties? Shuddering.

Urinals. Are they not weird? Can you imagine a line of toilets with no doors and conversations that start out like, “So, Sally, how are the kids?” Do they look? I would want to look. Not in a sexual way, but in a curious way. I am always very curious.

Why does Ticketmaster have that countdown clock when you are trying to buy tickets? Seriously, I get stressed out. What about the people that can’t type very fast? That just isn’t fair. They just want to see a show, man. Give them their tickets.

Why is it when you tell your brain not to look at someone or some thing, you can't stop looking! Don't look at that lady with the makeup that looks like it came straight from Dynasty. Don't look at that hot guy. That's all you want to do after your brain thinks these things. Well, I guess I do know why because your brain is your brain. It will do what it wants. Okay, point taken. Wear a blindfold next time.

Pimpin' ain't easy

I’ve been pimping myself out. No, it’s not what you think. I’ve been confidently marching myself into the HR offices in several local hospitals. I need a nursing job, like yesterday! If I have to make one more copy for someone, I may go postal on them. I do not want to be on the six o’clock news, people! Well, if I am, I’d rather it be for something for more interesting than that, maybe an affair with a local celebrity or a witness to police brutality. Yes, I realize that I’ll be trading the “Can you make me one copy?” for “Can you fetch that fecal sample for me?”. (And)I know this (man!) and I don’t care if I’m up to my eyes in poo (I reserve the right to still say poo, even though I know proper medical terminology now). Oh yeah, I give you all permission to remind me that I said this later when I’m complaining about it.

So, I need you all to say some prayers, whether to God, Buddha, your sun king, or whomever/whatever divine power you give praise too. Do a prosperity dance, write a Wiccan spell or meditate with the image of me in scrubs . I don’t care as long as it delivers me to a job or a job to me. I really do not want to break out the black pleather nurse outfit to get a job. I’d like to be able to say, “Honey, I got the job because I’m smart and they loved me,” instead of, “I don’t know where those marks came from, but I did get the job!”

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Funny how things change

If you had met me when I was seven or eight years old, you would have been told that I was going to be a doctor, an artist, a writer, and a dancer. I was going to do it all and I was going to do it well. My grandmother and mother instilled this in me. I could do anything and everything that I put my mind to, as long as I didn’t quit. “Quitters never win,” my grandmother constantly said. Not only was I going to do all this, but at the time I was dressing like Punky Brewster because my mom also encouraged creativity and the notion that it didn’t matter what others thought about you, as long as you were happy. I was one spunky little kid.

Flash forward to junior high (oh yes, the dreaded junior high), where that spunky little girl turned into I-want-what-they-have-I-must-be-cool girl and where that seven year old became a distant memory. I started a new school and had to make new friends. The friends I made were horrendous. They were cool and they were mean. I don’t like treating anyone badly, so I invited a girl they teased to my birthday party and several of my “friends” did not show up because of it. I started doubting the whole cool thing.

Ah, the teenaged years, I got some of my spunk back. I dressed how I wanted and didn’t care what others thought. I was deemed alternative, skater chick, weird, etc. For the most part, I had a blast, but I lacked the confidence that I had at seven. I was very hard on myself. I spent a lot of time worrying about how much I weighed, if I was smart enough or what HE would think. Ironically, I did not want to get married. I constantly taunted my dad with the notion that I was going to get a one-way ticket to New York when I graduated, where I would live with my boyfriend, never get married or have children, and I was going to hire a chef because I didn’t need to know how to cook and besides I was going to be busy working as doctor. This drove him insane. He had a very 1950’s outlook on how a husband and wife should be and the roles they would play. I did not. I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do.

In my late teens and early twenties, I was very jaded and thought having a boyfriend would be having someone control me and I didn’t need that. Don’t get me wrong, I still had my crushes and guys that what make me turn into a bumbling, hair-twisting idiot, but for the most part I was a pretty strong-willed young lady who still dressed as she pleased. Of course, this stemmed from my childhood, I failed to mention my grandmother and my mom constantly told me that I didn’t need a man to do anything. I could do everything on my own. Funny now, I see my own mom is nothing like this. I think she was trying to get me to be something that she wished she was, but was not.

December 2, 2000, in walked my (future) husband and my world-turned upside down. I spent my twenties learning to cook (and loving it, might I add), falling in love with fashion whether it was cool or not, meeting some fantastic ladies (I mainly hung out with guys, so this was refreshing), and being the epitome of the wife my dad envisioned. Funny, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Things I learned about myself: I love aprons, cooking, and entertaining, I’m way more girly than I thought I would ever be and I do want kids, I think. I’m a little more 1950’s than I care to admit.

Present day, Hello, thirties! What took you so long to get here? I was told repeatedly by my mother, my mother-in-law, and just about any woman over 30 that you “come into your own” in your thirties. I’m just embarking on the 30’s journey, but I can feel it all coming together. I find myself nowadays trying to find a balance between the 7 year old and my 20’s self. I feel them merging together. I worry less about others feelings or what they would want, and more about what I would want. I am finally embarking on my career path after a lot of doubting myself, but I know I’m going to do it and I’m going to do it well. I have less hesitation. I’m still working on the fact that some hesitation is a good thing, and not to just leap and then look around. “Slow your roll, my child,” I hear my grandmother say in head. I realize that I can still be a strong, independent woman and have a husband, bake a pie, and look fierce while doing it. It is eye-opening, confusing, and wonderful all at the same time.

It’s amazing to me, how many Renees I have been over the years. I am in awe of where I started, what I’ve been through, and where I am. I may have gotten lost a few times along the way, but I always end up back on the right path. I cannot wait to see what the future holds, but until then, I’m living in the moment and am grateful for every experience I have been given, whether it was good or bad. Punky power, my friends!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 yourself

So, I love texting now. Yes, I'm a little late on that one too. I know it's impersonal or whatever, but I like being able to carry on a conversation with several people at one time. The other day, for instance, I was texting with four people at the same time. Love it! However, I discovered a flaw, the hard way. I basically called a friend a mfer. Yes, you know the word. Now, had it been in person, they would have known that I that I have an affinity for that word and that I was calling the situation a mfer, not the person. I haven't heard from them since. Hmmm. This is brings me to my post. Here is a list of things you should know about me, just in case, something happens, so that you know that I'm not intentionally doing something that hurts your feelings, nor am I crazy, even if I seem to be some of the time.

  1. Mfer is now my go to profanity word. Mainly, I say it a lot in my head, but occasionally, I say it out loud, especially when driving in my car. I usually don’t call a person that, unless it's in traffic and they deserve it or they are just a mfer. Times I would use it: when Kroger is out of the milk I buy (Mfer!), when I’m left by myself at work because the main five or six people that I talk to are all out on the same day (Mfer!), when I run into something and hurt myself (Mfer!), etc, etc. You get the idea. Think of me how you like. I don't care.
  2. If I don’t say hi to you in the morning or even notice you, it’s because I haven’t had my coffee and I don’t function well early in the morning. I will never be a morning person. EVER.
  3. Aaron and I say, “I’m going to punch you in the face or I’d like to punch you in the face,” or some other variation. If I ever say that to you, it’s actually a term of endearment. We’re not sick, we got it from a movie, where a guy said it to his girlfriend and then they both laughed. We were like, “What?!” It stuck ever since. Of course, my sister-in-law used it against me not too long ago and I was like, “Hey, that’s not nice,” and she was like, “You guys say it all the time. That’s what I meant.” Oh, funny.
  4. I like hanging out with guys, almost better than girls. They are easier. You don’t have to worry about superficial things and you can just kind of chill, unless, of course, you proposition them and then things could become weird, not that I’ve ever done that. Sometimes I'd rather just hang with them and talk about nothing or sit in silence.
  5. I over think things. Can you tell, can you tell, can you tell? It’s a quirky feature that you learn to love. Really. Maybe tolerate.
  6. I have a really immature sense of humor sometimes. My mind immediately “goes to the gutter.” That’s probably why I get along well with guys. Example: “He really likes Bush.” I’m cracking up now.
  7. Sometimes my ghetto comes out. It’s very wannabe ghetto, but still, don’t be surprised if the following comes out in emails, texts, or in person: Shoo, word, holla, fo’ reals, chedda, smalls, etc, etc. You will never see me breaking it down to 101.1 the beat though. That’s reserved for my kitchen, usually with my niece, Ava, who’s two. I have her doing the whole break it down with the head shake. That’s how we roll.
  8. Very wannabe G guys love me. I don’t even have to say anything in #7. I don’t know why. I must exude my inner wannabe ghetto self. They are ballsy too. I’ve been propositioned several times with Aaron right next to me. Yes, I just threw this one in because I think it's hilarious.
  9. I get really bored, really quickly. My mind goes a thousand different directions at the same time. Sometimes it may come off a little crazy or random. I’d prefer to think of it as spontaneous and fun.
  10. I remember a lot of things. I mean, a lot of things! I don’t know why. It’s the gift of a great memory. Don’t think I’m stalking you, will be standing outside your window playing “our” song or go all single white female on you, if I mention what you said or were wearing two months ago. It’s not my fault. My brain just likes to hold on to things fo’ eva.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I've got my head in the clouds...

Okay, so I decided to start blog. Yep, I'm jumping on that bandwagon a little late. Hey, school is out, so what else am I supposed to do? I don't really do the whole idle brain thing or I start to go slightly insane.

For those of you who do not know, I'm a dreamer. I spend most of my time with my head in the clouds surrounded by what ifs and if onlys. Lucky for me, I have a very grounded husband. We balance each other out. I give him a little whimsy and he occasionally gives me my much needed dose of reality, whether I like it or not.

With that being said, I am in a weird place right now. No, not like jump off a bridge, but more like I want to run off and join the circus for a few months. I have this antsy and uncontented feeling. I think I need a hobby, any suggestions? I am pretty sure I'm getting a tattoo. Heck, maybe I'm just having my midlife crisis a little early.

I wanted you all to know this in case you see me walking around with bright pink hair, wearing leather pants and heading off to belly dancing classes. Don't be alarmed, but I'm refusing the dose of reality, just yet.

Other random thoughts in my head today:
  • I am so jealous of kids and their school supplies. I love school supplies. Now for one of my favorite movie quotes, "Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address." I heart Tom Hanks in this role. I would love one, Tom. Thank you.
  • I have a huge crush on lead singer of Chevelle right now. I mean, like I'm taking my afternoon walks and a song comes on my ipod and I'm also taking my clothes off without thinking about it (like how I bring up nudity in my first post?). How do musicians do that? Damn them.
  • I'm excited about September. We have lots of plans. Not to mention, cool air is coming, I can feel it. I love Fall!
  • Why does it have to be so pretty on days when I'm cooped up in the office? It just doesn't seem fair.