Oh Summer, My Old Friend

31 May 2010 | 7 Comments
How I have missed you sweet summer, I'm so glad you're back!  This explosion greets me as I walk out of the door...

The garden is planted.  We even have a few blueberries fattening up!  I can't wait to go out in the morning and pluck ripe strawberries.  I plan on making my favorite summer pasta very soon.  The potted herbs are just waiting to be chopped. 

I hope you had a wonderful long weekend in your part of the world!  We opened my dad's pool {and by we, I mean not me} we barbequed, Finnegan went sailing with Gigi & Papa, we did some stuff around the house and I spent Friday afternoon running cheer tryouts.  We were busy as I am sure most people are on holiday weekends.  How was your weekend??

This week is going to be a busy one around here, tomorrow I have a yummy summer recipe for you.  We're going to the Earth, Wind, & Fire concert tomorrow night... keep your fingers crossed for no rain, won't you?  We're going to try to fit in a trip to the zoo, some swimming at the pool, planting a few more things in the garden, and I have to make a birdhouse... don't ask.  My lunatic mother signed us all up to decorate a birdhouse for a charity auction, my sister Lyndsey's is awesome so now the gauntlet has been thrown.  Any ideas would be appreciated! 

A little reminder, I still have just a few spots open for my Friday Summer Guest Posts, if you are interested e-mail me... the first will be this Friday & I can not wait for you to meet her.

Words To Live By

27 May 2010 | 9 Comments
There is the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, whatever... I'll tell you what I believe, not that I want to change you or make you think how I think, but I live by this:

Try not to be an asshole.

Yep.  That's it.  I try not to be an asshole. 

Some days I fail miserably, but I try. 

You don't even need to be nice!  Or fake!  Or overly pious!  Or give too much!  You just need to try not to be an asshole.  I know it is harder for some than for others.

I wish that my days were filled with only random acts of kindness, but they aren't.  Yes, those days are fabulous, but I just don't have it in me to do that daily.  I wish I were filled with patience and kindness and love and sunshine came out of my butt, but I have bad days too.  We all do.  You do, and I do, and you and you and you over there, every one of us has bad days.  Some are worse than others and you just don't know when your asshole-ishness really really fucking hurts someone in a way you can not repair.  So just don't do it.   That's easy, right?

Go on ahead and be self absorbed, a HeMan woman hater, a judgemental fuckwad that thinks they are better than everyone, a liar, paranoid, a cheating fucktard, a republican {oh, don't all hate me now... I'm married to one!} a lazy ass, the person that drinks too much, the one who doesn't know when to shut up,  whatever you want to be, but... and this is the important part... keep it to yourself.  I know you all feel like you have to share your crazy with everyone else, but don't.  Just don't.

So, um I'm going to go on ahead and wake up tomorrow and try not to be an asshole.  I may even throw in a few sweet words for my husband, maybe a laugh or two with my sisters, and a smile for my friends... you know, just to step it up a notch.  Maybe you will do the same and together our non-asshole-ishness will change the world? 

Probably not... but I'm willing to try anyway.

Summah Blog Business.

26 May 2010 | 4 Comments
Summer is fast approaching.  Where did the first five months of this year disappear?  Gone.  Gone.  Gone.  Memorial Day is this weekend {cupcake topper, anyone?}and is the official kickoff to summer in my book so I've been doing some thinking.  There are always lots of things to blog in the summer because well... it's gorgeous out and it stays light longer which equals more hours in the day, or something.  Flowers are in bloom, gardens are flourishing, lazy days at the pool turn into lazy weeks at the lake, and on and on.  What was my point?  Oh yes.  You.

I am going to be doing two new things for summer here at So Wonderful, So Marvelous. 

The first is a new summer recipe or menu each week.  I am going to try to use local, seasonal items as much as possible and I may even throw in a vlog or two.  Oh, I know you're excited to see me fuck up a vlog and look like an idiot for the internet to make fun of.  Dave and I were talking about being in a cooking rut and how much we love summer for the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies so this is a challenge for me to step it up, hopefully your family will enjoy it too.

Numero dos, this is a call for YOU to be a guest poster here.  Yes, you.  Even if your blog has a whole two readers, including your mom.  Even if you've never blogged before, but you have something to say.  Even if you're wildly successful on your blog and you just want to reach more readers.  If I know you, if I don't know you, regular commenters, someone that has never said hello here ever... I want to hear from you.  And, you can blog about anything.  Share a recipe, do something crafty, talk about your cats & cry over missing Bono {ahem Rachel}, tell us about your vacation, share instructions for perfect sweet tea with us, dirty limmerick, whatever you feel like talking about I want to hear from you. 

If you are interested... and I hope that you are, send me an email with your idea or tell me that you're interested, but haven't a clue what you're going to write about.  I will fill the schedule for each Friday of summer, then just send your post to me via email & you are done.  Lots of link love, new readers, and something new and fun for your Friday reading pleasure.  What more could one ask for?? 

There you have it, summah bloggy business out of the way. 

What are your plans for the long weekend?


24 May 2010 | 3 Comments
My little brother is a freshman in high school.  This is his week of finals and he is furiously turning in projects and preparing for his exams... if by preparing, I mean waiting until the last minute and not studying because he is assininely intelligent.

He called me last night and asked me if he could come over to interview Dave and I for a project he had to turn in {today, I might add} and he wanted to talk about marriage.


He will be fifteen in two weeks.

And he wants to talk about marriage.  Our marriage.

My brother, who doesn't usually say more than two words to me because he is a freshman and beyond cool.  My brother, who is usually surrounded by a group of five other obnoxious teenage friends.  My brother, who barely acknowledges my presence when I am standing in front of him wants to ask Dave and I intimate questions about how we make our marriage work so he can report back to a class full of fourteen and fifteen year olds.

It was awesome.  Really.  And a little weird too. 

We shared with him the moment, just after walking back up the aisle where we snuck off to a room to be alone for a few moments instead of having a receiving line.  We talked about the reactions to our engagement, some I must say weren't the most positive and hurtful.  We talked about what makes our marriage work and what pieces are the most difficult.  We each described marriage in one word and explained why we chose that one word.  We thought about things like how Finn has changed our relationship.  He asked us, "what is the point of marriage?"  And really... what IS the point?  Have you ever thought about it?  My favorite question by far was, "what do you want to tell a room full of freshman boys about marriage?"

Our answer?  Don't get married until you are at least 25, be on the same page about money, and communicate.

The discussion made us both think a lot about our marriage and how far we've come.  Together.  And it reminded us that sometimes a little mindful thinking about your marriage comes at just the right time.  If an almost fifteen year old is the catalyst for that, so be it. 

Even when you're busy, being in love with each other is what got you here, to this place.  And it takes just a moment to bite your tongue, to say I Love You, to kiss, to be there in your marriage.  A little nudge to have sex in the afternoon, to make his favorite dinner, to finish a nagging item on her 'honey do' list, to not let the day to day interfere with the fifty year story of your marriage. 

So tell me, what would YOU tell a bunch of fourteen year olds about marriage?  What one word describes marriage for you?  What do you think about marriage?

Compost Cookies

23 May 2010 | 2 Comments

A few months ago I watched Regis & Kelly.  I have to admit, it's not really in my normal morning routine, but I am so glad that I did.  Kelly did a segment at Mamafuku Milk Bar and Chef Christina Tosi shared her Compost Cookie Recipe.  It reminded me a lot of an Everything Cookie that we used to make as kids.  The cookies where you dumped in oatmeal, chocolate chips, toffee, and whatever else you could find in the house and made a cool 'new' cookie each time... only here, you also add in things like potato chips or pretzels or other savory snacks to compliment the sweet. 

Genius idea.

We just happened to have a rainy day here in Ohio so Finn and I set out to make Compost Cookies a la Christina Tosi.  I also did some reading from others who have tried these and decided to adapt a few things.

Finnegan's Compost Cookies

{recipe adapted from Christina Tosi via Regis & Kelly}

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter  {or use salted and decrease salt by 1/2}
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3/4 c dark brown sugar
  • 2 t vanilla bean paste {you can substitute vanilla extract}
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 T used coffee grounds {use a fine/espresso grind when making your coffee or substitute instant espresso powder here}
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 c oats
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t course salt {I used vanilla bean salt.}
  • 1 1/2 – 2 c baking ingredients {I used pecans, chopped chocolate, a few Rolos, some coconut, a few chopped marshmallows, a chopped gourmet candy bar, a couple chopped Werther's}
  • 1 1/2 – 2 c snack foods {I used potato chips, pretzels, & Crispix cereal}

Chop up all of the baking ingredients and crunch up the snack foods {leave these a bit bigger because the small pieces virtually disappeared into the cookie} into bite size chunks.

compost cookies ingred

Cream the butter & sugar for 2 minutes with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer.

Add the vanilla, eggs, and used coffee grounds.  Set a timer for 6 minutes and whip until the butter & sugars are completely incorporated & turns a light color.  {The original recipe calls for whipping 10 minutes, but I think this was too long and flattens out the cookies a bit too much.}


Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, & oats.  Mix on low until just combined, do not over mix.

Add your baking ingredients.  Mix on low until combined.  {20-30 seconds} 

Add your snack foods.  Mix on low until just combined... just a few turns of the paddle should do it.

compost cookie recipe

Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper and scoop {I used an ice cream scoop} the dough.  I put approximately 6 per cookie sheet.  I put the cookie sheets into the freezer for 3 hours.  {The original says to chill for at least one hour, but I really think you need more time.  Actually, if you can let the dough rest overnight, I think that would be perfect.}

compost cookies

Bake at 400 degrees for 9-11 minutes.

I also had some dough left over so I decided to make some bar cookies as well in a small glass baking dish.  They lend themselves beautifully to bar cookies, they were even better than the scooped because they didn't/couldn't spread as much and were thicker.  Next time I’ll just use a baking dish and make them like that.

compost bar cookie

What would be your ultimate sweet/salty combination of ingredients? 


What are you doing? Watching TV. How 'bout you?

20 May 2010 | 4 Comments

{Because dude, I can't be all... You can't say that!  George, Izzy, & Meredith haven't watched it yet!  They have fancy DVR machines!  They're on the west coast!} 


{But, I am totally not going to ruin it for them especially since two of them aren't even on the show anymore.}

For your reading pleasure, I give you the lazy ass bloggers excuse for a post.

Oh, I know you're all excited.  You're saying to yourself, that lazy ass Michelle sure is going to make my day with her useless drivel because she is too wrapped up in watching season finales to come up with something clever.

But did you SEE Grey's Anatomy??  Holy mother.

Wait, I have to confess something first.  I don't watch Grey's.  Well, I used to, but then my refusal to get cable + my love affair with Michael Scott conflicted with McSteamy {because dude, he's way hotter than McDreamy} and I had to make a Sophie's Choice type decision.

So, I picked the Office.  And really, I had intended on watching Grey's online, but it just didn't happen.

But I do watch the last hour and a half of the season finale every year.  Come on...  You and I both know that it's the best episode of the season anyway.  I do that because I'm weird and then I text/call/message my friends and beg them to fill me in on what has happened all season long WHILE the show is on and they are on the edges of their seats. 

Thankfully they love me or that would be annoying or something.

Because OH EM GEE that was good.  And made me almost pee my pants because I was hopping around and switching back and forth to the Marriage Ref when it got too freaky.  Which was pretty much all of it.


19 May 2010 | 3 Comments

Daddy builds the coolest things.   

And then spends 45 minutes on the floor going round and round the track.

And this is why he is loved.

Milli Vanilli? Anyone?

18 May 2010 | 9 Comments
I've been to a lot of concerts in my years.  My first was when I was 6 or 7 and it was the Beach Boys before Dennis Wilson, their original drummer drowned.  The only thing I remember about it was that I thought it was so cool that they blew up beach balls and had them bouncing around the audience and that we had really good seats.

After that in a melange that is my pre-teen years, it was Heart, Mister Mister, New Kids on the Block, Kenny Loggins and the kicker... Milli Vanilli.  I blame that one on my sister Lyndsey who made us go for her birthday after she came home with their tape after her visit to California one summer.  My cousin John and I still make fun of her for it. 

And on to the high school & college years that brought Def Leppard, They Might Be Giants, Sponge, Beck, Nine Inch Nails, Color Me Badd, Leanne Rhimes, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, De La Soul, Dave Matthews, Sade, Rick Astley, Basia, Jimmy Buffet, Steve Miller and probably lots of others that I will remember only after I post this.  I have to laugh now because some of these were influences from boyfriends of Christmas past, it's amazing what you'll listen to when a boy claims they are awesome.

That era of my life has it's share of Milli Vanillis too, only they were named Bjork and Yoko Ono.  You didn't really think being Rick Rolled was the worst of it did you?  Those are fucking weird hours of my life that I will never get back my friends.  I am not entirely sure if any of either were in English or more a mix of who knows what and some wailing.

Now that I'm ahem, "a grown up," we see concerts like Wynton Marsalis, John Legend, Elton John, Earth Wind & Fire, Barenaked Ladies, and a little band we're seeing later this summer... maybe you've heard of U2?  Because really, it costs a small fortune to see U2, you have to be a grown up to afford it.  Did I mention we're sitting close enough to sit on Bono's lap?  I'm pretty sure it's going to be the best night of my life, not that I'm excited or anything.

Now that I've aired my secrets, please tell me I am not the only one with weird concerts in my closet.  Tell me the best or worst concert you've ever been to in a comment.

Just Like Brian Wilson Did. If Brian Wilson Was a Camera Sneaking Bastard.

16 May 2010 | 3 Comments
Y'all Dave has redeemed himself from the Tiny Dancer incident that shall never be mentioned again.  Lookie what he snuck in for me...  that Dave, he rocks.

Don't make fun of my old school contraband illegal concert taking point and shoot.  Ok, you can laugh a little... go ahead.

It got the job done... for about 32 seconds, and then?  The battery died.  I kid you not.  We've only used it maybe three times in the last two years so, yeah.  Dave luckily was intelligent and packed the spare battery and saved the day again.

The Barenaked Ladies concert was awesome.  Seriously awesome.  Except, I was in the porta potty when Chinese Chicken came on and my sister was pissed because she says that is our song.  Our song!  And she loves singing it to me and messing up the words. 

Also awesome?  We're celebrating our belated Mother's Day since my Janet was in Virginia whooping it up with her girlfriends last weekend.   Apparently she and the rest of her crew thought that would be more fun than celebrating Mother's Day with their families.   Huh.  Maybe we should be offended?  Everyone will be here tonight for a feast of shish kabab & rice with a healthy dose of desserts to finish it up.

My not so awesome fun for the weekend?  A visit from Aunt Flo and cramps so bad that I had to take a muscle relaxer.  Oh yeah.

I feel like the sister on Sixteen Candles. Yeah, I may have forgotten your birthday been in the bathroom during Chinese Chicken but, if I hadn't forgotten my veil you totally wouldn't have hooked up with Jake Ryan and almost burnt your face off over all those candles.

That is the stuff teenage dreams are made of right there.

In other fun non-sucky weekend news... check out this fabulous article LA's Tasting Table did on our friends Michelle & John.  They have a new business venture!  Michelle, a personal chef, is creating the most insanely decadant fruit combinations, taking everyone's favorite summer treat the popcicle to a whole new level and John, an avid cyclist is pedaling them all over Hollywood on their PopCycle!

Coolest thing ever? I'm pretty sure you know the answer to that is yes.

They talked about the concept over dinner when we were in LA visiting last November and it's nice to see their dream brought to life. I only wish we had been invited to taste test for them! If you are in Hollywood or know someone who is, pass this along and taste it for yourself.  I am not even kidding when I say another trip to LA is in order.  Dave? 

What's up with your weekend?  Share it with me in the comments!

Memorial Day Cupcake Topper Idea

15 May 2010 | 15 Comments

I pretty much love anything vintage.  It might mean that I should have been a 1950s housewife if for only that pesky thing called the internet that I would miss dearly.  And color tv.  And printers.  And pretty much every modern applicance. 

So back to that vintage love... did you know that there are tons of government posters that are in the public domain?  My favorites are the WWII posters.  There are reminders that you should plant a victory garden, not to reveal troop movements {Loose Lips Sink Ships!} when you get letters from your soldier, for women to get to work, or to buy war bonds.  Often the posters are colorful and graphic. 

I was perusing some and thought of how CUTE they would be as cupcake toppers for a vintage memorial day picnic.  I already have these cute Stay-Put tablecloths in a cute red & white gingham.  I'm thinking mason jars filled with lemonade, grilled hot dogs & hamburgers, thick slices of watermelon, & hand cranked ice cream.  Don't forget the yummy cupcakes topped with these cute posters celebrating all the ways YOU can help your troops.

I think our grandmothers would really get a kick out of these.  All three of them recount stories of the war, rationed items, and how they looked for {and often found} fun during a scary time.  My Meme spent part of the war hopping on a train to California to live with her girlfriends, she figured she might as well since all the boys were gone from her town.  Dave's Oma talks about how shopkeepers would sneak little pats of chocolate or other rationed luxuries to her as she was picking up packages for her mother or how they would 'paint on' lines to make it look like they had stockings on.

If you are interested, you can download the four that I used here at my scribd account.  If you're interested in finding other war posters, a quick google search will yield hundreds from Uncle Sam to Can Your Veggies.

Linked up to DIY Day & Made By You Monday

If I Had A Million Dollars...

14 May 2010 | 4 Comments
Tonight, we're going to the Barenaked Ladies concert. 

Wish me camera sneaking luck... you know the track record isn't that great when I take Dave with me as evidenced by the Elton John fiasco, so I am not holding my breath.  I'm taking one for the {blog} team and we'll see how far we get.   

So spill it, if you had a million dollars, what would you buy?

Haven't you always wanted a monkey?

Best Snack Ever {According to Finn}

13 May 2010 | 3 Comments
Finn took this great pre-school class at the zoo.  Each week they had a different theme, polar bears, salt water fish, giraffes, plants... the teacher was fantastic and she chose a story and a craft to go with the theme.  They visited the area of the zoo they were studying and they had visits in the classroom from blue tongued skinks, snakes, rats, and even a hedgehog.

Sure he loved all of those things, but his favorite part of class?  Miss Stephanie also had snacks while they listened to their story. 

So the best snack ever? 

Take one of those cardboard tasting ice cream cones that only kids will eat.  Cut up some strawberries and apples {or 2-3 fruits of your choice} and grab a container of Cool Whip or make some whipped cream if you're feeling ambitious.  Fill the cone to the brim with fruit & add a little whip to the top. 

Here is the key... let THEM do the filling.  It is not as cool if you do it for them.  No worries though, it's only mildly messy and {mostly} healthy... the vast majority really was fruit.  Finn loved it and I would have never thought to re-purpose an ice cream cone like this.  Thanks to Miss Stephanie for the great idea! 


11 May 2010 | 4 Comments
There are days that I am Superwoman.  I recruit everyone I know to volunteer for whatever the cause might be of the day, I throw a party for a friend on short notice, I have the house clean & dinner simmering away on the stove when Dave gets home, all after working out, having lunch with my girlfriends, and taking Finn to the zoo complete with a themed snack for our visit to the aquarium.

Yep, there are those days.

And then there are days that I stay in my pajamas all day.  Dave walks in the door to a maniacal Finnegan, a disaster of a house, and a mountain of laundry to be folded & put away stacked on our bed.  What's for dinner?  Takeaway, there are menus on the fridge.  Sex tonight?  I haven't even showered. 

Goooooo Michelle!

I don't really highlight those days here often.  You know what it's like to be lazy and take a nap in the middle of the day, to save the dishes for another time, to pray your mother doesn't stop over unexpectedly and tell you to get off your ass.  Maybe your house is always perfect, but your attitude really isn't?  Or you've been putting off that dreaded 'to do' list for another day because you're not in the mood to tackle it just yet?

No?  Just me?  I'm guessing if you never have one of those days you're secretly sucking down Johnny's Ritalin with Red Bull chasers. 

Or you have a staff of helpers making you look good... oh, how I wish.

Mostly, my life is a mix of the two extremes, as I suspect might be the case for most people.  I went to the gym this morning, had lunch with my dad for his birthday, took a great nap with Finn, did some laundry, answered some emails & had a fabulous dinner date with some friends.  I'm ok with the fact that there are cars all over the living room, it needs a serious vacuuming, my Google Reader is bursting at the seams, and the laundry is sitting in a basket.  There is tomorrow for those tasks, probably still in my stinky gym clothes from tomorrow morning's workout.

It took me a long time to be ok with the fact that I can't always do it all... some days I still try.  And it's still often difficult for me to admit.  When I try to be Superwoman, I don't have enough sleep, but my house is perfect!  Finn doesn't get enough books read to him, but my Christmas cards are finished Thanksgiving weekend!  My husband goes to bed three hours before me, but every last thing is crossed off of my list!   I have been living on caffeine, but I am the best blogger in the universe.  I just don't want to be Superwoman at the cost of being Michelle.  Some days the rest will have to wait.

Tell me I'm not the only one?

Just Another Manic Monday

10 May 2010 | 4 Comments
Hi there.  Happy Monday to you. 

I used to love the Bangles.  Six o'clock already, I was just in the middle of a dreeeeeam.  I was kissing Valentino by a crystal blue Italian streaaaam.

How was your weekend?  Ours was a little rainy and busy, though it feels like we didn't really accomplish much.  Weekends like that always suck a little, don't they?  Nothing exciting happens when you're cooped up in the house and you have to flip the heat back on because it's near freezing again at night.

It's not like I had an adorable baby girl, like Gabrielle.

Or a cool date with my husband & David Sedaris, like Jules.

I'm not packing for my trip to LA to meet Rocco, like Jenny... nor do I have any of those giant m&m cookies to share with you all.  My ass couldn't take it anyway.

I did get a little bit of blog work done, have you seen the new page for recipes?  If you're checking this out in your reader, won't you stop over and have a look?  It isn't complete yet, but there are just a few more recipes I need to add.  Thankfully my husband is an html genius and helped did most of it.

I also got to sleep in on Mother's Day.  All of you Mamas out there know that in itself is quite possibly the best present anyone can give.  Finnegan also made me a card with a blue octagon, Lightening MacQueen's tire, a rainbow, and his fingerprints {aka an outline of his hand} it was awesome. 

And now we're back to Monday...  Tell me what fun things you did this weekend or what you have planned for the week!


08 May 2010 | 3 Comments
Growing up, my mom and I often did not see eye to eye.  That is really a mild understatement you know.  In the fourth grade, we used to fight every morning about what I would wear to school.  Fourth grade people.  When fifth grade rolled around and so did a mandatory school uniform, she said it was one of the greatest moments of her life.  Until, I convinced her to let me get my hair cut like Cindy Lauper, short on one side, long on the other because you know, school uniforms stifle individuality. 

I'm pretty sure it even started before that.  When I was seven, I told her that I knew she was Santa in my bossy little voice, "because YOU write just like Santa and I saw the receipts!"  Ha!  Take that mom with your stupid little farce... trying to be nice playing Santa and filling up the tree with gifts like Christina my beloved Cabbage Patch Doll, I'll show you!  I may have ruined Christmas.

It continued through high school.  She used to wake us up Saturday mornings with the Ohio State Fight Song to clean the house.  No one wanted to stay at our house during football season.  We gave her the nickname Joan Crawford and talked about how TOTALLY unfair it was.  High school is also when I started calling her Janet.  Sometimes, Jan Bob.  She had to have wanted to kick me right in the ass.  But she didn't.

Instead, she let me be me. 

After graduation I went to Belgium as an exchange student and I walked right on to that plane without so much as a second glance.  I was very nonchalant about leaving for 10 months of my life because ugh... WHO would be homesick for this stupid place?  Turns out... me, that's who.  When I was sure I wanted to come home, she begged me to stay.  After two months, I came home anyway.  I think part of the reason I don't regret it is because she was so sure that I would.  Oh yeah Mom, just to spite you I will make sure this was the best decision of my whole life. 

We didn't speak to each other for nearly six months.  That was the moment right there, that we started dealing with each other as adults instead of parent and child. 

My first 'real' job was for a giant corporation.  She had to convince me to go to the interview because "ugh, I would never want to work for a giant corporation like you.  It's just not my thing."  She told me to at least interview for practice, so I did.  I worked there for 9 years and met my husband there. 

Did someone mention Dave?  The first time I brought him to my Meme's house, my mother told me he was the man I was going to marry.  I balked because I knew better, of course.  It would take Dave and I another year to figure that out for ourselves.

Oh, and the wedding?  She threw a fit because our caterer wanted to use plastic glasses so she paid extra to get real glass, she flew to San Francisco to buy the wine for our wedding directly from the vineyards and she thought we were I was {because I am pretty sure Dave agreed with her} a dumbass for having a "candy bar" in 2005 before people like Amy Atlas took them to an entirely new level.  Why she chose those particular things to focus on, I'll never know.  Dave referred to her as a tornado and said sometimes it's better to just duck and cover so we conceeded on the glass and the wine, but I didn't give up that candy bar.

So, my dear Jan Bob, it's Mother's Day... I know I haven't always been the easiest daughter, or the most tidy, or the one with the best attitude.   I know I often am stubborn, bossy, & know better than everyone else.  I'm a fierce competitor, annoyingly independent, got into all kinds of trouble, and fought with my sister.  I now spend my days telling the whole internet crazy shit about our family and I might be just a tad moody... sometimes.

But I am yours. 

And you are mine. 

And for that I am thankful. 

There isn't another who can ever fill your shoes Mom. 


Happy Mother's Day.  Go hug your Janet today.

Teacher Appreciation Week!

06 May 2010 | 3 Comments
I just wanted to share a few photos of a fun set up my friend Stephanie did for the teachers at her son's school.  I thought it was such a cute idea to set up a candy buffet with not only candy, but extra things like little mini bags of popcorn, granola bars, flavored coffee creamers & crystal light flavor packs... things that teachers certainly can use and appreciate while at school.  She also made cake pops & had lots of candy!

She also used the FREE teacher appreciation week downloads available from Carli at DimplePrints to spruce up the jars.  {found via Maddycakes Muse}

I think you'll agree that she did an amazing job & it was very much appreciated by the teachers.  Thanks for letting me share your awesome idea with the internet Steph!

Double Bonus

05 May 2010 | 4 Comments
This morning.... you get a double bonus post because my mom sent me this & you need to enjoy it too.

Happy Wednesday!  O-H

Last Night

Last night, Finnegan asked me to rock him to sleep.

I should preface this by saying that I never get chosen over Daddy for bedtime stories & rocking.  Ever.

It's ok with me that he has a special time with Dave, the evenings are usually when I am catching up on blogging & gettting through my Reader and spacing out in front of the tv & picking up, often simultaniously.  I get him all day, we have naptime together to snuggle and talk and read stories.

But last night, he picked ME!  I felt like the cool kid in school chosen first for a team.  I walked in there with a smile on my face giving a little triumphant skip in my step. 

It rarely happens.  Ahem.

So, I am sitting there rocking him and feeling him snuggle up as tight as he could get to me, bookie in between his head & my shoulder.

All I could think in that moment is REMEMBER. 

I wanted to hold that moment, that feeling in my head forever.  It seems with every blink he grows into a young man.  One year.  Two Years.  Three years.  Soon he will be sixteen and we will 'hate' each other and he'll be too cool to give his Mama hugs in front of other people, if at all.  And I want to keep this in my memory to get me through those times.   

Of Finn, curled up, snuggling his head onto my shoulder, my arms wrapped tightly around him, the glider squeaking its telltale squeek, babbling incessantly about silly things, readjusting slightly so he can be closer to me, smelling less like a baby and more like a boy.  Choosing his Mama.  In that moment, I could think of nowhere I'd rather be.

And when he's grown and has children of his own, maybe he'll read this and snuggle his little boy a bit tighter and feel the same way.

Maybe You Think I Am Who I'm Not?

04 May 2010 | 16 Comments
I am fantastic at a few things.
  • I can cook.  I don't use Cream of XYZ to make sauces or canned vegetables and I don't follow recipes, but people like coming to dinner.  Often.  I can even bake, though not nearly as well as I cook. 
  • I can throw a party.  It is something I love, whether it's a small playdate lunch, drinking on our front porch, or a wedding for 300.  I won't do it professionally though because it's not fun when I am not emotionally invested in the guest of honor or when they are an asshat and I still have to deal with them. 
  • Quitting smoking.  It took me 57 tries to get it right, but it's been 4+ years smoke free.  It is a great source of pride for me.
  • Honesty.  Don't ask me things because  I will tell you the truth whether that is the answer you're looking for or not.  To avoid being pissed at me giving an answer you don't want to hear?  Don't ask.  And almost everytime you ask me if you're too needy, spending stupidly, dating emotionally unavailable and/or people too young for you, being stalker-esque or being rude, I will likely answer yes... but, you probably already knew that before you asked. 
  • Marrying well.  I most assuredly chose a man better than myself & who works so insanely hard for his family that I feel like a slacker most of the time.  The dude liked me and I tried to pawn him off for 6 months.  It turns out that he perservered, won me over, then took pity on me and decided to spend the next 75 years by my side. 
  • Appreciating what I have and who I am.
I am good-ish at a few things.
  • Voicing my opinion, though I very much need to work on listening before I open my mouth.
  • Being a mom.  Finn is {mostly} normal and doesn't {often} fight with his friends, he's surprisingly well adjusted for a three year old.  He was pooping on the potty a month before turing two and peeing on the potty without accident a month after turning two. That is despite people that ran their mouth non-stop to anyone that would listen that SURELY it was an anomoly and he would regress.  I do want to tear my hair out when he is insane and I'm not always good with the consistency and I'm not one of those parents that has every minute of every day planned out.  Unless by planned out I mean staying in our pjs all day reading books & playing cars.  He is kind to his pets, he loves to read, he is a snuggler, and amazes me daily.  Oh, and one more thing... some days he thinks he is Lightening McQueen.  So, um, there is that.
  • Money.  Our cars are paid off, our mortgage is purposefully well below our means, & I understand the value of compound interest, so we won't be eating dog food in our 80s.  I'm impulsive though and don't always think before I buy.  There is always room for improvement and we need to get back budgeting.
  • Travel despite dragging along the man who is, without a doubt, an international incident waiting to happen.  I didn't add myself to the fantastic category here because I'm super awful at the navigation part.  But international incident man makes up for my serious lack of knowing where the fuck I am and steers us in the right direction.  {See why marrying well is in the fantastic category?}
Things that will elude me for the rest of my life because I suck.
  • Cleaning.  Organizing.  Paperwork.  I get on top of this stuff and then get woefully behind.  On top, behind, on top, behind... sounds good if we're talking about sex, not so much if you're talking about laundry mountains and piles of mail.  Don't get me wrong, if you come to my house it will be clean, unless you show up unexpectedly or are in the "inner sanctum" and I let you see it when a tornado has hit.
  • Dieting/Exercise.  I am not a size 2, nor will I ever be, but I will tell you how cute you are if you're a size 2 {and very much mean it} and then eat a cheeseburger and be ok with that.
  • I swear.  Like a sailor sometimes most days.  I'm not even sure why because I have a decent vocabulary aside from the four letter variety.
  • Sleep.  I am in bed WAY too late on a regular basis & I nap when Finn does.  Often.   
  • Wearing clothes other than pj pants, yoga pants, or colors other than black.  And while we're at it, I'll throw in a side of "I wear Crocs and love them," to add to your reading pleasure.  They are hideous, yes, but they are comfortable.
Your turn to tell me who YOU are...  Whether it's your first visit or your hundredth, I'd love to hear one thing you're fantastic at, one thing you're pretty good at, and one thing you aren't so good with.

Random Acts of Kindness.

02 May 2010 | 14 Comments
I promise this is the last post about my random acts of kindness birthday.  What I didn't tell you is that Elise followed us around with a flip to record the day for a project that she did at school.  It is done now & we wanted to share it with you. 

Thank you {again} to all of you that participated in my day, even from afar, even if we've never met, even if you never shared your RAOK story here, or if you support my lunacy daily by reading.  You are awesome.

If you're new here, welcome to my little corner of the web.  You can find the following posts explaining just what happened...  I hope you'll stick around and have a look.
The Inspiration
The Giveaway
Free Printable Random Acts of Kindness Cards
The 34 Random Acts of Kindness
The Random Acts of Kindness Party

Get out there and do something nice for someone.

Linking to Friday Favorites, Favorite Things Friday & I'm Lovin' It.
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