2012 So Wonderful, So Marvelous Favorites.

31 December 2012 | 4 Comments

January:  It’s funny because a year later, we’re still arguing about the dishwasher and yet, he’s still the one for me.

073 green eggs 052

February:  How to make GREEN eggs and that time I slightly blew up the espresso maker.


March:  Screw up your husband’s birthday every four years, it’s fine… celebrate his half birthday instead.

April:  Tate started walking.

Scooby Doo Party 100

May:  Crockpot chicken tacos rock my socks off and Finn has the most excellent Scooby Doo party.

June:  Oh look, Dave broke BOTH of his arms at the same time.  Now that takes talent.

tate bucket 6

July:  Tate’s first birthday party and yummy orzo pasta salad.

August:  Sea salt chocolate chip cookies, the Sandlot outdoor movie night, and the entire bloggers on marriage series.

September:   The day that all of you made me piss my pants reading comments, my brother, and sneaking off to Atlanta.

October:  I totally made this.

Halloween 033

November:  About that whole almost dying thing and chocolate covered Oreos with sea salt

December:  Give.

So there you have it, my peeps, a year in review here at So Wonderful, So Marvelous.  If there is something you’d like to see more of or a topic you’d love for me to cover in 2013, let me know.  Thank you for sticking around each and every single day.  You make blogging infinitely more fun and things would just not be the same around here without you.

Christmas Hangover.

28 December 2012 | 3 Comments

Christmas 2012 068

10. Number of songs on the hot playlist I created for New Year’s Eve.

4.  Number of tiny razor sharp pieces of toys that the Davester has stepped on and subsequently yelled about.

90.  Number of sea salt chocolate covered Oreos I made.

207.  Number of Rolo turtles I made.

2.  Number of Christmas Eve meltdowns from a five year old, resulting in not being able to open gifts with the rest of the family.

3.  Number of baby dolls Tate received.

99.  Number of cents Dave spent buying Finn’s new Where’s My Perry app… also the number of minutes they each have spent playing it.

21.  Number of people coming to dinner at my mom’s house tonight…


How was your holiday?

Merry and uh, bright?

23 December 2012 | 5 Comments


Happy Christmas to you and yours.  I’m so grateful that you choose to spend some time with me. 

This place just wouldn’t be the same without all of you.


20 December 2012 | 10 Comments

Growing up, we didn’t have a ton of money.  I mean, we weren’t destitute by any means, but we didn’t have a lot of extras.  We were lucky, we have a very generous extended family who believe it takes a village to raise a child.  My aunts and uncle made so many things possible for us that we might not have been able to do otherwise.

Even though we didn’t have a lot to give, I still remember my mom giving.  Vividly.  There was time at the soup kitchen.  If there was a friend in need, she was there.  There were endless amounts of food baskets put together and delivered.  There were stray dogs who were found new homes.  There were plates of cookies and a visit with elderly neighbors.  There were babysitting swaps with her friends so they could have nights out.  There were lists of toys and clothes arranged as ornaments on a tree at church for children who didn’t have anything. 

Boy, age 7, wants shoes and a truck for Christmas. 

Girl, age 12, wants a coat and earrings for Christmas.

At the time, I don’t think I appreciated the value of exactly what she was giving me.  Not at all, in fact.  Do you know what it is like to deliver baskets of food and gifts to families living in the projects and watch a mother’s eyes light up as much as the three year old?  Because I do. 

My sixteen year old self didn’t realize what exactly a parent might feel just being able to have a gift for her child.  Or something as simple as a meal to fill their belly.

My thirty-six year old self does.

This morning, I was at the grocery and as I was leaving, a manager was walking outside to tell a man to stop bothering customers for money.  I get it.  Really, I do.  Something inside of me though, it was hurting my soul.  This gentleman was probably in his sixties, in a motorized wheelchair, one leg missing, wearing a spring jacket and a sock covering the hand operating the wheelchair because it was so cold.  The manager told him to leave and not to ask any more customers for money on his way out.  I put Tate in the car and watched him start to leave before sprinting across the lot to give him the few dollars I had in my wallet. 

Sunday night, Dave and I were introduced to Family House by my friend Casey when we were looking for a place to donate some board games and dvds.   After reading more about them, we made a quick call asking what else they might be able to use and made a trip to Sam’s.  Dave and Finnegan dropped off the items after school on Tuesday.  A little boy greeted them with a hello and asked if they were new.

That could have been the situation.  They might not have been dropping off items.  We might have needed a place like Family House.  Or you might have.  Or your mother or your brother or your best friend. 

It takes a minute, a second really, to smile and offer someone a kind word.  It takes a few dollars to pay for someone’s coffee.  It takes a half an hour to visit with an elderly person.  What would it take for you to clean out all of the hats and gloves you have in your closet and donate them to a homeless shelter?  Could you use your lunch hour to volunteer at your child’s school?  Could you buy that truck and pair of shoes for boy, age 7?  Could you donate $14.60 to feed a meal to ten people?

Please, give.  Let your children see you give, let them participate.  You’re giving them a gift too. 

And Mom?  Thank you.

Christmas. Balls.

18 December 2012 | 11 Comments


  1. I decided Sunday night that my wrapping theme this year {brown paper packages tied up with string} looked terrible when it came down to it.  I ask you… WHAT five year old wants to open a box colored present?  So, I unwrapped the ten or so gifts I had already done and replaced my theme with hodgepodge of colorful paper of years’ past.  I love it.  The Davester helped me even though he realized that he is married to a crazy person.  Keeper, that one.  
  2. I don’t know how much money to spend on Finnegan’s teacher.  Part of her gift is a heartfelt note of thanks, but also I want to say, here is a gift card because I know you are a saint and I want you to look past Finnegan’s constant talking in class and asking for band aids for things that aren’t really there.  Like his ‘broken’ leg.  But not, like I’m paying you for amazing grades because everyone knows you save up that money for when you’re getting letter grades and not just plusses and minuses.  Duh.  How much is appropriate for that kind of gift?
  3. I also want to know what you do when you have two kids who are far apart enough to know that Santa is bringing presents for Finn, why aren’t there a ton for Tate?  Because Mommy didn’t do anything for you at this age and I have zero good ideas about what might be fun for her since she just likes to take your toys anyway.  Bonus: When Finn stops believing, it will be Tate wondering why Santa isn’t bringing proper gifts for Finn.  If Mommy’s stupid ovaries knew how to cooperate, we wouldn’t be facing these four years apart issues.
  4. At what point in the day is it appropriate to start drinking egg nog? 

In addition to all of the pondering and ball juggling I’m doing, I’m also cleaning my house.  I’ll bet you didn’t realize I was swimming in glamour today.  Have yourself a happy Tuesday!

About Them.

15 December 2012 | 2 Comments

Today, my friend Amy and I got together for lunch and finishing up our Christmas lists.  Grateful for the time to catch up, we were totally unaware of the horrific tragedy unfolding 600 miles away in Newtown, Connecticut.  We talked about Christmas and the boys’ first months of kindergarten and how weird it is to walk into a school and realize that you are not a student anymore, but someone’s mom.

Those twenty mothers and fathers who lost their tiny little children, they were no different than I was this morning.  The struggle to get your child to school fully dressed, with breakfast in their belly, on time, and listening to them happily chatter about show and tell, it is one that every parent of a kindergartener knows all too well. 

That was me.  It was Amy.  It was twenty parents, 600 miles away. 

The only difference was that we were the lucky ones.  Our little kindergarteners walked out of their classroom with all of their silly little friends laughing and calling out goodbyes.  They jumped in the car and chattered happily about a secret little elf leaving a jingle bell in their coat pocket.  We will have another rushed morning, another stubborn moment, another hug, another night walking into their room just to touch them on their foreheads and pull the covers up to their chin.

Please keep in mind that all of the ranting, all of the talk of gun control, the asking of these tiny children to recall horrific events on national news, all of the speculation, the anger, the what ifs, every piece of negative energy we’re putting out there about this… these parents and the families who lost their adults as well… this isn’t helpful to them.  I can not imagine a worse fate for any of these families today.  And to have a thought about any of that bullshit, taking the place of the loving, amazing memories of their children laughing or playing or wrapping their arms around them, is criminal. 

Lift these people up in good thoughts, in prayers, in anything love filled, they need it.  Every last bit you can muster.  They are hurting.  And the rest, the rest can wait.

The List.

14 December 2012 | 10 Comments

Every year, I write the Davester a list.

A list of stuff I want. 

Call it partially a gift to him because shopping stresses him the fuck out.  Shopping for gifts is most definitely my job.  I like doing it.  I like finding fun creative things or items that I know people will love.  I also have zero problem with calling someone I’m not sure about and asking what is on their wish list.  I really think all year about what I want to get Dave for birthdays and Christmas and I keep a running list of things that he mentions stashed away in a note on my computer.

All year.

He is getting these awesome collar stays from Tesoro Jewelry for his fancy pants shirts.  {Oh hey, honey, you’re getting these but they aren’t arriving until after Christmas so I’m telling the whole internet and you at the same time!  Merry Merry Sucka.}  He lost one of his current favorite pair when we went to Atlanta in September and I made a note.  Plus, obvs he is a bad ass.


He?  Does not think that way and that is totally fine.  I don’t expect him to.  Not one bit. 

I used to think he should just know these things and then I ended up with a stocking full of nothing but chocolate when I was supposed to be watching my pregnancy blood sugar.  That, coupled with ridiculous hormones and I was a sobbing mess on Christmas morning.  And for what?  Because I wanted him to be a mind reader?  This man does the kindest, most lovely things for me all year long and I was putting all of this dumb ass pressure on him about one day. 

So, I stopped. 

Now, the list is just a bunch of wants.  He chooses whatever he likes and often goes rogue with his own ideas.  But, if he doesn’t have any ideas or he is too busy to sit down and think about it, he’s not wandering around the store aimlessly for an hour stressing.  Maybe this makes me a spoiled brat, but I think it makes me a good wife.  There isn’t any guessing sizes or freaking about whether or not I have a certain book or what was the name of that mascara I love. 

Some of it is housed on my Wish List Pinterest board, marked with an asterix if it is a current want, some of it is emailed to him with specific sizes and colors and links to the items online, and some things are just scribbled onto a piece of paper.

Do you give your guy a list?  Is he a good gift giver without one?  Ever had a hormonally fueled Christmas meltdown?  Spill it.

10 Reasons I’m Not Sending Christmas Cards.

11 December 2012 | 5 Comments
  1. It is already December 11th.
  2. I have PTSD from all of these Elf on a Shelf pictures floating around.
  3. I haven’t taken a Christmas picture of the kids.
  4. I’m saving paper.  Ahem.  Read lazy.
  5. I’m saving stamp money.  Ahem.  Read cheap.
  6. I am saving my sanity.  Ahem.  Read nutso.
  7. Writing for two hours turns my hand into the claw.  No one likes a Mommy with a claw.
  8. Santa already has me on the naughty list.
  9. Two words.  Paper.  Cuts.
  10. I’m all liquored up on egg nog.  Except I don’t drink the nog so much as the rum.


10 December 2012 | 6 Comments

Finn: I am going to do something and you have to write it on your blog. What the what?? Put two question marks, that means what, what!

Finn: OK mom, now read me that whole thing.


Me:  Did the tooth fairy see you in your underwear last night?

Finn:  No.  Are you kidding me? Tate’s doll was on my pillow and I had the covers on.  Well they were pulled up but my nipple was probably hanging out.


Finn: It’s Wicked Sour Bug Juice.

Me: How is it buddy?

Finn: It tastes like hand sanitizer and popcorn.

Finn: I am NOT going to drink any more of this.


Finn: I know why Aunt Lisey calls her car Black Beauty. Because it’s a beauty. But it isn’t really a beauty.

*a minute later*

Finn: It’s like twelve years old. It’s like SIX months from OLD! It is not a beauty.


Finn: Is that the outlet? That white thing.

Dave: Are you talking about the thing in the wall or the little thing that we put on to keep Tate’s fingers out?

Finn: Yeah.

Dave: The white thing that we plug things into is the outlet. The little plastic thing is the outlet cover.

Finn: So, what’s an in-let?

Dave: Good question.


Finn:  The air chuck and tough flying tape for the air chucks butt.

Dave:  What did you say?

Finn:  I’m going to help you with the air chuck and the tough flying tape.

Dave:  What?

Finn:  Tough flying tape.

Dave:  Teflon tape.  Teflon.

Shopping, Gifts, and Christmas. Oh My!

05 December 2012 | 2 Comments

Monday night, I sent the Davester to the store because I had $15 to use that expired that night and I didn’t want it to go to waste.  He wandered around for an hour.  An hour!  Why was it so hard to use up $15?  One, he’s a dude and is definitely not the family gift shopper.  Two, because we’ve been absolutely pitiful about our idea list this year.  The only thing I actually have covered is the Stocking Stuffers.

It is time to get serious.  Enter the BlogHer Holiday Gift Guides.  There are tons of ideas already and more being added throughout the month.  Need something for a coach?  A co-worker?  Fun ideas for furry family members?  They’ve got it.

One idea I am stealing for sure is to include a sincere thank you note to your child’s teacher, one I know Finn’s teacher richly deserves.

Want to splurge?  How about the new Galaxy S III for that techie geek in your life?  Believe me, I love mine.  It will have you saying, “iPhone? What iPhone?”

My favorite item and certainly the most unique?  Manure.  {Yes, really!}  Equally good for someone who has a sense of humor and someone who isn’t a favorite on your gift giving list!

This post is part of BlogHer's Holiday Gift Guides editorial series, sponsored by Open Road Media.

Favorite Christmas Songs.

04 December 2012 | 16 Comments

There is a radio station in our city that plays endless Christmas music from November through January.  It drives me nuts that they don’t wait until after Thanksgiving.  I never met a Christmas song I didn’t like.  I just like them after I’ve had my turkey and eaten it too.

Now though?  All bets are off.  I’ve got that sucker blasting Little Drummer Boy until the Davester can’t take it anymore.

The only thing I can’t listen to is the songs with the military “merry Christmas to everyone at home” dubbed over the top.  I was cooking dinner the other night and I started sobbing until Dave switched it.  I mean, our military members give up so much and all of those sweet wishes for friends and family back home, it really hits you what they are sacrificing. 

It turns me into an ugly crier. 

On to my favorites!

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