Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tis the season of thanks so I thought I would post a few things I am thankful for and other Thanksgiving memories.

Growing up we lived about 3 hours from my grandparents and the rest of the family, so Thanksgiving morning we would all pack in the minivan and start the road trip. It was usually a 24 hour thing…sometimes less. I'm the oldest of 4 children and the younger 2 are more of a challenge. As you can imagine the ride was never dull, and required assigned seating. The younger 2 had to be within swatting distance of my parents and thus got the center seat. It also allowed the 2nd child (my brother Rob) to torture my sister from our safe place in the far back. I still have no idea how my parents made these drives while sober, other than its the law…this was during a time when there were no DVD players in the car, no separate headphone portals etc. We all had to ride…and talk.
Once arriving at our destination we would spend time with the rest of the family, eat and then pile back into the minivan for the ride home. My dad never liked for my mom to start playing Christmas music until AFTER Thanksgiving. So the entire ride home we were tortured with various sounds of the season and she would try to get us to sing along. One particular CD still haunts us. If we don’t make it home, they call us and play it into the phone…if we’re in Hawaii that week…they bring it along and play…it follows us. The song has turned into a long running family joke that I think will be 16 years old this week.
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I will not be with them for Thanksgiving this year as I now share holidays with the person and family I share my life with. I do however anticipate a phone call, with a certain song in the background and the familiar sound of family. I can honestly say I am looking forward to it.

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I am thankful for those hours in the car where my family grew close, and created memories I will always have. I am thankful for that ridiculous CD because it holds those memories. I am thankful that I have always been and will always be loved. I am grateful for friends, health, and finding happiness and joy in the journey, and of course…family. I love you all!

Monday, November 19, 2007

American Music Awards

Did anyone else see the award show last night??
Ok well it wasn't half bad, but I have one issue to address.

Question: Is it ever a good idea for a country artist to do a contemporary song?
* Think of Alabama singing the N'Sync song "God must have spent a little more time on you" TRAGIC. Or how about Jack Ingram doing "Lips of an angel" by Hinder? Again I find myself screaming at the radio if I can't change the station fast enough.

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So I had the feeling of a train wreck while watching Sugarland and Beyonce sing "Irreplaceable". All I could hear was the country twang singing "to the left, to the left". Critics this morning were saying it was a highlight of the show. Really? Are you kidding me? I love Sugarland, and anyone who's heard their song "Stay" knows they are talented. It's amazing. I also love country. I just don't like it when country goes a little too far in an effort to be hip or mainstream. STAY in your genre. I say this with love.

I also want to say to Jennifer Nettles: What did you do to your hair? Who keeps allowing you to wear these high waist pants and terrible accessories? Girl you know better than that!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Carolina Weekend

This past weekend I went to visit my best friend in Charlotte North Carolina. Seeing her is a highlight of mine that usually only happens once a year. I'm not a shy creature, but when my family moved the week before 8th grade I was terrified. I had to start at the new school and was worried to death that people wouldn’t want to be my friend. On the 1st day of school in the 1st class a very nice girl invited me to sit at her table. I was so relieved. That was 18 years ago, and her name was Colleen.

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She took me to an annual party hosted by one of her dear friends and I had no idea what I was in for. By the time we got to the party everyone else was long into the liquor and rather than having a name they all would just yell “Texas” when they were trying to get my attention. Yes folks…I was known as “Texas” for the evening. It was quite the crew and it was nice to finally meet some of the people that are a big part of her life out there.

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The road trip was to a place in NC called Blowing Rock up in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It reminds both her and me of our home town (Nevada City, CA). The kind of town with one main street, cute shops, a diner, and lots of locals and tourists just hanging out. Fall was in full swing with the trees in amazing colors, and cold crisp air. We had to get ice cream at Kilwin’s because it is hand made, along with all the chocolate and fudge.
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Our Rock Star weekend involved eating, drinking, karaoke, Carolina BBQ, a road trip, a head injury, and standing late night around a burn barrel in 35 degree weather. As usual it was filled with memories, lots of laughing, a little crying, and leaving with the notion that life would not be as fun without her.

Aggie Land

This post is from an experience a few weeks back actually. I kept waiting for pics from friends we went with, but I won’t see those anytime soon. Before we get started I must give a disclaimer. I LOVE UT; I have followed the Texas Longhorns since long before I moved to this state. Just keep that in mind.

I went to a Texas A&M game a few weeks back, against Kansas. Chris LOVES this team and our friends Kristy and Brandon invited us to join them. Brandon is a UT fan like me, but Kristy and Chris are A&M tried and true. Normally in Texas this can cause problems but being that only Kristy attended one of the schools mentioned…we can all manage to get along in spite of the differing opinions. A big THANK YOU to them for inviting us along, the day was a blast.

For me this trip was a lot of firsts that I never thought I would do. I never thought I would:
1. Go to College Station (People who know me, know why. I nearly got hives!)
2. Set foot at Texas A&M
3. Actually enjoy it.

I’ve never been to a game with that many people, there were 85 thousand plus in the stadium! Our seats were in an area called “the zone” and it was loud. This school has all kinds of secret stuff going on from grass you can’t walk on, to a dog you have to talk to a certain way, songs and cheers, and military stuff. That said I was very impressed by the Aggie marching band. People that love this school have been a facination of mine so it was an experience. I really enjoyed the entire day even though the Aggies put on a disgraceful display of athletic ability. I had more fun watching the people than anything else. From the yell leaders to the core and the enormous scoreboard it was a college game day experience that I will never forget.

As a side note: I don’t do well with rules, especially ones that are like orders. I would never have survived all the rituals and traditions, and definitely not gold jewelry.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

It's here!!!

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It is officially my favorite time of the year...starting today. You see I can't really even begin to describe how the red starbucks cup affects me. Yes I know I can order peppermint mocha's anytime of the year, but I refuse. I only order this during the red cup season. I have pictures of myself with the red cup in Hawaii, Tahoe, San Diego, Texas...this marketing strategy completely hooked me. This year I already asked last week when it was coming. Well is the day. It's Red Cup time!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Baby on Board (not mine!!)

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Some of my dearest friends Kerri and Scott are having a baby...a baby boy. He is scheduled to arrive in early Feb. I have known them since college, in fact we were all roommates’ so it's almost like I am having a baby with them. Almost. When I heard the news I was so thrilled for them. Needless to say I have watched them throw themselves into every baby/parent/hospital/prenatal yoga/water aerobics, and scrabbooking class in order to prepare and document this life changing event. I also decided to host a couple’s baby shower. That took place this past weekend as well.

(Is anyone noticing the last weekend was INSANE?) Back to the shower.

It was a beautiful and fun afternoon at our place with Scott and Kerri's Dallas friends. I have to say a BIG thank you to Heather and Chris Shahan both for the games/art project contributions as well as comedic timing. I would have been lost without them.
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We had "mini" foods, and played dirty diaper and name games, and even managed some modern art! It was fun to see all us non-parents guess baby foods, or try to figure out some of these baby items. Who knew that you should clip a baby's nails while they are sleeping??
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In all I think Baby Butler has some great gifts to start his journey, and wonderful parents. I can't wait to meet your new addition Kerri and Scott!
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Ms Worley

Again another friend I met at the first and very short lived job here in Dallas. Jen was/is in HR and we bond over our tragic career choice of listening to whiners all day. We celebrated her birthday this past weekend as well.
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Last year we went big for Jen's 30 and headed to San Francisco for a weekend we still love talking about. This year she wanted something more low key. Jen is loved by all, so can we say reservations for 20 please??

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Jen actually celebrated all weekend, but Sunday morning brunch with us. The time change helped most people we know actually arrive on time! Matitos was voted the best brunch in Dallas and we now know why. From the bottomless mimosas to the chocolate fountain it was delicious.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket TRUE, Boot camp, champagne intolerant, Boo loving friend. I can't imagine the last 3 years without you. In true golden girl’s cheesiness..."thank you for being a friend"...sing a long now!

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Oh Emily

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket of my first friends here in Dallas. We started new jobs together, and were laid off together (along with 100+ others). Both of us had relocated to Texas for these jobs, and when they came to an abrupt end we decided to stay in this crazy state. That was over 3 years ago. Last week Emily turned 30, but we celebrated this past weekend. She chose dinner at Trader Vic's, and I had never been to the one in Dallas. It is the home of the originally created Mai Tai. I have to say the 3 page drink menu and fun glasses they come in should make you want to try it!!
*Warning the fruity deliciousness covers up the massive amounts of alcohol and they sneak up in you. Stick with 2, and you will thank me later.

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After dinner the single girls went out on the town and rumor has it didn't return home until 4am. I think it's safe to say Emily had a good birthday. Happy 30th Em. We love you.

Thank you

I have something to say to you to Chris. Seriously. I have to say…actually to steal a quote from Grey’s Anatomy: "I love you, in a really, really big pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheese cake, hold a radio over my head outside your window kind of way."
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This past weekend I just wanted to hug him to death several times.
A few examples:
-I volunteered us to dog sit on our date night without telling him.

-He came with me to a friend’s birthday dinner…and was the only guy to show up.

-He was vacuuming our house at 7:45 in the morning for a party I was hosting.
That same morning he was up at 6:30 washing our dog’s ass because lets just say he was having “issues” and let me sleep in.

-I inadvertently planned a baby shower at the exact same time as the Pats/Colts game…at our house. At one point he was playing a dirty diaper game while Tom Brady was charging downfield in the 4th quarter…and never said a word about it.

-He ate dinner at 11pm at night because a group we were dining with was VERY late for a reservation…and he never eats after 8.

- At one point I looked over and his hands were covered in washable paint for an “art” project for our friend’s baby room.

-I used almost every dish in the house and instead of watching the above mentioned game on Tivo, he was hand washing all the dishes…yes washing them by hand.

At times Chris does things completely outside his comfort zone because it makes someone else happy, and because he loves me. At the end of the day can anyone really ask for more than that?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

All treats no trick?

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Chris and I picked the neighborhood we wanted to live in for several things...location, schools, size. We chose an area of young families, a great elementary school and a bus stop literally in our driveway. I figured with all those factors the Trick or Treating crowd would be huge! I prepared for it, I decorated the entire front porch with ghosts, giant spider webs, glow in the dark spiders, and name it! I bought bags of candy, and invited my friends over to hang out and see the cute kids. So imagine my disappointment when for the entire evening I had 14 children knock on the door....14!!!
Hello, what is that about??? I get that the world is a dangerous place, and people want to protect kids. I am all about that. I just miss the days when groups of families would walk the neighborhood together and everyone would decorate and people would talk and meet each other. I miss neighborhoods. We don't have kids but I would love to know the ones that live near me. Trust me I would help make sure they were safe...if I knew who they were or what house they lived in.
I have decided that next year I'm going to have a driveway party, and move the candy and my friends outside. Have some wine, music etc and make sure to tell the neighborhood to come on by and say hello. Chris will hate it, but I think sometimes we make our own community. Even if it takes full size candy bars and some nice pinot for the parents next year has to be better.