Things never come easy for me. I am sarcastic. I can keep a secret. I love music. I am blunt to the point of being harsh. I never finish anything. I love to laugh. I'm insecure. I'm fun. I have amazing kids. I am married to the man of my dreams.
I love dates with my hubby. I love time alone with him in general. For an old married couple, we still manage to find the time to spend focused on each other. I think that is so key to marriage success.
I love pampering. Easily, in my alternate fantasy rich life, I am one of those women with a standing appointment at the salon for my mani/pedi. But back in my reality life, one of my favorite gifts that I have ever received was a Queen for a Day pampering at a spa. I had a message, mani/pedi, facial and lunch. Ahhhhhhhh. It was simply divine. Even at home, I love an afternoon in my jammies, feet up, candles, and some chocolate.
I love Facebook. Whatever if you think that's lame. Don't care. The whole world doesn't have to like the same things. I love it because it's funny and I can see what people are up to. And there are an infinite amount of games.
I love my girls. They are amazing and beautiful and I love them so much. I can't imagine for one second not having the privilege of being the mother of two such unique and amazing creatures. I am awestruck lately at their personalities. I think they are two cool chicks. They have great hearts and love immensely. One of them is sharp and witty and cracks me up every single day. One of them is gentle and caring and knows just the right moment to bestow me with a mood-boosting hug. I never knew how much I wanted to be a mom until these two showed up. And I am thankful and grateful that they did.
What's one of the simple pleasures in your life? Starbucks lattes. I don't make them an everyday thing, so those times I do decide to treat myself, it is so enjoyable! I relish every sip, and it always makes me happy. And unlike the place where I more frequently stop for a quick coffee, Starbucks never messes up my order. It is consistently hot, fresh, deliciously smooth, and served up with a smile. I know not everyone enjoys them like I do, but that's ok. They will always be a simple pleasure in my life.
What do you like to snack on when you watch a movie? If I am at the movie theater, I love to snack on good ol' fashioned hot buttered popcorn. Mmmm. If I'm in the right mood I may also have some Goobers. Funny that - I almost never eat popcorn or Goobers any other time than at the movie theater.
If you were a Survivor contestant, what would be your luxury item? You wouldn't catch me dead on that show. I love to watch it, but I am more of an Amazing Race or Big Brother type of contestant I think. But to answer the question, I think I would bring a bug spray. I can't believe how chewed up they get some seasons! Bugs never leave me alone, and I don't think I would make it with all those jungle bugs crawling all over me. (I told you I was not meant to me on that show!) :)
I love Disney. And I swore that I wouldn't. I will admit that I have always been a little scared of the Disney freaks out there. Then I began planning for our first trip, and I got quite wrapped up in the hype. I love to plan things like that anyway, so this was just amplified. Going in to the trip, I swore up and down that this would be a once in a lifetime thing, that we were to make the most of it because it would never happen again. Then we got there, and before our feet even touched the Florida pavement that magic and pampering and bliss began. It was truly an amazing time. I don't know if I will ever be able to capture it quite the way I would like. And then eight months later we were back. I couldn't help it.
I love techie gadgets. I was raised by an electronics geek, and now I am one. I try to stay pretty current on tech trends that are happening. Part of my job is to prep tech news stories for a radio show, and it is one of my favorite things I do for work!
I have so many gadgets that I have come to depend on. Tivo - love. I never know what's playing at the movie theater anymore because I never watch commercials! GPS - love. Who needs to stress about directions?! Wanna know where the nearest Starbucks is? Just ask GPS! iPod - love. Tune in and tune out. Wii - love. Family fun all the way!
Oh, and then there is my dear sweet Crackberry. L O V E. It is like an appendage now. I could never live without it.
This week we will answer some crazy questions brought to you by Berleen, the color Barney Purple and the number 734.
1. What brand & flavor of toothpaste do you use?
Must be Crest. Beyond that, not choosy. I was on a Cinnamon Expressions kick for a bit, but I've grown tired of it. I have some kind of minty something or other flavor right now.
2. What is your earliest memory? Playing outside with my friend Ian and our little sisters in our apartment complex when I was in kindergarten. We had such adventures! I also remember waiting at their house for news from my parents from the hospital when my youngest sister was born.
3. Hot Dogs or Hamburgers? Hamburgers please! 4. If you could bring any one famous person back to life, who would it be? Martin Luther King, Jr
5. What is one thing we would always find in your fridge... what one thing would we never find? This is a hard one.... We always have milk, juice, ketchup (blech!), Italian dressing, and cheese.I'm not sure what's not there because I am obviously not missing it! In the cabinet though - you ALWAYS find rice. You will NEVER find raisins.
6. Did you have to go and look for the answer of #1? Ha! I didn't even bother. I guess the curiousity didn't get to me that much.
7. Why don't watermelons grow on trees? I would hate to see the branch of the tree that can hold up watermelons.
8. What is something that you own that you should probably just throw in the trash, but you never will? Maybe my old stuffed animals from when I was a kid. I have a couple that I just can't seem to let myself get rid of.
9. I push you into a room and lock the door. I leave you there for 6 hours. The walls are chalkboards and in the middle of the room there is a box of colored chalk. What will be written/drawn on the walls when I let you out? I would probably make a to do list first. Then I might doodle a bit. Then I would probably curl up on the floor and take a nap for the other five and a half hours. :) 10. When was the last time you changed the oil on your car? It's been about three months. I am probably due - I should check the mileage. 11. In your extended family, who has been married the longest? That's a tough one actually. Between my husband's and my families, I can think of half a dozen or so couples that have been married over fifty years. I am always in awe of those couples, and I always study how they interact. I mean, you don't end up married to someone that long by accident. On my side I think Uncle Bob and Aunt Marge have been married the longest. And it's because of things like when you ask Aunt Marge how she takes her coffee, Uncle Bob says "No sugar for her, she's already sweet enough."
12. Name one thing that is so normal to you now that someone who was your age 50 years ago would think was abnormal. With all of the technological advancements, I think any answer involving that would be too obvious, so I am going to go with being a mom who works full-time out of the house.
13. Have you ever wanted someone or something so bad that it hurt? Definitely. And that's all I have to say about that.
14.What do you dip yourfrench fries in? Nothing. Salt and pepper is good for me.
I love camping! It is a great way for our family to hang out together and do something we all enjoy. It is easy, cheap, and fun. I grew up camping - my grandparents would take us camping out on Cape Cod in the summertime. I have so many fond memories of those times growing up.
I used to go camping with my friend and her family when we were teenagers and it was always so wonderful. We would stay up late playing games, eating, trying to meet boys... It seemed like it was always somebody's birthday or a special occasion, and they always went out of their way to make a celebration even though we were out in the woods. I always admired that about them.
As we grew older and had our own families, we started taking camping trips with our friends. It started out pretty small, but the group has grown. The last time we all went was pretty legendary - there are more "you had to be there" jokes from that trip than I can count! ("Hey - watch out for that trash can over there!") What amazes me the most from this group is the sense of community and fun and sharing. There were too many of us to coordinate everything all the time, but we still managed to come together for family style suppers on more than a few occasions.
It has been awhile, longer than we've ever gone without camping. I definitely think we are due for a trip.
I love my deck. It is one of my favorite things about my house. On weekends, I often take my morning coffee out on the deck. I love to just sit out there with the sun on my face listening to the birds. It is incredibly serene. My grandmother is a bird watcher and can correctly identify a bird from the most obscure details. We were sitting out on my porch one time, and I asked her if she could tell me which bird it was that had been sitting in the branch squaking at me like that all spring. She was able to name it correctly just from its call. There are so many birds out in my yard. I have enjoyed putting feeders out to draw them to us. My favorite are the goldfinches. They are so tiny and beautiful. I have seen some hummingbirds also, but I have never been skilled at attracting them long term. It is such quiet beauty living out off of that porch. I am happy to seize any time I have the opportunity to sit out and enjoy it.
Of all your favorite foods, which one would you find the most difficult to give up for the rest of your life? Rice. If there is a world without rice, I don't want to live in it.
Which month of the year do you thing best describes your personality? May. It's busy and crazy and there is always something going on. It has a little bit of everything. It is always changing. It is transitioning from one season to another. I am May.
If you could be a contestant on any game show, past or present, which show would you pick? Wheel of Fortune, during family week, with my mother. We would tear that game up and spit it out. And we wouldn't waste all of our cash buying vowels.
Since it is Valentine's Day, it is only fitting that I dedicate this month of love post to the love of my life. He is such an amazing man! He takes care of me and my girls in a way that nobody else would or could. We don't really have one of those "eyes meeting across the crowded dance floor, it was love at first sight" kind of stories, but that's ok. We just sorta started hanging out in the same circles, and then we were hanging out just the two of us, and then the rest is history. I remember back then thinking what a go with the flow kind of person he was, and I am always drawn to people like that. I remember being aware of how willing he always was to do nice things for others. He and I always have such a good time together. We have a date today, and I am so looking forward to it. We don't even really have plans - we'll just wing it and I'm sure that no matter where we end up it will be a good time. I always look forward to and enjoy planning our vacations because those are the best times. Free of the everyday mudane responsibilities we are both really able to float and be free to relish the time together just basking in each other's presence. The activities are irrelevant.
I am sure that our everyday lives aren't very exciting to most, but we are happy. We slow dance in the kitchen to the music of our love. The girls say "Ewwwww" when they catch us smooching. We have the things we want out of life. And there is noone else on earth with whom I would rather spend it.I love you, Valentine!!!
I love my mom. She is an amazing woman. I am beyond blessed to have a mother like her. She is young and vibrant, and doesn't show her age at all. Nobody can ever believe that she is my mother! She teaches special education preschool - something I know I would not have the strength or patience to do. She is also funny and sarcastic - which of course is where I get it from.
She is the world's best Nana to my kids. She is the kind of Nana that is not afraid to get down on the floor and play with kids. On her last visit she got right out there with the kids and went sledding.
This week we will answer some crazy questions brought to you by Berleen, the color Cotton Candy Pink and the number 3,333,333,331.
1. You are driving down the road and there is a puddle in the road. A big puddle. Not one that will really wreck your car or anything, but a big puddle. There is no other cars in front of you or behind you - do you drive through the puddle or drive around it? I would drive through it and make a splash. I mean, why not, right? (FYI - the lack of cars around me did not influence this decision. I would have done it anyway.) :)
2. Go to Google Images, type in any word that comes to mind and post the 1st picture you see. I overthink. So I forced myself to go to Google Images, and just let my fingers work. I typed fresca. I got this...
3. A college calls you up and says that you have been selected to take get any degree that you want on their dollar.... what do you choose? Is this before or after I win the UK National lottery? But seriously though - Business. Possibly Management, but maybe Management Information Systems. Or maybe both since I'm not paying.
4. Are you blogging on a laptop or desktop? Today the laptop. Last time the desktop. It totally depends on what kind of multi-tasking I am doing. The desktop indicates that I am balancing the checkbook, paying bills, working from home, filing, syncing my phone or iPod, while typing up a quick blog post. Laptop means I am either watching tv, someone is playing Wii, I'm ignoring something someone else is watching, or I am laying in bed.
5. Which store, excluding a grocery store, do you shop at most often? Honestly? Amazon.com. I almost never step foot in a store anymore. I did 99% of the Christmas shopping from my living room.
6. My daughters tried out for the school musical last night. Were you ever in a school play/musical? Which one? If I wasn't in the show, I was in the pit orchestra. I love theatre. There is a local community theater that puts on shows throughout the year, and I glance at their audition schedule every now and then, but the thought of taking on one more thing in my schedule right now makes me want to gag.
7. I read yesterday that a school PTA group wants to try to ban white bread, cakes, brownies or any other "treat" from their lunch menus... plus make kids' lunchboxes brought from home not include any "junk food". Thoughts on that one? I'm not sure that they should be serving junk food in school cafeterias, but I don't think they should classify white bread as junk food either. I actually don't even like white bread, but I grew up in the Wonder Bread generation, and so I get it when kids prefer white over wheat. Simply eliminating carbs isn't the solution. I also don't think that what they're serving up is the only thing that will make a difference. I think the exercise component is missing. Get kids up off the couch and outside running around. And don't start policing the lunch they bring in. If they've got funds to pay someone to shake down little kids' lunches, I'd prefer they redirect some of the cash back into funding some education programs on the brink of extinction.
8. How many people can your kitchen table seat? The way it is set up now - 6. But if we extend the leaf, we can seat 8 comfortably. More if we all want to squeeze in and share the love for the sake of a holiday gathering.
9. What time is it right now? Midnight. It's funny though - I've been having better success at good sleep. I think tonight is because I had a bit of a stressful evening, which makes it harder for my mind to settle.
10. Walk out the front door of your house/apartment, turn right, walk 2 blocks. What do you see? I guess Cumberland Farms. Round these parts though, "blocks" are hard to find, and certainly not an accurate description of what happens if you go out my front door, turn right, and start walking.
I love the Barenaked Ladies. THE Barenaked Ladies, not barenaked ladies - for those who may be confused. I'm talking about the band. I have certainly waxed poetic about them on my blog before. My blog title - life, in a nutshell - is a BNL song, as are all of the headers for my sidebar, and all of the quotes are BNL song lyrics. My little ode to those kooky boys from up north.
I'm not sure what it is about this band that has captured me so, but I just find them so darned entertaining. If you want a fun rockin' good time, plunk down the dough and check out their live show. There is nothing like it. From what I remember that is..... it is getting to be waaaaay too long since they have gone on tour. I am starting to go through withdrawal from it actually. They really need to get back in the studio and crank out that next album before I LOSE IT.
Every year I have to talk myself out of going on the Ships and Dip BNL cruise. Because that would be ridiculous and I can't afford it blah blah. But Sarah McLaughlin was going to be there this year, and I started looking into flights before I talked myself off the ledge this time. It was rough.
I have always thought Stunt was my favorite album of theirs, but after playing in my car exclusively from October to December last year, I'm not sure anymore. I think I may have finally wore it out. For now at least. My favorite songs are probably The Old Apartment, Break Your Heart, and War on Drugs. Ed is my favorite, but I tend to like Steve songs more. (There are two lead singers - just another weird thing about this band.) When I buy tickets to their shows I intentionally choose seats that are Ed side (Ed side and Steve side are actual terms in the BNL fan community).
Besides, how can you not love a guy who sits and records forty acoustic videos from a bathroom?
And to be fair - let's give Steve some face time.....
I am obsessed with question blog memes right now, and today I've hit the motherload! It's called the Thursday Thunks, and though today is not Thursday, I thought I'd put up last Thursday's questions, and give it a try for a few weeks and see if it sticks. So without further ado....
1. What is one of your favorite blogs to read? Why is it your favorite? One of my current favs is definitely Cake Wrecks. Good gravy - that blog cracks me up!! Go check it out, and laugh 'til your sides hurt. I love it for the funny. Pure and simple.
2. Have you ever been hunting? I have never been hunting, I'm not sure if I would enjoy it - I find those kinds of sports boring. However I come from a huge hunting family, and don't complain about getting to enjoy the yummy rewards of their efforts!
3. Do you live near any active volcanos? That would certainly be a surprise to me! :)
4. If VH1 came out with a new reality show called Celebrity Anger Management, who would you most like to see on the show? Can I first just say, that I think the concept of Celebrity Anger Management is hilarious. And in light of yesterday's Grammy incident, I'm thinking Chris Brown needs to be the first one on the show.
5. Would you drink horse's milk if offered? I'm not sure that sounds appetizing, but I have no moral opposition to it necessarily. People drink goat's milk, right?
6. Do you buy pickles? If so, what do you do with the juice after all the pickles are gone? Sure, I buy pickles sometimes. Mostly in the summer. I would absolutely NOT drink the juice after, but my sister always did when we were growing up. Ick!
7. Do you have a myspace or Facebook account? Both. But we all know that Facebook is the new MySpace, right? Check me out there - send me a friend request if you like. Oh - and I recommend that you DON'T ask anyone "I don't get this Facebook thing. What the heck do you do with it?" Because then they will show you and you will lose huge gaps of time.
8. Facial hair on men, yea or nay? Yea - if the style is right. Lots of them are NOT right.
9. Do you know anyone personally who is stockpiling stuff for WWIII or a date they think will be the end of the world (i.e. 12/2012)? I don't know of anyone intentionally stockpiling for a catastrophic event. But maaaaan do I know some hoarders! I think it might seem better if they had some sort of End of Days excuse to legitimize it. (And yes, if WWIII hits and you are in need of an empty Cool Whip container - I have multiple sources.)
10. Have you downloaded Skype and use it? I have it downloaded, and never turn it on except to video chat with my parents. The new trends in phone packages have mostly eliminated the free long distance calls feature of the Skype service.
11. Have you ever been stuck by cacti? Yes I have. But only those little ones my grandmother has growing in her dining room windows. Not the exotic big segura cacti out in the desert somewhere.
12. Do you still have packed boxes from your last move you have yet to unpack? If so, how long have they been there? I don't think we do! I went on some sort of spree last year, and we went through everything and got rid of so much extra stuff! It was very liberating. That doesn't mean there isn't stuff being stored, but I've been through it all since the move.
13. Ever have a toxic friend you had to break ties with to save your sanity? Heck yes. Sometimes the best thing to do for yourself is to cut ties and let some people go. Why go on living the torture? I don't regret it in any of the circumstances where it has happened.
So there you have it - Thursday Thunks! What do you think? Is it a keeper?
What is your favorite candy? I'm not much of a candy person, I much prefer chocolate. If I was to pick one though, it would definitely be Swedish fish. Sooooo yummy!
Name one thing that you'd want to receive as a gift for Valentine's day. We actually don't usually do gifts for Valentine's Day, we just try to spend some time together and that is enough. But I wouldn't mind some jewelry. You know, if you're going to force me into it. LOL!
Can we truly love someone who loves another? I don't think so. I think that true romantic love evolves from two people working together and caring for each other. I don't think that can happen when one person is putting that energy into another.
I love my family time. Lives are busy, and sometimes spending time with the people you love requires you to make a concerted effort. This week we were able to take some time together and enjoy each other's company. We didn't do anything particularly exciting, but I don't think that is really the point. We got to hang out and relax and laugh and dance. We had fun! That time is so special and sacred, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I love my commute. I know that sounds strange, but it is really not a bad commute at all. It's mostly back roads, and it is such a pretty ride in the morning. There is hardly any traffic, so I just cruise along. I always have music on, and usually catch a couple of good tunes to get my brain awake and my mood set for the day.
I live in a quiet suburb about twenty minutes outside of the city. At one point in my ride, I reach the crest of a hill where I am surrounded by woods, but have the most magnificent view of the city skyline. It takes my breath away each and every morning. How lucky I am!
I am going to participate in another blog challenge. The assignment is to write fourteen posts this month about love. (Fourteen love posts in February!) No other parameters - just write fourteen posts about love, and to include some pics if possible. So be on the lookout throughout the month for my thoughts on love. Not sure what direction this will take - so have fun reading!
I haven't been writing much outside of memes, so here's what's on my mind right now.... all stream of conscious like....
I have been super busy at work lately, but it's totally fine. My worst day at this job is still better than my best day at the last place. (The people there were amazing though, and I miss them dearly each and every day!!) I am so blessed to have found this new venture!
I am so very sick to death of the ice and snow that I don't think I can take it anymore. I feel like this winter is never going to end. Ever want to know how much I love my kids? Every winter I endure is a testament to how committed I am to providing stability in their lives and a hometown for them to call their own.
I love to do my nails, but I rarely have time to do it. This is only on my mind right now because my nails look like crap and it is bothering me.
I have been back to crafting again. This week I am making a giftie for a friend. I have finally hit the wall in my scrapbooking where I now need to organize. I hate that part. But my pics are all out of order. Blech. I wish the picture sorting fairy would visit overnight and just take care of all of it for me. I have a couple of scrapbook events coming up that I am super stoked about, so this is my motivation to get moving with it.
One of the scrapbook projects I am really wanting to work on is my Disney stuff. But for some reason I am too overwhelmed to start. I think it is because I want it to be perfect. I'm not sure if we'll ever take a trip like that again, and it was such a wonderful experience that I want to capture it just right and do it justice.
I got DH a blanket wrap for Christmas. We all fight over it all the time because it is so warm and cozy. We have tons of blankets and afghans, but for now we all want this one. Right now I am all wrapped up in it. DH knows this, but he's letting it slide because that's the kind of guy he is. He loves me.
I left my phone in my office, which isn't really a big deal, except that I have an alarm on it that goes off at 7:30am and will keep ringing for an hour if you don't turn it off manually. My office is locked. They guy in the office next to me gets in at 7am and I get in at 9. Heh heh.
So that's what's on my mind tonight. What are you thinking about?
What's the most embarrassing song on your iPod (or music collection)? Well, I have iTunes going right now so let's take a look.... Yeah. Here's the thing... I'm not really embarrassed by any of it. I can own the fact that I have a whole playlist of crappy early 90's pop. Whatevs. And who cares that my BNL playlist is seven hours long? Or that I have every version of every song Boyz II Men ever made? But you're right, that Britney Spears stuff is kinda shady. I think top prize is a toss up between Wannabe by the Spice Girls and MmmBop by Hansen. What's your vote? :)
How much time do you spend each day in your commute? (Or if you don't work outside the house, how much time do you spend in your car or other preferred mode of transportation?) My commute is just under 20 minutes. It's actually the perfect commute. I can't stand wasting the day in the car, so I find a long commute to be too much of an inconvenience. I had a much shorter commute, which was great except that sometimes you just need that extra few minutes to be alone and gather your thoughts before transitioning into your other roles at the end of the day.
What's your favorite wardrobe item and why?
I am totally a jeans kinda girl - and I now work at a job where I can wear jeans everyday - woohoo! I have a zip up sweatshirt that I love to lounge around in. I'm all about comfort, so the softer, warmer, and least constricting, the better!