Monday, December 31, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

Hey... I think it's Monday... it's a little hard to keep track of the days with the Christmas Eve, Christmas Day holidays falling during the week...

But if it's really Monday, it's time for me to link up with Kati and Kate to bring you The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of my weekend!
Incorporating Color
Friday was my birthday...
The Good: The day started with mimosas and ended with margaritas!
Yes, it looks like that older lady is soaking in my margarita... if I was in a margarita hot tub... I would look a whole lot happier than she does!
This is a collage of the Angsty Teen and the Stern German during my birthday celebration. I'm not sure that they ever look happy simultaneously... but, really.

The Bad: I had a goal to someday drink two jumbo margaritas in one evening at my favorite Mexican restaurant. Couldn't do it. Kati had to assist me.
I get by with a little help from my friends... 
The Ugly: At lunch with my parents on my birthday, my mother felt the need to share with my daughters the story of what a homely baby I was... Thanks, mom. Pretty sure my girls didn't need to be reminded of that story.

My mother has said quite a few crazy things lately...
The Good: She announced at lunch yesterday that she was "really bitchy and irritable today"... Haha... didn't know my ultra-conservative mom knew how to say that word... and she said it three times... She didn't seem at all bitchy to me... maybe just saying it aloud relieved some pressure!

The Bad: The weekend before Christmas my mom made this announcement at her lunch table... "On Tuesday we're going to have SEX!" And, yes, she said it REALLY loudly!

The Ugly: The crazy lady at her table said, "You're gonna have what?!?"

"SEX!" my mom answered. This was followed by kind of an awkward silence.

As soon as I figured out what she was talking about, I spoke up as quickly as I could... "SIX! They're have SIX people for at their table for Christmas dinner on Tuesday!"

So the big family joke has been that Tuesdays are for sex... The Angsty Teen is grossed out when the Stern German and I joke and mention that it's almost Tuesday!

We had a little Forced Family Fun time last night.
The Good: We drove about fifteen miles south of town to look at my stepson's Christmas lights... he and his neighbor, whom we have known since he was in about third grade... he's now about 27... have a little lights contest each year.

The Bad: He wasn't home and his house was dark... and the neighbor's house had a lot of blinking lights... nearly gave us all seizures.

The Ugly: On the way home we stopped at another house that was lighting up the prairie... there were a lot of lights in their display... and this sign welcomed us to Vince and Virginia's house... except Virginia's name was spelled wrong...
Kati tweeted this message:
My immature family is currently laughing at the misspell of this name and the pronunciation of "Virgina." 

We laughed all night about that... oh, Virgina... pretty sure you should have made sure your name was spelled correctly...

Well, Kati is leaving for Omaha this morning. It has been a good visit. The two of us always have a wondrous, fun-filled time... but I think this visit has gone really well in regards to Kati's time with the Angsty Teen and the Stern German. Christmas miracle??? Probably.

All of us girls went to the Mall of America two different days... with lots of snacks packed for the Angsty Teen... and everything went quite well.

All in all it was a lot of togetherness... but it was pretty great. We found some deals and laughed a lot...

Hope you have a great New Year's Eve. Be safe.

Oh, and yes, Virgina, there really is a Santa Claus...

Friday, December 28, 2012

High Five for Friday!

It is time for me to tell you the five best parts of my week... so, in no particular order, here we go!
1. Today is my birthday!
I am 50 years old... and that's kind of hard to believe. I don't feel a whole lot different than I did 20 years ago... well, I do feel a whole lot wiser... but 50? Dang, that doesn't seem possible.
A little surprise party for me on Christmas...
Having a birthday so close to Christmas has always been... interesting.

And the best news is that the Stern German already pulled off a little surprise party with four of my friends... so I don't have to worry about that happening on a larger scale... Yay!

2. We had several different Christmas celebrations... and they were all pretty good!
Love the Phat Boy! (And he loves me...
because I feed him!)
My mommy and me

Kati and the newest Grand Boy 
3. Kati, the Angsty Teen, and I had a lot of fun at the cooking class last night.
The class that Kati and I went to a year ago was so much better... but the Angsty Teen pulled through with a good attitude and the guys at our table were hilarious. Our group totally owned the recipes we made... but the class itself was lacking. (I probably shoulda bought the wine pass!)
Some of the members of SEAL Team Six... or SEAR Team Six...
I've heard it both ways.
The Angsty Teen was really sweet and a lot of fun to be around!

4. I bought myself a great pair of Nine West boots for my birthday!
From the clearance section of DSW!

5. Kati's time home has been nice.
I knew that the two of us would be fine... but sometimes Too Much Togetherness Syndrome afflicts my daughters after a few days... especially the younger child.

Too Much Togetherness Syndrome hit the Angsty Teen a little yesterday... but in about ten minutes' time she snapped out of it... that might've been a Christmas miracle... or just her love of money... she didn't want to have to pony up $50 to pay for her portion of the cooking class.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Join me on Monday when I link up with Kati and Kate to bring you The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of my weekend... Hopefully my all day birthday celebration will be "The Good" thing on the list!
Incorporating Color

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Moving Right Along...

We are finally done celebrating Christmas. Woohoo!

Don't get me wrong... I love Christmas... but by now I'm pretty much worn out. If you're a mom, Christmas tends to be a lot of work. So in that respect, I'm glad we are done with the celebrations.

Also, being officially done with the Christmas celebrations means that my birthday celebration may begin! That's my theory, anyway.

If I could choose how to spend a celebratory morning, it would be to stay home and make a wondrous brunch and drink several Mimosas... but that's not going to happen today... maybe on my actual birthday? Hmmm.... yeah, maybe...

This morning I have to take my mother in for a mammogram... so, clearly, that would be almost as good as having a Mimosa brunch...
Yep, that would be some sweet revenge.
It is kind of a strange word.
Hide those melons, Kati!
Well, that might protect them!

Anyway.... it's not gonna be a Mimosa kind of morning... well, I mean they would help make the morning better... but it's not an option... Dang.

However, the rest of the day has the potential to be pretty great.

Tonight my girls and I are going to Minneapolis to a cooking class! We will go up right after lunch to run errands and go to the MOA. (Yeah, we're close, personal friends with the Mall of America, so we can call it that... after all, Kati and I were there on opening day!)

Originally when I asked the Angsty Teen if she wanted to go with Kati and me to the class, she said, "No, I don't want to cook food, I just want to eat it." So I didn't buy her a spot in the class.

Fast forward a few weeks, and yesterday the Angsty Teen decided she wanted to come along. Fortunately, well, maybe fortunately, there was room in the class... and they gave me the Groupon price for her as well... so that part is good.

We are going to all spend way too much some quality time together... all afternoon... and all evening long... Maybe it will be fine.

I told the Angsty Teen that I would be happy to pay her $50 fee for the class... as long as she is responsible, respectful, and fun to be around...

In order to make the night more pleasant for me, maybe it would be worth it for me to buy the $15 wine pass... In fact, maybe it would be down right necessary.

Kati could always drive home... and it would definitely might make me enjoy my night a little more.

Or I could just pregame in the parking lot... that sounds like a mature thing to do... but sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

But really.
Obviously MARvelous

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday...

Happy Wednesday! Did you have a nice Christmas? My Christmas turned out to be pretty fine.

Linking up to tell you what I'm loving... and a little bit of what I'm not loving!
I'm not loving...
that at a surprise house-warming party for the Stern German's sister on Christmas day... she thought my present was a White Elephant gift.

Seriously? I thought it was nice... and that she would like it... that's why I bought it. It was the smaller of the two mercury glass cake plates shown.
But in front of about 35 people she guffawed and said that it must have come from one of her sisters because she "always gives stuff like this"... huh? Then she saw a sticker on it... found out it was from us... and said, "There's a sticker on it." "Uh, yeah..." I said, "It's new." Awkward.

I'm loving that... Christmas day was nice... The Stern German, Kati, and the Angsty Teen all fared quite well with a lot of togetherness time. We had lunch with my parents... drove 1 1/2 hours to the Stern German's sister's house... stayed there for four hours... and drove home again... and there was very little angst or drama.

These pictures make me smile... but you have to ignore the reflection of the lamp on the Angsty Teen's face/head!
Silly girls...
I'm loving that... I got some great gifts for Christmas!
The Stern German came through with this U.S. map picture I had my eye on (good job directing him, Angsty Teen):
I love looking at it. Read why here.

Kati gave me Whisky Stones (so drinks can be chilled and not diluted!)... I've been talking about these for years... thought the Stern German's son might make me some since he works at a granite place... but that hasn't been the case! Glad Kati got them for me...  and she gave me a nice moisture-wicking shirt with her school's name and mascot on it.

The Angsty Teen gave me a very thin silicone spatula for flipping things... it will work great on eggs and pancakes... both of which she will like!

Oh, and the Stern German came through with some superb stocking-stuffers for me! That is a Christmas miracle... well, that might be a little extreme... but he did well.

It was a nice day... a very wonderful Christmas.

What I'm loving... on Pinterest? Well, here's a couple things...  that's all I have time for today.
I'm not a fan of braggy Christmas letters...

I made these... they are delicious!

Wanna make these while Kati is home:

Yep, beauty will only get you so far in life...

Enjoy your day. Hope you had a great Christmas!

What were some of your best gifts?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It is really here... It's Christmas!

Source: via Sally on Pinterest

Here are a couple Christmas songs I've been loving this year:

After we went to our church's Christmas Eve service last night... and no one got burned by the candles that were kept lit through about 15 songs... and no one burned down the church or scorched their hair or clothing (at least in our family)... we came home... opened a few presents from each other... and ate lasagna... and had wine... I love wine... and just hung out.

It was a perfect evening. It is possible that our holiday experience has peaked... but I'd like to think that Christmas day might be enjoyable as well. After all, there is still wine in the house.

Today we will open our Santa presents and unpack our Christmas stockings... preferably while drinking wine...

Christmas stockings are probably my favorite thing. Lots of fun little things... well, hopefully there will be lots of fun little things... We'll see how the Stern German did this year.

A few years ago all he filled my stocking with was my favorite lip balm and hand lotion... which is nice, in theory....

But if you knew that he forgot about my stocking stuffers and/or procrastinated about getting the stocking stuffers until the last minute... you might understand how I was not exactly thrilled... especially since I always work for weeks and weeks, if not months and months, to get great stocking stuffers for everyone else.

Plus I was opening my stocking presents in the car on the way to relatives' house... so, unfortunately, there wasn't any wine involved... that might have helped... or not.

So, I will let you know what we all got in our stockings...  we are opening them at home... so there may will be wine... well, maybe not since we are getting to the stockings first thing in the morning... and there may or may not be a few lumps of coal in the mix...

Merry Christmas! Hope your day is great and your time with family and/or friends is enjoyable as you celebrate Jesus' birthday.
Leslyn's Lovely Life
Linking up with Leslyn...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

Happy Christmas Eve Day! I'm linking up with Kati and Kate to bring you:

Incorporating Color
Here are the highlights of my weekend:

The Good: Most of my gifts are wrapped.
Source: via Sally on Pinterest

The Bad: Some haven't arrived yet... one package from Amazon is still out there...

The Ugly: The Visa and Mastercards bill will be here in a few days. Dang.

The Good: Kati is home!
The Bad: The Angsty Teen is off of school for two weeks... maybe it will be good...
The Ugly: The Stern German is home until Wednesday... maybe too much family togetherness?

The Good: I planned to make a great roast beef dinner for supper last night.
The Bad: The gravy was lumpy... that rarely happens to me!
The Ugly: The roasts never got done... usually they are fork-tender... but these weren't... so after 3 1/2 hours of cooking... they are back in the oven for another hour or two!

The Good: It's Christmas Eve!
The Bad: Can't think of anything.
The Ugly: I got nothing... I think it's gonna be a great time of Forced Family Fun... or family togetherness...

The Good: My meds must be working well for me to think the last statement was true.
The Bad: I may not have stocked up on enough ibuprofen for this week.
The Ugly: The fridges are full... the bar is stocked... all to the tune of over $300.

Let the holidays begin!

Friday, December 21, 2012

High Five for Friday!

Happy Friday! After today the Angsty Teen's Christmas vacation begins... she will be home for two weeks... and the Stern German's off of work until Wednesday... and Kati will be home on Sunday for over a week... some of these things are probably better than others. Just sayin'.

But if the world ends today... then none of that matters!

Actually the Stern German and I have big plans for tonight... first a cocktail party at my parents' assisted living place (starts at 5:30... everyone will be ready to go to bed by 6:30)... then we are going to meet up with some friends for a night out.

We don't really do stuff like that... well, mostly because we really don't have that many friends! Yay for us... not for not having that many friends... but for going out.

Now I'm ready to tell you the five highlights of my week... there were actually quite a few... so I'm not positive these are the top five... but they were pretty good.

1. The Grand Boy helped me bake some cookies... and he's getting good at it.

When I told him we were making chocolate cookies... he smiled... when I told him he was going to roll the balls of cookie dough in powdered sugar... he shuddered with excitement.

That kid discovered a great love of powdered sugar the week we made Puppy Chow. He would lick his finger and stick it in the bin... repeatedly.

We made my bloggy friend Michelle's cookies from her post last Friday... Check out the recipe here. She calls them Chocolate Pixie Cookies... they are pretty delicious.
Kind of puffy in the oven... but they flatten out.
The Grand Boy might have rolled his dough a little too long in his hot, little hands:
Pretty sure that's chocolate...
2. I have a good selection of meals planned for when Kati is home for Christmas.
It's always good to have a plan... even if several of the nights we go out for margaritas!
Some of the items are: 
Roast Beast 
Wild Rice Soup
Chicken Cacciatore 
Chicken Enchiladas
3. We survived our first snow day of the season.
I was kind of surprised that school was cancelled... it didn't seem that bad out.

I was trying to think of something that the Angsty Teen and I could do with my legally blind, geriatric, bariatric father... so I baked up some cut-out sugar cookies and made up a few containers of colored frosting.
A fine time was had by all...

4. The Angsty Teen took a nap on her first snow day of the season.
They don't lip off when they're asleep.
5. The Stern German came up with a winning mousetrap car on his third attempt... never mind that it wasn't really supposed to be his project... (and no angsty teens were harmed in the making of said project... I think the nap helped... or it could've been the glass of wine the Stern German had... maybe both).
Those are paint sticks for a five gallon bucket of paint.
That's kind of a big car...
Join me on Monday... if the world doesn't end... when I link up with Kati and Kate for:
Incorporating Color

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Long-Term Goals

It's important to have goals in life...

The last long-term goal I had was that I wanted to win a bubble blowing contest.

Yep, that was a big one. I'd had it for a while... and one day I heard about a bubble blowing contest at an A&W Root Beer stand about a mile from my house.

I rode my bike over there... clearly this was a few years ago... popped two pieces of Bazooka bubble gum in my mouth...
Yep, this was the best!
Side note: Bazooka was the best gum we had... who liked/likes that rock hard Double Bubble? It makes my gums hurt just thinking about it... There was no Hubba Bubba yet... that didn't come out until I was in high school. So Bazooka was the greatest... and there were Bazooka Joe comics inside... does anyone remember those??? And you could save up the comics to order prizes... I ordered a camera way back in the day... yes, they had cameras when I was a child.

And I totally dominated that thing. The winning bubble of mine? Bigger than my head! YEAH! WOOHOO!
No, that's not me... I hadn't earned that camera yet.

Basically what I'm saying is that I peaked... no I didn't peek... that was when I was a little older... when the church boys were getting their camp physicals... but I digress... I peaked... in second grade. Dang. That, in the vernacular of the day, kind of sucks.

After that I guess I've had more short-term goals than long-term goals. Like, on the day of said bubble blowing contest, my next goal was to get the gallon of A&W root beer that I won home on my bike without incident.

I also accomplished that goal... I guess you could say that was a pretty big day.

I still have goals, but they are short-term more than long-term goals.

For example... I want to make it through the day next hour without leaving a mark killing being rude to the Angsty Teen.

See, that's more of a short-term goal... it is actually more of a near-daily goal...

or, rather, a many-times-a-day goal, but I don't think I can make that a long-term goal.

It's easier to keep my eye on the prize an hour at a time... or in ten minute slots at a time... or in 60 second intervals... than it is to look at the whole day... or week... or month... or lifetime...

Right now I'm sitting in the darkened living room... quietly listening to Christmas music... gazing at my laptop screen and my pretty lit up Christmas tree just beyond it... enjoying the last glass of wine in the box...

And in comes the Angsty Teen... blasts the music... her favorite songs... which I generally like, just not at the moment... on the highest-of-highs volume level... turns on the bright, glaring overhead lights... speaking of glaring...

and sits down at the piano five feet away from me and is getting reading to attempt to play pretty much unrecognizable Christmas music. (Excuse me? You've had about seven months of piano lessons... about five years ago...)

Really? This was supposed to be my happy, little, quiet place...

But, I'm a mom... of an Angsty Teen... whom I love a lot... although maybe a little less now than I did ten minutes ago... and I probably don't get to dream of having a happy, little, quiet place until she goes off to college...

Wait... that's a long term goal, right?
Obviously MARvelous

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What I'm Kind of Loving...

The week is going by quickly... and it is time for me to tell you what I'm loving... and maybe not loving... this week!

I'm not loving... that the Angsty Teen was home... ALL. WEEKEND. LONG...
kind of sick... meaning her stomach hurt and she had lay-on-the-couch-and-watch-tv-but-never-throw-up sickness... (could of been worse!)

Sad for her... and me. She was supposed to go to a sleepover Friday night... I had planned to organize/wrap Christmas gifts... oh well... I'm sure there's still plenty of time for all that... haha.

I'm not loving... that the Angsty Teen couldn't help set up for the Christmas Renaissance Feast at her school like she had signed up to do... because of her ill-feeling stomach and I chose to go in her place... (Mother of the Year Award? Probably not. Dang.)
C'mon folks, let's get this done!!!!
I'm not loving... that the kids down the block made a great snowman... and I didn't get a picture of it until the day it was melting away... Sorry, kids... and Frosty!
I'm loving...that our church's Sunday school Christmas program is over.

This is the third year in a row we have done the same program... with 17 scenes of chaos and confusion.

Our little preschoolers/kindergartners went up on the risers... and down to the floor... and up on the risers... and down to the floor... in the front of the church three or four times to sing their four songs... SO. MUCH. CHAOS!

They had a Saturday evening rehearsal... which lasted 2 1/2 hours! The children were a little restless... and not just our preschoolers!

This is a worn out donkey and a weary shepherd from the dress rehearsal...
... and maybe a tired pastor's wife who fell
 asleep during the long rehearsal...
This kindergartner was trying to keep himself
entertained during rehearsal...
But this isn't really me griping... because if I gripe I might have to be in charge of the program next year... nope, nevermind... the program was great...

I'm loving... that after the longer-than-necessary rehearsal I was able to go out with one of my favorite people to my favorite Mexican restaurant for drinks, chips, salsa, and queso!

All of a sudden it turned into a great night!
I'm loving... that we bought tickets with some friends for last Monday's Christmas Renaissance Feast at our high school.

It was so much more fun to sit with friends. When Kati was in it I bought one ticket... for me. Money was tight and tickets were expensive. The Stern German stayed home with the Angsty Teen... well, she was a Spastic School Kid then... and I sat with people I didn't know... who were all friends... and not that inclusive. I choked down my supper feeling overwhelmed, ill at ease, and out of place. I drank my soup out of the bowl because I didn't have a dollar along to buy a spoon... This year's feast was much nicer.

And, I may or may not have pregamed...

I'm loving... these things on Pinterest:

Gluten-free sugar cookies! (We'll make them w/red and green sugar!)

Not really loving that one... but... like the next one...

Linking up with:

Have a great day!