Welcome New Year

Dear 2010,

I have high hopes and expectations set for you. After all, I read my horoscope projection for the year and it looks quite lovely. However, I also have the suspicion that whoever is in charge of publishing and editing horoscopes might not want to disappoint others knowing that most of us enter a new year with high hopes and expectations already pre-programmed as habit from years past.

With most people making resolutions to join a gym, maintain a better diet, or walk down the aisle, I promise I won't make gym resolutions, I won't eat fewer Red Vines, and I won't make any plans to walk down an aisle that doesn't have a number hanging over it, accompanied by labels like, "baking needs" or "toilet paper". Instead, I resolute continuance and I will not let you down, new friend.

I will continue to plan, organize, and over think everything from menus to men. I will continue to enjoy a solid 60 minutes of television per week in the form of Iron Chef. I will continue to love my friends as if they were family and I will continue to love my family as if they were designer shoes {trust me, that's a lot}. I will continue to allow my children to partially raise themselves by guiding decisions, rather than deciding for them. I will continue to be creative and color outside the lines of life. I will continue to have a coffee, cleaning, cooking, and antique shopping addiction. I will continue to covet the J Crew catalog. I will continue all attempts at iTunes and at changing light bulbs. But most importantly, I will continue being me; quirky, compassionate, "to the point", persevering, stubborn, funny, annoying, girlie, strong, creative me without reservation, hesitation, or fear.

I expect the same from you in return, New Year. I expect your days to continue to bring love, discovery, passion, tears, surprise, laughter, and a touch of glitter into my life. If you can do this, we will be the best of friends.

Whatever it is that you have waiting for me, I'm ready. Bring it.

~ M


A Year in Review

Dear 2009,

We've gotten to know each other quite well over the last 365 days, but dear bittersweet 2009, I can't say I'll miss you. Over the past twelve months, you've given me hard earned lessons, a few swift kicks, and countless memories...

The year started out with the removal of all my oral wisdom. After I recovered, River and I enjoyed his first light rail ride downtown in January when we cheered our way through an evening of snacks and Suns, a tradition I intend to carry on well into his thirties. The look on his face was filled with enough excitement and curiosity to carry us into February. Autumn still talks
about her 3rd birthday party at Makutu's Island {I don't think I'll be able to top that in 2010} and I had a fabulous time at the Matsuri Festival in Heritage Square.

In March, Emma lost her umpteenth tooth, got stitches in her chin, and enjoyed her very first Spring Break, Kindergarten style. I turned 29 in April and decided there wouldn't be a 30th party {I've since changed my mind}. May brought us a homemade kindergarten graduation ceremony, the kids welcomed their new baby brother, Hunter {definitely NOT mine}, and we started a wonderful YMCA summer.

River turned 5 in June and we celebrated at Tempe's Splash Park, which will definitely be a repeated adventure next summer. June also brought us a summer of baseball. Go D'Backs!
The kids enjoyed fireworks with dad, while I enjoyed vino and karaoke on the Fourth of July and in August, school began again. River teared up when we dropped him off at Kindergarten and Emma couldn't wait for us to leave her in 1st Grade. Also, in August, I redecorated the kids bedroom's. River now sleeps a'sea in his Pirate Captain room and the girls share a beautiful bedroom made for princesses. Also, I was incredibly blessed to be able to buy a 'made this century, less than 80k miles, new to us' vehicle. I love my Nissan Quest minivan; despite my inability to park it correctly.

September started a Jamba Juice craze and I took up redecorating our family room, which is still a work in progress.

Emma turned 7 in October and brought her favorite present home; a hamster named Pinkie Pie {thanks 4!} Pinkie Pie got loose in the car and stuck under the couch, she now resides permanently at 4 & Sarah's.

Mom and I Ya-Ya'd an October weekend away with the Mierkey girls in Fish Camp, CA; our first mini vacation since 2000 and shortly thereafter, we hosted a wine tasting fundraiser in honor of Grams and in support of The Alzheimer's Association.

In November, I enjoyed my first parade, participated in the 2009 Phoenix Memory Walk, and finally took the kids to meet their great granddad, albeit at the cemetery. After Thanksgiving, Miss J and I shopped our way into the holiday spirit continuing our annual tradition of the mall-idays at 3:30am. It's not holiday season without a Kohl's two hour line! December brought us chilly weather, an Italian circus, a pumpkin spice latte habit, pretty scarves, sparkling lights, and a lot of love.

I've learned that "to the point" is, most often times better, than taking the long way; Vicodin can be your "sometimes friend" {I had three surgeries this year}; that boyfriends will come and go, but my girlfriends will always be there; there are somethings in this world that you just can't change; learning about nutrition, preparing new dishes, and hunting for treasures in antique stores are my greatest pleasures; drama just creates more drama, which creates migraines; being strong isn't being the bitch, it's being strong; I'm pretty sturdy, for a girl; and although they drive me batty, my children are my own personal life bonuses.

So, 2009, thank you for sharing life, adventure, discovery, laughter, surprise, and love with us, but I'm ready to file you away in memory and welcome 2010 with open arms and the warmest smile.

~ M



Whew I survived the week, which was actually pretty quiet considering what the next two weeks holds. While most of us welcome Winter Break, I dread it. I have no where to take my school age nuggets during business hours, which leaves me a little afraid for my sanity. If you don't hear from me next Friday, it's because I've been committed. If I make it, my only concern will be how to survive 12 weeks of summer "vacation". I need to start making a plan.

In other news, another weekend is upon us, bringing the count down to exactly 2 Saturdays left in 2009. Tomorrow, I'm spending my afternoon doing absolutely everything I can't do during the week so that I can enjoy a lazy Sunday. Tomorrow night, however, is a different story; four course dinner for six and a half. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Image: Eggplant Parmesan, Food Network


Case of the Mondays

Just another busy weekend...

I spent Friday afternoon reorganizing my laundry room and wrapping pressies, making them pretty for display...

Saturday, I managed to decorate the inside of my home with Christmas glitters {only one minor accident}, my hair had an appointment and came back shorter and freshly colored, and the remainder of my Saturday was spent with Ella and Frank on Pandora and hot coffee.

Sunday was a good mix of busy and relaxing. The kids and I had our annual holiday photo shoot {I cannot thank Eric enough!}, followed by a multitude of errands, breakfast at Starbucks, holiday card addressing, hot chocolating, and Christmas tree decorating. After the kids nodded off, I cleaned up the Christmas tornado that occurred over the weekend and then rearranged the ornaments, spreading E's personal glitters from her centrally located area and moving choking hazards and breakables to higher ground.

And we're back to the beginning of another busy December week. With zoo lights, birthdays and holiday parties to attend, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas....


Happy Friday Eve!

It's been nothing but chaos since December 1st.

After three entire days, R finished his third "clean out" yesterday and missed yet another week of school. I just feel so bad for the little dude; he's full of sh*t! I think the past three days and four different laxatives have done the trick and hopefully, life will resume {ab}normality again shortly.

In the midst of Captain Can'tPoop drama, work, and general single mom speed bumps, my housekeeping duties have taken back seat. Ever get the "Ack! My house is going to swallow me whole!" overwhelming feeling of dirty? I feel like I'm sitting in the middle of a very organized and well disguised mess. I must clean out and reorganize every drawer and cabinet, I must launder every linen and stuffed friend, and I need to disinfect every toy, but when will I find the time? I feel like I need an assistant and a week off from work just to catch up.

At least my holiday shopping is done and there's lights on my house to bring on the smiles!