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2.26.2010

Longest Week Ever, TGIF

This has been the world's longest week. I think someone out there snuck in a few extra days between Tuesday and Thursday; having apparently missed the memo that any and all extra days are to be placed between Friday and Monday.

I can quickly sum up the week, which was fairly ordinary with a touch of sparkle, with: work, late night conversations, errands, family dinners, BEE night, and later, after the Suns take the Clippers, I expect to crash - or at least sleep until 7:30 manana.

I have challenged myself to run a mile without stopping tomorrow. Depending on how fast I pace myself, that could be 10 minutes of constant motion. Can I do it? One would think that it wouldn't be that difficult or something you would have to challenge yourself with; after all, I'm constantly moving. I am, however, not constantly moving fast, hard, or even necessarily with my legs. Sometimes, I'm just standing there telling a story with big hand gestures. I guess we'll see how my run goes in the morning. After that, possible airport runs, new family arriving to town, a visit to see Grandma, a visit to see Big Mama, icing, and an evening in stitches and in the company of goodness.

Sunday is Matsuri Festival day! I'm so excited. This is the #1 reason why I lurve February so much and it's FINALLY here! My family has been attending the Matsuri as far back as I can remember, which is 1985, and to my recollection, I've only missed two. There's something about it that just makes it *that* kind of good.

Since the week was so slow, I'm betting the weekend will be almost non-existent. Why is it that I live for Saturdays?


I saw Holly in concert {with my BF, Duncan} and she actually wrote this song on a Thursday. It's the first song I think of when someone says 'Saturday.'

Sadly, Monday marks the beginning of March and I will mourn the passing of another fabulous February, but it shall return this same time, next year and that's something to look forward to...

George: You could always see through me, couldn't you?
Doris: But that's okay because I've always loved what I've seen.

Missi: Owning 2010 since January 1st. Cheers!

2.22.2010

Case of the Mondays

I'm going to start petitioning for weeks with longer ends. It simply went too fast and I've taken up horrible sleeping patterns just trying to fit it all in.

I spent most of Saturday gallivanting around town running errands. Nothing too exciting, except I did pick up A's requested birthday presents at BB&B; a Snuggie and a Touch n'Brush {click view the commercial}.

My beautiful little weirdo loving her pink Snuggie

I spent Saturday evening with three of my favorite people at a local tappanyaki grill where I did my first {second, third, and fourth} sake bomber and had my first tappanyaki choo-choo train experience, an event I highly recommend, but will not over hype. To quote a wise man, 'just let it happen.' I am definitely a lucky girl to have had my world filled with such amazing people. I can't wait to see what next weekend brings!

Sunday, I hosted A's 4th birthday party, which she insisted be Hello Kitty themed with matching cuppycakes. We had such a great time with friends and family and, in addition to her boat load of birthday loot, A got to meet her great grandparents for the first time.

Add ImageSince I ended Saturday night really late and started Sunday morning really early, the weekend ended with one tired mama. I hope your week is filled with quiet afternoons and early bedtimes. Cheers!

2.19.2010

TGIF

The week has been short and sweet. Holiday, work, work, sister night, work, run, work, run... In between all the working and running, I was on the edge of my seat anxiously awaiting any trade deals made with the Phoenix Suns. Thankfully, our Amar'e is still wearing #1. In your face, Cleveland!


I need a weekend of nothing, unfortunately, it looks as if I'm booked until March. This weekend holds the company of good friends, both old and new, and my grandparents arrival from Georgia, whom I haven't seen since 2004. On Sunday, I'm hosting a party for the birthday blonde, which means cupcakes!

I have something new to look forward to: flying like Tinkerbell! This morning, I purchased two Groupons to Trapeze U in Gilbert ~ I always purchase things in two because sharing is just more fun. You can purchase the same deal I did, here. Offer good until Sunday, February 21st; a 2 hour training session and 6-8 flights for $39/ea {normally, $85}. Click the link to visit Trapeze U.

I heart February. I hope your weekend brings you goodness from every corner. Cheers!

2.18.2010

February 18, 2006 @ 7:15pm

My Lovely Autumn,

The moment we met, I fell in love and my life was complete. May your life be covered in glitter, may your dreams be incredibly beautiful, and may you always listen to your mother. I love you unconditionally. Happy 4th birthday, my darling!

XO,
Mom

2.17.2010

'Twas the Night Before Birthday

I must say, it's nice going back to work after a holiday weekend. Not because I live on routine or have a monotonous schedule, but because when I went to bed I could have swore it was Monday and when I woke up, Google told me it's Wednesday. I have no idea where Tuesday went, but I wish her well. Short weeks fly by so fast, I barely have time to form a complete sentence before it's over! Grrrr...

Have I mentioned I adore February?! Everything always seems so perfect in February. The weather this week has been especially phenomenal.

My baby, my blondie, my teeny girl, my jelly jam, my AGC turns four tomorrow. FOUR. This stirs a pot of emotions. I hope this is normal. I'm sad because she's my last baby and I'll never do it from scratch ever again. I'm one of those women. I adored being pregnant, I didn't even mind labor {why do you think I did it three times?!}. I liked the belly, I liked the endless eating, I liked the anticipation, I liked weighing over 100 pounds, I liked shopping for a new wardrobe, but I especially liked being kicked. It was like my own private symphony of movement; everyone else knew about it, but no one could feel it. Other moms think they know, but it's not the same and dads will never have a clue. There's just no way to put words together to make it make sense. I once allowed family to form que to put their hands on my belly while I reassured them that it wasn't gas {but honestly, who knows, especially when I'd just consumed four enchiladas, a churro, bottomless chips and salsa, and a mango smoothie.}

Simultaneously though, I'm thoroughly happy about it. She's my last! Woo hoo! She's two years potty trained, which means I'm saving $750 a year on diapers and I've been able to ditch the suitcase sized diaper bag for an actual handbag. She speaks in full sentences, most of the time without whining. She plays well with others, picks up her toys, minds her manners, makes her own bed, and finds my celly telly when I lose it. Most importantly, she sleeps through the night. Ahhh, it's great to be four! FOUR!

My only fear is that if four has come so quickly, fourteen is just around the corner and Mommy doesn't have a rifle to polish...

2.15.2010

Seattle Synopsis

6:45am Day 1:
After saying good bye to our beds, our showers, our dogs, our people and after passing through security, B & I enjoyed a bloody mary breakfast at Sky Harbor, where the man next to us was carded for a Diet Coke. Good thing we remembered our ID's! First piece of advice I feel obligated to pass on, regardless of how many of you already know this: ALWAYS shower before taking to the skies. As you can see from the photo, someone forgot this little matter of business...


11:00am Day 1:
We landed in SLC and after sitting on the runaway for what seemed like an eternity, we finally got off the plane. What was originally a 45 minute layover, was cut short to 20 minutes due to the eternal runway pause. In less than 10 minutes, we found our new terminal, on the other side of the airport and decided the remaining 10 minutes was plenty of time to find the nearest double shot vodka diets. Down the hatch with less than five minutes to get to our gate, no problem. We arrive at our new gate, in the new terminal, and the electronic announcement board is telling us that our gate AND terminal have been changed....to the other side of the airport. 1, 2, 3, GO! We make a sprint for it, Home Alone style at full speed, with luggage, coats, and carry-on's, back to the other side and were the last ones to board. Some serious kudos go to B for completing the SLC Sprint in 4" wedges. Seriously! Our reward? Margarita's in the sky...

12:30pm Day 1:
We finally made it to Seattle! Our next challenge is to find the light rail system, Link, and the hotel. Magically, we manage to do both without asking for directions, without getting lost, without calling for help, and without tears. For a girl, who lacks a homing pigeon and was in charge of the map, I'm quite impressed with our navigation skills. Once checked in, we drop off our luggage and set out to find lunch and the next round...


We settled on fish & chips at the Althenian Inn at Pike Place Market. Mid meal, I notice something familiar and suddenly...

Sam {Tom Hanks}: What is tiramisu?
Jay {Rob Reiner}: You'll find out.

Sam: Well, what is it?

Jay: You'll see!

Sam: Some woman is gonna want me to do it to her and I'm not gonna know what it is!

Woot! So the first Seattle touristy thing we did?

Tom Hanks sat here

Rob Reiner sat here

After lunch, we hoofed the area for the rest of the day, stopping at the first Starbucks for a latte. I swear I'm made up of mostly coffee. My Lil' B is growing up; she drank more coffee in three days than she has in her entire life. I'm so proud!

Later, we have dinner and drinks at Pike Place Pub where we are vitcim to the worst attempted pick up. We enjoy the atmosphere and girl chat, convincing ourselves that we've made it if we can make it to 11pm PST. After, we drag ourselves back to the hotel and crash.

5:00am Day 2:Unfortunately, B and I have incredibly sensitive internal clocks that sound at daybreak, so we're up in time for coffee and a sunrise, sans the sun, on the rooftop deck. After ordering room service; a market fresh crab croissant for me and market fresh crab eggs benedict for B, we get ready and head out for more adventures...




After walking up and down the hilly streets of Seattle, leaving our DNA on the gum wall, treating ourselves to services at Vain Salon, walking the waterfront, shopping the antique stores, browsing local shops, and eating dinner at Umi Sake House; where we practically needed to be rolled out of, our last night in Seattle, was spent at The Alibi Room chatting it up with the local bartender and of course, drinking.

Day 3:
We woke up to another gray day and the smell of fish. We said goodbye to the world's worst mattresses, low water pressure, and the sunless city with plans to visit again soon.

It was a fabulous weekend filled with adventures, rain, new sights, and no plans; just two girls, a city, and a lot of consuming. Oh Seattle, damn you're tasty! When we weren't drinking, we were eating and when we weren't eating, we were walking and when we weren't walking, we were drinking and while we were doing all of that, we were falling in love with the city.

Thank you, Seattle, we will see you soon!

2.12.2010

Where To?!







SEATTLE!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone, see you Tuesday!

2.11.2010

TGIF {Well, It's My Friday Anyway}

The words have not yet been invented to express how much I love February. I more than love it, I lurve it! It's like there's a February Fairy out there that simply adores me and grants me glittery goodness all 28 days. It's the only time of year when everything seems perfect.

Let's recap my favorite Februaries from the last decade or so...

1982: My little brother arrived. I couldn't imagine life without him.

1998: MORP with my best girls and my boyfriend. All of my favorite high school memories involve Kat, Summer, and Brett, but MORP is my favorite.

2000: One month into college and I have already made at least one lifelong friend.

2002: 4 proposed. Yes, at the time it was a pretty fabulous February.

2006: A arrived on February 18th. Yup, my baby will be four next week. *tear*

2007: My first February officially single and one of my favorite Valentine Day's ever. D and I spent it at the Gila River Casino where I put a nickel in the nickel slot and won $112. I hadn't gambled before and I haven't since.

2008: I met S, another one of those, it was "fabulous at the time" February's.

2009: We celebrated A's 3rd birthday at Makutu's Island. It's one for the history books; a year later, she's still talking about it.

2010: A new adventure every weekend!

After what has been a very quick week {and we're hoping it slows way down manana}, I'm off to Seattle with my very best BEE in the morning! My first girls trip without my Mommy. Is that weird?

Since I'm accustomed to flying with my mom, this is the first time I'm in charge of the airline business {ssssh!}. The last time I flew without her, I was 27 and I went to California with C. He was in charge. So, being me, I spent a good chunk of time reading the airline FAQ yesterday afternoon; when to check in, how to check in, where to check in... I think it all checks out now.

I've also managed to impress myself, not with the airline duty, but with my lack of packing. I haven't even made a list or laid out complete outfits, which is typical Miss MO. Not this time though! This vacation is all about spontaneity; livin' on a prayer with a flask. I had dreams last night that I took a ridiculously large coat with me and airport security wouldn't let it on the plane. Of course, I hadn't packed my little coat {you only need one, right?} and that lead to a shouting match between us and them and then I woke up, an hour pre-alarm and chanting "Do not forget your coat, do not forget your coat, do not forget your coat."

I wish you all a happy weekend filled with laughter, life, and liquor and may you not leave home without weather appropriate attire. Cheers!


On Sunday, to those of you who have special Valentine, a very sparkly day to you and a very happy 98th birthday to Arizona! And on Monday, you may not be the president of anything, but I hope President's Day warranted a four day weekend where you whistle. xxoo

2.10.2010

Obsession

Newest obsession: Last Winter's Girl Next Door. Just ignore the Japanimation.



You say...
Just say...

Well we both know
That you're no good at pretending
That this is all we'll ever be
I know you know that
You've always been so much more than
The girl next door

Say you love me
You always kept me waiting
Just say you love me
I'll always be here waiting

It's something more complicated
Than boy meets girl
There's boy and girl
We've always had
Our friendship here to hold on to
I'd give it all away to hear you

Say you love me
You always kept me waiting
Just say you love me
I'll always be here waiting

Just say you love me

Just throw your arms around me now
And say you love me
You always kept me waiting
Just say you love me
I'll always be here waiting

Something more complicated than
Boy meets girl
There's boy and girl
We've always had
Our friendship here to hold on to
I'd give it all away to be with you

Have You Seen It?

Books always trump film. I have yet to find an exception. I did, however, find a little trick into making the film just as enjoyable as the book: six years.

I received Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen {the book} as a gift from my mom for my 24th birthday. I, of course, read it immediately, absorbed it, and then put it on my book shelf to collect dust among my collection of beloved pages. When I first heard talk about a movie, I purposely chose not to re-read the book. Instead, I waited for Netflix to pick it up. Last night, after nearly six years of collecting dust, I allowed Meryl Streep and Amy Adams to take me back into the lives of Julie & Julia.

I'm assuming that if you're here reading this, you don't live under a rock and you know the synopsis. However, in short... Julie Powell, 29-year-old government employee, wife, and cat owner, recounts how she conquered every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and saved her soul in a tiny kitchen in Queens.

From what I remember, the book was quick, witty, and inspiring. I nearly picked up a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but after reading the first chapter, I decided my kids, ages 2 and newborn at the time, needed me to Master the Art of Fast Cooking. So, I started spending 30 minutes of my afternoons with Rachael Ray instead.

The movie was cute. My memory isn't as crisp as it used to be, which worked to my advantage this time. I didn't feel like I was cheated or Nora Ephron strayed from what Julie Powell originally intended. I think both, book and film, were excellent tributes to Julia Child and the wonderful mark she left in the culinary world.

I will be re-reading Julie & Julia in the next two weeks or so to see what Nora couldn't fit in to 120 minutes and I hope I'm not greatly disappointed.

You are the butter to my bread, the breath to my life. -Paul Child

2.08.2010

Reading Rainbow

I am not and have never been a Rory Gilmore, but I do, however, go through books like a kid goes through growth spurts. There's always a few months out of every year that I read through and it's usually when networks switch from new shows to syndication, but this year, it's arrived early and I'm relishing every page. At the recommendation of a fabulous friend, an avid reader herself, over the last two weeks I've read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

The Lovely Bones

The books narrator is 14-year-old murder victim Susie Salmon. Raped and killed by her neighbor, Susie ascends to heaven and observes how her death has affected those that love her. It's part mystery and part ghost story. Susie's dad knows who killed his daughter, but he has no proof. As his obsession takes over, he grows closer to his surviving daughter, Lindsay, who becomes similarly preoccupied, but in turn he loses his wife, Abigail, who never wanted children to begin with.

I adore Ray and Ruth, two students linked to Susie by very different paths, but who grow closer to each other over the course of the story, but I am completely in love with Grandma Lynn. Grandma Lynn is Abigail's mother, who is never without a cocktail, a smile, and a shopping bag. For some reason, I picture her as a cross between Gladys Kravitz and Endora from Bewitched; meddling behaviors in the lives of others, but always unobviously happy to help.


A Thousand Splendid Suns

The title of the book refers to the poem Kabul by Saib-e-Tabrizi. Due to language barriers, the translation isn't literal, but the excerpt of which the title comes is:

Every street of Kabul is enthralling to the eye
Through the bazaars, caravans of Egypt pass

One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs

And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls


It's a story that focuses on the tumultuous lives of two Afgan women and how their lives cross each other, spanning from the 1960's to 2003. The novel itself is dividing into four parts. The first focusing on Mariam, the illegitimate child of Jalil and Nana who suffers shame throughout her childhood because of the circumstances surrounding her birth. The second part focuses on Laila, the beautiful and intelligent daughter of Hakim, a university educated teacher, and Fariba. The third part of the book switches focus between the two women, intersecting their lives with each chapter, as they are brought together when Laila becomes Rasheed's second wife; his first is Mariam. The fourth part of the book is told solely from Laila's view after she and Mariam part ways.

I adore the love story between Laila and Tariq, but it's the strength, the smiling and the keeping hope through incredibly difficult and painful situations that these women endure that make the story so beautiful.

I recommend both. They are two very different stories, but one like the other, you can't put it down once you start. Happy reading!

Case of the Mondays

Just another manic Monday.... After a fabulous weekend of friends, family, and football, here we are at the start of another week.

Shannon and I thoroughly adored The Unsinkable Molly Brown Friday night at Broadway Palm Dinner Theater and our friend, Traci, as always, was amazing on stage. We've decided that next on the Broadway Palm list is AZ Diamond ~ I betcha can't guess who's cover band this is! I'm so excited...


Saturday was well spent. I did nothing but read books and watch the Food Network. After having purchased a new laptop last week, my 'pet geek' {to quote my ever so darling cousin} came over to install a few things for me. B brought me Windows, saved my hard drive {all my documents, photos, and music} and spent hours transferring it over to my new lappytop. Best friends are not the bestest because they know stuff you don't, they are the bestest because they love you enough to share it with you. You may quote me.

You'll also be happy to know that we survived our first ever babysitter experience {I was only nauseous for the first hour} and the kids are ready to do it again! Much love to N & S for sending me Sitter of the Century and for making me feel welcome in their home. I think there was a football game on yesterday, but I only recall the Betty White commercial for Snickers.

Having survived a weekend of firsts, I think I'm ready for my next new adventure, a city and a weekend lovingly dubbed as "Sips Through Seattle" or "M & B Drink Seattle" or "Flasks R Us, Seattle WA, 2010".

Let the week go by fast, for this weekend, we cheers!

2.05.2010

TGIF

It's been another whirlwind week...

Happy to say though, Grams has been safely moved from hospital to nursing home. She did suffer a stroke and while that's always hard to hear and comprehend, there's a silver lining in it all. It made us realize that the present is a gift, the time we have together is not to be taken granted, and I heard a lot of funny Grammie stories that I may not have heard otherwise, you know, while she's still here {minus a few marbles} with us. She's a classy and fabulous lady, that Cordelia. I am so proud to be her granddaughter.

In the midst of all the Big Mama Drama, another first flew by. Can you believe it's already February!? It kills me that my most favorite month of the year is not only the second month, which leaves me nothing to look forward to until April, but it's also the shortest month of the year. Seriously! Every other month got at least 30 days. What's an extra two days for sweet February?! There, there February, it's not your fault. If it were up to me, dearest Feb, you'd go straight through to April. Maybe it's because it's the shortest month that I love it so or maybe it's because I get to cram as much activity into 28 days as humanly possible...Football is in the air, which for me, means parties and highly anticipated commercials. I'll be rooting for the Apple ads at a Super Bowl party, for which I have hired a highly acclaimed sitter for. Fear not fair citizens, I will not be driving my children through, what has great potential to be, the drunken streets of Gilbert!

I've never hired a person to keep my kids alive for me; it's very scary and very exciting simultaneously. I'm thrilled she's reliable and still available; she called three days in advance to confirm and get directions! Heaven sent? Possibly. To be honest, I hadn't really planned on attending, even after calling and making a sitter date. I'm so used to being let down in the sitter department, I hadn't gotten to the part where I leave my Motley Crue in the hands of a twenty-year old girl. Note: This does not mean I am not grateful for when family can enjoy time with my nuggets, but it's a rare day when I want plans and their unplans cooperate with each other.

I have also never attended a party alone where I will only know one person, the hostess. An intimidating situation for a shy girl. Yes, surprisingly, get me in a room full of strangers and I shut down; place me in a room with one stranger and I'll be your best friend... after a solid 55 minutes of awkward glances and small talk. I have visions of a lot of faux game faces from a lonely, but cozy, chair in the corner with a warm Stella. Should we place bets that the inevitable Sunday morning panic attack is over the sitter or the party itself?

A new adventure every weekend this month and I'm starting small with a sitter and a party; next weekend, a city. Until then, whichever bowl you prefer, may it be super and filled with fancy snacks. Cheers!