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4.30.2010

TGIF

It's been a week.

Wednesday, VIP and I went to see Daughtry in Glendale. It was quite the drive, but well worth it. Lifehouse opened, I've seen them before, so I knew I could expect a decent show. Daughtry, however, excellent. He made it about 3/4 of the way through before creeping me out by making a Forrest face. Why didn't I marry Daughtry instead? I DEMAND a do-over! My kids would look the same...

Is it Forrest or Daughtry?

Thursday was less than pleasant. Over exhausted, not feeling well {I swear Vegas slept on my face}, and dealing with six babies is not fun. It's even less fun when there's vomit, urine, pureed vegetables, and snot involved. Let's just say, I stayed up late thoroughly cleaning every crevice of my house, washing cat hair off my sheets, and getting vomit out of my carpet. Friday cannot be worse than Thursday.

It's been almost one week since I laminated my life and the kids have been doing surprisingly well with our weekly To-Do List. Since I hated being told what to do {still do} as a kid, I have an unconventional way of engineering the daily necessities. The tasks on our To-Do list are each assigned a dollar amount {between $0.10 and $0.50} and the kids just do what they want to do, but they all have to be done. The less desirable chores earn more coins and the things I expect them to do {homework, good listening, and making their bed} aren't worth anything. However, if they do all three all week, they get an extra topping on their frozen yogurt. This week, A raked in top dollar and everyone gets two toppings! The kids also completed their homework at school, earning themselves two p-diddy's. Yay! Nothing says happy household like organization and clean sheets. I love clean sheets.

On to the weekend. Hooah! Tonight, I plan on enjoying good sushi in good company {lurve me some N & S!}. There's nothing on Saturday's agenda and I'm quite looking forward to it. On Sunday, I'm thinking we'll put one of my many venue memberships to use ~ so many options!

Cheers to a beautiful, relaxing, weekend!

4.26.2010

Case of the Mondays

I really need to work on this bedtime thing...

Friday bedtime: 3:30 am. I spent the night slaving over a hot stove. Kidding, I spent it happily dancing around my kitchen with icing in my hair, cake batter on my pants, and Kings of Leon on the stereo. The end result: a gorgeous vanilla almond cake with a dulce de leche filling covered with a vanilla buttercream icing and white chocolate seashells. My bestest H is having a beach wedding in the Mexican Caribbean, so I thought it only appropriate to have a cake to match the occasion. Muchos gracias to VIP who kept me awake, kept me sane, and cleaned up after me. It would have been a much later bedtime without my sous chef.

Saturday bedtime: 1:45am. After a morning of bridal bliss, VIP and I met with friends and family at Fibber's to watch the Suns take on {and get pummeled by} the Trail Blazers, which turned into an evening spent at The Skybox for karaoke. OMG it was a fun night.

Yesterday, I made a new chore chart for the kids and so far, it works beautifully. Everyone is participating, chores have been completed, beds are being made, and there have been excellent listening skills demonstrated for a consecutive 15 hours.

To organize the New Chore Chart of Fun and Money, I purchased a set of brand new dry erase markers. One in every color. Eeeek! I get uber excited over stationary. Pens, pencils, and post-its, oh my! Staples is my Disneyland, Office Depot my mecca, and Kinkos' my heaven. I wanted to make the chore chart erasable and in my adventures to make that happen, I discovered that you can laminate ANYTHING at Kinko's, not just chore charts. Cards, keys, money, to-do lists, your children, oh yes, you can bet I'll have laminated my life by the end of the week. I kid you not.

VIP and I also went to Yogurtland yesterday. Plain Tart + Nerds = Happiness for $0.37 an Ounce. I would marry the man who invented frozen yogurt. Just sayin'.

After living on minimal sleep for four nights in a row, I tried to go to bed at 10:20 last night, but was unsuccessful. I couldn't breathe, I was hot, I was cold, I was restless, A woke up with nightmares, and Vegas made enemies outside the window, which woke up E. The alarm went off at 6am and all I wanted to do was sleep. Thank goodness for coffee. I think tonight, I'll aim for an early bedtime. Wish me luck.

I have a long week of late nights ahead of me, with a minor break on hump day. Laminating, markers, and the anticipation of Daughtry, could my week get any better?! I've been waiting for Wednesday since I bought tickets back in January. I heart Daughtry. I heart center stage, 14th row, floor seats.

Cheers to the week! May yours be laminated in love...

4.23.2010

TGIF

Regular scheduled programming sucks. It's been a pretty mundane week.

I struck a deal with the kids Sunday night; if they finished their homework at daycare, we could go to the park for an hour after I picked them up. After all, what else should they be doing those three hours after school? So far, so good and they earned two PDiddy's, which is Ebonics for Park Dates. They sleep better, but does Mom? Uh... not so much. Pushing our nightly routine back an hour is making for late nights, combined with the Suns being in the playoffs and BAM! I don't think I've been to bed before midnight all week. I'm going to have to restructure my days to fit in PDiddy's and playoffs.

In other news, here's blip of things to come in Monday's post:

CAKE!

Cake plays such a huge part in celebrations. Birthdays, weddings, showers, christenings, baptisms, graduations, anniversaries... In my next life, I would like to come back as cake. Sure, I'd be eaten, but I'd have been made with love and butter, coveted by all who gaze upon me, savored by all who celebrate around me, and a temptress to those on diets. I'm good with that kind of short lived life. Tomorrow, one of my besties, H, will be showered with bridal bliss when the girls come together to celebrate her wedding to be. I'm so honored to be creating and baking for such a happy occasion. I lurve the kitchen. I lurve cake. I lurve H. I'm a happy girl.

Last night was the never ending search for caramel extract. 9 different employees in 9 different stores gave me 9 identical blank stares when I asked if they carried caramel extract. It does exist... online. Unfortunately, I needed it today, but fortunately, I'm crafty and have Plan B ready to roll. After a big debate over buttercream and fondant. My fears got the best of me and I decided to not experiment with fondant for the first time with a cake that will be served publically. Buttercream it is! I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so excited!

Yesterday I spent a small part of my afternoon crafting homemade candies and covering them in a sparkalicious, edible fairy dust to adorn the cake and today, I get to bake, layer, fill and decorate. Have I ever mentioned that I love cake?! The down side is, I have two traits that are going to battle it out today as I take on Operation Fancy Cake and I have to keep them both at bay: Impatience vs. Perfectionist. Fingers crossed that I win. Anyone else wanna place a bet?

The above photo is not my creation. THANK GOD. Cake Wrecks website hosts photos of real cakes that were somehow butchered by the baker {or icer or designer} served at real events . I at least hope Megan and Rob's cake taste brought them true happeniss. If you want to chuckle and ask, "who does that!?", and tempt your sweet tooth, check out Cake Wrecks.

I've got a creative sugary sweet night ahead, two parties to attend tomorrow, and on Sunday ~ who knows! I just hope the weather gets warmer! Hope your weekend is also sunny and sweet. Cheers!

4.19.2010

Case of the Mondays

A serious case of the Mondays has set in. After a short weekend filled with huge events, I need a day off. Again.

If you've been keeping up with mi vida loca via bloggety blog, you know that I turned the big dirty thirty this past Saturday and to celebrate, I've been doing something for myself everyday for a month. Ridiculous isn't it?




When the countdown ended, another birthday began. On Sunday, we celebrated my favorite nephew's birthday. He's three, obsessed with Michael Jackson, and obviously my brother's child. I'm just proud that he knows the words to Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' {according to E, this The Rollercoaster Song}. Help me sing it, ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa...

The birthday boy showing off his MJ shirt

Kite flying, cupcakes, and sand castles, it was a hot Arizona day and while the pool sounded good, it was too cold ~ for me. The temperatures didn't scare the kids and VIP from jumping in at his parents house. After a lovely impromptu BBQ, we headed home, bathed, and crashed.

Could we have packed anything else into two days? Probably.... not. Here's to a very quick and kind week. Cheers!

4.18.2010

Day 30

BIRTHDAY


Despite my kicking and screaming the last 20 minutes of my 20's, midnight arrived and the official day of my birth began. I like to think of it not as aging, but like an upgrade from Apple: Missi OS 3.0...

Grigio and giggling.


An insanely large thank you to everyone who came to Vine Expressions to celebrate. It's a rare year when I get two friends to toast a birthday beer with me, 12 was beyond my imagination. People say, your presence is present enough, but considering birthdays past {last year: 0 attendees}, this statement holds incredibly true. It means so much to me that so many of you would choose to spend your time celebrating with me. A mountain of sparklicious thank you's.

The inevitable.

The morning after vino and friends, VIP and I woke up and ran a 5k. I made this decision in my 20's, when not-so-bright decisions were still acceptable. Thank goodness because a 5k after a late night was not my brightest anything...

AFTER the 5k. Bright eyed.

Croquembouche: A French dessert, a kind of pièce montée often served at weddings, baptisms, and first communions. It is a high cone of profiteroles (choux filled with pastry cream) sometimes dipped in chocolate bound with caramel, and usually decorated with threads of caramel, sugared almonds, chocolate, flowers, or ribbons.

I had decided some time ago that 30 was special and would require an uber fancy sweet treat. Not knowing anyone who knew how to pronounce croquembouche, let alone create one, I decided to go about it myself and after a bit of research, I decided to take the semi-homemade route. For more information, visit my food blog.

Spinning sugarwebs over my Croquembouche.

In my family, knowing what time your worldly debut was made is a big deal. I have no idea who started this or why, but it is a tradition long standing. My mom has always called me at the time of my arrival and, on their birthdays, I call my kids at the time of theirs. Every family has their birthday tradition, I guess this is ours.

This is me. Officially 30. Annual phone call from mom at the time of my arrival, 10:05am.

After the croquembouche had been assembled and stowed away for party time, we ate our way through the Great Arizona Picnic, hosted by the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. Food, music, and sunshine, is there anything else you could ask for?

The t-shirt says it all.

Quote of the Day: Nothing says '92 degree picnic in Arizona quite like sushi.
I agree. Happy Birthday, food poisoning?


Life is good.

Random Sunshine:
3-day weekend, croquembouche, and sunshine. I'm a happy camper.

Gratitude:
When one door closes, another one opens. While a few tears have being shed because countdown 30 Before 30 has reached zero, I'm kind of happy it is. It means there's only new adventures to begin....

4.17.2010

Letter

Dear 20 Me ~

The last ten years have taught you your share of hard earned lessons, bringing you a trillion tears shed, ten trillion smiles smiled, and life altering celebrations over and over and over again...

It may have taken ten years, but you overcame being lost, confused, and clueless. You went from having zero direction and gained some direction [even if the homing pigeon doesn't work]. You started college, quit college, started college, quit college, and recently transferred college credits so you could continue earning a college degree, for reals this time. You made financial mistakes, but eventually rid yourself of debt; an honorable achievement. You tossed bad habits and picked up good ones, you faced fears, held back tears, and conquered even the most difficult situations; coming out the other side stronger and wiser.

When I was in my twenties, it felt like I was riding wild horses, and I was hoping I didn't go over a cliff. ~Chaka Khan

Your first greatest accomplishment came at 22 and she's better than you, smarter than you, and prettier than you. Just remind her that you came first and you'll always be one step ahead. The next greatest achievement came at 24 and he's been trouble with a Capital R ever since he karate chopped your insides so hard he bruised your sternum. You received the icing on the cake before 26, with the world's easiest drug free delivery resulting in the most perfect blonde baby girl [BTW, you perfected bias at 22]. Numero Tres has the smile that can melt your insides and thanks to her, you know that a drug-free birth is cupcakes compared to what comes next.

You attended two Duncan Sheik concerts. DUNCAN SHEIK!!! To my family: Duncan is to Missi as Paul is to Ken. It's a BIG FREAKIN' DEAL, okay?

You had this amazing guy who loved you more than anything and someday, you'll have the guy who loves you even more. You loved, lost, got broken, cried, and spent two years in recovery just to question and discover that you didn't lose ability to be vulnerable after all. You've come to know that love isn't just giving your heart to someone, it's trusting them enough to not break it. Trusting someone is something you'll eventually get over, perhaps that'll be part of your next journey. You made fabulous guy friends and have made an amazing circle of girlfriends. You have life long friends and you know you're lucky.

There's a few things your 20-something self doesn't want you to forget...

~ Count your blessings. There are always more than you think.
~ Never make someone a priority in your life when you are only an option in theirs.
~ You have chutzpah, use it.

If your twenties are made for breaking hearts, discovering happiness, making mistakes, learning the ropes, losing your marbles, and winning achievements, may your thirties be made for perfecting all this. The next ten are gonna rock. Be ready.

xxoo,
Brand New 30 Me

4.16.2010

Day 29

A DAY OFF


It's true. All work and no play does make for dull. Mental sanity is important. Why I NEVER EVER EVER take a day off of work to purposely sleep in, get pretty, and go shopping is beyond me. This is the FIRST time in 8 years that I planned a day off for this exact reason. It rocked.

Pretty mani from/by a pretty friend.

New hair and 1 day to go.

This is me. Hours before 30. Vine Expressions.

The inevitable happened. It's the 17th.

Random Sunshine:
Tomorrow we eat cake!

Gratitude:
To my parents, who not only gave me a birthday to celebrate, but allowed me to live past 20 so that I could celebrate 30. I love you!

4.14.2010

Day 28

EVERYTHING I DIDN'T DO


- Run a half marathon
- Canoe
- Visit the Grand Canyon
- Rock climb
- Go to Vegas
- Hike Camelback
- Learn how to swim
- Finish school
- Eat more cupcakes
- Scuba dive
- Hot air balloon
- Ride an elephant
- Visit Tahiti
- Join a Flash Mob
- Witness Northern Lights
- Kiss in the rain
- Parasail in Mexico
- Take my kids to Disneyland
- Meet Duncan Sheik
- Be happy

Birthday flowers from a lovely friend.

Random Sunshine:
I'm not interested in 'why we're here'. I'm much more intrigued with 'while we're here'...

Gratitude:
So thankful for much to look forward to this decade. Carpe diem!

In other news... VIP and I took a trip to El Mirage this evening and am happy to present the newest member of our functional dysfunctional and moderately happy family...

Vegas

5-1/2 years old
Female
Capricorn
Likes snuggling, yarn balls, and romantic dinners in the laundry room

Minty tissues makes nose happy and I'm in love with.... a cat?! I know what you are thinking, Missi, you're allergic to cats. Pish posh. That's what Claritin-D is for. I'll out grow my allergy to Vegas in about 2 weeks just as I did with Harley, Minou, Sushi, Harley [another], Hello, Sparky, Ashz, and Shelby. In the meantime, my kids are very excited. Ahhh love....

This is me. 2 days before 30. NOT sneezing.

While the countdown winds down, know that this project in ridiculousness will never be over. 48 hours, 4 events to go...

4.12.2010

Day 27

CLASSIC MISSI

This is me. 26 years before 30. Beat it.

My most favorite thing in the whole world on a childless weeknight is to enjoy a pedi, a latte, and fall asleep in a clean house with a good book. So, that's exactly what I did. I pedi'd, I latte'd, I cleaned, and I started reading a good book. Yay me!

I never go red. It's bold, it's sassy, it's ruby slipperish. I like it.

This is me. 3 days before 30. And showin' it.

Random Sunshine:
I'm gonna party like it's 1999.

Gratitude:
I had two green tea lattes, within a 90 minute period, from Starbucks today. Thank you for not judging me.

Day 26

EGG SALAD


My kids are weird. They were so surprised and uber ecstatic to know that our dinner menu last night was chips, pop, and egg salad sandwiches. Apparently, a few weeks ago, they had enjoyed eating Grams' ESS so much, they were exclaiming things like, "This is delicious" and "Yum-o". Then they promptly informed Mimi that, "Mommy can eat these, there's no meat!" Funny thing is, I stopped making ESS's a year ago because no one would eat them! I guess what goes around, does eventually come back around...

After our tasty surprise dinner, we looked up dragons on YouTube and decided to get a cat. How about that?!

Now that's a happy face!

We love dinner. Thanks, Mom!

Perfect example of why we don't normally eat Cheeto's... at the dinner table.

This is me. 4 days before 30. Whoa freckles.

Random Sunshine:
Frozen yogurt. More specifically, Yogurt Jungle in Queen Creek. A cup of euro tart topped with nerds ~ there's nothing better!

Gratitude:
I'm so thankful for everything I survived, failed, conquered, and created in my 20's, it molded me into this person who is about to enter her 30's with a little more wisdom, a little more confidence, and a little more hooah. Only 3 days to go! EEEEEE!

Day 25

A DATE WITH RIVER

Not this kind of river!
Rio Verde, AZ


I had a date tonight with a short, chubby, sweet, charming, snuggly man with the silliest smile, the brightest ideas, the reddest hair, and beautiful hazel eyes.... just like his mom. It's not often that I get to spend time with just my son, so I'm always extremely grateful for the stolen moments that we do get.

We dropped the girls off with BEE and headed to the theater to see How To Train Your Dragon. The movie was A.MAZ.ING. The time spent with just my son was even better! Of course, now we have to get a dragon...

This kind of River!

The girls enjoying an evening at Auntie BEE's

This is me. 5 days before 30. Best date night ever!

Random Sunshine:
River: "Mom, can I go to Dallas, Textas?" Yup folks, we are definitely in a digital age. Welcome.

Gratitude:
BEE who so graciously volunteered to take my girls in while I took my boy out. Thanks doll! Lurve :)

4.11.2010

Day 24

CHANGE A LIGHT BULB

I have a huge fear of changing light bulbs. I've attempted it twice and both times, the bulb broke; once in my hand, once on the tile floor below me. Blood happened and band aids were required both times. Icky. If I can't find someone to replace the bulb for me, I just live in the dark. My garage lights have been out for over a year and I'm not bothered by it. However...

I never got around to changing a bulb today. After the world's longest, but most exciting day, yesterday, I took it uber easy today. I woke up after 8, met H for coffee, dropped Higley off with his new family, did the supermarket sweep, got frozen yogurt with VIP and picked up the kids.

Because I got up yesterday at 4:45am and wore my contacts all day, I bruised my left eyeball and therefore....

This is VIP. 6 days before I turn 30. Photo bombing.

Random Sunshine:
We're Facebook official.

Gratitude:
Independence. I make my own decisions, whether or not they're the best decisions, they're mine and I own them. Skydiving was one of my better decisions. Not ever joining the John Mayer Fan Wagon was my bestest.

Day 23

SKYDIVE ARIZONA

VIP & Me.

I am so fortunate to have been blessed with my father's stomach and love for an adrenaline rush. So blessed, I took it skydiving. SKYDIVING! Over the past few weeks, I've been sizing up the major experiences in my life that I have been privileged to have had and next to expelling humans from my lady parts, it's quite possible that skydiving is the most insane thing I have ever experienced.

The whole thing went by so fast that I really need to go again and pick up the little details I missed. I also wish someone had filled me in that they would be recording the entire free fall; I would have mouthed a "Hi Mom!" and waved a big 3-0. Oh well, gives me a good excuse to go back. What they say is true, it's addicting and, without question, a repeat visit will happen... soon.

To make up for the few days that I didn't get 3 photos posted, here are plenty to compensate. Thank you, Skydive Arizona! And an enormous lurve you to my instructor, Adam, who flipped, spiraled, twirled, spun, and landed me safely back on the ground. April 10th: A great day to free fall.

On the tram.

Thumbs up.

AGAIN!


This is me. 7 days before 30. Being ridiculous.

Random Sunshine:
There's only 86,400 seconds in a day to live like you're dyin'.

Gratitude:
I'm alive. Can't think of anything to be more grateful for.

Day 22

POSTINO PALOOZA

Since the lovely Ms. H made a ghastly sound when she found out I hadn't been to Postino, I decided to substitute Sister Night #2 for a night with H & B, VIP, panini's and vino. I'm being flexible.

I eat a lot of roasted vegetable sammies {it seems to be every chef's favorite go-to vegetarian offering on every menu in town}, but I must say, Postino makes THE best roasted vegetable panini I have EVER had. In fact, I'm craving one just sitting here blogging about it.

With a glass of pinot grigio...

H, B, VIP, & Me

This is me. 8 days before 30. Happily Postino'd.

Random Sunshine:
I am 'thisclose' to getting Duncan Shiek's autograph. Thanks Mom!

Gratitude:
I'm so lucky to have such amazing people add twinkle to my life. I am so honored to have each of you in my life. Thank you for your gift of friendship.