Amazing Day

Friday, April 23, 2010

This morning I got up and had a headache like you wouldn't believe, I was also running about 15 minutes late to work. Ugh, I hate being late. I refused to be in a mood, though. Today was going to be an amazing day. I told myself that over and over again. Then, I even let a couple of cars merge in front of me without getting frustrated.

When I got into the office, I had quite a stack of work piled up, but I made the time to review a very special memory book made by my friend. I'm so glad I invested the time to do that. Immediately, my spirit was uplifted. I exchanged in quick banter about the previous night's soccer match and a short bit on the NFL draft.

Next thing I knew it was lunch. I walked a mile with my buddy to a very special luncheon where the keynote speaker was none other than Jenna Bush Hager. Not only that, but I shared a table with quite a few dignitaries, including Maurine Dickey. The lunch was good, the message even better, and thankfully, my buddy was open to waiting around so we could meet Jenna. We just kinda finagled our way in her presence since there wasn't a real meet and greet and it appeared that she was just chatting with some friends. I felt like I might have been intruding, but I was able to make eye contact and once there was an opening in her conversation, she paused to exchange a few words with us and even sign her book. (of course, she'd already signed the book, but I didn't know that! So look at me, I have 2 of her signatures, one in red and the other purple) We then walked the mile back and while I thought I'd worn sensible shoes, the blisters on my feet laughed otherwise.

The hours flew by and next thing you know, I was picking up Mari from school, watching her bounce around the playground like a freshly played pin-ball. Ding-ding-ding she darted from playhouse to tricycle to fort to playhouse. We got home and saw the fresh new birds. Then, we went to return the substitute phone since I was able to resurrect my old one from the toilet disaster. Afterwards, I went to White House | Black Market to see if there was anything I could wear for the Quince we're going to over the weekend. Imagine my delight when I scored a lovely dress in a size smaller than I would've typically purchased. It was the only one they had that was remotely close to my size and I figured there wasn't any harm in trying it on. Talk about a mini high. Although,  I did snap a pic and send it to Don for approval before the purchase just to be sure it was cute enough to buy.

Finally, we came home, enjoyed Indian food for dinner and I spent the evening helping my nephew make a puppet for his Reading class. It was loads of fun. I'll have to post some pictures on it later. i'm really happy with the way it came out. Just some drinking straws, boutonniere pins, tape, and a whole slew of other things I have around the house, but it somehow came together! Yaaay.

Now, as I finish up the day, I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had to share today with all sorts of people, especially my family. It was an amazing day indeed!

250: Tomato Plants Repurposed

Last year, I attempted upside down hanging tomato plants. I yielded slightly less than a dozen. I think I would've gotten a better return, but we had a monster heat wave and I went out of town, forgetting to water my plants. Needless today, they were fried, and they weren't green. (get it? fried green tomatoes...
eh, lame, I know)

This year, Don continued the tradition and surprised me with them one afternoon. Not long after, he happily skirted into the house and whipped up Mari. Always up to be outside, she giddily kicked her feet, making slight baby squeals along the way. And then, she stopped and stared. There she was, perched quietly, but staring around intently protecting her domain. She seemed very regal atop our tomato plant. Who knew it was such a nice nest!

Several weeks went by. With each passing day, Mari insisted that we take her outside to see the birdie. Oh the meltdowns we would experience because she wanted to love on the bird. Hug and pet her. We tried to explain that she was nesting. We never saw that bird move from the nest. We had NO idea how many eggs were under there. Today, when I got home, Mari was lamenting that I didn't let her play beep-beep. I couldn't. Don immediately met me at the car and whisked her up, telling her he had a surprise. They tiptoed to the backyard and were greeted with these little guys. Aren't they amazing?!

I don't know where the mom had gone. Immediately I thought they needed something to eat. Because it is instinct, I headed for the kitchen to make them a snack. And then duh, they don't eat human food! I casually asked about the mom, to which Don responded, "She probably out hunting for food. They must be hungry!" Of course, why else would she leave them. Then he followed up with, "They're almost fledglings and soon they will fly away and leave the nest." With that I was upset, and so was Mari. She wanted to hold them in her hands and play with them.

250: FC Dallas

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How blessed are we? Tonight we had the opportunity to go to the FC Dallas game to watch our favorite professional defender (#3) against the Seattle Sounders. It had been threatening storms all day, so we were unsure what to take with us. However, we knew that we weren't allowed an umbrella, so we packed the weatherproof blanket, Mari's raincoat, and a healthy dose of fun and giggles. Lucky for us, the weather held off for the entire game! Even better, Mari's mood was top notch for the entire game. The only hiccups occurred were during GOOOOOOAAAAALs. I guess the erupted sonic boom of happiness emanating from the crowd, along with the sirens actually emits riot-like decibels that freak out a toddler. I don't blame her. Being that tiny with such loud and instant noises can cause a temporary freak out. Nothing that some tight hugs and blue cotton candy can't fix, though.

While there, one of Mari's closest buddies came along. As soon as she saw him, she hollered out "Haaay-yen!" her tiny body vibrating in my arms. She was so excited to see a friend. She was equally as excited when she saw the pastel puffs of sugar in the distance. Oh yes friends, she knows what cotton candy is. She hasn't eaten any since the twins' birthday in October, but somehow that goodness has stuck with her. She happily munched away on it and Don proudly pointed out our blue tongues. She was intrigued because not only did we have blue tongues, but she had a blue tongue, and so did Toch! To her, it was truly remarkable that our pink tongues had somehow turned blue. She was more than disappointed when she insisted Kanene stick his tongue out and it wasn't blue. Just.A.Blank.Stare. How dare he not have a blue tongue!

Later, Lindsey enjoyed some nachos. Mari willingly exchanged some of her cotton candy and Lindsey was kind enough to share her cheese. :) Oh, and just to let you know, she'd already had her chihhh-kehhhn earlier. Also, tonight was the first night she practiced smiling for the camera when we said say cheese. I think we need a little more practice to get it right. At least she's no longer yelling NO, then running to a corner to hide. Progress folks, progress!

Don't you just love their matching pew-pew-pew-pew shirts? adorable!
And proof positive that I was there enjoying every bit of the blue cotton candy as everyone else.
Don and I love that our daughter loves sports. Then again, how could she not? At around 6 months, we took her to her first baseball game and just a week before that, we took her to see an FC Dallas game. Throw in a whole slew of other baseball games and college football games, and well, she's keen on that type of environment. It's so awesome to see her getting into the game and hollering to the field also. From here on out, only constructive criticism. No more cursing at the refs. EEEk!

250: Chihhh-kehhn

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We have a tiny carnivore. Actually, she's not so much about the cow as she is about the bird. She loves her chicken. She likes chicken for breakfast, chicken for lunch, and chicken for dinner. She's even handed me an unfinished petit four for a bite of chicken. Crazy. Thinking about my pregnancy with Mari, I don't recall eating a whole lot of chicken, but when I think really hard, I think maybe I did. We wanted to avoid all of the added hormones in beef and I was limited to certain types of fish. Free range chickens were easy to come by.

With that said, we can pretty much get Mari to sit down and eat a healthy meal, so long as there is chicken. Tonight we had La Paloma. I get the flautas, Don gets a variety of the 99 cent tacos, and we get a side of their beans. Mari will typically eat half the side of beans. Except tonight, the beans were runnier than normal. Good because there might not have been as much lard in it (I know, I know), bad because it wasn't the texture Mari wanted. Not only did she not have her salsa (they like to make it REALLLLLY HOT), but she didn't have any chicken. After a bit of mild fussing, requesting chihhh-kehhn, I handed over my remaining chicken flauta. She was happily dipping it into her runny beans, peeling away the outer layer of fried tortilla, revealing the chicken. At the end of her meal, the chicken from the flauta had been consumed and she'd lathered on a healthy layer of beans into her hair and face. Mari must know a secret healing and rejuvenating quality of refried beans. ha!

She ♥'s chicken!

3rd Annual Seton Soles 5K

Yep, it was that time of year for us to do our annual Seton Soles 5K to officially kick off racing season for us. Racing season is when we'll participate in all sorts of 5Ks, half marathons, and sprint triathlons. (marathons are reserved for years when I give birth.)

I wrote about the first time we did it here. I wrote about last year's experience here. This year was awesome not just because of all of the extra fun things for familypalooza (more to come on that in a second) but because Don got a PR (personal record) and finished within the first 100. Mari and I busted out a decent time and finished in the top 200. This was a major improvement from last year! When I rounded mile 2 to push up the hill, I was focused and not drained. I even passed a gal from last year, who commented that she remembered me and that I was looking great. Talk about a little bit of an extra boost. Just what I needed. I was around 30 seconds shy of breaking 30 minutes. Not too shabby while pushing an extra 27 lbs. Just like she did both the first and 2nd times, she fussed for a bit when we ran past the school. The first year because she was hungry. The 2nd year because she wanted her daddy and a banana. This year because she saw the school and wanted to play on the playground...and she wanted a banana. This time, I was able to run a little faster and she was distracted by the wind in her violent curls. I cut up a bit with these two teenage boys, razzing them to go a bit faster. One of them was wearing an SMU Womens Athletics shirt and I told him he was not doing the shirt justice. With that, is friend ribbed him and goaded him to start running. She's pushing a wheelchair and beating you! Um...not a wheelchair, but I knew what he meant. They propelled me to Don, who I motioned away to keep running. I needed a rabbit for the end. This year was an extra treat because Carol joined us, and she didn't just walk the whole thing, but actually ran a bit too! Exciting!
Despite the rain, they still had Familypalooza. They had 8 different inflatable activities, including a bounce house, obstacle course, big slide, and a few other things. This lady was also going around making balloon animals for everyone. They even had a fun group of young people dressed as bees who were affiliated with a summer camp. They were so full of energy and life. It was definitely a fun time. Unfortunately, we had to leave prior to them announcing winners. Unfortunate, because Carol won one of the gift certificates!

Looking forward to doing it again next year!

250: Mari Stick the Lunge

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lately, at Sias track night, Mari hasn't really wanted to ride in the stroller. She'd rather be out and about, running through the football field or exploring the sand pit. We try to get her to run on the track or around the track, but nah. Although, I must brag on her because two track nights ago, she ran 3, YES T-H-R-E-E!! laps around the track. It wasn't continuous, but still, that's 3/4 of a mile. Honestly, it's quite a feat and if I didn't think she couldn't handle it, I would've stopped her. 

Anyhow, tonight was only slightly different. We unloaded from the car and she refused to get in the car. Instead she wanted to walk. Not a big deal, we let her. Then, to get to the track, we have to walk around the tennis courts. She stopped by the creek to inspect the plethora of balls that had collected in the swampy, murky water. Then, she finally decided to head to the track. While we stepped foot onto the black sponge, Mari took off in a run. She's a fabulous runner. Anyway, she immediately turned on a dime and came back. 

Then, when she reached us again, she stopped and turned back around and started to do a full on lunge. Seriously, not just her little half baby lunges. She LUNGED. Her lunges schooled mine. I was an embarrassment. She whipped out five lunges, then proceeded to run again. She found a stick and each time Don passed her, she would pass him the stick like a baton. This happened until she was bored and immediately got lost in the sand pit used for long and triple jumpers. 

I hope those strong active legs will take her somewhere special some day. 

250: Mari Bakes

Monday, April 19, 2010

At the office, there were 17 bananas ripe, really ripe to the point they were probably going to be trashed. I asked if I could have them so I could make some banana bread. We had some unusually cool weather, so baking seemed fitting. It is Monday, and for the remaining Monday's of the school year, I get to pick up Mari from school since Don has continuing education hours to fulfill. It's fun!

Mari likes to play "beep-beep" as soon as we get home. Essentially, she likes to sit in the driver seat and move the steering wheel, honk the horn, and push all of the buttons. After a few minutes of playing we headed inside, but not before she carefully inspected a hairy and multi-colored fat caterpillar who was in the process of dying, while the industrious ants worked on what remained. Gross, but intriguing. I'm glad she noticed it before I stepped on it.

Anyway, we came inside and I encouraged her to wear her apron. I pulled up the chair to the counter and insisted that she load up the Ninja with the bananas. I then showed her how to push the button for it to blend the bananas with the butter and sugar. She took to it quickly and was very intrigued by the process. Later, I let her help me sift flour, which she was quite a natural! Then, she mixed together the walnuts and chocolate chips for that batch. I divided the mixture into 3 batches: plain, with walnuts, with walnuts and chocolate chips.

She was such a great helper and so eager to jump in with the cooking. I'll admit that I was a little choked up that she was so very good at it and not only that, but she enjoyed it too! After the bread was made (I also made some tiny bite sized ones too!), I allowed her a small indulgence after she ate a full dinner. She liked that too!

Today was a proud day!

250 Words Challenge

I stumbled upon a 250 words per day challenge via a virtual friend's tweet. Well, someday I'd like to conjure up enough time to participate in NaNoWriMo, but for now the 250 seems like something I could do. I can type out 250 words in about 15 minutes. However, I'll need a topic. This is something that I'll need to marinate over. I'm thinking something close to home. Since Mari is filled will all sorts antics, I may have a daily Mari story section. Not sure.

What do you think?

Either way, I would like to earn that badge. Let me know if you'd be interested in reading Mari-tales.

***btw, that blurb up top is 110 words***

Abuela's Gifts

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sivje over at Goosegirl sews is having a giveaway and the immediate entry was this:

what is your favorite "gift" you have received from a grandparent or another person who invested time and love into your life? By gift, I mean wisdom, a skill lovingly taught, a story shared, or even a physical gift like a locket or book or some other special item.

Well, I couldn't limit my writing to the small comment box. I have a bit of an overview, but here's the real story:

My grandmother, Hortencia ("Tish" to her close friends, grandma/abuela to me) was the epitome of back in the day. If you watch Mad Men, then you know the era in which my grandmother grew up and she fit the bill to a T. To me, she's an icon. She is a quick learner, self taught in most things and excels at every thing she's tried. And she's an itty bitty bit of a woman, but definitely a force to be reckoned with. Anyway, after she graduated from high school (at the tender age of 16), she attended a college to learn to be a secretary (administrative assistant in nowadays terms). She wasn't far along in the program when she met my grandfather. Three months after they'd met, they were married. This year they will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

I spent the summers of my childhood in her presence. I know I might have mentioned it before. However, I have to admit that every summer I had a bit of anxiety going there. Uncertain if my parents would return, it also didn't help that my sister told me that Mexicans would come and kidnap me and mom and dad would forget about me and leave me there. After the first day, my anxiety would abate and we'd fall into a familiar routine. We'd be up by 7, eat a cereal breakfast M/W, oatmeal on Tuesdays, cantaloupe on Thursdays, and eggs on Fridays. No cheese with the eggs. No sugar with our cereal. And only a handful of times were we awarded with ice cream with our cantaloupe. It was a rare treat, but I still dream of that meal. At 10, we'd watch The Price is Right. Then, we'd watch The Young and the Restless while we helped her dust or fold linens. Lunch was promptly at one. We'd have a nap until 2. Once we were up, we'd hang out in the back room which was a spare bedroom/sewing room. I'd fall asleep to the machine whirring and when I awoke, I'd hear it still whirring. I was always amazed by what she would accomplish during the time I napped. There'd be a stack of fabric when I put my head to the pillow and when I awoke, there'd be a new blouse, dress, or even a skirt for me.

She had air conditioning, but didn't turn it on. She didn't have ceiling fans. Even though she lived in a desert,  an occasional breeze would greet us, forcing the curtains to happily dance in the sunlight. She insisted we wear socks indoors so we wouldn't "catch a cold." On Sunday's, we'd get up early and we were always in dresses and usually we'd wear pristine white gloves. And Grandma, whoa, was she a looker. Her beautifully designed and made dresses rivaled Chanel. True story: she designed and created my aunt's wedding gown. She was such good friends with the women at Cloth World (do y'all remember that store?) she gave them one of the bridal photos. Well, they had it posted and a major pattern company wanted to buy the design from her. She wouldn't sell it. It was a one of a kind and that's the way she wanted to keep it.

It was in that back room that my real learning blossomed. I say real learning because my folks would always send us workbooks and we were also tasked with looking up new words in the dictionary to improve our vocabulary. Those lessons happened in the morning immediately after breakfast. Yet, in the afternoon, she taught me to crochet, embroider, and sew. More than that, though, she taught me patience, too appreciate and look for the small details, and most importantly, not to take shortcuts. All wonderfully crafted items are meticulously made with pride, love, and full of craftsman's details. The first year, I made potholders and learned to hand sew. I had to master threading a needle before I could sew anything. Each year, I steadily honed my skills. I didn't practice the remaining 10 months out of the year, so you can imagine my learning curve. But after a week I'd have dusted off the ol' skills enough to where physical memory of the task would take over. The last summer I spent with her, I'd crocheted a pair of baby booties, embroidered several hand towels, made some adult booties for my parents, and had several new Barbie clothes. All of those clothes were sewn by hand. Grandma was afraid I'd sew my fingers together, so it wasn't until much later that I would actually use a machine, despite her teaching me all about hers: how to thread it, the different feet she'd use, and proper posture while sewing (that one clearly didn't stick).

She was over the moon when I told her of my own creations in Home Economics. I had stopped sewing for many years and only recently took it back up. I also picked up my crochet hook(s) and have bought a new embroidery hoop with several accompanying flour sacks screaming to be decorated. Again, she's ecstatic that I have taken it all back up.

Over the years, we've kept in touch and I do find a high level of comfort talking to her. While being fiercely independent, she waited on my grandfather in no way that I've ever again witnessed in real life. I've seen it on TV and in movies, though. Anyway, she reinforced that I could be anything I wanted to. I remember asking her why she always followed Grandpa. Meaning, why would she serve him and wait to eat until after he was done? Why did she do ALL of the chores in the house (including ironing all of the sheets and underwear)? Why did she walk behind him? Why didn't she work? I was even more confused after she'd left a fairly lucrative position in the department store and didn't go to university to learn more. Her answer was simple: "I was married and it was my choice to make that sacrifice. I had a choice and so do you. All mothers and wives provide for their families in some way. One day when you get older you'll know what I mean. And I hope you'll know that kind of great love." Those words echoed and burned into my brain like law.

Even more years after that, I called her to let her know I was getting married. A few months prior to the wedding, we went for a visit. Initially Grandma acted as the translator since she speaks English and Spanish with serious ease. This was the first time Don met my grandparents. Immediately, they fell in love with him. Despite the language barrier between he and my grandfather, they were fast friends over food. My grandmother's cooking can unite opposite sides like no other. It's no wonder why the great nations of the world don't break bread with our grandmother's food. I'm certain all of our issues would be resolved. I digress. While Don and Grandpa were discussing salsa and construction, Grandma pulled me aside to the back room. She went to a drawer and pulled out a hunter green jewelry box. It was old. She handed it to me and said, "Here's your something old and borrowed." I tenderly opened the box and inside was her mother's double-strand pearl necklace. The clasp on the back is an antique setting, an unpolished emerald backed with an intricate gold starburst. I wore it proudly on my wedding day as you can see below.

Less than two months later, was my birthday. Grandma gave me my traditional birthday phone call. On that call, she not only gave me my additional birthday blessing but she gifted me with the pearl necklace. Saying, "Now it is no longer borrowed, it is yours to keep." I don't remember her mother, but she talks of her often. While the path I've chosen to take is far different than the one she's chosen, I remember her wise words. I have been blessed with the great love of my life and have sacrificed differently, but I finally understand what she meant.

Thank you Sivje for giving me this opportunity!

HDMR: Angels in America, Planet 51, Titan Review

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Today, I'm blogging for Breast Cancer Research. My friend Jackie has challenged herself to raise $5000 this year in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day walk! I think this is a wonderful idea, so today's HDMR is brought to you by the letter "B" for breasts! They are life saving devices, you know! She has asked her blogging friends to donate their post today in honor of her effort and is requesting that each reader go out and donate $10 to the cause. Can you donate $10 to the cause? I know I can. I know I'm going to. Not just to her walk, but all of my friends walks. Whoa...that's gonna be a lot of money going towards the SGK 3Day, but it'll be a great thing! Today, you can be a part of something much greater than yourself, so go on and join in with the others. For fun, today's ratings will be made in bra sizes. P.S. Don't forget to do your monthly self-check!

Angels in America
Al Pacino, Emma Thomson, Meryl Streep, Mary-Louise Parker, Michael Gambon, James Cromwell, and my new favorite, Jeffrey Wright all star in this political epic about the the AIDS crisis in the 80s. (taken from the IMDB page found here.) This is a 6 part television series that is very serious, but doesn't take itself too seriously with the outlandish "visions" and dream sequences. This is very gay, duh. Hello, it's about AIDS in the 80s. It is very, very moving, riveting, captivating and will have you questioning a lot about how you view/judge others in all realms of life. There were parts of it that were very, very difficult to watch. And there were parts of it that I fell completely in love with the characters. I wish I knew the Belize character in real life. He had such a tender way and on a turn could cut you sharp with a mere glance or voice inflection. Seriously, who knew Emma Thomson could do a thick American accent as Nurse Emily. I LOVED this series. I'm adding it to my list of must-haves. Rating: DD Cup...the cup over runneth

Planet 51
We rented this little movie because Mari was so brave at her doctor visit, she deserved a reward. Instead of letting her watch one of her other movies for the bazillionth time, we opted to rent Planet 51. There were parts of the movie that were fun. I really enjoyed how the aliens were in a '50s era. They dressed that way, their transportation was familiar, and even the drive-in's were popular, along with the kitschy horror films of the day. The robot dog was endearing, as was the dog. Overall, this movie was ok. It didn't captivate Don or myself, but it did hold Mari's attention. We weren't surprised when she didn't ask us to watch it again. I did like their message of acceptance and getting to know things before assuming they are a certain way based on the way they look. Rating: Training Bra...gettin' there

Titan Peeler
Those of you who are infomercial junkies like I am will know what this little gadget is. For $14.99 you get all this, but wait there's more!! Actually, I bought this guy at the grocery store. They had an end cap with the infomercial on loop playing and a nice display of the peelers happily smiling their sharp, slick smile, taunting me to purchase it. I remember being excited about it when I saw and even Don had remarked about wanting to try it out. They had it on sale for $11.98, so I picked one up. That night, I got home, took it out of the package carefully, washed it and grabbed a potato to peel. I did it just like the infomercial, but used the same force I would use with any potato peeler. IDIOT!!! Folks, this is a razor. This is an old-school-no-safety-device-in-sight-exposed-blade-I'm-gonna-shank-you kind of razor. I had nicely peeled that potato, along with a lovely sliver of skin from my thumb. Yes, it slices human skin equally perfect as a potato skin. I didn't immediately bleed. I stood there, in awe and amazement at the sheer perfection of skin I held in my hand, then I realized, "I'm holding a sliver of flesh in my hand!" Then the blood began to gush and it wouldn't stop. I'd exposed a very delicate part of my epidermis that even water made it burn. Wow! No really, wow, it hurt! It really, really freakin' hurt. I was finally able to clot properly after soaking through 3 band-aids. I was seriously contemplating on wrapping my thumb in a sanitary pad.

After the fiasco was cleaned, Don picked up the Titan and I shrieked from across the kitchen and thrust  the instructions in his face, while showcasing my bloody thumb that was about to completely envelop yet another band-aid. (sidenote: oddly enough, the band-aid that worked best was the Finding Nemo band-aid, not the regular flesh toned or clear band-aids) He nodded at me and I held on tightly to the counter top as if him using the Titan would cause the earth to open us and swallow us. I kept muttering over and over that we'd have to take it back and we just couldn't have such a thing in the house with the toddler around. Well, if he didn't pick up the thing and whip out two peeled potatoes in no time flat. I felt like a total moron. For now, the Titan stays, but it is going to be stored up high, out of mine and the Sugarbean's reach. Rating: B Cup...a handful is just enough

Thanks again folks! And please check out Jackie's site!

Mind Tickles

Monday, April 12, 2010

If you were having a particularly down or blah day, I hope this post helps to liven it up and tickle your brain a bit to make you chuckle and forget about all of the piling to-dos you have going on. Pause. Take a breath. Enjoy the small things!

First up, a big shout out to hilarious t-shirts. Even better are the online stores that sell all sorts of witty random tees. I stumbled across, which is essentially a website that sells one shirt for only that day. Shirts are $10 each and you pay for shipping. I saw this shirt and immediately thought of Mari. Lately, after she drowns you in Mari kisses, she'll make a pew-pew-pew shooting sound. I have no idea where she picked that up, but she and Don play the shooting pew-pew-pew game often. When I saw this shirt I had to buy it for them to enjoy this summer. Yes, they will have matching cephalopod-shooting-air-bubbles shirts while hitting up the museum or park. I hope they are as utterly fabulous in person as they were on the site.

Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half...I can't tell you how giddy I get when I see a new post in my RSS feed. Now before you go all clicky, clicky, over there, I want to warn those of you who don't like profanity that you should probably not visit. Also, if you aren't a fan of random drawings made in Paint, then you probably don't want to visit. If neither apply to you, then you should read it. My favorite post is probably the one about the animals happy to be alive. I'm also in love with spaghattah nadle. Silliness at an all time high.

Next up is the fabulous Mr. Guapo. He hasn't gotten much blog love on here and so I thought I'd highlight this epic photo of him. I call it EPIC because two other people have given it said label, and so it shall be. Doesn't he look so regal sitting in the field of bluebonnets? Hard to believe he has that much white on his face, but then again, he is9 years old!

Finally,we have the sugarbean. Here she is staring at a ladybug resting on a flower. At that moment, she had the most amazing awe-struck look that I laughed internally. Doesn't that photo just exude cute?
Have a very splendid day! May your allergies be few, your cupcake intake high, and lots of glorious sunshine in your pocket to last during those rainy days.

Shameless Plugs:

Friday, April 9, 2010 this thing on?? I haven't had any blog love from my peeps and because I've long since deleted my counter, I have NOOOO IDEA if any of you are actually reading this mess that I spew. Show me some love peeps! Give me an ol' ^5 (that's a virtual high five if you didn't know).

Anyway, I had two things I needed to share with you guys. . .

On May 1, Mari and I are walking (maybe running) in the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides 5K. I pledged to raise $300 and so far I have had NADA. Embarrassing!! If you'd like to donate to my cause, I'd totally appreciate and love you forever!! If you live in Lubbock and you need some face shots for your social media adventures, hit me up! For a $10 donation (you can do it online or give me cash), I'll give you 2 digital images that you can use for your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Buzz, or any other place on the Internets where you rest your virtual feet. If you are interested, comment here, send an email to or a message on Facebook to set it up!

$10 donation + 2 digital images= ♥ for CFF

Thank you for helping support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation!

Also, have you entered Mandi's Contest? Those of you who are far, far away, she'll totally mail the stuff to the winner. Seriously, guys, this is quality stuff, like Urban Decay, MAC, and Benefit. Who of you out there can't use good product? And guys, I'm talking about you too. I know you have significant others you can pass this on to or maybe you like to dress up, which, if that's the case, invite me over next time! We can have drinks, exchange tips, and...wait, that's just Jeev, never mind. But still, go on over there and sign up. It's super easy!

Ok, that's it. I'm done with my shameless plugs. Back to regularly scheduled programming.

HDMR: How to Train Your Dragon, An Education, and Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

This week's installment includes a couple of films from our friends across the pond,  a product review as well as a link for an opportunity to win some cool stuff! Ratings are done in leftover Easter Candy.

How to Train Your Dragon
This is the latest Dreamworks animation film, still out in the theaters. Like I previously mentioned in the prior (ahem, embarrassing, cough, cough) post. Truth be told, I really only saw the first 10 minutes and the last 20, but that was enough. This was a cute movie. I think Don liked it more than I did, but I can honestly say that by the end, Mari had enough. This surprised me for two reasons: 1. She LOVES movies, especially in the theater. 2. She LOVES dragons. Movies with dragons seemed like a no-brainer, but she had absolutely no interest in the end. We should've waited for the rental and taken her to see Alice. She still asks me to play her the trailer on youtube. Anyway, if you have kiddos and you like dragons, I would recommend this film. It was very cute and there was a moment in the film that got me a bit choked up as a parent. I can totally see us adding this to our video collection. I just wish I would've waited to see it while on video instead of in the theater. I rate this 3 mini peanut butter cups.

An Education
This powerful film is set in the 60s in England. It surrounds the life of a 16 year old gal who is on the fast track to Oxford when she meets an older gentleman who woos her and gives her a very different sort of education. I didn't know much about this film going into it other than Carey Mulligan was nominated for an Oscar, was/is involved with co-star Shia LaBeouf, and is slated to be Eliza Doolittle in the remake of My Fair Lady. I knew Alfred Molina and Emma Thompson were in it, but I didn't get to see them nearly as much as I would have wanted. Also, Peter Sarsgaard does an incredible job as a silver tongued conniving leading man. He's a mother's worst nightmare and every school girl's dream. *rolls eyes* It was slow at times, but definitely worth watching, even tough at times because everyone can relate to disappointment and heartache. But my most favorite thing about the film...THE COSTUMES!!! This includes the hairstyles and make-up as well. ooooh how I wish I knew how to fix my hair like they had in the glammed up bits because it would so love it. I rate this Robin's Eggs with a single Dove Chocolate egg.

Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging
Ok, this is a waaaay teenie bopper flick. With that said, I loved it. Mari and I watched this together, well, in the sense that she sat on the floor and played Barbies while I watched. Anyway, this is a total cutesy film about a 14 year old gal and all of the antics that surround being 14 going on 15. It was very teen angsty, but it was fun to learn new British slang terms. I swear, I feel like I'm going mental most days. (that was one of the obvious ones.) My other favorite one was Sex God. Don is my total Sex God! I digress. I fell in love with the lead actress in this micro-woman chick flick. I rate this a chocolate bunny with the ears bitten off.

Lush Retread
Ummmm...ok, for those of you not in my inner e-circle, you weren't aware that I spent last weekend in East Texas romping around outdoors. Lucky for me, my hair LOVES the outdoors in Texas in the Spring. You know, it shows this by being SUPER frizzy, and outrageously curly, and unruly. I <3 my hair. Seriously, I do have big love for my hair, and often, my hair shows me BIG love. After the rehearsal on Friday night, I spent part of the evening indulging in a bath that lasted longer than 10 minutes. I know, I know, I was out of control with my bad self. Lucky for me, my gal pal gifted me with a nifty sample of this stuff. Since I didn't pack any bit of hair product (who does that?), I opted to use my sample instead of resorting to making that late, late night trek to the Wal-mart in town. I generously worked it in my hair and I could honestly feel my hair slapping my fingertips while it said shutyomouf. Then it relaxed and actually was pleasant the following day. I would've worn it down had I not been hot and working. (everyone who knows me knows that when I work, I work...which means the hair is pulled back. I can't think creatively if the hair is down. Just can't do it.) So if you have amazing awesome frizz-tastic hair that has a total mind of its own, treat it to a spa day with this amazing elixir! It ain't cheap, but then again, magic does cost some money. Go out and have a bake sale if you need to. --->and let me know so I can enjoy some cupcakes. No, wait, no cupcakes for me. I have a bridesmaid gown to fit into in less than 3 months. YIKES!

Peanut Butter Contest Time
(do any of you watch Family Guy? did you get my reference?)
Finally, the contest! You may have skipped all of the rest of the nonsense and came directly to the bottom to figure out how you can win free stuff. Ok, ok, you go: Remember the gal who recommended the magical elixir from above? Well, she's having a contest over at her blog. Rules are simple. Become a follower and leave a comment. Easy peasy. And the prizes...wowsa! I want to call on my multiple personalities just so I can have multiple entries! Ha ha! Good luck to you.

Sorry if this blog was unusually wacky. I'm hopped up on some serious pollen, mixed with a healthy dose of amazing homemade pot roast infused with delicious demi, and a splash of Bianca's Special Allergy Medication (squirt + Titos=gitouttamuhfacepollen!). I hope you were enjoying this amazing weather despite all of the plant sex going on. I thought it was beautiful even though I couldn't really breathe. Small blessings!

Soon enough, you'll get your Mari-J fix too. We have some rockin' pics to share!

oh and P.S. in the even the FTC actually catches wind of my little blog, I wanted to be in compliance. In no way am I being compensated for stating my opinions. If I EVER get the delightful opportunity, I'll be sure to say it, but for now, no one has willingly paid me for my opinion.

PSA: Bathroom Texting

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I honestly can't believe I'm going to share this story with you all. However, I feel it needs to be shared so you can learn from my mistakes and hopefully, you can lock in a helpful reference tip should you ever need it. Anyway, here it goes...

Good Friday was amazing because all of us were going to have half a day to enjoy with one another. I woke up early to meet a friend for coffee so Don and Mari could sleep in. The plan was for me to pick them up on my way back and we were all going to go watch How to Train Your Dragon at Studio Movie Grill for lunch. I made it home and picked them. I was caught off guard by a dozen beautiful fire and ice roses happily perched on the dining room table with a note attached. You see, April 2, 2003 is when Don and I went on our first date. These were flowers from Mari and Guapo. I, being a mess of emotions, was so overcome, I giddily boo-hooed to the car. I swear, Mari is going to grow up thinking her mom is just a crying machine.

Anyway, we sped off to SMG and that's when the caffeine kicked in. I knew I probably should have made time to go at home, but I didn't want to be late. Instead, I held it and I nearly left my credit card at the counter with the gal. The entire walk up, I was doing a revved up ants-in-my-pants dance. I'm certain that gal thought I was on crack by my jerks and twitches, not to mention my 1000 mile an hour conversation. (BTW, Mandi, that was some awesome caffeine!) We ran into the theater and I bolted off to the bathroom. I vaguely remember muttering something about water to Don and just to order. I made it! While sitting there, I had to text Primo that we'd made it on time. (They were in the theater next door watching Clash of the Titans.) I also sent my folks a text letting them know where we were and when they could expect us, since they were driving in to watch Mari while we went East to shoot a wedding. I clicked send and put the phone on my knee. I reached over for the toilet paper and the super charged caffeine in my body made me vigorously shake my knee, which bounced the phone off, sent it flying and instead of locking my knees shut, I leaned forward, as if to dive for it and I missed the phone and it tumbled head first into the porcelain, settling comfortably in my own urine. I rolled my eyes, muttered a grumbled "gross," while reaching for it. (don't judge me, you would've done the same thing!) I wrapped it like a mummy with the toilet paper and went to wash my hands. I also put on some anti-bacterial and did the same for my phone. Then, everything was placed under the ridiculously powered dryer. I reminded myself, don't turn off the phone, don't turn off the phone, as I took out the battery and dried it off. Yes, folks, that turned off the phone. IDIOT! Sure enough, the screen had been compromised. I could make calls, I just didn't know who I was calling and forget about texts! All gone, everything.

I headed back into the theater and sat there bouncing and jiggling until I couldn't take it any more. I kissed Don and Mari goodbye and headed over to the Sprint store. I needed a new phone ASAP, because no way were we going to be 100+ miles away without me having a phone. After some negotiating, an added line, with a new phone, I walked out and had a working phone, visibly upset about the whole ordeal. I took a deep breath and walked back to the theater to watch the last 20 minutes. Mari wasn't really taken with the movie. It seemed cute enough, but I think she would have enjoyed Alice more.

When we were home, I buried my old phone in rice and tucked the business card with the new number on it to mark it like a gravestone. We were gone the remainder of that day and returned at midnight on Saturday. I pulled the phone out from the rice grave and what do you know, it powered on fine and the screen worked! Thanks Sam for the rice tip. I really DOES pull out the moisture. Now, I get to head back to Sprint to return the new phone (which I'd grown quite fond of) and try to cancel the line we added. Next time, I'm going to leave the phone in my purse when I'm that jacked on coffee.
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