Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm that girl who...

I noticed this little tidbit over on this blog, but in the process of composition, I also read it over on my other friend's blog as well. Here's the list I came up with on the fly.

I'm that girl who....
  • dreams big
  • fell in love at first sight
  • has no problem laughing at herself
  • gets embarrassed easily by certain people
  • loves to smile and make people smile
  • tries to do right by the environment
  • indulges in sappy teen and chick flicks
  • savors all sorts of movies
  • gets her toenails painted with interesting colors and color patterns
  • becomes emotionally paralyzed by certain songs and their lyrics
  • sings obnoxiously loud in the car when alone
  • occasionally takes camera phone pics to get an opinion on her outfit from her trusted friends
  • enjoys dancing in the car on a morning commute...on special days curlers bob to the rhythm
  • digs on photos that make you say "wow"
  • radiates when complimented on the pics she snaps
  • can suck down coffee like no other during the week, but on the weekend, prefers water
  • grins at any challenge while simultaneously thinking "bring it b*tch"
  • daringly confronts my fears
  • is recklessly afraid of cockroaches
  • is ridiculously afraid of heights
  • wishes she could change her hair color to marvelous outlandish Muppet colors
  • relentless when her loved ones need her help
  • adores her friends
  • is grateful for her family
  • enjoys genuine people
  • gets intrigued by smart banter
  • listens to the stories of strangers and loves they want to share freely
  • gives hugs without hesitation
  • loves fiercely and unconditionally
  • tries to be generous in all that I do
  • argues passionately
  • is quite comfortable on stage
  • misses those theater days equally as much as she misses the volleyball days
  • loves being in her 30s
  • has a strong personality, but hopefully not in a bad way
  • appreciates a stylish shoe
  • collects shoes and interesting people
  • creates (or tries to) all sorts of things
  • gets lost in all things creative
  • sacrifices sleep because there's just too much livin' to be done
  • aspires to immortalize her memories with words
  • waxes poetic in the quiet, quiet hours of the night when her beloved is fast asleep
  • knows with all her heart that she'll leave the world a touch more beautiful than when she found it
  • truly blessed by God's grace
When you make the list, add a comment so I can read yours too. :D

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow day!



Are you a survivor the epic 10 - 12 inch snowstorm of DFW? Well, we are. It came. It snowed. It made everything gloriously white and frozen. And in Mari's opinion, it was the very best birthday gift she could ever receive. She LOVES snow. She gets that from her daddy, I tell you. If we were living in Colorado, I know I wouldn't see him on the weekends from the first snow fall to the last. But that's another tale.


In any case, I'm way late on the posting game. I've not been lost, just been juggling quite a bit of things, all very, very good things.

You are all in my prayers!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Practice

O Lord, our Lord, you have created us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. --St. Augustine

Today is the first day of Lent. As Lent was drawing nearer, I heard a flurry of resolutions of things people were going to give up during this 40 day period of fasting, devotion, and prayer. For me, I was at a loss. I had a conversation with Don and he mentioned that anything we'd be giving up is a vice that we should do without anyway. I took pause and thought about that statement. He's right. I should work every day to give up the complaining and spend more time being grateful for the gifts I've received from God. I should be more active and present in the moment instead of being distracted by the television, the computer, the phone, etc. As with anything that you want to get better at, you must practice. I hope to practice generosity, practice penance, practice prayer, practice having an open heart.

This year, I'm going to spend more time being active and present, focusing my efforts on being an all around better person. More tolerant of words and comments that normally affect me, instead, biting my tongue and marinating on what was said and why it was said. I want to spend more time listening and writing instead of talking.

Isaiah 58 calls us to have a "change of heart" so to speak. This chapter particularly reminds me of the core of the Lenten journey.

I pray for those of you on your own Lenten journey and for those of you not participating, I still invite you to be open and generous, and try to reach out to someone in need and listen, really listen. Maybe you'll be inspired.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mari's Epic Birthday: 2!

This year, in case you didn't know, we celebrated Mari's 2nd birthday with a Star Trek theme. It was a very loose theme, but we did try. Let me tell you, it is tough to find Star Trek stuff! I came across some stickers, cups, plates, and that was about it. I did find a coloring book page and I had made some tribbles. We also made our own pinata and used a collector Enterprise figure as the cake topper. I made my own Federation dress. Mari wore her Under Armour dress (really a shirt, but it is so long, it is a mini dress) and Don wore a performance shirt he'd scored from Target. We rented a bounce house from Dallas Party Rentals. They had a bigger bouncehouse on sale, for the same price as the regular one. I was scared that we wouldn't have it because of the crazy weather, but I figured, 'eh, why not.

Anyway, we figured there probably wouldn't be many who had Star Trek attire laying around, so I printed off several Federation logos for people to wear over their clothes. Here are the tiny juice boxes for our smaller guests. I sent out an evite this year, but I figured it would be hit or miss for the number attendees, especially with it being both Valentine's weekend and NBA All-Star weekend.
Here are some last minute preparations. I'd made some gluten-free cupcakes for some friends who have a gluten allergy. Unfortunately, they weren't able to show, but I was happy to taste a gluten free cupcake. It wasn't so bad.
Here's the setup. There are the fun stars for "space." To the right are the thank you goody bags for the guests. They were filled with 2 sheets of Star Trek stickers, a glow necklace, some gummy savers, lollipops, some fluffy craft poms for colorful tribbles, and a colorful animal. You can see Mari at the bottom. hee hee. Oh and in that silver bowl is a deliciously decadent concoction also known as white trash and boy-oh-boy it is amazing!

Yaaay!!! Let's get this party started. (she ripped off her federation logo within the first minute of me putting it on) Oh and she was also wearing boots, but when she spotted her cousins shoes, she insisted on wearing them instead.

Cutie pie!And here's the Starfleet Enterprise cake topper. I know some Trekkies who come across this blog may be horrified that I put this collector item on top of a cake, but oh well. I thought it really made the cake.

Here's the whole thing. A two layer beauty in monchian pink! Quite a fitting cake for a tiny sci-fi princess.
Here we all are. Me (Uhura), Don (Spock), and Mari (Spockuhura). Live long and prosper. There's the dress that I made at City Craft night. It came out pretty good, huh?
Here's her personal cake. It's on the Cookie Monkey plate that I made at a paint your pottery place.
However, Mari doesn't really like it when people sing happy birthday to us. Of course, it didn't have anything to do with the bad singing. I just don't think she was happy with the attention.


But after we blew out candles she was more than happy to enjoy her cake.
Here are some lovely ladies of the Federation.

Now it was pinata time! We did it indoors due to the epic snowstorm we'd had. It turned out pretty good, I think. This was the first one either of us had ever made.

Don had made it a pull string pinata and each kiddo was able to pull about 3 strings before all of the candy had fallen out.

Yaaay for candy! Actually, this was the only time I'd ever seen kids pick their candy and then leave the rest. Yes, there was a bowlful of candy remaining after we'd picked it up.

Here I am with My Michael! He came dressed as Chris Pine, the actor who played Kirk in the latest film..
Here I am with my mom and siblings. I'm so glad they were able to be there. At this point, I'd changed because I was going to brave the cold and go out to bounce.

But then Ada showed up and we had to grab a photo. She camed dressed as Dax.

And then we all bundled up and went out for a bounce in the freezing cold. Mari LOVES to bounce and even though it'd been out there all day, she didn't know it. We debated over and over again if we'd let her go, but ultimately decided it was ok. So we put on 4 layers of clothes and her ginormous ski jacket.
You can tell by that grin that it truly was an epic birthday!
I have to give thanks to all of our friends and family who came. They traveled from San Diego, California, Lawton, Oklahoma, Austin, Lubbock, Lewisville, Dallas, Plano, Duncanville, Garland, Cedar Hill, and McAlester, Oklahoma. You guys are amazing and we are all so very blessed to have you in our lives! Thanks for taking a moment to celebrate our amazing blessing: Mari Jul.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

HDMR: Zombieland, 17 Again, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, & The United States of Tara

Howdy-do! To keep in the same tradition as all of my other HDMR posts, I will rate with something random, yet useful. This week's ratings will be brought to you by different versions of lip protection and color. And if you don't know what I'm talking about or referencing, I will try to post a link so you too can educate yourself on all things related to your kisser. :)

I Can Do Bad All by Myself
In honor of black history month, I aim to watch at least one movie by a black filmmaker a week. First up is Tyler Perry. I'm a huge fan of him and he's on the short list of people I'd like to meet someday. Anyway, when I first saw the previews for this film I was so excited because I LOVE Mary J. Blige, Gladys Knight, and Taraji Henson (even though she did make some comments that I wasn't too happy about it, but she's still pretty good). Aaaand this film has Adam Rodriguez...yum! Those of you who watch Ugly Betty know him as Betty's sister's love interest. Anyway, when I was waiting to pass the time, I rented this movie and the music was very uplifting. The thing I appreciate about Tyler Perry is that he does a great job of capturing the spirit of a strong woman. They aren't perfect women by any means. They have imperfections, flaw, not just on the surface, but deep, deep brokenness that they've somehow overcome to be better. Unfortunately, like many of his films, there isn't a smooth cohesion. I don't know if it is with the editing or what, but they just don't flow as effortlessly as some other movies.

Regardless, one of the best parts of this movie was when Madea is talking to Jennifer about Peter who is one of the 12 disciplines of Jesus who walked on water, but then looked away and was distracted by the whale, so he had to swim. Except, that Jaws started chasing him, so he had to swim away from Jaws, but then right when Jaws was about to eat him, Noah came by on his arch, the St. Louis Arch, mind you and then picked him up. And in the VIP section of the arch was Eve from the Garden of Eden. LOL!!! OMG...I had to rewind that part and watch it again because it cracked me up!!! Ahhh...good stuff.

And then when Taraji Henson's character is so moved, she sings out, "Oh Lord I want you to help me. Oh Lord I want you to help me on my journey, help me on my way. Oh Lord I want you to help me." It's just like when Shug sings her song in The Color Purple. Every piece of sinew in her chest and neck is on full display like diamonds under the ambient lighting at Tiffany's, the small crevice in her forehead grows deeper as she sings from the deepest point from her soul. You feel it. You feel the pain, the hope, the love. Then, Gladys Knight sings out too. I'll admit, tears came to my eyes. It was very moving.

Anyway, it was worth the rental. I rate this Chicken Poop.
This isn't a movie, but rather another television series on Showtime. I have to pause for a moment and declare my crush on Diablo Cody. Ahhh...she's another on my list of people I'd like to meet. .....
ok, anyway, I also admire Toni Collette and John Corbett. We first saw a preview of this show as the special features on another show we'd rented. I was hooked, but since we didn't have Showtime, I didn't know the fate of this series. Until one day, I was browsing through Netflix when this came up as a recommendation. I was soooo excited! It came in two discs and I watched each half hour episode. With each one, I became more and more connected to the characters. All of them, including her alters. Wow! Does Toni Collette nail it as an actress or what?! This show is based on a a wife/mother who suffers from multiple personality disorder.

As with most of the characters Diablo has created, each one has depth. They are witty and funny. Plus, every detail in the show is perfect. Not just the music that plays in the background, but down to the underwear of the different alters. It's like when you used to play dress up and you'd pull out various props to further enhance the characters, except, this is the reality of Tara. And there are people out there who really suffer from this. Similar to many of the shows I like (ahem, Dexter), there are many layers to the Tara character and the supporting cast is just as colorful. I'm eager for the next season!

Yes, I watched this. I'll admit it. I do not, however, have a crush on Zac Efron. He's cute and all, but meh. Anyway, I was curious to see if they just remade Big or what. Anyway, it was cute. As an adult, you can't sit there and honestly tell me that you've never wondered that ol' question, "what if." Yet, if given the opportunity, we'd probably make the same choices and decisions as we did because it leads us to the path where we are today, right. Yet, if you can affect change for your children, then what?

So yeah, like I said, it was cute. I could totally watch this on TBS or TNT on a Saturday afternoon with my niece or nephew. By the way, that Zac Efron is a pretty darn good dancer. I rate this your regular Vaseline. Because sometimes when you need some lip protection, the only thing that will seem to work is Vaseline.
Zombieland
Finally, here we are with Zombieland. Going into this movie, I had so many expectations. I must admit, that when I saw the previews for this, I'd rolled my eyes, but yeah, I was slightly intrigued. We didn't run out to the theater to see it, although, we came really close a couple of times. Anyway, I don't typically like to watch movies about Zombies. They scare me. I couldn't even watch Shaun of the Dead. I heard it was funny, but still. Couldn't do it, just couldn't do it. I was creeped out by the Reavers in Serenity! eeeech...jibbly jibbly (that one's for you Jenna)

So anyway, being a fan of Woody Harrelson, I said, 'eh, why not. And yes, there are several parts that are funny. Lots and lots of downright gore. And I think that's what is supposed to happen in these types of movies. I loved the narrator's take on how to survive a zombie attack. Knowing this set of rules, I think I've grown less chicken and I'm open to watching the forthcoming Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, but we'll just have to see when the time comes.


So that's it for now. Maybe I'll actually catch a movie in the theater over the weekend. We'll see though. Not holding my breath since it's a whirlwind weekend, with celebrating Mari's birthday, while simultaneously trying to knock out this mess I have going on in my throat and chest.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Homemade Loves



I look forward to school parties at Mari's school, but I am sad that I can't bake something and bring it in. It's ok. Just as good because I can't imagine the many different allergies that affect the kiddos in her room. I would feel horrible if something I made caused someone to get sick.

In any case, here are the valentines that I came up with. Gracias Prima for your help! This first one is handmade for the girls. See, it's a little flower with Mari's face and small flowers on the bottom. The ric-rac adds a special touch, I think.

I made these for the boys. My office has special reams of paper wrapped in this purple paper. When I saw it ready to be recycled, I picked it up and opted to re-purpose it on this year's Valentine's day cards. I really wanted to incorporate purple this year and so there you go. I think that cool little fox adds a fun sort of flavor.
Here's the back of them. They say, "You're a Blast!"
These are the ones I created for her teachers. Simple stickers from the dollar spot at Target, I think.
Here's the back of them. They say, "Thank Ewe!"
Are you going to be giving away Valentines this year? Did you make them or buy them? How else do you celebrate the day?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Marisabelle Juliana

Has it really been two years since the big day? Yeah, but where did the time go. A series of days filled with the every day adventure. It's awesome! I never knew how great life could be.

And just like then, (as I knew it would be) I've been filled with complete and total unconditional LOVE, while simultaneously being scared shitless. Sorry for the candor, but yeah. I'm so very, very fearful everyday because we've been blessed with a very headstrong and adventurous little girl. She's a barrel of laughs who goes 500 mph. And really she's always on the move! Will she bonk her head on the corner of the table? Will she try to swallow another quarter? Will she keep breaking our hearts because every day she needs us less and less? :( But it is just as it should be and we couldn't be any prouder.

Here's an example of her bold efforts: Even though she's only been in her new class for a week, they've already reported to us a couple of times that they've caught her on top of the cabinets, sneaking out of her room, and refusing to play with the toys, instead electing to jump around, run around the tables, or do flips. You know what, Don and I both decided that we're proud our little one has absolutely no interest in objects to keep her attention. She's more than happy to run around and do her own thing. That's our girl. She also does this entire routine where she climbs up the fireplace (which is about a foot and a half elevated), launches herself off, does two hops to get on top of the ottoman. While there, she's perfectly content with jumping up and down, while attempting to flip off. I saw her do this entire routine once. I have since moved the ottoman and tried to make a barrier in front of the fireplace where she won't attempt to do this. Which is ok because she is captivated by Barbies, and play tents, and her brother Guapo, and anything that will color the world.

She's totally a blend of the two of us. She ADORES movies, great food, and people. She's very inquisitive, constantly pointing to things questioning or saying, "That? That! that." She adds multiple words to her vocabulary (in as many languages as we can teach, and are learning ourselves), and now we're helping her explore the world of math. This next year is going to be filled with three times the adventures. While I'm getting the least amount of sleep I've ever had in my entire life, I don't care. Life is too short to miss any minute of this excitement.

I love you sugarbean! Thank you for bringing so much light to our lives! Feliz, feliz cumpleanos!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

HDMR Whip It & Weeds: Season 5

WHIP IT
I know there will be many of you who groan at the mere mention of this movie. Yes, it is a chick flick. Yes, there are some stereotypes in there. But did I like it? Yes! No, I loved it. Ellen Page once again nailed it. I started watching this movie on my own, while Don did his own thing. Yes, I would have rather watched this with someone, but I really wanted to watch this, so I flicked the On Demand and rented it. Halfway through the movie, Don walked in to kiss me goodnight, and next thing I know, it was the end of the movie and he was still sitting next to me.

I remember watching Roller Derby as a child. It used to show on TV late at night, alongside American Gladiators. C'mon, humor me and tell me you remember watching that too! Anyway, the thing I loved the most about this movie was to "be your own hero," which is coincidentally the tag line. Marcia Gay Harden executes the mom character so beautifully that instantly, my heart strings told me I had to call my own mother. As a mother, you just want what is best for your child. Sometimes losing sight of what your child may want. Then again, it is just natural for a child to find their own path, even if the parent doesn't always agree. That's when Daniel Stern delivers one of the best lines ever (hyperbole much?): I can stand to lose the money. I cannot take losing the chance for our kid to be happy. Man, it doesn't get any more basic than that.

The movie will take you back to younger days, where you were once given the opportunity to practice with the Varsity team when you were only 12 and not only could you hold your own, but you blocked the superstar player, certifiably humbling them in that brief moment before she hammered another shot at your face. Or at least that was the way it happened for me. Regardless, I became my own hero then, but this movie brought back those anxious feelings I had back then. So go on out, rent it, and have some fun. I rate this the super deluxe box of Godiva chocolates!


WEEDS
This is the 5th season of this show and I've been an avid fan. I don't remember which season it was when it became over the top ludicrous, but I continued the course and maintained. I'm glad I did. This season cracked me up. The very last scene of the season was hands down the best one of the season. It actually ties for the best scene out of the series so far. In any case, if you are a Weeds fan or if you want to find another TV show to watch on Netflix or whatever rental club you use.

Nancy returns and this season she has set up an even bigger nonsensical mess, if that were possible. This season, they did a better job of cultivating the smaller roles that you haven't gotten to know before. I rate this a handful of Lindt truffles.

Mmmm...now you want some chocolate, huh?

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Class

This morning when I dropped her off in her new class, she seemed to fit right in, but was also a little shell shocked. This room is situated on the side of the building, with large windows facing a very busy street. It is about twice the size of her other room, with many more cubbies, three miniature rectangular tables, and a dedicated play area for imaginative play.

The three children who were in the class were very talkative. Each of them was sitting at varying ends of the different tables. The dark haired boy of them was sitting at his own table, crying and fussing about his mother who'd just left him. He was in Mari's 1st class and he was every bit as fussy about drop-off back then too. While my heartstrings ached for his mother, I felt comfortable knowing there was some sense of familiarity. The blonde haired little boy at another table happily munched on dry Cheerios, when he paused, looked up, and grinned at Mari. He said, "It's Mari! Hi Mari." The tiny African American girl glared at me and Mari, as she sat like a princess at the head of her table. She haughtily said, "Don't sit there. Don't look at me. I'm eating breakfast. My table." What better way to learn to deal with adversity then right off the bat. I pulled out the tiny chair and placed Mari's breakfast in front of it. I carefully took off her coat and sat her down to eat breakfast. Our new friend was not happy that I chose that spot. Right when she was about to object, I shot her the patented Mrs. Jones stare that I learned when I was in 2nd grade while visiting my sister's math class. You see, Mrs. Jones was a very tall, fit African American lady, whose pencil skirts only accentuated her lovely body. She stood about 5'10 and wore 1-2" heels. Her black hair in a perfect bob accentuating her perfect face. Her big eyes peered behind gold rimmed glasses. If you crossed her, she'd pop her face, staring squarely at you, her gaze would bore a hole straight to you soul, freezing every thought and action. This little Miss was not going to intimidate me, nor was she going to have the upper hand with my child, not while I was around at least. That stare stopped her and she quickly looked down and continued to eat her food. Later, she called the teacher over asking Mari's name. "Who's that?"

Mari waved hello at all of her new classmates and sat down for her breakfast. I got a bit of a lump in my throat as I told her goodbye. She kissed me and just stared around at her new environment.
I hope she had a good first day.

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