17 August 2014

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

So, if you know me, you know that I love this ad. The pure joy on that father's face encapsulates every frustrating day of "I'm bored," "She started it," and "Mmmmmooooooooommmmm" and translates it into "Three more days!" I one day want to traipse through Staples as though the aisles were rows of poppies tossing Post-It Notes over my shoulder into the cart, using staplers as castanets, and gliding across the floor on the cart with my right leg in a perfectly balletic attitude. All while my kids stare with grumpiness etched on their adorable little faces. The glee! Yes, this is definitely on my bucket list. Until then, I will watch this ad and try to make the most of my last 3 days with moody young ones trying to suck the last bit of summer out of their break. And next week I will most likely remember how the 24/7 moodiness of my kids wasn't really so bad compared to the horrors of getting kids up, ready, and to school on time. Alas, it's always something.

15 August 2014

Cotton Candy Grapes? I'm in heaven!

So maybe you all are more up to date on your produce than I am, but I just discovered this amazing little treat: cotton candy grapes!

Mia and I were in Sprouts tonight getting the requisite fruit to satisfy the little beasties in our home when we ran upon the grapes. I had just sacked up the red seedless variety and was going for the green when the produce guy said to me from across the grapefruit, "Have you ever tried this kind?" I looked over and saw the name Cotton Candy emblazoned on the container and said, "No." "Come over here and try it," he beckoned. So Mia and I scooted on over and gave it a try.

Now, if you don't already know, Mia is my candy girl. Always has been. I have a picture of her at age 2 with 5 lollipops stuck in her mouth. Her sweet tooth has not tempered with age. I love candy myself, and I'll admit that cotton candy is one of my favorites. The fluffy pink cloud of spun sugar delight transports me back to lazy days lying under a palm tree watching the clouds go by. Every time. How can I resist?

And after tasting just one juicy Cotton Candy grape I still couldn't resist. It tasted like cotton candy! It was amazing! Of course it's nothing like cotton candy: round, solid, squishy, wet, and an undeniably unattractive shade of green. But it tasted like cotton candy. I don't know how they were able to do that, but, boy, am I glad they did. Naturally, we bought a container.

It is more pricey than regular green grapes ($5.99 for 2 lbs), but my candy girl was so taken with the "cotton candy" that is healthy for you that I had to get it. My impulse shopping for the day.

If you haven't tried it yet, try it, if for no other reason than to experience the flavor sensation of candy in a fruit. You may be a purist and not like it. That's fine. The regular green table grapes are right across the way. And if you do like it, don't thank me, thank the Sprouts produce guy. Thanks, Sprouts produce guy!

14 August 2014

A Decade

I remember when I was a senior in high school and looking forward to my future. "Where will I be in 10 years?" Do you remember asking yourself that question? Do you remember your answers? In all honesty, I don't. Well, not all of them. Some of them I'm sure were "traveling the world" or "starring on Broadway" or something else very ambitious. But I do remember one of my answers. It was an answer I didn't really voice often and didn't really dwell on, but it was one of the some-wheres I wanted to be in 10 years: married with a family.

I actually did achieve that goal. I was married to a really awesome guy 5 years after high school and we had our first child 10 years after high school. No world traveling and no Broadway, but those were never truly my goals anyway, not in my heart of hearts at least.

It's now been %!@^# years after high school ;) and I have another "Where will I be in 10 years?" moment to recount.

10 years ago I was blessed with something incredible, something truly amazing, and well beyond the senior year scope of ambitions. I was blessed with my second child.

Mia was 3 weeks early, and a firecracker almost from the start. She loved to take naps to The Messiah. She was the fastest crawler in the west. She learned how to climb up and slide down her Little Tikes slide before she could walk. She got hurt doing the same ridiculous things over and over to the point that I wondered if she'd ever learn. She looked like Massive Head Wound Harry for a bit thanks to her energy and a wooden trash bin with sharp corners. She learned how to ride her bike because she wanted to keep up with her big sister. In short (or should that be, in long?), she was my wild thing.

Today Mia turned 10. I don't think I ever thought, "Where will I be in 10 years?" in regards to Mia, but I've been reflecting on where we are now. That carefree, impulsive, happy-go-lucky little being I welcomed into my life 10 years ago has developed into a loving, affectionate, considerate, thoughtful, generous, and kind individual. She will share anything and everything with anyone, right down to her last stick of gum. She loves babies and itches to give them a little squeeze when she sees one. She wants to makes others' burdens light by offering to help. She is a genuine and open person who is loved by all who meet her. She is a bright light in an oftentimes world of darkness. I didn't realize 10 years ago, even though I loved her from well before the first moment I laid eyes on her, what a jackpot I had hit!

I love all of my children. Absolutely and completely. They are each exceptional and amazing and perfect. But today is my day to think about Mia and just how exceedingly fantastic she has become in a decade. Where will I be in 10 years in regards to Mia? I can't even begin to fathom, because with a person as fabulous as she is, nothing I can imagine will ever live up to the reality I know she will set.

I love you, my Mia girl! Happy 10th birthday, sweetie!

Mia with some of her favorite "sweet" birthday gifts.

01 August 2014

I'm back!!! ... With a summer reading pick!

So I dropped off the face of the earth for a while. That happens when life just keeps picking up speed and you find yourself struggling to catch up. I joke that I've been behind since 2011, but it's true, really. Actually, I've been behind since way before then, but that's when we moved last so I figure that's when I should have gotten back on track. But, alas. Still behind. So, lengthy intro completed, I'm back! And back with a book recommendation!

Many of you already know about my SIL author, Mindy Hayes. Mindy's awesome. I've known her since she was born, and she became my sister-in-law at the tender age of 8. She is a talented lady: sings, plays the piano, can make anyone smile and laugh, and has authored 3 books with one more to be released very soon. Kaleidoscope is her debut novel and the first in a series. (Ember is the second in the series and Luminary, the third, will be released sometime in September.) Here's the summary from Amazon:

“Was I still a human? Gosh, I still wanted to be human. Even just to keep a sliver of who I thought I was. But as I thought about being human, standing in the shade of the forest, I felt less human than ever. The trees fought for my allegiance." 

It starts in her chest. The change Calliope doesn't see coming. It pulses like a second heartbeat, urging her to give in to the need to be in the depths of the forest. She's compelled to fight the pull, but the more she denies it the stronger it becomes until she finally surrenders and is pulled into a secret world of enchantment. 

Kai and Declan need her to accept what she is, but with everything left unsaid, acceptance may be the least of their worries. Knowing their fate lies in her hands, they’ll stop at nothing to protect and prepare her for what lies ahead. 

Will Calliope be able to accept what Kai and Declan reveal or will her desire to be normal keep her from acknowledging her true destiny?

Doesn't that sound awesome? It is. I've read it, and I can tell you firsthand that this is a great debut novel. Fairies, humans, love triangles (or maybe quadrilaterals), and a dang good story line. Read some of the reviews it's been getting if you don't believe my totally unbiased opinion. ;) And right now Kaleidoscope is FREE on Amazon, iBooks, and Smashwords! If you haven't read it yet, you really should. Summer is in full swing, and this makes a fantastic kick-your-feet-up-and-enjoy-the-summer read. Go on. Download it. Give it a read. It will be worth it. Promise. And when you're done reading, give it a review on one of these websites. (Listings below.) Indie authors live by their reviews, so take a few minutes and jot down your impressions for her. Whether you like it or not, she appreciates the time you take to read and review.So, now, go. Read. Enjoy summer. And may popsicles and ice cream always be plentiful in your freezers. :)

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/UQFjHO

03 August 2011

My Fortune

So I was having a fortune cookie last night.  Typically my "fortunes" tell me I'm going to go on a long adventure (which I never do), I'm going to make a new acquaintance (which is typically a given), or just plain tells me to be kind to a stranger (which is just plain common sense).  This one, however, was pretty dead on.  Kind of rare to get one of those.  I'm still waiting for the one that makes me switch bodies with someone else, preferably someone rich, famous, and beautiful. ;)

31 July 2011

A blog? I have a blog??

Yes, I am completely lame when it comes to blogging as of late. I rocked it when we lived in DC. Then we went back to Yuma and the heat must have zapped me of all my blogging strength. Or, more likely, my entry into the Facebook world took over my computer time, leaving me at a sad blogging stand still.

So here I am, 2 and a half years later, wondering how all of my friends and family have been able to maintain their blogs while I have fallen off the edge of the blogging world. Since I have no real answer to that musing, the only thing I have to say is, I'M BACK!!! Yes, life is whirling by and I need to chronicle it before it gets past me again.

So, for my first post back after 2 and a half years, I wanted to keep it simple. Oh ho, my LIFE has not been simple. No, no, not by any means. But I don't want to inundate you with all of the chaos right off. Oh, that will come later. :)

For now, here's a brief rundown of the last 2 and a half years:

* I was in a show for Desert Pointe Productions (DPP), a friend's theatre company. "Into the Woods." It was great fun, especially since I hadn't performed in live theatre since 1995.

* I directed a show for DPP. "Forever Plaid." A LOT of work. Hard, but a good time.

* I began working in the Young Women program for my church as the President of the organization. Great girls. Fun stuff! (Just finished up with the YW. It was a good 2 year run.)

* We got a cat. Yup. We're pet owners. Cute kitty. BIG kitty. And the girls love him!

* We started a band. Mostly classic rock, but really a melding of lots of stuff. (Even the occasional country and pop song.) Chris was the front man and lead guitarist. I was talked into singing back up and occasional lead and filling in as keyboardist. Occupational hazard of being the front man's wife, I guess.

* Hailey wants to add that we were gonna get a fish, but never did. :P

* Did another show, but with Yuma Community Theater. "White Christmas." Sometimes a hassle, but still a good time.

* The girls got into gymnastics. Mia is really excelling, constantly regaling us with her back bends, round offs, and near front walk-overs.

* Chris transferred to El Cajon with his work. We've been living in two separate places (Yuma and El Cajon) for the last 4 months. Tough stuff being apart so much. I call us transient. Hailey calls us homeless.

* We are buying a home in El Cajon. Supposed to close escrow a week ago. Didn't happen. Hopefully in the next 2 weeks...

* Selling the home in Yuma. Supposed to close escrow at the end of August.

And now I have done what I said I wouldn't: inundate you with the chaos. Well, once I get on a roll, you know. I guess if I make blogging a regular thing I won't have to flood you with everything all at once. So, here we go again. Think I can keep it up this time?

13 January 2009

More pix of our anniversary

At Seaport Village

Mia captaining the boat at Legoland

The views from our hotel room


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