Monday, December 28, 2009

wherever you find love it feels like christmas

Would you believe we actually had to wake up our kids at 9am, Christmas morning?? I am definitely not complaining. I remember vividly waking up my parents at the crack of dawn on numerous Christmas mornings, and how haggard they both looked. So of course, we were a bit joyous in being able to sleep in. But we were a bit surprised. Here they are, anxiously waiting for Dan to open the partition and let them at it. These are their cute Christmas jammies.
Um, Mo ended up with a red robot, just what he originally had wished for. We had trained him to ask for train tracks, since that is what we had already bought him. But that lasted for a week, maybe. All I can say is Amazon saved our butts, BIG time. ("MOM, we don't say butts.")
Mi-mi checking out her loot.
This is what she had asked for and I must say, it was super fun to set it all up for her. The people are big enough for her little hands and all the pieces not small enough to possibly lose.

The most coveted gift of the season! Yeah, I know you are all jealous. We both got one from D's parents. And they are both blue. So we can be giant blue blobs together, snuggling on the couch.

He knows me too well...

Auntie Boog helping dress Mi-mi in her new dress-ups.
Is anyone else asking themselves where Christmas went?? It was here and gone in a matter of least that is what it seems like. All the planning and preparation evaporated just like that! Before I know it, the kids will both be driving and complaining that their cell phones don't have GPS on it. In the meantime, I try to cherish every moment and enjoy them while their vocabulary is still somewhat limited. ;)

skiin' the beav

I am not an amazing skiier. I am definitely average, at best. But I really do love to do it. Skiing is so peaceful and fun and beautiful. I have always enjoyed skiing but I think now, since my ski adventures are so few and far between, now I immerse myself in my surroundings and try to soak it all in. I got to go (sounds like I have been locked in a cage and only got one phone call) skiing last week while D stayed home with the chitlins. Look at this mountain. It too would be considered average. But you know what? I seriously love going here. This is where I learned to ski. I got left on a black diamond run by some "friends" on my first day of ski school when I was in the sixth grade. Who wouldn't love to come back and just tear up the mountain, with a little avenge chip on their shoulder? And honestly, I don't mind skiing alone. There are no awkward lift rides to the top where conversation should definitely be avoided but some social pressure and the voice of my grandma ringing in my head ("Be sure to introduce yourself and be polite") forces me to open my mouth and blurt out something totally regrettable. I can also go anywhere I please and go at my own pace. Selfish? Much. Especially when it comes to how I spend my time away from the kiddles. I did go with my sister but we ended up doing our own thing and I love her the more for it.

And on this particular day, it snowed. Giant. Puffy. Flakes. Huge, fluffy snowflakes flying at me in every direction. It was beautiful! It also makes everything seem extremely quiet. Have you noticed that? When it snows, all you can hear are the flakes lightly making a noise once they hit the ground or a tree or something. My favorite thing in the world.

This was memorable and a favorite from this month. How about you?? What is one of your favorite memorable moments from this month??

Sunday, December 27, 2009

dear people magazine

I know I am behind the times but I just saw the November 30th issue of your magazine, making a pretty bold statement on the cover. You claim to know the "Sexiest Man Alive". Really? Do you really have THE sexiest man alive in your magazine?? After flipping wildly through the pages to find out exactly who THE sexiest man could be (sorry, it is not Johnny Depp), I realized he was not in there. You are totally pulling my leg!

What the front cover should say is, "The Sexiest Man in Hollywood". At this point I would be, pleading for my money back. Luckily, I didn't spend a dime, a quid, a euro, on your farce magazine.

But, again, I would have to disagree with your claim. Because, as you all know, the sexiest man in Hollywood would be this man:
And, surprisingly enough, he was not included in any of your pages!! (Yes, I will give you a minute to soak this in). Really?? How can Christian not be included?? Seriously, People?? You know...C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N B-A-L-E!?! Did you happen to miss the two best and biggest Batman movies ever made? How about 3:10 to Yuma? The Prestige? Swing Kids? Little Women?? Newsies???? And you are supposedly a know-it-all publication. You have gravely disappointed me, again.

Besides, the title for Sexiest Man Alive has already been taken:
So People Magazine, you had better be sure to get your facts straight before printing such nonsense. The legal liabilities are just stacking up against you. Please.


Utterly Disgusted

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


D: "Mi-mi, would you like to give the opening prayer for FHE?"

Mi-mi: "Okay."

D: "Dear Heavenly Father..."

Mi-mi: "Dear Heavenly Father..."

D: "Thank you for this day..."

Mi-mi: "Thank you for The Wizard of Oz..."

Then, Mi-mi turns to Grandpa and Auntie Agnes, who were joining us for family night, and says, "I just said Wizard of Oz." Huge grin follows. Grandpa and Auntie Agnes could not contain their giggles. Once Amen was said, we all burst into fits of laughter.

What a nutter!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

favorite children's books

I apologize for not posting my favorite children's books in a while. I have been saving up for this giant post you are about to get. :) I know you are excited and I promise you will be thoroughly pleased by the end of it. Not pleased because it is finally over but pleased because I have so many great recommendations for you!!
There are so many wonderful children's Christmas books out there. I want to narrow down some of, you guessed it, my favorites for you. Yes, Christmas is in 3 days but it is not too late to snag a copy of these, snuggle with your little ones and read up. Though I really like to snuggle up and read these, with or without kids! I'm a sucker for children's books, as you may have guessed.

Here we go:
I hope and pray you were lucky enough to grow up reading Little Critter books. I absolutely LOVED Critter when I was a kid! I couldn't get enough and still can't! I'm lucky to have kids who like him as much as I do. It is a great excuse to read these wonderful books by Mercer Meyer over and over. Merry Christmas Mom and Dad shows exactly the creative genius stored in every child. Critter wants to do so many things for his parents to make Christmas that much better. I love how the dialogue is from his point of view and the illustrations show us exactly what has been left out of Critter's narrow perspective. The gentle beauty of the story of Christmas is shown in this great board book. With a simple, lyrical text and radiant artwork, this book is perfect for the youngest child to be a part of the wonder of the Nativity.
Yes, such a depressing and sad tale of a little match girl who, in fear of being beaten by her father, doesn't want to return home without having sold a single match. So instead she remains outside in the cold, no shoes or warm clothes to shield her from the bitter elements of winter.
But I love it because it is real! It is a great reminder that we always must look farther than our inner circles. We must always be willing to help others, not only at this time of year, but all year round. Hans Christian Andersen also poignantly shows that a child's imagination is never dampened by the hardness of life.
If anything, snag this book and just gander at the wonderful illustrations. They are so alive and colorful and imaginative! I have to give props to my mom for introducing this one to me. Actually, she gave it to my brother for Christmas one year and I've sort of adopted it (sorry, bro). According to Berkley, this true tale was told to him every year by his father at Christmas time. The setting is during the depression and "Red" would love a new bike for Christmas. Of course, with money being sparce, a bike is pretty much out of the question. So he decides to find Kris Kringle himself to ensure that a bike will be waiting for him under the tree Christmas morning.
I think this was another one my brother got for Christmas. Ha! This wonderful book shares with us the insight of what a tree must do in order to be picked to be in the Queen's castle and decorated for Christmas. Unfortunately, for this one tree, being perfect turns into a challenge: a bunny seeks refuge under his limbs; a bird builds a nest within the confines of the branches, making the tree not so perfectly shaped and full.
Rest assured, this one was actually given to me one Christmas. No "borrowing" or "adopting" involved with this book. So last, but certainly not least, for three little trees who dream of what they will be someday - a holder of treasure, a fine ship, a hilltop beacon pointing to God - life proves to have something rather different in store. They are disappointed that their lives are so mundane. And, as the years pass, "the three trees nearly forgot their dreams." Yet each eventually gets its wish, although not in the way it had foreseen.
Enjoy!! And have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Taylor Swift had a crazy year. She has blown up the charts and won me over...that is definitely saying a lot. I am not much of a country music fan. There are some country artists I like but it is not my music of choice. This may be changing with the current tide of pop music and the raunchy factor. Taylor did awesome hosting SNL, stayed composed during the mis-hap at the MTV Music Awards, and is just overall awesome in my book. I especially love this rap she did with T-Pain. How freakin' cool is this??

disco elves

Who knew we were such a talented family.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Saturday, December 12, 2009

rockin' around

I'm posting these late. We decorated our tree the last day of November. We always get a real tree. We tried one year to have a fake tree (the first year we were married) but both of us decided that was not what we would want for the years to come.
There is nothing like the smell of pine wafting through the house. Plus it is a fun adventure to pick out a tree with the kids. They had an especially good time jamming to some Christmas tunes around the tree.

Mi-mi checking out the ornaments.

The pictures of the house were actually taken today. We are now getting a good amount of snow, which is nice because that means the temperatures are back up to "normal" (33 degrees compared to -12). Personally I'd rather have snow than dry, bitter cold that turns my nose hairs into frosty icicles.

This kind of captured the falling snow but of course, it doesn't do the beauty of it justice.

What is it about the mixture of snow and Christmas lights that makes things so magical? My kid-like giddiness takes over and I just cannot help myself.

Friday, December 11, 2009

fanatical friday

I just absolutely love watching shows from my childhood. Especially ones that center around a holiday. Mo and I watched this one the other day. By the end, I was very overcome with emotion (i.e. the ugly cry). Mo kept asking me if I was okay and telling me that Small One was bought by a good guy. Therefore, no need to cry. Well, if you haven't seen this before I HIGHLY recommend you get it and add it to your collection. My mom is actually the one who found it. It is included on the Mickey's Christmas Carol DVD. I even called my sister in MA and left her a voicemail singing the song from the movie, "Small One, Small One, Small One for sale!" Oh my goodness...we were like two pre-teens in Sweet Vally High, reminiscing over memories from this wonderful story. For your viewing enjoyment, here is a clip from The Small One.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

snl weekly

Is it sad when the opening skit is the funniest in the show?? Sorry, Blake Lively, you tried but did not succeed. You are just too beautiful, young and a bit conceded to be funny. And the show that made you famous is not good. At. All. It does not take talent to be on your show. Okay. There were a couple mildly funny skits; the Tiger Woods accident one got a few chuckles. The Shy Ronnie Digital Short got a smile or two. But this opening skit really had my shoulders shaking. I just love how such a dumb and crazy incident can really be played out, and be so, so funny. I mean, really??! Two very rich white people sneaking into a White House party makes National news?? Doesn't the media know these people want the publicity and attention...and they are getting exactly what they wanted? Why feed the ego? It is okay for SNL to spoof these two nutters, even if it does give them an extra 2 minutes of fame. Enjoy.

the art of capturing moving pictures

Have you seen the movie Julie and Julia?? Such a great film and one that makes you absolutely wish you had a large plate of Bruschetta in front of you or a giant chocolate cake with sliced almonds pressed to the outside. So in saying it is a delicious and mouth-watering movie, truly makes sense. How wonderful would it be to live in so many countries like Julia Child did. How wonderful to learn to cook in France! Such a feat to translate so many recipes and convert them to be made into such an amazing cookbook. A cookbook I probably would not dare to master, let alone pick up. Just to touch it would taint the name of Julia or "French Cooking". Overall, you must see this movie if you haven't already. I'm sure the book is just great. I will need to borrow it from the library. If only I could actually get through all the books on my nightstand already. Now that is a feat in itself. Will keep you posted.

How about some other movies that make me wish I was a master cook or a choclatier?? Chocolat, for example. This movie absolutely makes me wish I knew what cayenne pepper tastes like in a divine hot chocolate mixture. Or what my chocolate flavor is after staring into a spinning South American carved disc. To even know how to make homemade chocolates would be great.

A friend, who is now my cousin-in-law, has recommended, several times, a movie that must be watched at Christmas time. I happened upon this movie today at Shopko and it was only $5. Since she has recommended it, I took her opinion all the way to the bank and bought the movie. I will be sure to tell you whether or not to trust her opinions (I already know you can but if my opnion counts in any way, then I'm sure you will care to know). Joyeux Noel is now part of our home movie collection and will be viewed ASAP.

Bus Stop is another movie which must be enjoyed. I enjoyed it so much that my overdue rates at the video store were enough to buy my own copy. It got to the point where I completely forgot I didn't actually own the movie, that it really had to be returned or else...
I would dare say it is the only movie where Marilyn Monroe's true acting talent is visible. She plays a bit of a ditsy blonde but in such a good way and there is a good way to play that role. Reese Witherspoon did it so well in Legally Blonde. I truly believe you must be smart in order to play stupid. It takes talent to know exactly how to do it. Unfortunately, Marilyn Monroe became the icon for ditsy blondes. She let herself be played into roles where her breathy voice and smizing eyes could make men go jump out of their seats and holler for more. Of course, this is exactly what made her famous. But I really wish she would've graduated into smarter roles as her career grew. We do all know how her true potential never came to fruition.

I just love movies...and not just any movie (The Ugly Truth really is that: absolutely, horribly ugly). I really love good movies. Movies that actually took some thought into making. I do occasionally like the shoot em' up, blow 'em up, run 'em down kind of movies (i.e. guy flicks). But there are even some "guy flicks" that had some thought to them: Tombstone, The Last Samurai, Open Range, 3:10 to Yuma, Gran Torino, The Last Castle...just to name a few. But, maybe not so surprising, movies like Les Miserables, Little Women, Dear Frankie, Becoming Jane, Anne of Green Gables/Avonlea, Somewhere in Time, Pride and Prejudice, Amadeus, Fried Green Tomatoes, Manon of the Spring, The Mission, The Scarlet Pimpernel really entertain me. Pretty much any movie that was either adapted from a book or from true life. ;)

I get it; I realize there is more on that film than just moving pictures (ahem...Transformers...). I find myself excited that my time was not wasted by watching it. Rather, I was enlightened, moved, inspired, buoyed up. How great to transform life into a story played out right before your eyes. Not only for entertainment purposes, but to make one think. To really open your mind to other cultures, ideas, art, history.

I am definitely not an expert in talking about or reviewing movies. I just know how much I enjoy them...wait, let me rephrase much I enjoy watching thoughtful, inspired, well-directed movies. Movies that make me want to jump out of my seat, holler and move right in; to literally join that world, live it, breathe it, feel what it would've been like.

Any recommendations I should add to my list??

Saturday, December 5, 2009

This is one of my favorite pics ever. Whomever snapped it should be thanked a million times over. What a perfect moment to capture in time! I am flanked by two of my favorite cousins and then my twin brother is on the end holding the shears. Not exactly sure why he had those but I'm assuming we were helping clean up my great-grandma's yard. That is where this picture was taken.

We all turned 30 this year. In fact, today is La's birthday; she is the cute blonde in the gingham dress. She is the last of us to cross over into a new decade.

How young we were!! Our whole lives ahead of us. No worries. No money problems. No marriage problems. No illnesses. No kid problems. No unwanted fat on our bodies. No nothing. How wonderful would it be to live this day one more time? To live in this moment, knowing all that I know now?? To be able to wear little blue terry cloth shorts again and have them be that baggy on me. Ha!

I am so grateful we are all still so close. I am grateful we all can share memories like this with our kids and laugh about our naivete.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I have a hard time when Christmas gets too far away from what we are truly celebrating: Christ. So when I was looking for a cute and creative advent calendar, I was immediately drawn toward this one from Fisher-Price. We already own the Little People Nativity set. So this matches perfectly. The pieces are soft and easy to attach. The kids have loved placing them on and it also gives me an opportunity to talk about what happened on Christmas night, so many years ago.

fanatical friday

Wish, wish, wish I could've been at the Brandenburg gate to not only celebrate the fall of the Iron Curtain but to also see U2 live. They were giving out tickets just had to find a flight to Germany. Um...yeah...didn't really work out. BUT I am glad that YouTube exists and I can see what it would've been like. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Here are the long awaited before and after photos of my hair. I guess it wasn't a huge, drastic change...but I did dye it darker and cut a heavier bang. Okay. So here is a pic of my hair before:
Here it is after:SO what do you think? I have really liked the change.
BTW -- these pics were taken at the in-laws family party where we did the ornament exchange and also celebrate D's birthday. It was tons of fun and we stuffed ourselves like turkeys.