What it's all about...

I'm a 39 year old wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt & friend. That should tell you who I'll be writing about most of the time.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

I don't have a lot to write about, but with the week coming up I'll be lucky to think about posting, let alone actually doing it! So it's been over a week since I last posted...what have I been doing??? Working and going to Karate. That about sums it up. We are at Karate on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 7:45pm-9:30pm. On Wednesdays we are there from 6:30pm-8:45pm. Saturdays we are there from 7:15am-12:45pm. Plus the 1/2 hour drive each way. Oh, and the kids have after school musical practice on Mondays and Thursdays until 5:15 and Wednesdays until 4:45. It's no wonder I'm never home and when I am I'm too tired to do anything. My MO sister called last night just as I was making the girl something to eat before taking the boy to Karate. I COULD have talked to her during the 8 minutes I had left before walking out the door, but it was also the only 8 minutes I would have to talk to Shell all day. I picked my wife, because often she is not the first pick for my attention. I feel pulled in multiple directions every day. I think it's starting to take a toll on me. No, I'm sure it is.
I started and finished a book this week (Karate at least gives me some time to read). It was Goldie Hawn's autobiography, A Lotus Grows in the Mud. I love the title and I really liked the book. It focused a lot on her spiritual journey and eventual reconciliation, but gave a lot of insight into what inspired her to seek these out.
Last night I stayed up to watch A Raisin in the Sun, which I had recorded on Monday night. I only intended on watching an hour or so before going to bed for a few days. Well, I started it and ended up watching all 3 hours. I didn't want to turn it off. It was amazing! Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, Sean Combs (who knew he could act!)...they were so so so good. It was a really beautiful movie. Can you tell that I liked it? It is coming out on DVD in May.
Speaking of new releases, my girlfriend's new album came out this week. You may have heard of her - Janet Jackson? I am so excited to hear her new stuff. I hear it's really good. I am planning on getting it this weekend. I can't wait.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


It is no secret to those who know me that I love books. And reading. I love books and reading books. Actually reading just about anything. I was the kid who sat eating cereal with the cereal box in front of me, reading it. I still do that. I read the junk mail frequently, just because it's there. We have subscriptions to Entertainment Weekly and People magazines, and the majority of the time I have read them both cover to cover within 2 days of receiving them. We also have a subscription to Playboy magazine...and I really do read the articles! Besides cereal boxes, junk mail and magazines, I devour books. I have for as long as I can remember. Every single time I have moved in my life, the boxes of books are cause for discussion. Before I pack them: "Please make sure you don't make those boxes too heavy",Are you taking all of them". While moving: "I'll help you move, but I'm not carrying the book boxes", "O my god these boxes are so heavy! How many books DO you have?". After unpacking: "The next time we move we are hiring movers just to move your books!". Get the point?
So anyway, I read a lot and I own a pretty sizable amount of books. More than most people I know anyway. I would like it to be larger, but my wife would like to see the walls so I stick to buying the books I really, really want to own. And to quiet the hunger, I borrow books from the library. At least once a week I am there checking out a book or two. The librarians at the branch closest to my work know who I am when I walk in the door and usually have my book(s) waiting for me when I get to the desk. (I request books through their website and they send them to the library for me to pick up. I LOVE THIS!) There is one librarian who, upon telling me when my book is due always says "Not that you will need it that long". So I have decided to tell a little about the books I read on my blog. Nobody else reads this, so it is purely for my enjoyment and to help me remember. Because since I read so many books, it is very common for me to forget some of them.
I just finished reading Eric Clapton's autobiography titled "Clapton". I really liked it a lot. It felt very intimate and not full of a lot of stuffy facts and dates. It felt like someone telling you about things that happened in their life. He was honest when scolding himself for bad judgements he made (and there were a lot) and also gave other people in his life credit for the good stuff. It was a book about himself, but it didn't feel like a me, me, all about me story. I didn't really know that much about Eric Clapton before reading this, and I find myself wanting to know more now. His ex-wife (who left her husband George Harrison to be with Eric Clapton) wrote a book about being married to George and Eric and I think I am going to read it as well.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A day to relax...Finally!

It is Sunday morning at 7:30, and I am getting ready to go back to bed with my wife. I got up to let the dogs outside and feed them, check emails, post this and then I'm going back to snuggling up under the covers with her and doze in and out until I can't stand it and get up for the day. I HAVE to be up by 10, because I have to call my sister who lives in Missouri to help her do her boyfriend's taxes.
Friday night we did end up going out. Shell called my mom to ask her to watch the kids and she dropped them off after school. I drove from work and we met at Lonestar for dinner. It wasn't crowded at all and the service turned out to be great. And the food...oh my it was yummy. We shared an appetizer of cheese fries, and for my entree I had a New York strip steak with sauteed mushrooms and onions, a baked potato and a salad. It was delicious. We went to see the movie Definitely, Maybe after dinner. It was very cute. The theater we went to had the most uncomfortable seats and absolutely no leg room. It is the closest theater to us, but they are building a new one not too far so we're looking forward to that. We usually go to the AMC theater which is still not that far, but they weren't showing the movie early enough to still make it back to pick up the kids by a reasonable time. We had a really nice evening.
Saturday morning the boy and I were up at 7am. He had a Karate tournament that he had to be to at 9:00. He competed in his level and received a finalist trophy for the form he did and a 4th place trophy in sparring. Then he decided to compete in the open division. For this, you do a form that you have made up. He made up a form with his nunchakus (nunchucks) that he has been practicing for a couple of weeks and he decided to use that. So he got signed up and was due for that at 12:45. First they had the Black Belts compete with one another and then the Under Black Belts competed with each other. Well, when they announced the competitors, my boy was the only one there. So he competed, got very good scores and won First Place. Yes it was by default, but the point was that he went up there with EVERYONE watching and did his self-created form. And he did great. The announcer kept saying how it took a lot of guts to get up there, and it made me very proud.

After the tournament, I took the boy to the bank to open a savings account for him. He has been wanting to do this for months, and the time was right. So he opened his account with $70. He was pretty excited. After we got home and all of us went to Blockbuster and Shell & I rented the new Michelle Pfeiffer movie I Could Never Be Your Woman. It was cute. We had Chick-Fil-A for dinner and after the movie we went to sleep. It was a good day.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day

Well, the Hallmark/Florist holiday is now over which means that now February is half over. Wow. We had a nice Valentine's Day. Shell made Chicken Enchilada Casserole for dinner. This was a recipe that her mom made when she was younger, but it was the first time she made it for us. It was a big hit. Shell bought a little candy and a few fun things for the kids. And she got me a small heart filled with Dove Dark Chocolate hearts, the new Idina Menzel CD and the DVD of Across the Universe. I have been wanting to see the movie since it came out, but Shell doesn't care for the Beatles music to begin with, so a movie centered around it really didn't appeal to her. So I am probably going to watch it this weekend sometime. And the CD is really good. I absolutely love Idina Menzel's voice. Shell took tonight off, so we are going to try to see if my mom will watch the kids so we can go to dinner and maybe see a movie. I really hope it works out. The two of us haven't gone out together in a long time, and I can't remember the last time we went to see a movie. Oh wait, we went to see Nancy Drew with all the kids last summer, that was the last movie we saw. So, I guess we're due for a date night. We very rarely get to do anything with just the two of us. *Crossing my fingers and toes*
Tomorrow the boy has a Karate tournament which we will be at from 9am until after 1pm. Yay! Oh and my sister is not going to be coming out to visit next month after all. The airfares are just too expensive for the dates she wants to come. We're disappointed, but at least we got to see them at Christmas. They might come out towards the end of April or sometime in May. And I am going to try to plan a short trip to California sometime at the beginning of summer. One of my oldest friends is due to have her first baby in April, so I want to go see her after the baby is born and some of the visiting frenzy has died down. Mom is thinking of going at the same time, she'll probably stay longer then me but we might drive out together and then I'll fly home. I'm all about saving money wherever possible.

Monday, February 11, 2008

One down...

This weekend I accomplished something. I cleaned out the garage. It looks so good now, other than the huge corner of trash. I will put out some of it for tomorrow's trash pickup and the rest next week. I don't think I could get away with putting it all out on one day. It took me about 3 1/2 hours. And then I started in on the basement. I still had my Christmas boxes out, with most of the contents piled in front of them. So I reboxed everything and put all the boxes in the crawl space. I carried the boxes down from the garage that need to go in there as well. I tried to get the boy's Playstation hooked up on the TV in the basement, but it didn't work for some reason. I rearranged some of the furniture down there, now the kids need to reorganize their stuff. It was nice to get something done. My girl spent the night at a friend's house on Saturday night, so I took the boy to Applebee's for dinner, to Target to use up a gift card he had, and then to Blockbuster where he picked out a PS2 game and a movie that I have never heard of. We came home, got ready for bed and cuddled in my bed while he watched the movie (I fell asleep). Since I fell asleep and wasn't awake to send him to his own bedroom, he ended up sleeping in my bed until Shell got home from work. It was a good night.

Friday, February 8, 2008

"Their Music"

For Christmas, my daughter got a Hannah Montana CD. It was Shell's idea, I'm sure I would not have thought of it. Both kids watch the Hannah Montana show when they catch it on. I hadn't really paid that much attention to it. Anyway, she got the CD, which she was clearly excited about. Kudos to Mama on that one!
About 2 weeks ago, she asked if we could listen to her CD in the car on the way to the bus stop. I cleared it with her brother and we listened to 2 whole songs before the bus got there. That night, we listened to it on the way to Karate. As we got out of the car, she said "Thank you for letting us listen to the CD, you're the best mom ever". If only it were always that easy...
We have listened to the CD, with the kids singing from the backseat and me learning more of the songs every day, more days than not. I realized yesterday that this is the start of them having their "own" music. I say this because although they have been exposed to a lot of different kinds of music in their 9 1/2 years, it has been "our" music. They know the words to, and sing along happily to the Beatles, Queen, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Melissa Etheridge, Dixie Chicks, Carrie Underwood, Barbara Mandrell, the Wicked & Rent cast recordings and countless others. We are proud of this. But Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana is theirs first and foremost. Where do we go from here?
I tried to reconcile this with my own youth, but there is no real comparison, at least not at their age. When I was young, I listened to whatever my parents listened to as well. "Classic" rock was my dad's genre and was always on the radio in the garage. I owe my appreciation and love for the Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, etc to him. In the house, my mom played her records, consisting of Otis Redding, Rod Stewart, the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Bee Gees, the Jackson 5, among others. I love them all. When I got into my early teens, my mom worked at a Hair Salon with people mostly younger than her. She listened to the Top Forty music that I was getting interested in. That is what she played in the car and on the radio at home. We discovered and enjoyed Madonna, Whitney Houston, Kool & the Gang, Prince, Michael & Janet Jackson, etc. We never argued over the music I listened to, because it was hers too. I didn't have my "own" music until I was in high school and along with the previously mentioned artists, I also was listening to Poison, Def Leppard, Aerosmith and the like. Not my moms music, but it was played on the stations she listened to sometimes, so it was fine. My mom was not (and is still not) the type to listen to cassettes or CD's in the car. The radio is perfectly acceptable for her. So there wasn't really ever a time when I wanted to listen to "my" music in the car with her, I don't think it ever came up.
Fast forward to now. Although I have heard and occastionally listen to a lot of the music on the charts today, I find myself choosing to listen to more of "my" music, or at least sticking to the artists that I am familiar with. And my kids like it too. But how much longer before this is not the case? I can handle Miley Cyrus, actually I do enjoy her pop-ish sound and what I've seen of her in person I like her. I'm ok with my 9 year old daughter liking her. But what about the next one? What if I don't like whoever they pick next?
You know, it has occurred more often to me lately that we are in a unique place right now. Our children have been alive for 9 years, and in 9 years they will be adults (technically). They are halfway through their growing-up years. How strange. They've got a lot of learning to do in the next 9 years, and I know that this also means that the next 9 years will probably be the most difficult ones for us as their parents. I think I'd like them to stay this age for a bit longer, just to prolong the inevitable a bit longer. If only.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I did my part

Last night I voted in the Caucus. It was the first Colorado Caucus held in February, and it was on Super Tuesday. They moved it up from the usual day in March, to make our counts more relevant. It was exciting to be a part of the big night. I cast my vote for Hillary Clinton, and although Barack Obama took the state by a landslide and is leading in the number of states, Clinton has more delegates. But the race is tight. I feel desperate to have a Democrat in the White House, and would feel satisfied to have either opponent, I just feel more confident in Hillary. Right now, I am optimistic. But the mud-slinging has not started, so it's easy to feel that way. I really believe that Americans want to see a change in the way our country is run, and I am hoping against hope that enough of them get out and vote for the Democratic candidate to make that change happen.

February - Wow!

The first month of the year is gone, what do I have to show for it? I have some of the same "to do" lists that I did at the end of December. I have been thinking about them EVERY DAY. It is making me a little crazy actually. Most of them have to do with cleaning and organizing. My house is a disaster and apparently I am too lazy to do anything about it, other than think about doing something about it. My sister came for a surprise visit at Christmas. I was so thrilled that she came and brought my nephew and niece, but never invited her to my house. I was actually a little relieved that she was only here a few days, so I could get away with just visiting her at my parents house. She is planning to come back in March (oh my god that's next month!), and Shell said that we better start getting ready now. Yes, it's that bad. It's really ridiculous to be honest. Every day, every single day, I walk into my house and hate how it looks. Every room in my house, except for the family room, is a mess. And it's not like I'm just going about my days ignoring it. I notice it all, and yet I don't do a thing about it. You might be thinking - but what about the other 3 people in your house? Unfortunately I think the kids are used to it and don't really notice. And Shell is... I don't know. I think she figures that eventually someone will clean it, why should she? And eventually it always does, usually because someone is coming for a visit and will be staying with us. Or we are hosting a holiday or birthday party. That is how our house gets clean. And I really hate it. I get really excited on Fridays telling myself that I am going to spend the weekend cleaning, and then don't. I don't even know where the excitement gets lost, it just does.