Jan 30, 2009

The Birthday Hurrahs – January 2009

Note to reader: Okay, I know it is about a month late, but I wanted to wait till all of the festivities were complete before I posted about it. So, finally, with out further delay, I give you… “My Birthday Hurrahs!”

As I’ve mentioned before, my birthday is my absolute favorite holiday of the year… except for the Hubs Birthday. So this year, I pretty much celebrated the entire month (with a little bit at the end of December thanks to my mother-in-law whom I LOVE oh so dearly. (Our birthdays are only a day apart.) Anyhow I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. I believe if I am counting correctly I had a total of 10 birthday celebrations. So I’ll try to say a little bit about each and more about the ones that have more to be said, and post pictures of the ones I was allowed to capture on camera.

First, as I mentioned, the celabration started at Christmas time when I got new make-up from my MIL. YAY!!!

Second, was lunch with my big sister at Pei Wei. This is where I received the Remebery Tea.

This brings me to my actual birthday. I went to lunch with my good friend Amanda at Papa Pia. I was completely obsessed with their lasagna for about two weeks. As you will see below, I ate there several times!

That night, the hub, at my request, made his famous J-Rod Pizza...and below is a picture of this year’s Birthday cake! Mmmmmm! So delicious!

Later that evening I checked my voice mail for a message that I knew with 100% certainty would be there. Every year my mother calls and sings “Happy Birthday”. This year even with laryngitis, she made the call and left the message.

Friday is when Things got a little odd with the maternal parent. We received a package from her for my birthday that contained… 24 cans of chicken noodle soup. I don’t even know where to start with this story, so I think I will just post the pictures and leave the rest to your imagination. However, I will leave you with these thoughts before I move on. One, in college, I existed almost completely on chicken noodle soup and crackers, because that was all I could afford, but now I can barely stand the smell of it cooking in the microwave. (It must be said, in her defense, that I don’t think she knew this little fact… she reads my blog, so… she does now.) Two, I turned 29… not 24!? Three, do you know how heavy 24 cans of chicken noodle soup weighs and how much it must have cost to ship it?! Okay, I could go on, but… no… I’ll leave it at that and leave you with these pictures. Kitty Sticks and I are still counting cans. I’d love to know your thoughts… Please!

Next, for my birthday the Hub got me a shopping spree and the best part was that he was my shopping assistant! What a trooper! From about 9:30 in the morning till about 4:30 in the afternoon he hung in there by my side. Oh and I forgot to mention the CARD! see the video below.

Note to all guys: This was an AWESOME gift!

Sunday evening brought a call from my incredible wonderful dad, who had inadvertently forgotten my birthday. Lord love him, he’s got so much going on right now I wonder how he remembers to eat. Anyhow, along with a million apologies, he said that he would be in town in a few weeks and he would take me to lunch. YAHOO!

Work had been absolutely nuts, so it took a solid week to find a day that we all could negotiate a group lunch, A MONSTER thank you to Banana for treating me to my birthday lunch, and salad at Papa Pia!!! =)

This brings me to the last Hurrah which was this Tuesday when I had lunch with my Daddy ant one of our favorite spots in town. An old fashion drug store that serves lunch and the BEST freaking malts I have EVER had.
Thanks to everyone for all of the wonderful 29th birthday celebrations!

It’s funny, now that I look back at this list almost all of my hurrahs revolve around food or eating. Not sure what to think of this, but hey you only have one birthday a year… (or TEN!)

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Jan 22, 2009

Hotty Toddy Vols in the Potty

Note to Reader: This was a tough year for Tennessee Football to say the least. With that having been said, there is nothing so exhaustingly wonderful as arguing the validity of your sports team with a 2 year old.

We niece and nephew sat this weekend and while it is generally an excellent means of birth control because we are so exhausted when their parents come to retrieve them that I need a hot bath and a good long nap, this time felt a little different. Although the Hub and I aren’t quite ready to have a few of our own, their parting was a little bitter sweet. They are at such fun ages with the “Ninja” being a wise old “two and three quarters” according to her brother “Godzilla” who is himself the seniorly age of 4 and a half.

Additional Note to Reader: These are obviously not their real names, but are the nick names that they were given before they were born, and even before we knew weather they were boys or girls. Even more humorous is that these nick names stuck and are still the names we often call them today… unless they are in trouble.

So there we were, the Ninja and I snuggled on the couch with the Leapster, the Hub in the Man chair and Godzilla playing at the coffee table. With the DVRed . Duke vs. Georgetown basketball game playing on the television, out of the blue, Ninja looks questioningly at the game on TV and then up at me and says “what’s this game, football?”

“Nope,” I say smiling down at her big curious eyes, “this is basketball. Do you like basketball?”

“Ummm…” she says really considering the matter. “It’s cool” she says with a shoulder shrug fairly nonchalantly, like she might be leaving something out to save my feelings. (Let’s not forget, she’s two and three quarters.) “But,” (pause for effect) “I think I like football better.” At the end of her statement, she clicked her tongue happily, like she hadn’t a care in the world, like her foot ball team hadn’t been the 4-7 Tennessee Volunteers. Still not taking her eyes off the television screen she asked “Do you like football better?”

Now I know, in hind sight, this is the moment I went wrong, but without hesitation, I found myself trying to explain to her, the two and three quarters little girl nestled in the crook of my arm, why, “no, this season I think I like basketball better than football. This season, my team, the Vols didn’t play so good in football, so it’s been more fun to watch the Vols basketball than football.”

“Oh,” she says returning her gaze to the Leapster in her lap. “Well at my house we’re Hotty Toddy,” (pause for effect) “ and that’s always fun!” And then before I know it she’s rubbing the success of her stinkin’ Rebels in my face, telling me all about her cheerleader outfit and how “Godzilla even haves a sweater to wear when the games are here.”

Then, in a minute we’re back and forthing…

“Volls!” I say wuth a tickle

“Hotty Toddy!” she says with a giggle.

“Vols!!” I say again.

“Hotty Toddy!!” she says with a laugh

“Vols!!!” one more time for kicks.

“…IN THE POTTIE!!!” she says squeaking with delight at her since of humor.

I can do nothing but collapse with laughter. Here I am a grown woman, completely schooled by my two and three quarters Ninja niece in pull ups. There’s always next year and there’ll be a head to head battle on 11/14 in the ’09 schedule, so all you Hottie Tottie better look out!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Jan 11, 2009

Remembery Tea – January 2009

Note to Reader: I don’t know if she’ll even remember it, but when my baby sister was pretty young, maybe three or four years old. She used to call the matching pictures game “Remembery”. It was one of her all time favorite games, and even now to be silly, I sometimes refer to my memories as “rememeberies”.

Additional Note to reader: This may get a little sentimental, in fact I’m getting a little misty as I sit here and type. I smelled a smell this week - the kind of smell that reached deep into the archives of my mind, into files I’d thought were long forgotten, or ones I’d never even known were there in the first place.

I’m sure on a lark; for my birthday, my older sister gave me one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received. A jar of home made spiced tea. She’d said that she’d searched the Internet of all places and taken bits and pieces of recipes and had finally, after trial and error been able to recreate the spiced tea that we grew up on. The anticipation was too great and before I knew it, I was unscrewing this Mason jar lid and breathing in it’s incredible aroma.

Without even knowing it, she took me back to our childhood. Right there in the passenger seat of her SUV, a flood of memories poured in from all corners of my mind. Cold winter nights where the two of us were allowed to sleep on the living room floor next to the wood burning stove because it was the warmest spot in our drafty little house. Coming in from playing in the slushy snow and being soaked to the bone but warm from laughter. I can say, without a doubt that I’ve never so strongly been able to link memories to scent. The power it has had to take me back to a place in time has been beyond amazing.

So each morning since the day we met to partake in an early birthday lunch, I’ve taken a bit of time to have a cup of what I am so fondly calling “Remembery Tea”.

This morning, as the sweet and spice rose to my nose as I nestled into what we lovingly refer to as the “Man Chair”, I walked through my memories into 1987 and our carpeted dining room in bare feet to see two red headed little girls sitting at the dinner table. For no reason at all, they were exploding with laughter every time one looked at the other, laughing so hard that their bellies ached. It was visibly driving their parents up the walls. There’s a baby girl of about two in a high chair. She’s too little to understand the laughter but she’s just old enough to catch it, and she too erupts into laughter.

The mother, pregnant with the forth, is furious that things have gotten beyond her control. She screams at the father and sends the giggling girls to their room. I can still remember the feel of the floor as it changed from carpet to hard wood as I followed the memory into the bedroom that my older sister and I shared for so many years. If I close my eyes tight I can see us, on the top bunk buried under our matching strawberry shortcake bed spreads, still in fits of silent laughter.

Dinner is over for everyone now and there arguing still fills the air, and even now as I sit in my living room, in my home, breathing in the fragrance of this tea, this “Remembery Tea”, willing myself to continue remembering, my eyes prickle with tears for those three little girls. This was a crazy volatile time for our little family. A time where the memories were not always good. I have memories of praying that our parents would divorce to stop the fighting, and then when they finally did, I can remember praying that it hadn’t been my fault.

But looking back, and knowing that hind sight always seams 20/20, I know, as certain as I am sitting here in my husband’s old ratty, and oh so comfortable chair, that those girls… all three of them were and still are so deeply bound together by that laughter and understand it's healing power. And what I realize as I place my favorite mug into the dishwasher and glance over at that small, unassuming jar of what was meant to be just spice tea, is that we knew it then, and I still know it now, and it’s something that that angry mother didn't, still doesn't, and probably never will understand.

I can’t resist spinning the top off to smell of it one more time, knowing full well that they’re not all going to be good memories, and I’m okay with that.

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Jan 7, 2009

Good luck and God speed-dial! - January 2009

I have been doing this… ALL MORNING!!!

I call this the “Reach-for-the-phone-on-the-wrong-side-because-you-moved-it syndrome”!

Yesterday I felt it necessary to re arrange my desk at work. Basically the cubical walls were closing in on me and I needed a bit of a RE-ORG. This often happens when I am in the office too long. It’s normally cured by planning my next business trip, but as there were none on the horizon to plan for I had to take matters into my own hands and change the scenery.

This is where the phone used to be…
This is where it is now! I guess my problem lies in the fact that a formal introduction wasn’t made, so here goes

"Good morning left hand, I know that in the past, I’ve only asked you to display my engagement ring and wedding band, and you have been doing a GREAT job at this, but there’s been a little change in your job description. Left hand, meet Meridian (the telephone)”
“Left hand, effective immediately, you will now be in charge of all phone call answering and disconnection. ""You will also be responsible for all phone number dialing.""You will also be the one held responsible for any miss dials or prank calls, so please do not take your responsibilities lightly. Miss dialing the CEO’s extension will not result in a raise, but it may result in amputation!”

“I have complete faith in your ability to do this job and I support you 100%! Good luck and God speed-dial!”

Till next time.
Bon Voyage!

Jan 3, 2009

T Minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5... - January 2008... shoot I meant 2009!

My Birthday is in 5 days!!!

My birthday has the fortunate, and unfortunate honor of being just two weeks after Christmas. Yes, as a child, when other kids got a party and the whole class sang "Happy Birthday dear Sally...", and a "No Homework Pass", my birthday was a little different. We were generally still out on Holiday, and from everyone except my parents, I got the dreaded "Joint Christmas / Birthday gift! Grrrrr!!!

Note To Reader: The only day in the year I get more excited about is the Hub's Birthday!

One of my favorite parts of my birthday is that, since we've been married, the Hub has made my cake.

***As a side note, we got a new computer several months ago and I am having trouble locating the birthday pics from years past, so these "artistic renderings" will have to do.***

Three years ago, it was white cake, pink icing and blue writing.

Two years ago, he made a white sheet cake, cut it in half wrote "Happy Birthday" on one half and from the other half, he cut the letters of my name out, block style.
Even last year, when he was on a hellish rotation, he came home baked a white sheet cake, and accidentally frosted it when it was still warm. When the frosting got all melted, we just poked holes through it into the cake and when the icing seeped down through the holes, it made the most wonderful accidental yummy warm birthday cake EVER! (Please note that none of these images do the cakes justice!)

This year, he keeps teasing me saying he's out of ideas, and that he's going to just go buy my cake from the grocery store, or maybe the gas station. I don't buy it for one minute. I'm not bragging, I just think it's really cool that regardless of how busy our lives are, he always takes the time to make the day special.
Any guesses on what's next?
Till next time,
Bon Voyage!