Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...

Cheers to a new beginning!

Friday, December 26, 2008

My friend, Julie

My friend Julie and her family have a gingerbread-house party every December. They have been doing this since DD1 was almost two years old... and it has become one of the firm holiday traditions in our year. It has become a Schwartz Family tradition, and it seems to get a little bit bigger every year. I've run in to sorority sisters from college with their kids, old co-workers with their little ones, and we have a great time every year. The Schwartz family are some of our dearest friends, Rob was best man at our wedding and is DD2's fairy Godfather, and Julie & I have now been friends for almost 15 years. They have added a tremendous amount of love to our lives, and we are so happy to be included in their annual Gingerbread festivities.

The first year, Julie decided that her daughter would invite 5 friends to a party to decorate gingerbread houses. Julie's daughter was 3 1/2 that year, DD1 was a month away from being 2... and the girls were ages in-between. The moms had a fun day that day, I had never actually decorated a gingerbread house, so it OK with me that mostly what DD1 wanted to do was eat the candy and play with the other kids. Julie read them a Christmas story, and it was a warm and happy winter day. Who would have guessed that a few years later 9News would cover the event for a story on TV with interviews of Julie and Rob's kids. If you look VERY closely when they are interviewing their daughter, you can see DD2 on her left - our right. DD1 is also there, but not as easy to see.

(If it takes too long to load, you can CLICK HERE to go to the 9News site and see it there.)

EDIT: I took the embedded video out since I could not get it to work at all. BLOGGER!!!! Just click above to watch. :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Merriest Christmas to YOU!

Merry Christmas to all my friends and lurkers out there! Have a wonderful Christmas if that is your thing... and see a good movie and enjoy some Chinese take-out if it's not. I share with you now one of my all time favorite "stories" regarding Christmas.

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
By Francis P. Church, first published in The New York Sun in 1897.

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Who can take the ugliest holiday photos?

OK, usually I know we try to get lovely, warm, happy photos at holiday time. This year, lets change the rules. Butt shots of Aunt Velma, eyes closed Uncle Billy, and mouth-full-of-food neighbors are what we are looking for this year. Send your worst shots to me, and we'll have a contest the weekend of January 3rd.

Here are some ideas for shooting that may help you*

  • Blind your friend with your flash, then run up close and start shooting photos up their nose.

  • Throw something at your brother’s feet, then photograph his double chin when he looks down. (Considering extra points for catching his bald spot before he looks up again!)

  • Turn off the red-eye reduction function on your camera so your subject gets the “devil eyes.”

  • Set your camera on the highest shutter speed possible to capture every tiny unflattering movement. Mwa ha ha ha HA!

Please note on the photo if you would like the eyes of subject blacked out so no one can recognize them. You never know who's future political career might be ruined by one photo on a relatively unknown blog.

*This list of shooting ideas has been adapted from a site I belong to called Photojojo... and the recommendations were originally for a "Festivus" photo competition. All the major holiday get togethers, though, would benefit from the above.

Most importantly: HAVE FUN!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Not what I expected...

So, I walk in to the bathroom (that DD1 and DD2 share) for something the other day, and this is what greets me:

The thought that crossed my mind as I turned to leave the grisly scene is that I can only hope they received a fair trial, and that it was a kind and merciful hanging. These particular dolls had never seemed like heretics to me before... but miraculously they were gone later that same day – as if they had risen and returned themselves to the stroller where they usually live.

I’ll not be surprised to find them caged in the pantry sometime soon, or perhaps buried in the unfolded laundry. You never know with our kids. (CLICK HERE for the previously posted story of the strange goings on with toys at our house.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

SMA Friday!!

(What do you mean, "what is SMA Friday?" SEXIEST MAN ALIVE Friday! People - - try to keep up!)

Let's have a pre-Christmas swoon by remembering how cute he was in "Kate & Leopold."


Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Office Christmas Party 2008

Ok, here’s my story…

Husband’s office holiday party was last night.

Good news: Maggiano’s! Yum.
Bad news: My new boots (which are SOOOOOO cute) were killing my ankles, which was unexpected.

Good news: In this rough economic time the managers of the Rocky Mountain Region decided to all get together and pay for a dinner out for their employees – even though the Company wouldn’t be reimbursing them because of a “no holiday party” edict this year. Which is pretty cool.
Bad news: Traffic getting there was BRUTAL, as it was the downtown location. Husband blamed the traffic on the Neil Diamond concert that was at the Pepsi Center. (Umm, Neil Diamond? I think maybe not.)

Good news: Good hair night for Dodi!
Bad news: that didn’t last long.

Good news: The drinks were delicious.
Bad news: They were also very cold, as I discovered when someone was walking behind me at the exact time my darling husband was gesturing grandly with his hands (jazz hands may have been involved) – thus knocking the drink from co-workers hand all over my back. I shit you not, I was soaked from the hair down.

(I was MORTIFIED, and tried my best to laugh it off. Made joke about spilling red wine all over husband when we were dating and him having waited 14 years for the correct payback... but I’m not the most secure person in a social situation where I don’t know but maybe 2 other people in the room – so to have the random Sales guy blotting my back with a towel while I try to wring out my hair with cocktail napkins was so not boosting my confidence.)

Good news: I now had an ice-breaker when talking to new people.
Bad news: Standing with your back to the wall so people don’t see your disastrous wet half doesn’t make for good social mixing.

Good news: It wasn’t a daiquiri, or some other bright red drink.
Bad news: Am now “that girl.” As in, “Remember that girl who ended up with a martini all over her at the Christmas party?”

I wasn’t even drinking! And the gin totally masked the perfume I had so carefully chosen for the evening.

However, Luck of the Irish was with me… better my back than my front, yes?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

At least she's consistent...

(This post starts with THIS STORY, followed by THIS STORY if you need to know why this is funny.)

DD2's kindergarten class gets to work on laptop computers once a week so they can practice their "mousing" skills on a trackpad. A little over a month ago she had to "click and drag" pictures to make a composite of her family.

Guess which one is me????
(Bonus points: She pictures me thin, right?)

Friday, December 12, 2008

SMA Friday

(Sexiest Man Alive Friday for those of you who haven't been paying attention!)

Look! My next husband golfs!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Marley and Me

OK, how come no one told me that “Marley and Me” by John Grogan was so damn funny? All I ever heard about it was that the ending of this book was so sad, which made me not want to read it – and yes, it was sad. I cried for a solid 3 chapters, because I knew how it felt to be them at the end of Marley’s life… but OH MY GOD – I laughed harder while reading this book than I’ve laughed in a really long time.

Have you read this book? Have you ever owned a dog? Even if you owned a dog who never mis-behaved, you will totally be able to picture this dog doing all this stuff. And, if you’ve owned dog that could try the patience of a Saint you’ll nod with me when I say I can picture the yellow blur that is Marley, I can picture him vividly. I can picture him trying to climb out of the moving car, sniffing up the other dogs at obedience class, dragging his owners for a walk, and the insanity that a crazy dog brings to your life. I know what it is to not be able to board a dog because it’s too crazy, I have seen with my own eyes what happens AFTER a dog eats a sofa, I absolutely am akin to Marley’s family when they come home and their dog has gotten out of his crate like Houdini. My husband has repaired fences our dog has chewed through in under an hour because she was terrified of… well, we don’t know for sure. I remember what its like to have a dog run off with your stuff and do everything possible to drag the chase out for what feels like forever. I have experience with a dog whom I’m sure must have been an OB/Gyn in a former lifetime. Dogs that knock you over with their joy, leave drool ropes on your coat, dig through your hamper to find the dirty underwear, rub their snout in a smelly diaper, and are at the same time the darn sweetest creatures God ever created.

If you haven’t already done so, read this book. And laugh. And cry. And laugh.

You’re welcome.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


OK, so I'm at the Junior League Holiday Mart today... and run across this:

It's the kind of high brow humor I enjoy!! (I laughed really loud.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What is that you say?

You've already FORGOTTEN who the Sexiest Man Alive happens to be?

Well, let me refresh your memory with a new feature I'm thinking about calling "Pictures of my next husband Friday". (Seriously, how annoying would it be if I had pictures of Hugh Jackman up here every Friday for a year?)

You know you want him!

(Yes, I belive those are jazz hands.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

(I stole this from another blogger a while ago... but it's sooooo perfect for a cold day during holiday season! Please forgive me just this once, as I know stealing a priceless wordless Wednesday is almost as bad as dating your sorority sister's ex-boyfriend - which I never did, btw.)

EDIT: if you want to read the blog where I got this picture CLICK HERE. She's very funny, and would fit in to our cyber neighborhood well. I recommend her for membership!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

She's growing up!

You had a birthday on Sunday. You are six years old.

Six is a magic age. Six cannot be counted on one hand, so now you need two hands to count how old you are. That is probably not as traumatic as it feels to me!

You have come a long way in your six years. We started with some feeding troubles during your first days, to discovering your quirky physical development and your sensory difficulties. We have worked on those ever since you were quite small – and I think you’ve made some great strides in living with your particular difficulties. (Now, if only we could do something about the falling! I’m not sure your little head can take many more traumas like the last two you’ve had!)

You are funny. You are really, really funny. You are already showing a quick wit, which makes me smile. One thing I have always liked about myself is that I can make people laugh. I’m glad you’ll have that for yourself too. You also have a temper, my little darling! You are quick to get mad, and can hold a grudge – although this has mellowed in your time here with us mortals. When you were a toddler you could seriously avoid anyone who had “wronged” you for weeks at a time. (Even me, although you couldn’t avoid me, you did stop being huggy and cuddly when you were mad at me. Your sister was all “Lets kiss and make up” after we had had a difficulty. You? Could have cared less about making up! You are sweeter about this now.) You are good with numbers, and we wonder if math will be your strong suit. Your imagination is amazing, and you like art. Wonderfully, though, so much of you is still a mystery at six!

I remember being six. In fact, that is when most of my childhood memories start becoming clearer – before that was fuzzier as if I’m not sure I remember things or just heard about them… but I remember being six. There is a poem by A. A. Milne that ends with the line, “But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever. So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.” It was my favorite poem when I was your age… and now as a mom I sort of have the same feeling all over again. Sometimes I wish you could stay six for ever and ever.

I love you my darling angel!


and now: