The Start of Christmas Season

Okay, it’s Black Friday. I can now put away the turkey decor and break out the list of Christmas season related must do’s!

  1. Wear Slippers. and pants. and sweaters. clip_image001
  2. Make cocktails that look like a Sugar Plum Fairy met a Bartenderclip_image003
  3. Make foodie gifts in jars for friendsclip_image005
  4. Make a hot cocoa bar show up at one of my holiday shin digsclip_image007
  5. Ice skating, nuff said. clip_image008
  6. Take this photo with one of the dogs. or rabbit.clip_image009
  7. Crock pot cooking, saves time for ice skatingBeef Stew
  8. Holiday card creation, my first ever!clip_image011
  9. Going to the Galleria to see this tree. Ten years now.clip_image012
  10. Making any potluck salad with winter colors and ingredients.clip_image013
  11. A cookie baking and swap party! clip_image015 
  12. Uggs. To everything. Black tie?clip_image017
  13. Ugly sweater parties. Hot cocoa bar anyone?clip_image018
  14. Starbucks Peppermint Mocha – in my hand.clip_image019
  15. Rudolph the Bun. YES. I’ve already got pipecleaners..clip_image020
  16. Christmas crafting – this banner is high on my list!clip_image021
  17. Decorating a tree by a theme, I love this ombre. I do gold!clip_image023
  18. Candles in Christmas tree scents, cause I’m allergic to the real stuff.image
  19. Cutting out snowflakes with kids for fun!image
  20. Cubicle decorations in a freezing cold office.image
  21. Fireside anything. Cheese eating even.image
  22. Judging christmas lights. It’s a sport in my family. image
  23. Knitting becomes even more chic! image
  24. Anything and Everything S’moresimage
  25. Earmuffs are so awesome.image

Happy Christmas. Happy Christmas. Happy Christmas! I cannot wait!

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This Year I’m Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving

Sir LAA – I could type an entire blog on my thankfulness to you alone. Thank you for committing. For sticking it out. For not walking off. For convincing me most days I deserve this. For running down this path with me at breakneck speed and enjoying the adventurous journey. There is no way I can ever pay you in kind. We’ll just keep on running.

Roger the BFF – because I know he listens more than he talks. I know he cares more than he has hairs. I know deep down there he knows there’s an amazing woman out there, and an amazing life to be had and he deserves all of it.

To my parents, who listen near daily to my concerns and questions about life, liberty and my pursuit of happiness. Thank you for guiding me and letting me your peanut and chicken.

My lil sister and her husband – thanks for always being there to say that it’s all crazy, and that it’s all gonna be okay. Sometimes, as you know, we don’t need the problem fixed, we just need the ear. You do a good job.

JR – for the advice. So much of it that I will be living up to higher standards than I ever thought I’d allow other people have in my regard. Thanks for making my worth more than I thought it was, you lift me up, so I can BREATHE.

The Tralala Family – You know who you are. My goodness gracious the gifts you bring to my, our, life. I would have never considered at all during this crazy chaos called my married life that I would meet some of the warmest, most wonderful second family that I ever could have. I’m moving in, I’m bringing the dogs, the maid, my music selections and my mess with me. MOVE OVER!

The Band Family – I promised 300 kids to be a family. I promised because my husband promised. My goodness the up, down and sideways this year. We are finally hitting a good pace, and oh my, the wonderful things to come of it. We are so proud to be representing you, so blessed to watch you grow and so amazed at your endless bounty of skills and talents. Thank you for teaching us back.

For LeeleeLulu and her mother – who are rising stars in my book! Thank you for laughter and talks and PSLs and garland envy and crafting and loving BOGO sweaters more than I can, because it means I’m not the only one. You two are awesome.

Penny and Ralph and Alice – to the unconditional love and boundless energy that I get when I walk in the door. The 12 lost bratwursts and the mess you leave are all completely and utterly worth it.

K&R o’ Nomads – who gives when it’s not his calling or requirement, who’s heart is full of gold and good intention. THank you for showing me that good people do exist for strangers.

And finally, for God, who I know has a bigger plan than I can plan, and knows I have more strength than I think I do and sees more things than I can see. Thank you for keeping me here and whole and in line.

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Speaking Up & Out

Perhaps in the shadow of Election Day, I’ve decided to exercise my right to free speech. Ironically, I’ve been struggling with what to write lately because I’ve gone through alot with the marriage, and life around the marriage, and work and home and social life and well, adjustment.

Adjustment to a new way of being. and I’m tired of being sorry. So for this post, I’m sorry for not being sorry. Instead, I’m proud to say I’m speaking up and out again.

I’m amazed sometimes how folks are quick to toss off “that hip hoppity rap jazz” because they think it’s beyond vulgar and or the listener just assumes that the music beats equate to lyrics involving drugs and T&A. Sometimes the message of these songs gets lost in the stereotyping of them. Give these guys a chance. Here’s a few of my personal list to start with. Aye-up for the younger generation, there’s still some positivity left.

Eminem – Lose Yourself https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJdtEjJE8OA

Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity, To seize everything you ever wanted. one moment, Would you capture it or just let it slip?

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime

Macklemore & Ryan Lews feat. Mary Lambert – Same Love – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlVBg7_08n0

And I can’t change, Even if I tried, Even if I wanted to

When I was in church,They taught me something else,If you preach hate at the service,Those words aren’t anointed,And that Holy Water
That you soak in,Has been poisoned,

When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen I might not be the same but that’s not important no freedom ’til we’re equal, damn right I support it

Fort Minor – Remember the Name – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDvr08sCPOc

This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!

Meghan Trainor – All About that Bass

Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size

You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along

Go ahead and tell them skinny b&$ches that
No, I’m just playing. I know you think you’re fat
But I’m here to tell ya
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top

I know some of this sounds silly. or contrived. Or just gets some parents ticked off because of language. But let’s stop and give a little credit to the younger generation for still coming up with a positive message amongst the drivel that also hits the air waves. I thought this was a pretty solid start to stop putting my dial on the 60s on 6…at least.

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I’m grateful that messages like this are still out there, they give me hope that America still has an open mind…and something decent to dance to.

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WOTD: Silenced

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Silenced: to find part of you gone, but not forgotten

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Dating as Newlyweds

Yep. You guessed it. We are newlyweds and we still have debates. (that’s a nice word for fights.)

Yep, I’m still a sugary sweet, ooey-gooey, schmoopy doopy, gross lovey sick newlywed. Sorry I’m not sorry. Granted it’s been awhile since I put on a dress and heels and hit the town without knowing about it minutes beforehand –  that’s what happens when you have a very full calendar and a very busy crazy fall – but nonetheless, I’m hoping that a few dates come my way now that things are hitting a normal pace again.

We’ve recently splurged on a few things that at least make attempts at not having to think about date night, dial down expenses and have fun all at the same time. Three of these include subscriptions to our local fine arts museum, zoo and natural science museum.

For one off date nights or date days, we’ve gone to soccer games, taken a cooking class on how to make pasta from scratch and attended our local baseball games here in town.

The point of all this being, while they aren’t crazy extravagant, these are ways that we can go out, have fun without ending up at a dinner with not too much to say because we’re exhausted, or have said it. We’re also, like many couples, always talking about work.

So in order to combat a few married-now date issues, I’ve considered a few of the following needs.

  1. I don’t always want to plan the date. So I need to provide my mister with places that I’d like to go, without being so blunt. Enter Pinterest. I’m really happy I can pin places I’d like to see and go to an easy spot and not have to specifically say it all. It’s like when he watches me shop and takes a mental note, but a little more virtual and a little more forward.
  2. He’s tired and doesn’t always want to leave our suburb. Easy peasy on this one. There are a million emails and newsletters about our town that have events, I suggest getting on their mailing list and makign sure you know what’s going on in your area. Date night isn’t about mountains of effort, it’s about stripping away work and laundry and being with your partner.
  3.  
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RePost: November is for Couples | Relationship tip: Keeping the sparks flying – A Cup of Jo

I really love this idea. I know I have a few date nights coming up, what do you think of this? If I drive then sometimes I’m tired after the date and hate driving home. But I think that “whole ten minutes” may be worth it to give something that sends sparks flying a try.

We’ll see.

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We meet at our apartment first. Toby’s running around, we’re getting dressed in front of each other, I pull on tights (or Spanx!), we share the bathroom and brush our teeth side-by-side, we ask each other Married People Questions: Can you pass me the deodorant? Is my shirt wrinkled? Will you buzz up the sitter? Wait, I need to pee…

http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2012/03/marriage-tip-keeping-sparks-flying.html

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Dates with my Husband: Rewriting Romance for Dummies

First off, Sir LAA is far from dummy. FAR FROM. But I read this cute little gift book, since he mentioned it in a jokey way, and felt like I could come up with my own a little better.

Put out a dress – do not underestimate the thought put into walking into the door, and telling your woman “Put this on, we are going out.” This, I’m totally for. By the way, if you’re looking for a dress. This would do. Or this. Or these pieces even.

Bring home Chinese food – yep, this classic can work. Well, suffice it might take a call to say, “Don’t make dinner.” – then you can arrive home with that perfectly healthy meal of veggie stir fry and win her over with a night on the couch and a good movie.

Step out of your own box – yep. If you think she’ll like it but it’s not particularly your thing. Try it. Trust me, nothing will kill you and it scores huge points every time.

Write a love letter. Any paper. any length. any thing. Don’t ask her to pick up something at the grocery store or run you an errand, just tell her how you feel.

Take her photos – no girl feels prettier than when you need to remember the moment forever. snap. flash. done.

Post to facebook – never hurts to say something in front of the entirety of your friends. Means you aren’t afraid to show your feelings.

Flowers. Flowers always work. duh. Know the flowers from your wedding? or her favorite flower? or need to take her to a dance and get her a corsage. At the office (again, those public affirmations of affection…)

Get creative. Throw something into her work bag.

Breakfast. Something about the effort of dragging yourself out of bed to deliver something lovely (as easy as coffee, as complicated as eggs benedict or this…)

Dinner. Cook together. Cook for her. We don’t care. Sometimes life times spent planning dinner always needs a little ruffle in it and the effort taking it off our plate feels amazing. Even if I had something on the menu already, take the recipe out of my hands and tell me you’ll take care of it.

Pack a lunch. Admittedly, I eat the same thing for lunch and breakfast every day. Maybe once in a while, I could see what you’d design for me instead.

Pick up the phone. randomly. if I don’t pick up, leave a voicemail. I just want to hear your voice at a time I don’t expect it. it makes my day.

Photo texts. I love giggling at things that pop up on my phone unprompted. Whether it’s the latest meme joke, or a smile, or dare I say, video of singing, it truly brightens a girl’s day to look down and be loved.

Dance. Oh dear. the dancing. Yum.

The art of “I thought you’d like this.” – I’m always shopping for my partner. Whatever the next holiday is. Or the next “random day of love showing” is. I love having little gifts or things I pick up in the grocery store line. Star wars. You love it. Don’t lie. 🙂

Plan something. Anything. Make me an event.

Surprising me. At any time. with any thing. or any gesture. Random hugs, kisses and love. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Writing yourself the note to make sure you do any of this. It’s on my calendar. every day. Love my partner. Some how.

There. Romance for Dummies who are Smart.

The end.

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