Friday musings

Observations and stuff I think is important:
  • Always bring the shoes you are going to wear when you get your pants tailored. If you don't you might end up with high waters. Or a flood.
  • Ed Hardy stuff is just fugly. Unless you use it be purposely flashy.
  • Making a decision on bedding is seemingly impossible. Hiring a decorator is looking mighty tempting.
  • Teaching a dog to stop sleeping on your feet and on a dog bed on the floor is almost impossible.
  • It's still possible to have a disaster zone of a house even with only a grown up and a toddler living there.
  • Amazon.com should pay royalties for those people who order from them the most.
  • iPhone love is still there and still hanging on strong.
  • Mailing care packages across the country to your 13-year-old is so fun. Especially when you pack freshly baked cookies and a new pair of shoes.
  • It's possible to be addicted to pretty underthings and need to throw away some of them because the drawer is filled to capacity.
  • You've reached new heights when you watch the very last DVR'd show and feel the world closing in on you because you have to watch live TV.


Wouldn't you know it

So I had this great plan to redo my bedroom . I bought all the new bedding and it's currently sitting in the original packaging on my bedroom floor until I get the surge of energy to paint the room and get to it already. I admit I've been lazy in the makeover department.

Then an intervention happened. I got the new glossy 167 page Pottery Barn catalog. Normally Pottery Barn is too beige and bland for me but something happened to them and they added brightly colored gorgeous bed linens and I'm torn.

One the one hand I have this perfectly (nonreturnable) lovely set of bed linens and a plan to go with these linens. And on the other hand I have found bed linens that I feel like are more my style. What to do?!

Help me choose please.
Here is the original bedding. It's a lovely shade of a blue/green and I think it's perfectly acceptable. I purchased a lovely set of high count crisp white sheets to break up the color a bit.
Then I saw this set and I just love the patchwork with the shades of blue and green. I doggy-eared the page in the Pottery Barn catalog within seconds of seeing this set.

Then! Then I went to the website and fell in love with the large, bright flowers and the crisp white in the background.

Then I stumbled across this and I also love the big beautiful floral print that's not to sweet looking. I'm also drawn to the oranges.

So you see, readers. I'm torn and I don't know what to do. Help, please. What would you choose?


His skin color doesn't really matter to me

When I stood in line to cast my vote just a few short months ago, I didn't base it on skin color. I put no thought into which candidates matched my skin tone the best or which one had the same hair texture as my own. I didn't check the box because I wanted to elect a black or white or mixed man. I voted for who would change the United States that my children live in.

When Barack Obama won the Presidency just a few short months ago I didn't care that he was African American. I didn't care what shade of brown he was. I didn't care that his children and wife are African American. It simply doesn't matter to me. Obama doesn't represent a color to me. He represents something much larger than a shade on a color wheel.

When I watched the inauguration this morning I stayed true to my non-caring ways. The color of my President's skin makes no difference to me. Every time I heard this was a momentous occasion I nodded my head because truly it was a momentous occasion because we had a renewed spirit, not a skin color change. I just don't care that my President is black. I don't care.

I do care that he's brought young and old together, rich and poor, hopeful and the destitute. I care that people who have never paid attention to their government are now paying a little closer attention. I care that President Obama represents a new beginning, a new change and a new face with a fresh set of eyes. I care that we, as a nation, have finally looked past the skin color and gotten to the core of a man.

Skin color makes no difference to me, I just simply don't care about it.



First, thanks to all of you who commented to win a $25 gift card of your choice to Target, iTunes, Barnes & Noble or Ebay. My official way of selecting you was to Instant Message a friend and ask her to pick a number between 1 and 21. She was totally bummed that she didn't pick her own number but I'm excited to reveal the winner, Mrs. R!! She just recently moved across the country and I think this will help her cheer up a little. Spending a few dollars is always a great little pick-me-up. I just need to know which gift card you'd like and where to mail it to. My e-mail address is sunflower99 [at] swbell dot com. Congrats!

Also, I have a story about another winner. Me.

My family went on a week long cruise several years ago when Derick was younger. He was just old enough that I let him explore around the ship alone if I knew where he'd be. If you've never been a cruise I'll tell you that they are constantly giving away things and having presentations and the like.

One day Derick attended a jewelry presentation (out of boredom maybe?) and he entered to win a diamond ring. My mom happened to be there and she knew he had entered. After sitting with my mom for a while I suppose the droning on about clarity and cut got the best of Derick and he headed to the pool. Shortly thereafter they drew names for the diamond ring and Derick actually won. But of course he had to be present and he was busy gallivanting and soaking up the sun as kids do.

He told me later, after he found out that he'd been called on, that he was going to give me the ring if he won it. And even though I was a loser of the diamond ring I was totally a winner that day.


Rant and a Rave


Today was my first official day to start working what will be my normal work hours. It's tax season which is my source of income and irritation. Instead of coming in to work at a leisurely 10am I now have to be in my office at 9am. Now for those of you who get up at 4am and drive 3 hours to work and still manage to make it there by 7, good for you. I'm not that person.

I set my alarm for exactly one hour earlier than I had gotten up yesterday. I figured I'd keep the routine the exact same and I'd sail through the morning. Big fat HELL NO. First, I hadn't factored in the traffic. Apparently A LOT of people need to be at work when I do and there is only one road that leads out of my subdivision which means that every single commuter was waiting at the same stop sign I was.

I also did not factor in the train that may or may not stop on the tracks for 10 minutes. I was on the ass end of that traffic line also.

Also, school zones. SHIT. I forgot about school zones. I don't want to run the little kiddies over so I obey and slow it down, but it puts me even behinder (it's my new word.)

In short, I now have to rise and shine an hour and a half earlier which means I'll be getting up at 6:30am and dear readers, I just don't understand how anyone can get up at 6:30am and expect to be pleasant.


Car dancing. Have you car danced in a while? Last night I was driving home from the gym, my muscles all tired from an extra long weight training session and the new Pink song "So What" came on and my one non-driving hand flew up in the air and started flailing around and my torso started gyrating in my seat and I was totally getting down in the car.

I hadn't car danced in forever and man it was so much fun. I was just glad that it was totally dark outside so no one could see me and call the paramedics because they thought I was having a seizure or simply a crazy lady.

For fun I used to get in the car and drive nowhere with the windows down and the music blaring and car dancing to whatever song happened to come on. I miss those carefree days, but it was awesome to get a taste of that for just a few minutes.


Thanks to everyone who wished me Happy bloggiversary!! I'll be choosing a name on Monday so there's still time to tell your friends to come leave a comment and maybe win a prize!


I am not detail oriented

Someone commented on a blog post weeks ago telling happy bloggiversary and I was all, Huh? Smoking crack, what? They must have me confused with someone else, I thought. I distinctly remember looking recently and I had over 100 days left.

Uh, so apparently I was wrong. I missed my very own one year bloggiversary! Technically it wasn't my real bloggiversary because I started a lame-o MySpace blog on December 27, 2004. But then I moved over to a real blog platform October 13, 2007. So basically I'm 4 MONTHS behind on celebrating my bloggiversary.

If you haven't noticed, I am not that into the little details. Obviously.

In celebration of having my little corner of the Internets for over a year I'd like to do my very first giveaway. You leave me a sweet comment, or a nasty one if you so choose, and in turn I will select one random person to send a prize to. But please note, if you leave a nasty comment I'll have to send you something like a lump of coal or a dirty diaper from a two-year-old and no one wants one of those.

The prize will be one gift card in the amount of $25 to one of the following places: Target, iTunes, Barnes & Noble or Ebay, your choice.

So there ya have it. Happy late bloggiversary to MEEEEEEEEEEE!


Getting it off my chest and then putting it right back where it was

I stress about posting blogs which makes it no fun for me. I stress that I don't write well enough. I worry that the few readers I do have will roll their eyes when they read what I write. I cringe when I see I only have 2 comments on a blog post when I've spent a long time writing something. I know I don't write that great, not enough to have hundreds of followers and it gets to me. Sure, my Mom and Grandma tell me I write well, but they are required to tell me those things, right?

No more. I'm tired of stressing about perfect grammar, spelling and punctuation. It's not that important to me in the grand scheme of things. Why would it be? It's just a waste of my time to worry about things I have so very little control over. I have no intention of making a career of writing so why on earth does it matter?

Hi, my name is Kristie and I don't write that well and I talk about things that, for the most part, don't matter to others, but that matter to me. There. I said it.

On to bigger and better things.

Since last Wednesday I have been eating mostly raw foods. The #1 reason I choose to do this was because I ate so unhealthily while I was gone for a week. I was away from home and it threw my off balance and basically I survived on junk food. But I was hoping that as an added bonus I would lose a pound or two.

Oh hell no, is what my body said to losing a few pounds. I actually gained almost 3 pounds. EATING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. What the hell. Granted I ate some nuts and raisins and avocados and drank some fruit juice but it's not like I ate 7 avocados loaded with 3 cups of nuts and washed it down with a gallon of fruit juice. I am so confused. Why is my body being so hateful to me?

On the plus side I do feel lighter and less chemically laden from all the junk I had eaten. I enjoy salads even more and I found some really good recipes for raw foods that I plan on using again and again. I've found the love for green smoothies that I never thought I'd find. Who knew that adding greens to a smoothie could taste so good and be so healthy.

I'm curious to know if any of you have done any raw food cleanses or if you have a raw food recipe you'd like to share. Or maybe you just want to tell me that salads are the devil. Whatever you want, I'm not picky.


Kristie + New Years Resolutions = FAIL

I try and make a point to never make New Years resolutions because I know me and I know that the length of time I last with my resolution is about the same length of time I keep most men around. Hey, wait, should my new years resolution should be to keep a man around? Meh, that's too much.

Moving on!

I have one single new years resolution. It encompasses many different areas of my life. It can be as complicated or as simple as I feel like making it. But it is something I must follow through with or I will be breaking my resolution. It's such a simple thing, but I struggle with it everyday. It's time to stop making life harder for myself and get on with the being a grown up.

My one and only resolution for the year 2009 is to stop procrastinating. I put things off and set them on the proverbial shelf only to come back to a larger mess than I started with. Classic example: Yesterday I walked by my large bookcase in my living room and saw that a book had fallen to the floor and instead of picking it up and putting it back where it belonged I lazily pushed it aside with my big toe. It's still sitting there right now but now the cover is bent. Seriously, how hard would it have been to bend over and pick the stupid book up?

I often set important work things aside that I really should do at that moment but for some reason I just can't talk myself into just getting it over with. When I am faced with the very last moment to complete a work task I always get it done, but boy does it take some internal wrestling to make my brain get to it already. I always feel better when I get a project done or even a small task and I sit and wonder why I just didn't do it earlier when I have the chance to.

In short, I'm going to stop being such a lazy ass. I work more efficiently under pressure so I think I let things build up until they just have to be dealt with and I am left with no choice. The other thing is that I think I work better under pressure but maybe if I just stop putting things off that I'll find that life runs more smoothly if I just keep on top of things.

This resolution includes my home life, work life and everything in between. It's going to be a struggle to keep up with this new fangeled way of living. But I really think I need to take these new steps to be more successful and less stressed. And the first step to starting this resolution is to pick up that damn book already.


Home sweet home

First I want to thank the three lovely ladies who filled in for me while I was away. Jennie is a wonderful friend and I'm insanely lucky to call her one. Danielle is one of those people that reminds you that there are excellent quality people still in the world. Jess has the kindhearted spirit that just makes me calmer. Thank you ladies, I really appreciate you stepping in for me.

This past week ran the gamut of emotions. Taking your 13-year-old son 1,300 miles away to live with his Dad just plain 'ol sucks. I saw his new home, met his new teachers, took him to his nearest Walmart to get school supplies and snacks, admired the mountain top view from his home, and cried buckets when his new school denied him access to be a student because of the bureaucracy that exists. (It's still a work in progress to get him in school. But it's even more delayed because of the bad weather there and school's being closed.)

We had some good times during our week together. We played many games of Scrabble, one of which I won using the word 'sex'. We had our tarot cards read by my aunt and laughed with her because her neighbors were so loud on New Years Eve that our butts were vibrating in our chairs. We ate takeout pizza and overpriced Italian food. We spent lots of time at the Book Loft in German Village in Columbus, Ohio. We got lost about a million times in the downtown streets of Cumberland, MD. We watched the same Star Wars movie twice and high-fived each other when we drove from one location to another location without needing the GPS to guide us.

I'm gonna miss that kid for sure and I know that won't go away anytime soon but I think what I'm doing is the right thing. Hopefully in 10 years I'll look back and pat myself on the back because I'll know then that this, moving my son so far away, is the best choice. Please, please let that be the case.


The one constant of the whole trip was the permanent knot that took up residence in my stomach. I'm sure that had something to do with the massive amounts of crap I ate. Mix that with stress and you have an unhappy body. Being vegan doesn't always equate to healthy and that was never more the case than on this trip.

In an effort to calm the beast in my belly and rid myself of all the junk I'm attempting a "Kristie" version of a fasting or cleanse diet. I've loaded up on fresh fruits, veggies, 100%juices, raw nuts and teas. I am going to try for a 10 day goal. Who knows if it will work, but it's got to be better than eating Taco Bell and Swedish Fish, right?


Gah! Where is my brain! I forgot to mention that I got to spend some time bargain shopping with the always adorable, Katie. We are bonded forever because we both bought the same makeup bag at J. Crew. Thanks for the company, Katie, I had a blast!


the traveler

Hi, I'm Raven from Just Expressive and Kristie asked me to help out today with a guest post; it's my first, so be gentle okay? Haha!

I wasn't sure what I would post about but decided that the best thing to discuss is what you know, right? Well, what I know right now is TRAVEL. I am chomping at the bit for a vacation. Usually in January, we go to the cabins (Hideout on Horseshoe, New Braunfels, TX) for my birthday, but I think we aren't going to be able to make that happen this year.

Following the birthday trip, we usually take a larger trip later in the year. In the past it's been my home state of Arizona for a friend's wedding (or honestly just because, I will go home any chance I get). Last year it was Orlando for my son's 13th birthday. We had a phenomenal time and I highly recommend ANYONE get to Discovery Cove at least once in your life. It was an amazing experience and worth every penny.

Today I am on my bargain sites searching for this year's deals. I enjoy this process, I enjoy figuring out where we can go for how much money. I enjoy narrowing down our selection and coming up with fun activities that will keep us occupied while we are wherever we are going. Every year we try to go someplace we have never been before or do something we have never done before and this year it seems we are going to try Denver, CO. It's amazing how inexpensive the packages have been this morning. Originally we thought Seattle, but we might wait on that until the Sprog (my son) is a little older so he'll get more out of it, which will offset the cost a bit. I don't want to invest that amount of money for him to be bored. Teenagers can be such a joy ;-)

You may wonder how we are able to go on these trips given the state of our economy right now and I have a relatively simple answer: savings. We have money that is immediately deducted from my husband's paycheck and sent over to a savings account earmarked only for this purpose. Travel is a priority for me and that is the way my husband came up with, to make it happen; I am insanely grateful for the opportunities that has allowed us. Sprog is getting to see much of our country, experience new things and we get such great quality time as a family sans the stressors of real life. We have a very close relationship as a family and I think part of that has to do with these trips (along with the family game nights but that's another post).

I can't wait until June! The more I research, the more excited I get.

So now it's your turn to share! Have you been to Denver? What did you think of it? What activities would you recommend? Do you have another suggestion that I should look at instead? Is travel a priority in your life too? Is it something that is really no biggie? Do you use a travel agent or bargain sites like Hotwire or Expedia?

Anyway, thanks for reading and maybe I'll see you flying the friendly skies somewhere!

edit: I just realized that I never mentioned how I know Kristie. Through travel of course! I met her at BlogHer this year; she was one of my 3 fabulous roommates! I've actually known her online longer than that, through a music site, but I met her in person for the first time in San Francisco, even though we both live in Texas. How funny!


The things we do

Hi there! I'm Danielle from A Little Left of Lost. Kristie asked me to guest blog today, while she is off lounging at a whimsical bed and breakfast. Of course, I agreed, because I am sweet like that, and also a bit of a sucker.

For a bit of background info, Kristie and I went to high school together. I think we have agreed that we knew each other, or rather, knew of each other, but I don't think we hung out or anything. A couple of years ago, I saw her on Myspace (I know, I know). She was dating one of my old friends, and ultimately had the most precious, smooshy-cheeked boy (whom I just want to squeeze) with him. Anyway, she was my only blog reader on Myspace. She read me faithfully, and she convinced me to move my blog to a blogging site (yes, I am so sure all of you will thank her!).

When we first started talking, I couldn't help but feel that she probably had tons of friends, was a very busy woman, who probably didn't need another friend. But that wasn't the case. She asked me to meet her for lunch. She called me randomly. We went shopping at the Funky Monkey. We chatted, texted, and talked to one another while driving home. We've even baked together, and played Wii. And well, here we are!: I'm guest posting, and rambling on! (But really, I adore Kristie, and am so very glad we are friends!) On to the actual post!

I figured I would take this opportunity to blog about something that I couldn't talk about on my own blog. See, I have random family members who have found my blog, and I don't feel so comfortable talking about family stuff now. I know that they would read it and use it as ammo against me. It's just how they are.
Specifically, I'm trying to avoid my paternal cousin and one of my paternal aunts reading this. You see, my father is a complicated man. And my love for him is equally complicated. When I was little, he was 'my hero', and I would say that he was 'as smart as a rocket scientist'. We were close, 9 times out of 10. It was that 1 time out of 10 that really threw me for a loop. My father yelled, ranted, raved, screamed, and then pouted. He said hurtful things. He was irrational, and there was no talking to him during these times. It was hard to get away from him.
It was that 1 time out of 10 that made it hard to love him.
Over the past couple of years, things have become more complicated with my father. Some would call his behavior that of someone going through a mid-life crisis; others would say he appears mentally unstable, and could use some medication. He was fired from his job in 2007. He has made the idea of hiring him pretty difficult for possible employers. He cashed in some of his 401K, started a lawn and remodeling business, and dealt with a handful of stressful situations with his wife.
During this time, he has become more narcissistic, more selfish, more painful to deal with. He says things without thinking of the consequences, of the people he could hurt. He does things without thinking. He seems sad, lonely, angry, and looking for comfort, yet no amount of comfort can ease him.
My father has always been all of these things, but now they are amplified. And now, as an adult, with my own child, I am having to mediate, smooth things over, when my father is around.
I have to hide my alcohol. I have to watch his reactions to my daughter, lest his feelings get hurt by a 3 1/2 year old, and he lash out at her. I have to laugh off things, ignore statements...things I don't find funny; things I don't want to ignore. I have to avoid his phone calls when he is stalking me, because I just don't have the energy to deal with him every damn day. And I have to hear the disappointment in his voice when I say that I have other plans, or that my girl is napping and can't have a visitor right now.
I have to listen to my in-laws say hurtful things about him. I have to watch my husband avoid eye contact with my father, because he knows if he looks at my father, he may say something that will either upset me or my father. He doesn't want to hurt me by hurting my father.
But worst of all, I have to deal with my own emotions, my own reactions, my pain, frustration, fear, and anger. I love my father. I truly do. But my patience is wearing thin. I am sick of doing all of these things. I am sick of feeling this way. I am sick of the situation. The weight of it is excruciating and suffocating.
These are the things we do for those we love. It's unbearable at times. The pain, anger, shame, exhaustion. But I believe that true love is defined as that love we have for someone in spite of all of these things.
I worry about hurting my father. I worry about alienating my other family members by defending my father, especially at times when I don't even feel he deserves the defense. Mostly, I worry that I will one day do this to my own children, without meaning to.
All I can hope for is more strength and patience. All I can do is pray for peace in both his life and in my heart.


Happy 2009 to you!

Well, hello there! And Happy New Year to Momma K readers! I hope you have spent your first day of 2009 eating black-eyed peas or nursing a very well-earned hangover, but definitely not chained to your desk at work. 

Kristie, as you may or may not know, is off on a road trip of sorts, and she has asked me to fill in for her today. And I am Jennie of She Likes Purple, but, what's more, I'm a friend of Kristie's. Not just in the blogosphere -- although those friends are invaluable, I can attest -- but in "real life", as well. I came to know Kristie in a rather unconventional way and you can read about that here or here, but no matter how we came to be friends, I am honored to know her, and she's one of the most fantastic people you could ever hope to meet.

So, I wanted to come here today to talk a little bit about resolutions. I'm torn on how I feel about this new years tradition because on the one, ambitious hand, I like the idea of putting out into the universe either through a blog post or a hand-written list or just a verbal acknowledgment how you'd like to improve yourself and your life in the new year but on the other, more pessimistic hand, I never, ever keep my resolutions. Just never. And why continue on with something with such a pathetic track record. Isn't that one such definition of insanity? Going about doing the same things expecting brand-new results? Each and every year I make "lose the weight!" resolutions and each year wraps up with me shaking my head and declaring "now, next year will be the year!" When will I learn, right? But I still kind of like the tradition, and I've been moved to make a few resolutions for 2009. I thought I'd share them here today and you could share yours with me. 

1. Lose the weight! -- Oh, I kill myself. But, really, this year is slightly different than any other because I won't just be shedding those pesky 10 lingering pounds, I'll be (attempting to) shed the pounds I've packed on since getting pregnant mid-2008. My (first) baby is due this February (wow, next month) and once he's out, all those Reese's peanut butter cups can no longer be blamed on the growing boy in my belly. I have spent the better part of this pregnancy feeling rather uncomfortable in my skin, watching everything just grow and stretch and sigh under the newly-put-on weight, and I'm officially ready to be in shape, with a defined waist. Sure, I may end up disappointing myself yet again, but I hope not. I'm crossing my sausage-like fingers.

2. Maintain some sort of personal identity -- So, I mentioned I'm having a baby, right? Right. And he's my first (other than one very spoiled vizsla), and I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to do as a first-time mother. I have visions of doing it coolly and calmly and I have visions of curling up in a ball in the corner of our house begging for mercy. I imagine I'll be a mix of both, and I'm not all that concerned, really, but I do know I don't want to lose myself in the role. This baby is a gift I prayed for, wanted, tried for, but there are still many things I want to be aside from his mom. I hope when 2009 wraps up, I'll be able to be proud of the way I maintained some semblance of hobbies, interests, desires of my own. We shall see.

3. Embrace that not everyone will or should like me -- This is something we all should learn as early as possible. I'll be 27 in just two days, and I struggle with this daily -- hourly, even! You do not have to like me, and I do not have to do anything differently in order to convince you I'm likable. So easy to type out, right, but so much harder to incorporate into my daily life. I spend too much time worrying about what so-and-so is saying/thinking about me, and it's a curse, really. That stress does nothing for me, and it's about time I let it all go. I don't think it'll be easy, but I do think it'll make me a better wife, friend and mother. 

4. Read more -- I work in publishing, I have a degree in English, I own hundreds of books. Yet, given the choice between a night with my DVR and a night curled up with a good book, I have to admit the book rarely wins. I want my son to enjoy reading, and I think the only way to really pass that passion on is to turn the TV off. 

So, tell me, what do you hope 2009 brings? What do you want to be proud of when the ball drops on 2010? 

Regardless, I hope it's a fantastic year for you and yours. I hope it's your best year yet, in fact.