Thanksgiving at Our House

Mj and his very first Turkey
Can I really say that I hosted Thanksgiving if I didn't cook a single thing?  Well, it was my house and I did do a lot of dishes and cleaning up so maybe that counts?  Everyone knows that my husband is the chef in our house so I don't think anyone was surprised that he did the whole shebang on his own.  It's also no surprise that it was his idea that we host in the first place.  Now that we have a house he just couldn't wait to do it for the first time.  I had no doubts that we he could pull it off.  His dad is in town so he was off Wednesday.  By the time I got home from work and the gym he'd done most of the cooking with a few things left over in addition to the Turkey left for the day of. 
Yummy Thanksgiving Day Buffet
Me and my nephew
We had 7 people over, so a total of 9.  There was so much food!!  My mom  brought some appetizers, potato salad, asparagus, macaroni and cheese and sweet potato pie.  My sister brought deviled eggs and greens.  Mj made everything from scratch including the cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, bread, sweet potatoes, lemon cake, cinnamon swirl cake and then of course the turkey.  And I, along with everyone else gobbled it all up.  Dinner was hot and ready by 5pm.   Way different then the debacle that was last year's Thanksgiving.
My sister and I in the middle of a dance battle
I didn't think I overdid it...until dessert.  The cinnamon cake was delicious.  By the time I finished it off with ice cream I was stuffed!!  Then, we all had fun with Dance Central 2 on X Box Kinect.  Everybody tried it at least once.  I was so full that I could barely move by this time so I'll blame my total lack of coordination with the dance moves on that.

I really enjoyed spending time with family.  It was a great Thanksgiving and now we have tons and tons of leftovers.  I don't know how we will ever eat it all!  Our refrigerator is packed to the brim and that means no cooking for either one of us for a while.

40 Years

Me and the rents on my wedding day
I don't know the origins of it but there are designated traditional wedding gifts for every anniversary year from 1-75.  I don't think I'll live long enough to be with my husband for 75 years but if by some miracle I did, then I know that our gift to each other that year is supposed to be diamonds.  Year 3 is leather, year 6 is candy, year 15 is crystal and year 30 is pearls.  According to the list year 40 is a Ruby.  My parents just celebrated their 40th anniversary and a month ago my mom was thisclose to giving my dad a kidney.  Now that is off the charts awesome in terms of a gift right?  An organ from your very own body is way more precious then diamonds.  It is the ultimate gift of life and health.  My mom was a match and right in the middle of the testing process.  It turns out she didn't have to donate but she was willing and ready to do it.  

On October 24th they got the call.  My mom picked up the phone and the lady said, "Does your husband still want a kidney?"  My mom said, "YES."  A donor kidney had finally became available and by 7:00am they were at the hospital and my dad was getting tested and prepped for transplant surgery.  It took longer then we thought it would; about 5 hours.  My dad pulled through with flying colors.  He was in ICU for a day then got moved to his regular room.  Just one week after surgery he got to go home.  The doctors said the kidney was "lazy."  My dad was really disappointed to still have to do dialysis even after the long awaited healthy kidney but we hoped that it would start doing it's job very soon and it did.  On November 9th he was taken off of dialysis.  No more would he have to spent 4 hours a day 3 days a week hooked up to a machine to do what his kidneys no longer would.  He actually has three kidneys now.  Turns out they actually leave the non working ones in and just add the new one. 

Now there are doctors appointments several days a week and a stock pile of pills that need to be taken in addition to his insulin.  My mom took off work and has been right there by his side taking care of him and helping him manage just as she has been through this entire process.  Just as she has been for the last 40 years.  In sickness and in health, through good times and bad.  I can't count how many times I shook my head in anger over things that were going on in that relationship but my mom's love for him has never wavered; and despite actions that may speak to the contrary neither has his for her.  My mom is as forgiving as she is generous and my dad is as loveable as he is stubborn.  When you love someone like that you will do anything to save their life.  You are selfless if a little selfish because not only will you do what it takes to make sure that person is okay but you also can't bear to imagine a world in which they do not exist and want to keep them with you.  My dad feels healthier and more energetic then he has in a long while.  He needs to keep up the exercise and eating right.  This is a new lease on life and he need not waste it.  Not only for himself but for the people who love him.  I don't like to think of my parents getting older.  For my whole life they've just always been there and that's how I want it to stay.   I'd like to think that they will be here forever.  Just as I'd like to think that my husband and my sisters and anybody else I care about will be too.   

Forty years with Mj.  I'm all signed up...I just don't want it to fly by too fast.  The 40 year anniversary traditional gift is Ruby, the modern day gift is a Garnet and if he needed an organ I would give it to him.  What will we look like in 40 years?  What kind of twists and turns will our relationship have taken?  How many date nights, weekend getaways and movie nights will there have been?  How many disagreements?  Life is just so precious.  And so is love.  We are not promised tomorrow so while we are here we need to be thankful for what we have, live and love as hard as we can, while we still can.  

20 + 10 Birthday Party

All dressed up and ready to go
Me and the beautiful Birthday Girl
Another good friend of mine entered the 30 something club.  Her Birthday is actually Thanksgiving Day but she had her party on Saturday night.  Instead of going out she invited all her friends to her parents house and we all celebrated with her.  Months ago Mj planned to attend a college football game with his friends.  Then, I find out that this party is on the same night.  Oh no!!  He made a half hearted attempt to keep his original plans but when it came down to it he knew how sad his wife would be if she had to go without her main squeeze so those plans basically fell apart and I got to have him for my date.  It was a really fun party.  There were plenty of alcoholic beverages to choose from, good music, good food and a delicious Red Velvet cake.  She hired a guy to make street tacos and they were to die for.  Let's just say I ate way too many to mention here without total embarrassment and shame.

Me and Mj
You can either be sad about turning 30 or you can get over it and just celebrate and that's what she did.   Which got me wondering what I did for my 30th and I actually can't really remember.  I don't think I did much of anything at all and I vaguely remember being kind of bummed out.  Hind sight is 20/20.  If I knew then what I know now then I wouldn't have been sad about the Big 3-0 at all.  My 20's kinda sucked and the 30's have been way better then I ever expected.  Like me, Bianca has spent her 20's dealing with some relationship challenges and I hope she finds her Mr. Right in her 30's like I did.

Friday Randoms

  • On the way to work one day I saw a guy brushing his teeth in his car.  I was really curious about where he would spit so I kept checking him out in my rear view.  He opened the door, spit in the street, checked his teeth in the mirror and then did a little bit more brushing.  I also saw a girl putting on make up in her car.  I put on my juicy tube lip gloss every day in the car on my way to work and I've done a few touch ups in the past but she did the whole nine yards.  Sitting there in traffic on the freeway I watched her put on foundation, blush, eye shadow, mascara and then whip out a brush and start brushing her hair.  Very entertaining.
  • I saw a guy at the gym wearing flip flops.  I've never been able to figure that one out.  What kind of work out are you planning to do in flip flops?  And if you drop a weight on your foot you are in big trouble.  I think it should be a rule that you can't wear flip flops...or a tweed suit.  Yep.  I saw a guy in a tweed suit on the exercise bike.  He even had a hat on.  You know those cool ones with the brim?  And while I'm at it why would anyone want to work out in denim?
  • I've been getting unsolicited junk mail at work.  That's weird in and of itself because I don't use this address for anything but even weirder is that it's from Camel.  The cigarettes.  I love coupons and if I smoked these would be awesome but considering I've never even thought about smoking, getting them at work is just annoying and offensive.
  • Have you seen the new Splenda Essentials adds?  It's Splenda with added Vitamin B, Anti-Oxidants and Fiber.  I use Splenda and plenty of it because I need flavor in my coffee and am not willing to take in the calories of "real" sugar even though I have read all kinds of warnings that it could be hazardous to my health.  I'll gladly take the Vitamins, it just strikes me as strange to put Vitamins in a food product that has no nutritional value and could actually hurt your health.  It's like putting Calcium in Donuts. Hey, I wish they would!!  Then, I could feel better about eating them.
  •  We had five people over to our house to hang out and watch a pay per view fight over the weekend.  All five of them had i phones and you know we got 'em too.  The i Phone is pretty catching.
I LOVE the idea long sleeved dresses because I'm always cold
    • I've been a bit of a shopaholic lately.  I purchased 4 pairs of boots since last month!  The last two are Audrey Brooke here and BCBG here from DSW.  Are DSW and Aldo gonna pay my bills?  No.  So why do I keep giving them my money?  I also have bought 2 sweaters and a bunch of long sleeved shirts for Fall.  I'm done!  I swear.  At least I thought I was until a fellow blogger Natalie turned me onto this gem of a website.  Thanks Natalie!!  My original intention was to strike it from the record book and pretend I'd never seen it but instead here I am posting about it and saving the link on my very own blog.  Francesca's Collections has the kind of pieces I've been looking for and can't seem to find in the stores and they even put together outfits for you and set it up so you can easily buy every piece in the outfit to complete your look.  It's perfect for a style challenged person like me.  Just look at that adorable dress; speaking of which I have hardly any dresses.  The prices aren't bad and it turns out they even have a store near where my sister lives.  I MUST resist this store until after the new year.  I've done enough damage already.   
    Thanksgiving is in the air!  We are going grocery shopping this week to get everything we need.  We are going to a big 3-0 birthday party on Saturday night so thank goodness the rain isn't going to start until Sunday when I will be at home all day recovering.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

    The Trash Man

    My husband is not really into the whole household cleaning and organization thing.  He is amazing in the kitchen and will cook up a great dinner or bake cookies in a heart beat but it can be difficult to get him to straighten up or pick up after himself.  He can be forgetful too.  Sometimes I have to remind him over and over to do certain things before he remembers to do it. 

    There is one particular thing however that he does unprompted and without any reminders by me.  Rain or shine like nobodies business he is on it when it comes to taking out the trash.  I have never had to remind him about this chore as long as we have lived together.  In fact, I never even specifically asked him to...he just magic.  When our little recycling trash bin just outside the garage door fills up he dumps it.  Come Monday morning as I lay in bed still hitting snooze I can hear the familiar scraping of him wheeling those trash bins out to the curb before he goes to work.   By the time I roll up to the house later that day after work those bins are back inside the fence next to the house right where they belong.  More often then not he forgets to put a trash bag in the can but bless his heart, he will dump the kitchen trash and will even walk it outside to the trash bins if I pull it out and leave it next to the door.  What is it with men and trash? It's just about the manliest household chore around.  I wish cleaning the bathroom or dusting the blinds were considered manly.  I can hear it now.  No honey, you better not be cleaning the bathroom again.  You know that's my job.  Not likely, but the trash is their domain and you would be hard pressed to find a man who does not believe it is his inherent duty to handle it.  And thank goodness because I have so many other things to do and remind him about so I really appreciate that I don't ever have to haul those stinky heavy trash bins to the curb.

    When it comes to trash I can sit back, relax and know that it's being taken care of.  Just as soon as I finish cleaning the house.

    Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders 6

    Training Camp [Photo Source:]
    It's the same thing every year.  It starts with a cattle call mass audition.  Hundreds of hopefuls from all over show up to collect what is hopefully their lucky number and a chance to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.  The first round of auditions is freestyle dancing.  The bunch is narrowed down to about 100 and those select girls are invited back for another round of auditions the next week and are given quite a choreography challenge.  They learn a fast paced routine and then are expected to perform it 45 minutes later-including prep time to reapply the make up that is now dripping down their faces.  The girls who make it past that go back for yet a 3rd day of auditions the next week.  This time they are joined by the returning veteran cheerleaders.   They start the day with an intensive round of interviews and then they perform an original routine for the judges and then the routine they learned the week before.  Those who stand out and are good enough to make it past that last grueling day of auditions are invited to Green Valley Ranch four weeks later and into the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders training camp.  This is where the hard work REALLY begins.  Daily three hour practices, uniform fittings, make overs, final team cuts and about 50 dance routines later the chosen few will make the team and take that official DCC group photo.  It's hard work but it seems so fun and exciting.

    I watched Season Four but missed it last year and Six seasons in it's still the same cycle just a new set of girls.  A whole new group of big hair, full make up and gyrating bodies with the dream of being a DCC.  I'm still lovin' it!  I love dance and I'm totally fascinated by the process.  Kelli and Judi don't miss anything cutting girls left and right reducing many to tears.  They make comments like, Are those cankles or just muscular ankles? She's got those thick arms and What a shame that her body is so short because she's so beautifulShe's a little thick and stocky.  They are brutal.  I can't even imagine the pressure of trying to learn a dance and perform it soon after with their eyes boring into me while they take notes and talk into a voice recorder.  If you get called into their office after a practice watch out.  One girl was told not smiling while she dances could get her cut while two others were confronted with questionable pictures found on the Internet and asked to do some explaining.

    Where do these girls come from?  Every girl that made it into camp has this long flowing hair and giant eyes.  If your tummy is not flat as a washing board the coaches will not hesitate to let you know and you'd better fix it or risk being cut.  Looks are equally as important as dancing ability.  Back in my cheerleader days I was actually coordinated enough to learn choreography but I was never really a strong dancer.  I might be able to fit my booty into those tiny shorts but never in a million years even if I trained eight hours a day I don't think my dancing skills would ever be good enough to make that prestigious team...or any NFL dance team for that matter!  Plus, I don't think I have nearly enough hair...or boobs.  Hey, maybe that would make a really good reality TV show to see if such a thing would even be possible for a total non dancer like myself.  Nope, I don't think being an NFL Cheerleader is in the cards for me but I can certainly live out my fantasy by watching this show.

    It comes on Friday's at 10 pm Eastern on the C.M.T channel.

    The Real World?

    The Real World, New York, Season 1 (1992) [Photo Source:]
     There was a time when I did not miss an episode of The Real World.  It was the first reality show of it's kind spawning an entire Reality TV genre back in 1992.  I watched enthralled by this concept of a show about real people living real lives.  I remember when those seven strangers picked to live in a house had dreams like dancing, modeling and acting.  They had stories to tell, things to do and causes to support.  Sure there were altercations and drama drove ratings but it felt like the show at least had a story to tell.  My oh my how it has changed.  Now, they just hang out, get in fights, party, drink, have sex in hot tubs and quite often get kicked off of the show.  Most of them really should be ashamed of themselves.  How do you hold your head high in public and go out for a job in the actual "Real World" after having something like that broadcast on television?.  Well, maybe you don't and that's why you see so many former cast members recycled through the spin off challenge shows for years and years on end.  Hey, maybe they have the right idea.  It has to be funner then a regular old office job. 

    I quit watching it after the outrageous first Las Vegas season (Season 12, 2002) and gave it one more try when it moved to San Diego in 2004.  Just because I live here.  That was the ONLY thing that got me to tune in.  They even had them hold down jobs to try to give them some sort of purpose I guess, but even that could not disguise the overall pointlessness of it.  Well, the show came back to San Diego for it's 26th season.  Yes, Season 26!!! I thought it would be cool to see my city on TV again and maybe get back into it so I thought about watching it for about 2 seconds, twice.  But ultimately, I could not bring myself to do it.  I've been known to enjoy more then a few ridiculous reality TV shows but I have my limits.  If I want to see that kind of drama I can watch Basketball Wives which is at least made up of people my age instead of teenagers.  The last "coming soon" clip of The Real World I happened to see featured several of the cast members wearing boxers and physically fighting each other.  That's when I knew I made the right decision to skip it and every other season that I haven't watched.  I've pretty much"aged out" of it.

    What I really loved most about Reality TV when they first started to pop up everywhere was the chance to take a peak inside lives of regular people similar to or very different from myself.  I find it interesting to see how other people live and to watch their stories play out.  MTV still has some reality shows I like.  I'm really enjoying the Chelsea Settles Show.  I also watch I Used to Be Fat, True Life and Teen Mom.  I like watching shows about people pursuing dreams, embarking on a new journey or overcoming an obstacle.  I am still a huge long time fan of America's Next Top Model with all of it's cat fights.  I have really gotten into Dance Mom's where the mom's are yelling and arguing constantly.  Those shows are still full of people behaving badly but at least it's about people DOING something with some sort of story to tell.  Now they often just cast a bunch of people together who either don't know each other or don't like each other, hope for lots of drama  and call it a show.  Which works out fine in the end because drama sells and there really is something to suit the tastes and tolerance levels of all ages and interests.  And you don't get to season 26 of any show without doing something right.

    You know you are old when you can no longer stomach the raunchy antics and immature behavior displayed by the typical cast of The Real World.  There may have been something real about it when it first started out but not anymore; or maybe I'm just too old to see it.

    New Clothes or New Technology?

    Aldo "Perchinski" [Photo Source: ]
    I'm not that person who is always up on the latest technology.  I got a DVD player when I could no longer find VHS at Blockbuster and I got my first smart phone last year.  When this whole H.D. thing started to take off I thought it was cool and all but not something that I really needed or even wanted and insisted that having just one Blue Ray player in the house was plenty.  I mean, "What's the difference anyways?"   
    Steve Madden "Branddy"  [Photo Source:]
    I don't spend much time thinking about gidgets and gadgets.  I'm more likely to be thinking about those Steve Madden boots that I saw at Macy's and I've had my Fall shopping list set since last year.  I very excitedly checked some clothing items off my list at Kohl's with a 20% off coupon.  Then I just had to get the knee high boots I've been wanting.  When I get it in my head that I want something I'm on a mission.  I researched, bought and returned boots for a week until I got the perfect two pairs.  The Aldo's were not on sale unfortunately, but I had a $20 off coupon for the Steve Madden's.
    Samsung HD TV
     Mj on the other hand is not concerned about his wardrobe.  He rarely ever is.  Every now and then he peruses the mall for a new pair of jeans which he has yet to find but that's about it.  He's not a technology nut but he's definitely into technology and when he wants something he's on a mission too.  About a month ago he started talking more and more about a new TV.  Why? I asked.  We have two nice flat screens of decent size already but he wanted a slightly bigger one.  He got more focused last week then talk turned into action.  Like me when I'm shopping for something specific he did his research and checked out a few stores and the next thing I know there is a brand new larger TV sitting in our living room.  It has a so called infinity edge.  There is a very thin silver border so the picture just seems to go on for well....infinity.  The first movie we watched on it was Bad Teacher.  I could see every single pore and wrinkle in Cameron Diaz's skin and it looked like they were actually in our living room.  It is the most crystal clear, realistic TV screen I've ever seen.  Did I mention that it has 3D?  We haven't tested it out yet and I don't know how often we'll even use it but apparently you can't get one without it these days.  He even downloaded the app that allows him to turn his i Phone into a remote control.    

    I've pretty much loved every bit of technology I supposedly don't need and didn't necessarily want.  I can now see the huge difference between HD and non HD.   If I watch a DVD that's not in Blue Ray it looks "funny."  I absolutely LOVE my i Phone and don't know how I ever got along without it.  So what's better and more exciting?  New clothes or new gadgets?   You get to wear clothes and they can be purchased relatively inexpensively.  When Mj runs out and gets the hot new thing at Best Buy does he get the same shopping high that I do when I find the perfect sweater?  Maybe so...and I must admit that TV is beautiful.  Did I really just call a TV beautiful?  My natural inclination is to love clothes and profess that I can do without the latest and greatest in technology but in reality I guess I like 'em both.

    This just so happens to be the 3rd TV he's bought in as many years.  I didn't even ask him how much it cost.  I don't even want to know but I bet it was way more then my Fall shopping....for the last several years.  I'll stick to lusting after clothes and shoes.