Thanksgiving Thoughts

The Christmas commercials and holiday music have slowly creeped their way onto the scene for the last few weeks.  I saw a house with lights up last night.  I was among the camp that hated the jump from Halloween to Christmas but then I stopped to think about it and realized I was mostly hating it because other people were.  I love this time of year.  I really love holiday music and lights.  There is only a very short time frame to enjoy them so I have decided that I don't really care if it encroaches upon Thanksgiving.  If Thanksgiving had music I'm sure they'd play it but they don't.  Christmas doesn't stress me out so why should the music and decorations? Even if it's early.  It's usually just a huge jolting reminder of how crazy fast the year has gone by.

We're sending holiday cards this year for the first time ever.  I will be ordering them from  Tiny Prints the minute we get back from our vacation and using what I hope will be a great vacation shot from Maui.  They have so many adorable selections to choose from and as indecisive as I am I think I already know which one I'm going to use.  Right now they are have a Thanksgiving sale offering 25% off every order OR free shipping with promo codes.

We probably go through Peanut Butter faster then a family of 5 with 3 kids.  We are both kind of addicted to Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches and Peanut Butter toast.  We've been eating PBJ's for dinner several nights a week and Peanut Butter toast for a snack or for breakfast.  Mj uses a massive quantity for his.  I'm not sure what we'll be eating for the rest of the week.  I certainly don't plan on grocery shopping or cooking.  I'm already in vacation/holiday mode which means no manual labor of the cooking variety.

Date night at a really cute and tasty restaurant called Kitchen 4141.  Yes, I ate that whole burger and half of dessert
Our anniversary was yesterday on a Tuesday where I spent the day at work then went to the gym and didn't get home until after 7:00pm.  We did go to dinner on Saturday night.  Does that count? After I took my shower I kissed him and said Happy Anniversary.  We don't celebrate anniversaries really and I'm okay with that.  Just being with him every day feels like a celebration and as corny as that sounds it's the truth!   There will be plenty of celebration next week in Maui. 

My bills for the month are paid and it feels nice to have a clean slate so to speak.  I get paid once a month and with the holidays and a bank that always deposits the money a day early my paycheck showed up yesterday.  Most of my bills are done automatically but I paid the few that aren't and wiped out the little credit card balances that were hanging around on different cards.  Now I can start racking it up again with Vacation and Christmas expenses. To be paid off in January of course.

I'm usually among the last man standing at work before holidays. The upside is that it's a chill day and there is no traffic.  As much as I want to be done with work a few days earlier I'm also a hoarder of vacation days so if I'm not going anywhere I'm going to work.  And there I sit dreaming of Thanksgiving break with the few other people who decided to show up.  No work for 12 solid days. I'm almost there!

I am thankful for so many things this year.  First of all, my health.  Without that I'd literally have nothing.  I'm also thankful for all of this traveling I've been able to do over the last three years.  I never imagined I would go to all the places I have and I'm looking forward to more.  I'm thankful for a stable job in what has been a very unstable economy.  I am so thankful for our home.  It may not that dream home with all the bells and whistles that I'd have if money were no option but it's ours, we can afford our mortgage every month and it has everything we need.  When I walk in after a long day of work I'm happy to be there and I feel lucky to call it home.  I'm thankful that my parents and sisters are doing well and I'm thankful for my wonderful husband.  I still get excited to see him every day and I'm so grateful for the amazing relationship we have.

I'm also thankful that it didn't take me hours to write this blog post.  Sometimes I obsess and over think it way too much to the point of the post remaining a draft.  I'm trying to work on letting my thoughts flow, cleaning it up a bit and then hitting publish already!!

That about wraps it up.  Happy Thanksgiving!!

Writing a Novel

Writing a novel is really hard. It's not that I thought it would be easy. It's just that when you hear about every celebrity and their mother coming out with a book it makes it seem like something you just do but there is a lot more to it then that. I don't have a ghost writer and it's fiction. It's a total manifestation of my imagination. I have to make every single thing that occurs in this book come alive. Nothing happens unless I write it. Every word, every action, every character. Every detail. You labor over it. You get stumped and sometimes you can't even bear to look at what you've written anymore. Sometimes you have to take a break and then look at it again with a fresh brain. I knew it would take me a long time to do this. Technically, two years and counting so far. I can only wonder if next year will be the year it's done.

I started writing in September of 2009 and got up to 6,800 words and 27 pages before quitting. I got serious about it again and in January 2012 I had 10,131 words, 42 pages and a goal of writing 15 pages a month for the entire year. I did that and by the end of that year I had 45,104 words, 188 pages. 

2013 year progress:
Jan:   52,267, page 218
Feb:  54,224, page 226
Mar:  58,540, page 245
Apr:   62,697, page 262
May:  65,790, page 276
Jun:   68,928, page 289
Jul:    76,750, page 322
Aug:  79,539, page 334
Sept:  81,623, page 343
Oct: 0
Nov: 86,430, page 364

There are times when I read back and am thrilled with what I've done and other times where I feel like it has to be the worst thing ever written. Aside from Fifty Shades of Grey.  That book was so terrible that it actually made me believe that I could do it.  ut even when I worry that it's horrible I keep going even as I wonder what the point of the whole thing is.  ou put all of this time, energy and effort into this and for what?  It could be a piece of crap when all is said and done.  It might not be but that's the thing. You really never know, especially if you are like me and won't let anyone read it.

I started writing with a basic idea and no outline. I wrote and wrote and wrote just hoping that I could get to 60,000 words which is considered novel length. I got there and that felt like a huge accomplishment but I still had so far to go with my story. I got to a point where I couldn't write anymore because I had no idea where it was going so I had to take a break in October. I was already at 80,000 words so I felt okay about not focusing on word count anymore. It's actually getting kind of long and I need to start wrapping things up. I set time aside to just jot things down and think about what I wanted to happen.  I thought about my main character and what kind of story I wanted to tell. I ended up with a rough outline and then started writing again. It really helps to know the ending before I get there. Now I have some direction and I've been going back and editing certain things based on that. I think I might even have a title in mind now.

The only thing that saves me from quitting sometimes is that I know that no matter what, I just want to see this thing through. If my only goal were getting published and making money then I'd really feel like throwing in the towel on those days where I read it and feel like it's no good, but I don't care if no one ever reads it. I mean, I want it to be good of course but I really just want to finish it. I have no problem with spending hours and hour slaving over this thing even though I have no idea what will become of it because first and foremost I'm doing it for me. I just want to write and finish a novel. That is my only goal in mind at this point. When you are truly doing something for yourself you really can't lose. If anything did come of it that would just be a bonus.

The only thing harder then writing a novel is blogging daily. I failed miserably at that but I'm glad that I even sort of attempted it because now I know for certain what I already thought to be true. It's not for me! I just can't do it. I don't think it's necessary to be in your face every day, plus I just don't have that many ideas! I don't like publishing posts that I feel are kinda whatever slash crappy. I just don't feel good about doing that and that would happen a lot if I were trying to post every day. I'd rather do you a favor and spare you such drivel and myself a favor by not burning myself out on blogging. 

I've been a little shy about it but I've decided that I will publish an excerpt from my novel. I just have to decide which part.

More Apple Stuff

I don't read nearly as much as I used to.  Months ago Mj was showing me all these free books I could get on Amazon.  I found one I liked and then he didn't save it so he went searching for it and found it again.  I don't know what the point was.  I don't have a Kindle and chances are I wasn't going to go out and buy the book in the store.  I should have known that he would make sure I'd get to read that book.

I posted this pic on Instagram and got 17 likes. That's a lot of likes for me.  I normally don't get enough likes to group it together so that it says 17 likes.  You know what I mean?  I usually only have enough so that each one is listed individually.  Anyways.   I may not be very popular but Apple is.  They make stuff that people really like.  Yes, it's expensive.  Yes, they piss people off the way they dole out their new release functions piece by piece to induce customers to shell out money to upgrade to the next best thing.   They are innovative and they make quality products so people line up for everything they have to sell. 

I wasn't always an Apple person.  When Mj met me I had a broke down desk top PC on it's last legs and a $40 cell phone bill from T-Mobile.  I actually really liked that phone.  It was not a smart phone but it was my first cell phone with color on the screen and I liked the way it slid up and down to talk and access the keyboard.  My three years old desktop was slowing down on me and I was stressing out about the cost to renew my anti virus protection.  I renewed it that year but I didn't have to the next because Mj knocked my socks off and sent me a MacBook for my Birthday while he was deployed in Kosovo.  I still remember how exciting and revolutionary it felt to sit on my bed and compute at the same time.  I would have never bought a Mac.  They are too expensive and I am resistant to change.  With an Apple head for a  husband it definitely helped make the transition easier and I found using a Mac is actually pretty simple.

That year my slider phone stopped working and Mj found me a cheapo hot pink razor phone on e Bay to replace it.  Oh, how I despised that phone.  I hated it so much I smashed it to bits with a hammer when I got a new one.  You can see that here.  It was totally non functional and I can't believe how many people had been chomping at the bit to get it in their hot little hands when they first came out.  Why?  It was the worst phone ever.  People used to laugh because Mj had an i phone and I had a crap phone.  That year he surprised me with an iPhone for Christmas.  I said good bye to my crappy razor phone, hello to the smart phone world of Apple and never looked back.  It's the only kind I've ever owned since and it's been perfect for me.

I'm cheap frugal, especially when it comes to technology.  I'm just not willing to spend a lot of money on things I barely understand how to operate anyways.  I'd rather shop.  I probably would have never invested in a Mac and it would have taken me a lot longer to give up that cheap cell phone bill and finally get a smart phone.  I was just thinking that every Apple thing I've ever owned came from Mj and then I remembered my iPod.  That was my first Apple purchase.  Figures it's the one thing I don't use anymore.

Me, with an iPad mini?  It sure is cute but, I don't NEED an iPad.  And that's where Mj comes in.  He's so thoughtful about making sure I have what I need and want even if I won't do it for myself.  He has one and he wanted me to have one too.  He decided to make it an early Christmas present so I can use it when we go on vacation after Thanksgiving.  The day he decides to bring it home just so happens to be the one fluke of a day I got off early and beat him home so it kind of threw off his plans to have it all set up for me.

I love this man to pieces and I am thankful for him every day of my life.  Not just when he's buying me stuff from Apple. 

Las Vegas in November

The first thing I noticed when I got out of bed Saturday morning was my hips.  No headache.  No hangover.  I didn't drink enough for that.  But my hips!!!  Oh my gosh, they were so sore.  My knees were hurting too.  Nothing like having sore hips from dancing all night on a stage to make you feel old.  I got my groove on alright but I paid for it.  At least I can say I got in a work out on our trip.

Mj left while I was still in bed.   He had to be at the bar by10am so he could watch every second of the Bills game.  I walked my old lady hips over to Ross to return the dresses and then met him at Twin Peaks, otherwise known as football heaven.  They have 11 flat screens all together on one wall plus several more scattered throughout the place.  By the time I got there he was a happy camper half way through a pile of wings and a beer.

My parents crashed our Vegas weekend but I didn't mind.  I was glad that they wanted to come.  I booked them into a place waaaaayyyyy down at the end of the strip way past Mandalay Bay.  I actually did try to get them into our hotel but it was booked.  I didn't want to spend the whole weekend with them but we made plans to meet up on Sunday night for dinner and a show.   Mike picked Fogo De Chao for dinner.  It's a Brazilian restaurant with all you can eat meat but he was the only one that chose that option.   I couldn't deal with all that meat in the middle of all the other Vegas eating so I just went with the deluxe salad bar which had a lot more then just salad.   The Cirque Du Soleil shows are really expensive which is why I've only ever seen one.  I hear they are all good so I just picked the cheapest one.  We saw Mystere at Treasure Island and it was a good show.  We got a $100 credit towards the tickets since we did that time share presentation so we basically paid for one ticket. 

We had fun with my parents despite my Dad's shenanigans which were totally expected because we know how he is.  He initially refused to eat at Fogo De Chao because he wasn't going to pay $29.99 for a salad bar. Then he argued with me about how much to tip.  At the show he got busted for filming with his cell phone.  I totally saw it coming since we were in the front row of our section.  I have no idea why he felt it necessary to record it anyways.  My Dad can should I say this.  Difficult.  I love him but he's a handful and we all know this. 

After the show we made the long walk back to our hotel with my parents.  There were people promoting clubs but we were tired and my hips can only handle one club night.  Monday morning we checked out, took my parents to the airport, made a pit stop for food and drove home.  Usually I go during the summer when it's really crowded and over 100 degrees.  Las Vegas in November is about 73 degrees during the day and 50's at night.  Too chilly for shorts but comfortable with jeans and a light sweater.  There was little to no traffic there and back.  We didn't do the pool thing but this was a nice change.  This might be my new favorite time of year to go.  

Dance Your Heart Out

I love Polo Towers.  The location is perfect.  I've been staying there for so long now that it feels homey and familiar.  The lobby is a lobby and not a loud chaotic casino.  After the long drive we didn't do much that night after checking in Friday.  We took a much needed nap before we went out in search of food and a little gambling.  We are both extremely conservative gamblers. We emptied out our change stash at coin star for gambling money which ended up being $170.00 and we came home with $110.00 of it if that says anything!!  We sat down at a slot machines at MGM with $20 and were done within 15 minutes.  I almost lost it all then went back up to $17.00 and called it quits while I was ahead.  He cashed out at $100.

Saturday morning we did a timeshare presentation at our hotel.  I really didn't feel like bothering and was all ready to say NO but they made us an offer I couldn't refuse. How could I say no to $100 bucks?  I'm really bad at turning down free money.  After that we walked the strip and browsed The Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace.  I'm proud of myself for not even wanting to step foot in the giant H & M or Express. I just didn't want to go there and I was glad.  Goodness knows I've spent enough money on clothes this year. We got dinner and then went back to the hotel to rest up for our night out.

Except I didn't really get a chance to rest.  I'm not really sure what I was thinking when I packed my party night outfit.  Well, actually I do know what I was thinking. It's going to be cold.  I don't want to freeze my ass off.  I'm wearing jeans.  Then I got there and I was like, what were you thinking?  Girls don't wear jeans to nightclubs in Vegas.  Not that I have to be like everyone else except maybe I do because I knew that if I didn't feel "right" about my outfit that it would mess up my whole mood.  Off I went to Ross for an emergency shopping trip.  It's really hit or miss there but it was close and I didn't want to spend much money so I went with it.  It took me forever to decide.  I was by myself and reception sucked so I couldn't send pictures to Mj.  I lucked out and found a 3/4 sleeve wrap dress that I could wear with my boots.  It was basically the same dress I have at home that I should have brought with me but didn't. I bought four and returned two the next day.  Yes, I kept an extra!! But it was only $13.00 and now I have a cheap dress for Mj's holiday party.

The Vegas scene is sexism in reverse in which men are the victims.  It's funny and a little sad at the same time.  Men who try to dance on any raised platform in a club are kicked off  within minutes.  Apparently, nobody wants to see men getting their groove on in nightclubs.  Men usually pay higher cover charges and their dress is scrutinized whereas women can wear whatever they want and usually the less the better.  They will offer reduced or free cover to men at some places but never ever would they offer them an open bar but that's what the ladies got at Haze Night Club in Aria.  I got 2 free drink tickets at the door.  It was kind of obnoxious that it was ONLY for Vodka mixes but when cocktails are going for $18 and beers for $10 you can't really be too choosy about what you get to drink for free.  If you want two more drink tickets you have to go all the way back out and up the escalator.  I think they are hoping that you won't bother to do it, but there was no shame in my game and I took full advantage.  I went right back up there and asked for two more tickets before the cut off.

Sometimes you just really need to let your hair down and dance on a stage like nobody is watching even though everybody is and that's one of the things I really like about Vegas.  That anything goes vibe that makes me less self conscious then I normally would be and brave enough to do it.  They were playing really good music so I dragged Mj out on the dance floor.  Then, next thing I know I was up on the stage dancing my heart out.  My arms were up, the confetti was falling down, the lights were bright and the only thing I cared about was making sure I didn't get nudged off the stage.  I'm not a partier.  I get tired by 10:00pm so going out doesn't happen a whole lot and that's fine by me.  I don't have the desire or energy for all of that but that night I just went for it.  I felt wild, sexy, young and full of energy.  There were guys out there trying to get my attention and I may or may not have left with an extra dollar then I came there with.  Little did they know my husband was right there and that I only had eyes for him.  He was the cutest guy in the place.  Mj makes me feel sexy all the time, but it's still a nice little confidence booster to feel wanted by other men now and then.  Like, I may be getting older but I still got it!!

I have to mention this because it really freaked me out at first.  While I was up there I saw the spitting image of Todd from Breaking Bad.  You know, blonde blue eyed evil Todd with the deceptively boyish face?  As soon as I spotted him I summoned Mj to the stage.  That guy to your right looks just like Todd!! He said he noticed it before I even said anything.  It was really creepy to see Mj standing there next to him.  I'm not spoiling anything here but if you saw "that" episode you know what I'm talking about.

After I got over the shock of seeing Todd, I danced so long and so hard I was sweating and I started to think that I should really be getting paid.  If I were on payroll I'd have been wearing a white bob wig, a bustier and the little black bootie shorts to match the Haze go go dancers and in that moment I was feeling so hot and invincible I think I would have been okay with that.  I was having so much fun but after my second "shift" of go go dancing I finally got tired.  And I had to go to the bathroom.  We didn't shut the club down but we made it until a very respectable 2:30am.
The most highly suspect photos you will likely ever see on this blog; but I had to do it!!
We walked across the street back to our hotel but not before making a pit stop at McDonald's because what's better then salty crispy french fries at 3 o'clock in the morning?  Oh, a Big Mac.  That's what Mj got...or was it a Quarter Pounder?   Eating while under the influence is pretty nice.  In my mind I like to think that those calories don't count and even though I know they really do at that moment I simply do not care so it's a 100% fun no guilt included indulgence.

I haven't stage danced since Mj and I went to Vegas 5 years ago.  In my day to day life, I'm this conservative lady who works in an office, meets her girlfriends for happy hour and spends most weekends at home watching movies, but that night the other me showed up and took over.  She drank vodka, danced on all night and ate french fries in bed.  Then she cuddled up with her handsome husband and fell into a deep coma like sleep.

Las Vegas: Part II

Where I Write

Tell us about your writing space. Where do you write your blog posts? 

If I had to dream up the perfect writing space it would be a dedicated office at home.  It would be mostly white with a white desk and a vintage chair.  Wallpaper when done right can be really beautiful.  I'd have some kind of muted pastel wallpaper on one wall with an interesting pattern and a really pretty lamp on my desk. There would be an inspiration board above my desk where I could tack up inspirational quotes, photos and ideas. It would be the kind of room that immediately relaxes me when I walk in and inspires creativity everywhere I look. There would be a bookshelf full of books. All of my writing tools would be arranged in cute containers and my hot pink MacBook would look perfect sitting in the center of it all. I'd also have a pink bean bag. I have a thing for bean bag chairs.  They are comfy and I think it would cozy up the space. I can imagine myself sitting in one brainstorming the next great idea for my novel.

It would look something like this.
Image Source:  Maegan via Flickr

The reality is that my writing space is pretty much wherever I end up opening my lap top.  Sometimes it's standing at the kitchen counter. Sometimes it's on the couch upstairs or the couch downstairs.  Sometimes it's at the dining room table. If I'm blogging often times I am multi tasking and the TV is on too. If I'm working on my novel it's always at the dining room table, TV off and Pandora station for studying on. Or else it's at a coffee shop. When it comes to that, I can't focus otherwise.
It's never actually occurred to me to have a home office. There is an extra bedroom upstairs that I could presumably take over if I wanted to. It even has a cute little white desk I got from Ikea.  As is, it's not very inspiring so I've never even thought about writing in it or even decorating. It doubles as my husband's "junk" room so it's usually pretty messy and there isn't a lot of space left over with the fold out futon and TV. I have totally lost my decorating mojo anyways. When we first bought our house I went home decor crazy. Once I got the main living spaces to where I wanted I stopped. We have two guest bedrooms with absolutely zero decor and bathrooms still sporting white unpainted walls.  Then there is my husband claiming that it's not our forever home and that we'll be moving some day.

Maybe in our "mythical next house?" For now I'll stick to couches and coffee shops.  It may not be the most inspirational or ideal but it works.

Welcome to November

Well hello there November. And just like that the holiday season is upon us.  There are red coffee cups all over Instagram and Christmas trees adorned with twinkly lights at Home Depot to prove it.

I'm a little freaked out because since Friday my blog has been the incessant target of spam traffic from some random website where there is no link to my blog and there is nothing I can do to stop it.  It's happened before but the sheer volume of spam hits since Friday is very alarming.  I feel like my blog is under attack.  I've heard rumors that blogger will shut you down if they think you are a "spam site" so I'm a little worried and just hope it stops or at least slows down soon.  If anyone knows anything about this topic let me know.
Cinepolis, happy hour, Sun morn work out, Peanut Butter Toast
Friday night I went for happy hour with two friends to a place that actually doesn't not have happy hour so that was awesome.  It's on the 40th floor of The Hyatt and the view is amazing so I guess they think they can get away with it.  And clearly they do because people were buying.  I ordered a $11 on a glass of champagne which sadly wasn't really that bad compared to the $18 cocktails and $49 patron.  Yes-for one single shot.  I drew the line at $16 for chips and dip.  It's a nice place but we had to leave so that we could get some food in our stomachs.  Late night eating is the best, especially after a few glasses of wine and you are starving.  Us three girls sat down after 9:00 at a place called Nicky Rottens and ordered burgers and sweet potato fries.  We all left with doggie bags.  I'm eating mine for lunch today but Bianca gave hers away to a homeless man on the street after which he grabbed her hand and kissed it.  She was not too thrilled about that.

Saturday night we went to Cinepolis and saw The Counselor.  It wasn't your typical drug cartel movie.  It was different but in a good way.  I haven't hated a Cameron Diaz character so much since Bad Teacher.  There was this weird scene involving her and a Ferrari.  That's all I'm gonna say.   We've kind of fallen in love with Cinepolis even though we, or should I say I, absolutely did not plan on it.  It's totally unacceptable to fall in love with a place that sets us back about $90.00 for a night out at the movies what with tickets, drinks and dinner and all.  But when I'm cozied up with Mj with my shoes off under a blanket on those giant leather recliners having just finished off pizza and champagne while staring up at that giant screen I'm not really thinking about what a racket it is.

Sunday I woke up and did Pilates and then went to the grocery store AGAIN.  I'm so tired of that place!  Then I settled down to eat Peanut Butter toast on Ezekial bread with coffee for breakfast.  Peanut butter toast is my latest addiction.  It combines two of my loves; bread and peanut butter.  I eat it for breakfast on the weekends and dessert on weeknights.  It's gotta be a miracle because I cooked for the second week in a row.  I rested up for it though.  We were cuddled up on the couch when Mj grabbed my hand and led me up to the bedroom and flung me upon the bed.  Then he layed down next to me and we took the most awesome nap ever.  What did you think we did?

I'm really disappointed in the time change.  Instead of feeling like I gained an hour I feel like I lost three.  It's a gray day so there was no extra daylight to be seen.  Traffic was worse then usual.  It took me 50 minutes to get to work.  I walked up the steps wondering how in the heck I was going to keep my eyes open all day.

I'm freaking tired, but I better rest up because we're going to Las Vegas this weekend and you all know how Las Vegas wears me out if I let it. 

I Love Money

NaBloPoMo November 2013

You all know I'm not a really the daily blogger type.  I have never attempted to nor have I really ever wanted to.  First of all I'm just not that creative.  I don't feel like I have that much to write about.  I value quality over quantity as a blogger and as a reader.  Secondly, I don't want you all to get sick of me.  Some people think that if you write every day then people will want more, comment more and your page views will go up but what if the opposite is true?  What if readers get sick of seeing you pop up in their feed every month, stop reading, stop commenting and then unfollow you in disgust?  Maybe I'm being a little dramatic but you get my point.

Anyways, I've been good with blogging once a week for the last month or so but I freakin' love to write so I really wanted to give this NaBloPoMo thing a shot.  Especially since I can't do NaNoWriMo.  For those of you that don't know November is National Blog Posting Month and National Novel Writing Month.  I remember last year I was like what the hell is all this nano stuff people are writing about?  I had to google it to figure out what the heck NaNoWriMo stood for because I couldn't find a single blog post that actually spelled it out.  I have saved you the time if you didn't already know.  The good news is that my novel is well past 50,000 words.  The bad news is that means I can't really participate in NaNoWriMo unless I lied about how far along my novel is and I'm not going to do that.

With each prompt I'm going to sit down, put my fingers to the keyboard and and see what comes out.  So here we go with prompt #1

If you found one million dollars in the morning and had to spend it by nightfall, what would you do with the money?  
This is a really hard one.  I love money.  Not for the things it buys but for the peace of mind and freedom that it can bring.  And I'm not one of those people who would screw it up either if I ever had a lot of it.  I hear all of these horrible stories about people who blow their windfall of money and end up homeless on the street.  I also hear about people who get murdered over it.  Now if someone wants to put a hit on me because they saw on the news that I won the lottery there is nothing I can do about it but I don't associate myself with questionable types so ideally that wouldn't happen.  Yes, I spend money but I'm also a saver.  I need to know that I have more money available to me then what's coming in my paycheck every week.  For me that's just being smart and it's peace of mind.  Money doesn't buy happiness but last time I checked neither does poverty.  I don't make the rules. Money is the currency that gets us the things we need in life and therefore I would like to have some of it.  Preferably more of it than I currently have.  I don't consider myself to be materialistic.  It doesn't rule me and I value people, relationships and experiences over money.  I realize it's not the only thing but I also realize that it is necessary. 

Let's just assume it's tax free.  My first thought is to try to buy something that could potentially hold value so I'd have something to show for it after the money was spent but to my knowledge I don't know that you can close on real estate in less then 24 hours.  Can you?  I'd certainly check into that first so that if nothing else I've spent money on something that I can get a return on later because when I think about spending that much money in one day it seems that whatever I spend it on is here today gone tomorrow with really nothing to show for it.

I'd pay off our mortgage and Mj's car so we would be 100% debt free which would be totally awesome.

I'd book our trip to Europe for next year and get that out of the way and paid for.  I'd also book whatever other trips we'd like to take for the coming year.

Well, I guess I better go shopping.  I think I'd go to a place like Nordstrom's and buy quality staple pieces that I would have for a long time to come since I don't normally shop there except every now and then in the less expensive Brass Plum.  I would also let Mj buy some things if he wants to.  He's not that big on shopping but if you dangle free money in front of someone's face that could really be a game changer.

By my rough calculations I still have about $602,000 left.

I'd do some renovations our bathroom.   We want to get our shower, tub and floors re done.  We have decided not to spend the money on it since Mj has this theory that we will be moving someday but if the money fell into our lap I'd do it in a second.

I'd pay off my little sister's student loan debt. She went to college and got an education and now the student loans are making things difficult.  The evil student loan people expect her to pay way more then is reasonable and I would love to get her out of that mess so she can tell them to take their money and go to hell.  Then she can focus on saving for the future and getting ahead in life.  I'd book a trip for her and her boyfriend.  I'd also buy her some stuff.  Whatever she needs whatever she wants. 

I'd call my parents and my older sister to see what bills and debt they need paid off.  My sister would probably want her house, student loans and the debt they racked up moving paid off.  My parents may have some debt they want to get rid of and I'd book them a trip.  My sister and husband are weird and really not into traveling but if they change their mind and want to go some place besides Vegas I'd send them there.  Since I have money to burn I'd still send them to Vegas if they simply cannot come up with any other place to see.  I'd buy them some stuff too.  Whatever they need whatever they want.

After all of this I'm thinking I might still have about $321,000 left.  The thing I hate about the question is that it says spend by nightfall not just do with all that money.  If it just said do then I wouldn't spend so much on things in the first place and invest off the top.  The $321,000 that I have left and actually more would be invested in a trust fund for my nephew, squirreled away for retirement and as a nest egg fund for whatever future expenses that may arise.  Since I have to spend it fast I would figure out a way to buy some real estate.  If I have that much cash there has to be someone willing to take it that day to close the deal and then we could rent out or sell and use the cash to invest.

I almost hate thinking about things like this.  I love the daydreaming bit.  That's the fun part.  I would love to help my family and give myself that peace of mind that money brings.  I put my chin in my hand and stare off into space and my mind goes wild with all of the if only's and what if's.  The bummer of it all is that after the daydream I am left with what actually is.  I do not have one million dollars and I may never have one million dollars to spend in my lifetime so I'd almost rather not think about it in the first place.

What would you do?