Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So Much to be Thankful For!

Tuesday I came into work and when I arrived at my office this is what I came into:
My office door,

My desk,

Everywhere there were decorations!
You guessed it, I turned 50 this year. 
My birthday was officially on Thursday, Thanksgiving.  But since I would be off, they celebrated with me on Tuesday.  We went to lunch at Red Robin-Yum and after lunch we had some special birthday cupcakes.
There were several different types in that box and I samples just a few.  They were from Lily Magilly's, the name even sounds sweet doesn't it? 
I even got presents on top of it all-so it was a fun day!
Then I took the day off on Wednesday to prepare for Thanksgiving, and prepare I did.  I started fixing some of the side dishes first thing in the morning.  Stopped to get my hair cut, and for a doctor's appointment, but I was able to get a whole lot accomplished.  That removed a lot of the stress from Thursday and I was able to relax a little more and enjoy the day.  I still cooked and cleaned all day, but just not as much!
It was all worth it though.  Everyone had a nice time I think and we all enjoyed dinner and our time together. 
There is everyone jammed into the dining room. ( Everyone but me as I am taking the picture.) 
Of course Michelle and I would not miss our Black Friday shopping extravaganza!  This year Shawn joined us to see what all the fuss was about.  I think it's safe to say that he got his fair share.  We left the house at 11:00 on Thursday evening and returned home at 8:30 AM, we took it easy on him as it was his first year.  Also, Michelle has done a lot of her shopping before hand so she didn't have a whole lot to do.  The crowds were just wild at some of the stores and quite mild at other places.  I waited in line for over an hour at Kohl's, but I have to say that I think it was well worth the wait as the prices I got couldn't be beat!
When we got back to the house Michelle and Shawn said hi to Bella and then went home and went to bed.  Bella and Jim had plans for the day, they were headed downtown to usher in the holiday season with Frosty Friday and breakfast at Brewer's Alley and Frosty.  Since I was home, they asked me to go along so I did.  Then we went on a horse drawn carriage ride through town and visited a few of the local shops.
Afterwards we went home and I had time to crash for a couple of hours-just 2 but it was time enough to refresh and catch a shower.  After that it was time to get ready and head back downtown and get ready for the big guy's arrival.  That's right!  Santa Clause was coming to town!  We ushered him in with waves and cheers, lights and song!  It was quit a day all in all.  By the time we got home and had some dinner (leftovers of course) it was time to settle down and get ready for bed.  We were all tired and more than ready to say good night.  I don't remember a thing after my head hit the pillow-I was out like a light!
I wonder-am I getting too old for this?!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Part 2

I can't believe how far behind I have fallen!  So, for the second part of my weekend update-for last weekend.  Sunday I was feeling somewhat better, but still not 100%.  I didn't want to do too much and take a chance of the migraine flaring again because we had big plans for the afternoon and evening. 
Mr. Wonderful was working so I took it easy and took a nice long, leisurly hot tub.  I know I spelled that wrong, but I don't really care right now-sorry.  I followed that up with a nap and when he got home I got dressed and we were off to D.C.   As an early birthday celebration, we were going to see Jersey Boys at the National Theatre and then to meet Tim and have dinner with him at 901.  It was a FABULOUS show!  Really great!  I used to just love Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and we listened to them all the time when we were kids, but the show told the story of the group.  It was more than just the music, although the music was just terrific.  The costuming, the dancing, everything!  I was just mesmerized. 
When the show was over, we took a cab ride the few blocks to 901 and met up with Tim.  It was still rather early, so we sat at the bar and had a drink until our table was ready and we just chatted and caught up for a while.  We just don't have an opportunity to see him nearly often enough, so it is so nice to be able to spend some time with him.  He is always full of some funny stories and anectdotes. 
Dinner was of course, to die for!  We were treated like royalty, which is always nice.  The chef brought us out an amuse bouche of duck that had been featured on the morning news the week before.  Having never had duck before, it was a real treat for me.  I had always heard that it was greasy, but this was anything but.  It was so flavorful and plain delicious!  Yum!  Tim and I shared an appetizer of muscles as I just couldn't resist an opportunity to indulge given the chance.  My entre was a beautifully prepared Filet Mingnon, while Mr. W had the pecan crusted Pork Tenderloin and the boy had something with shrimp and pasta I think.  All out of this world!  It was a great meal, wonderful company, a lovely location and a perfect day!

I'll be back soon to move on to other parts of the week!

Monday, November 21, 2011


It was another full weekend and I plan on updating about it over two posts, so as not to overwhelm you with all the excitement.  Ha! 
Saturday we were having Michelle, Shawn & the kids as well as Shawn's parents over for dinner. 

During the night I was awakened by an absolutely terrible migraine headache.  All night long it kept waking me from sleep and when morning finally came I knew that it was going to be a rough day.  Mr. Wonderful was already at work, so I crept downstairs to let the dogs out and grab a Maxalt and a cup of coffee and sat down for a while and hoped and prayed that the pill would work its wonders.  It didn't.
So, I got up and made a brocolli casserole for dinner and put that in the refrigerator and then dusted the downstairs, cleaned the glass.  Now I was feeling sick to my stomach, so I got a glass of tea and laid down for a while till it passed, and got up and did a little more.  I figured I had all day, and I could just do a little at a time and get the house in order and the dinner all prepped and ready, the dishes laid out and ready for the food.  Everyone was bringing something too, so I didn't have to do everything, but I did want the house to be clean and presentable looking.  I also figured that somewhere along the line I needed to get another Maxalt in my system and really hope that number 2 would do the trick.  It didn't.
Eventually I got everything done and was feeling well enough to at least be pleasant.  I had made cupcakes on Friday night and iced them on Saturday and they were yummy...

The icing especially!  Michelle is not too much a fan of cake or icing, but she keept licking the icing off the cupcakes and then giving the licked cupcake to Shawn to eat or just tossing the cupcake.  She loved the icing because it wasn't too sweet at all.

Recipe courtesy of Paula Dean:
Chocolate-Banana Cream Miniature Cupcakes
(makes 4 dozen mini cupcakes)

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 (3.4 oz.) box instant banana cream-flavored pudding mix
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup sour cream2 cups thawed frozen whipped topping
Garnish: dried banana chips

  1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line 2 (24-cup) mini muffin pans with foil liners.
  2.  Prepare cake mix according to package directions.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in cernter comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
  3.  In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix and confectioners' sugar.  Add cream and sour cream; beat at medium speed with a mixer until very thick.  Fold in whipped topping.  Pipe or spread mixture over cupcakes.  Garnish with banana chips, if desired.  Store cupcakes, covered, in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
We all  had a nice evening and after dinner my nephew and his wife, both of whom I adore came over for a while too.  We don't get to see them too often, so it was nice to catch up with them for a while as well. 
Della and Rex took the kids  home with them for the night as they haven't had a chance to spend any time with them in a while and planned on making gingerbread houses with them.  That is something that I simply have never been able to master!  I just make a royal mess of everything, myself included!! 
With the children gone for the night, Michelle and Shawn had a date night and went out to the movies alone.  Something that they don't get to do too often. 
All in all, I think it was a good evening for everyone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Weekend Update

I had a very productive weekend and boy did it feel good.  Well, I ached all over and could barely move by Monday, but in my head I felt good about the progress I made and what I had accomplished!
Saturday I spent the large majority of the day painting the spare room, formerly Michelle's old room.  You may remember that I had begun to paint it a couple of weeks ago, but I did not finish it and I have not had time to get back to it since then until Saturday.  So, I picked it back up again.  I had gotten a first coat on everything but the top half of two walls when I left off, so I was able to finish that off and then go on to get a second coat on the entire room.  Woo-hoo!  Because it was a nice day out, I was also able to wash the windows in that room too, including scraping off a decal that had been on the outside of the window since we had moved into the house 20 years ago.  It took some doing, but I got it off.   Now I just have to wait for the new carpet to be installed and I'll be ready to move on to the next step in the process. 
After I finished with that I showered and changed and ran out to the store to do a little shopping.  I had found some cute little frames at Michael's in their dollar spot that I had wanted to use for escort cards for the wedding and I had bought all of the ones they had at the Michael's in Germantown so I wanted to go to the Frederick location to pick some more up because I had a coupon that was good for 25% off the total purchase.  That would bring them down to .75 cents a piece!  Good deal, especially when I needed so many of them.  I was exhausted and didn't really want to go out but the sale was only good through Saturday so I had to go-only to get over there to find that they were out of them.  Bummer!  The good news is that they are expecting another shipment in on Wednesday and I'll just keep checking in till I get enough.
Mr. Wonderful had worked in the yard all day so he was beat too, so it was an early evening for the both of us.  He had to work early on Sunday morning and was up and out at the crack of dawn, while I tried in vain to catch a few extra winks.  I finally got up and decided to slowly (since that was the only way I was moving) get ready for church. 
After church I had every intention of taking it easy, but when I got changed I noticed that my closet was a mess and a lot of the clothes in it no longer fit.  Being that I was already sore from painting and the ladder was upstairs already, I decided to just take everything that was on the shelves of my closet out and throw it on my bed!  Then I started to weed out everything that didn't fit or was out of style and put back only what I was keeping.  Lets just say that very little went back in the closet and Purple Heart got a nice sized donation.  Again.  My wardrobe is suffering in a major way from my diet!  But, that's a good thing.  It just gives me an excuse to go shopping, and I am so good at that.  Ha! 
After I finished, Mr. Wonderful got home and I had to get re-dressed in my church clothes as we were going out.  We went to the Weinberg to see Neil Berg's 102 Years of Broadway.  It was a wonderful production.  He had 5 major Broadway stars with him to sing songs from shows from some of the productions from over the last 102 years of Broadway.  It was just amazing, truly a talent filled cast that sang spectacularly!  We just loved it!  As a matter of fact, it was our 4 time to see his show if that is any indication.  It was a perfect end to a weekend. 
What did you do?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Eleven Things About Me...

Although I am not too much into dates, it would seem as though a lot of people are.  I heard on the radio this morning that today in Las Vegas the number of people who have applied for marriage licenses has more than tripled because today is 11-11-11!  Crazy if you ask me.
So, in honor of this in-auspicious day I thought I would do something a little different since you didn't ask.  I am going to tell you eleve things about myself that you may or may not know.  If you don't care you may stop reading now and go on about your day.  Thank you.

1.  Even though I am one of four girls, I have always considered myself to be the middle child.  Yeah, I know.  That is because my youngest sister was born 10 years and 2 days after me, making her bar none the best birthday gift my parents ever gave me!

2.  The first time I met my future husband I had no interest in him at all.  As a matter of fact, I laughed at Mr. Charming when he asked me out the first time.  I eventually relented and we dated for only 3 months before becoming engaged and our engagement lasted just 20 days.

3.  I cry easily and often!  I cry at commercials, while reading, watching a movie, hearing a beautiful song, seeing the beauty in nature, praying, almost anything can bring me to tears.

4.  I am the ultimate Drama Queen!  As a matter of fact, I believe that that phrase was coined specifically for me.  Yes.  I believe it was.  Enough said.

5.  When I was a kid I was a bit of a tomboy and tried to keep up with the boys in the neighborhood.  I climbed trees, hiked mountains (I was little, they were mountains!) rode motorcycles, jumped streams, and took chances that I probably shouldn't have and have a few scars to prove it.

6. I love to read and can totally loose myself in a book.  The characters become so life like to me that if and when a movie is made from the book I am no doubt dissapointed because they actors choosen for the roles never quite live up to my image of who I believe the charater to be.

7. I often jumble up my words and what comes out of my mouth doesn't resemble in any way what I am trying to say.  Few people can understand me.  Favorite daughter is one of them.  My mother calls it 'word salad', but the rest of the family just calls it pretty darn funny!

8. I have absolutly no patience!  Well, I have some patience- but very little.  I have patience for my children and grand children, but not with things.  Things tend to get broken around me or thrown out the window.  Just saying.

9.  I am self taught in many things.  I see something and I want to learn to do it and I figure it out.  Mostly because I can't or won't read directions.  Refer back to #8.

10. I love music, theatre, the arts.  LOVE it!  Love to watch it, take part in it, listen to it, enjoy it, be one with it, encourage it, love it!

11.  I had every opportunity to have a totally disfunctional childhood due to the circumstances that surrounded us.  Instead, I am so grateful to have been blessed with a family who showed us unconditional love, the greatest gifts that we could ask for could not be bought, strength that is found in family and togetherness, and that we are all bound together in love and the Lord.  It was a message that was clear and straightforward.  Delivered with pure love for us-always.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Slow and Steady


We are making progress on the wedding preparations.  It seems mindboggling at times how much needs to be done.  No wonder my mother almost fell over when I said I was getting married in 20 days!  Ha!  If I knew then...who am I kidding?  I'd have still done it the same way, no time to stress over the small stuff, or the big stuff for that matter. 
Anyway, Saturday Michelle and I headed on out to shop for a wedding dress.  Getting going in and of itself was an adventure.  She thought we were going one place  and I thought we were going another.  What happened was this: we had an appointment in Hagerstown the week before but it got snowed out.  I had maded the appointment and Michelle called to reschedule.  She thought the appointment was in Chambersburg, Pa. so she called there and said that she needed to reschedule and they said okay and put her in the book for Saturday.  They never said they didn't see her in the book for that Saturday! So I pick her up and we get going and I start to put into the GPS where we're headed and I say 'Hagerstown' (it's a voice recognition GPS) and she says 'what? No!  We're going to J & B Bridal aren't we?'  It was good for a laugh anyway, but we finally got ourselves straightened out and on our way. 
Once we arrived there it was like night and day from the last place.  The consultant was great to work with, she showed Michelle only things she was interested in seeing and therefore everything she tried on she basically liked.  And-she found the dress!  YES!  We even were able to pick out the bridesmaid dresses. 
This is the dress though not the color, the color Michelle choose is Sapphire blue.
It is very pretty on and I think it is a very forgiving dress in terms of different body types, and it even comes in a Junior style as well for Bella. 
We have the venue reserved and Jim went over and put the deposit down to secure it so that is done too.
Then on Sunday I went to church with Michelle and Shawn and the kids and was able to see their church.  It is a lovely church and I felt very warm and welcomed there.  It was easy to see that the children are quite comfortable there as they have made themselves right at home and are making friends.  Their cousins go there as well and that is nice for them too, for all of them.  The church is very pretty and hopefully the photographer will be able to get some nice pictures of the outside of the church as well as the inside on the day of the wedding.  Afterwards, Michelle and I went to a wedding expo that was being held at the fair grounds in town.  There were all kinds of vendors there and it was great to go and get ideas.  We were able to taste several cake samples from many of the different bakeries in the area that were represented and see some of the cakes that they can make.  There were florists, limo companies, d.j.'s, venues, makeup artists, paper companies, balloon stylists, party rental companies, you name it-they were there.  So Michelle got a bag full of stuff to take home and go through with Shawn and start making some decisions.  

On the flip side of things, fall has most definitely come to stay.  The weather has turned cooler, the leaves are beginning to fall in earnest and there is a real chill in the air.  While I love the colors of fall, the cooler weather and the smell in the air, the change in the seasons does not always agree with me.  This year seems to be more difficult that usual.  Perhaps it is a combination of things: my age and a natural progression of the disease combined with the change, but I am moving slower and feeling things much more deeply.  My arms and legs feel like they have been weighted down, and so just performing normal, everyday tasks has become more difficult for me.  I tire much more quickly and fade way too fast.  So for now, it means a modification of my activity and work load.  Learning to ask for help and rely on others a little bit more.  Something that I am not entirely used to, but I am working on it..  If you hear a little less from me, know that is why.
Until the next time!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Years, and a Million Memories Later....

It is hard to believe that I have been married for 30 years, January will mark our 31st year.  So many memories, so much time, how quickly it has gone by.  Yet, I can't seem to remember not being married, not having this man in my life, not being part of him. I have been truly blessed.  All odds were against us, few thought we would last, looks like we just might make it.  Our courtship was brief-just a few short months and our engagement was only 20 days long.  (Jim wanted to get it married before golf season began-priorities.) No time to plan a big, fancy wedding.  Who needed one?  I just wanted to be his wife?  No regrets.  Picked a dress from the rack.  Loved it, so me.  I had it preserved after Michelle was born, thought maybe, perhaps, well, who knows what I was thinking.  Anyway, Jim got it down for me the other day and we opened it up for the first time in nearly 30 years.  That was something!  When I got to the preservation box and opened it, there was a window into the box, the bust of the dress was filled with tissue and probably at one time had been propped up.  We opened the box and I kind of laughed and Jim asked what I was laughing at.  I said it looks and didn't finish.  He said 'What?  Like something a Grandmother might wear?' I said 'No!  Like something that might have been in the Cival War!'  It looked so OLD!  I couldn't believe it.  But, it was well preserved. 

Anyway, it was still sitting in the box (as I have plans for it) in my family room when Bella came over.  She asked what it was and when I told her she asked to see it.  I showed it to her and when Michelle came in she too asked what it was.  Bella answered 'It's the dress that GaGa wore to get married to Grandaddy in!'  Michelle looked at me and asked if she could see it, and I said sure.  She was wide eyed and said she'd never seen it, only in pictures.  Then to my surprise and complete amazement, she asked if she could try it on.  Of course I said she could!  My little girl in my wedding dress.
I thought she looked just beautiful.  Bella said she looked like an angel and when Michelle smiled, Bella said 'Hey, that was a compliment!'
Then of course, it was Bella's turn...

She of course, had to vogue it up! 
As she said 'I have Pacific style'.  We have no idea what that means or where she may have gotten that idea, but we have been told.  To be sure. 
So there are my girls, in my dress, 30 years later.