Wednesday, August 11, 2010

roam if you want toooooo....roam around the world

here it is! part two! it's what you've been waiting for - did i sleep at all that first night? what else happened on the great camping expedition of 2010?

so camp was set up. we had the stuff for s'mores. i thought it would be fun to go check out a yellowstone thermo feature before we came back to build a fire. i didn't know i would almost be killed by an elk while on this little jaunt near the lake. but hey. no one really knows when they'll be looking death right in the face. and who knew that death looks like a cow elk?

paul and i headed over to west thumb geyser basin, a lovely little hot pot of activity on the shore of yellowstone lake. did you know the lake is so cold that no one really swims in it? and it's at about 8000 feet above sea level, too. don't you just love little facts? i do. i'm always googling or wikipedia'ing something. (also a word. you can find it next to swassy. in an unalphabetical dictionary. unalphabetical is also a word, and is also in that dictionary.)

oops. got off track. so we're nearing the end of our lovely evening walk around the boardwalk and we've seen some stanky boiling mud pots, and some gorgeous hot springs. and by gorgeous, i mean absolutely amazing. there is nothing like these hot springs anywhere else. and we come across a cow elk, grazing on some grass RIGHT NEXT TO THE BOARDWALK. sooo coool, right? paul even walks right up next to her and makes me take a pic (posted on facebook soon, i promise...). he's a total idiot, because to his immediate left, THERE IS A LITTLE BABY ELK. it still has its spots, so it's really just a little guy. now there is a section of boardwalk that has railings (because you know elk can't jump, right? why did i think (and still think...) that those railings were safer than the section of boardwalk without railings? i don't want to walk through the mom and the baby. but paul keeps telling me i'll be fine. so, in a moment of complete idiocy, i decide, fine, i'll do it. so i walk through and the freaking cow charges my ass.

do you think i'm joking? I AM NOT. i think i peed just a little bit in my pants. for the rest of the trip, i was convinced i was going to get trampled by an elk, eaten by a bear, and/or gored by a bison. and? i bitched about it. a lot.

so we go back to camp, and make our delicious s'mores. sooo good. roasting marshmallows is one of the best things on earth. i decide i'm going to take a sleeping pill before i climb into my sleeping bag. unfortunately, i drank a bit too much wine, so at 12:30 a.m., i had to pee. i totally wake up paul to make him take me to the bathroom, because i'm convinced that mr. grizzly bear is right outside our tent, ready to eat the people in the camp next door BECAUSE THEY WERE ALWAYS COOKING.

i freeze my ass off on the way to the potty...and then i come back to the tent. the wind kicks up, it sprinkles a bit, and the trees make sooo much noise. i swear i kept hearing bear noises (whatever those are) outside our tent. paul is super patient... he tells me everything is fine, he strokes my hair, and he never gets mad. meanwhile, I AM INSANE. totally INSANE. i'm convinced i'm going to be ripped out of the tent by my head. and partially eaten, which is way worse than being wholly eaten, right? i think i slept about 3 hours that night. maybe less. whatever. it sucked, but i didn't die.

more later? we'll seee.....

Monday, August 9, 2010

vacation all i ever wanted

my kids are off visiting their dad...and i can't stand having an empty house. it IS nice and peaceful...and lonely. i'm not like most divorced parents, who get a weekend of no kids every other week... my kids are with me all of the time. and? that is how i want it. i wouldn't have it any other way. however, my husband probably grows weary of it every now and then, so i told him we could go on vacation while my kids were gone.

in a moment of temporary insanity, i agreed to go camping in yellowstone for a week.

back the truck up.



in bear country. in a tent.

what the HELL was i thinking??? i hate camping! i hate being dirty! my idea of "roughing it" is staying at a hotel that hasn't been recently remodeled. like the excalibur in las vegas, for instance. or... sleeping on the couch (which is something i never do...). what i'm trying to say here is that I DO NOT CAMP. ever.

the campground i picked out did have flushing toilets and pay showers. yay for running water. yay for husbands who put up with incessant complaining about being cold, scared and swassy. (that is not a typo. thanks, drive through...)

we made the drive up to yellowstone pretty uneventfully. we stopped off for some sandwiches in alpine junction, where i hit my head rather hard on the latch mechanism of the shell on my husband's truck. super awesome sauce. the teton mountains are absolutely spectacular. i will post some photos on facebook later. paul has them all on his camera.

we got to our campground and because i was the one who had made the reservation (and i am the planner/organizer/pants wearer when it comes to these kind of things), i went to the counter to check in. the lady asked if i had camped in bear country before... and that is where things went to poop really fast. i said to her, "i haven't camped for like 15 years. and i sure hell haven't camped in bear country." she then rattled off a list of RULES TO FOLLOW unless YOU WANT TO SUFFER DEATH BY BEAR, which included her circling little bullet points on the campground map in bright orange highlighter. she did the circling on text that was upside down to her (so i could read it...) which i found somewhat calming... and distracting... wait. where was i?

hells. bells.

at the end of THE RULES YOU'LL FOLLOW IF YOU WANT TO LIVE, she proceeds to further inform me that a male grizzly bear lives near the campground and that he walks through it ALMOST EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. WHAT. THE. F. AM. I. DOING. OUT. HERE?!??!

she tells me to call 911 if i see him. great. i'll do that. thanks, lady. i will not sleep for the next four nights. and damn, i had planned to keep my stash of beef jerky under my pillow.

we found our space without any trouble and decided we really liked our little spot we'd been assigned. just as we got our tent set up, our neighbors arrived. sigh. they had two camp spaces because they had a large group. they were LOUD. they didn't know how to set up their tents. and THEY WERE ALWAYS COOKING. and driving the wrong way on the one way streets in the campground. OMG. and? they stayed all week! LUCKY US! i was convinced their constant cooking was going to get us eaten by a bear. one of them had a hair dryer - and he used it. every day. i wish you could have seen his hair. it was... indescribable.

speaking of hair. guess what i intentionally left at home? because i'm a a real camper, dammit?

my flat iron and my hair dryer. i never go ANYWHERE overnight without my flat iron. no.where.

so. we're here. we have the tent set up. the food in the cooler is cool. we have the stuff to make s'mores (11 dollars later. we forgot our stuff to make them at home, so we had to buy the fixins in the park...)

but the real question: does this girl sleep at night???

you'll have to stay tuned to find out...

Monday, June 28, 2010

summertime and the livin's easy

oh summer, how do i love thee??? let me count the ways. getting sunburnt is worth a day at the pool. hot leather seats are worth it when you have some awesome tunes to turn up loud - with the sunroof open. yay for cooking out, for pasta salad with fresh vegetables, for an ice cold beer, and for dutch oven potatoes. holla for fresh peas out of the garden, for freshly cut grass and for kids running through the sprinkler. yay for fourth of july and for hot summer nights, and BIG yay for dogs who stay clean and dry. pretty sparkly toenails and sunkissed bronze skin makes me happy.

since my last blog post, lots of stuff has happened. jenna tried out for a new soccer team -and of course she made it. we loved our old team, but she got a chance to guest play with this team at a tournament over memorial day weekend and she absolutely loved it. she went to try out for this team and really liked the coach and the other girls. another major factor in our decision was that she is a U10 player - and her old team was going to be U11, which meant she'd be playing up. i wasn't a big fan of that at all...

i have been hemming and hawing over a new mattress for several months. originally, i wanted a king size bed, but i thought it was just going to be too damn expensive. well, after spending about 6 hours at IKEA, we (me and the manhusband) got it all figured out. we bought a king size bed, mattress, night stands and a dresser. and two lamps that i love. my room is all modern and sleek looking now - AND i have a king size bed. our mattress is comfy as hell - i can't remember when i slept so well. paul was quite a stud to stuff that mattress in the back of the truck, too. HA!

i have to go to california for work in two weeks. i'm glad about this because i really need a break from life. i will eat lavish food, see fantastic scenery, and just take some time for me. ah, zen.

what's up with you this summer? anything good?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

pride (in the name of love)

today i was watching tv with my kids. i sent them off to go do a few chores before dinner and switched it over to the news.

turns out i was just in time to catch the pride parade that was in SLC today. complete with a dude dancing on a float dressed in nothing but some very tight, very small underwear.

help me figure this out, reader. first, a few facts, as you may not know where i stand on all of this:

  1. i believe in equal rights for everyone. if gays want to be married, fine. i have zero problems with gay people. 
  2. i'm not religious at all. i have zero interest in what the bible says. i'm socially responsible.
  3. i have several gay friends. in fact, i've long believed that every woman needs a gay best friend. haha! 
  4. my kids know all about gays. that's actually a funny story.. i've posted it below in the p.s.
  5. my kids also know quite a bit about sex. we talk about it whenever the opportunity presents itself. so it wasn't like i was pissed or shocked that they would see this. i only brought it up b/c it's atypical of me to view the news with my kids. there isn't much good news on the news. :)
i am struggling with supporting this pride parade. here's why: sex doesn't belong in public. i don't think it's ok (or in the best interest of the gay rights movement) for some dude (or dudette), gay or not, to dance practically naked on a parade float in a public venue. i'm not part of the gay community, but if i was, that would not be the message i would want to send out. the message i got said, "hey, i'm gay, i'm sexual, i like to party, and i want to hook up with any gay guy out here."

in my mind, the message should be, "we are people too. we have jobs. we have kids. we have moms, brothers, cousins. we pay bills, we pay taxes, we eat food, we put our pants on one leg at a time, too. we're just like you."

am i right? am i wrong? help me see your point of view. am i reading into this too much? taking it too seriously? i wasn't there, so i don't know what the rest of the day was like or what any of the other activities were. the only thing i saw was that 1 min spot on the news.

keep any comments respectful. no hate speech.

p.s. here's the story on my kids finding out about gays. we watch the amazing race. and there's almost always a gay couple. so a few seasons ago, there were some married lesbian priests. my daughter said to me, "married?" and she had this look on her face that said REALLY??? my son said, "girls can be gay?" so i kept it short and sweet, b/c they were 7 and 9 at the time, and i told them that yes, girls can be gay. gays can be married in some states. and in some churches, the priests can be gay. i didn't need to explain the gay part. they figured that out all on their own. so, don't go thinking your kids are naive. they aren't.

p.s.s. we were in the city of salt last weekend, and we saw a homeless dude on the street. daughter pointed and yelled, "look!! a HOMO!!!" and then after we all collapsed in laughter, she retracted. "ooops, i mean a HOBO." hahahahahaaaaaa

Thursday, May 27, 2010

livin on a prayer

it's soccer insanity! tournaments, tryouts, and more sports drinks than you can shake a stick at. (wtf does "shake a stick at mean anyway? and it ends with a preposition. is that still bad grammar?)

jake's team is playing in a mini-tournament to decide the placing in their division. they won their first game 9-0. jake scored three goals. they advanced to the next round, and tonight they beat the first place team in the division 6-4. the game was freaking awesome. at the end of the game, jake organized a dousing of their coach with water. it was the equivalent of the gatorade being dumped on the coach at the superbowl. it was hilarious - the coach never saw it coming. those boys love him.

i gave one of my son's team mates a ride home, because his parents had a family commitment. when we got into the car, i said to jake, "ooooooo weeee. you guys do NOT smell good!" he said, "ya smell that mom??? THAT IS THE SMELL of winners." what could i really say in answer to that?

on the way home, we rocked out to some butt rock on KLZX. life is pretty good when you, your 11-year-old son and his friend can sing "livin on a prayer" by bon jovi at the top of your lungs in the car.

jenna is guest playing in a tournament in layton this weekend, so we're gonna smash in a real salt lake game while we're at it. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

playin with the queen of hearts

this is a real, live conversation. names have not been changed. no one was hurt in the writing of this post. even though they probably should have been.

jenna: mom, what should i be for halloween this year?

we have the halloween costume conversation at least once a month. year round. also a regular topic? what is wanted for the next birthday. even when the birthday was last week. never hurts to have ideas for next year, right? just in case i have no idea what to get. because no one gave me any ideas ALL YEAR LONG.

me: it's a bit early to be thinking about halloween, don't ya think?

this is coming from a girl who is convinced she is going to get her entire department to dress up as the cast of the jersey shore for halloween. yes, i'm already plotting how to make it happen. two of the guys will have to dress up as girls, but trust me, it will be worth it. and i need one girl to be a guido. she has short hair, she'll be able to pull off the gelled, crispy, blow-dried look easily. 

jake: mom, it's never too early.

clearly. now remind me again...what is it you wanted for your birthday? was it a mini laptop, an ipod, or a tv for your room? oh yeah...a computer desk, a snowboard, an american girl doll and dc's. and for me? a second mortgage!!! wheeeeeeeee!!!!

jenna: i'm thinking alice in wonderland.

me: you think i should be alice??

jake: no! you are the queen of hearts!!

me: *horrified face*

jenna: jake!! are you saying that because mom is fat??

what the hell is going on here?!?!??!!?

jake: no, i'm saying it because she is mean!

seriously!! WHAT THE HELL??? 

me: you guys are lame-o's!!!

then i stomped off like an immature teenager. when i told the guys at work about it, IT GOT WORSE. they told me that the queen of hearts HAS A REALLY HUGE HEAD. thanks, guys. NOT.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

and i love her

when i tell people that i have a housekeeper, it's not uncommon for them to say the following things:

are you freaking kidding me? 

no way!!!! how much do you pay her?

serious??? my husband would NEVER let me do that!!

i hate you. 

are you judging me yet? most of you already know i have a housekeeper, but in the off chance that some stranger stops by here, i want them to know that I HAVE A HOUSEKEEPER. and? it is THE BEST THING EVER. i want to make one thing clear: for the most part, i don't mind doing housework. i enjoy having a clean house. i do hate laundry. but i think everyone does, right?

the kicker? i work about 50-60 hours a week at a job that most people wouldn't be able to handle. i know this because i am pretty sure i got the job only because no one else wanted it. ha HA! but seriously. it's stressful. i love it and i'm grateful for it every single day, but it takes up a significant amount of my time. cleaning my own house would just be ONE MORE THING i have to do. i still cook dinner regularly. cooking is love.

i work because i can't imagine NOT working. i never ever expected to be a stay at home mom. i love SAHM's and sometimes i envy them. they probably envy me. i work for a few reasons: i enjoy it; i need to make my own way (i cannot be dependent on a man. it's not in my nature), and i like shopping. oh, and that pesky mortgage.

back to the housekeeper. have i mentioned that i love her?

i literally have nightmares that she will quit. that someday, i will have to dust my own shelves. mop my own floors. scrub my own toilets. and FINISH MY OWN LAUNDRY. oh! the horror!!!!!!! i told her she had to give me six months notice if she ever quits. she laughed. i was like, no, i'm serious. this isn't a a joke.

for those of you who do not work outside of the home, i can see that it might be very hard to justify having a housekeeper. but for those of you who do, you are nuts if you don't find a way to fit this into your budget. it costs me less than $200 a month to have my house cleaned once a week. i come home every tuesday to a house that smells like cleanliness and pine sol. she catches me up on laundry if i'm behind. (i say "if" like it doesn't happen very often. HA HA HAAAAAAA.) it is the best feeling in the whole world to come home to a clean house.

having a housekeeper makes me a better mom. a better wife. a better person. i don't resent my husband for not helping around the house. i don't hate my kids for wrecking the house after i spent 5 hours scrubbing, mopping and dusting. i don't mind doing the other things that make my household tick. i have time on the weekends to enjoy my family, instead of spending the time cleaning. i can enjoy my kids' activities without having to worry about doing household chores when i get home.

my kids still have chores. they still have to clean their own rooms. the housekeeper only vacuums their rooms. they still have to put clothes away, hang up their towels, empty the dishwasher, take out the trash, etc. they still have to help.

i'm not totally lazy. that's my story and i'm sticking to it, anyway.

best. thing. ever.

now. i'm off to find a stash of chocolate. or wine. or both?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

5 hot news dudes

i have always been a news junkie. that's probably why i have a degree in journalism.

today i'm sharing with you my...

top 5 hot news dudes

5. shepard smith
4. mark koelbel
3. keith olbermann
2. brian williams
1. anderson cooper

now these guys are not in my celebrity pass list. please tell me you know what the celebrity pass is. that will be a later blog post...

who are your fave news anchors? there are some hot ladies out there broadcasting, too. you have someone you love?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

into the void

life's been a slippery slope lately. it seems that when things are great at home, they suck at work. and if they are great at work, they suck at home. i hate that saying, "you can't have your cake and eat it too." who said that? that person is stupid.

people say things to me like, "i don't know how you do it all."

here's the truth: i don't.

it's that simple. i don't. i fail. a lot.

if i'm being a great mom, i'm probably being a shitty wife. if i'm being a great employee, then i'm stumbling at motherhood. if i'm being a good wife, then i'm being a bad friend. if i'm being a fantastic friend, then i'm being a bad employee.

i can't do it all.

i've got things to do at work. and? it keeps piling up. not that i don't love it. i do. i've got a stack of books that i desperately want to curl up and read. tomorrow. in a love sac in the sunshine. i've got a bunch of DVDs that i want to watch, and tv series that i want to catch up on. for instance...i've never seen 24. i want to get every season of 24 that is on DVD and i want to watch them from start to finish. i know, i know. realllll important. but STILL. it's something i want to do. i want to walk my dogs twice a day, i want to have the prettiest flower beds and i want to freakin learn more about SQL server. talk about important. :)

i can't really explain it, but .. i'm traveling down this road...alone. and honestly, i know i have great friends, a husband, co-workers, kids, etc., but i'm doing this alone. i really am. and part of that is because i choose to. i don't want anyone with me. do other people feel like this? do i subconsciously hold people at arm's length? stuff i can't answer right now, and... i don't have to answer it right now, either.

there will be light at the end of this tunnel. i am convinced that there will be light. for the last several weeks, i've been on the edge of despair. there have been some dark days. i'm still clawing at the edge, desperate to stay on top of it all. and i think i'm winning. i think i'm going to make it.

p.s. no pity comments. or i'll cut you.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

ima leavin' on a jet plane

i've been away from home a lot recently. first the vacay with the kids, and i just got back from a quick business trip. i love visiting clients, i love to travel, but i hate being away from home at the same time. i try to be here as much as possible for my family. they suffer when i am gone. one of my dogs (i'm 98 percent sure it's stormy. i shake my fist in her general direction!!!!) has taken to peeing and pooping on my carpet in the living room when i am gone as a way to express her displeasure with my absence.

i am an experienced traveler. i don't fly nearly as often as my co-workers, but i'm not the casual vacationer, either. i never fail to be amazed at the behavior of people in airports, including on the shuttle, in the airport and on the airplane. (i wrote a huge post on this over at my old school blog, see hear speak no evil. check it out sometime...)

airlines have made a major mistake in charging people to check bags on airplanes. because people are too cheap to check a bag (and i am one of those people), this has resulted in the following:

1. longer times to get through security, because there are more bags to be screened. more quart-sized bags of liquids 3 oz or less have to be removed from luggage. sidebar: as a woman who loves her products, traveling can be quite the challenge with the 3 oz limitation.

2. people attempt to take luggage on the plane that has NO BUSINESS BEING ANYWHERE inside the cabin. also, a family of 5 would rather take 5 carry-on pieces FOR FREE than check 2 large suitcases and be done with it. this takes up tons of space on board.

3. boarding the plane takes much longer than it needs to, mostly because people are bringing more stuff on board. flight attendants have to spend time jamming stuff into the overhead bins and rearranging bags. this is time that i'd rather have them spend on making half decent coffee. coffee that i don't have to chew before i can swallow it.

4. more times than not, my "carry-on" luggage is checked at the gate. most times, this is due to the fact that i am stuck flying on one of those spacious regional jets, so i realize this doesn't happen to everyone. this means my bags are being handled exactly like your "checked" luggage that you paid for. the only difference is i get my stuff right at the gate, instead of having to find the baggage claim and waiting 20 minutes for it to be unloaded. so... you totally got ripped off. that's what i'm trying to say.

work through this with me. airports/airlines are paying the baggage handlers on the ground $15 an hour, no matter how many bags they check, right? so whether they handle 10 bags or 100, they make the same wage.

people have always tried to carry on way too much stuff. airlines should charge for additional carry-on luggage... i believe this would speed the lines through security, it would speed up the boarding of the plane, and people would think twice about bringing so much stuff on board.

be honest, when the ticket agent at the gates starts yakking about "limited carry-on space on board," do you even listen? i sure as hell don't. i'm taking on my carry-on, my laptop bag AND my purse. who is going to stop me? and yeah, i'm going to put it in the overhead bin, NOT under my seat. why should i be uncomfortable for the flight? i paid as much as everyone else did, and they brought as much stuff on board as i did.

so, airlines. you've got it backwards. you should be charging people to carry on their luggage. it's not the checked baggage that is bogging you down.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

spring break has broken

i just spent 7 days with my kids. that's not a typo. seven days. twenty four hours a day.

and i lived.


for the first time ever, the kids had a whole week off from school, and i decided we'd take a little vacation. also for the first time ever, i have gone 6 solid days without checking work email. i'm pretty sure i'm going to suffer an extreme anxiety attack, followed by a subsequent bout of diarrhea tomorrow when i get to work and open outlook. more on that later. maybe. maybe i don't want to blog about issues with my colon. :) more importantly, you may not want to read about issues with my colon.

my kids really enjoyed the time we spent together. they thanked me more than once for taking them on vacation and i'm pretty sure that we created memories for a lifetime.

yeah, ok, so maybe i did make them pose for this photo. but i only had to ask once. they're looking out over the ocean at huntington beach, just north of newport beach. it looks warm, but it wasn't. it was cold and windy, but they didn't care. they thought the ocean was awesome. i had to drag them away, teeth chattering and sand stuck in their toes.

it's back to normal life tomorrow.

Monday, April 5, 2010

observations from the road

1. jenna on vegas: "mom, you just don't see people like this in richmond."

2. jake: "why do they hand out that trash (referring to the porn peddlers on every corner)? can't they just make that illegal??

3. the super 8 motel in butt, montana is nicer than the excalibur hotel in las vegas. i wish i were making that up. you should see my hair, completely ruined today by the water pressure (or lack there of...) of the shower head.

4. it doesn't rain in barstow very often. but when it does, one has to wonder if god is a woman scorned. wow. what a storm.

5. there should be fashion police in las vegas. ones that write actual tickets.

6. is las vegas spanish for "douche bags?" because that city is filled with the douchiest people i've ever seen, complete with their affliction and/or ed hardy shirts. and hair gel. seriously, guys, time to hang up the shirts with the tattoo-like looking designs and move on.

7. to the skanky girls in las vegas. i think you believe you look pretty, but that's just the alcohol talking. your butt length, skin tight halter top dress really just makes you look fat and cheap. trust me on this one, mm kay?

8. there is no diet dew in bottles in anaheim?? not at the 2 gas stations i stopped at. insert all the usual acronyms here, like WTF, WTH, FFS, OMG, LAME. ok, so lame isn't one. but it should be.

9. my kids love the ocean. there is sand everywhere in my car to prove it.

10. that's all i've got for now. maybe there will be more later this week if i've got time....

Thursday, April 1, 2010


today's post is inspired by my friend connie. connie is a loving mom, friend, wife and blogger. she's been on a weight loss journey recently, and she likes lots of the same things that i do, including tv shows, guess jeans, shopping, and shoes. and food. and cooking. she isn't from utah, but she lives here, and she doesn't really love it here. i keep hoping she'll change her mind. i love it here.

you wanna know the kicker? i've "known" her for more than a few years now, and we've never met in real life.

ten years ago, i would have told you that is theeee weirdest thing ever. today, i think it's pretty normal.

anyway, over at her blog today, she's got a post about her goals for the month of april. it turns out that since i started blogging, i have nothing to say, so i thought i'd steal this idea and talk about what i want to focus on for the month of april. it all comes down to one word:


1. work smarter at work. this means try to stay focused, don't multi task as much, and use time wisely. this is going to be super important for the month of april for a few reasons. first, i'm taking a whole week of vacation...and... i'm not going to check my work email while i'm on vacation. for the first time in 4 years. wish me luck when i get back to the office, because i'm going to need it. second, i have a business trip in april to one of my favorite places to visit - oklahoma city. i adore oklahomans. don't judge me.

2. family really is first. my kids will start playing soccer this month, which i absolutely LOVE. i love watching them play, but it had better not be freezing ass cold weather for the next 10 weeks. yes, god, i'm talking to you. and i'm shaking my fist in your direction. dude. seriously. let's have some sunshine. i've been working on NOT yelling at my kids as much. it seems that they don't know how to deal with me when i'm calmly upset. whatever that means. calmly upset. whatever.

3. sleep. for the love of all that is precious, this girl needs more sleep. i need to balance the day with the night. the nighttime is the right time.

how do you find balance?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

cooking is love

a recent conversation with a coworker made me laugh out loud...and caused me to reflect on where i'm at in my life today. i'm going to share the story with you, even though it's not really my story to tell.

i tell you because it COULD be my story to tell...

i have to paraphrase... forgive me. you'll get the gist of it.

my coworker is in a rental car in a neighboring state, taking prospects to visit some of our clients. in the car, they were talking about casseroles and some of their favorite recipes. at one point in the conversation, one of the prospects commented, "twenty years ago, if you had told me that i'd be in a mini van in the middle of nowhere talking about my favorite casserole recipes, most of which include tater tots as the main ingredient, i would have killed myself."

i nearly peed my pants i laughed so hard. and then i thought: THAT WOMAN COULD BE ME. if you had told me15 years ago that today i'd be planning meals, cooking from scratch, and canning my own food, i'd have flipped you off and lit another cigarette. and then i would have stuffed some peanut butter cups into my mouth.

fast forward 15 years, 2 marriages and 2 kids later. i love being a mom. i love feeding my family. i never ever thought i'd be this ... domestic. but here i am. and although i work in an office all day long, i love being a homemaker, too.

my mom wasn't a fantastic cook, but she tried to feed us dinner every night, even after a long day at the office. i really took the family dinner hour for granted. in fact, most of the time, it was a major drag. my mom made horrible things like salmon loaf (omg. the horror) and creamed salmon with peas on toast. and brussels sprouts. yes, i realize this is borderline child abuse, but it has made me into the strong woman that i am today. and hell no, i don't eat salmon loaf. i have never made it, and i never will.

even as a kid, my sister and i loved to cook. i've always loved to read recipes, especially the ones that are on cake mixes, bottles of ketchup and sides of cereal boxes. and don't forget the ones inside the box of cream cheese. i love reading cook books and talking to people about recipes, and their favorite things to eat or make for their family. the way some people are passionate about cleaning or scrapbooking or whatever their vice is, that is how i feel about cooking.

cooks love to cook with with fresh ingredients. it's often about where the food came from. where do i have to go to buy what i need? where did it come from? how much salt is in a serving? how much fat? calories? yes, i read labels. and i've been shocked at what i read on some labels.

there is one major ingredient that is way too prominent in the food you buy at the store: sugar. that led me down the road to canning my own food...

over the past few years, i've started making my own jam. i still use sugar, but i can control how much sugar goes into it. and it's NOT high fructose corn syrup. it's sugar. and fresh fruit. jake is addicted to peanut butter (an addiction that is genetic. my dad has it, and i have it too.) and so we use lots of jam around these parts.

i also can my own chicken. i'm not super crazy (yet); it's not organic, free range chicken. but it's boneless, skinless white meat. very little salt. and water. if i'm going to use foods of convenience, i want to know where they came from and what is in them. last year, i bottled salsa, tomato soup, peaches and tomatillo salsa. ohhh... and i also did applesauce. i hated doing the applesauce and i never want to make it again. but i will if my kids decide they love it.

now i'm certainly not perfect. i love to eat a big mac every now and then. how sick is that? i love french fries. i love oreos. and ice cream. and pesto. chocolate cake. frozen pizza is a rare treat at our house. i'm not a total freak about letting my kids have sugar, candy, bleached flour, etc. it's just that we keep it to a minimum.

for me, cooking is a love story. my kids request special foods on their birthdays, on weekends, and even sometimes just for dinner. i yell too much, i lose my temper too quickly, i hate folding laundry, and i don't do mornings, but i make kick ass food almost every single day. that makes up for it, right?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the X is silent

ex-blogger. for the last several months, that's been me. i could probably count the number of blogs blog posts i've read in the last 6 months on my fingers. i've been thinking about returning to the blogosphere for some time now, but for whatever reason, i just haven't done it.

that changes today, friend. to. day.

here it is. my first post. well, kinda sorta. i'm gonna say it out loud: i'm ready to come back to blogging. i'm not saying i'm going to post every day. at this point, let's just hope i can post something once a month.

things i miss about blogging:

1. reading YOUR blog.
2. meeting new friends on the interwebs who think i'm cute/funny/bitchy.
3. writing. i love writing. i hope i've not forgotten how.
4. sharing my stories of wit, sarcasm, accomplishment and opinion with you.
5. your comments. about how witty, sarcastic, accomplished and opinionated i am.

i'll still keep my recipe blog, no measurements, because cooking is something i adore and want that to all be rolled up in one spot. no measurements will be undergoing a makeover soon, so you'll probably want to watch for that. pay no attention to the fact that i haven't updated it in 3 months.

i'd like to thank my sister elana, for helping me come up with a name for my new blog...inspired by urban dictionary.

i'll leave you today with the definition of jess, according to urban dictionary:

A Jess is a person who is generous, talented and kindly. The name itself means "wealthy", and this is true, as a jess will always be rich in spirit and personality. Also used by some kids to mean "awesome".

The term should not be confused with the Spanish jess (pronounced hess) which means a woman with low moral standards.

Hey, don't you just love that girl?
Yeah, she's so jess.