Friday, January 30, 2009

Seven Questions...Table for One

True confession: sometimes I forget that the world is NOT entirely populated by stay-at-home-moms. I tend to see life through married-with-children-lenses and forget that my experience is not universal.

What is life like on the other side of the fence? A bed and a remote control all to oneself? How does a strong Mormon woman live happily single in a culture which places such importance on families?

Here's Jeanelle, she's funny and fiesty and ready to spill the beans about the single life...

#1-- Please tell us a little about yourself, your career and your lifestyle. What is life like for a fun, happy forty-something single girl these days?
I was born and raised in a suburb of Seattle. I have 3 younger sisters, 3 older half sisters and 3 older half brothers.

My parents divorced when I was in my late twenties and my mom still lives in the house I grew up in, which is just a few miles away from my home. I went to Ricks College for a year after high school, but it wasn't what I wanted, so I came home and started temping at various offices (thank goodness I took typing in high school!)

I got a job at a large manufacturing company when I was 20 and have worked there ever since. I currently work as an assistant to an executive. I love my job because it pays the bills, I work with great people and having so many years of service with a large company allows me the freedom to take time off to do fun things.

I think my life is pretty great, for the most part. I have a wonderful family and a lot of really amazing friends. I am currently the 1st counselor in my church Primary presidency and also the stake assistant camp director. When I'm not playing with my friends, serving or watching TV, I love to read and to bake.

2. What are the best things about being unattached? Share some of your zany adventures and let all of us boring housewives live vicariously.
It should go without saying that I would prefer to be attached with a mess of kids at my feet, but I can think of a few good things about being unattached. For example, after a crazy Sunday in the Primary room or after a week at YW camp with a bunch of teenagers, I get to come home to peace and quiet.

And, I know it's worldly, but I love that I can buy whatever I want. I don't have to get anyone's approval for purchases I make, major or minor. The other thing that is great about being single is I can come and go as I please. I can plan getaways and vacations without having to check against someone else's schedule, farm out kids, etc. I can decide on a whim to drive to a friend's for a weekend or spend a week in Chicago or to go to Hawaii or Washington DC or Utah or wherever I want (as long as I have the money and vacation time saved, of course).

3. How about the downside? What are the challenges you face as a single woman? How do you handle them?
It is not easy to cook for one. At all! Leftovers are only good once or twice and you can only eat so many Lean Cuisines. I also get tired of being the one and only decision maker. Sometimes it would be nice to have someone else pay the bills or take out the garbage or decide if I should refinance my mortgage.

I hate being invited to events like work dinners or weddings where you need a date. I'm used to going alone but I don't always like it.

I handle my challenges by just trying to stay positive. I didn't grow up wishing to be single but it is what it is. I'm bound and determined to make the most of it. Life is a lot more fun if you're happy.

4. I know you are an active Latter-day Saint. Is it difficult to be part of a church that is so pro-marriage and pro-family? Why or why not?
It IS difficult at times, to be a single LDS girl. Sometimes it seems as if the talks are geared only toward those who are married or who have children. Sometimes I don't want to walk in the chapel and sit alone. Sometimes I wonder if anyone will even miss me if I wasn't there. (Okay, I know that that probably won't happen while I'm serving in Primary!) But I know everyone feels some of these same feelings, married or not. I also know that, ultimately, I am responsible for myself and my own salvation, just like everyone else.

5. Tell us about your circle of friends. Do you socialize with mostly single or married folks or both? How can married couples make single people feel more welcome in their social circle? And vice versa?
I have married and single friends, Mormon and other faiths. I feel blessed that I have so many people in my life and I rarely feel alone or lonely. I have signed up for dinner groups at church and I'm the only singleton amongst three or four other couples (and it's totally okay). My married friends make me feel as if I'm part of the family and I love that.

Maybe I'm different, but I love being around other people's families. I love being invited over for dinner after church or for Family Home Evening. As I said before, I was raised in a big family and I have lots of nieces and nephews so I'm used to chaos, commotion and family squabbles.

I get the impression that some married people only feel comfortable with other married people and I understand that to a degree. But I so enjoy being in a home where the power of the Priesthood is evident and the Spirit of the Lord resides. I wish more married people would realize that single people need to be in that environment from time to time. It's good for the soul!

6. What advice do you have for younger women who are waiting around for Prince Charming or for older women who find themselves newly single?
The hard truth is...more and more women (both young and not so young) are going to have a life like mine. My first piece of advice is to make the most of what you have, not wishing for what you don't have. It will cripple you. It really is okay to want the ideal, but not if it's getting in the way of your happiness now.

If waiting for Prince Charming is keeping you from having a fulfilling life, you need to move the waiting to the back burner. Give more of yourself by serving others and learn to be happy with who you are, single or married.

I also encourage women to get their degree or some sort of vocational training so they can support themselves as long as necessary. I have been blessed to have the kind of employment that allows me to support myself fully and I'm so grateful for that.

7. I have noticed that you seem upbeat, positive and content with your life. Living joyfully is something we all need to work on, regardless of marital status. What is your philosophy for finding happiness in the here and now?
I've just always felt like it's better (and easier) to be happy than it is to be crabby and dissatisfied with your life. Granted, it's not always possible to go through life with a smile on your face, but I try to never forget that I am loved and that I matter. I try to always recognize the blessings I've been given and to be grateful for them – each and every day. And really, you just have to smile more. That's the key.
You, Jeanelle, are inspiring! Thank you.
Check out Jeanelle's Random Ramblings...they really are random and lots of fun to read. I loved this look into her heart!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You Might Be Having a Snow Day if...

...your kids are riding a sled instead of a schoolbus.

...the laundry room looks like Land's End landfill.

...nothing is crossed off your beloved To-Do list. chocolate is consumed by the gallon.
> run out of a household essential and find new joy in having a husband with a home office and four wheel drive.
...two words: carbo loading.

Monday, January 26, 2009


After a couple of unbalanced rockin', swingin' what-in-the-heck? weeks, life is slowly returning to a new normal. My beloved Silver Bullet is out of the shop and hummin' on the highway once again. Two weeks driving Brad's ancient 4Runner was a ride down memory lane and helped me fall in love with my automatic transmission, overabundant cupholders and third row seating all over again.

Brad's first week on the new job was a good one. Despite earlier fears, it is suprisingly delightful to have him home. With a toasty spaceheater and a deskful of techno-fancies installed, his first floor office has never been more inviting. The other day I took my laptop in there, shut the door and the two of us tapped away companionably, oblivious to the shrieking twosome rolling marbles all over the dining room floor. And the commute? Completely splendid. He can be home for dinner as soon as it (and kids) are ready. The new boss offered to rent him office space, but for now, things are working nicely.

I am trying to come to terms with the fact that Girl Scout Thin Mints are not part of my nutritiously balanced breakfast. Why not? I get up at 4:50 am...I should be able to have a cookie snack at 8:00! Also, am completely over the whole winter thing. I want to be outside. Four-year-old boys need to be outside. My house needs them to be keeps exploding in attempts to get their tickly bodies from jumping on the sofas and scaling the kitchen pantry shelves. Hot summer nights seem lightyears away.

The good part about disequilibrium--even for a short time--is that it forces you to hold tightly to the things that matter most. Now that things are a little more evenly balanced, I just need to remember not to let go!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Picture Book Picnic

January calls for comfort food. Suppers that simmer and bubble all day long. And if there's a delightful story for dessert, everyone's sure to live happily ever after. Try a few of my favorites:
This recipe for Chicken and Dumplings is a real keeper. After dinner you can read about the poor wolf who didn't get any chicken at all!

Or let your Magic Pasta Pot bubble like Strega Nona's,

you'll be hungrier than Big Anthony for this Tortellini Soup.

And who doesn't love pancakes for supper once in a while?

Try Martha's version. Just don't get maple syrup on the pages.

Or visit the town of Chewandswallow...

after a bowl of Spicy Meatball Soup.

Mix it once. Mix it twice.

Try this Chicken Soup with Rice.

Wishing you happy eating and happy endings...

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Not enough to cancel school, but just enough to pull out the sleds.

Sometimes Mother Nature really gets it right.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Michelle and Me

Barack's not the only one with a new job today...

I am happy to report that this guy accepted a VP-Marketing position on Monday.

Unlike the Obamas, we don't need to move.

However, he will work from a home office. Just like the President!

Which is why I am drafting the following note to our new First Lady:

Dear Michelle,

Hope your first days with the hubby at home go smoothly. I'm anxious to compare notes and would love to hear how you are dealing with transitional issues. For example:

  1. Were you somewhat startled when your husband appeared in the kitchen at 12:30 pm, innocently wondering "When's lunch?" Does Barack understand that weekday adult lunches consist only of apple peels, PB&J crusts and/or one giant wooden spoonful of Kraft mac-n-cheese?
  2. Has your better half been somewhat startled by the number of packages arriving daily at your home? Can you read the thought "Internet Shopping Addict" somewhere in his loving gaze? Does he know about Banana Republic's 75% off sale?
  3. Is the President willing to listen for bloodshed while you exercise? Shower? Nap? Will he make a quick run to the elementary school if a certain second grader forgot her gym shoes?
  4. What kind of rules will be enforced when it comes to room temperature? Noise? Lunchtime smooching? Wardrobe? (i.e.--Does Barack wear sweats?)
  5. What's more important...a conference call with Joe and Hilary or fixing the satellite receiver so that the kids don't miss Scooby Doo?

Anxiously awaiting your reply,

The First Lady of Inverness Drive

p.s. If Mrs. O. doesn't write back soon, I'd love to hear from any of the First Ladies out there. How are you managing the HOME OFFICE?

p.p.s. Thanks to Celia and Carl for this advice-filled early Valentine!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Us. On Ice.

The past two weeks have been just a tad stressful for Mr. B-rad...a job loss, a car accident, a 41st birthday, some semi-major health issues, and the general wear and tear which are the natural by-products of life in our hyper household.

But, can I just say it? The guy is smooth and handling it all with his trademark cool. This week, he flew across the country, visiting prospective "beauty parlors" and is close to accepting an offer. More details to come. He flew home just in time to single-parent the children while I fought a 24 hour stomach nasty. And, to top it all off, the guy LOST SIX POUNDS. In one week. Without trying. (Guess who found them? And, no, even the stomach nasty didn't help.)

Brad's favorite breakfast is Kashi Go-Lean. His favorite candy is a Peppermint Patty. And his favorite team is the Eagles, although he is a bit disgusted with them tonight...

Em is counting down the days til her birthday and baptism next month. She is playing basketball on a coed team and made two free throws in yesterday's game. Em's favorite subject is math, her favorite breakfast is oatmeal, and her favorite outfit is a pink and white striped hoodie with matching pink leggings.

Luke is happiest these days with a pencil and paper in his hands. He is a writer. Watch for his blog. The kid has talent. Luke's favorite thing to watch is "Tom and Jerry"--a little violent, but it's set to Tsaichovsky, so how bad can it be? Luke's favorite breakfast is waffles and his favorite word is actually.

Jake enjoyed his tenth birthday--especially the car accident part. He has conveniently forgotten that he wanted a guinea pig for a present and a big party at Bounce U. Do you think I should remind him? Jake's favorite breakfast is cream cheese with a bit of bagel on the side. His most-played mp3 song is "Can't Touch This" by M.C. Hammer.

Sam. Sam. He's my man. He can zip up his own coat! He keeps his undies dry! He writes his name! The world is a bright and happy place once more, tantrums are a distant memory. I predict smooth sailing for the rest of his life. Sam's favorite breakfast is scrambled eggs and his favorite sound is a train whistle.

My favorite breakfast is anything I don't have to make or clean up. My favorite book this week was "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. (Ooooh, so scary! Thanks, Meg, for the recommendation.) And my favorite household product is Murphy's Oil Soap. I'm just happy to have survived the week without medication.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Seven Questions...Girltalk

Anybody else got the January blahs? You know...winter pale skin, static-filled hair, a few post-Christmas pounds sticking to your ribs and a general case of The Uglies?

Beauty magazines and talk shows are full of advice. But I want to hear from someone who doesn't have advertisers to please, an on-site makeup artist and a six-figure wardrobe budget. What are REAL women doing to look and feel their best?

Here's Holly! My real-life and on-line friend. She's gorgeous, but practical and down-to earth.

Here are Holly's thoughts on beauty--inside and out.

1. Alright, Holly. This time of year my clothes are feeling tighter than a Christmas! How do you get yourself motivated to lose a few (or more than a few) pounds? What are your favorite healthy eating tips?
Okay… first of all, I have to warn everyone that I am soooooooo NOT an expert at any of these topics. But I will share a few things that have worked for me. Some more than others. Even as I type this, I just got back from a holiday feast and I’m bulging at the seams. Sometimes ya just gotta enjoy it. Know what I mean? However, the new year always gets me motivated to get in shape and lose all the weight I gained from the holidays.

As far as healthy eating goes, I’m probably the worst person to be giving advice. I love food. My family loves food. Anyone who knows me or any member of my family knows this. Food is a big deal for us. When we have a family feast, it is in large amounts. Family functions and get-togethers kill me. I literally have zero self control at these events and constantly rationalize why I’m allowed to overeat at family functions.

Here’s my theory (and let me warn you that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t): Everyone should be allowed to have ONE day a week where it doesn’t matter. As long as you are really diligent throughout the week, you can save up your calories or points or whatever. The trick is letting it be really and truly only ONE DAY. That means, if you have two family functions or parties, you have to choose ONE of them to indulge.

2. What about exercise? What works for you? How do you fit it in with your busy family's schedule?
Now I might not be that great at eating right, but I do get out and exercise. I do it because it’s a stress reliever for me and it honestly and TRULY makes me feel better. It makes me feel better physically, mentally and spiritually. Granted, some days I get more out of it than others. But let’s just say that my husband notices a difference in me when I exercise. And I am NOT talking about the way my jeans fit. I’m talking about my attitude and overall sense of self-worth. I’m happier. We all know ‘when Mamma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy!

Here’s what works for me:
I like to change things up so I don’t get bored. I only recently got a gym membership. I used to have a gym membership for several years but then we moved and the gym I was going to was too far away. We decided to buy an elliptical machine at that point rather than spend money on a gym membership. This worked for me for three years. I got up early or did my workouts during naps. I would record shows on my DVR and then watch them as I worked out.

I joined Weight Watchers after I had my daughter, Faith, as a way to lose the baby weight. I did the elliptical and WW and they both worked great. I also got up at 5:30 during the summer to run. I am NOT a morning person, but I forced myself to get up early at least a couple times a week because of the way it made me feel. Running outside in good weather is probably my favorite way to exercise, but it isn’t always doable.

Once I hit a plateau doing Weight Watchers, I decided to quit my membership (which I wouldn’t necessarily advise) and joined the gym instead. I didn’t want to pay for TWO memberships to something so I picked ONE. So far, it’s working out fine though I KNOW I probably would weigh less had I kept both the gym membership AND the WW. But… whatever. I fit exercise in by using the day care at the gym and I go in the mornings before my day gets crazy.

I ALWAYS, ALWAYS , ALWAYS do classes at the gym. Classes keep me motivated and there ON TIME. The excuse ‘I don’t have time to work out’ is just an excuse. If you want something bad enough, you can find a way AND A TIME to do it and work it into your schedule. You might think it will kill you, but in the end it will make you stronger! You’ll have more energy, more zest for life and you’ll be happier if you keep it up consistently. I PROMISE.

3. January skin is the worst...dry, scaly and pale...with a few Christmas-stress pimples thrown in. What's your skin-care regime? Do you have any favorite brands to share with us?
Like so many people, I have been plagued with extremely dry skin. As a child, I was one big eczema patch. As a teen, I had ‘Pityriasis alba’ and as an adult I have been plagued with Perioral Dermatitis. My dermatologist and I are good friends, let’s put it that way.

I don’t buy those yummy smelling soaps at Bath & Body works or any body wash for that matter. I use a very boring bar of Cetaphil on my body. That is ALL I use. Ever. (Cursed is the day when I’m out of Cetaphil and have to use my husband’s soap. I’m itchy and scratchy and BOTHERED. I don’t know how he survives!) When I get OUT of the shower, I use Cetaphil lotion. If I really want to use yummy smelling lotion, I use it in places where I don’t break out -- like the tip of my pinky or something. No, really-- I’ll get The Body Shop Body Butter and use it on my knees and elbows. I really love that stuff. (My only annoyance is that they always stop selling the kind I like the most. Curse you, Body Shop! Why did you stop selling the Sesame Body Butter?! WHY?!)

4. I know you love beauty products. Will you list your top five picks and tell us why you like them so much?

1. I love everything DHC. I use their deep cleansing oil to remove makeup. It’s liquid gold and really does wonders for ANY kind of skin you have. Even if you have oily skin.
2. Another DHC product I love is the Olive Leaf Cream. It saves my face from that dry itchy feeling you get in the winter time.
3. I love Clinique. One of the products I use every day is Touch Tint for eyes in Nude Sparkle. They have lots of colors, but I use the nude one and then use regular eye shadow over the top. It makes a great base and it’s sparkly. But not TOO sparkly if you know what I mean.

4. Origins makes a really great product called ‘Pinch Your Cheeks’. I’ve used it forever. It does exactly what it says. It lasts forever and it’s cheap. I use Raspberry, but they have Coralberry and Brownberry too.
5. I have skimpy eyebrows. I used to over pluck in high school and look like I had NO eyebrows, but I’m a lot more disciplined now and just overpluck when I’m bored or angry. Kidding. I love Clinique brow powder because you can just fill in the bald spots. That way you don’t look really fierce with those penciled in brows. Remember Uncle Leo from Seinfeld?

I rest my case.

5. What about all of us who are feeling the post-holiday pinch? Where do you go to get good deals on girl stuff? What tricks do you have for looking sharp on-a-shoestring-budget?
I understand the post-holiday pinch. I also understand eliminating things because they’re too expensive. I found THE PERFECT under eye concealer. I have still never found a better one. The problem? It’s forty dollars a pop. One tube would last me 6 months. Still, every time I ran out, I would literally have a meltdown at the thought of spending 40 dollars on under eye concealer. I don’t use it anymore. I simply can’t justify it. I use Lancome, which is half the price and I STILL hate buying it.
I have already mentioned some of my cheap favorites. Cetaphil is a big one. It’s an inexpensive fix for problem skin; and to tell you the truth, I don’t buy the Cetaphil brand lotion. I buy the knockoff lotion from Walmart. It's half the price.
To order DHC products, I team up with my sister and we buy together. We wait until we have a combined order of $75 or more and get free shipping and a 10% loyalty discount.
If I see a favorite product on sale, I try to buy a couple of them to stock up. I always hit the Clinique bonus time sales and buy ONE thing. Sometimes you can get really lucky and they’ll have a great undereye cream sample which will last five months. Totally worth it.

6. And is there anything you refuse to skimp on? What are your beauty "splurges"?
I don’t skimp on facial moisturizer. I have tried to use off brands and over-the-counter items, but the skin on my face is simply too problematic.

I also don’t skimp on hair. I have extremely odd hair. It went from totally straight to extremely curly when I hit puberty. As I’ve gotten older, the curl relaxes more and more with each day and definitely with each child. One day it’s really curly--the next it’s stringy and falling out. It’s a frustrating element in my life. You should feel sorry for me.

Hair frames your face. It’s worth a splurge. I skimp by not getting my color touched up EVERY time. I get it colored every other haircut even though I would love to have it done more often. I tell my stylist only to do a few foils on the top to save money. Because my hair is curly, I simply don’t need my entire head done in foils. Just my roots and about 10 random foils on the top. Done.

7. Finally, I know your little girl, Faith, is the apple of your eye. What do you hope to teach her about grooming, beauty and self-esteem? How can we teach our daughters to take care of themselves without forgetting to focus on the things that REALLY matter?
Gabi, this is my favorite question. As a young girl and clear through my teens and early twenties, I REALLY struggled with my self esteem. It is still something I have to continually work on. I have to constantly remind myself that I’m good enough and that my husband loves me no matter what.

I’m so lucky to be married to someone who compliments me all the time even without makeup or when haven’t washed my hair in 3 days. As fortunate as it is to be married to someone like this, it’s important to feel beautiful ALL ON YOUR OWN without compliments. I’m still working on this one.

As for grooming, one of the things I remember is that my mom always looked gorgeous and put together. She wore perfume even on days she wasn’t going anywhere, she always did her hair and looked nice for the day. My dad also told all his girls ‘not to let themselves go’ once they got married. I’ve tried to remember both things my parents taught me. I’m not saying I don’t have a day where my hair isn’t done now and then, but I do try my best to look as nice as possible.

One more piece of advice that I still have to work on is to STAND UP STRAIGHT! One way to look confident and 10 pounds thinner is to put your shoulders back, your chest out and look like you’ve got it all figured out --even if you don’t. When you stand up straight, you automatically feel more confident. My dad always said really sternly ‘STAND UP STRAIGHT!!’ It was really annoying as a teenager, but it’s worked wonders as I’ve gotten older and it’s a piece of advice I always try to remember. That, and chewing with your mouths closed, but that’s another post.

Also, I’m a strong believer that if it’s working for you, keep doing it. But if there’s something that’s really bothering you, fix it. My teeth have bothered me FOR YEARS. They don’t bother my husband, but having them fixed is important to me, so we’re finally getting it done. I'm getting braces this Tuesday. I realize that wearing braces as an adult isn’t going to do wonders for my self esteem, but it will when I’m finished. It’s important to me. And after all these years of letting it get to me, why not fix it?

I just want Faith to grow up feeling confident. I want her to be proud of who she is and what she looks like. Just thinking about her future and all the things that influence young girls these days scares me. The only thing I can do to prevent her from falling into the media trap of thinking she’s not good enough is to teach her otherwise.

I think children learn by example. By feeling good about myself and never talking negatively about myself in front of my children, I’m teaching them that I’m happy with who I am. If you go around complaining about weight in front of your daughters, they’re going to wonder if they’re fat. One of the greatest gifts I can give my children is to love myself. If I’m happy with myself, they’ll be more inclined to be happy with themselves too.

Thanks, Holly! I'm feeling better already...

Holly blogs at Seriously Holly where she frequently reviews her favorite beauty products.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Getting Jake

Ten years ago today, I was getting my first baby. I wasn't in a hospital or a midwives' office, but it was a delivery room just the same. Anyone who thinks adoptive moms don't labor doesn't know about home studies, paperwork, background checks, lawyer fees and interstate clearances.
Those first years I spent a lot of time getting Jake bathed, getting him fed, and getting him to (blessed hour!) fall asleep. Then I was getting him antibiotics, getting him potty-trained, getting him some brothers and a sister, and getting him to preschool on time.

These days I am trying to help other people "get" Jake. To understand his words, quirks, behaviors and moods. To help them get the idea that Asperger's Syndrome is part of who he is, but it doesn't define who he is. In the meantime, I am getting him to piano lessons, getting him to do his homework, getting him to eat anything outside the Bagel/Twinkie/Granola Bar Food Group.

Ten years ago, I thought I had this motherhood thing all figured out. Now I realize it's going to be a long-term learning project. I may not have all the right answers when it comes to Jake...but I think I'm slowly getting it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


If your husband has had a stress-filled week and you want to give him a really memorable birthday gift, try thinking outside the box. Look for a present designed to make him feel cool, masculine and special.

One suggestion: Do some fancy ice-driving stunts he can enjoy from the reflection of his own rear-view mirror. Then, wipeout and crack the right front wheel off the driveshaft. He will feel oh-so-cool as he stands in the snow waiting for the tow truck. He will feel masculine using words like axel and control-arm with the mechanic. And he will feel very special as he gets a one-of-a-kind birthday ride home with an obliging police officer. Total cost: $4500.

Happy Birthday, Babe!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Behind Every Cloud is a Silver Lining and Behind Every Highlight is a Silver Foil

Wow. I feel loved.

Thanks to everyone for your words of encouragement, phone calls, emails, prayers and wishes. The silver lining of our current storm cloud has definitely been soaking in the warmth of your friendship.

I think we're gonna be ok.

Not to bore you with the excruciating business details, I will liken Brad's job situation to something we all understand and enjoy:

Just imagine that Brad's company is a successful beauty salon. Brad is a colorist (a very masculine colorist, of course) who specializes in foil highlights. In fact, he is the only one in the entire salon who does foil highlights and he is really very good, with a huge book of clients.

Due to the economic downturn, this salon decides to streamline its operation and completely shuts down the color department, choosing to specialize only in haircuts. Boring, right!?
The good news is that Brad can take all his loyal highlight customers to any new salon he chooses. Next week he will be meeting with a few other salons who want him to bring his foils, brushes, & faithful clients and set up shop in their beauty parlor.
So, substitute "telecommunications firm" for beauty parlor, "market research" for foil highlights, and "vice president" for colorist and you have the general idea.
Although, wouldn't it be great if he actually could touch up my roots?!
Here's to looking for the silver lining...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Buckle Up and Hang on Tight

This is what my life feels like right now. Terrifying and exciting. Thrilling and nauseauting. After 11.5 years of stability in his current job, my husband's career is suddenly in transition. An unexpected curve in the track.

Luckily, he's got some options. They just might take us on a different ride than we had planned.

All I can say is that after almost 19 years in the same cart, I don't mind the loop-de-loops as long as I can hold his hand.

And really, when you've survived basement apartments, infertility, multiple fractures, adoption, autism, cross-country moves, minimum wage jobs, crazy co-workers, extended family drama, surgeries, premature twins, car accidents, bike accidents and potty accidents, what's one measly little mid-life career change? You can only say, Go ahead, Life. Bring it on. After all, you gave up trying to steer a LONG time ago.

Then, you keep your arms and legs in the cart at all times. You enjoy the wind in your hair. And you try not to throw up.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


When you're living miles away, I'll bet you crave it.
You'll try to treat your homesickness with some microwavable imitation,
Something found in the frozen food section, wrapped in cardboard and plastic.

Your cute little girlfriend will try to impress you
With candles, a tablecloth, and something hot from the oven.
You'll taste it and smile and maybe even ask for seconds,
But, of course, you'll be thinking, It's just not the same as Mom's...

When I'm dead and gone,
The one thing you'll miss most is sitting at the kitchen table.
And you'll wish for just one more home-cooked meal.
But cried and pouted, choked and gagged.
And, later, I found three mouthfuls of homemade goodness
Spit into the bathroom sink.
Luke's Lasagne

Brown 1 pound ground beef. Adding 1 tsp. minced garlic, 1 Tbsp. parsley, 1 Tbsp. basil, 2 tsp. salt, 2 cans diced tomatoes, 6 oz. tomato paste. Simmer for one hour, uncovered.

Combine 3 cups ricotta cheese, 3 eggs, 2 Tbsp. parsley, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese.
Grate one pound mozzarella cheese and 1/2 lb. mild cheddar cheese.

Cook 8 oz. lasagne noodles (or use oven-ready noodles).

In 9x13 inch pan, spread one-half can tomato sauce, then layer: noodles, meat, ricotta, mozarella. Repeat. Top with cheddar cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Best served with garlic toast and a crisp green salad.

(Keep Softscrub wipe all traces from bathroom sink!)
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