::postcard:: remember my BIRTHDAY?

Well, I told you about the BIG surprise with my family coming into town, but I didn't mention any of my pressies (except my DC trip from ::honey::).

Well, after dinner on my bday, I was totally surprised with some gifts. I thought the Vegas adventure was everything! But soeur had gotten some folks (& I mean loads of folks: people she knows, I know, family, strangers on the street, etc.) to take pictures with Happy Birthday signs. You know how I love picture signs. THIS projecto totally took the cake. Soeur and ::honey:: got tons of folks to contribute and then soeur put them all together in the coolest scrapbook ever. Take a look.

(i have a million favorites in this book, but one is the pic on the left...if you look close you can see that instead of a newspaper in the blue box, it's ma birthday sign!)

So, in the spirit that the message was delivered:



Remember when I told you about this?

Well, I've been looking EVERYWHERE for some good fake stash to represent as a good Mo' Sister. We have 11-15 guys in the office participating and need a little something for the ladies!

{{Lifesaver: Thanks to Nicole over at A Little Sussy for this post}}
Luckily, we're up north for Thanksgiving, so in the midst of the Black Friday madness, I headed to Restoration Hardware and picked up two packages today.

When I brought them home, the nephews tried some out, and they look awesome! Now I'm nearly ready for our Movember Office Bash. ( ...are you wondering how ::his:: is looking? You'll have to wait and see!)
What are you doing to celebrate the end of MOVEMBER?


ALERT: great music

Do you know Zooey Deschanel? Do you know M.Ward? Put them together and what do you get...??? AMAZING! She&Him, in three words? ...dreamy...ole timey...heart...
and they're so great together that Paste Magazine has awarded them Album of the Year 2008 AND they're in the running for NPRs All Songs Considered Listeners Choice for Album of the Year. so check 'em out if you haven't already (and I guarantee you already love her voice. remember *baby, it's cold* on ELF? yep.)
it doesn't hurt that ::we:: might both have a little bit of a crush on her. style genius!

books: FOR FREE

Time to clean out some more books: Available to anyone who wants them, just leave a comment and whoever lets me know first, gets it! Please specify which book you want.

I got this book as a part of the Real Simple online book club. Super, super fast and easy read (think Erma Bombeck-ish maybe?). Very humorous...talks about aging. Makes you realize that although you may not have the body/face you had ten years ago, it's better than the one you'll have ten years from now, so enjoy it! She's in quite a different life stage than I am, so although I thought it was funny, it wasn't REALLY my cup of tea. But anyway, stranger or not, if you want it, let me know and it's yours! See reviews here (scroll down all the way).

I love western american lit. Love it. And this book, Proulx's first novel, won her a Faulkner award, and she has won lots of other awards and been a bestseller, so I thought I would really like it. She tells the story, through postcards, of the Blood family, a rural family, trying to survive the onslaught of the twentieth century. As the family falls apart, each heads off on their own adventure in an attempt to forget their past. I enjoyed her writing style, and each individual chapter, but I'll be honest. I didn't get the book overall. It maybe had to do with the fact that it took me about six months to finish it, so it may have been my mind that was a little disjointed. But anyway. Review here.

Enough said, right? Everyone recognizes that cover.


::home:: more reasons to love ::dude::

  • one time, ::he:: told me i could go ahead and decorate for christmas, even though it was BEFORE thanksgiving, as originally planned.

  • and then another time ::he:: bought me a new Christmas album (Wintersong - highly recommended) to listen to all weekend long!
thanks for a great weekend, sweets! it's been more than six weeks since we've had a quiet weekend at home together. and i loved it!



Once upon a time, I was going to turn thirty.
Instead of a thirtieth birthday, I got a thirtieth birthday weekend.

It started out the day before, with a pre-birthday breakfast with Bud & Barb, at our favorite breakfast place, The Bearpaw.

Barb sent me to work with plates of filled cupcakes!
After work, ::honey:: took me for a night in Vegas!

Dinner at PF Chang's, my choice.

Little did I know, others were lurking around the corner.

Surprise! Mere & Pere & Soeur were all there, too!

Out late on the strip, watching the Bellagio Fountains...

And (trying) to ring in the birthday with sparklers! (Stopped by hotel security - DRAT!)

Breakfast crepes at the Paris...oui, oui!

And back to the Bellagio gardens and chocolate fountains...

Then shopping and home!

Thanks for the surprise and the amazing birthday weekend! You guys are the best! (And can you believe ::honey:: kept this whole thing a secret!?! He who says, "Let me give you a hint: It ends with 'pod' and you listen to music with it." I didn't know he had it in him, but thank you, crazy!)


TAGGED! What You're Reading.

So this is my first ever *blog tag* from my sis-in-law, Jenny.

Here goes:

Instructions for What You're Reading:
1. Get the book currently on your nightstand.
2. Open to page 56. Find the 5th sentence.
3. Copy the next few sentences on your blog, along with these instructions.
4. Tell us whether you would recommend the book (I sorta added this part!)
5. Tag 3 other people. (I sorta changed this part.) Leave a comment on their blog letting them know they were tagged.
I'm reading PS, I Love You and I just barely started it, so I'm actually not even to page 56, yet. Oooh, skipping ahead. Walk on the wild side. Here goes:

"Holly stopped daydreaming and returned her gaze to her reflection in her bedroom mirror. She didn't feel thirty. But then again, what was thirty supposed to feel like? When she was younger, thirty seemed so far away, she thought that a woman of that age would be so wise and knowledgeable, so settled in her life with a husband and children and a career."

HA! How fitting is that!?! Okay, so I don't quite have a recommendation, yet. But I've heard a lot of people who DIDN'T like the movie say that they DID like the book. And I heard several who HATED the movie. I, however, LOVED the movie. So I'm hoping I like the book, too.

Did anyone else see this? Did you like it or not? I'm curious...there seems to be a real division.
Back to tag...I'm going to tag some folks from Arkansas that I've just recently found in blogger-land:

Joanna Mc.
Lindsay Bu.
Carrie St.


::THIRTY YEARS:: the end of a decade

In no particular order, the top ten of my ::twenties::

{{sniff, sniff}}

1. Ma Soeur moving out to Utah. I’d been living here for several years, but when Jill moved out west, watch out! The fun was just beginning. She moved out in the summer and lived in an apt that was just a few blocks away (we were always south o’ campus girls) and then moved into the dorms when fall started. Everytime she’d come visit me, she’d bring vending machine food. She had that Cougar Card thing, you know, so she’d bring me “free” stuff and treat me to all of the overloads of sugar I could handle (and that’s a lot). She used to come visit me at Out-N-Back and bring me and my co-workers food from Sonic, too. I have tons of memories of heading to meet her somewhere on campus, only to see her bee-bopping my way wearing her headphones and some sort of black satchel, complete with multiple pins and spiky hair. I still can’t believe how close we’ve become since then. I love you, sista!

2. Starting the ‘y’. If you’ve known me long, you may recall that I was always a little anti-thebyu. Now…I have no idea why. I have super fond memories because everything in my little life clicked at the same time, and it just happened to coincide with the start of thebyu…I started a great job that I absolutely loved (and continued until I graduated) and didn’t have to work weekends. I started getting financial aid, so my work hours decreased dramatically and I had time for lots of fun backpacking trips. I finally chose a major that I loved and had classes with professors who made everything soooo interesting. I finally had a car so my freedom felt infinite. And finally, I lived with (and continued) to live with people that I loved to live with…I had amazing friends in all of the areas of my life, and my life was just practically picture perfect. (aside from Chad-trauma)…I truly think that if everything else hadn’t been so great, I wouldn’t have actually made it through the Chad-trauma. (Sorry to bring it up, honey, but I love you.)

3. Hiking the AT. This opened worlds to me, it felt like. This was my first backpacking trip. And it was a month long and 300 miles. Now I kinda think it was a little insane. But I was 20 years old and invincible, so I did my research, recruited my friends Anna and Kim, bought my pack, and went. We started in New York and ended in Vermont and we had some long days. But we had amazing days. And we had crusty days. And we had really smelly days. This trip, though, opened my eyes to the beauty of the outdoors and the simplicity of carrying everything you need on your back. (And, later, it led me to a job, which led me to Chad.)

4. Chad breaking my heart. Sorry, honey, to bring it up again. I’m really NOT trying to hold it over your head! This is not one that I would ever have thought would make it to my top ten. And I’ll be honest, it probably just barely (time-wise) did…but this is my reasoning…Maybe I needed to have my heart broken to realize how much I loved this guy and how much I needed him in my life. I was a little…flaky…when it came to some parts of our relationship and I definitely learned lessons from the nights of crying and missing him…it seems I’ve had to learn them repeatedly throughout our relationship, but I now appreciate so much the love that he gives to me now and the way I feel about him…I’m still learning not to take things for granted, but I think I would be lightyears behind if things had worked out perfectly from the beginning…so there you go, honey. Thanks for breaking my heart (and coming back a few times!)

5. Summer in Africa. This is another thing that my time at thebyu gave to me. I was able to spend four months in Uganda, living with a host family and other girls in our program. That was an eye opening experience like I’ve never had. It definitely widened my perspectives, taught me to be thankful for what I have and (again) not to take things for granted. I’ve taken several vacations/trips and this was the most meaningful in terms of what I learned and saw. I also made lifelong friends that I love and hope to keep in touch with throughout my life.

6. My work. I started working for this company back in 2000. (I’m trying not to be too descriptive because I don’t want this to pop up in a search engine!!!) The work was appealing to me because it was camping, backpacking, and hanging out with teenage kids for eight days at a time. All of our students come because of complex issues they’re struggling with and we work with them on a very intense basis to help them see where things have taken a wrong turn. The work is rewarding and impactful, probably as much on staff as on our students. I came back the next year and met my ::honey:: here. And about two years ago, we came back again. I never would have guessed that my summer job would have turned into this. Sometimes I grumble about things around the office, but when it all boils down, we (as an organization) do a GOOD job at what we do. I’m happy that I work for an organization that does good, and that I can feel like I’m making a bit of a difference, in whatever small way I can.

7. Living with ma soeur. We never lived together while we were in school. I think I was a little too overbearing for her, and we may not have survived it had we attempted before we did. It was the last place I lived as a single girl, for the four months before I got married. We shared a “room” where we slept on the floor of half of the living room. (There was a sheet up – it was designated as “our room”) Ghetto! There were 3-4 dogs living there, and poor sis had to throw out half of her clothes after moving out because of the dog hair! But I loved it…she helped me with every.single.step. of the wedding stuff and was definitely my right hand…I don’t know if she even knows how much it meant to me that we were able to live together one last time before I got married. Thanks, sis.

8. I got married. Unbelievable. This is probably the hardest thing that I did throughout this decade. We’re pretty open about the fact that it was ridiculously hard for us in the beginning…like ridiculously. Neither of us have ever fought with anyone else like we’ve fought with each other. I’ve been my worst person to ::him:: and I’m so sorry for it. We’re nearing three years, and the first two were…rough. To say the least. But over the last year or so, we’ve finally begun to learn how to stop the fights, and how to bite our tongues when we should. Most people talk about a “honeymoon phase” of the marriage, and we are just now entering ours. Sometimes I’m just giddy about how much I love ::him:: and how much I love being around ::him:: and talking to ::him:: Not many couples can do the 24-hrs-together-everyday-thing but I just love it…I can’t get enough, I tell you. You’re the best, mister, just the best.

9. We bought our own place. And who knows whether it was a smart move, what with the economy the way it is. But we did, and it’s ours. I love everything about our warm, cozy, little home, and everything that we’ve done to it. It’s our blood, sweat and tears, and I am so proud of all of our hard work and for what I see when I look around at everything. I can’t believe we did it.

10. Filling up my folks empty nest. Well, nearly empty. After I graduated from college, I was a little bit scared and a little bit lost, and maybe a little bit broken-hearted. So I moved home. It was a safe place. I became a temporary wal-martian and worked for “the man.” I watched movies with my little frere, made quilts and other projects with ma mere, and learned politics with mon pere. I read western American literature, studied GRE words, and stuck close to home. And I healed. And after a while, I felt brave again, and then I left home for the last time. This time at home was so important, though, because I reconnected with my parents on totally new ground. I love them and appreciate them so much and really value the relationship I have with both of them.


mo = moustache

What do Tom Selleck and Hulk Hogan have in common with a younger version of my dad?
It's the MO!
November is now known as Movember, due to a world-wide movement towards prostate cancer awareness. (Think pink ribbon, breast cancer awareness and October. Now think moustache!) Prostate cancer will affect 1 in 6 men, almost twice as many as breast cancer will affect women.
So show your support! Be a mo brother by sporting a mo, or a mo sister by encouraging the movement. Sign up at Movember.com or show your support by wearing some duds. Ma soeur told me about it and now we've got eleven dudes at work who are on their way (including ::hubby::!) I can't wait to see the finished product!

Good Cop...Great Cop

Late night flights seem to have become the norm for us now. We arrived in Las Vegas after a five hour sleepless flight from JFK. By the time we got our bags and found our car it was almost 1am. Wife stayed awake and we talked all the way home. The conversation must have been more engrossing than I thought because as we left the gorge and entered Utah I dismissed the construction and lower speed limit signs. I noticed a car parked under the new overpass heading to the future airport, but did not even think of slowing down. By the time I realized it was a policeman I was only a mile from my exit and thought I might be able to get off of the freeway before he decided to bust me. Caprice Classics have some amazing acceleration and he was on me in no time. Apparently 82 in a 60 + double points for a construction zone could result in serious fines and outrageous insurance for the next three years. Needless to say, I was worried. While we waited for the officer, Wife and I decided to reenact one of our favorite public displays. Wife makes exaggerated gestures in the air like she is yelling at me while I cower in fear of an angry woman. Usually this takes place in Walmart and we get a good laugh at people's reaction. I don't know if the policeman saw what we were doing or if he was just in a generous mood, but when he returned with the ticket it was written for 69 in a 60 and he waved the construction zone violation. So next time you get pulled over, try having your passenger gesture angrily...it just might work. Oh yeah, and pay attention, those construction signs are serious even at three in the morning.


::wandering:: DC

After we said good-bye to J & J & kids, we headed into the city to see some quick sights and meet up with ::honeys:: college friend, Little E. We roamed around the National Mall, visited with our friends at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and then met up with E. and headed over to the Natural History Museum. (unfortunately, our memory card froze up and we LOST most of those pictures! *boo*)

Lincoln Memorial ::my:: favorite

Thanks for a great time, E! Can't wait to see you again (hopefully soon!)
Well, that's our trip in a nutshell. Next were the endless hours of flying in uncomfortable coach on a too-small-plane-with-not-enough-entertainment. But anyway.
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