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I’m officially freaking out.  How is it December 1st tomorrow?  Not only does that mean that the Holiday Madness Spirit will soon kick into high gear and henceforth kick my *ss, but more importantly, it means that my baby girl is 6 months old.  How did that happen?  Where did the time go?  Makes me think of the song “Sunrise Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof.  That song has always made me well up, even before I had kids. But now…forget about it.  Play me the first note and I’m a gonner.

And it has only now occurred to me that the line “Is the little girl I carried?” is a double entendre.  Carried as in babe in arms, but also carried as in in utero.  As in I carried you in my tummy for nine months…that is just crazy.  It’s the source of the magical, unconditional love that moms have for their babies.

On one hand, I am really excited that Lex has reached this cute age where she can interact and play, but on the other, I don’t want her to grow up so fast.  To quote ONJ in Xanadu…”Keep me suspended in time with you, don’t let this moment die.”  I want to push pause on my time machine to keep her in this yummy, no talking back, no temper tantrum phase.   And since she is 99.99% most certainly our last baby, it makes her growing up even more poignant.

So today, I am thankful for three things:

1.  Being able to share the Holidays with Lily now that she is old enough to understand it (and so I can threaten her with Santa Claus’ omniscient knowledge of whether she’s naughty or nice).

2. Lexi entering the playful, adorable, yummy phase of babyhood.

3. The end of November, hence the end of NaBloPoMo (National Blogging Post Month) which means I don’t have to blog EVERY DAY.  Phew!   So to my faithful readers, I may not be posting everyday this month but hopefully you’ll stay with me. Between shopping, wrapping, making Xmas cookies, drinking egg nog, reading my book project submissions, and yuletiding with my family, I might not be feeling too inspired to blog.

But who knows…I’ve got a fever and the only remedy might be more blogging!

Happy Holidays to You and Yours.  And remember…stay thankful!

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thunder bolts and lightning

On the eve another big Charger Game, a MUST WIN for us, I feel compelled to tell a Chargers themed story to send them some super duper Mama Mary lovin’.

I don’t remember exactly what year I first went to a game but I do know that my parents had one of the coolest tailgating traditions I have ever seen.  Along with about six other couples, they would meet promptly at 10:00am at what I still endearingly call The Murph, aka Jack Murphy Stadium, now called Qualcomm, in section J4, EVERY Sunday with their blue & gold paraphernalia, including: serving ware, pom poms, blankets, chairs, jackets and of course the BOLT Umbrella.

Most, if not all, of the men had at one time or another served in the Navy so at the top of each tailgate, after the tables, chairs and coolers were set, there would be an “insertion” ceremony.  My dad would push play on his tape player, the Navy Anthem would crackle and all the tailgatees would stand at attention, while one of them would ceremoniously insert the Charger Bolt Umbrella into the center picnic tale.  From there, the bloody marys, Frito Lay chips & fried chicken would flow.  This tradition began in the late 70’s and continued until the early 2000’s.

Witnessing this type of good ol fashion camaraderie & tradition instilled in me a deep respect for good friends and quality time together.  It also helped give me a sense of loyalty, not only to friends, but to a team that has been the worst in the league more times than the best.  In fact, most of my life, the Chargers have been the laughing stock of the NFL.  But nonetheless I am a die hard fan, and I owe that to all the J4 tailgaters: My folks, The Shraders, The Morses, The Ivans, The Hages – Junior & Senior, and the Saints.  Many of them have now passed on, but I want to thank them all for the blessing of good life lessons: loyalty, friendship, love for football and how to hold your pee for three hours until you make it into the stadium.

My sister Laurie has some of the former tailgaters season tickets as do my husband and I, so our families still enjoy the games, although we haven’t upheld the J4 tradition.

Here’s the view from our seats…

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And although we trolley now instead of tailgate, we still love our Chargers!

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So here’s to the San Diego Super Chargers…the best damn team in the nfl.  Let’s go boys…Let’s do this thing!

Cranberry Yum Yum Salsa for the Holidays

By popular demand…here is the cranberry salsa recipe.  It’s a Healing Food recipe from the UCSD Medical Center and passed to me by my friend Celine.  Yummy, healthy and color coordinated for the Holidays.  Wish I had a photo but it was devoured before I could take one (yes it’s that good).

Tip…Even if you’re not going to make it til later next month, buy your cranberries now and freeze them because at some point the stores run out and they stop stocking them.

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told you so

One night after returning home from a commercial shoot, my hubbie Steve asked me if I had seen his brand new camera mic.  He couldn’t find it and thought maybe he had left it on the back of my car that morning as he was packing all the equipment into his own car.  No, I hadn’t seen it, and after scouring the house and garage we concluded that it had most likely fallen off my car as I had pulled out of the complex that day.  Bummer…$200 some dollars down the tubes.  Oh well.

Wait a minute, I thought.  If it was on the back of my car it probably fell off somewhere in our complex, so maybe someone found it.  It’s not like anyone has any use for a shotgun camera mic…

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…not your every day run of the mill item that you might find on the street.

But Daddy Downer kept just saying, “No it’s gone.  Even if someone found it they wouldn’t give it back.  Blah, blah, blah.”  But for some reason I wasn’t going to give up that easily.

The next day I took a scratch piece of paper, scribbled a quick “LOST…Please call…” note and posted it on the community cork board next to the mailboxes.  Who knows, maybe someone will call, I thought.

A few days went by…no calls.

Then, three days later, Steve got a message on his cell phone.  The caller had not found his mic but she had seen another note:

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It was posted by the mailboxes in the complex right across the street from ours.  She had seen both notes on her daily run and figured they were matching pieces of a puzzle.

When Steve called the number, he was greeted by a nice woman who happened to find the mic lying in the middle of the road a few days prior.  She had been on a walk with her 6 year old son when they saw the mic, the case and various attachments strewn all over the middle of the road. The mom had just recently been trying to teach her son the lesson of giving things back and doing the right thing.  So, she and her son walked around the street, picking up the pieces of the microphone, which were all undamaged, and went home to make a sign (pretty cool sign too, I love the garage band graphic).    She asked Steve if he would come by the house later that night so her son could meet him and see how happy he was to have his property back.

Later that night, Steve arrived at their home, he got his microphone and said thank you to the little boy.  The little boy looked at him, smiled and said “You’re welcome.  Now YOU have to Pay it Forward.”  How cool is that?

Then Steve got home, told me the story and I said “I told you so.”

No, I didn’t.  But I really wanted to!  Instead, I immediately started wondering how we could pay it forward.  Both of us tried to brainstorm but then realized the right situation would just appear to us.  It hasn’t yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

To re-cap…here are the Lessons Learned:

  1. Don’t leave your crap on the back of a car.
  2. Have faith in humankind that there are more good people than bad.
  3. You won’t get anything if you don’t try.  And there’s nothing to lose if you do.
  4. Your wife is always right.
  5. Think positive!

So, what have you done lately to pay it forward?

thanksgiving year

Someone once told me they didn’t understand why we celebrate Valentine’s Day.  His argument was that we shouldn’t need a special day of the year to tell the people in our lives that we love them.  Call it anti-consumerism, idealism or just making a statement, it made some sense.  “Some” being the operative word because, you better believe, I like me some chocolate, flowers and/or bling bling on February 14th.  But I could see his point.

And it made me think that his rationale also makes sense for this holiday, Thanksgiving.  Yes, it’s a special day set aside to get together with friends and family, to chat and maybe squabble with one another, and a wonderful excuse to overindulge in food we never eat at any other time of the year, i.e. stuffing, pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce.  And just maybe, the spirit of the day moves people enough to tell each other what they are thankful for, including each other.

But ideally, and according to my current obsession “The Secret”, we should be telling people every day what we are thankful for, or at least telling the universe, or, at the very least, telling ourselves.  One segment of The Secret talks about waking up every morning and having your first thought and the first words out of your mouth be “thank you”.  I think it’s an awesome principle and something I try to follow, but don’t always succeed at.  It seems so easy to get caught up in what I don’t have.  How small our house is, rather that how amazing it is that we own a house.  Or how frustrating our kids can be instead of how blessed we are to have two healthy, incredible, beautiful children.  Or take today for example…I could be harping on the not-so-greats of the day:

  1. My 6 month old sticking her hand in a mound of piping hot mashed potatoes
  2. Thinking the footsteps I heard coming toward me down a long dark hallway were my daughter’s, only to come face to face with a 6 foot tall German Shepherd.
  3. Having juice from the jalapeno peppers I was chopping for my yummy cranberry salsa seep into the deep crevasse of my thumbnail bed, only to BURN like HELL for the entire day.
  4. Or the fact that three of the people that used to sit at our dining room table aren’t alive anymore, including my dad and one of my sisters.

But instead, I CHOOSE to reflect on all the positives of the day:

  1. My 28 year old hip and trendy niece complimenting my jeans and my jewelry
  2. Over hearing my 2 year old daughter tell someone, unprompted by me, that she was thankful for her mommy and daddy
  3. My delicious cranberry salsa that was a HIT!
  4. And two tables, one with my husband’s family and one with mine, full of people that LOVE each other to the nth degree, despite our EXTREMELY opposite political views and differing taste in anything other than turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.

I prefer to remember those things.  That is what the day is all about.

And in honor of the aforementioned person, the Heart Day Scrooge, who I can’t even remember who it is now, I am going to have a Thanksgiving Year.  I am going to make a pledeg to myself, and you my faithful readers, to start and end my day with a Thank You.  Either to God, the Universe, my hubby, my kids, or some unsuspecting stranger.  I am going to perpetuate positive thinking by being thankful.  That’s my mission.  Who’s with me?

And I’m going to start right now.  Tonight I want to say Thank You to all the women who have contributed to my book project, for sharing their touching, poignant, beautiful stories with me.  And especially to my friend Andrea who lost her dad 5 years ago today.  This blessing is for you… my Dad used to say it at every Thanksgiving meal…

An Irish Blessing:

May the Road Rise to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

And the rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

mama’s special day

Mama Mary’s rare day of R & R (still trying to shake the cold) –

Lily was at school and Lexi took an extra long nap…

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…allowing me time to finally get some laundry done…

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…And get caught up on 7 weeks worth of dvr’d Desperate Housewives.

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(Those crazy beyotches make me feel wonderful about my life!)

And I was able to enjoy a nutritious lunch of Buffalo Wings dipped in Ranch.

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They’re veggie so hey, they’re not that bad (thanks for the tip Benjie).

All the while wearing sweats and not a stitch of make-up (no photo for that image is necessary thank you very much).

This was a day to be thankful for!  Can’t wait til tomorrow.

Gobble Gobble!

I wanna hold your hand

For today’s post I’m participating in my first PROMTuesday from San Diego Momma.  At least it’s the first time I’ve done it on a Tuesday and actually followed the rules.

PROMPTuesday #32: One Word

The word is HELD.  Basically I have 10 minutes to write whatever comes to mind when I see this word.  Here I go:

5 Reasons Why I Love My Hubbie:

1) He HELD my hand. He holds it all the time but here are the times that stick out:

  1. On our first date to see LA Confidential.  We went as friends…until he took my hand and held it.  Afterwards we looked at each other and knew there was something special.
  2. At my father’s funeral.  I didn’t feel much that day, but I did feel the love and support from his hand hand wrapped around mine.
  3. During the birth of our girls.  I couldn’t feel much those days either (god love epidurals) but his hand around mine helped push me through.

2) I HELD his place.  Before we were dating, when we were just friends, I held his place in the over night line at La Jolla Playhouse for front row seats to see RENT.  The next day he sat in the front row with me.  He sang along and loved it almost as much as I did.  If you love RENT then I love you.

3) He HELD his pee. For our engagement he sent me on a scavenger hunt from San Diego to Seattle where I ultimately found him at Volunteer Park under a gorgeous oak tree and he proposed (look for future post on all the details).  While he was waiting for me to find him, he had to go to the bathroom, but he didn’t want to lose his prime spot under that particular tree at that particular bench.  So he HELD it for an hour til I got there.

4) He HELD the mic. Back in the day, I was known to rock the karaoke mic once in awhile, or maybe every night, I don’t know.  So when Steve stepped in one night to do the guy part in my favorite number, Shoop, I knew I was in love.  Here I go, here I go, Here I go again…

5) He HELD a boom box over his head outside my window.  No, he didn’t really do that, but I ran out of time.

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