Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 AT A GLANCE

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As 2008 comes to and end I have been reflecting on the year as a whole. So, much has happened this year. They say to really understand someone you much walk a mile in there shoe. I am a bit of a collector and these are mine, ok well a few of them. (Yes, Ken thought I have gone mad taking pictures of shoes. LOL.)

Got married
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Honeymooned in Cancun, Mexico
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Moved to a new state (First time ever living out of state from my mom.)
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"There's NO place like home, There's no place home."

As an only child I now have a brother and sister-in-law, nieces and nephews.
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Become a telecommuter

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Became the Catholic in a non-denominational church

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Learning to make new friends, again.

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Voice Lessons Barbie got married (last of the hs girlfriends to get married.)
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We found and added the uppy puppy to the family.
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GI Barbie had her first baby.

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Malibu Barbie (girlfriend from college) finally got her ring after 5 years!!!!!!

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Welcomed many new little people into the world.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday and it was NOT Me

Thanks to a fellow blogger I look forward to Mondays and laughing about all the things during the week that "weren't" me. In this stressful and imperfect world why not laugh at our imperfections.





I did NOT hide things in closets and under beds and spend the majority of my Wednesday trying to be prepared for Christmas Eve dinner with Ken, my in-laws and my parents. I also did NOT love every minute of entertaining and once again know that I need to go into event planning.



I was NOT so proud of Ken for spending 4 hours and making home-made pasta for Christmas Eve dinner.



I did NOT burst into tears, over God knows why, while singing “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”

I was NOT so excited on Christmas morning that I woke up at 0430. I do not know what it is about Christmas but I just get SO excited and it has nothing to do with the presents. It is just my favorite time of year.

Christmas day was NOT spent playing Wii bowling and boxing at my sister and borther-in-law’s. I also did NOT completely enjoy kicking Ken’s bum at boxing.

I did NOT feel pathetic when my parents bought groceries because they felt we did not have enough food in the house. We are doing fine but now have enough food to feed an army. I’m a much better giver than receiver.

After Ken got food poisoning on Saturday and things coming out of every orifice possible every 30 minutes for a full 8 hours and my taking care of him, I am NOT still some what grossed out just being near him.

I am NOT plotting to get my parents to move to South Carolina. I’m an only child and I miss my Mommy.

I am NOT second guessing the choices I am made and wonder if they are REALLY what God had planned for my life or if I messed up somewhere.


I am NOT so thankful that despite a few bumps in the road that I really do have a good life and an easy one at that.

I did NOT step on the scale this morning, freak out and then eat a cookie. Hello that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for. On that note: I also have NOT written out my resolutions all ready.

I’m NOT panicked that I only have three days to bring in the other half of my numbers.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Coconut Shortbread Cookies are EVIL!!!!

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Makes 2 dozen

Prep: 20 min Chill: 1 hour, 10 min

Bake: 30 min per batch


I love to bake and found a recipe for the above mentioned decadent evilly delicious cookies in December 2004 issue of SouthernLiving Christmas at Home. Thanks to Mamma Spawn, I too am a collector cooking and decorating magazines. Ken is a hard core chocolate chip man and I thought these cookies would be great for Christmas. I was able to get 31 cookies out of the recipe, which is a good thing, because there are now only 8 left. These cookies are dying a quick and honorable death. Watching my what I eat has turned into watching cookies go into my mouth. And the sad thing is……I will have to bake MORE for Christmas. I suppose I can make sacrifice for the sake of Christmas. They taste like Pepperidge Farm Brussels. If you too, would like the recipe for these cookies, knowing full well that they will NOT make it to wherever you plan on taking them, let me know and I will share the wealth. Otherwise, I wish you a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It’s Monday again and It wasn’t ME




My gift for the white elephant Christmas party was NOT a bottle of Boone’s Farm Watermelon wine. I also did not laugh my bum off when Ken suggested this. (A member of my extended family brought it to our wedding. Sorry, if you drink this but it is not real wine. Clearly states “malt beverage” on the bottle.)



On the same note, Ken purchased a new kung fu hamster that sings for a $1 as his white elephant gift and we did NOT roll on the floor laughing as we tortured the baby puppy with it all last week.



Upon finding Ken’s dirty socks on top of the coffee table (I just LOVE finding them there.) They were then NOT used to dust the entertainment center and various other family room items before being put in the hamper.



After being accused of having an panty fetish, because I own enough underwear to clothe a small country, I did NOT pout a little as I got rid of each pair of Victoria’s Secret sizes small and medium that I will NEVER be able to fit into again. Plus I was NOT calculating how much money I had spent when they were purchased. Did I mention the Barbie girl is a reformed shopper……….. I did NOT just blog about my panties!! That would be completely unladylike.



The better part of my week is NOT being spent cleaning the Baribie mansion from top to bottum in preparation of the Mamma Spawn and Gu coming next week. This is the woman who taught me how to clean, if there is dirt she will find it. So, everything come out of the fridge and that was cleaned top to down as well. All this was NOT done with Christmas music playing full blast.



My biological clock did NOT tick when we visited Greenville and saw close friend's new born.



After thinking about babies, my mind did NOT move on to the fact that Ken is still not working regularly (Hello, people of Columbia...BUY HOUSES!!! Look for Wickersham Homes and if you need repairs, a deck, trim work or any thing else built call Kwick Construction.)



NO time was spent today rolling around on the floor, growling and snorting at the uppies as we played.

I'm completely NOT stressed over money and bills.

I did NOT fall victum to the uppies
during lunch.
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I did NOT think was too cute.
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My heart did NOT sigh at how bad and cute this little bugger is.
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I did NOT laugh out loud when he began doing a cry / bark becuase I would not feed him food.
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Ah the Good Life........

Being married takes certain about of adjustment for both parties. I was accustomed to a life of I suppose some luxury (I was raised that buying a high quality item on sale was a good thing, but to NEVER buy anything cheap) whereas Ken did not care what kind of things he furnished his home with so-long-as his tools were top of the line. How quickly he has gotten used to the “good” life. Am I a bad wife in the fact that I usually refrain from the “I told you so”s with Ken, but simply bask in my rightness quietly?

This morning, I happened to laugh out loud when the man, whom gave me the look of he could not believe I had the audacity to register for Egyptian cotton bathsheets (which were on sale at the time), pouted at the fact that all the “Big towels” were dirty and heaven forbid he had to use a regular oversized towel. This is also the same man who rolled his eyes when I talked about the thread count of sheets, was also asking why the “old sheets” were on the bed (I have never purchased anything under 250 count. TJ Maxx and Marshalls are my favorite places to go.) I just have to laugh at the fact that my manly man has tapped into a little of the metro man within. (Shhhhhh, he’d hate it if he ever knew I said that.)

Take our wedding registry again (We’ve been married for eight months and counting now) ………….. Being the planner, I pretty much knew what I wanted to register for. I invited Ken to go along (thinking he wouldn’t go) and he went. I thought that it might be a good bonding experience. (Famous last words…) In the middle of Target I was having to explain that a $350 coffee maker is not a wise choice when ….A. I already had a perfectly good coffee maker that matched everything. B. We each only drink one cup of coffee a day. This logic was NOT sinking in, so I let him scan it full knowing I would simply remove it from the website later. (Yes, I am evil, but a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do.) In place of his over priced java maker, I registered for an Ohio State (Ken is a HUGE fan) couch blanket, a great toaster oven (I was a toaster girl, but the man really likes toaster ovens.), a Tools of the Trade lobster pot (the boy can cook a mean mess of crab legs.), and a few Calphalon items.

A monster was born…..After receive one knife the man swore he needed more, so I took him to Macy’s to see the cost of one Calphalon knife. Upon sticker shock he happily goes to Marshalls and TJs so we can “hunt for” good stuff. It has become a fun game for us. My impulse buying man has learned that it is best to not buy an item because he wants it, but to wait and save until we have the money and find a really good deal on the top of the line items.

He even brags to other people about how I have gotten him used to a homey life style. Also, a laugh out loud moment when my manly man is explaining to other men how important thread count is when considering sheets, towels, etc. I must admit his conversations are more like, “Yeah, you don’t understand, these big towel things are so big and soft that you can wrap it around your whole body.” LOL. Gosh, he is so freakin’ cute.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

LIVERS AND GIZZARDS, OH MY!!!!!!!

Its bullocks I tell you simply bullocks!!! So, Ken has a frequent shopper card to a local grocery store which is (such a ploy to spy on customers in order to do target marketing) great way to save money on food. At any rate, they were generous enough to give us a free twelve pound turkey (reasons why Ken should not do the grocery shopping because who the heck knows how much we have spent in order to qualify for a free twelve pound turkey). Yay, free food!!!!!! Since we are still really tight on cash we decided to cook the turkey this week and make several meals out of it (With just the two of us, I will be eating turkey up to my eye balls.) Needless to say, I have never cooked a turkey. Gu, my dad, normally smokes or deep fries it. (Amazing when injected with Cajun butter sauce.) Turkey cooking is a MAN job.

For the last three days we have been thawing the turkey in the fridge. So the little bugger, Ken, sneaks off to work this morning. Does he at any point offer to clean the turkey? Of course not!!!! Nope this Barbie has also NEVER cleaned a turkey. UGH!!!!! There I was at 8 am reading directions on the back of the turkey to figure out how “in theory” this is all supposed to work.

HELLO, you want me to put my hand WHERE and pull out WHAT!?????!!!! “Pull out part package located behind the neck.” EXCUES ME………..What the heck do you do with a neck!!!! Is this not something that should oh I don’t know be thrown away before you package, freeze and put in a grocery store? What self respecting Barbie puts her hands up a birds bum and is expected to pull out body parts. I say again, it’s bullocks!!! I have rubber gloves, but someone (might have been me) thought it would be a bright idea to take the gloves out of the box and just leave them under the kitchen sink. Can’t be used on food.

My hand goes in and grasps something (hard and long ……NO …slippery and long …………. BAD BARBIE! LOL. Ok there is just no good way to say it with out….well you know.) So it’s the neck. SO GROSS!!! Great and according the package there is more. Fun times. I am nearly elbow deep inside a bird’s bum and I cannot find the “parts” package. Must you have a degree in turkeys to do this? I have heard of the Butterball help line. I was not about to call up and ask where I might find the “packs” package.

Ah ha, another whole at the top of the bird!!!!! I must say, when something is referred to as the parts package I expect it to be sealed. Not so much! More like an open piece of parchment paper with one thing I could id as the liver (Yay, two years of pre-med) and a few other things I have no clue what they were. Yeah, recommended use by Ken……boil and make gravy OR feed to the uppies. I wouldn’t eat this crap, why would I feed it to the dogs? According to Ken they would like it and Gizzie grew up on stuff like that. UGH!!!! Well as much as they are my babies they in fact lick their own bums so……. (Did I really just talk about dogs licking their bums in a blog?) So, I suppose the dogs are getting a treat today.

I had to call my mother-in-law to find out how long to cook this thing. For those of you whom do not know. You bake a turkey for 30 minutes for every pound. This bugger has been buttered under the skin along with sage thyme and other spices, and oiled on the outside with a rub I concocted out of items in the spice cabinet.

Here is to hoping tomorrows headline does not read, “BARBIE GIRL RUINS BIRD” I might be a little domestic goddess on some things, but this is so not it!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

REAL men eat QUICHE

They wear pink too, but that is a whole other blog entirely. (Lol. Ken disagrees and is still not too keen on the powder blue polo I bought for him in the early months of dating. But, I like it so he wears it about two to three times a year. Oh the power of the woman!!!! Teehee.)

Perhaps, it is a girl thing, but one of my favorite things is a good quiche, salad, and a bowl of soup; especially on a cold December day. OK, fine it is in the 70’s here all week – EAT YOUR HEART OUT NORTHERN READERS!!!! No, the Missouri girl does NOT miss the snow! I’m in capris, a t-shirt, and denim jacket and LOVING it!

So, I made quiche last night. Mmmm broccoli cheese quiche. I altered my recipe a bit to try to entice Ken into liking it. REALLY easy recipe, but it changes all the time depending on what we have in the house. Here is the basic frame work. Make sure you mix and match to suit your tastes, because this is ONLY a frame work.

Meiko’s Quiche Basics


• 6 eggs (I used 3 and some apple sauce yesterday. Had exactly 6 eggs in the morning and had the bright idea I wanted to boil 3 for breakfast and a snack, before I planned dinner.)
• ½ to 1 cup of milk or half and half. (You are going to have to eye-ball this. If using 6 eggs go with the whole cup of milk.)
• 1 ½ cups of Bisquick (Ok so I cheat! You can also use pie crust or flour.)
• 2 cups broccoli (can be frozen or fresh. If fresh make sure to blanch a little.)
• 2 cups of cheese (Cheddar, Colby/Jack, Mexican blend. Whatever.)
• ½ cup of onion
• Pepper
• Garlic salt
• Mrs. Dash
(optional)
• 4 strips turkey bacon
• 5 mushrooms chopped
Mix eggs, milk, Bisquick, and seasonings in a bowl and set aside. Then place all other ingredients in a glass pie plate. Pour batter mix over the items in the pie plate. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. (servings: 4)
(Ken’s addition) Serve with One dollop sour cream

Well, Ken wasn’t thrilled with it, but he liked it enough to eat it all. VICTORY!!!!!!!! Ken now eats quiche, I don’t think he’d eat it everyday, but he said it was pretty good.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Scootie Scoo and Gizzie Too - The Very Uppy Day

Hi my name is Scooter and my big sister is Gizmo we are the puppies (children) of people known to you as Mieko and Ken. Our mommy calls us uppy puppies ‘cause all though we are very cute, we also can get into a lot of trouble. ‘specially me ah ‘cause I’m little and like to play lots. Mommy is writing a book about us, IF she EVER finishes it and we have our own blog, but….Mommy has been using this ‘puter thingy like she owns it or somefin’. So, here is a story about us.

We woke up this morning at 6:30, pottied and had breakfast. I thought it was a regular day, but something deep in side me wanted to do back flips off of Mommy’s head. I don’t know, I just felt uppy. Gizzie and I feel asleep on the couch while Daddy slept and Mommy made the lunches and cleaned the kitchen.

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I don’t know what happened during my morning nap, but by the time I woke up I was even more uppy. I ran around the keeping room like a wild man. Jumped at the refrigerator and almost pressed the button to make cubies fall out. Gizzie and I LOVE cubies. Then Daddy woke up so I ran toward the bedroom, jumped on top of my house, bit the back of Gizzies leg, then jumped on Daddy’s head and bit his nose. Mommy wasn’t happy. She yelled and I got my nose smacked. Then Daddy went to work and Mommy, Gizzie and me went to the office.

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I tried to tell Mommy I was sorry for being so uppy, I just couldn’t help it today. I could not stop bitting Gizzie’s ears or legs and she was biting me back. We fought over the ball. We have two but I always want the one Gizzie has. It tastes better. Then we were rough housing, but Mommy was on a conference call. Oops. So then we were REALLY in trouble.

Mommy took me outside to burn off some of my uppines.

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Mmmm I love acorns.

We played ball. I dug holes in the yard and got into trouble again, but then I found a stick.
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We came back inside and I decided that I was going to try to be REALLY good and not be so uppy. Gizzie hardly ever gets in trouble,so I tried to be just like her.

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Money See Monkey DO

Then Daddy came home early a little after lunch.

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We LOVE hanging out with Daddy. Other than Mommy, he is one of our favorite people. I was still trying to be good and I guess it worked, because Mommy gave me a peanut butter kong later. They are my favorite!!! I promise to be extra good tomorrow.

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Anyone who has not experienced unconditional love, has never been loved by a dog.

Monday, December 15, 2008

NOT Me Monday

Ok so now that I'm back at the Barbie mansion (lol.), I am settling back into my normal life. Woohoo sleeping in until 6:45!!!!

As the little uppy puppy and the big dog preferred to snuggle Ken last night instead of the person who they had not seen in a whole week, I DID NOT feel slightly jealous and heart broken.


I WAS NOT secretly proud of Ken after getting paid on Friday that he only took $20 for himself and deposited the rest in my account. The accounts will remain separate until we are on the same page about money. Odd way to be married, I know, but it is better this way for now.


On the same note, WASN”T ME who longed to buy a new Christmas outfit. Black suede Ann Klein shoes from Hammrick’s ~ $32, tweed pants from Ann Taylor Loft ~ $69, black and white sweater from White House Black Market ~ $88, NOT that I looked or anything.


And I SO DIDN’T also perused the Macy’s jewelry items. NEVER!!!!

There was NO snoozing through our workout today, either.



NOT
still wearing my slippers and no make-up while working from the home office. Really what kind of woman do you take me for??????


I also so AM NOT enjoying that I am safely at home in SC while the Atlanta office is being invaded by the Dutch. Nothing like corporate popping in on short notice to mess up your week.


I WOULD NEVER blog first thing in the morning while my techs trying to set up my remote access to my Atlanta computer.


My resume so DID NOT get sent to Vera Bradley for an open position along with a wispered pray to God to give me strength and without telling Ken or anyone else about it.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Ever the Planner

Have you ever noticed that the anticipation of an event is so much more intimidating than the actual thing? Paralysis by analysis. Well before anything happens you have thought about it from every angle and considered all the what-ifs in the world. Some may say that if you trust in God whole heartedly there is no need to waste time on the small stuff and everything is small stuff. Well, ever the planner, I HATE surprises. So not, go with the flow Barbie and if I ever seem that way on the outside, it is because my planner brain has been analyzing and has all ready calculated the event as a possibility, considered all possible reactions and the consequences of my reaction. Happiness is a state of mind and I am happiest feeling as if, while all things are in God’s hands, I have some control over my life or at least I have a plan in place for whatever God has in mind. Just as the quote on my profile says, "you own your values, your integrity, your thoughts, your words, your actions and therefore, your destiny." Sure I freak-out at times and have a pity party, but those tend to be short lived. I function best in a world with schedules and deadlines and timeframes.

You may be thinking that Ken must go crazy living in this little world of mine and the answer is that he most likely does. Especially the frustration I go through when I allow myself to get off track for too long. He once asked what I was thinking as I had fallen silent during a car trip. As I took him through my train of thought…..I think it was something like this
“Wow, the leaves on the trees are so colorful right now………..Momma Spawn and I used to have so much fun on our Fall “Leaf Peeping” adventures……….wonder if I’ll do that with my kids…….kids could be fun………they produce a lot of laundry too (I do all the laundry in our house)………….Oh, that black sweater I want to wear to next week is in the dirty clothes…………..Note to self: do laundry when I get home………We have about ¾ a bottle of laundry soap and one more load full of Downey…….Did I put Downey on the shopping list for this week? ……………
Ok so you get the picture. I think most women think this much, since we are the inventory takers, social coordinators, and the finders of all lost things. Needless to say Ken’s response was that just hearing about all of that made his head hurt and he has never asked again. LOL. But the thing is…..whenever he doesn’t know where something is, he asks me before he ever goes looking for it. And it isn’t because I do most of the cleaning and if it was left out, I moved it. It has much more to do with the fact that a woman’s brain is a massive computer that might see the hubby’s keys in the master bathroom when putting away clean towels and mental records the location without much effort.

Hence why we do not have children yet. I’m still analyzing that one. I understand that you are never TRULY ready or prepared for children, but I know that aspect of my life to will be filled with schedules as well as unexpected events. LOL. Plus for now, taking care of the two uppy puppies, Ken, our household, selling software and looking to branch out into event planning is all my brain can handle.

Oh sorry went a whole other direction with the blog… thinking too much again. I guess you could say that I think and talk in circles. Many things all interconnected all leading back to my original thought. So, that anticipated event, we are being invaded by members of our corporate office next week and it could be a GREAT thing (company is sold and we NEVER have to deal with them again) OR an opportunity to learn something (People won’t be reporting to work the following week.) I won’t say that it will be a bad thing. Because in my effort to trust in God’s plan, I believe that as one door closes another opens. All of which leads in the direction your life is to go with opportunities to learn along the way. Plus, my brain has analyzed the possibilities of the good things and the bad things and how I might react.

Hope I didn’t make you think too much in the process of the blog. Just sharing my thoughts.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Words from Eleanor

Yes, the former first lady and I are tight like that and are on a first name basis. I think that when choosing what you want in life it is key to look for people whom you believe to have achieved things you want for yourself and learn from them. Well, I wish to be a good catholic, intelligent, kind, successful, and beautiful women. Therefore I try to learn from the Bible, my mom, Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Dave Ramsey, and Eleanor Roosevelt. I enjoy Eleaanor’s quotes because they directly speak to different aspects in my life and help keep me focused on achieving my goals.

Today’s Quotes:

• “People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.”

• “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

• “I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.”

• “One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.”


May you have a blessed day!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bad @ss Barbie

In the world we currently live in, times are tough for everyone and even people who thought they were financially set are tightening their financial belt. I am a reformed shopaholic and yes, I LOVE the books as well. You see, I had standards for the life I wanted to lead (yes, I am a Christ follower, but I suppose I lean toward the materialistic end of the spectrum.) well before my pay check could cover it. Hence, my bum belonged to MasterCard and Visa long after I stopped spending and began paying them off. But, the thing is that once I got a better paying job, with time and curbing my spending, I could support my lifestyle all by myself. Well, I met and got engaged to the hubby while I was still under-going financial rehab. And what can I say with all the excitement, I lapsed into old habits.

In theory, I could support myself in my lifestyle and I thought the hubby could support himself in his lifestyle, SOOOOO two pay checks and combined expenses would make life easier. Not so much!!!! I married a fellow shopaholic. Our biggest problem is that we did not have enough open and truly honest communication about money. And for a while there was so much shoulda, woulda, coulda going on in my brain that I could barely see straight. But, what’s done is done. And while I do bear some responsibility for getting us to this place, I might also bear the responsibility and willingness to get us out of it. And that is a somewhat scary place.Not that he isn't doing anything, he does a lot and is trying, but more has to be done. I suppose one person in a relationship always does hold the weight on some aspects of life. Some things you’ll do it all, some he’ll do it all, and some you both do. I am a firm believer that the latter should be true when it comes to money. But how on Earth do you get both of you on the same page? Especially if you are pretty sure you are right. (No the sky isn’t falling but being the breadwinner of your household due to the economic state means the life of luxury is over until we get out of the situation.) I know you should always ask yourself, when determining if a fight is worth it, whether you’d rather be “right” or “happy”, but in this case the action needing to be taken in the fact that I am right, will make me happy. As a couple whether you are right or wrong, you need to be on the same page. I’m willing to put on the “Grown-up” shoes, put my head down and work harder than I have ever worked, and while I won’t like giving up the life of luxury to get there, I’ll do it. But, I need us to be on the same page.

God has brought me to it and will see me through it and after a lot of prayer and tears I know only hard work will fix it. Back on the Dave Ramsey plan we go with renewed gazelle-like focus. Good-bye Coach, Good-bye Starbucks, Good-bye new shoes……. The material girl is not dead, but she has been taken over by the hard working, penny pinching diva who is willing to do whatever and I do mean WHATEVER (ok, minus anything not in keeping with being a good Catholic woman) it takes to get out of this. Besides, there are more inportant things in life than the almight $$$$$. Have have great family, friends and my in-law family. A wonderful hubby (some days more than others) and two great dogs.

Hmmm, hello Mattel……….. you have always had materialist corporate always perfectly beautiful Barbie. So, hold on to your hats, because 2009 Barbie prays a lot, sold her Coach purses on Craigslist, eats Roman noodles, might get a second job, and if the Barbie car wasn’t paid off it would be sold. With the grit of Rosie the Riveter, Barbie has a whole new attitude toward life and money.


Song of the day: “She works hard for her Money”

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cookies and 3 am

What do they have in common, well......... To begin with Christmas is my FAVORITE time of year. Call me “Martha Sewartish” but I look forward to it ALL year. There is magic in the air and Christmas has always been a happy time, even now when money is SO freakin’ tight that well, you know. (Blah blah blah, everyone is going through it right now…..) I LOVE picking out gifts for my loved ones all year long, putting up Christmas d├ęcor, listening to Christmas music and baking cookies. For my family it has always been a special family time. Yes, there are bad sides of Christmas, the materialism…..crabby people…..traffic jams… and people generally not paying attention to where they are going. Christmas mall crowds make me want to go postal. And that feeling of “I HATE people” comes on.

Anyway, I had a fabulous weekend. Baked cookies at my sister-in-law’s with church ladies on Saturday. You simply cannot beat a group of women, idle chit chat, wine and cookie dough. It helped ease my missing my Atlanta girlfriends. By the way, What is it about women that we can be in the process of eating great food and yet we can talk about other food?

“Girl, those eight cookies were so good, but you know they are going straight to my hips. I just don’t know what it is……………. I think my dryer is shrinking my jeans! But you know that reminds me, did you know the Pepperidge Farm came out with a new cake. It is so good. We had it at my mother’s house over Thanksgiving….FAB-U-LOUS!!!! Melts right in your mouth. But, man…..did I eat too much at Thanksgiving!”

As much as we talk about food, we should all weigh a thousand pounds. Or perhaps that’s why women talk so much in general, we have calories to burn.

Back the task at hand here, so Sunday after church the ladies and I decorated for the Cookies Exchange (Yes, more food.). It turned out very well. Everything was candle lit and cozy and of course there were tons of cookies. After that I headed over to the Browns Backer Club with Stu for their Christmas gathering. We lost of course, but that’s the life of a Brown’s Backer. But, more food !!!! Everyone brought side dishes. Jen made some delicious peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies, which were so good I had to eat two. (Yay, let’s talk about food some more.) The big news from the Browns Backer club is that the hubby is next seasons President. Woohoo, I’m first lady!!!! LOL. MORE planning!!!!!!! Yes, Event Planning PR Mieko (Who is Meiko you ask???? She is the Hawaiian slightly tan Barbie. My girlfriend Miranda is PR Barbie. We went to college together and both have degrees in Com/PR.) Anyhoo, post-Browns game. I went back to church for the actual Cookie Exchange Event. (Mmm, more food.) I met new people. We laughed, talked, ate, drank and were merry. The rum and bourbon balls helped. :-D I didn’t get home until 9 pm. And driving to Atlanta at that point was NOT happening.

So, this morning it was me and the open road at 4 am to Atlanta. As the song “Wide Open Spaces” flowed through my brain off and on for the 4-hour trip, I also did a LOT of thinking and God and I did a lot of talking. Still more questions than answers, but I suppose there is only one answer. He’s in control and I’m not. And some days that’s hard for the planner “Barbie” in me to get my brain around.

The whole post lunch, I’ve been up since 0315 is beginning to hit me, so I best get a few more quotes off to customers before my mind is completely gone.