Sunday, March 28, 2010

Six Wonderful Months

Over the weekend, MrMarried and I celebrated six months of marriage. My most favorite thing we did to celebrate was honoring the tiny tradition we've started where we talk each other through the wedding day from our own perspectives... well, if you can count something that we've done three times as a tradition!

I love to hear my husband recount the hours leading up to our wedding and the day itself from his perspective. Of course, I have my best memories from the day, but somehow he remembers little things that I just can't, and it's fun to relive the day with him. We've had this little trip down memory lane three times now- at our one week anniversary as we were lying on the beach during our honeymoon, on our one month anniversary, and now on our six month anniversary. I'm sure the "trip down memory lane" will only happen on our yearly anniversaries in the future, but I still love to relive the day.

What do you do to relive your special day?

Have a great start to you week!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday: March 26th

I've read Fill in the Blank Friday on the little things we do for some time, and thought today would be a great day to participate.  Here we go! By the way the picture is from the little things we do and I love it!

1.  The best piece of advice I was ever given was to forgive and forget. Life is FAR too short to hold grudges. You don't have to be best friends with someone who has wronged you, but stressing over the situation is wasted effort. Forgive in your heart and move on. 

2.  If I had a million dollars to give to one charity I would give it to The American Cancer Society. My father is a cancer survivor and I think the ACS has a really inspiring mission.

3.  If I got to choose my "last meal" it would be homemade Mexican food. Beef tacos, chicken enchiladas, chips, salsa, margaritas with tons of salt-- you name it-- I would eat it!    

4.  My hair is in a weird "I don't know what length I want to be" stage. I donated my hair to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program right before Christmas last year-- yes, a 9 inch donation!!-- I like the way it is growing in, but I can't figure out if I want to grow it long again or keep it at shoulder length.

5.  If at first you don't succeed call your mom (or dad, or husband, or best friend), get a pep talk, and try again. My mother is one of my biggest cheerleaders and always seems to know that right way to say "Yes, this situation is worth another shot, or get the heck out of the situation you are in, and never look back."

6.  I have always been very obsessed with cleaning and organizing. I'm always cleaning something and garbage day is my favorite day of the week when I can get the clutter and mess out of the house! 

7.  Oh....and by the way.... I start by new job on Monday! I resigned this week and can't wait to see what my new career path will hold. It was a good time for me to move on and I'm thrilled about the opportunity. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Swooning for Easter Cards

I'm working on a post about the resignation conversation that took place this week (aka what I thought was going to be be scariest thing I was ever going to have to do, and as it turns out, wasn't near as frightening as I would have thought). But since I haven't gotten my head around all of my thoughts, and since I have been writing quite a few thank you notes to references, I can't get stationery out of my head.

Whenever I can't get stationery out of my head, it's only a matter of time before I can't keep my fingers from typing in the Tiny Prints site. I've used Tiny Prints in the past for rehearsal dinner invitations, friend's shower invitations, and for our Christmas cards this past year. If I had an unlimited budget for stationary, which let's face it, I don't...I would spend a year's worth of earnings at the site. For now, I suppose a little browsing of the beautiful Easter Cards will have to do.

Do you send Easter cards? I'm swooning over these two designs right now.

Have a great week!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'm Resigning on Monday!

If someone were to tell me when I woke up last Monday that the events that took place over this past week were actaully going to happen, I would have told you that you were NUTS. But, as I look back at the week that was, and I'm confident that the old adage "Everything happens for a reason" is so, so true.

Okay, okay. Enough with talking in generalities. Let's get to the scoop.

But first, to recap:
  • I was laid off from the company that I currently work for in January (not so awesome). 
  • We were acquired by a firm that eliminated about half of the jobs  in our office (25ish people).
  • I was asked to stay with the company for a transition period (30 days).
  • Later, (end of January) I earned my job back when the people that bought us realized I rock they were in over their heads. (Duh. I could have told them it would happen.)

Before I found out I was being rehired, I polished my resume, posted it on, and started the job hunting process. When I was rehired, I didn't take the resume down, because I figured it couldn't hurt anything, and I could always plead for forgiveness if my employer ever called me out on it by saying that I had simply forgotten.

Fast forward to this Monday. I got a call from someone in HR at-- spoiler alert-- my NEW Company. The woman told me she saw my resume on Monster, and asked if I would like to interview for a position. The position didn't match my qualifications, but the company sounded interesting, and I thought what the heck? We set up an interview for Thursday morning.

On Tuesday, the HR rep called me again and told me another position had just become available-- aka the job description was still wet from the ink it had been penned in--- and they wanted me to interview for the new position also. I happily agreed, and said that I would see them on Thursday morning.

I fibbed to my current job and said I had a "doctor's appointment" on Thursday morning.  Now you must understand that I've been thinking about leaving my current job for a long time. And after the layoffs in January, I had a sour taste in my mouth. As I drove to the interview, I had an overwhelming sense of calm about me. I can't describe it, but I had a feeling of-- This is it. No looking back. Review mirror is off.

And DANG, that HR woman knows her stuff because the 2nd job that she asked me to interview for fits my wants and my skills perfectly. It's a new position they've created to help carve out a specific brand for the organization. Right up my alley. Not to toot my own horn-- too loudly at least-- but I crushed, killed, and dominated the interview, again all with a reassuring sense of calm about me... things were clicking. I left feeling great.

Friday morning, I sent in some references paperwork, and heard back from the HR woman almost immediately. She told me on Friday morning, that if I was okay with everything, they wanted to come to terms of the agreement by the end of the day. WOW.

To make a long story short-- and a GIANT thank you for reading this far-- I've signed the papers and will be starting next Monday. I'm thrilled. I did my due diligence on the company and it's executives, and talked with my husband about the move to the new organization and when we look at the big picture, it's a great fit.

I just can't believe it all happens in a week. Whew! Life flies.

I'll be traveling a bit more in my new role, so perhaps that will open up a new category of topics to blog about, and more exciting adventures. I'm hopeful that the new job will have the cash to allow us to say in some beautiful hotels so I can start a new category of posts labeled "You Simply Must Say Here Before You Die"... but if that doesn't happen, I'm sure I'll find some great things to blog about regardless. Ha!

For now, I have to go write my peace out, girl scout resignation "speech." Any tips? I've never resigned before. I'm thinking short and sweet. Something like 4-5 sentences. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Getting Around to Seeing Oscar Movies!

It was a quiet weekend at our house-- which was fabulous! Since it rained non-stop, we rented two movies, made dinner both nights, and did some plotting for some upcoming house projects-- which as you know, we do a LOT of around here!

I fully admit that we have been totally behind the ball on seeing movies recently, but after the Oscars and all the hype over the race for best actress with Sandra and The Blind Side and Meryl and Julie and Julia, I made it a mission for DH and I to see these two movies before next year's Oscars. This weekend Julie and Julia was on the agenda. So far one down, one to go. Hopefully we make it!

I'm honestly sad that it took me so long to see Julie and Julia! What a sweet movie. I can relate to Amy Adam's character- a young, married 20 something learning to cook and learning to find herself through her hobby and her blog. Although I've never tried a Julia Child recipe, I love Meryl enough to watch any movie that she is in. She was totally fabulous in this movie by the way- and I thought the effort the producers put into recreating Julia Child was wonderful! Did you know Julia Child was almost 6 feet tall in real life and Meryl-- only being 5'6"-- wore extra high heels, stood on platforms to make her look closer to 6', and that the set's kitchen counters were lowered to make her look taller? Very cool.

If you haven't seen the movie yet, I would highly recommend renting it. What other Oscar movies do we need to rent?

Have a great start to your week!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Making Use of our Wedding Gifts and a Recipe

MrMarried and I will have been married for six months this month, and it's downright sad to report how little of the wedding gifts we have been using on a regular basis. One of my bridal showers was last May- sheesh- almost 10 months ago now- and even though I was so excited to start using every gift right away, it didn't exactly happen.

I will admit I got a little scanner happy with the registry gun, but on most occasions, I came to my senses and went back into the registry manager and deleted the 4 sets of everyday flatware extra items that we wouldn't really use. Despite my efforts to only register for things I thought we needed, I still have wedding gifts that are in boxes, or have been completely forgotten about in the last six months.

This past weekend I decided I wanted to start making use of some of our wedding gifts! Don't get me wrong, if I had the opportunity, I would be game for eating dinner each night with our fine china, but something is telling me that MrMarried wouldn't exactly be game for hand washing the dishes every night... so our everyday dishwasher safe pattern it is! Anyway-- the gift that I brought out this past weekend was our lovely slow cooker.

I must admit-- I was a little scared of the thing at first. Call me a wimp if you must. Growing up, my parents didn't do a lot of cooking in a crock pot, so perhaps that is where my initial uneasiness came from... but I have friends who swear by their slow cookers, so I thought I would give it a shot.

Baby Back Ribs were on the menu and my husband (the constant carnivore) was pumped. The house smelled great all afternoon, and other than making the sauce, this recipe had very little labor involved. And the best part is-- the ribs turned out great!!

I thought I would share the recipe with you. So... here we go!

2 pounds baby back ribs
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot sauce

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Cut ribs into sections of 2-3 ribs each. 

3. Generously season the ribs with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow baking pan (I used a glass Pyrex) and brown the ribs on middle oven rack for 15 minutes. Turn over, and brown another side for 15 minutes.

4. While the ribs are cooking mix together the ketchup, chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

5. Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour sauce over ribs, and turn to coat.

6. Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 8 hours, or until ribs are tender. (6 hours was plenty for me. The time might depend on your slow cooker. Just poke the ribs with a fork to check on them after 6 hours and cook more if necessary.

This recipe definitely yields a slightly sweeter sauce. If you prefer something more tangy or spicy, I would recommend cutting out some of the ketchup and chili sauce and replacing with your favorite BBQ sauce. I wanted to make my sauce from scratch-- so I followed the recipe. Feel free to adjust to your preferences.

Have you broken out some of your weddings gifts recently? I'd love to hear about your experience!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sundays and Meet "Our Son"

I love Sundays. They are just such a good way to unwind and recharge for the upcoming week. Sunday afternoons at our house are typically filled with:
  • Laundry. Yes, I did SIX loads today which is ridiculous considering I am only doing laundry for two people. Honestly, laundry isn't a terrbile chore for me though. I'd rather wash six loads than clean a cat's litter box anyway. 
  • Cooking. Yum! Baby back ribs are in the slow cooker as I type this.
  • Snuggling. Corny? Yes. But MrMarried and I don't get a ton of couch time during the week, so we've got to take it when we can get it. Also, this couch time is shared with "our son" Midnight.
Midnight lives a really tough life. He sleeps about 23.5 hours a day. Honestly, it's all our little puffball does... but we love him anyway. Oh, the life of a cat...

Hope you are having a great Sunday.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'd Like to Thank the Acad-- I mean, My Personal Stylist for this Gorgeous Gown

Ahhh, the Academy Awards. The Oscars are one of my most favorite television events. They aren't my favorite because I am a huge movie fan, because lets be honest, I usually end up seeing most of the movies AFTER they have won awards-- not on purpose, but simply because I don't watch a ton of movies.

I do, however, love the Oscars for the fashion. The dresses, the jewelry, the hair. I'm not a crazy fashionista, and won't judge each dress based on how well it complements an actresses' skin tone, or body shape, or some other highly technical category. I simply like the elegance that so many of the women bring to Hollywood. Go, Ladies, Go!

In no particular order, here are some recent Oscar Beauties.
Kate Winslet, always classic. Always beautiful. One of my favorites.

Love this color! I applaud her for breaking out of the black box.

Jennifer Garner just rocks, and although conservative, here is a great example of when black works so well.

Reese! She always looks so fresh and well pulled together. Good Stylist? Or good personal style? Probably both :)

And how can you not love Anne Hathaway? Age appropriate and gorgeous.

I bet you can guess where I will be on Sunday evening. Enjoy the Oscars!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Open Letter to Cancer

Dear Cancer,

I hate you, and you've chosen to mess with the wrong family. 

You have invaded my father's body in the form of melanoma. Invasive Malignant Melanoma if we want to get fancy. This isn't our family's first battle with you, but that doesn't mean it makes it any easier to hear the news that my daddy, my superhero, and the man that will be there for me no matter what (other than my dear, dear husband) is sick.

I'm downright tired of you. You've invaded my dad's body once before with stage IV testicular disease, and you shook our family to the core. You took everything from my father's hair to his spunk, but you never took my father's spirit. Through his last treatments, my father--the sick one-- was so strong and told me as I sat on his hospital bed with the needles and tubes and monitors all over him that things would be okay.

My dad fought like the devil against you. He fought through the vomiting and the pain. He fought through the hours upon hours of chemo. And he drove your sorry ass into remission and then drove it even further to cure the first time... and he will do it again.

We aren't afraid of you, cancer.

Cancer, I'm not writing this letter to you for sympathy, because everyone knows that you don't dish out sympathy. I'm not writing this to you to discuss how wretched you are, because the most eloquent writer in the world could do a far better job than I ever could. Instead, I'm writing this to celebrate my father's first victory over you, and to celebrate the strength that he brings to this most recent fight.

Last Friday my dad had surgery to remove your malignant tissue. When I saw him that afternoon, and he told me that the nurses were asking all day:

"What is your name?"

"What is your date of birth?"

And, "What procedure are you having done today?"

Then the nurses would check everything against his wrist bracelet and charts. He eventually grew tired of answering the same questions over and over, so he started telling the nurses that he was having breast augmentation! HA! Only my dad! The nurses joked back with him that if he wasn't nice, they would paint his toenails while he was asleep. 

Cancer, I hate to break it to you, but these small victories, where my dad can bring humor to a crappy situation, are where we are building our case against you. And each building block gets us one step closer to bringing your tower of filth crashing down. We will do this. We will win.

This isn't over, cancer. I'm staring you right in the face and I DARE you to look away, because guess what? I'm not looking away first.


PS. As I sat in my childhood home on Friday talking with my dad about the day, he asked me to pull his sock off because he wanted to show me something. Those dear nurses had in fact painted his toenails bright purple. Every, single one of them.

Here is a picture of my dad and I on my wedding day.
He was glowing almost as much as I was all day.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Come On Spring!

Since winter lasts from November-April in this part of the country, I just thought I would share an image of the most beautiful amaryllis that is blooming in my front window right now. Come on springgggg!