Friday, November 30, 2007

"Hey Zuzu, what happens every time a devil gets its horns?"

I hate Christmas, and I'm not afraid to say it. Actually, that's a lie. I am a little afraid, because I know I'm going to be judged for saying so. But that's okay because I'm not proud of it, it just happens to be the truth. Don't misunderstand, I'm not opposed to the Christmas that gets portrayed on the front of Pottery Barn magazines or Martha Stewart specials. Those look lovely. But I don’t have a set designer, a staff, or enough money to justify themed sheets expressly for the month of December. Instead I am left to loathe the practice of Christmas list-making that my kids begin in August, the blaring of non-stop Christmas music in department stores beginning mid-November, and the fact that if I don’t decorate with lit up deer and life size snow globes on my lawn my kids call our house “boring”. Wanna know what else? I hate buying presents, because no matter who I have on my “list”, I forget at least ten people. And I never know who those ten people are until they show up on my doorstep offering me homemade doses of "aw-crap-now-I-have-to-get-YOU-something.” Not only that, but everywhere I look I see people spending more than they can afford only so I can pay later for their bankruptcy. And my final point: Aren’t we supposed to be celebrating the birth of the Savior? Because I don’t think Jesus would be very impressed with our methods. More importantly, I don’t think He would require me to hang excessive decorations or spend money to fill my house with more crap.

So yes, when it comes to Christmas I have some issues. I have even gone so far this year as to call my closest friends and say, “For Christmas, I’m not getting you anything. Thought you should know.” At this rate, I have good news and bad news. The bad news first: This gets worse every year. The good news: I just learned that it is not my fault. Last week when I was helping with Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s house the topic of Christmas came up and I heard my mother from across the room mutter something like, “I just don’t like Christmas.”
My eyes flew open wide as I gasped, pointed to her and shouted, “YOU! YOU did this to me?”
“Did what?” she asked.
*I* hate Christmas!”
She winced and gave me an apologetic nod while hesitantly adding, “I just never felt like that’s how Jesus would have wanted it.”
“Ah-ha!” I pointed at her and jumped up and down. “It’s your fault!”

So you see? My disdain for this time of year isn't psychological at all, it's just biology! What a relief. In the meantime my Bishop has asked me to write the Christmas program for church. After politely and eloquently sharing with him my thoughts, (I believe "Uh...but I hate Christmas" may have been my exact words) he replied, "Well then," he replied, "maybe there's a reason you're being asked."

Well then.
I hope he's right.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

40 Things I love about Cory on his 40th Birthday

Even though we've already celebrated, today is the actual day. Happy Birthday Studly.

1. His favorite way to drink water is to fill his cup with ice, add water, and then let it sit until all the ice is melted. This way the water is perfectly cold and the ice doesn’t get in his way when he drinks it.
2. He comes home from work early so he can play baseball with Drew before it gets dark
3. He can ride his bike for 78 miles
4. Over three Colorado mountain passes
5. He goes into the other bathroom in the morning to blow dry his hair so he doesn’t wake me up – his idea.
6. He did a face mask with me once, just to see what it was like
7. He let kids throw jell-o at him during a church activity
8. He never complains about taking parent duty so that I can do something fun with friends
9. Come to think of it, Cory hardly ever complains about anything
10. He works hard
11. He ate crawdads with my nephews, eel in Solvang, and squid heads in China
12. He is honest
13. He likes practical jokes
14. He doesn’t worry about what other people think of him
15. If it hadn’t been for him, we never would have gone to Israel
16. We had been married one year when I had surgery that resulted in 13 staples up my abdomen. I got sick one morning, and when he heard me throwing up he instinctively ran to the bathroom and pressed his hand against my stomach for support so it wouldn’t hurt as bad.
17. He is not afraid to say he’s sorry
18. He does our taxes
19. When Drew was 7 months old Cory took him on a weekend trip by himself to visit his ailing grandmother in California. It was her first introduction to Drew, and her last visit with Cory.
20. He has a strong moral compass
21. For Mother’s Day one year he spent THREE HOURS making me a salad out of the Martha Stewart magazine – he learned the hard way that Martha was going to make him roast and peel his own peppers and grow his own cilantro – we ate at 8:00 pm – it was the best salad I’ve ever had
22. His hugs diffuse my stress
23. He reads my blog
24. And not because I ask him to
25. The letters he wrote while we dated almost always included a reference to MacGyver as well as secret messages written and hidden under the stamp
26. He wants secret passageways in his dream house
27. He compliments me on a good hair day
28. He still laments the day that “Land of the Lost” was taken off the air without warning
29. Anyone who spends an evening with the youth at church learning a hip hop routine and then comes home to show it to me deserves nothing less than my affection
30. He is always warm, a nice bonus during winter months
31. Through thick and thin, he is not critical of me and shows that he loves me no matter what
32. I find this remarkable
33. He is the fun parent
34. He lets me paint and decorate the house however I want
35. Whenever there is a drawing, raffle or contest, he always expects to win (which he often does) and if he doesn’t, he is genuinely surprised
36. It took me a LOT longer to feel ready for marriage than it did for him, but he never pressured me
37. He can hang with geeks AND athletes
38. He waltzed with my Grandma on our wedding day
39. He sang to Michael Jackson and Madonna at a Chinese karaoke bar
40. He asked me for forever

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Random Facts

I've been "tagged" in the blogosphere to share a few random facts about myself - one asked for 6 items, the other for 7. So I compromised and chose 8. If you do not feel better about yourself after reading this then I am powerless to help you. Here you go:

1. I have signed my Congressman’s name hundreds (thousands?) of times – a skill I acquired during a summer internship on Capitol Hill
2. The left side of my chin is still partially paralyzed from when I had my wisdom teeth pulled
3. I know all the words to the “Xanadu” soundtrack
4. I had two Navajo foster brothers growing up. One was awesome, the other stole money from my brothers and caught me dancing in front of a full length mirror in my Dolphin shorts, an incident I didn’t live down until he left.
5. I was in a TV commercial with Ed Greene, one of Denver’s news station weather gurus
6. Once when riding in a car with my friends I began singing along earnestly to “Almost Paradise” on the radio. I thought I sounded good. My friend Kara was massaging her temples when she asked me to stop, unable to hide the edge in her voice. I still sing out loud to the radio, whether I sound good or not. Except now I know that it’s most likely “not”.
7. My first job was cleaning light fixtures in a light store on Saturdays. The only reason they hired me was because it had been my sister's job, and she was leaving. They hoped I might be as great as she was. They were disappointed, but never said so out loud. And yes, ALL of the lights. In the whole store.
8. Face, torso, arms, back, head, left leg, then right leg. I dry off in this order after a shower every day.

I now tag "kizz", kerri, ginger, lorie, and "madame mim".

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hawaiian Highlights

Three days in Oahu, four days in Kauai, and four more days at my sister's house in Arizona for the Thanksgiving holiday. It feels like forever since we've been home. After a total of six separate departures, landings, and security checks, I have very few complaints as our flights all took off and arrived on schedule and kept all of our luggage in tact. My only nagging question is why my brand new 10 oz. bottle of coconut lime verbena lotion (bought specifically for this occasion)was seized and ordered to the trash by the TSA and yet the character sitting next to me dressed in black with a two foot long chain suitable for whipping and strangling that hung by his belt loop breezed through security. Whatever. Anyway, in case you're wondering if I just made this whole thing up about a trip so I could get out of blogging for a couple of weeks, here's the evidence.

This was my very favorite thing from the whole trip - that's me in the water after jumping from the top of the waterfall!

The Prince Golf Course on the north shore of Kauai came highly recommended as a way to attain golf nirvana. We didn't pass it up:

This is where I gained a testimony of Jo Jo’s shaved ice. Cory ordered a blackberry raspberry flavor served over vanilla ice cream with a vanilla crème poured over the top. I am still having dreams about it.

Our waiter the night before recommended this beach as having great waves and being the best for body boarding. He left out the part about lava rock lining the ocean floor. Cory decided to risk it, I decided to watch (translation: read my book) from the shade of the swaying palm trees on the shore. Only one of us walked away unscathed.

The "Grand Canyon" of Hawaii, Waimea:

Cool lighthouse:

While mom and dad frolicked in the Pacific, the kids hung out at my sister's where they endured grueling hours of movies, outings, and Sonic EVERY DAY for lunch!

Cool couple at a cool resort looking far from cool as they approach the very uncool phase of middle age but trying hard to appear cool anyway:

Since arriving home last night with snow on the grass, we've traded in our flip-flops and swimsuits for winter coats. Reality can be harsh, but there's still no place like home.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hawaiian Hiatus

I'll miss you guys over the next little while. Really, this is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you. [insert evil laugh]

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Speechless

I had Thursday's post figured out before Thursday even got here. Because Thursday was November 8th, making it the first day of the END of the sugar fast. Thursday was also my first day of working at a 3-day Christmas boutique where I happen to know that they serve fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls daily. The plan was to eat my cinnamon roll, experience enlightenment, attend parent/teacher conference, then stop by my friend Ali's house for our official end of the sugar fast party where eating chocolate cake, cotton candy, and root beer floats was no longer a crime punishable by shaming from peers. I planned on taking pictures of our wide-eyed Wonka-like experience and posting them here under the title: "Whoever said nothing tastes as good as thin feels has never had Patti's cinnamon rolls."

So you can imagine my astonishment when not only did I NOT experience enlightenment at the first bite of the cinnamon roll, but it made. me. sick. As in, when I got to the party I still felt so gross that I could not even fake a longing for a Reese's peanut butter cup. I choked down a few bites of ice cream just to try and redeem a little of the pleasure I used to know. I honestly don't know what to make of it. I fear this situation will somehow change me into an organic-eating-Omega-3-popping-birkenstock-wearing-cabbage-chewing-yoga-seeking-*gasp* "say you're not eating FRENCH FRIES!!" girl, because I prefer making fun of those kinds of people. On the other hand, my little experiment has witnessed changes on the scale and differences in the way I feel.

Then again, I hear the island of Kauai has the best shaved ice EVER. And you can get it served with cream poured on top, which sounds like an idea worthy of some kind of solid gold trophy in the shape of a cone. Well then, maybe there is hope after all....

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dear Dr. Phil:

My daughter has cried herself to sleep for two nights in a row because we put our old car up for sale. She said she has become attached to it after all this time and worries that it might not go to a good home. Lately I have been thinking that we should move to Guatemala and build homes for the poor so that she might hone her abilities to handle change. Would this be an effective approach in your opinion? If not, is there some kind of potion I can mix and shoot into her veins while she is sleeping that will allow her to part with crusty stuffed animals and endure my hairstyle changes?

Sincerely,
Confused and Concerned in Colorado

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The next, NEXT best thing

From the time we started dating Cory told me his plans of owning a Corvette by the time he turned 40. I was 22. I just smiled and nodded and thought, "Oh how cute. He has goals." I'm pretty sure that nowhere in his plan did it have a clause stating what to do if pragmatism got in the way of said Corvette, so let's just make one right now and let's call it...the "minivan clause". This clause states that in the event of needing a new vehicle to accommodate your family you might have to forego your man car even though your crucial timeline of a birthday is a mere few weeks away.

So, no. Cory's not getting a Corvette to celebrate his four decades of life. Recognizing his need for a plan B, he stated to me a couple of weeks ago that all he wanted now for his birthday was for the Rockies to win the World Series and could I please write Todd Helton a letter stating his wishes. I don't need to elaborate on how THAT turned out.

Scrambling for a plan C he mentioned to me the other day, "Maybe you could send me to baseball fantasy camp?" Little did he know, I already had a plan C. It started over a year ago when I told the banker across the desk that she had to promise me there would be "no paper trail, no statements sent to my home, no ordered checks, no evidence whatsoever that I had opened this account." I'm sure she thought I was a battered wife saving for an escape, but quite the contrary. I was a grateful wife trying to surprise my husband but needed a way to stockpile money and withdraw it without my accountant of a spouse knowing about it. It worked, and I've been stashing all of my side money from photography jobs into this account, just so I could do what I did on Saturday night.

I chose a new Hawaiian restaurant near our home to break the news. Near the end of the meal I lied about needing a bathroom break and ran to the car to retrieve the box of goods I had prepared earlier. I slipped it next to me and a few moments later asked if anyone was ready for dessert, at which point I revealed the box and handed it to Cory. Inside was a Hawaiian t-shirt, some coconut lime lotion, some macadamia nuts, an Almond Joy, and a lei, and taped to the top of the lid was our itinerary for a 7-day Hawaiian Vacation.

Twenty-four hours later he is just beginning to digest the reality of leaving the Rocky Mountains for sunny beaches very soon, but I think he likes the idea. I couldn't help but ask, "So, are you disappointed that it's not fantasy camp?" to which he replied, "Oh, it's fantasy camp!"

So if you happen to notice a future lull in posting, I have one word for you: "Aloha!"

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Do drug dealers and mafia take their kids trick-or-treating?

I joke that my neighbors are Russian mafia. I’m sure it’s just a figment of my wild imagination, but I can’t figure out how else to explain the Mazda by day and Mercedes by night, or the fielding of phone calls in a park when there’s nobody else around and the person in question isn’t even with his kids, or why his wife and children would be out walking down the street at 10:30 at night in the middle of the week. So I admit that I was a little surprised to see him out on Halloween taking his adorable little girl (dressed appropriately in satin and tulle with a tiara) trick-or-treating. Go figure. I guess he’s just like any other guy, raising his family and running a really successful trash removal company.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

What I Know For Sure - Vol III

Is this getting old? I'm not afraid of the truth, so tell me if you don't think this is funny anymore. In the meantime, here is my list for November.

1. Filing my heels with a pumice stone and shaving my legs should count as an upper body workout
2. If you’re in the middle of using an eyelash curler and you feel a sneeze coming on, you should remove the eyelash curler immediately instead of trying to power through it. I’m just saying.
3. I have a TV crush on John Krasinski
4. It is always good to remove your shirt before opening a pomegranate. This can be especially tricky for women.
5. Rosie O’Donnell’s therapist is underpaid
6. Whatever psychological damage I’ve done to my kids so far, it’s not as bad as the poor kid at the junior high school who’s being dropped off in his dad’s milk delivery truck
7. I will never buy the Bedazzler
8. “This is going to be really short” is music to the ears when commencing a middle school band concert
9. Mixing velvet pajamas with flannel sheets can be a catastrophic combination for a restless sleeper
10. If you have a 'y' chromosome and you find yourself walking around a craft fair carrying a stuffed moose the size of your SUV, this is grounds for revoking your man license