Thursday, December 20, 2007

Best Christmas Ever: UPDATE!

Our application has been approved! Woo Hoo!

I wasn't really worried about it (seeing as both me and Husband are kind, clean, and relatively well-off), but I definitely had a moment where I felt a bit unsure. It reminded me of my college days when I applied for a sales job at Radioshack. Once I completed my application, they informed me that they would be doing a background check on my criminal record and they asked me if there were any indiscretions I would like to confess to at that point. I might have looked guilty, because I thought for a moment before saying, "Um, no. Wait! Do speeding tickets count?"

It was so silly, because I had ZERO criminal activities to report and yet, I suddenly felt unsure, like I was forgetting something and I didn't want to get caught in the lie. Crazy!

Anyway, the point is: We're getting the dog! HOORAY! Now, I have to decide if I can wait until January 4th to get him, or if I want Husband to drive 6 hours to southern Illinois to pick him up tomorrow and to receive him as my Christmas present. Hmmmm, very tricky.

I hope everyone's day is going as good as mine! :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Best Christmas Ever!

Well, I don't want to jinx it but.... WE MIGHT GET ANOTHER DOG! :)

Yes, you read that right! Husband and I have been talking on and off about getting a second dog to be a buddy for our current dog, Logan. Logan stays home while we are at work, and it really breaks my heart every day to think about him hanging out alone all day. And it super breaks my heart when I think that he might be sad or lonely... so, the best answer I could come up with is that we simply need to get him a friend. :)

We didn't have plans to do it right this minute (I actually had Springtime in my head when I thought about it), but for some reason, I decided (in a fit of supreme boredom at work) to look up some adoption agencies around our area just to see what they had... and, I found him:

Isn't he ADORABLE! He needs a haircut to decrease the shagginess, but his little underbite is simply charming, and I am so hoping that he can come and live with us!

Logan is a shih tzu, and as a rule shih tzus are a great breed. So, I am still thanking my lucky stars that there is an adoptable shih tzu in our area! AND Logan is turning 10 months old at the end of this month, and this little guy just turned 7 months old! So, they are right around the same age with the same breed background they are both male (and, of course, both neutered). TONS in common. :) It looks like a match made in heaven to me!

So, keep your fingers crossed that the adoption agency finds my application sufficient and that no one else scoops him up before I can. :)

It would be a truly wonderful Christmas if I could fill up a second doggy stocking to hang with new toys and chewies for our new little guy.

Here's hoping!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmastime is HERE!


I'm so stoked for Christmas, I can't even fully describe it! I had been feeling so-so about the holiday season thus far, and had not really been gung ho about any of the upcoming festivities, so I was very pleased to find myself immersed in the Christmas spirit this weekend. :)

I did all of my Christmas shopping on Saturday. All of it. Every single last piece. I had a very concise list and I had planned out all my stops, and it was a piece of cake... well, sort of cake.

The first few stops were great. I swung by the Deep Discount to check for any cheaper DVDs or books, found a few things, and purchased them! The man behind the counter was very nice, and we chatted amiably about science fiction and the BBC show Coupling until it was time for me to skeedaddle.

And skeedaddle I did! Right across the street to the Target. Yikes.

Now, typically, I LOVE Target. I mean, L-O-V-E. But Saturday was... different. It was just so loud and crazy and most annoyingly: people seriously forgot how to walk down aisles or get out of other people's way - it was ridiculous! But, in spite of being stopped every five seconds behind someone with a heaping cart who really needed to turn it sideways in the aisle and block everyone else from passing by, I braved the crowds and came away from Target with all my goal items checked off my list. Score!

Next up was Best Buy: Of course, it was another madhouse, but for the sake of finding the few things I did not find at Deep Discount and for the two pieces of electronics that I needed there, it had to be done! Surprisingly, even though the parking lot was crazy and the store was full of people, the service was very good. Really, the lines moved quickly, there were a lot of salespeople on the floor to answer questions, it was great! :) So, another successful stop was checked off of my list, and I decided to quickly grab some lunch before I headed off to my next challenge: Toys R Us.

Yeah, it's true. I was stupid enough to try going to Toys R Us ten days before Christmas.... I'm not sure I will ever live down the shame of that kind of error in judgment. But, I had to! I hadn't found the toys I wanted for my nieces and I figured that they MUST be there!

Yeah, I'm naive.

Anyway, Toys R Us is the seventh circle of hell. Not joking. The parking lot was horrific, and it was only after some clever jockeying and some not nice language on my behalf, that I found a spot somewhere nearby. I then walked across the parking lot o' death towards the sliding glass doors of the entrance, mentally noting the large crowd of angry looking smokers standing outside and puffing away (obviously they weren't having the times of their lives either). But, how bad could it really be?

Once I stepped in, I wanted to immediately run back out. Honestly. The noise of arguing parents and screeching infants coupled with the nauseating stench of diaper and puke and plastic automatically set off every alarm in my head that told me to "Get out while you still can!"

But, I pushed through the knee-jerk reaction and started to make my way around the store. I did a total of two laps before I found where the toys in question were kept.... yes, they were all gone. Long gone. I was definitely WAY TOO LATE. Boo!

So, I rushed out of that hell hole in a truly foul temper, stalked to my car like a pouty five year old and slammed the door shut with great dramatic flair. I huffed and puffed for a few minutes about not getting what I wanted and about having to visit such a rotten place when it happened: this very clear, quiet sense of calm poured over me. It was cooling, and everything around me slowed down for a second. I realized I was smiling.

It may sound naive, but I believe that this sense of peace I felt was the Lord. I think he saw me there, and I think he personally touched my heart. All I can really know for sure is that I felt exponentially better - I'd even say I felt great! - and I also felt instantly sorry for how foolish I had acted at Toys R Us... what a silly thing to get upset about.

So, the rest of my wonderful holiday shopping was a breeze because I grinned through all the crowds and even through all the dollars spent because I could remember that quiet calm in my heart, and I could feel joy knowing that peace exists with us and within us, and Christmas is a time to share that with everyone around you.

May peace be with you all as you travel down the busy Holiday road - don't forget to sit quietly every once in a while and think on the true meaning of Christmas and what it really means for you and your family.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Question Time!

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Hmmm, this is a tough one, because I am a realist at heart and the word "perfect" automatically tips me into "well, nothing's ever perfect" mode.... but, if I had to give a fantasy of a perfect life, it would be very much like the life I live now except I would be much older. I have daydreams about being an older woman who has finished the mundane task of daily work in an office or other scenario, and is able to finish out her life doing the work of her choice. My husband is still there with me, of course, and we live in this small, cottage-like home in the middle of a young forest. Light spills into our yard in bright patches between the trees. I am sitting and reading in a big, comfy chair with a cup of tea, and I am waiting for our children to come home and visit. Sometimes, in this dream I am also painting. Oh! And the most important part: There is a barn, a paddock, and horses.

Maybe it's silly. But that thought always makes me completely happy and at complete peace.

2. What is your greatest fear?

I am absoultely terrified of seeing the people I love hurt. I have especially intense nightmares about them being threatened and hurt right in front of me and I can do nothing to stop it. One of my most intense and terrifying dreams has to do with someone dropping my dog off of a building that I can see from my office window. It makes me physically ill.

3. Which living person do you most admire?

Perhaps it is cliche, but I most admire my mother and father. They have both demonstrated to me the truth of human weakness and the diffcult road of overcoming and forgiving those weaknesses. I endeavor to be as much like them as I can.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

How easily I become irritated.

5. What is the trait you most deplore in others?


6. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Chastity - I honestly don't believe that sex (if approached with the right reference point) is a distractor or an evil of any sort. When used appropriately, I think that sex can deepen our realtionships and provide a key communication between people in love.

7. On what occasion do you lie?

I try only to lie when I am protecting someone's feelings. But occasionally, I have been known to tell little white lies to protect myself or avoid embarassment... it is another one of my less than admirable qualities.

8. What do you dislike most about your appearance?

I'm chubby right now, and it's not very much fun. I believe I am actually the heaviest I've ever been right now. I certainly looked more awkward in high school (during the chubby, awkward phase) but as an adult, this is definitely the heaviest I've think I've been... so, I just signed up today for the pride-shattering experience of my work's "Fit Club." It's a competition between offices to see which team of 2-5 can lose the biggest percentage of weight from Jan-June of next year. Husband and I are both signed up, so my weight will soon be known and I will be working hard to vanquish it quickly - there's cash involved too! Bonus! :)

9. What is your greatest regret?

Although I agree that regret is a worthless trick we play on ourselves, I can honestly say that I do have one true regret: My grandmother died when I was in high school, and I never really got to know her at all. She suffered a stroke when I was very young, and forever after she walked very slowly and spoke even slower. Her entire right side was basically paralyzed, so she had to re-learn how to write with her left hand (which resulted in child-like handwriting that I never understood as a kid). I had the patience of a child, and I never slowed down enough to sit and talk with her. The most heartbreaking moment surrounding her death for me came well after the funeral had ended: my other Grandma brought her up one day in conversation, and briefly mentioned how much my grandmother used to make her laugh. "She was funny?" I immediately asked. And my Grandma looked at me with great intensity and said, "Oh yes, I've never in my life met anyone who could put a stitch in my side the way Goldie could." I went to my room and cried for a long while. I never even heard her tell one joke. I really knew nothing about her. Since then, I have made it a personal goal to ask my Dad many questions about her and her life. She was an extraordinary woman, and I honestly regret that I did not know that when she was still here with us.

10. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

This one's easy! MY HUSBAND. He is my one true love. I suspect though, that if we are blessed with children, they will also be the true loves of my life... we'll see. :)

11. Which talent would you most like to have?

Oh, how I wish I could play the piano! I'd give anything to be able to play like Ben Folds.

12. What is your current state of mind?

I feel pretty good. I'm happy and successful and my marriage is wonderful. I do, however, feel I'm on the verge of a new phase of life - it's time to get really healthy! So, I feel hopeful and motivated too. :)

13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would be able to take things less seriously and be a little less sensitive.

14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I don't think I really have one yet. I suppose the closest I feel I've come is climbing out of depression. I was in a really bad place a couple of years back, and I have been able to stay (mostly) in the light ever since.

15. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

I don't know. I'd probably choose a creature that does not have to deal wih human issues and interaction. I'd be something simple. Like an owl.

16. What is your most treasured possession?

My wedding ring.

17. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Losing sight of your priorities and turning your back on your family and friends. It is only in the lowest places that we could believe that isolation from those who love us is the right choice.

18. Where would you like to live?

Wyoming. It is still the most beautiful place I have ever been.

19. What is your most marked characteristic?

Kindness, sensitivity, humility and a bit of forgetfulness. :)

20. Who are your favorite writers?

1. Kurt Vonnegut - He is my absolute, hands-down favorite. His writing really makes sense to me.

2. JD Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye changed my life.

There are many others as well, but those two have touched me most in my short time.

21. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Holden Caulfield.

There were days when I swore we were the same person in spite of our sex.

22. Who are your heroes in real life?

I am inspired by my family. I consider my sisters and parents to be the number one heroes of mine. But, I also truly find my husband to be my hero. He really saved me. I cannot ever thank him enough for that.

23. What is it that you most dislike?

Abuse. I am hateful towards people who can knowingly, and cruelly hurt other people or animals. I am especially sensitive about this and will not hesitate should I ever be presented with the opportunity to save an animal or person from their abuser. I find it an absolutely selfish and inhuman thing to do and my rage is quick when I witness it.

24. What's your motto?

I don't have one. I guess it's sort of, "Be kind" or "Be polite"...

If I remembered it, I'd put down the girl scout promise (or whatever is was called), but right now my mind is totally blank aside from the "Wilderness Girl" oath from Troop Beverly Hills - which is close, but no cigar.

25. Favorite Journey?

Traveling by horseback through the Rock Mountains in Wyoming. I'll never forget it.

26. What do you value most in your friends?

Kindness, understanding, sense of humor, and an ability to laugh easily and take life lightly.

27. Which words or phrases do you must overuse?

I say the word "totally" way too often. Not really in a valley girl way, I just use it a lot.

I also am often caught using the phrase "P.S." in conversation quite frequently. I substitute it for "by the way" and quite enjoy saying it. :)

28. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Beatrix Potter - I read her stories as a little girl, and then wrote a paper on her in high school. She had an imagination that ran her world as a child, and I did as well. I felt as if we would have been friends had we not lived in different times and countries.

29. What is your greatest extravagance?

Beauty products, and wine.

30. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

I would make us all live in the same neighborhood, instead of in three different states, so that we could see each other whenever we like!

31. What is your favorite occupation?

I like cooking. But when I can choose my profession and have my education completed, I will be a teacher. :)

32. What is the quality you most like in a woman?


33. What is the quality you most like in a man?


34. How would you like to die?

Dying in my sleep would be ideal, but if that's not possible, I'd like to go suddenly and not know that I was going to die. Surprise me God, ok?

35. If you could chose what to come back as, what would it be?

I'd like to come back as my dog. No joke! He has the best life. He just sleeps and eats and gets petted and played with. I'd be glad to trade places with him.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Road Warrior!

My job requires me to travel. Not too much, just about once a month or so (overall). Most people complain and bellyache about having to travel, but I really don't think it's all that bad.

For example, right now I am sitting in a rather nice hotel room, drinking a glass of wine (which my lovely employer will pay for) and watching trashy TV. It's fabulous! :)

However, I do miss Husband. Very much. You see, we not only married each other and share a home, but we share a place of business as well. That's right, my husband and I work together.

I had a strange moment today when I was riding in a taxi to the airport. I actually lucked out and got a driver who takes personal fares and will get out of bed to pick you up at a bar if you need him to. I was shocked, but very glad to find a reliable cabbie who Husband and I can call on when we need early morning pick-ups for travel. But, the moment arrived in the cab (since it was an hour-long ride) when the driver asked me about my job and then asked about what Husband does for a living. Well, I explained that we worked together and he shot me this look of disbelief and immediately sputtered, "Well, how in GOD's name does THAT work!?"

What!? It works because it works. It works because we've never known any different and have always worked together. It works because I find him absolutely irresistable (even when he's pissy at work - which inevitably happens to everyone).

I tried explaining it to the driver, and he just shrugged. Where it got a little unnerving was when he said, "Well, just don't screw it up by getting too casual with each other."

Hmmm, point taken, I guess. I mean, he's right, when you cross the threshold of marriage and lose that spark and the flirtation dies off, things start to get mundane. But, we still have that! We do! Very much so. We flirt at the office, just not in front of everyone. We have our little moments in his office, and I am always running back there to give him little smooches or tell him I love him. But, there is a lot of professionalism that has to be applied to an office setting. We're not super serious as an office in general, but we certainly don't smack each others' asses in front of the whole gang or anything like that....

Ah, but when we first got together there was TONS of dangerous flirting. TONS. We never got caught, but I'm sure we came close. And maybe our co-workers did notice and just never said anything. Who knows, and who really cares! We're married now, for crying out loud.

Anyway, the whole point is that the (very nice) cabbie, made me suddenly second-guess myself - not to any avail, but he did. It made me wonder if too much time together is a bad thing...

But, then I looked inside my heart and remembered that Husband still makes my kness buckle. And he still sets my stomach to butterfly mode. And I still look at him (even at work) as the only man in the world who will ever get under my collar the way he has. :) So, maybe it isn't a bad thing for two people in love to spend the whole of their days together. I say, down with the doubters! If I find joy and love and companionship from my husband all day long, then all it makes me is lucky.

But, I do have to admit that the peace and quiet of this nice little hotel is a welcome bit of alone-time. Pre-marriage (and pre-relationship really) I was a creature of loneliness, so these little trips are almost a recall of days past, a vacation back in time, if you will.

Ah, but I still miss him. Even in spite of all the lovely linens and wine and reality TV. At the end of the day, I'd still rather be wrapped in his arms sipping my wine and watching my Top Model at home. With Husband.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Well, there is an update from cheesecake land:

I stink. Not literally, I just am sucky at cheesecakes.

I went for method #2, the bake for 12 minutes at 500 degrees then turn the oven down to 200 degrees for one more hour. The result: The same damn mess I usually slop onto people's plates.

Although this time, the crack was in the shape of a giant T so I told my sister that it stood for her first name (which obviously begins with a T) and tried to pass it off as a tribute cake. My T-cake tasted pretty good, but did not (as previously mentioned) live up to my standards...

I should have listened to you Elaine! I should have LISTENED! :) Next holiday, for sure, I will.

One funny development did happen though... since I told my sister that I made the T on purpose (totally joking of course) my niece overheard and felt a little left out I guess. When I walked past the T-cake after doing some dishes, I noticed that a few new markings had shown up... curiously they looked a lot like my niece's name and my little sister's name carved into the top the T-cake in what appeared to be a six year-old's handwriting... hmmmm, very curious indeed. :)

All in all though, it was a great Thanksgiving with lots of turkey and stuffing and fun.

I sincerely hope that you all (yep, all 7 of you) had truly wonderful days as well. And here's to Christmas, where I will hopefully break the dreaded cheesecake curse!

Hey, a girl can dream.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Just to brighten everyone's Monday...
Kelley over at Magneto Bold Too had a recent competition to name her family's brand new pet bunny. (Everyone say "Awwwwwww" together!)

She's so absolutely adorable that I HAD to post her here. I also had to share with you the very first button I have ever been eligible to display on my blog! It wasn't personally directed at me, so it's not a huge deal, but it was opened to everyone and I pounced! :)

Since I'm on a cute animal kick, I thought I'd share this little video. Enjoy!
Cuteness on parade! Hooray!

The Quest for the Perfect Cheesecake

It's that time again dear readers... time for me to begin scouring the Internet for the perfect cheesecake recipe.

Every holiday (well, the biggies) I am assigned the task of bringing cheesecake for dessert. Why? I have no stinking clue. All I know is that one Christmas back in my high school days, I decided to try my hand at cheesecake baking and I've been burdened with the chore ever since.

I only call it a burden because there is a very specific science to cheesecakes. And, damn it all to hell, it's HARD! I am a whiz at whipping together the ingredients (aside from my very first attempt where I whipped the batter for too long and the whole thing ended up tasting like scrambled eggs - yeah, I rock) and baking the perfect buttery-crisp crust, but when I stick it in the oven I have already resigned myself to failure. I'm serious!

Ok, yes, I am somewhat OCD and would only consider the world's most perfect cheesecake to be a job well done, but I really don't think that's too much to expect from myself. I'm capable. I'm relatively smart. And I have been told that I do a pretty bang-up job as a cook. But, the damn cheesecake baking has always eluded me.

For those of you who have never endeavored to make a cheesecake, it may seem hard to understand my frustration. Honestly, it looks simple enough: Throw a bunch of cream cheese, lemon zest, eggs and sugar in a mixer and pour it over a crust in a springform pan. Done. But, the trick is in the baking. What temp? What timing? What method? So far not a single one has worked for me.

My first attempts always involved a standard baking procedure: Put thing in oven for 1.5 hours at 350 degrees. Easy. The result? Dried-out cheesecake-like pancake with a humdinger of a crack across the top. NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

Then, I transitioned to a new method: Bake for longer at a lower temp. Ah-ha! This must be the great white hope I have been so fervently searching for!!


Same result. A little less dry, but still with the ugly-ass crack down the center. Argh! This never happens to the chaps at the Cheesecake Factory!! WHY AM I SO DEFICIENT!?!?

So, last year, I thought I'd finally cracked it. I read a very well received recipe on one of my heavily frequented recipe sites that instructed me to bake the cheesecake on a high temperature for 10 minutes and then to completely turn off the oven (leaving the door closed) and not open it for two hours! Not only different, but easy! :) I was ecstatic to try this one out.... The result?


And the worst part about it was that it looked so perfect from the outside, I mean it was "I was dancing with glee" perfect. And I was so thrilled to not see that familiar, jagged crack down the center that all other aspects of its integrity completely escaped my mind. So, in truly embarrassing fashion, I waltzed into my sister's house with this beautiful creation and allowed myself to be lavished with praise over its structural and aesthetic perfection only to discover at dinner's end, that I was the world's largest idiot. Of course, my family all did their best to pretend they liked it (because they are awesome), but the truth was they would have rather eaten one of my cracked and dry ones instead. No one likes to get runny cream cheese gunk in place of the heaven that is correctly prepared cheesecake. :(

Woe is me.

So, this year, as my baking day approaches, I have again been looking for different ways to bake the cake and have almost made my decision. The choices are:

1. Bake the cake in a water bath for a medium length of time.

2. Bake at a high temp for a short time and then a very low temp for an hour

I'm leaning towards the second one as my experience has proved that the short time at a high temp does seem to provide a crack-free surface... but the water bath is intriguing.

So, what does this post tell you about me? I'm lame. So lame, in fact that I wrote an entire post about a baked good.

I hope you all are having more interesting days than me (not that my plodding attempt at blogging about cream cheese creations helped...) ;)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May all your cakes and pies be good ones!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Five Really Good Things...

Chani, over at Thailand Gal recommended this simple exercise, and I think it's a great way to focus in on the good things in life (because they are everywhere)...

So, here it goes!


1. A quiet snowfall watched from a warm place.
2. A cold, buttery glass of chardonnay.
3. My husband's hands and the way they feel in mine.
4. My little dog, Logan, falling asleep on my chest.
5. Those last few conscious moments before you fall asleep where the world is dulled around the edges and your whole body feels heavy with relaxation.

Your turn! :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Party Like it's Your Housewarming!

Friday night Husband and I invited over a few of our dearest and nearest to see our new house and to shower us with their compliments and praise... well, truly, we just wanted them all to come over and check out our new pad - the compliments and praise were just an awesome side effect. :)

A little back story on our situation: Husband and I got married on October 20th and we had moved into our new house on October 12th.... yeah, we planned that one really well.... We had one weekend of hard work to really try to somewhat settle in before all our attention had to be sucked over to the "big day," so when we came home the Sunday after our wedding, our honeymoon week turned into a "let's see how much crapola we can accomplish in 7 days before we go back to work" week. Not that I'm complaining, I mean, a brand new house to move into right before you become husband and wife is a HUGE thumbs-up, but it was so much more work than we had ever imagined.

Neither of us had lived anywhere aside rental apartments in Chicago since going to school and leaving home, so the idea of a new place that we actually OWNED was a major point of excitement for us. But, we honestly never once thought about how little we actually had to put inside of it, and how many windows were going to require curtains, or even how many times you can climb up and down a three-floor townhouse without collapsing. But, after four weeks of hard work and endless trips to Home Depot and Target (to which I will someday write an Ode - because I heart Target BIG TIME) the place looks pretty damn good.

So, invite our friends over we did. And it was a total blast. Two girlfriends of mine had been having less than stellar weeks so far, so I had the great honor of allowing them to get shit-faced.... one of my favorite things. And my brother-in-law was in such a jolly mood that he admitted the next morning that, at one point, our house had turned into the fun house from Hell where every door is like a new opportunity to get lost... I believe he slept on the bathroom floor for a good portion of the night before finally finding his way through the tilting hallways to the guestroom.

All drunkenness aside, Husband and I felt truly blessed that so many of our friends were able to make the journey out to our burb to celebrate with us. You can really tell who your friends are when you move from the city to the suburbs... the good ones will come out to visit. :)

And, visit they did! I'm still cleaning up little bits and pieces of the evening, and spent the good part of yesterday lounging (and watching re-runs of the Biggest Loser on Bravo) in an attempt to curb my hangover, but in spite of the aftermath, I am left with an overwhelming sense of goodwill towards my friends, and in turn, goodwill towards all man! It is one of life's little gifts to see your accomplishments through the eyes of the people you care about, and Husband and I were blessed to have that gift on Friday.

So, cheers to you, my friends! Let's all raise our beers (What? Am I the only one having a Sunday morning cocktail?!) and toast to new marriage, Friday night parties, and all the free chardonnay you can drink! Salut!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Is the Honeymoon Over Yet!?

I recently got hitched.

And It was truly one of the most beautiful days of my life. Honestly. I will never forget my husband's face (as he desperately tried to hold it together) when I walked down the aisle. Then, standing with him in front of God and pledging my faithfulness to him... (pledging my faith really - because without him in my life, I think faith would have taken a backseat to cynicism and sarcasm a long time ago) was hands-down, the best and most fulfilling moment in my life.

I am still in shock over the fact that I am married to someone as wonderful as him - I just reread that, so, trust me, I do understand how horribly cheesy that sounds - but it's true... there just really aren't better words for the way I feel. Sometimes when I look at him, I just feel overwhelmed because we are together. Our love story is not like all the others, and I will say for now that we did not appear to be destined for each other at first (our grand love saga is a tale for another time). And I believe strongly that the adversity we faced and those moments where I truly believed I had lost him, make my wonderment at our marriage so much stronger than it normally would be. He's mine. I get to keep him and hold him forever. And that, dear readers, makes me the luckiest girl in the whole damn world.

But, in spite of my incredible love for my husband, and in spite of the fact that everything during our big day went reasonably well, I have a confession to make: I am glad it is freaking OVER! Jesus, they sure do drag those things on, don't they? I mean, please don't get me wrong, because I am incredibly grateful that I had such a lovely wedding and all that, but man oh man, would everybody just stop talking about it already!? I'm over it. Really, I would much rather just move on now and not talk about our wedding until our anniversary next year.

I think what bothers me the most is all the reminiscing.... people! It happened like 20 days ago! You don't reminisce about 20 days ago, you reminisce about 20 years ago!

There's a great line from a Ben Folds song that says, "Kids today getting old too fast, they can't wait to grow up so they can kiss some ass. They get nostalgic 'bout the last ten years before the last ten years have passed." TRUE! And not just about kids, about everyone! What is is about weddings that causes everyone to turn into this broken record of, "Remember when?"

Yes, I "Remember when"! Not only was I there, but it was only a couple weeks ago! Argh!

So now, when people say, "Oooh! You just got married!? Ooooooh! Was it the best day of your life!?" I say, "Yep." And then a smile. Conversation over. Truth told. Because I am seriously just tired of talking about it. You may find it ironic since I started a blog (which, historically, can be seen as one of the most self-serving things a person can occupy their time with), but I really am not a fan of talking about myself all that much. Sometimes it's nice, but when it comes to weddings people just expect you to keep talking and talking and talking. I mean that, they ask a simple question like:

Well-meaning stranger or acquaintance: "So SM, where did you get your dress?"

Me (SM): "I got it at Bonnie's Bridal Barn."

Awkward pause as she gazes blankly and expectantly at me...

Me: "Ummm, it was pretty cheap which was good. I'm only going to wear it once after all."

More staring and a little nodding, me having already run out of things to say...

Me: "It was pretty fun. I like dresses. Weddings are blessings from heaven, and, ummm.... so, do you like Survivor? I think it rocks. Todd should totally win, I love bitchy flight attendants."


So, well-meaning friends and family members: Just give me a break, ok? Just a little break so that I don't have to talk about how heart-warming it was when Husband's cousin twice-removed hugged my great-aunt without even knowing her - how sweet! Because it's driving me NUTS!

Phew.... that's better. Onward to more important and fun topics like skincare products and chardonnay! Hoorah!

PS: If I were to create my own magazine it would be about three things: skincare products, chardonnay, and horses. What a publication! :) What would your imaginary magazine be about?

Fly Little Birdie, Fly!

Well, hi there.

For the last few months I've been cruising the popular blogs; you know, checking out the scene. And what began as my boredom reaching out for anything even semi-entertaining has turned into this wonderful, heart-warming, thought-provoking hobby that has left me everywhere from fits of laughter to cascades of tears. I have been touched by all that the blogosphere has had to offer and have truly been impressed by all the thoughtful women and men I have met (without them knowing it). It is a testament to the fact that the internet can be a real way of reaching out to each other and building a community. I would be honored to be accepted as one of the brave who share their voices here. I would love to believe that my words had some place among others' lives.

So, I'm going to give it a shot. And if no one reads this, then fine. Really, I won't be mad. The truth is, I have a lot of things to air out, and a blog is as good of a place as any to do so. Perhaps it's an even better place than any.

Only time will tell.

So, stick around.