Friday, October 31, 2008

The history of me oh my...

20 years ago...October 1988
1. just met my best friend becky. we are still buddies.
2. my mom just divorced tom, we were living on our own
3. i was making out with Chris Hennesey and my mom caught us
4. i smoked my first cigarette (thanks becky)
5. i went to church and was active in the youth group

10 years ago....October 1998
1. i was working at ACTC
2. i was partying with jill every weekend
3. i was 23, that explains a lot
4. i lived in an apartment with jill
5. i was dating a gigantic asshole of a man (both in size and personality)

5 years ago...October 2003
1. we were just returning from our honeymoon
2. susan was not a convicted felon
3. dad was undergoing treatment for cancer
4. i had the same job
5. we had fun hanging out with jeanne marie and eldon

3 years ago...October 2005
1. i had a six month old baby boy
2. i took pictures of him in his Halloween costume (tiger) and he fell asleep
3. my yard looked like shit
4. we lived in the first home we owned
5. still at the same job

1 year ago...October 2007
1. river was a chicken for Halloween and the "i don't like it, it's too hairy"
line became infamous
2. i planted daffodils for the first time
3. running became fun and something i was passionate about
4. i didn't eat ANY Halloween candy the whole year
5. leigh and i went to ty/kylee's wedding

So far this year....2008
1. Aunt Mary dx with cancer, underwent tx and is doing well.
2. Donna Nelson dx with cancer, undergoing treatment
3. Justin and i went to Lake Tahoe for a wedding.
4. I busted my head racing Justin in Okoboji.
5. Went to the spa in Arizona with the Mahlendorf girls.

Today....October 31, 2008
1. I had Great Harvest Bread toast with strawberry jam for breakfast.
2. RW got up in the middle of the night and changed his pajamas.
3. RW wanted to go to Beverly's house in his jammies. I said okay.
4. RW is going to be a policeman for trick or treat night.
5. our marriage is stronger than ever, i am so in love with my man.

This year.....2008-2009
1. i want to accomplish my list of goals
2. i want to eat at Steubens
3. i will change my lifestyle, become a healthier eater/exercizer
4. i will plant more daffodils
5. we will have taken BIG steps towards our financial future.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My most favorite of ALL!!

Hello cuteness. Hello love.

Two (more) of my favorite things!!

Green beans and Acorn squash. The beans are from the ACTC garden. The squash is Colorado grown. The beans were broiled. The squash was baked (with budda baby and brown sugar). Yum and Yum.

I love you Ona Pitcher!

I bought you at around noon on Saturday. It is now Tuesday afternoon and I've already used you (but not abused you) three times. Saturday night it was red wine with Jim, Misty, Jut and I. Sunday morning, you beautifully held our orange/pineapple/banana juice. And the finale (and hangover refresher) Sunday afternoon you sported some slices of lime with some water. Yum. I've wanted you for 5 years. It was a sign from God. He sent me a 15% off coupon in my latest Crate and Barrel magazine. Ahhhhh....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Our family pumpkin-palooza!

We had a great Sunday in October. The Bronco's played Monday Night Football (in hindsight, we can't really call it playing, but that is another story). That opened up a whole afternoon for a pumpkin carving extravaganza!! I would love to crown Justin as the BEST PUMPKIN CARVER EVER!....seriously, the man is a pumpkin carving MACHINE!

I stayed busy in the kitchen, toasting pumpkin seeds, making a pumpkin loaf and baking a yummy meal. I made meatloaf mini's, steak fries and asparagas. Of course, we (justin and i)spent the afternoon downing these seasonal beauties!

And for the finished product:

Four perfectly carved pumpkins and one little boy whose spirits were high! Nothing beats a Sunday afternoon with the family!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

things i'm grateful for...

1. pumpkin anything (bread, penne pasta w/ pumpkin sauce, muffins, ice cream)
2. knowing i'm going to kick ass at work today!
3. knowing river is with justin harvesting in oakland and having fun!
4. being fiscally responsible and accountable for my own future
5. pulling off an outfit last minute that i actually like (red tee, brown pinstripe)

Friday, September 26, 2008

#40-join a bookclub-check!

My first bookclub experience was awesome! Mainly because it was something I had NEVER, EVER done before. I mean paronoid nervous nelly me, meeting a group of women that I connected with on Craigslist for crying out loud? I was 50% expecting to be greeted by a psychopathic serial killer, but no, it was just another Jenny! There were six of us there: Aimee, Tray, Kate, Hilary, Jenny and Jeni (me). And would you believe that we are all red wine drinkers? That's just cool. So, we started by going around the room and introducing ourselves. That was a great idea. That's were I learned that I was the oldest one. Nice. Two teachers, two ex peace corps members, one Americorp member. Lots of personalities and great conversation. The cool thing about the group was that I interacted with women that have a much different perspective than I , so it was educational. Good thing the topic never turned to politics. I have a sneaking suspicion that I would have been in the conservative minority (what's new really?).

My thoughts on this book? I read the Kite Runner as well and thankfully most of the other girls had to so it was inevitable that we would compare. My thoughts? The Kite Runner has a dark cloud weighing over head. ATSS is a breath of fresh air with sunshine over it. Not that it is all laughter and unicorns. Au contraire. This author likes to have you fall in love with his protagonists just to destroy you and break your heart! It was an indicator of how life is for a lot of people, living abroad, probably even some living in our country. The freedom we have in the U. S of A should never be taken for granted. Not to mention the freedoms that we have as women in our country. I don't think I would fare well in Taliban run Afghanistan. You want me to wear a burqa? And only leave my house with a family male escort? And don't make eye contact with anyone? Huh? Yea, it'd be off with my head in a matter of days. But, I can't help respect their culture and although present day Afghanistan does not repress (my words, my opinion) women, it is still out there. Who am I to judge what is working for some?

All in all, a great experience. I look forward to our next meeting.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

from the mouths of babes...

river is a lot of things, lacking intelligence is not one of,
last week, he was mad and threw his $1 cell phone at me (hey, it
hurt!!), just so happened it was trash day, so i made a big production
of saying, "oh bummer, you threw your cell phone at me, now i'm going to
throw it away, in the trash. we do NOT throw things when we are
mad"...and then, i marched to the curb, threw the thing away and it
seemed to have the desired effect on the young man, i walked back in the
house and he was crying(big tears), saying, "i'm sorry mom, i'm
SORRY!!!" was all i could do, not to say, "it's okay baby, i'll go
get the phone for you", but i didn't and we learned a valuable

so, fast forward to this week....i have been trying to teach rw his
birthday..and he has not appeared interested....but, yesterday, i asked
him, "when is your birthday?" which he replied, "march 31",
we jumped up and down and yelled, "yaaay yaaay yaay", both grandma
bear and daddy said, next we need to teach him our address and our phone

so, this morning, i ask river "do you know your phone number?"...and he
replies, "NOOO, i don't have a phone number anymore, REMEMBER??
threw my cell phone in the trash"....what made me laugh so hard was that
he was 100% dead serious....oh, he's so innocent and sweet...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, Patriot Day

I was living in Lakewood, Colorado with my childhood friend, Keri. It was 9:00 in the morning, she came into my room and told me to turn on the t.v. An airplane had flown into one of the World Trade Center Towers in New York City. At this point, it was not known if it were an accident or an attack. Minutes later our questions were answered as another plane flew into the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center. Another plane flew into the Pentagon. A 4th plane failed to complete it's intended mission as it nosedived into a plane in Pennsylvania, Flight 93. The victims aboard Flight 93, after hearing of the three attacks, fought like hell to keep their plane from reaching it's destination. They are heroes. They are all heroes. All the innocent people on the airplanes, all the innocent lives taken in the towers, all those hit at the Pentagon, are all heroes. They are angels, they are in my heart forever.

God Bless America, land that I love!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This is my day so far....

Woke up quick. At about noon. Just thought that I had to be in Compton soon.

I digress and break out my inner gangster from time to time. But really, this is my day so far.

RW came a callin' about 7:45. Climbs into my bed for a snuggle. Daddy has been working/staying in Colorado Springs for days a week. Boo. RW announces perhaps he'd like to have pannycakes for breakfast. Mommy gives the option of a breakfast burrito or cereal. We agree on frozen french toast sticks. Not before he requests the french toast that is made in the pan. No way kid, not today. So, being a multi-tasking mommy, I throw his sticks in the microwave and get my coffee brewing. I just love coffee. Best time of the day. He eats his breakfast (8 french toast sticks), I have my coffee. Then I have my breakfast burrito.

Apparently, the lawn is not going to mow itself. And someway, somehow, I've become the official lawn mower of the family. In my opinion, this is total bullshit. But, if you want it done, sometimes, you do it your damn self. So, I pull out my trusty 'lawnboy'. Dammit to hell if the starter is busted. So, I pull out the husbands piece of crap John Deere. Yes, we have two mowers. And always argue about which one is better. Mine is an easy start (was) and is NOT self-propelled. His is impossible to start (you have to wind a piece of string intricately around the motor and pull), but is self propelled. I'm near tears at the point. Because if I can't get his goddamn piece of crap started, I may kill something. An act of God occured, and his mower started. So, I mowed the lawn.

Then I watered the flowers while RW enjoyed the City of Westminster working on our street with their bulldozers and diggers. They have no idea how many hours of entertainment they have provided. Seriously, a digger/bulldozer working on your street is the highlight of any 3 1/2 year old boy.

Time to go inside. RW in the bath (seriously disrupting his routine, usually a night bather, but the boy is dirty and there is NO time after work for this practice). RW out of the bath, dressed. Me in the shower. Me out of the shower. Me dressed. If I coud wear this outfit everyday I would be happy. Brown pants, blue and white striped teeshirt. I feel hot in this outfit. Anyway, we go to Bev's. I plead with him not to be jerky tonight when I pick him up and get ready for bed. He nods as if to say, "i'll think about it, but no guarantees"

Drive to work. Radio sucks. No one calls me. I don't call anyone. Atleast the sun is out and the temperature is not too terrible.

Walk in office. Phone rings. It's the mother of a fella that chose by his actions to be removed from our facility last night. She hurls the usual insults at me such as "you just kicked him out because he doesn't have the money to pay", "you don't want to deal with his disease/medical problem, so you kicked him out", "he needs help for his addiction, and you are just throwing him into prison", "don't you care that he is going to die in prison?".

I maintain my professional demeanor. Doing the whole, "i hear what you are saying and i am sure you are frustrated with this whole situation. please stay pro-active with the prison medical staff and i'm sure they will do their best to stay on top of his condition. i wish the best for you and your son. i hope he chooses to participate in all the programs offered him and perhaps in the future, we will consider taking him back"

Meanwhile, what i'm really thinking is: "this is MOSTLY your fault. you are enabling him by supporting his criminal behaviors. covering for him, saying he is in the shower, when we call to do curfew monitors is unacceptable. covering for him, when you know that he has been drinking, is unacceptable. hello? HELLO? your son's NR placement was expedited b/c of his kidney disease and you think our facility is not working with him? and he got ARRESTED for drinking underage and marijuana possession and we STILL kept him on NR and worked with him??? and now, two months later, he is drinking again, after it was clearly stated that he would be revoked if he had any more violations?? is this my fault? how is this the facilities fault? how is this NOT HIS FAULT???....seriously....some people's parents...some people's children....job security man, job security.

Anyway, that was two hours ago. After my conversation with the mother, i went to my boss. I notified him that the Wrath of Mrs. Mother had hit, that I had dealt with it and thought it was over. He looked relieved. We both knew we were going to have to deal with it today. We just didn't know who. It was 50/50. And I won?

So, I think I'm going to go order some yoga pants from Victoria Secret. This is why I love my job. Relaxed supevisors allow me to handle the stress of my job the best way I know how. Shopping.

And that is me today so far!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Zinnias oh Zinnias, I love you so!

My Zinnias kicked ass this year. Next year I'm doing zinnias in the front flower bed with marigolds in between....probably some more herbs in the flower boxes....on the side bed in the front, some more russian sage and sunflowers for height....on the side, definitely some hostas with lots lots lots of a rock/paver border around the tree with mulch inside....devastate the grass with some new seed and in the back?...hell if i know, i'll have to try new things out...oh, yes, and a few hanging pansy baskets in the front with geranium potted plants....the fall will call for an annual planting of a dozen or more tulips, dozen or so crocus, dozen or so hyacinth and of course daffodils....but, that's just off the top of my head!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Beloved...

There are a million and one reasons I love you. You are my family and my friend and you are committed to me. I am happy and honored to be your wife. You are, without a doubt, the most passionate and loving father on earth. My days are brighter because you are in them. You make me strong, you force me to relax and live life in a different way. For this I am eternally grateful and forever yours. You are the olive in my char. The Ch in my Chani. You are the apple of my jacker. I will love you more and more every day. xoxo

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Legacy: READING

I am so proud to be River's mommy. He is articulate and inquisitive and already has a love of reading. Reading has been an important part of my life and I can't imagine my life without books! It is one of my favorite activities to do with RW. We are currently reading 'The Mouse and the Motorcycle' by Beverly "greatest children's book author" Cleary. We read a few pages every night and RW looks at me while I'm reading, hanging on every word with anticipation and suspense.

My first experience reading with River was in-utero. Justin was reading 'One Fish, Two, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish'. When we got to the "hump of a bump of a wump" part, I got a bunch of kicks from inside as if to say "more more more".

As a 1-2 year old, River's favorite book was "Trucks". I always let him pick the book we are going to read and for awhile there, a LONG while he would pick "Trucks". Sometimes I would even hide the book because much as he loved it, I would get sick of it. I mean really I must have read "this is a truck going through a tunnel. this is the truck delivering the newspaper. this is the bread truck with bread for the store" over and over and over! I never hid the book too long, because he would actually go looking for it. With a look of "where did i put that Truck book? I know it must be here SOMEwhere!"

Now at age 3, I'll hear him talking and when I find him, often times it is sitting on the floor reading a book (see picture). It is too die for cute and makes my heart glow.

Obviously I am a woman and being the mother of a son, I am constantly learning new things about the other gender. Reading books to my son is opening up a whole new world for me. Instead of chick lit and feminine genre, I have been learning, albeit at the toddler level about more traditionally male things. Like trucks, automobiles, trains, planes, tractors etc. It's been interesting for sure. And, I'm loving every minute of it!!

Now off to perfect the PPPBBBBFFFFFF Ralph makes when operating his motorcycle. I love it!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!!

Yes, that's right 32 down, who knows how many left! My birthday, the greatest birthdate of the year, in my humble opinion was Monday, August 11, 2008.....summer birthdays rock...i almost feel bad for RW, having his in March....not to mention the fact that he got screwed out of a 1/2 birthday (also big in my family circle)....i got my haircut...had to work (bleh) and then went home to surprise after surprise after new favorite restaurant is a chain!!! (Gasp, gasp)....The Bone Fish...super duper frikking good!!...and for the visuals, a visual:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Okoboji Vacation 2008

Amazing, glorious, unadulterated fun. Just a few words to describe our joyous vacation to Lake Okoboji. Or as I prefer to think of it: my lake. my lake that i let others use. Seriously, I have a connection to this lake. It brings out my inner child and makes my spirit warm and fuzzy. This is the first time that RW has been to Okoboji and seeing him see it for the first time was beautiful. Here is a picture of us:

A typical day in Okoboji: sleep in until 10....have a wonderful breakfast (gourmet french toast, biscuits/gravy, green chile smothered breakfast burritos)...go for a spin around the lake in the Whaler (a boat) with my coffee...then back for a nap....then a light lunch...then a nap...then a cocktail...then a swim....then dinner/drinks....a sunset cruise.....Here's RW modeling the fine art of napping:

I read a lot....I finished The Kite Runner (a scathing review regarding the sick and twisted excuse of an author to follow in a future blog)...i started Eat, Pray, Love...all the while enjoying this view from my perch on the deck!

Reconnecting with my handsome first husband (just a joke between us!)....and sharing my lake with him for the 3rd time.....we had a great time....nachos and beer at Braccos (overpriced and undergood)....nachos and beer at the Barefoot (nice view of what appeared to be the Swedish Bikini Team)....Ribs/Chicken dinner at the Gingham Inn, a little off the beaten path, but totally worth it.....riding the roller coaster at Arnolds Park.....swimming in Emerson Bay, swimming at Gull at Gull Point....catching more fish that Justin (hey, it'll probably only happen once, right, so i HAVE to brag!).....catfish fishing off the dock...sleeping in and lots of snuggling!

and let us not forget the most memorable experience of the week....the 3rd and FINAL running of the Ragan Foot Race...which resulted in me hitting the pavement...LITERALLY!!

All in all, Miss Okoboji and her magical waters have once again rejuvenated my heart and soul! I love you Okoboji!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

6 hours until VACATION!!!

and i can hardly wait! Really, it feels like i'm about 10 again and the clock has slowed down. We leave tommorow at noon for our totally awesome roadtrip. My sweet hubby has already bought the beef jerky. I'll be finishing up the mandatory house cleaning this evening and tommorow morning. I found it genetic, the whole, can't go on vacation until the house is clean and the laundry is done? I don't think everyone does this, but the women in my family certainly do. CHEERS CHEERS AND MORE CHEERS AND A HAPPY DANCE THROWN IN FOR GOOD MEASURE!! I'M OKOBOJI BOUND!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

First Hike of the Summer!

Yesterday, I hiked Rawhide Trail in White Ranch Park, just NW of Golden about 20 minutes. I went with Melanie, Ruth and her two kids. This is the perfect hike for the following: first one of the season, out of town guests, families (with some athletic ability) and those of us who love to enjoy the view!! We definitely went the right way (literally) so as the watering hole was at the middle end of the hike. The hike is about 4.5 miles long with about 1300' in elevation....not too strenuous, although I was impressed with the amount of sweat seeping through my shirt. Gross? Not to me, it's cool! The views from this hike are magnificent.. the trail goes through a canopied forrest, grassy plains and wooded areas....the smell is fresh and cleansing....there was a slight breeze and wildflowers were in full bloom. WHY DIDN'T I BRING MY CAMERA????

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Friends are friends forever (if you're lucky)

We have been friends since 1987. That is 21 years. That is one hell of a very long time. It is so nice to have someone that has known you since you were 12 years old. We have been through 21 years of craziness. And by craziness, I mean the kind of craziness that is best kept between two lifelong buddies! I love my Beck. I will always love my Beck. There are just some things I know in life, that is one of them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

my list of 52 things to do before i turn 34...

1. Hike a ‘14ner
2. Go to a William Topley Concert
3. Visit susan in prison
4. Read a C. S Lewis book
5. Go to a weekend yoga retreat
6. Ski a back bowl
7. Write a letter to Jill 08/13/08: sent an email to apologize for my actions and kill negative chi.
8. Watch a Marilyn Monroe movie
9. Go to a taping of E-Town
10. Go to the Denver Museum of Art
11. Get a couples massage
12. Take a picnic to the mountains with RW and Jut
13. Send a “just because I love you” card to dad
14. Go home for harvest
15. Plan and host a dinner party for 8.
16. Read an entire book in the bible
17. Take a mental health day and not worry about work.
18. Decorate the guest bedroom.
19. Take a walk in the rain
20. Ride a rollercoaster 08/08/08: completed at Arnolds Park in Okoboji.
21. Run a 5k
22. Go for a bikeride
23. Take river to the children’s museum
24. Go camping with the family
25. Clean out closets
26. Update river’s baby book
27. Clean out the garage
28. Pay off the truck
29. Make the perfect margarita
30. Go fishing with justin 08/08/08: completed during vacation in Okoboji
31. Start a blog 08/08/08: started and making regular entries.
32. Pick a school for river to go to
33. GTG with steph and keith
34. GTG with jasmine and dave
35. Meet Malia at the park with the kids
36. Meet the girls in Kearney
37. Make a new friend
38. Send all grandparents a “just because” card
39. Go to a concert at red rocks 08/26/08: Willie Nelson with jut, Jeanne and steve!
40. Join a bookclub
41. Take River to a new park 08/21/08: Pillar of Fire park. He loved the basketball courts!
42. Play Frisbee in the park with the boys
43. Visit Tambra in Greeley
44. Go to Grizzly Rose with Sarah/Tam/Mel/Jess for girls night
45. Send a “just because” card to donna.
46. Send a “just because” card to mom.
47. Send a “just because” card to roxie.
48. Send a “just because” card to mike.
49. Send a “just because” card to the Heinrichs.
50. Go dancing with Leigh.
51. Sleep in until 10 in the morning.
52. Go to WaterWorld 08/24/08: went with RW. Definitely going againx1,000,000,0000.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Just call me Rachel Ray!

Yes, that's right. Grilled pizza, homemade, from scratch. To DIE for. Pizza dough courtesy of the Whole Foods pizza maker. Toppings included fresh basil from my herb garden, grape tomatoes, carmelized onions, shittake mushrooms and prosciutto. A delicate cilantro pesto served as the base. A side of all American caesar salad and homemade strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

So typical...

I love Saturday mornings.....Seriously, life is good. Especially when you are three and your mommy makes you blueberry pannycakes and let''s you watch cartoons. And even more so, when she has a surprise, a BIG SURPRISE, for you later.....she is taking you to see Wall-E, your first real movie! Hey, any newly potty trained young man should be rewarded with robots, right?